Jennie M. Gilliam vs Richard C Gilliam | Gilliams of Virginia

Jennie M. GILLIAM vs. Richard Curd GILLIAM
Updated March 19, 2016

Virginia M. Rucks married Richard Curd Gillian. Who is Richard Curd Gillian? Should Gillian read Gilliam?

The name “Richard Curd Gilliam” is used exclusively by the descendants of John Gilliam and Susannah Richardson of Cumberland County, VA. (Susannah was the daughter of John Richardson and Mary Curd). John and Susannah had four sons: John Richardson Gilliam, Richard Curd Gilliam, Isham Richardson Gilliam and William Richardson Gilliam. Since John died before September 1779 his sons, therefore, were all born by 1780 at the latest.

According to Jennie’s deposition, she married Richard Curd Gillian, about age 40, in 1863, in Caswell County, NC. Jennie also reported that Richard was a soldier.

If Richard Curd Gillian is actually Richard Curd Gilliam then, he would most likely be a grandson or great grandson of John Gilliam and Susannah Richardson.

John Richardson Gilliam married Judith Robertson about 1793. Their children were born from 1794 to 1816. They did not have a son named Richard, but it is chronologically possible that their eldest sons (William Johns Gilliam and Wilson Gilliam) could have had a son named Richard Curd Gilliam born around 1822. William Johns Gilliam married in 1818 his cousin Judith Ann Gilliam. They did not have a son named Richard. A son, John Richard Gilliam who died in infancy was born in 1826. Wilson Gilliam married Martha Andrews Thackston in 1834. Wilson did not have a son named Richard.

Isham Richardson Gilliam married Sarah Johns about 1803. Their children were born from 1804 to about 1824. They did have a son named Richard C. who was born in September of 1819. It is also chronologically possible that Isham Richardson Gilliam’s eldest sons (Isham Gilliam, Jr. and John Johns Gilliam) could have had a son named Richard Curd Gilliam around 1822. Isham Gilliam, Jr., married Martha A Spencer in 1832. John Johns Gilliam married Caroline Matilda Branch in 1827. Neither had sons named Richard.

William Richardson Gilliam married Judith Woodson in 1799. Their children were born from 1801 to 1829. They did not have a son named Richard, but it is chronologically possible that their eldest sons (John Woodson Gilliam and Anthony Woodson Gilliam) could have had a son named Richard Curd Gilliam around 1822. John Woodson Gilliam married Susan Madison Venable in 1828. Anthony Woodson Gilliam married Mary Frances Gilliam in 1827. Neither had sons named Richard.

Richard Curd Gilliam married Mary Robertson in 1798. Their children were born from 1799 to 1822. They did not have a son named Richard, but it is chronologically possible that their eldest sons (John C Gilliam and Spencer Gilliam) could have had a son named Richard Curd Gilliam around 1822. John C. Gilliam married Elizabeth Thackston in 1831. They did have a son named Richard, but he was born about 1833. Spencer Gilliam married Mary Elizabeth Dupuy in 1839. They did not have a son named Richard.

Therefore the only possible candidate of the descendants of John Gilliam and Susannah Richardson, to be the Richard Curd Gillian who married Jennie Rucks is Richard C. Gilliam, born Sep 1819 to Isham Richardson Gilliam and Sarah Johns.

Richard C. Gilliam, the son of Isham Richardson Gilliam was not living with his parents in the 1850 Prince Edward County Census. It appears that Richard C. Gilliam, age 28 was living on his own in Buckingham as farmer, adjacent to cousin John Robertson Gilliam, age 42 and his family.

In 1860 Richard C. Gilliam, age 40, is living in Prince Edward County, with Rebecca Gilliam, age 30.

What become of Rebecca is not known, but it appears that while a soldier in the Confederate Army and possibly while visiting relatives in Rockingham County, NC, Richard meets Virginia M. Rucks and subsequently marries her. By March of 1865, Virginia leaves her husband on the grounds of adultery. By 1867 Virginia seeks a divorce and is granted one in 1868.

