Willliam E Gilliam vs John H Gilliam | Gilliams of Virginia

William E. Gilliam vs. John H. Gilliam, William T. Gilliam, etc.
Updated March 28, 2016

Allison Mosby was the father of Jacob and Priscilla Mosby. Priscilla marries Robert Gilliam, Sr., the son of James GIlliam and Martha Isbell. Robert’s brothers William Gilliam marries Elizabeth Pettus and Thomas Gilliam marries Sarah Pettus. Robert’s son John marries Cynthia Powell, Robert’s daughter, Amy, marries James Moody.

From the suit we learn that
John H. Gilliam no longer lives in Virginia.
John H. Gilliam is one of the heirs of Thomas Pettus who has recently died. (He also seems to be an heir of Eggleston Pettus). He received money as an heir of Sally Gilliam (heir of Thomas Pettus)
William E Gilliam is the son and only child of Robert Gilliam. Both Robert Gilliam and his wife are dead.
William E. Gilliam was born about three years after the marriage of his parents [abt 1828, George Higginbotham says abt 1829]. His mother died two weeks later and his father died two years after that [abt 1830, George Higginbotham says abt 1831] without having ever remarried
William E. Gilliam appears to be living in Marshall County, Mississippi in 1851 and 1859
Robert Gilliam had a brother, John M Gilliam (dead now) whose wife, Cyntha is still alive in Pontotoc County, Mississippi in 1859.
Robert Gilliam had a sister named Ama who married Mr. Moody of Virginia
Robert Gilliam had a sister named Martha who married John H Gilliam Robert Gilliam married Rachael Higginbotham in 1825 in Monroe Co. Mississippi. They lived for some months after in the house of John M and Cyntha Gilliam.
Robert and John M. Gilliam had an uncle named Jacob Mosby
Rachael Higginbotham was the daughter of William G Higginbotham, who was alive in Pontotoc Co, Mississippi in 1849 (but did not respond in 1859)
George Higginbotham was the brother of Rachael Higginbotham. He is living in Pontotoc Co., Mississippi in 1859.
George Higginbotham met Robert and John Gilliam about 1823 and knew them until their deaths.
Thomas Pettus died in 1849-1850. There was a will dated 21 Sep 1849, it was submitted to the court on 6 May 1850, but was rejected ("not recorded"). Eggleston Pettus was appointed administrator Eggleston Pettus died sometime before 1 Sep 1851 when Allen T. Pettus was appointed adminstrator for the estate of Thomas Pettus. Allen T. Pettus was also administrator for the estate of Eggleston Pettus.
John O Pettus died sometime before 5 Nov 1849 when William T Gilliam was appointed the adminstrator of his estate.
William T Gilliam lived in Charlotte Co, Virginia

Jacob Mosby died and his estate went to the children of his sister, Priscilla Mosby Gilliam. (She was already dead). Two of those children, John M Gilliam and Robert Gilliam had left Virginia and were not found at the time of the case. (Or at least there were no documents filed by them). When the case was settled the money was left in a "bond.” John M Gilliam was also dead, but his heirs filed for their portion about 1848 or 1849.
Robert Gilliam was also dead, but he left one child, William E. Gilliam. These are the documents in the case where William E. Gilliam gets his inheritance.
This case also follows suit: "Pettus vs Pettus" (the inheritance from Thomas Pettus). William E. Gilliam has a bond signed by John H Gilliam and John O Pettus in 1840 for $217.50. [Apparently part of Robert Gilliam's money was given to John H Gilliam and was to be refunded if Robert Gilliam or his heirs were found alive.] William E. Gilliam wants to collect on his bond [i.e. get his money] by taking a portion of the money due John H Gilliam in some recent inheritances. The case appears to have begun in 1851 and was not settled until 1859.

