Dr. James S. Gilliam | Gilliams of Virginia

Will and Estate of Dr. James Skelton GILLIAM
Updated March 12, 2016

Overview:
Dr. James Skelton GILLIAM, Sr., was born August 1763 at Mont Alto, Prince George County, VA to Robert GILLIAM and Lucy Skelton, the daughter of James Skelton. On the 21 Nov 1787, James married Mary Feild, the daughter of Theophilus Feild. James wrote his Will 17 Dec 1813 in Petersburg. It was recorded on 28 Mar 1814. His Will leaves to his son John, Mt. Alto, the place of my nativity, to son James, who I desire hereafter style himself James Skelton GILLIAM, my plantation called Arlington; to sons Marius, Robert, Theophilus F. and Brother Reuben . . . to daughters Ann, Mary, Lucy and Arabella.

Daughter Ann Feild also known as Nancy married John Peyton Bolling, the son of Capt. Thomas Tabb Bolling and Seignoira Peyton; daughter Mary Feild GILLIAM married Charles Francis Osborne, the son of John Osborne and Jane Pleasants Harrison; daughter Lucy Skelton GILLIAM married Rev. James Doughen; and daughter Arabella GILLIAM married Rev. William H. Foote.

James' widow, Mary Feild, lived many more years. She died about the 20 Oct 1848. Her obituary appears in the Richmond Whig & Public Advertiser
Died- In Petersburg on Oct. 20, in her 78th year, Mrs. Mary GILLIAM, widow of Dr. James S. Gilliam, dec'd.
Richmond Whig & Public Advertiser, Friday, October 27, 1848, page 1, column 6.


Background:
Though Dr. James Skelton GILLIAM, Sr., died in 1814, his estate was not settled until after 1832. After the initial settlement of 1814, in 1817 Theophilus F. GILLIAM sued the Executors of the Estate. By 1826, Theophilus F. GILLIAM & Robert GILLIAM Jr., petition the Legislature to authorize the sale of lands in the counties of Dinwiddie & Prince George devised to the petitioners by the late Dr. James S. GILLIAM. In 1832, Elk Island was advertised for sale.


The Will of James Skelton Gilliam
In the name of God, Amen, I James Skelton Gilliam living in my most perfect senses do ordain this to be my last Will and Testament.

Imprimis I give to my son John Gilliam, my tract of land in Prince George called Mont Alto, the place of my nativity lately of my brother Reuben Gilliam and all the islands Breadstreet excepted which I purchased of my said brother to hold to my said son during his natural life and after his life, I give this same John’s children if any there be proved that they or any of them shall attain full age or die under age leaving issue, but if my said son John depart this life without having children, him surviving or their lineal descendants as above mentioned in that case I give the said tract of land called Mont Alto and the islands above mentioned to my son James during his natural life, and after his death to his children if any there be provided that they or any of them shall attain full age or die under age leaving issue and should my said son James depart this life without leaving children or lineal descendants him surviving I then give the said tract of land to my son Theophilus Field Gillam during his natural life and after his death to his children if any, there be provided they or any of them shall attain the full age or die under age leaving issue and should my son Theophilus depart this life without leaving children or their lineal descendants him surviving I then give the said tract of land and island to my son Robert Gilliam during his natural life and after his death to his children if any there be provided that they or any of them shall attain full age or die under age leaving issue and should my said son Robert depart this life without leaving children or lineal descendants him surviving, I then given the said tract of land and islands to my son Marias Gilliam during his natural life and after his death to his children if any there be provided that they or any of them shall attain full age or die under age leaving issue and should all my sons above mentioned depart this life without having children or lineal descendants him surviving, I then give the said tract of land and islands to my then surviving daughters and the issue of such of them as may be dead such issued taking among them what whole have passed to their brothers or mothers if living to be held by my said daughters and the issue of such of them as may dead to them and their lives forever.

