Alexandria, Town of | Gilliams of Virginia
GILLIAMs of the Town of Alexandria
Updated March 18, 2016


Background
Alexandria, in Fairfax and Arlington counties, was named for John Alexander, an early owner of the tract on the which the town was located. Alexandria was established in 1749. Its site had been known as Hunting Creek Warehouse and as Bellhaven. Alexandria was incorporated as a town in 1779 and in 1789, Alexandria was ceded to the District of Columbia. Formally accepted by Congress in 1801, Alexandria remained under a part of the District until 1847 when it reverted to Virginia. In 1852 Alexandria was incorporated as a city.


Overview
William Gilham of Woodstock, Shenandoah County. By late 1809, William has settled in the Town Alexandria where he operates a Dry Good Store on Royal Street. William appears in the 1820 Alexandria Federal Census where he is listed with several children. He is believed to be the brother of Mary Gilham that married William Breckinridge of Fayette County, KY (see The Correspondence of John Badollet and Albert Gallatin, 1804-1836 Indiana Historical Society Publications). William is said to have raised Mary’s son, Samuel M. Breckinridge. The name William Gilham Breckinridge is used by the Kentucky Breckinridges. William is believed to be the father of Henry Miller Gilham who married Fannie Badollet, and the grandfather of Col. William Henry Gilham, CSA.


Census
1820
Willm Gilham
Township: Alexandria
County: Alexandria
State: District of Columbia
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Free White Males - Under 10: 2
Free White Males - 10 thru 15: 1
Free White Males - 16 thru 25: 1
Free White Males - 45 and over: 1
Free White Females - Under 10: 2
Free White Females - 10 thru 15: 1
Free White Females - 16 thru 25: 2
Free White Females - 26 thru 44: 1
Number of Persons - Engaged in Commerce: 3
Number of Persons - Engaged in Manufactures: 2
Slaves - Males - 26 thru 44: 1
Slaves - Females - 14 thru 25: 3
Free White Persons - Under 16: 6
Free White Persons - Over 25: 2
Total Free White Persons: 11
Total Slaves: 4
Total All Persons - White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 15



Correspondences
“A brother of her husband, Mr. William Gilham merchant of Alexandria, took an early charge of, & raised the much lamented Lieutenant Samuel M. Brackenridge, son of a sister living in Kentucky, who perished by the explosion of the Fulton.”
Thornbrough, Gayle (Editor). The Correspondence of John Badollet and Albert Gallatin, 1804-1836 Indiana Historical Society Publications, Softcover, 1963, page 295.

1 Apr 1815
Fanny Ballodet married Henry Gilham on 1 Apr 1815.

Thornbrough, Gayle (Editor). The Correspondence of John Badollet and Albert Gallatin, 1804-1836 Indiana Historical Society Publications, Softcover, 1963, page 261.

“I have put Gilham in possession of another house of mine wherein Albert previously lived, & is now doing well.”

Thornbrough, Gayle (Editor). The Correspondence of John Badollet and Albert Gallatin, 1804-1836 Indiana Historical Society Publications, Softcover, 1963, page 321.


Deeds
1 Feb 1813
Between Jonah Thompson, Richard Veitch and Anthony Crease of the town of Alexandria in the District of Columbia [to] William Gilham of the same Town . . . whereas said William Gilham by indenture the 18th May 1798 for the purpose of securing the said Jonah Thompson and Richard Veitch the payment of twelve hundred and eleven dollars twenty nine cents . . . two lotts [sic] of five acres each in the Town of Woodstock and County of Shenandoah know by Numbers 50 and 57 and one half acres Lott [sic] purchased by the said William Gilham of Thomas Southcomb also in the said Town . . . the said debt has since been assigned to said Anthony Crease and has been fully satisfied by said William Gilham . . .
Sig: Jonah Thompson, Rd. Veitch, A. Crease, Wm. Gilham
Wit: None
City of Alexandria, Deed Book U, page 26

4 Aug 1813
Between William Gilham of the Town of Alexandria in the District of Columbia [to] Joseph Irwin of County of Shenandoah . . . consideration of five hundred and ___ dollars . . . two certain lotts [sic] containing five acres each lying on the northwest side of the Town of Woodstock and know by the numbers 50 and 57 and were conveyed to the said William Gilham by John Crookshanks and wife by deed . . .
Sig: Wm. Gilham
Wit: P. Williams, A. Hoffman, Jacob Miller
Rec: 11 Oct 1813
City of Alexandria, Deed Book ___, page ___



Periodicals
4 Jul 1815,
Alexandria Gazette
William Gilham, Merchant, King and Water Streets, one door west of Paton & Butcher
Miller, T. Michael. Artisans and Merchants of Alexandria, Virginia, 1780-1820, Volume 1.

14 Sep 1815,
Alexandria Gazette
William Gilham, Merchant, King and Water Streets, one door west of Paton & Butcher
Sale of madeira wine, rum, rye whiskey, groceries, sugar
Miller, T. Michael. Artisans and Merchants of Alexandria, Virginia, 1780-1820, Volume 1.

26 Mar 1817
, Alexandria Gazette
Joel Z. Harper & Co, Merchants, Dry Goods, NW Corner King & Royal Streets
Will lease the store they now occupy next door to Wm Gilhams
Miller, T. Michael. Artisans and Merchants of Alexandria, Virginia, 1780-1820, Volume 1.

13 Oct 1817
, Alexandria Gazette
William Gilham, Merchant, King and Water Streets, one door west of Paton & Butcher
Sale of molasses, coffee, New England Rum, cognac brandy, Holland & country gin, ground pepper, salt, bedcords, plough lines
Miller, T. Michael. Artisans and Merchants of Alexandria, Virginia, 1780-1820, Volume 1.

31 July 1820
, Alexandria Gazette
John Creighton. Merchant. Royal Street
Partnership with William Gilham dissolved, continue to manufacture cut nails nearly opposite the Gazette on Royal Street.

Miller, T. Michael. Artisans and Merchants of Alexandria, Virginia, 1780-1820, Volume 1.


Slaves
5 Nov 1808
Owner: William Sandford (or Sanford)
Slave: Hanson (or Henson)
Notes: Sandford bought Hanson from Dr. Peter Wise for a term of ten years 5 Nov 1808. Sandford then conveyed him to William Gilham 5 Aug 1809 for $250. Then, Gilham, for $200, conveyed Hanson to William Harper 9 Jun 1810 (this final bill of sale was recorded in 1821). Hanson was probably freed in 1818.
Wit: George Wise, Adam Lynn
Slave Manumissions in Alexandria Land Records, 1790-1863


Sources
  • Miller, T. Michael. Artisans and Merchants of Alexandria, Virginia, 1780-1820, Volume 1.
  • Slave Manumissions in Alexandria Land Records, 1790-1863
  • Thornbrough, Gayle (Editor). The Correspondence of John Badollet and Albert Gallatin, 1804-1836 Indiana Historical Society Publications, Softcover, 1963