In 1870 Richard C. Gilliam, age 50, is living in Prince Edward County, with Lucy A. Gilliam, age 35, and Lucy M. Gilliam, age 4. Also in the household are Preston Robertson, age 16 and Abram Saunders, age 19. Preston and Abram and farmer laborers.

In 1880, Richard C. Gilliam, age 56, is living in Prince Edward County, with Lucy R. Gilliam, age 44 and Lucy M. Gilliam, age 14.

In 1900 Richard C. Gilliam, age 80, is living in Prince Edward County, with Ann R Gilliam, age 67 and Lucy M. Brooks, age 34, and her husband Thomas S. Brooks, age 43 and their family.

Richard leaves a Will dated 6 Oct 1902 in Prince Edward County, VA.

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To the Hon. E. R. Chambers the judge of the Circuit Court of Petersburg:
Humbly complaining showeth unto the court your oratrix, Jennie M. Gilliam who sues by her next friend, Harrison N. Burton, that she is now nineteen years old that when she was only fifteen, she became acquainted with one Richard Curd Gilliam who was an officer of respectable rank in the army of the Confederate State that being in the flower of her age and he in the prime of manhood and the fully force of his p______, she was won to admiration of him by his _______ use of the delicate arts of a true and manly [?] lower that she ______ to marry him and was married to him, at Yanceyville, in the state of North Carolina, Nov 30th 1864. And went with him as his wife to Augusta Georgia where during a stay of a few months she was cruelly, so soon neglected by him that in March 1865 she returned to her mother’s in Dinwiddie Co, VA from whom [?] he enticed her to rejoin him in Petersburg, where he ____ her he was in business, when he was not that it was in Petersburg, in May

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And after an absence of three years from her, 1867 that she last was with him as his wife that then and there by continued adulterous intercourse with lewd women, which she suspected he was addicted to in Georgia he contracted a loathsome disease incident to such illicit indulgence, which so afflicted him that he could not conceal it, that instantly, as soon as and ever since her suspicions were changed into knowledge of his adultery she refused to receive him, or in any way to recognize him, as her husband.
And your oratrix further showeth unto the court that whilst he courted her and married her, by the name of Gillian which he deceitfully and only to disguise himself ____ his real name was and is Gilliam, and for that and other reasons your oratrix desires that her name be changed to her maiden Rucks, to name of her widowed mother.
In tender consideration whereof and to the end that she may enjoy the relief to which the laws of the land entitle her, your oratrix prays that the said Richard Curd Gilliam, alias Gillian, may be made defendant hereto and required to make true and full answer to all and singular the allegations herein set forth as though they were ____ and he thereto singly interrogated and on his oath and that a divorce form the bond of matrimony be decreed her for his adultery and that your honor will grant such _______ and further relief as her case requires and to equity may _____ ______
And may it please you
Jennie M. Gilliam

State of Virginia
City of Petersburg, to wit:
This day Jennie M. Gilliam personally appeared before me C. F. Collier, Mayor in and for the said City in the State aforesaid and made oath that the facts stated in the foregoing bill which is signed by her are true to the best of her knowledge and belief and that as far as the said facts are stated of her own knowledge they are true and as far as derived from information from others she believes them to be true.
Given under my hand this sixth day of January in the year of Christ one thousand and eight hundred and sixty eight.

Chas F. Collier, Mayor
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Jennie M. Gillian
vs. [Bill for Divorce
Richard C. Gilliam, alias Gillian

1868, January rules process returned. “No ________, “ bill filed affidavit and under of publication awarded.

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The Commonwealth of Virginia
To the seargeant of the City of Petersburg—Greeting:
We command you to summon Richard Curd Gilliam
Sometimes called R. C. Gillian

To appear on the first Monday in January Inst (being Rule day) at the Clerk’s office of the Circuit Court for the City of Petersburg, directed to be holden at the Courthouse thereof, to answer a certain Bill in Chancery exhibited against him in said Court by Jennie M. Gilliam who surety Henry W. Burton her next friend.

