Updated January 5, 2021
Greensville County was named for either Revolutionary War general Nathanael Greene or for Sir Richard Grenville, leader of the Roanoke Island settlement of 1585. The county was formed from Brunswick County in 1780. Part of Brunswick County was added in 1787 and part of Sussex County was added in 1802. Its area is 300 square miles, and the county seat is Emporia.
Meherrin Parish, 1780
Saint Andrew's, 1781
Among the GILLIAMs of Greensville are the families of Capt. William GILLIAM of Sussex and Mary Lucas his wife. Col. James S. GILLIAM, Sr., and Elizabeth E. Massenburg, his second wife, moved to Greensville after their marriage. Their two children were born in Greensville.
20 Oct 1788
This Indenture made this Twentieth Day of October in the year of our Lord Christ One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty Eight between William Mason of the County of Greensville and Mary his wife of the one part and Abner Grigg of the same County of the other part Witnesseth that the said William Mason for and in consideration of the Sum of One Hundred and Ninety Two Pounds fifteen Shillings Current Money of Virginia to him in hand paid the receipt whereof he doth hereby acknowledge they the said William Mason and Mary his wife have granted bargained and sold and by these presents do grant bargain and sell unto the said Abner Grigg and to his heirs and assigns forever All that certain Tract piece or parcel of Land situate lying and being on the South side Nottoway River in the aforesaid County of Greensville containing by estimation One Hundred and Seventy Seven Acres be the same more or less, and is bounded as followeth; to wit, Beginning at a large white Oak on the bank of the aforesaid Nottoway River Thence nearly a south course along a new choped line to two small Possimon Trees chopt inwards on the side of a branch Thence up the various meanders of the run of the said branch to a Poplar on the west side thereof Thence nearly a west course to Richard Walker's corner Dogwoods Thence along the said Walker's line to Nottoway River aforesaid Thence down the various meanders of the run of the said River to the White Oak at the Beginning To have and to hold the said Tract piece or parcel of Land and Premises with the appurtenances unto the said Abner Grigg his heirs and assigns forever And the said William Mason and Mary his wife the aforesaid Land and premises with the appurtenances thereunto beloning unto the said Abner Grigg his heirs and assigns against them the said William Mason and Mary his wife and their heirs and against all and every other person and persons whatsoever shall and will warrant and forever defend by these presents In Witness whereof they the said William Mason and Mary his wife have hereunto set their hands and affixed their seals the Day and Year first within written.
Signed by W. Mason and Mary Mason.
Signed sealed and Delivered in presence of Frederick Hobbs, Thomas Williams, and John Sammons (his X mark).
Greensville County September Court 1790.
This Indenture was proved by the oaths of Frederick Hobbs and Thomas Williams Witnesses thereto and with the Commission annexed and Certificate of the execution thereof ordered to be recorded.
Teste P. Pelham, Cl. C.
Halifax County, VA, Deed Book 2, page 489
[Mary Mason, nee Mary GILLIAM, was the daughter of Capt. William GILLIAM, Jr., and Mary Lucas, his wife.]
20 Oct 1788
The Commonwealth of Virginia To Robert Jones Green Hill & Robert Booth Gentlemen Greeting Whereas William Mason decd. and Mary his wife (now Mary Booth) by their certain Indenture of bargain and sale bearing date the Twentieth Day of October 1788, have sold and conveyed unto Abner Grigg the fee simple Estate of in and to One Hundred and Seventy Seven Acres of Land more or less lying and being in the County of Greensville And whereas the said Mary Booth late Mary Mason cannot conveniently travel to our Court of our said County to make acknowledgment of the said Conveyance Therefore we do give unto you or any two of you power to receive the acknowledgment and relinquishment of dower which the said Mary shall be willing to make before you of the Conveyance aforesaid contained in the said Indenture which is hereto annexed And that you do personally go to the said Mary and receive her acknowledgment &c of the same and examine her privily and apart from GILLIAM Booth her husband Whether she doth the same freely & voluntarily without his persuasions or threats And whether she be willing that the same . . .
Halifax County, VA, Deed Book 2, page 490
[The widow Mary Mason, nee Mary GILLIAM, daughter of Capt. William GILLIAM, Jr., and Mary Lucas, his wife, married secondly, GILLIAM Booth.]
13 Jan 1803
John Camp and Elizabeth GILLIAM, widow, 13 Jan., 1803. Sec. Philip Claiborne
Register of Marriage Bonds, Greensville County, Virginia, 1781-1808, p. 208
[Widow Elizabeth Gilliam is the widow of Charles GILLIAM, son of Capt. William GILLIAM, Jr., and Mary Lucas, his wife. Elizabeth is the daughter of Bartholomew Figures and Sarah Drew, his wife.]