Note: The following is note a transcription of the suit but rather quotes and summaries of the proceedings:

Image 2 & 3:
"To the Honorable Judge of the circuit court of Charlotte county in chancery sitting Humbly complaining shewith unto your honor your orator William E. Gilliam that a certain John H. Gilliam a non resident of Virginia is justly indebted to him in the sum of $217.50 with interest thereon from the 12th day of Novr.1840 and no part of the s'd sum & interest has been paid your orator. That the bond which is the evidence of indebtedness was executed by the said John H. Gilliam together with John O Pettus his security on the day above named to a certain William T. Gilliam of the County aforesaid—and is herewith filed marked A. & made a part of this Bill—conditioned to be paid if it should thereafter appear that a certain Robert Gilliam was living or being dead had left issue—otherwise to be of no effect -- now may it please your Honor, your orator is the lawful son and only child of the said Robert Gilliam who together with his wife (your orator's mother) is now dead, and your orator being in Equity entitled to the proceeds of the s'd bond has received a transfer of the same from the said Wm. T. Gilliam. The s'd John O. Pettus has died intestate and the s'd Wm. T. Gilliam has qualified as his admr: and a certain Thomas Pettus of s'd [said] County has also lately died possessed of considerable Estate real & personal to a portion of which the s'd John H. Gilliam is entitled which portion of the personal estate is now in the hands of a certain Allen T. Pettus who is qualified as the admr de bonis non of s'd Thomas Pettus, & has also qualified as the admr of Eggleston Pettus the first admr of s'd Thomas Pettus dec.d. The real estate of s'd Thos. Pettus was sold by a comr under a decree of this Court, and purchased by Wm. G. Friend and John H. Lee, and perhaps the whole, certainly a portion of the purchase money is yet unpaid, and if any portion of it has been paid by the s'd purchasers it was paid to the s'd Allen T. Pettus who was appointed the special Comr of the Court to collect it—And your orator has been informed that a portion in money & bonds of the s'd John H. Gilliam's interest in the said estate has come into the hands of H. H. Marshall as counsel for the s'd Allen T. Pettus.
Your orator begs leave to file herewith the said bond—and also his affidavit as by law required when an attachment is sought. & And also such official copies as may be necessary for decision of the cause.
To the end therefore that the said John H. Gilliam, Wm. T. Gilliam admr of John O. Pettus & Allen T. Pettus admr de bonis non of Thomas Pettus & the same Allen T. Pettus as admr of Eggleston Pettus, John H. Lee. Wm. G. Friend & H. H. Marshall be made parties defendant to this bill and answer all of the allegations hereafter oath as fully and particularly as if thereunto specially interrogated and that the said Allen T. Pettus, John H. Lee. Wm. G. Friend & H. H. Marshall may set forth what money property or other estate dared is in their
hands in anywise belonging to or do by them to the s'd John H. Gilliam, that your Honor may attach in their hand all such money property or estate end and direct the payment of your orator's claim out thereof, if there be sufficient for that purpose, or if there be not sufficient your Honor may direct the said W. T. Gilliam to pay the balance together with your orator's cost out of the estate of said John O. Pettus dec.d and that your honor may grant unto your orator all other & further relief as to Equity may
seem neat & the nature of his case may require. May it please the Court to award procifs [?]

Sig: H. H. M."
[This page is not dated, but from the dates and notes on Image 4, it looks like it was filed either in or before Feb 1853.]

page 4:
Gilliam & others

1853 February 'Rules Bill filed & leat [?] vs John H Gilliam vs all the other defts except Allen T Pettus"
______ Rules Vill taken for confessed & Set for hearing vs all the defts except John H. Gilliam & Allen T Pettus
1854 Feb Rules, Set for hearing vs John H Gilliam on Feb 6th
1858 Septr
ans of Allen T. Pettus filed tack [?] for hearing in plffs motion
1859 Aug 29
Final Decree
filed Febrary Crt 1853
column of court costs

