Tennessee | Gilliams of Virginia

The GILLIAMs of Tennessee
Updated March 19, 2016


Background
What is now Tennessee was originally part of North Carolina. Many early grants in present day Tennessee were made by North Carolina.
After North Carolina became a state, it ceded its western lands to the U.S. Government which organized them and the ceded lands of other states into the "Southwest Territory". (A Northwest Territory was also created. It was surveyed using the Public Land section/township/range system.)
Tennessee became a state in 1796. Its borders ran to the Mississippi River, but much of the state, particularly in the west, was Indian Land and therefore not subject to the state government. (The federal government considered the Indian lands to be those of a foreign power, and expected the states to treat them accordingly. Through the Constitution, Congress reserves the right to make treaties with other nations.)
Tennessee honored North Carolina grants made prior to Tennessee's statehood.

Land was acquired over time from the Indians through a series of treaties. Settlement of the newly available lands was done by obtaining state grants in various Surveyor Districts that were set up by the state legislature. The districts were surveyed in a 6-mile section grid, like that of the Northwest Territories. The grids were divided into lots. This scheme reduces or eliminates conflicting claims, a common problem with metes and bounds surveys.

In 1806 the U.S. Congress created the Congressional Reservation in the area west of the Tennessee River, and also including all or parts of Perry, Lewis, Maury, Giles, Lawrence, Wayne, and Hardin Cos. A major treaty with the Indians was made in 1818, opening the Reservation lands for settlement. In 1819 the Tennessee Legislature created Surveyor Districts 7 through 13 inside the Congressional Reservation, and began surveying them in 1820. A series of 5 mile square grids were surveyed. In 1836 the last Indian claim was extinguished and the 17th Surveyor District was created.



For information on specific counties:


Franklin County, TN
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Franklin County, TN

Knox County, TN
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Knox County, TN


Rutherford County, TN
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Rutherford County, TN


Sumner County, TN
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Sumner County, TN


Weakley County, TN
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Weakley County, TN


Williamson County, TN
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Williamson County, TN


Wilson County, TN
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Wilson County, TN


Topical Records:

Native Americans
Death of Thomas and James GILLIAM said at the hands of the Cherokee


Pensions
Pension of Jacob Gillham


Wills, Estates and Inventories
Misc. Wills, Estates and Inventories


Witchcraft
Polly Gilliam Webb, Accused of Witchcraft at Testament Baptist Church


Sources