Williamson County, TN | Gilliams of Virginia

Gilliams of Williamson County, Tennessee
Updated March 21, 2016

Williamson_County TN.svg

Background
Williamson County was originally inhabited by at least five Native American tribes: Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks, and Shawnees. White settlers had settled Williamson County by 1798, and on October 26, 1799, the Tennessee General Assembly created Franklin and Williamson County. In 1800 Abram Maury laid out Franklin, the county seat, which was carved out of part of a land grant he purchased from Major Anthony Sharp. "The county was named in honor of Dr. Hugh Williamson of North Carolina who was a colonel in the North Carolina militia and served three terms in the Continental Congress."

Many of the early inhabitants of the county were recipients of Revolutionary War land grants. Those veterans who chose not to settle here often sold large sections of their land grants to speculators, who in turn subdivided the land and sold off smaller lots. Prior to the Civil War, the county was the second wealthiest in the state; its resources of timber and rich soil (farmed for a diversity of crops including rye, corn, oats, tobacco, potatoes, wheat, peas, barley, and hay) provided a stable economy, as opposed to reliance on one cash crop.


Overview
Anthony Gilliam, son of Thomas Gilliam and Sally Williamson of Sussex County, VA settled in Williamson County, TN by 1820. Anthony never married. His Will freed all his slaves, provided them with clothing, etc., and made provisions for their safe travel to a free state. Anthony also made provision for the maintenance of one slave, Zillah, apparently to old to travel. The remainder of this estate was earmarked for the education of children of the poor, who showed promise of becoming “useful citizens and distinguished members in society.”

Sadly, Anthony’s relatives contested the Will and it was broken. It is not known whether Anthony’s slaves were granted their freedom or not. The 1860 Slaves Schedules for Williamson County provide no information. The resulting suit, however, does provide invaluable genealogical information as it given the names of potential claimants to Anthony’s estate both living and deceased.

Another Gilliam family that settled in Williamson County is the family of James M. Gilliam and Sanford Gilliam, sons of William Gilliam and Martha Woodson Molloy. William and Martha were married in Rutherford County, TN in 1823. A Rutherford deed refers to William as of Charlotte County, VA. The Molloys were of Buckingham County, VA



Census
1820
Anthony Gillum
Home in 1820 (City, County, State): Franklin, Williamson, Tennessee
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Free White Persons - Males - 26 thru 44: 1
Slaves - Males - 26 thru 44: 1
Slaves - Females - 45 and over: 1
Number of Persons - Engaged in Commerce: 3
Free White Persons - Over 25: 1
Total Free White Persons: 1
Total Slaves: 2
Total All Persons - White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 3


1830
Anthony Gillum
Home in 1830 (City, County, State): Williamson, Tennessee
Free White Persons - Males - 40 thru 49: 1
Slaves - Males - 24 thru 35: 1
Slaves - Females - 36 thru 54: 1
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49: 1
Total Free White Persons: 1
Total Slaves: 2
Total - All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 3


Thomas Gillum
Home in 1830 (City, County, State): Williamson, Tennessee
Free White Persons - Males - Under 5: 1
Free White Persons - Males - 5 thru 9: 1
Free White Persons - Males - 30 thru 39: 1
Free White Persons - Females - Under 5: 2
Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 14: 1
Free White Persons - Females - 30 thru 39: 1
Free White Persons - Under 20: 5
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 7
Total - All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 7


1840
James M Gilliam
Home in 1840 (City, County, State): Williamson, Tennessee
Free White Persons - Males - 15 thru 19: 1
Free White Persons - Females - 15 thru 19: 1
Free White Persons - Under 20: 2
Total Free White Persons: 2
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 2


Sanford Gilliam
Home in 1840 (City, County, State): Williamson, Tennessee
Free White Persons - Males - Under 5: 1
Free White Persons - Males - 5 thru 9: 1
Free White Persons - Males - 10 thru 14: 1
Free White Persons - Males - 40 thru 49: 1
Free White Persons - Females - Under 5: 2
Free White Persons - Females - 5 thru 9: 1
Free White Persons - Females - 30 thru 39: 1
Slaves - Males - Under 10: 1
Slaves - Males - 10 thru 23: 2
Slaves - Females - Under 10: 1
Slaves - Females - 10 thru 23: 1
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 3
Free White Persons - Under 20: 6
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 8
Total Slaves: 5
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 13


William A Gilliam
Home in 1840 (City, County, State): Williamson, Tennessee
Free White Persons - Males - 5 thru 9: 1
Free White Persons - Males - 10 thru 14: 1
Free White Persons - Males - 15 thru 19: 1
Free White Persons - Males - 30 thru 39: 1
Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 14: 1
Free White Persons - Females - 30 thru 39: 1
Free White Persons - Under 20: 4
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 6
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 6