Second. I give to my son James who I desire may hereafter style himself James Skelton Gilliam my plantation in Appomattox river in Prince George called Arlington including Pringlas and Gracess also one moiety of my river island purchased of Walter Boyd Gilliam and a moiety of that called Breadstreet to hold during his natural life and after his death to his children if any there be provided that they or any of them obtain full age or die under age leaving issue. But if my said son James shall depart this life without leaving children or their lineal descendants him surviving in that case I give the said tract of land above described and the moiety aforesaid of my river islands and of that called Breadstreet to my son John during his natural life and after his death to his children if any there be provided that they or any of them shall attain full age or die under age leaving issued and should my said son John depart this life without leaving children their lineal descendants him surviving I then give the said tract of land and moiety aforesaid of my river islands and and [sic] of that called Breadstreet to my son Theophilus during his life and after his death to his children if any provided that they or any of them shall attain full age leaving issue and should my said son Theophilus depart this life without leaving children their lineal descendants him surviving I then give the said tract of land and moiety aforesaid of my river island and of that called Breadstreet to my son Robert during his natural life and after his death to his children if any there be provided that they or any of them shall attain full or died under age leaving issue and should my said son depart this life without leaving children or then lineal descendants him surviving, I then give the said tract of land and moiety aforesaid of my river islands and of that called Breadstreet to my son Marias and after his death to his children if any there be provided that they or any of then shall attain full age or die under age leaving issue and should all my sons above mentioned depart this life without leaving children or their lineal descendants them surviving I then give the said tract of land and moiety aforesaid of my river islands and of that called Breadstreet to my then surviving daughters and the issue of such as may be dead, such issue to take among them what would have passed to their mother or mother if living to be held by my said daughter and the issue of such of them as may be dead to them and their heirs forever.

Third I give to my son Theophilus Field Gilliam the whole of the highland in Prince George which I purchased of W. B. Gilliam also one moiety of the island attached thereto and on that called Breadstreet to hold during his life and after his death to his children if any there be provided that they shall attain full age or die under age leaving issue, but if my said son Theophilus depart this life without leaving children or their lineal descendants him surviving in that case I give the said tract of land and moiety of islands aforesaid and of that called Breadstreet to my son Robert and Marias to be equally divided between them during their respective lives and after their children if any ________ be provided that they or any of them shall attain full age or die under age leaving issue and should both my said sons died without leaving children or their lineal descendants them surviving I then give the said tract of land and moiety of islands above mentioned and of that called Breadstreet to my sons John and James to be equally divided between them during their respective lives and after their death to their children provided that they or any of them shall attain full age or die under age leaving issue and both my said sons John and James die without leaving children or their lineal descendant them surviving, I then give the said tract of land and moiety of the said islands and of that called Breadstreet to my then surviving daughters and the issue of such of them as may be _____ issue to take among what would have passed to their mother or mothers if living to be held by my said daughter and the issue of such as may be dead to them and their heirs forever.

Fourth I give to my son Robert Gilliam my son Hatcher’s Run plantation in Dinwiddie comprehending Skipwith’s, Fisher’s, Boisseau’s and Traylor’s to hold during his life and after his death to his children if any there be provided that they or any of them shall attain full age or die under age leaving issue but this land is subject to the provision hereafter made and it is my wish that my son Theophilus shall enjoy equally with Robert the profits thereof during the life of the above mentioned W. B. Gilliam and if my said son Robert died without leaving children or their lineal descendants him surviving I then give the said tract of land to my son Theophilus and Marias to be equally divided between them during their respective lives and after their death to their children if any there be _____ that they or any of the shall attain full age or die under age leaving issue And should both my said sons die without leaving children of their lineal descendants them surviving them give the said tract of land to my sons John and James to be equally divided between then during their respective lives and after their death respectively to their children if any there be provided that they or any of them attain fully age of die under age having issue and should my said sons depart this life without leaving children or their lineal descendants them surviving I then give the said tract of land to my then surviving daughters and the issue of such of them as may be dead such issue to take among them what would have passed to their mother or mothers if living to be held by my said daughter and their issue of such of them as may be dead to them and their heirs forever.

