A Joshua Mills first turned up in the 1820 Halifax Co., NC, Census as head of a household of 6 FCP, the oldest male was over 45. Next to him was Isum Mills (later Isham Mills) head of household of 4 FCP, the oldest male was 26-44 (there was also another Isham Mills, the same age, living in Warren Co.at this same time throughout the years). In 1830, Joshua Mills was in Pearce's District, Franklin Co., h/h of 6 FCP, oldest male 36-55, and then in 1840 he was finally in Nash, h/h of 5, oldest male aged 36-55.
In 1850 Nash Co., he turns up as Joseph Mills, age 60, and Nancy Mills age 50, plus other younger family members. In 1860 Joshua & Nancy Mills were still in Nash, where it was now revealed to be Spring Hope, Mannings Twp., and in 1870,Nash, Union Twp., Nashville, Joshua Mills, age 83, but no Nancy, apparently having died. He was still alive last in 1880 Nash Co., living with his son David Mills family.
The MILLS family who were free people of color, first turned up in the records in Bute Co. in the mid-1770s, when a Frances Mills, deceased, had 12 mulatto orphan children who were bound out as apprentices in the Bute/Warren County Courts. They were Elizabeth, Daniel, Sarah, James, Ann, John, Polley, Isham, Winnie, Aggie, Charlotte, and William Christmas Mills. Frances Mills may have been white since there is no mention previously of a person of color by that name, and perhaps she had these children with an African American man, but I don't know anything else about her. It is probable that Joshua Mills was a son of Isham Mills, since that is where he first turned up in 1820 as a nearby neighbor. I've been studying some of the MILLS for a while, but I have never heard of a Kate Richardson as being a mother for David, so I'm very curious as to where that info may have come from. The RICHARDSONs are another family I have many, many records on and they are a very difficult family to find early records on since most of them came out of Halifax Co., which wasn't the best County for record-keeping.
As for the trees on Ancestry, I hope you are not using those as a sole source of material since most of those trees are notoriously bad with everyone copying info from other trees without any real research. Anything I find in those trees, I take with a grain of salt, and then go out and find records to back the info up.
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