Image 5:
list of names of plaintiff and defendants

Image 6:
name of case

Image 7:
"The answer of Allen T. Pettus to a bill of complaint exhibited in the circuit court of Charlotte County Virginia against himself and others by William E. Gilliam,
This respondent saving to himself all just exceptions to the said bill for answer to so much as he is advised is material for him to answer. Says.
That he did qualify as adm'r de bonis non of Thomas Pettus dec.d and has in his hands as such, due John H. Gilliam $44.81 as of the 15 Sept 1851.
[Image 8 says this was from the chancery case "Pettus vs. Pettus"]
That he was appointed by the Circuit Court of Charlotte in the case of Pettus vs. Pettus Com'r to collect the purchase money of the lands of Thomas Pettus decd, and has in his hand as such due John H. Gilliam $42.03 as of the 17 Sept 1851. And $41.99 as of the 21 Sept 1852
That he did qualify as admr of Eggleston Pettus decd & was appointed a special com'r to collect the purchase money for his real estate, and he has in his hands as such adm'r & com'r due John H. Gilliam $54.83 as of the 22 Sept 1852
[Image 8 makes clear this is from the E. Pettus estate]
that he also has in his hand $1.40 as of 18 Apl 1851 John H. Gilliam's share of the difference in lot of slaves assigned to Sally Gilliam's heirs of whom the said John H, was one
[image 8 makes clear that the slaves were from the T. Pettus estate]
and $17.00 as of 1 Dec 1851 the said John H. Gilliam share of the heirs of said slaves for that year.
All of which he is ready to pay as the court may direct and having fully answered prays to be hence with his costs.
Allen T. Pettus by counsel"

Image 8
totals 202.06

Image 10:
Deposition of W. T. Gilliam in Charlotte Co. Ho.
23 August 1859
the bond was written by W. T. Gilliam

it was for the heirs of Robert Gilliam - their claim to Robert's interest in the estate of Jacob Mosley dec.d
"I wrote the bond myself the sum of $217.50 was hard as the consideration of the bond, and it was the understanding that that amt. with int. from the date of the bond was to be paid if any heir of Robert Gilliam set up claim to Roberts interest in the estate of Jacob Mosley decd."
Sig: Wm T Gilliam

Image 12:
the answer of John H. Lee
He [John H. Lee] bought the lands of Thos. Pettus dec.d and paid all the money for them to A. T.
Pettus on 21 Sept 1852
He was "appointed a com’r to sell the slaves of Sally Gilliam's heirs derived from the said Thos. Pettus, by the county court of Charlotte in the case of Gilliam &c vs Pettus admr &c and now has in his hands as of the 1 Dec 1851 $198.67 due John H. Gilliam as his share of the said slaves."

Image 14:
letter to Mississippi, asks for officials to examine the witnesses for William E. Gilliam: Wm. G. Higginbottom, Cynthia Gilliam, and George Higginbothem
Mississippi to return enclosure
dated 28 Dec 1858

Images 15-16:
Copies of depositions made and filed in 1849
Deposition of Cynthia Gilliam and William G Higginbottom taken at the House of Shadrack S. Tyre in Pontotoc Co., Mississippi
25 July 1849 for a court case in Charlotte County. Wm T. Gilliam for SC [&c], plaintiff, John Tombes, defendant Cynthia Gilliam says "that she knew Robbert Gilliam that Robbert was a brother to my deseast husband John M Gilliam that both Robbert and John M. Gilliam said they had a sister by the name of Ama who married a Mr Moody of Virginia, that they had a sister by the name of Martha who married John H. Gilliam some time in the year 1825 Robbert Gilliam married Rachael Higgianbotham that Robbert Gilliam and his wife Rachael lived in the same House with my husband and myself some months after they were marrid [married] that in about three years after Robbert Gilliam was marrid his wife had a son whose name is William E. Gilliam that Rachael Gilliam the wife of Robbert Gilliam died about two weeks after William E. Gilliam was bornd that Robbert Gilliam never marrid again that Robbert Gilliam died about two years after the death of his wife that William E. Gilliam is the only legal heir and representative of Robbert Gilliam that William E. Gilliam is now living."
Deposition of William G. Higginbotham:
"he knew Robbert Gilliam that some time in the year 1825 his daughter Rachael was marrid [married] to Robbert Gilliam about three years after their marriage Robbert Gilliams wife had a son whose name is William about two weeks after the birth of William E. Gilliam Rachael Gilliam died.
Robbert Gilliam never married the second time.
Robbert Gilliam died about two years after the death of his wife William E. Gilliam is now living and he is the only heir of Robbert Gilliam
Robbert Gilliam was a brother to John M. Gilliam Robbert Gilliam said he had a sister whose name was Ama he said Ama marrid a Mr Moody of Virginia. Robbert Gilliam's sister Martha marrid John H. Gilliam
W. G. Higginbotham"

