The name McMillan comes from a clan in Scotland that goes back many years. It was known at least eight hundred years ago, when estates were obtained in Perthshire. Their motto is "I help the wretched," and their badge is "Holly," as recorded in 1658. John McMillan, Sr. was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on November 13, 1756. He died in Alleghany County, North Carolina on February 23, 1844 near Stratford.
He left Scotland in 1787, joined on the boat by his prospective bride, Marion McLamont. She was born in 1763 in Scotland, and died April 15, 1839 in Alleghany. They were married aboard the boat on September 1, 1787. It's interesting to note that tradition in Scotland was for the older daughter to be married first. Marion had an older sister who was not married, so Marion ran away to America to be John's wife and helpmate. John and Marion had eight children.
(ed. note: My direct line listed first.) A son of John and Marion McMillan was James who married Thursa Gambill on March 13, 1813. She was the daughter of Captain Martin and Nancy (Nall) Gambill. They also had eight children. One of their children was also named John McMillan, who helped to settle Alleghany County when it was still part of Ashe. John was the first Clerk of Court in Ashe County and one of his grandsons helped survey Alleghany County. He was F.A. McMillan, son of Alexander and Polly Reeves McMillan.
In 1821, Alexander was elected to the House of Representatives, and until 1854, he was a representative or senator for North Carolina. (ed. note: The children of John and Marion McMillan that were mentioned in John's will were Peggy, married James Maxwell; Mary, married William Andrew Fields; James, married Thursa Gambill; Andrew, married Jennie Fields; John, married Narcessa Gambill; Nancy, married Captain Joseph Phipps; Alexander B., married Mary (Polly) Reeves.)
--- Zollie Rose Wyatt
(biographical sketch from The Heritage of Ashe County, North Carolina)