And have then there this writ
Witness Edwin M. Mann, clerk of our said Court this the day of January 1867 and in the 92 year of the Commonwealth

Sig: E. M. Mann, Cl
[A copy to be delivered to each defendant]

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Jennie M. Gillian
R. C. Gillian
1868 January Rule
Collier page
Jany 6th 1868
Not found being a nonresident as
We are informed
W. S. Boisseau DS
J. H. Patterson, Sgt.

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Wilson’s Station
Decr 18th 1867

My Honorable Counsellor
Yours of the 16th inst came duly to hand yesterday and its contents have been carefully perused and will considered. Harry Burton is laboring under a mistake when he said that “desertion” is the basis upon which I rely for a divorce. I married this man in Yanceyville, North Carolina when I was a mere child, he being near about 40 and I 15 years. He introduced himself into our family as Capt R. C. Gillian of Gen’l Stuart’s staff and of course I married him thinking his true name was Gillian, but had not been his wife more than a month or six weeks when re received a letter from his relative from which I ascertained that he had married me under an

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Assumed name and that his real name was R. N. Gilliam, soon after this discovery I visited my aunt Mrs. C. C. Burton of Petersburg, and there I was again informed that his name was Gilliam, and as a matter of course Mr. C. C. Burton of Baltimore or Harry Burton of Petersburg can testify that if is Gilliam. My marriage ceremony was performed in Yanceyville, NC by our Presbyterian minister there in whose church I was reared and brought up in the Sabbath School. His name is Rev Jacob Doll. Mrs. Doll can also testify that Gilliam is his name as she was in attendance at his mother’s wedding in Charlotte Co. Virginia. Another thing Mr. Collier after indeed almost immediately after my marriage my father came to Virginia to live. I went to Augusta Georgia and only lived there 2 or 3 months when Mr. Gilliam feeling so ashamed of the base manner in which he had deceived me, left me and went to Nassau New Providence and was gone 3 years during which time I never had one line of information from him. In the meantime my father died and by some means or other Mr. G. heard of his death and thinking that he left me some property he returned last March to squander it in drunkenness and riotous living. After his return my mother was so incensed against his deceptive character, that she treated him so coolly that he would never come here again, so he came to Petersburg and wrote me that he was in good business and that I must come own there to live. When I went I found that he had deceived me again, that he was in no business

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And the greatest profligate I ever saw etc., Mr. Collier it almost kills me to be obliged to confess it, but the law requires it and I know you will look upon this as confidential. When this base man was in Petersburg he was actually so diseased that he told me boldly what was the matter wit him. I could not stand this so I came directly home and for fear I would apply for a divorce and have him examined before the “medical board” he left Petersburg and has not been heard of since. This was 6 or 7 months ago. He is impotent in every sense of the word; being the basest kind of a eunuch from disease and oh! No decent lady can ever live with him and I want to be ridded of him forever. I [sic] will kill me to live with him and I want to be free

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Harry Burton told me that owing to my defenseless situation you would get me a final divorce for thirty dollars. I am very poor Mr. Collier, having lost all my property by the downfall of the Confederacy and I would be glad, nay truly thankful if you would finally divorce me for this amount as by hard work and the strictest economy I will be able to remit the amount to you. I do not think there will be any difficulty in my getting a final divorce. I do not care about a bed and board divorce as I will go to a convent and die there before I will ever wear my young life away with one so depraved as this base man is. I you cannot get me a final divorce I don’t want any

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as I never intend to live with him another hour, no! Never do I intend to recognize the name of one so base. He was impotent when I married him and was a word out debauchee and you well know no lady can live with him, much less a young girl of 19 years. You need not dream of any defendant, as Gilliam will never show his face in Virginia again for he feels too ashamed of his base conduct. In regard to my place of residence I lived with him in Petersburg and of course the suit can be brought there. Pardon the strong language I have made use of, it is the impetus, which my injured nature gives me for no poor girl ever was so basely deceived.
Your obl lot [sic]
Jennie M. Gillian