Images 16-17:
Newspaper clipping advertising that depositions were to be taken at the house of Wm E Higginbotham in Pontotoc Co, Mississippi on 15 Feb 1859.
"The depositions of Wm G. Higginbotham and Cynthia Gilliam taken at the dwelling house of Wm E. Higginbotham in Pontotoc County State of Mississippi on the 15 Feb 1859 between the hours of sunrise & sunset. to be used as evidence in a suit pending in Charlotte Circuit Court Virginia, styled Wm. E. Gilliam vs John H. Gilliam . . ."

Cynthia Gilliam, "I Have Heard my Husband
[John M Gilliam] and Robert Gilliam Both speak of their uncle Jacob Mosby."
Sig: Cyntha Gilliam

Images 17-18:
Deposition of George Higginbotham taken in Pontotoc County, Mississippi at the house of William E.
Higginbotham on 15 Feb 1859
He knew Robert Gilliam and John M Gilliam. He became acquainted with them in 1823 and knew them until their death and "they claimed to be and called each other brothers"
He thinks Robert Gilliam died about 1831
Robert Gilliam was married to Rachel Higginbotham in 1825 in Monroe County Mississippi.
[George Higginbotham] was present at the marriage Robert Gilliam and his wife are both dead. They had one heir. His name is William E. Gilliam
William E. Gilliam is now living. Robert Gilliam was not married the second time. He thinks William Gilliam was born in 1829
"I heard the said Robert Gilliam say that he had two sisters Ama and Martha. I cannot recollect where they lived."
William Gilliam is the only heir that Robert Gilliam has.

Image 19:
name of case, the above depositions were filed 24 Feb 1859

Image 20-21:
Court Ruling
9 Aug 1859
William E. Gilliam's claim is upheld for the sum of 217.50 with interest from 12 Nov 1840
Allen T. Pettus should pay (as administrator of Thomas Pettus dec'd) $44.81 with the money from 15 Sep 1851
Allen T. Pettus should pay (from the money from Pettus vs. Pettus) $84.02 with interest on $42.03 from 17 Sep 1851 & on $41.99 the residue thereof from 21 Sep 1852
Allen T. Pettus should pay (as administrator) of Eggleston Pettus dec'd) $54.83 with interest thereon from the 22 Sep 1852
Allen T. Pettus should pay $18.40 with interest on $1.40 from 18 Apr 1851 & on $17.00 the residue thereof from 1 Dec 1851
J. H. Lee should pay (from Gilliam &c vs Pettus) the residue of the money with interest
But William E. Gilliam can't have the money until he or someone on his behalf posts a bond for $900 payable to John H Gilliam (in case he ever shows up and "makes a defense")

Image 22:
name of case and date of ruling

Images 23-24:
24 Sep 1859
appears to have been signed in Marshall County, Mississippi, since all the certifications come from that county.
Wm. Wright
J [?] D Wright was the agent & attorney for Wm. E. Gilliam
Jesse Pipkin [?]
E. D. Hewitte
W. W. Henry
The last certification from Marshall County was dated Oct 20, 1859

Image 26:
the original bond signed by John H Gilliam & John O Pettus
"Know all men by these presents that we John H Gilliam & John O Pettus are hold and firmly bound to Wm T Gilliam, his heirs &c in the just and full sum of two hundred and seventeen dollars 50 cents. To which payment well and truly to be made we hereby bind ourselves our heirs &c firmly by these presents. In testimony whereof we have hereto subscribed our hands and affixed our seals this the 12 day of Nov eighteen hundred and forty
The condition of the above obligation is such that whereas John H Gilliam has this day bargained and sold unto Wm T Gilliam his interest in the Est. of Jacob Mosby, decd. and whereas it is not known whether Robert Gilliam is dead or alive who is or was a legatee in said Est. now therefore if the said Robert Gilliam nor his heirs never come forward and claim their part in said Est. then the above obligation is void else to remain in full force and virtue"
Sig: J. H Gilliam, John O Pettus
Wit: Isaac Overbey