Anthony Gilliam
Home in 1840 (City, County, State): Williamson, Tennessee
Free White Persons - Males - 50 thru 59: 1
Slaves - Males - Under 10: 1
Slaves - Males - 24 thru 35: 1
Slaves - Females - Under 10: 4
Slaves - Females - 24 thru 35: 1
Slaves - Females - 36 thru 54: 1
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 2
Total Free White Persons: 1
Total Slaves: 8
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 9


1850
William A Gilliam
Age: 48
Birth Year: abt 1802
Birthplace: Virginia
Home in 1850: District 6, Williamson, Tennessee
Gender: Male
Family Number: 633
William A Gilliam, age 48
Elvira H Gilliam, age 43
William G Gilliam, age 17

Franklin Gilliam
Age: 27
Birth Year: abt 1823
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1850: District 9, Williamson, Tennessee
Race: White
Gender: Male
Family Number: 54
Franklin Gilliam, age 27
E A Gilliam, age 27
William H Gilliam, age 3
Martin G Gilliam, age 1
[Franklin is the son of William A. Gilliam and Martha Smithson, above]

John C Wells
Age: 37
Birth Year: abt 1813
Birthplace: Virginia
Home in 1850: District 9, Williamson, Tennessee
Race: White
Gender: Male
Family Number: 50
John C Wells, age 37
Catharine Wells, age 39
James Wells, age 14
Parthenia Wells, age 11
Frances S Wells, age 7
John W Wells, age 5
Edward S Wells, age 3
Richard Paul Wells, age 1
Clemence Gilliam, age 20, wagon maker
Samuel Brooks, age 23
[Clement is the son of William A. Gilliam and Martha Smithson]

Anthony Gillum
Age: 67
Birth Year: abt 1783
Birthplace: Virginia
Home in 1850: District 6, Williamson, Tennessee
Gender: Male
Family Number: 593
Anthony Gillum , age 67
[Son of Thomas Gilliam and Sarah Williamson of Sussex County, VA]

1860
William A Gillam
Age in 1860: 58
Birth Year: abt 1802
Birthplace: Virginia
Home in 1860: District 1, Williamson, Tennessee
Gender: Male
Post Office: Franklin
William A Gillam 58
Elvira Gillam 53
Nancy Gillam 32

1880
Sarah N. Whitfield 46
Mattie Whitfield 22
John H. Whitfield 20
Annie E. Whitfield 17
Julia Whitfield 15
Ja ? Whitfield 13
Thomas Whitfield 11
Willie Whitfield 8
B. Cliffe Whitfield 5
Sarah Gilliam 94



Court Records
November Term 1853[?]

The clerk of this court having made his report under an order of this court at its last term, which is in the words following, to wit:

To the Worshipful the Justices of the Williamson County Court Agreeably to an order of your court made at its November term 1853 the undersigned clerk of your court submits the following deport of the distributees of the estate of Anthony Gilliam deceased, to wit,

John Gilliam, brother of said Anthony Gilliam died in Sussex County Virginia, leaving him surviving one son of whom no certain information has as yet been obtained.

James Gilliam brother of said Anthony Gilliam, died in Graves County, Kentucky leaving the following children, to wit, John B. Gilliam, Thomas B. Gilliam, William A. Gilliam, Emily C. wife of James H. Taylor, Naomi, wife of Harrison H. Short, Julia A. wife of Alfred S. Redmond, James M. Gilliam, Louisa Gilliam and Rebecca G, wife of Martin B. Cayce all citizens of Graves Co. KY

Richard Gilliam another brother who died when young, unmarried and without issue

Nathaniel Gilliam another brother who died in Texas unmarried and without issue.

Thomas E. Gilliam another brother now a resident of Arkansas

Elizabeth W. sister of said Anthony Gilliam who intermarried with William Shute and who is visiting in Texas said Shute having died in or about the year 1844 leaving one child

Rebecca another sister of said Anthony who intermarried with Thomas Loftin and died leaving her surviving three children, to wit, Martha, Arthur and Burrel Loftin said Martha is now the wife of Lawson Allen of Williamson County, Tennessee, Arthur Loftin resides in Marshall County Mississippi said Burrell Loftin died many years since in Texas leaving him surviving two children Thomas W and Mary

Sally Gilliam another sister of Anthony Gilliam is still unmarried and a resident of Marshall County Mississippi. I am informed that said Sally was some years since reported a Lunatic by a jury in Davidson County, Tennessee but that no guardian was appointed

Mary Gilliam another sister of said Anthony intermarried with a Stith Tucker who died many years since leaving said Mary him surviving who is at this time residing in Dinwiddie County Virginia,

Julia Gilliam another sister of said Anthony intermarried with Simon Willett who afterwards died leaving his widow said Julia him surviving who now resides in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Susan Gilliam another sister of said Anthony died many years since unmarried and without issue.

