Lower Norfolk County | Gilliams of Virginia

GILLIAMs of Lower Norfolk
Updated January 23, 2021

New Norfolk County was named by Charles I and was created from
Elizabeth City County in 1636. It became extinct when it was divided into Upper and Lower Norfolk counties in 1637. Norfolk County was formed from Lower Norfolk County in 1691.

Elizabeth River Parish, bef 1643-1691
Lynnhaven Parish, 1643-1691

Capt. John GILLIAM ( - 1651) was referred to in some records of Lower Norfolk County, Virginia as Capt. John GILLIAM but the reason for the title is unknown. Capt. John GILLIAM died in Lower Norfolk County, Virginia late in 1651 and his will was in probate in January and February 1651/52. On 15 January Mary White testified concerning the will in which John GILLIAM left everything to his brother-in-law and executor, Roger Fountayn, with the exception of his rapier and a gold ring which went to his eldest son John GILLIAM. On 12 March 1651 Francis Land, Barrowe, & Taylor estimated the amount of the estate as 12976 pounds of tobacco.

It is likely that Capt. John GILLIAM of Lower Norfolk is the John Guilham, age 21, who is listed along with Thomas Guilham, age 18 as a fit persons to be transported to Virginia. John set sail on the George on 21 Aug 1635 from Gravesend, England. John and Thomas were transported aboard the George by Mr. John Severne. Also on the George was a Thomas Hand, age 20. This Thomas appears to the be Thomas Hand whose estate that John GILLIAM of Lower Norfolk served as administrator for in 1641.

It has been assumed from John's Will that John had children other than his "eldest son," John. It is possible that John, who married Margary is the "eldest son." Such a distinction is chronological plausible. It has also been suggested that Robert of Accomack is another son.

Court Orders, etc.
2 Mar 1639/40
The deposition of John GILLIAM who sayeth that he heard Marr Mello say to Mr. Tod that he would be his as much timber as he could work off in a month but Mr. Tod would not accept thereof and that afterwards he heard the said Marra Mello say that when he had been about some business of his own, he would get Mr. Tod some more timber but whether or not it was at the same time this deponent knoweth not.
Lower Norfolk Court Records, page 122

17 Jul 1639
At a Court Holden at Linnhaven in Lower County of Norfolke
The 17th day of Jul 1639
Capt: Adam Thorrowgood, Esq.
Capt. John Sibsey
Mr. Edward Windham
Mr. William Julian
Mr. Ffrancis Mason

Whereas at a Court holden by the Grand Council at Yorke the first of this present July there was ordered that there should be appointed fifteen sufficient men out of Lower county of Norfolke to march against the Menticoke Indians, accordinge therefore to the said order, the commander and Commissioners of this County have made choice of these men whose names are here mentioned to go the said March:
Thomas Rudder, George Locke, John Gatter
Henry Michaell, John GILLAM, Will. Berry
Gowering Lankester, Robt Mastere, Marm Warinton
Mr. West, Thos. Lovet, John Graygosse
Robt Ward, James at to Brownes, Robt Smith
(each 20 persons to provide 2 lbs of powder, 2 lbs of shot, and 40 lbs of biscuit, and 1/2 bu. peas 'a man for them sent for said march.')
[As a man chosen for the militia, John, would have had to be over 18 years of age. This coincides well with a birth-date of John Guilham, age 21, whom set sail on the George on 21 Aug 1635 from Gravesend, England.]
Lower Norfolk Court Records, page 10-10a

3 Jan 1641/42
Whereas Thomas
Hands standeth indebted unto Tho: Sabine in the some of 50 lbs of tobb old debt and 2 skins. It is therefore ordered that John GILLAM administrator of the said Tho: Hauds [Hands] estate shall make payment unto John Holbeck atturney to the said Saybinne of the some of 20 lb of tobb stript and smoothed with 2 deare skins provided that the Administrator be first satisfied otherwise execucon.
Lower Norfolk Court Records, page 111
[A Thomas Hand arrived on the George with John and Thomas Guilham on 21 Aug 1635.]

3 Jan 1641/42
It is ordered by this court that John GILLIAM the administrator of the estate of Tho:
Hand deceased shall be first satisfied out of the said estate provided that he make appeare at the next monthly court what he hath due to him.
Lower Norfolk Court Records, page 112
[A Thomas Hand arrived on the George with John and Thomas Guilham on 21 Aug 1635.]

16 May 1643
Mr. Tho: Todd positively affirmed that in May 1642 or thereabouts he sould unto Xop: Needham a browne heifer which was once Tho:
Hands, next John GILLHAMs and then ye sd Tods which heifer was cropt on both eares and that he did assigne over a bill of sale for her to ye sd Needham being ye same that was given to him.
Lower Norfolk Court Records, page 107
[A Thomas Hand arrived on the George with John and Thomas Guilham on 21 Aug 1635.]