Fifth I give to my sons Marias Gilliam my plantation in Blackwater in Prince George to hold during his natural life and after his death to his children if any there be provide that they or any of them attain full age or die under age leaving issue But should my said son Marias dies without leaving children or their lineal descendants him surviving I give the said tract of land to my sons Theophilus and Robert to be equally divided between during their respective lives and after their death to their children in any there be provided that they or any of them attain full age or die under age leaving issue and should both my said sons depart this life without leaving children or their lineal descendants them surviving then give the said tract of land to my sons John and James during their respective natural lives and after their deaths to their children if any there be that they or any of them attain full age of died under age leaving issue and should both my said sons depart this life without leaving children of their lineal descendant them surviving I then give the said tract of land to my then surviving daughters and the issue of such of them as may be dead: such issue to take among them what would have passed to their mothers or mothers if them leaving.

Sixth As it is my wish to perpetuate the descent of my real property in my own family as far as the law will permit I therefore notwithstanding the above limitations hereby empower each of my sons by Will of by Deed to settle his said lands first upon one of his children or descendants. Secondly upon either of his brothers or their descendants or if there be none then or either of his sisters or their descendants in the same manner and with the like limitations and provisions under which I have herein before devise the same provided that same can be legally done under the limitations herein before mentioned

Seventh I give to each of my said sons ten Negro slaves and their increase

Eighth I give to each of my daughters: Ann, Mary, Lucy, Arabella fifteen Negro slaves and their increase.

Ninth It is my will that my Nottoway plantation, my Hatcher’s Run plantation, and my lot in Petersburg with my property of every kind belonging to the same respectively at the time of my death except the slaves and my property that it may be expedient to sell should be continued and cultivated under the system I have hitherto pursued for the maintenance of my wife and family so long as my wife remains single and afterwards for the support of the children till the youngest comes of age, marries provided however that the Hatcher’s Run plantation shall be continued only till Theophilus be of full age.

Tenth At the death of my wife or her intermarriage of my wife and when my youngest child comes of age I direct that my personal property in the Nottoway plantation of every description except t slaves be sold and the money arising from such sale disposed of as is hereafter prescribed in regard so the residue of my estate real and personal. The aforesaid Nottoway plantation itself is given in the occurrence of the events aforesaid to my sons Theophilus Field Gilliam, Robert Gilliam and Marias Gilliam to be equally divided between then to hold to them during their natural lives and after their death I give the same to their children if there are any provided that they or any of them shall attain lawful age or die under age leaving issue I also empower each of then if of full age to dispose by testamentary device or by deeds of his proportion of the said land under the same limitations and provisions with which I have devised it to them. If any of the above named sons of mine should died intestate and without lawful issue: I then give with the provisions afore named the whole of my Nottoway plantation to the survivor of survivors of the above named three of my sons to be equally divided amongst them in quality as well as in quantity

Eleventh I give to my beloved wife Mary Gilliam during her natural life for the accommodation of herself and my family the lot and house wherein I live. At her death and after my youngest attains the age of twenty I give to my sons John and James the above mentioned house and lot to be equally divided in quality as well and quantity to them and their heirs forever. I also bequeath to my said beloved wife ten Negro slave and their increase during her life: to be given at her death to such of our children.

Twelfth Until my younger children come of age, the Negroes, which I have devised to them, shall be kept together they and their increase after they are divided and worked in my land for the joint accommodation of my beloved wife and family. And I also direct that my sons shall by each advancing a equal proportion pay to each of my daughters two hundred and fifty pound as they come of age; and that if any of my sons died under age and intestate the negroes willed to them shall devolve to my daughters, to be equally divided among them and their representatives, if alive and my daughters dead.

Thirteenth I desire that Raleigh if he can be procured shall be lodged in jail and sold to the most distant purchaser who can be procured, the money arising from his sale to be immediately invested in the purchase of a young Negro for the benefit of my estate. A few other refractory Negroes may be sold and the money applied to the same purposes, if judged necessary by my executors, but this number shall not exceed six. Blackwater is to be cultivated agreeable to the system heretofore pursued on it until Marias comes of age.