Respectfully submitted L. F. McCormick Clk, from which report (which is unexcepted to) it appears that the child of John Gilliam (if alive), the children of James Gilliam, Thomas E. Gilliam, Elizabeth W. Shute, the children of Rebecca Loftin, Sally Gilliam, Mary Tucker, Julia Willett, are each entitled to one share of the net proceeds of the sales of the slaves of said Anthony Gilliam now in the hands of said clerk

It is ordered by the court that the Clerk distribute said funds among said distributees whenever they shall apply and make satisfactory proof that they are the persons named in said report or that he pay said shares to the attorneys that may be legally authorized to receive the same and that said Clerk take the usual refunding-bonds from the said distributes

It is further ordered that the clerk leave one share at interest until it is ascertained whether the child of John Gilliam mentioned in said report is still living.



Marriages
5 Feb 1819
Thomas E Gilliam and Celia Hargrave

12 Sep 1822
Nancy Gilliam and Nehemiah Taylor

5 Dec 1822
William A Gilliam and Martha D Smithson

2 Apr 1846
B F Gilliam and Eliza Jane Spruel

2 May 1847
William A Gilliam and Elvira H H Smith

11 Apr 1852
Clement S Gilliam and Mary A Christman

28 Jan 1856
Clement S. Gilliam and Martha Curtis

26 Aug 1869
William G Gilliam and Lizzie R Walker

14 Mar 1879
Alice Gilliam and Thos Peach



Slavery
1850 Slave Schedule
Assuming Anthony Gilliam’s Will lists his slaves in order by age, the following names would then refer to the following names from the 1850 Slave Schedule, District 6.

Ned, Henry, Nancy, Dica [?], Arminta, Charlotte, Ann, Susan, Little Nancy and Amanda. Zillah is listed separately.

Name
Age
Gender
Zillah
70
Female
Nancy
42
Female
Ned
40
Male
Henry
20
Male
Dica [?]
18
Female
Arminta
17
Female
Charlotte
14
Female
Ann
12
Female
Susan
8
Female
Little Nancy
6
Female
Amanda
1
Female



Wills
Will of Anthony Gilliam
October Term 1851

Know all men by these presents that I Anthony Gilliam of the county of Williamson and state of Tennessee being of sound mind and disposing memory do this third day of August in the year of our Lord 1850 make and execute this instrument to be my last will and testament forever revoking all others

1st It is my will and desire that all my estate real, personal and mixed shall be disposed of under the supervision and direction of the County Court of Williamson County by the chairman of said Court, the County Treasurer for Williamson County and the judge of the Circuit Court for Williamson County which said chairman of the County Court and Treasurer and Judge of the Circuit Court of the County aforesaid and their successors in office forever.
I do hereby appoint a board of trustees with full and ample power and authority to carry into due affect each and every part of this my last will and testament under the direction and supervision of the said County Court of Williamson County in the manner herein after willed, bequeathed, and directed to wit

2nd It is my will and desire that my servants Ned, Henry, Nancy, Dica [?], Arminta, Charlotte, Ann, Susan, Little Nancy and Amanda shall immediately after my decease have one good suit of ____, substantial clothing each, in addition to what they my come to have at my decease. And it is my will and desire further that after my decease my servants aforesaid shall receive their freedom and be sent to a free state under the direction of the Trustees aforesaid and that each of them shall have twenty five dollars in cash ___ as they shall be removed and settled in said free state as shall be chosen by the trustees aforesaid in their own discretion.

My old servant woman Zilla is to be free after my decease and is to be maintained and proved for out of my effects in a suitable manner in the discretion of the trustees appointed as aforesaid.

And all the residue of my effects except as herein after excepted shall be under the supervision and direction of said trustees as herein before provided for, the principal to be placed at interest and the interest to constitute a fund for the education and maintenance of poor children or the children of poor parents of good and moral character and who are not able to educate their children

Provided and it is hereby specially desired and requested that the children to be educated and maintained in the manner herein before provided for, shall be of good morals and good natural intellectual faculties and endowments and that promise to make useful citizen and distinguished members in society

And provided further that the objects of charity aforesaid may be selected by said Trustees in their discretion from any of the counties in these, the limits of the state of Tennessee.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set this my name and fixed my seal in presence of William G. Anderson and Campbell Slayden, the date above written.

Sig: Anthony Gilliam

Witnesses William G. Anderson, Campbell Slayden

The state of Tennessee, Williamson County, Court October Term 1851

The last will and testament of Anthony Gilliam late of this county deceased is presented for probate and the execution thereof duly proven. William G. Anderson a and Campbell Slayden subscribing witnesses thereto being sworn they _____ each in the presence of and at the request of the testator that they believe said testator was of sound mind and memory at the making and publication of said will and under no undue influence Ordered that said will be recorded and John H. Allen having made application to the court that he may be admitted to administer upon said estate with said last will and testament annexed having given bond of seventeen thousand dollars conditioned as the law directs with Lawson Allen and Daniel B. Cliffe his securities and having been duly sworn ordered that letters of administration with said last will and testament annexed issue to him accordingly.
Tennessee Probate Court Books, 1795-1927, Williamson County, Wills, 1851-1853, Vol. 10, page 118, 66 Image of 341



Sources