McDowell County, NC | Gilliams of Virginia

GILLIAMs of McDowell County, NC
Updated March 21, 2016



Background
McDowell was formed in 1842 from Rutherford and Burke. It was named in honor of Colonel Joseph McDowell, an officer of the Revolution. It is in the west central section of the State and is bounded by Burke, Rutherford, Henderson, Buncombe, Yancey, Mitchell and Avery counties. The court was ordered to be held at the home of Jonathan L. Carson until the county seat could be established. The act also named commissioners to select a site as near the center of the county as possible, acquire land, lay out a town by the name of Marion, and erect a courthouse. Marion is the county seat. The present land area is 441.68 square miles.


Overview
The Gilliams of McDowell County trace their roots to Charlotte County, VA. The orphans of William Gilliam (Charles, Minyard, Martha and Harris Gilliam) settled in McDowell and its neighbors before heading to sundry parts. Characteristic of this line is the use of the given name Minyard, often spelt Mainyard, Maynard, etc.



Amnesty Letters
29 May 1865
To his Excellency

Andrew Johnston

President of the United States

The petition of William R. Gillian of the county of McDowell in the State of North Carolina, respectfully represents unto your Excellency, that he was opposed to the late rebelion in the Southern States and opposed the pretended secession action of the State of North Carolina, that after the was began and the pretended Confederate Government was established, he felt bound to submit to laws, that he had no power to resist; that he did some military service in said rebelion, but none that he could avoid; that he never voluntarily took up arms in said rebelion; that he at one time held the office of Post Master at Black Mountain in said county under said pretended government; that he frequently voted at popular elections and paid such taxes as were required of him from time to time, that he always deplored the war and rejoiced at its termination; that he desires the immediate and complete restoration of the Union and has truly and sincerely returned to his allegiance to the Government of the United States and intends to henceforth be a true and faithful citizen thereof.

Your petitioner is advised that he is excluded from the benefits of your Excellency’s Amnesty Proclamation dated the 29th of May AD 1865 and hence, he prays your Excellency to grant unto him special pardon for such participation in said rebelion and your petitioner will ever pray, etc.

Berea College Appalachian Center, Amnesty Letters Project, Roll: 39, Frame(s): 199-203


29 May 1865
To his Excellency

Andrew Johnston

President of the United States

The petition of Maynard Gilliam of the County of McDowell in the State of North Carolina, respectfully represents unto your Excellency, that he was opposed to the late rebelion in the Southern States and stood at all times against the pretended secession action of the said State; that after the war began, and the pretended Confederate Government was established, he felt bound to submit to the laws of said state, he was powerless to resist them, indeed that he did such military serve as was required of him, that he voluntarily took up arms; that he always deplored the war and demanded its speedy termination; that he held the office of Post Master under said pretended government at Black Mountain in said state with a view to avoid military service as much as in any other course; that he voted at most of the popular elections, and paid such taxes as were required of him from time to time; that he has truly and sincerely returned to his allegiance to the Government of the United States; that he is rejoiced at the Cession of the War and desires the immediate restoration of the Union and hopes it will be perpetuated.

Your petitioner is advised that he is excluded from the benefits of your Excellency’s Proclamation of Amnesty dated 29th of May AD 1865 and here to he prays your Excellency to grant unto him special pardon for said participation in said rebelion. And your petitioner will ever pray, etc.
Berea College Appalachian Center, Amnesty Letters Project, Roll: 39, Frame(s): 195-198


Cemeteries
Gilliam Family Cemetery
Highway 9 South, Broad River

John P. Gilliam
b Apr 15 1858
d Jan 2 1898

Rebecca M. Ledbetter Gilliam
b Feb 27 1864
d Jan 2 1931
[Rebecca M. Ledbetter, married John Potilla Gilliam, son of Benjamin Franklin Gilliam and Sarah Louisa Fortune]

Daniel Gilliam
b Aug 31 1932
d Sep 10 1932

Billie Gilliam
d Jul 3 1937

Ed M. Gilliam
b Apr 19 1894
d Jul 20 1957

Hettie C. Gilliam
b Oct 3 1897
d May 8 1978
[Cemetery contains 6 additional Gilliam graves, three Hudgins, two Kuykendall and one Fortune]

Gilliam-Ledbetter Cemetery
Highway 9 South, Broad River Township

Malinda Gilliam Ledbetter
b Jun 2 1816

Squire Thomas Ledbetter
b Mar 10 1819

Manerva Catherine Ledbetter
b Sep 12 1855

Richard O. Ledbetter
b Mar 23 1848
d Apr 6 1859

Alford Walton Ledbetter
b Nov 12 1853
d Mar 16 1859

James W. Ledbetter
b Oct 13 1841
d Feb 15 1859

Mary Elizabeth Ledbetter
b Jan 3 1840
d Feb 13 1859
[NB Four children of Squire Thomas Ledbetter and Malinda Gilliam died in the spring of 1859]