Fourteenth I direct that al the residue of my slaves be kept at my Nottoway, Hatchers Run and Blackwater plantation, for the purposes and during the period for which there plantations are to be kept up and afterwards I give the same to my children and the descendants of those who may be dead

Fifteenth I direct that my executrix and executors sell at public or private sale, first my moiety of Elk island for cash or as such credit as to them may appears most advisable but the said moiety of Elk Island is to be worked one year after my death, in the course of which Year all the stock on the said plantation is to be sold whenever the sale of it can be made to advantage
2ndly my plantation in Goochland County called Tuggles formerly the property of Randolph Harrison, provided twelve hundred pounds can be got for it
3rdly my fishery at the upper end of Elk Island which I purchased of my brother John Gilliam provided 800 pounds can be got for it and
4thly the residue of my estate real and personal not before disposed of otherwise; and I empower my said executrix and executors under the above restrictions to sell the same upon such terms as they shall judge as prudent and to postpone the sale of all or any places until they think it can be made most advantageous for my estate.

Sixteenth It is my will that the money arising form the sales of the property last above mentioned and from the collection of debts due me be applied in the first place, to the payment of my just debts such as are of my own contraction and do not admit to litigation and that the balance be invested in the stock of some chartered bank or banks as soon as it can convenient and advantageously be done to be exchanged for of otherwise disposed of for the purchase of other stock. I direct that my executrix and executors or the survivor of them hold such stock ion trust for the following purposes:
1st _____ receive and pay to my wife during her widowhood the dividends upon one-third part thereof
2nd to receive and divide equally among my children the dividend upon the remaining two thirds until the youngest be of age or to allow my child when of age or married to draw his or her equal proportion of the two thirds and in one third place upon the death or marriage of my wife to hold the first mentioned third in the manner and for the like purpose with the other two thirds.

Sixteenth [sic] In case either of my daughters die under age and before marriage it is my will that the estate bequeathed to her shall be equally divided among my surviving daughters the descendants if any who may be dead

Seventeenth I do hereby authorize and direct my executrix and executors to renew my notes at Bank after my death as they become due and to examine them from time to time until the whole of my debts so that _______ be discharged by them and to quiet all suspicions and jealousies on the part of the bank and of their friends who have heretofore been and may continue to be endorsers of the said notes. I hereby render my whole estate ______ to the said Bank and endorse of my notes for the discharge of the same.

Eighteenth And whereas I am my brother Reuben’s security on his administration of Andrew Thorborne’s estate and ______ to apprehend the consequences of such securityship. I do hereby enjoin it on my executrix and executors. That they regain from him another security and in his failure or inability to give ______ all such other methods for the exoneration of my estate as this discretion may dictate and the laws of the land allow.

Nineteenth It is my desire that Mr. Anthony Smith be supported as he has hitherto been as long as he lives in my family and after his death be decently interred in my family burying place if he chooses it.

Twentieth It is my will that I should be buried adjacent to my deceased children and that Mrs. Gilliam and any other children be buried near me.

Lastly I appoint my beloved wife Mary Gilliam executrix and my sons John and James S. Gilliam my executors of this my last Will and Testament.

And I direct that no security be required of them except that they be _____ responsible for the conduct of each other. I also appoint my youngest sons and empower them as they respectively come of age to qualify as executors on the same terms. And I direct that my estate shall not be appraised.

In testimony whereof I the said James S. Gilliam have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal on the __d of Nove 1813.

Signed, sealed and published as the last will and testament of James S. Gilliam:
(The interlineations above having been previously made before us.)
Sig: James S. Gilliam

Wit: Pleasant Aiken, Daniel Fisher, A S. Nansledles, Edmund Birchett

A codicil to the last will and testament of James S. Gilliam

1st I revoke that part of my will which direct that my Nottoway plantation should be worked for the support of my family and I direct that the same with all the slaves, stock, etc whereupon together with all the rest of my slaves (except those bequeathed to my wife and except also two slaves for each of my children instead of the number mentioned in my will) shall be sold by my executors and that the money arising from the sales be vested in stock in the manner and for the purposes mentioned in the sixteenth section of my Will. I have likewise a plantation in Fluvanna, which I direct to be sold in the same way and for the same purposes

2nd I give to my son Theo Field Gilliam after he attain full age Hatcher’s Run plantation comprehending Skipwiths, Fishers, Boisseaus and Traylors to hold the same instead of the land devised to him in the third item of my will and subject to the same provisions, limitations and terms as are contained in my will with respect to the said land in the third item.

