Norman Connection?
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It is unknown whether there is a Norman connection to the Milehams of England, but since the French sounding Adam De Millam of Lancashire and George de Mileham of Norfolk are currently the earliest known "Milams" in England it must be considered.   George de Mileham's will was probated in 1375 in Norwich, Norfolk, England.  Thereafter, evidence shows the name Mileham took major root in Norfolk, England.

Any Norman/French connection would likely have come via The Norman Invasion in 1066, by William The Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, and his 12,000-14,000 combatants who participated in it.  Afterwards, citizens of Normandy poured into England to partake of the spoils.

The following link is to a French website that describes an ancient town of Millam in Normandy, France.  Its description mentions the "Lords of Millam" and old de Millam chapels existing as early as 11th century.  More research is needed to learn if there is a connection between the old Norman hamlet of Millam, the "Lords of Millam," and the Mileham/Millam/Milam families of England.

 

See:  Millam, France website
Rough Translation:


The village of Millam was throughout its history, and remains, marked by its geography. At side of Millam-haut - the ham- which belongs to whole share in the Flanders Intérieure with the small undulations, one finds Millam-bas which forms already part of the Flanders Maritime, easily flooded, impeccably punt. Great fields were born in this sector which remained a long time between ground and sea.

These marshy, unhealthy and uninhabited areas belonged of right to the counts de Flandres who had wisdom to entrust them to the local lords and especially to the abbeys which had the means of emphasizing them. In 1169 Philippe of Alsace, this count who stuck particularly to our sector, made drain the marsh of Millam that it gave the canons of Surface on the Lily. He made them, thus gift of 1700 measurements where they founded in particular the parish of Cappellebrouck. Bauduin VII in 1115 then Charles the Good in 1121 had already yielded 800 measurements (325 ha) of the marsh of Millam (Paludem de Millam) to the very young abbey of Bourbourg, founded in 1101, this sector will become the seigniory of Mevrouwenbrouck, the marsh of Madam (the abbess). In 1121 the lord of the manor of Bourbourg adds to it 132 ha which will form the seigniory of Burgravenbrouck, marsh of the lord of the manor. Another seigniory much older of Zinneghem of which it is made mention as of 668 and who in 887 depended on another seigniory of Artois. It will become later the farm of Clytes, from where the current locality "Clytres" located in the high part of the village. The center of the village constituted the seigniory of Millam-Hofland and the south Millam-Cuere with a small enclave of the seigniory of Ravensbergue which extended especially on Merckeghem.

All this unit which depended on the châtellenie of Bourbourg, created in 1090, constituted with almost the whole of 3 other communes: Holque, Cappellebrouck, Merckeghem, the territory known as of Four Vassal, entitée very autonomous which had wide rights such as high justice. One finds throughout Ancien Régime mention of the seigniories and the lords of Millam.  In 1458 Jean de Viefville was entitled Seigneur of Millam. In 1517 and 1644, the lords of Millam had the right of toll of Overdraghs de Lynck and Watten (In connection with Overdragh to see mention page 5 of the review n° 13). Wolfrand d' Ursel was the last lord of Millam in 1789.  Certain witnesses of these old seigniories remain in Millam in the beautiful farms whose pinions of the houses are dated from the XVIIIème century and in the vast fields.  Without doubts also in its escutcheon: Mouths with the head of money charged with three merlettes of the field. However the most beautiful masonries concentrate around the borough which is built at the end of this spit of land which gave its name to the village. Sector located a long time at the edge of the marshes, the hinge of both Flandres. The limiting zones of two finings are always privileged areas which benefit from the resources and the advantages of the two sites. In North one is abruptly in the area of the Drainage works 3rd squared section of ditches draining water who is then evacuated thanks to Water gangs (gone of water) and especially system of a complicated and fragile pumping. Although one is to 15 km of the sea altitude is 1 to 2 m, the area is easily flooded by the sea in the event of rupture of the dams what the invaders never failed to do.