Eva Lena Gilliam
b 1889
d 1891
[Daughter of James Bly Gilliam and Sarah Ledbetter]

William Gilliam
b 1861
d 1921
[Son of
James Bly Gilliam and Louisa Murphy]

Louisa M. Gilliam
b 1843
d 1878

Jas B. Gilliam
b Oct 1 1839
d Jun 7 1918
Co I 49 KY Inf
[James Bly Gilliam, the son of Harris Gilliam and Mary, married Louisa Murphy, the daughter of William Albert B. Murphy and Zillah Owenby.]

Sarah L. Gilliam
b 1848
d 1931
Co I 49 KY Inf
[James Bly Gilliam, the son of Harris Gilliam and Mary, married secondly Sarah Ledbetter, the daughter of George W. Ledbetter and Rebecca Eliza Murphy]

Nora Mae Gilliam
b Jan 6 1882
d Mar 9 1953
[Daughter of James Bly Gilliam and Sarah Ledbetter]



Wills
15 Mar 1853
The Last Will and Testament of Sarah Gilliam

I, Sarah Gilliam of the county of McDowell and state of North Carolina being afflicted and diseased of body but yet possessed of my mind and memory and knowing it is appointed unto all men once to die, Do hereby make and publish this my last will and testament.
First I commend my soul to God who gave it and my body to the earth from whence it came to be buried in a decent Christian manner suitable to wishes of my executors hereinafter named.
Second I will and bequeath all my stock consisting of horses, cattle, hogs, and sheep together with all my farming tools, household and kitchen furniture of whatever it may consist including money if any be on hand to be equally divided between my four beloved children to wit:
Elizabeth Ross, Mainyard Gilliam, Jasper Gilliam, and William R. Gilliam.
Or if any of them dies leaving children their proportionable part to go to their children of if not issue their part to go to the surviving brothers and sister.
Lastly I do hereby appoint John Ross and Mainyard Gilliam, being my son and John Ross being my son-in-law and having faith that they will fully execute this my Last Will and Testament and carry out my will and desire, in testimony whereof, I, the said Sarah Gilliam have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed my seal to this my last Will and Testament, this the 15th day of March 1853.
Wit: Jesse Burgin, Sr. and B. Burgin
Sig: Sarah [her X mark] Gilliam

State of No Carolina, court of Pleas ___ Session, Spring Term 1857
Mc Dowell County

The within and foregoing Last Will and Testament was present in open court for probate and the due execution thereof was duly proven in solemn form by the oath of B. Burgin and Jesse Burgin subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded and registered.
A. A. Finley, Clerk
McDowell County, NC, Will Book 1, page 52

11 Feb 1863
The Last Will and Testament of Mainyard Gilliam
Dated 11th day of February 1863, McDowell County, North Carolina.

I, Mainyard Gillam, of the county and state aforesaid, being of sound mind and memory thanks be to God for His Mercy do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following:
First of all I will my soul to God who gave it first to me. I Will my just debts be punctually paid together with all funeral expenses.
The I will that by beloved wife, Nancy Gilliam, have the whole of my property both real and personal during her natural life in widowhood. My will is proved that my wife Nancy shall have on a child’s part including the dwelling house and orchard and that part of the land that is most convenient to the dwelling. Furth my will is that if any of my children should marry during my wife’s widowhood, my will is that my executors give that or them what they see can be spared by setting a value on the same. Further, my will is that if my wife Nancy should marry that if my executors hereafter mentioned saw fit to divide the property between the mother and the heirs might do so and further my will is that at the death of their mother that my boys arrive at the age of twenty one years that they have a horse and cart apease [sic] if they can be spared and also my daughter to have the value in a note or notes by my Executors setting a value on the same. And I further appoint my worthy friends Noah Souther and William R. Gilliam Executors of this my Last Will and Testament.
Wit: Christian Hoyle and William Souther
Sig: M. Gilliam
Received of Noah Souther and W. R. Gilliam, executors of the Will of Mainyard Gilliam dec’d, in full the estate of the sd. Mainyard Gilliam, dec’d agreeable to the will this 2nd day of November 1883,
Wit: A. W. Gilliam and Nancy [her X mark] Gilliam.
McDowell County, NC, Will Book 2, page 134



Sources
  • Berea College Appalachian Center, Amnesty Letters Project, Roll: 39, Frame(s): 199-203
  • Huddleston, Dean Gilliam and Mary Helen Collins. The Descendants of John Gilliam: The Immigrant. Volume 1. Revised. 1997.