3rd I give to Marias Gilliam when the attains full age, the land purchased from W. B. Gilliam together with a moiety of the Island and of Breadstreet instead of the land devised to him in the fifth item of my will to hold the same subject tot eh same provisions, limitations and conditions as are contained in my will with respect to the land devised in the said fifth section.

4th I give to my sons Robert Gilliam when he attains full age my Blackwater plantation in Prince George instead of the land devised to him the in the fourth section of my will to hold the same subject to the same provisions, limitations and conditions contained in my will with respect to the said land as devised in the said fourth section except only that provision with respect to the profits during the life of W. B. Gilliam that which requires it to be worked for the support of my family which are hereby revoked.
5th I give to each of my seven youngest children the final division of my funds of my estate after the death of my wife the sum of five hundred pounds current money ___ and above the proportion of my two eldest sons and I revoke so much of my will and require my sons to pay to each of my daughters the sum of tow hundred and fifty pounds.

6th I request that plantation given to my three youngest sons until they respectively become of age be rented out by my executors _____ _____; be restricted from clearing or in any way injuring the same or that one or two above shall be kept on them in order to preserve and prevent injury to the same and that the rents and profits be applied to the support of the family.

Witness my hand and seal this 12th day of Dec AD 1813

Signed, sealed and published as a codicil to the last will of said James S. Gilliam in presence of us

Wit: Henry Matthes, J. F May

I desire that my son Marias Gilliam may have one moiety of my Blackwater plantation form the time he attains full age until the death of W. B. Gilliam and I direct that wood for fire and timbers for repairs of the lot be obtained form the said plantation for the use of my family during the life of Mrs. Gilliam and that a wagon and team for that purpose be kept at the expense of my estate for the same period.

I desire my plantation called Tuggles may be sold for one thousand pounds and my fishery for five hundred pounds in hand if the same mentioned in my will if my executors ____ obtain more.

Witness my hand and seal this day 17th Dec 1813

Sig: James S. Gilliam

Signed, sealed and published as a codicil to the last will etc of James S. Gilliam in the presence of us
Wit: Richard Birchett, J. F. May
[As directed by Codicil, the Fluvanna tract was sold in 1827 to Overton B. Pettit by John and Theophilus Gilliam].


The Estate



Announcements Regarding the Estate of James S. GILLIAM
19 Nov 1814
Notice

The subscribers, having qualified as executers of the last will and testament of the late Doctor James S. GILLIAM, request those, who may have claims against the estate, to bring them forward, in order that they may be adjusted as speedily as possible. They also earnestly solicit those, who are in arrears with the estate, to prepare for a settlement; and they flatter themselves, that from the very great length of time, which has been given by the deceased to his creditors, no farther indulgence will be required.
John GILLIAM, Jr.
James S. GILLIAM
Petersburg Daily Courier

16 Nov 1814
Valuable Property for Sale
The subscribers as executors of the last will and testament of the late Doctor James S. GILLIAM, will proceed to expose to public sale, on the tent day of January 1815 on the premises, that valuable tract of land in Nottoway County, adjoining the lands of Mrs. Shore, Colonel Archer Jones, Samuel Perkins and Capt. Wm. Greenhill—in this tract, are nearly, 300 cares of land about one third of which is cleared—the remainder being very heavily lumbered with hickory and oak—This estate is perhaps susceptible of as high a degree of improvement as any high land in Virginia, and the intelligent farmer, or enterprising theorist, will find in the possession, an ample field open for agricultural speculation—it is bounded and intersected by the many small streams, along the sides of which are very valuable low grounds—equally adapted to the production of excellent ____ as to the cultivation of corn & tobacco. The high lands area so admirably calculated to produce large crops of every description, particularly those of wheat and other small grain. The ___ is allowed to be remarkably pure, the water uncommonly salubrious, and the neighborhood wealth and hospitable—a farther description is deemed unnecessary, as it is pre___ and requested, that whoever wishes to be come a purchaser, will view the premises before the day of sale. The subscribers are also authorized to sell the above property privately. Should any gentleman, wish to come to a bargain of this sort, he may know the terms by applying personally, or by letter, to either of them. If no such application is received, the terms will be made known on the day of sale.