In fact the drainage works (water circles or companies) made it possible to cleanse with the Middle Ages all the marshy and unhealthy area. Extremely old associations thus to which all the arable land managers adhere. This sector almost perfectly flat was never covered with forest, the trees are rare there, just as the hedges because the breeding was never of primary importance there. At the end of the XVIIème century one counted 45 % of ploughings there but also 27 % of waste lands, the grounds were perhaps partly forsaken because of dubious times, one was in period of war, like so often in Flanders. One can thus evaluate the grazing grounds with the ¼ grounds. In Flanders Intérieure it is more than 35 % of the surface which was in meadows. Today 95 % of the grounds are there in ploughing for 70 % in high Millam. One can believe that the lords of Millam, who were, inter alia the abbeys of Bourbourg and Watten, stuck particularly to the church of Millam. One knows in all cases that in 1083 the abbot of the Monastery of Watten devoted a church to Millam, it was without doubts 1st village. One century later in 1171, one evokes the erection of a vault served by a chaplain, it can act of a new church of Millam.

This larger and more beautiful unceasingly rebuilt monument seems to us today one of the most beautiful churches of the sector, very rich by its architecture, its furniture, its statuary. It can be presented like the prototype of the churches of Flandres. The arrow of the tower from which one comes to finish repair goes back to 1620-1625 bus of 1615 to 1625, the priest and the notable ones of the village raised a tax for its rebuilding.  Twenty stuyvers with the ton of beer and 2 stuyvers by batch of wine "to replace the arrow of the church removed in order to avoid the fall of the tower itself". This same tax was also used to repair the clock. The arrow was then rebuilt with a height nearly 2 times less compared to the preceding one. Rich person of its residences, its church, the village was also rich of his men. In 1697, a doctor "surgeon" lived there, also a metal worker. In 1685 a school informed, Flemish, 25 boys and 16 girls what prevented only one century later, a woman on 2 remained unable to write her name as well as a man on three. It as should be known as about 1700 a villager out of 5 or 7 was famous begging. Much villager lived in extreme cases of poverty.  Although the grounds of Millam are fertile, the outputs remained, there like elsewhere a long time well low. In 1700 corn harvests were of 11,25 hl to the hectare, the good years. 

It was necessary to hold 3 of them hl for the sowing, the rents and the paid taxes, there remained ¼ harvest for the consumption of the farmer. One thus could calculate that one needed 4 ha and half of corn to nourish an average family and thus taking into account rotations, fallow a farm of at least 13 ha. Until the modern time the floods, the epidemics in the breedings and many other evils threatened the villagers. However the 1/3 of the families of Millam had at least a horse and the ¾ animals with horns in 1697. The cultures were varied; corn, sweetened (barley of winter), oats, rye, broad beans, tares, colza, flax. One a long time spun the flax in many hearths.  The cultivation methods improved unceasingly, so that the population of Millam increased regularly to reach its greater density in the middle of the XIXème century then justifying its name of "thousand hearts". In 1914 the population was still of 934 inhabitants. One thus came very close to density of 100 inhabitants to km2, since the population did nothing but decrease as in all the communes of the sector, to reach the minimum in the years 1975-1985 with 525 inhabitants. To the census of 1990 the population went back to 593 is a rise of 13 % in 8 years the density is not less only 48 inhabitants with the km2.C' is without doubts the quietude of Millam which attracted about fifty people in a few years. Here the life still runs out at the rate/rhythm of nature, the changes are done slowly. The borough keeps its traditional aspect with its looked after houses, with sand bricks with great reasons which one calls sometimes runic. Village still surrounded by grazing grounds with their hedges, the houses dispersed in the countryside are also full with charms, even if the majority of the most remarkable thatched cottages disappeared, given up or dismounted for a hypothetical rebuilding in the artificial site of Villeneuve d' Ascq! Even the TGV which less crosses the commune on step than 3200 m does not seem to affect it.