Register of Free Negroes | Gilliams of Virginia

Registry of Free Negroes & Mulattoes, made & entered in the Clerk’s office of the Hustings Court of the Town of Petersburg Posterior to 1st January 1813
Updated March 4, 2016

Overview:
All registrant's names are followed by "a free (man, woman, boy, or girl) of Colour"


Background:
Esther Tinsley and her daughters Rebecca Nicholas GILLIAM and Jane Henry GILLIAM are mentioned in the Will of Walter Boyd GILLIAM. Walter is likely the father of Rebecca and Jane, though it is otherwise claimed by GILLIAM descendants.



No. 1104, Rebecca Nicholas GILLIAM } children of Esther a free woman of color Rebecca rather light brown 13 yrs old 21 July next 4 feet 4 inches high bushy hair.
25 May 1821.
Renewed 18 January 1830, No. 3263 as Rebecca Matthews.

No. 1104, Rebecca Nicholas GILLIAM, daughter of Esther (sometimes called Esther Tinsley) has a light brown complexion, 13 years old 21st day of July 1821,
4 feet 8 inches high, holes in her ears, born free.
18 January 1830.
Renewed 14 March 1834.

No. 1105, Jane Henry GILLIAM } born free
Jane rather light brown 3 feet 9 inches high 8 yrs old 17 Oct. next, long hair rather strait.
25 May 1821.
Renewed 19 August 1831, 14 Sept 1833, 19 Sepr 1834, 5 Octo: 1835.
[In 1830, Petersburg, an Esther GILLIAM is enumerated as white, age 80-90. In her household were 14 slaves and 4 free persons of color. Esther’s children were by Walter Boyd GILLIAM who bequeaths his estate to Esther, Rebecca Nicholas and Jane. ]

No. 1206, Edy GILLIAM
5 feet 1 inches high, about 34 years of age, dark complexion
Emancipated by the last will & testament of Lucy GILLIAM recorded in the county court of Sussex. 8 July 1822.
Reentered 8 June 1831, 30 Decr 1837, 14 Augt 1839, 13 Octo 1840, 24 June 1844, 28 June 1851, 2 Sept 1857.
[In 1830, Petersburg, an Edy GILLIAM is enumerated as a free person of color. In her household are 4 males, and 2 females, all free persons of color. Another Edy GILLIAM is listed in the 1830 Census. She is also a free person of color. In her household are 5 males and 4 females. It appears both Edy GILLIAMs are the same person.]

No. 1459, Nat GILLIAM,
a man of dark brown complexion, about 25 years of age. 5 feet five inches high
born free as appears by a certificate of Freedom from the Court of Sussex. 23 October 1827. Renewed 12 Sept. 1831, 16 Mar: 1838
[In 1830, Petersburg, a Nathaniel GILLIAM, is enumerated as a free person of color. In household is 1 male and 4 females, free persons of color.]

No. 1542, Martha GILLIAM
21 yrs old, 4th Jany last, 5 feet 4 inches high long straight black hair & a very light complection such as might be sufficient to afford her a pass without this writing to protect her.
Born free in the County of Prince George.
27 May 1830. Renewed 3 Octo. 1831, 18 May 1833, 19 Sepr 1839.
[In 1830 Census, it is believed that Martha is enumberated in Richmond. There a Martha GILLIAM is listed as a free person of color. In her household is 1 male and 1 female, free persons of color]

No. 1631, Dianna GILLIAM.
24 yrs old, 5 feet 2 inches high, dark brown complexion
born free as appears by the oath of Eviline Fields.
27 October 1830. Renewed 31 Augt 1836.
[The Diana and following individuals were born free according to the oath of Eveline Fields. The identity of Eveline is yet to be determined. It does not appear that she is enumerated in the 1830 Census. Diana, Riseley, Lucy, William, Mary and Winny are the children of Edy, above. According to this Registry Winny is married and appears as Winney Jarrott by 1850. However, I have been unable to locate a Winny Jarrott in the 1850 Virginia Census.]

No. 1632, Riseley GILLIAM
about 18 yrs old, 5 feet 2 inches high, dark brown complexion
born free as appears by the oath of Eveline Fields.
29 October 1830 with the approbation of Edy GILLIAM his mother. Renewed 3 Novemr 1835.
[In 1850, Risley GILLIAM, black male, age 40, born Virginia, is living in Chestnut Ward of Philadelphia. He is working at a Hotel operated by William Burroughs, as a porter.]

No. 1633, Lucy GILLIAM
about 17 yrs old, 5 feet 1 inch high, dark brown complexion
born free as appears by the oath of Eveline Fields.
Registered this 27 October 1830 with the approbation of Edy GILLIAM her mother.
Renewed 16 Augt 1841.

No. 1634 William GILLIAM } children of Edy GILLIAM a free woman of colour
about 13 years old, 4 feet 7 inches high, dark brown complexion
born free by oath of Eviline Fields. See No. 2441.
[In 1850 William GILLIAM, black male, age 35, born Virginia, is living in New Market Ward of Philadelphia. He is working as a porter. It is likely he is working with his brother, Risley who is also a porter. William is married to Rachel and has a child, Eda, age 1, who is likely named after her grandmother Edy.]

No. 1635 Mary GILLIAM } children of Edy GILLIAM a free woman of colour
about 10 yrs old, brown complexion
born free by oath of Eviline Fields. See No. 2442

No. 1636 Winny GILLIAM } children of Edy GILLIAM a free woman of colour
about 9 yrs old, brown complexion . . . born free by oath of Eviline Fields. See No. 2443
at the request and under the charge of their mother.
27 October 1830.

No. 2441, William GILLIAM . . . heretofore registered (see no. 1634)
5 feet 5 inches high, about 20 years old, of a black complexion
born free.
30 December 1837. Renewed 1 Augt 1839, 30 July 1840, 18 August 1841.

No. 2442, Mary GILLIAM . . . heretofore registered (see no. 1635)
5 feet 1 inches high, about 17 years old, of a dark brown complexion
born free.
30 December 1837. Renewed 14 Augt 1839, 13 Octo 1840.

No. 2443, Winny GILLIAM . . . heretofore registered (see no. 1636)
5 feet 1 inches high, about sixteen years of age, of a dark brown complexion
born free. 30 December 1837.
Renewed 14 Augt 1839, 13 Octo 1840, 24 June 1844 under the name of Winney Jarrott, 20 April 1850, 1 July 1851.


Sources
  • Registry of Free Negroes & Mulattoes, made & entered in the Clerk’s office of the Hustings Court of the Town of Petersburg Posterior to 1st January 1819. Library of Virginia Microfilm No. 73