Image 27:
cover of bond

Image 28:
8 Dec 1858, Charlotte County, VA
W. W. Henry said that Wm. G. Higginbotham, Cynthia "Higginbotham", & Geo. Higginbotham are material witnesses and that they live in Mississippi

Image 30:
6 Dec 1852
a summary of the case, an order that a notice to John H Gilliam appear in the newspaper

Image 32:
Marshall County, Mississippi
statement of William E. Gilliam:
John H. Gilliam does not reside in Virginia, but has effects in Charlotte County Virginia
dated 23 Jan 1851

Image 34:
copy of bond made for William T Gilliam to administer estate of John O Pettus
Charlotte Court
dated 5 Nov 1849
William T Gilliam, to administer estate
cosigners: Green Moseley, Isaac Overby, John Broockes

Image 36:
Charlotte Court
Monday September 1st, 1851
Eggleston Pettus, administrator of Thomas Pettus has died.
Allen T Pettus became administrator for Thomas Pettus' estate
Wyatt H. Pettus and John Booker are his securities

Image 38:
Charlotte County
Monday, May 6th 1850
Eggleston Pettus submitted the will of Thomas Pettus, deceased, bearing the date 21 Sept 1849, but the will was rejected because 1) the will was not in the handwritting of Thomas Pettus, except the signature, and 2) "there being, to attesting witnesses"
Henry Carrington, John Booker, Wm. J Watkins, and Wyatt Cardwell, securities
Eggleston Pettus administrator

Image 40:
Charlotte County
Monday September 1st 1851
Allen T. Pettus to be administrator for the estate of Eggleston Pettus
William T Gilliam, George W Pettus, securities

Image 42:
Gilliam vs Gilliam &c
Debt due the plff
12 Nov 1840
Int to 29 Aug 1859
$ 462.81

Image 43:
Summons to John H Gilliam, William T Gilliam (admr of John O Pettus), Allen T Pettus (admr of Thomas Pettus and of Eggleston Pettus), John H. Lee, William G. Friend, H. H. Marshall to appear the first Monday in December next dated 23 Nov 1852

Image 44:
reverse of summons, lists when the summons was delivered
Exe 24 Nov
Decr 1852
William T Gilliam - 24 Nov 1852
John H Lee and William G Friend - 2 Dec 1852
H. H. Marshall - 6 Dec 1852
Allen T Pettus - "not found and no inhabitant"

Image 45:
[newspaper clipping]
depositions to be taken in Charlotte County. 23 Aug 1859 - depositions of William T Gilliam and others.
Taken at the law office of Wm H. Henry.

Image 46:
[newspaper certification]
announcement appeared in the Richmond Whig for 4 weeks starting th 6th day of July 1859

Image 47:
receipt for newspaper $2.25

Image 48:
newspaper clipping]
depositions of the Higginbothams and Cynthia Gilliam to be taken in Pontotoc Co,Mississipp on 15 Feb 1859

Image 49:
[newspaper certification]
announcement ran for 4 weeks in the Richmond Whig, beginning on 14 Dec 1858

Image 51:
newspaper receipt

Image 52:
[newspaper clipping]
depositions of Isaac Overby & others in Charlotte Co, VA to be taken 6 Jun 1859

Image 53:
[newspaper certification]
announcement ran for 4 weeks in the Richmond Whig, beginning on 8 April 1859

Image 54:
Deposition of Issac Overbey
Charlotte Co., VA
6 Jun 1859

He was the witness to the orginal bond that was dated 12 Nov 1840 between J. H. Gilliam and John O Pettus to Wm T. Gilliam for $217.50

Image 56:
[newspaper clipping]
about the case, there was a hearing in 7 Feb 1853 John H. Gilliam ordered to appear within one month certification that the ad ran for four weeks in the Richmond Whig beginning 15 Feb 1853

Image 57:
receipt for money paid to the newspaper signed Moseley and Elliott

Image 58:
name of case

  • Library of Virginia. Chancery Suits. Charlotte County, VA, William E. Gilliam vs John H. Gilliam and William T. Gilliam. 1859-014
  • www.widebranches.wordpress.com. Summary of Chancery Suit, June 2011