14 Sep 1833
John Ivy and Eliza GILLIAM
3 Feb 1834
James GILLIAM and Martha Ivy
13 Aug 1836
James GILLIAM and Sarah Hogwood
19 Dec 1837 or 1838
Peter Hogwood and Nancy GILLIAM
27 Jun 1843
William GILLIAM and Elizabeth Ivy
30 Dec 1851
Col. James S. GILLIAM, Sr., and Elizabeth Eldridge Massenburg. Bond William Robertson, Jr., Rev. P. G. Robert, Rector, Meherrin Parish.
William GILLIAM 304 acs. 15 Dec 1749
on the Brs. of Kettle Stick adj. Theodorick Bland, Wallis & Micajah Perry, £1.S10.
Cavaliers and Pioneers, Volume V, page 301
[This land was regranted to William's son-in-law, Lewis Tyus on 20 Jul 1768. It is located on both sides of the current Brunswick-Greensville County Line, on a branch of Kettlestick Creek of the three Creeks; on the Governors Road; and between the college Land & the St. Andrew’s Parish Glebe Land at Callaville. Cavaliers and Pioneers, Volume VII, page 140]
Power of Attorney
2 Sep 1847
Isham E. Hargrave, James H. Boisseau, and John Gilliam of Dinwiddie Co.,Va. PoA to Joseph Turner of G. To sign security bonds for William H. Goodwyn as guardian of George W. Goodwyn infant son of Albert T. Goodwyn deceased of G. and also of Charles F. Goodwyn and Junius A. Goodwyn infants of Peterson Goodwyn deceased late of G.
Rec: 6 Sep 1847.
Hart, L. H. Greensville County Powers of Attorney, Southside Virginian. Volume 1, page 41
Revolutionary War Public Service Claims
Isham GILLIAM, Court Booklet, p 23, Commissioner’s Book, III, p 24
Isham GILLIAM (Assistant Commissary), Court Booklet, p 23
Library of Virginia, Revolutionary War Public Service Claims
16 Jul 1825
Will of Thomas Harwell
I, Thomas Harwell of Greenville Co. do make and ordain this to be my last will and testament in manner and form following. To wit: 1st: It is my will and desire that my beloved wife, Cherry, take an equal share or child's part of my estate both real and personal, to hold the same for and during the term of her natural life. And it is my further will and intention that my said wife's part or share be so laid off as to give her my dwelling house with all its appurtenances.
2nd: I give and devise unto my two sons, William Thomas and James Harwell, the whole of the land which I am at this time seized and possessed of to be equally divided between them. To them and their heirs and assigns forever.
3rd: I give and bequeath the whole of my negroes to be so divided between my beloved wife Cherry, and my two sons, William Thomas and James and my daughter, Harriet, as that my said daughter's share shall be made equal in negroes and money to my sons (they having the land).
4th: Should the child which my wife is now pregnant with be a son, It is my will and desire and I give and divide to such son, an equal share of my lands with my other sons- and also an equal share of negroes with the rest of my children, to him and his heirs forever But should said child be a daughter, it is my will and desire that she shall take such part of my estate as my daughter Harriet may take, to her and her heirs forever.
5th: And whereas I have sold and rec'd payment for some land in the County of Southampton, now held by Mrs. Araminta GILLIAM— It is my will and desire that my Excutors or such of them as may qualify as such do make and execute a good and sufficient title to the same, whenever they may be called upon to do so.
6th: I lend unto my beloved wife the whole of my household furniture during her natural life.
7th: I give and bequeath unto my two sons, William and James, my watch and rifle.
8th: It is my will and desire that old Mingo, the blacksmith shall have the house he at present lives and four acres of land attached thereto during his natural life and should he by old age and infirmity, be indeed unable to support himself, It is my will and desire that he be maintained out of my estate. And, lastly I constitute and appoint my beloved wife Cherry Harwell and my friend Absolem P. Smith executrix and Executor of this my last will and testament, hereby revoking and annulling all other wills heretofore made by me. As witness my hand and seal this 16th July 1825.
Sig: Thomas Harwell
Signed, sealed, published and declared to be the last will and testament of the
within named Thomas Harwell in presence of us:
James Turner, Thomas B. Turner, George Smith and G. Avery.
[Mostly likely Araminta Gilliam, widow of Joseph Gilliam of Southampton County, VA. Araminta remarries James Cooper in 1827.]
Greensville County, VA, Will Book 3, pp. 423-424
Harwell, Albert L. “Will of Thomas Harwell,” Southside Virginian. Volume 8, Number 1, page 22
- Cavaliers and Pioneers
- Halifax County, VA, Deed Books
- Harwell, Albert L. “Will of Thomas Harwell,” Southside Virginian. Volume 8, Number 1, page 22
- Library of Virginia, Revolutionary War Public Service Claims
- Register of Marriage Bonds, Greensville County, Virginia, 1781-1808, p. 208