15 Nov 1650
Payments to be made out of the county levyes for the present year
John GILHAM for 2 wolves heads, 200
Lower Norfolk Court Records, page 158

15 Nov 1650
Mr. Moseley appointed Collector of tythes for the Western Shoare of Lynnhaven River from 91 tytheables and to pay:
John GILHAM for killing two Wolves, 200
Lower Norfolk Court Records, page 159

Patents, Headrights and Bounds
21 August 1635
Persons to be transported
[from London] to Virginia by the George, Mr. John Severne, after examination by the Minister of Gravesend:
John GILLAM 21
Thomas GILLAM 18

John and Thomas GILHAM were among the 12 persons transported by Joseph Royall, and who received a patent dated August 20, 1642, in Henrico Co., VA.
Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers, p. 130

Joseph Royall, 600 acs, Aug. 20, 1642. Bounding on the land of Edward Madden above Sherley Hundred, N & E on the river to Dockmans Cr., adj. Daniell Lewellin W & by N Trans of 12 pers: Ralph Hexon, Thomas Sweft, Henry Smith, Katherine his wife, John GUILHAM, Martha Jacob, Nowell Hurim, Ann Coke, Stafford Barlow, Thomas GUILHAM.

Wills, Estates and Inventories
Will of Capt. John GILHAM

2 Dec 1651
Rec: 7 Jan 1651/2

Mary White aged 17: yeres or thereabouts" sworn as a witness to the will of Capt: Leift: John GILHAM says he bequeathed all his estate in this country "unto his brother in Lawe Mr Roger Fountayne" and appointed him his sole excr, "onely did bequeath unto his Eldest sonne John GILHAM his Rapier, and his usuall worne seale gould Ringe And this is the full some of his testament".

Sig: Marie Whi
te (her X mark)
Sworn in Court 15 Jan 1651
[1651/2] by me Willm Jermy Clericus Cuy.
Wills and Deeds, Book C, Lower Norfolk County, VA, page 1
[It should be noted that also on the ship George with John and Thomas Guilham was Thomas White, age 16 and Ann White, age 19. It is not know the relationship if any of Marie White to John Guilham.]

Roger Fountayne ordered to pay Simond Overzee debt of 2120 lb tobo.
Wills and Deeds, Book C, Lower Norfolk County, VA, page 4

Order that Roger Fountayne, admr of John GILHAM dec'd, be paid 5865 lb tobo due from the estate.
Wills and Deeds, Book C, Lower Norfolk County, VA, page 5

Roger Fountayne, admr of John GILHAM dec'd, ordered to pay Laurence Plumer debt of 500 lb tobo made by GILHAM in his lifetime.
Wills and Deeds, Book C, Lower Norfolk County, VA, page 5

Roger Fountayne, admr of John GILHAM, ord to pay Lemuell Mason, gent., debt of 330 lb tobo.
Also: ordered to pay Richd Lipscombe debt of 7000 lb tobo.
Also: ordered to pay Henry Brakes debt of 2000 lb tobo for several bills.

12 May 1651/52
Inventory of estate of Capt John GILHAM, dec’d of Lynhaven, in Co. of Lower Norfolk
For 8 ould books 0100
Totals 4214 lbs tobo
Capt [John] Sibsey 0300
Mr. Tho Goodrich 0250
John Taylor 4000
Simond Barrowe 0050
Henry Porter 0083
Bill of Wm. Singleton’s assigned by Richard Lipscomb 0850
From Ensign Sterlinge 0016
Totall some of the estate is 12976 (lb tobo)

Francis Land
Simond Barrowe
John Taylor, appraisers
Wills and Deeds, Book C, Lower Norfolk County, VA, page 5

15 Jan 1651/52
Lres of
administracon granted unto Roger Ffountayne on ye estate of John GILHAM decd he beinge a great creditor.
The said Roger Ffountayne, Ffrancis Land and John Cooke in open Court became bound to the above sd Comrs: in 20,000 lb tob severally for ye bringinge in of a true inventory of John GILHAM to the next Court.
Order upon peticon of Roger Ffontayne that John Martin, Ffrancis land & John Taylor & Lancaster Lovett shall have full power for ye appraisinge of the estate of John GILHAM with all convenient speed. They first being sworne by Mr. Henery Woodhouse.
Roger Ffountayen adm: if John GILHAM deceased to make paymt of 900 lb tob to Richard Conquest sd Adm: being first satisfied.
Attchmt granted Henery Brakes agst Estate of John GILHAM deceased for so much as Brakes Shall make appeare due by bil . . .
John GILHAM in his lifetime stood indebted to William Vincent by bill 433 lb tob and Caske the adm: Roger Ffontayne to make paymt after satisfying the above creditors.
Lower Norfolk Court Records, page 209

15 Jan 1651/52
Due to John Holmes out of ye Estate of John GILHAM decd 320 lb tob and Caske . . . ordered that Roger Ffountayne Adm: of GILHAM make payment thereof . . .
Lower Norfolk Court Records, page 210a

  • Coldham, Peter Wilson. The Complete Book of Emigrants, 1607-1775. 4 vols. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1987-.
  • Coldham, Peter Wilson. The Book of Emigrants, 1607-1660, p. 163, 169
  • McIntosh, Brief Abstracts of Norfolk County Wills, 1637-1710, p. 7
  • Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers, p. 130
  • Walter, Alice Granbery. Lower Norfolk County, VA Court Records, Book A (1637-1646) & Book B (1646-1651/52)
  • Wills and Deeds, Book C, Lower Norfolk County, VA, page 5