GILLAM-L ArchivesArchiver > GILLAM > 2000-03 > 0954537664
Subject: William & Mary (Jarratt) GILLIAM, of VA
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2000 16:21:04 EST
Wm. and Mary (Jarratt) Gilliam, of VA
by Charles Ward <>
A great deal of erroneous information has been published regarding
William and Mary (Jarratt) Gilliam, of Virginia. This has been inadvertently
perpetuated by well intentioned researchers, unaware of the inaccuracies
contained in various published sources (example, Worth Ray's TN COUSINS).
William Gilliam's parentage is unknown to date, but it is very likely he
belonged to the Gilliam family which resided in St. Peter's Parish in New
Kent County, VA. Claims that he was a grandson of the Reverend Patrick Henry
are false. Chronologically, this is impossible. A very good review of the
Gilliam descendants of the Reverend Patrick Henry has appeared in print and
only confirms the fact that the William Gilliam in question does NOT belong
to this family.
Richard and Margaret Gilliam were residing in St. Peter's Parish, New
Kent Co., VA as early as the 1680s and they had several sons. It seems highly
probable that William Gilliam was a grandson of Richard and Margaret Gilliam.
Mary Jarratt, wife of William Gilliam, was born 5 May 1724 in St. Peter's
Parish, New Kent Co., VA the daughter of Devereux Jarratt and his wife,
Elizabeth (Wingfield) Jarratt.This information is confirmed by the St.
Peter's Parish Register and the Gilliam Bible which was published in 1766 in
William and Mary (Jarratt) Gilliam probably married in New Kent Co., VA
and came to reside in Albemarle Co., VA near the Pedlar River. They are found
in that county in deed records in the 1750s. Following the creation of
Buckingham County, VA in 1761, Gilliam is then found in that county.
Surviving land records mention William Gilliam as being deceased on 17 Oct
1792. It has incorrectly been stated that William Gilliam died in Hanover
Co., VA, but again, this has been a perpetuation of false information.
References are made to the "widow Gilliam" in Buckingham Co., VA in 1794
and 1796. This is in reference to William Gilliam, deceased and we may
deduce this is a reference to Mary (Jarratt) Gilliam. She appears to have
died about 1796.
Unfortunately, Buckingham Co., VA is a "burned county" so any will
William or Mary Gilliam might have left was destroyed years ago. However, we
can reconstruct their family using other means.
John Gilliam is referred to as a son of William Gilliam, deceased, in
surviving Buckingham Co., VA land records.
William Gilliam and his his eldest son, William Gilliam, Jr. are found in
a 1764 List of Tithables in Buckingham Co., VA with the father paying the
tithe of the son.
Thomas Gilliam's family record lists him as the "son of William and Mary
William Gilliam, Jr. the eldest son of William and Mary (Jarratt) Gilliam
died childless in Wilkes Co., GA. He bequeated his estate to his brothers and
sisters. Specifically, he bequeathed his estate to his brothers and sisters
and the heirs of John Hood. No specific family relationship was indicated
in regard to the heirs of John Hood, so we can't state definitively if they
were related, based on the probate records alone.
The wording of the will is of particular significance. As he did not
bequeath his estate to his brothers and sisters AND THEIR HEIRS, this
effectively disinherited the children of his brothers who predeceased him. Of
course, the heirs of John Hood were an exception, if their mother was indeed
a sister of William Gilliam, Jr. as has been assumed by some Gilliam
At any rate, utilizing the abovementioned sources, we have an accurate
picture of the children born to William and Mary (Jarratt) Gilliam. Their
1. William Gilliam, Jr. (b.ca 1742; d. 1798); married Elizabeth Ellis. No
children. They are found selling land in Amherst Co., VA in 1773, but were
residing in Bedford Co., VA at the time. He later settled in Wilkes Co., VA
where his will was written 27 Jan 1798 and proven 17 Feb 1798. The inventory
and distribution of his estate shows payments were made to his surviving
brothers: Devereux, Richard, Charles, John, Jarratt, and Archelaus Gilliam
and to his sister, Sarah Williamson (as well as the heirs of John Hood). As
previously mentioned, no provision was made for the children of his deceased
2. Sarah Gilliam (b.ca 1744); married Micajah Williamson. Resided in Wilkes
Co., GA. A daughter was married to John Clark, Governor of Georgia. A
grandson, John Campbell, served on the United States Supreme Court. A
great-grandson, Lucius Q.C. Lamar, also served on the United States Supreme
Court and was immortalized in John F. Kennedy's PROFILES IN COURAGE.
3. Devereux Gilliam (b.ca 1746; died 1809); married Edith Ellis, daughter of
Charles and Susannah (Harding) Ellis, of "Red Hill," in present-day Amherst
Co., VA. They were early settlers of Knox Co., TN where they established
"Gilliam's Station." His will, written 2 May 1809, was proven the following
4. Peter Gilliam (b.ca 1748; d. 1798); Traditionally attributed as a son of
William and Mary (Jarratt) Gilliam. He was married to Ann Heard and came to
reside in Wilkes Co., GA where he was dead by 15 Jul 1794 when Jesse Heard
was appointed administrator of his estate.
5. Thomas Gilliam (born 22 Oct 1750; died 25 May 1793); See my separate
posting for a discussion of this gentleman and his family.
6. Richard Gilliam (b.ca 1752); he is listed as receiving a share of his
brother's estate on 19 Dec 1799. A Richard Gilliam is listed as having his
will proven in Bedford Co., VA on 22 Apr 1799, so it would seem unlikely
these could be the same individual due to the conflict of these two dates.
7. Charles Gilliam (b.ca 1754); received a share of his brother's estate on
12 Jan 1799.
8. John Gilliam (b.ca 1756; died 1821); married Mary Tooley, 22 Nov 1785, in
Albemarle Co., VA. His will, written 1 Mar 1821, was proven 21 May 1821, in
Amherst Co., VA.
9. Jarratt Gilliam (b.ca 1758; died 1833); married 24 Mar 1787, in Bedford
Co., VA to Ann Gilliam. He married as his second wife, Theodosia Davis, in
Bedford Co., VA on 18 Feb 1796, with her mother, Elizabeth Davis, of Amherst
Co., VA giving consent. He did not remain in Bedford County and returned to
Amherst Co., VA where his will, written 24 Dec 1832, was proven 17 Jun 1833.
10. Archelaus Gilliam (b.ca 1760; d. 1836); sometimes referred to as
"Archer." He married Judith Tooley, 15 Dec 1781, in Albemarle Co., VA. An
administrator's bond was granted to James Gilliam for Archelaus Gilliam's
estate on 21 Nov 1836, in Amherst Co., VA.
11. Joyce Gilliam (possibly); married John Hood. The wife of John Hood is
attributed as a sister of William Gilliam, Jr. and thus a daughter of William
and Mary (Jarratt) Gilliam, based on the fact that William Gilliam, Jr.
bequeathed part of his estate to the heirs of John Hood in his will. No
I hope that this will help to clear up many of the inaccuracies regarding the
family of William and Mary (Jarratt) Gilliam.
I have spent a great deal of time and effort researching the Gilliams. I have
plans of having my research published.
If anyone wishes to discuss the Gilliam family, please contact me directly.
Copyright @1998 Charles M. Ward, Jr.
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