At the same time and place will be sold all the personal property attached to the above estate—including the 1st year’s crops of every description—There will be nearly 40 negroes, large and small offered for sale—among who are some excellent sawyers, shoemaker, waggoners, weavers, spinners, &c, & perhaps for expertness at the hoe, practical skill in working of a plantation, honesty, sobriety and tractableness, the large ones are not supposed by an negroes in the estate—A credit of twelve months will be allowed the purchasers of all the personal property, except the crops on hand—for which a credit of three months will be given; and bonds with unexceptionable security, to carry interest from the date, if not punctually paid, will be required of the purchaser indiscriminately.

John GILLIAM, Jr.
James. S. GILLIAM
Petersburg Daily Courier

30 Jan 1815
On Wednesday the 15th of February (if fair, if not, the next fair day) will be sold at Montalto, on the river Appomattox, in Prince George, about one mile and a half above Broadway, and formerly the residence of Mr. Reubin M. GILLIAM, between fifteen & twenty negroes, belonging to the estate of the late Dr. James. S. GILLIAM—they are composed entirely of very likely young women and children, with the exception of two men a little advanced in years, one of whom is both a rough carpenter and shoemaker and both goad sawyers.

At the same time will be sold nearly 250 barrels of corn, a quantity ___ and other provender, a number of ____ ____ Utensils, and a new sixty gallon still ___ a stock of fine cattle, (____ which are___ yokes of very large oven) several mules, ___ sheep, hogs &c. A credit of 12 months will be given upon all sums above 30 ___ ___ and bonds with approved security to carry interest from the date if not punctually paid what be required.
The executors
Petersburg Daily Courier

31 Jan 1815
On Friday the 14th of February, at Prince George Court House, (it being court day) will be hired to the highest bidder from that time until the 1st of January 1816, several likely Negro Men, belonging to the estate of Dr. James S. GILLIAM, dec’d—They have been accustomed to almost every species of labor required on a farm and can be recommended as being honest ___ and tractable.
The executors
Petersburg Daily Courier

1817
Chancery
Theophilus Field GILLIAM, etc. vs. The Executors of Dr. James Skelton GILLIAM
Library of Virginia Chancery Records Index, Petersburg City, 1817-010

11 Dec 1826
GILLIAM, Theophilus F. & Robert GILLIAM, Jr.
Ask for an act authorizing the sale of lands in the counties of Dinwiddie & Prince George devised to petitioners by the late Dr. James S. GILLIAM.

Legislative Petitions Database, Library of Virginia, Reel 217, Box 272, Folder 67
[Though Robert GILLIAM is referred to as "Jr," it is believed that he is the son of Dr. James S. GILLIAM and brother of Theophilus F. GILLIAM.]



17 Jul 1832
Elk Island for Sale
In obedience to a decree of the Circuit Superior Court of Law ad Chancery for the county of Henrico, pronounced on the 19th day of June 1832, in a suit pending in said Court, wherein John Peyton Bolling and others are plaintiffs and John GILLIAM and others are defendants, the subscriber, the commissioner, therein named , will offer for sale, a public auction, at the Eagle Tavern, in the City of Richmond, on the 30th day of August next, the estate in the will of Doctor James S. GILLIAM, mentioned, called Elk Island, including the high land called Tuggles, and one half the fishery--This property is generally known to be one of the most valuable estates in Virginia, the Island being James River low grounds of the finest quality. Persons desiring to view the land, are referred to Mr. Fowler, the present manager of the estate, by whom it will be shewn. Possession will be given on the first day of January next; but the purchaser will have the privilege of sewing a crop of wheat this fall, and the privilege of curing the growing crop of tobacco will be reserved to Judge May, the present tenant.

The sale will be on a credit of one, two, three and four years, equal installments; the first payment to be secured by a bond, with approved personal security, and the title to the lands to be reversed until the whole purchase money shall be paid, as a security therefor.

I am authorized to say, that if the purchaser shall desire it, Judge May will have a full crop of wheat sown on the land on fair terms.
W. M. Atkinson, Commissioner.
Richmond Enquirer


Sources
  • Legislative Petitions Database, Library of Virginia, Reel 217, Box 272, Folder 67
  • Petersburg Daily Courier
  • Richmond Whig & Public Advertiser, Friday, October 27, 1848, page 1, column 6.
  • Richmond Enquirer