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The deposition of Andrew Meade taken before me Edwin M. Mann at notary Public for the city of Petersburg at the office of R. R. Collier, Esq. in said city in the 23rd day of April 1868 between the hours of 6 am and 6 pm to be read as evidence in behalf of Jennie M. Gillian who sues by H. W. Burton her next friend in a certain suit in equity depending in the Circuit Court of the said city between the said Gillian by and plaintiff Mr. Richard C. Gillian alias Gilliam, defendant.

Present R. R. Collier Esq. Counsel for plaintiff, Andrew Meade a witness of lawful age, being duly sworn deposeth as follows:

1st Question by plaintiff Counsel:
What is your age and occupation and place of residence?

1st Answer:
I am 32 years of age, by occupation a druggist and reside in the county of Dinwiddie and lately removed from the City of Petersburg.

2nd Question
Did you know and when did you become acquainted with one Richard Curd Gillian?

2nd Answer
I have known Gillian for the last ten years.

3rd Question:
Will you please state any fact giving to show that he was addicted to sexual intercourse with lewd women and when and how such facts came to your knowledge?

3rd Answer
About the middle of the year 1867 whilst I was living with Mssrs Alfriend and Woodward Druggists in this City, Mr. Gillian purchased of me gonorrhea medicine and state to me that it was to be used by himself and I was satisfied from the interview I ___ had with him that he then had the disease in him, he came in the store with goggles on and pretended that he had been blind for twelve months in five or six days after that time he had dispensed with the goggles and could see as well as any body about that time he ran off and has not been heard of since, so far as I know in [sic] am informed.

4th Question
State anything you may know to show that he was at that time a married man?

4th Answer
He invited me to call on his wife who was then staying at Mrs. Sturdivant’s boarding house on Bank Street, his wife in one order for medicine singed her name as Jenny M. Gillian and recognized the said Gillian as her husband.

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5th Question
Do you know what is true name is?

5th Answer
He lived here in the Post Office by the name of Gilliam

And further this deponent saith not
Sig: Andrew Meade

Harrison W. Burton a witness of lawful age being first duly sworn deposed as follows:

1st Question by plaintiff Counsel
What is your age, occupation and place of residence?

1st Answer:
I am twenty-seven year of age, by occupation a machinist and reside n Petersburg.

2nd Question by same
Please state anything you know respecting the marriage of Miss Jennie M. Rucks, to one Richard Curd Gillian or Gilliam and the conduct of the said Gillian toward his wife?

2nd Answer
I know that they were married in Yanceyville, North Carolina with in 1862 or 1863 and that he took her to Augusta Georgia and after remaining their several months she returned to her home in Dinwiddie alone and said she had been badly treated by him, neglected and beaten, his right name is Richard Curd Gilliam although he represented his name to be R. Claude Gillian, he did not come

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in here until three years after his wife came back to her mother’s and stated as a reason for his absence that he had been a prisoner as well as I can recollect he returned in March or April 1867 brought his wife from Dinwiddie to Petersburg housed her in a boarding house pretended to have obtained a travelling agency, left her to pay their board at the house and has not been heard from since

3rd Question
Are you acquainted with the handwriting of Mrs. Gillian and is the letter now shown you hearing date December 1 8th 1867 written by her?

3rd Answer
It is her handwriting with which I am well acquainted having received letters from her an seen her write.

And further this deponent saith not.
Sig: H. W. Burton

Sworn to before me this 23rd day of April 1868
Sig: E. M. Mann, NP

Notary’s fee $1.50
Charged to pltff

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Jennie M. Gillian
Note for decree
Richard Curd Gillian

This answer is which the pltff appears to have pro_____ against the deft who is out of this Commonwealth in the _____ prescribed by law against _____ defts and he still failing to appear and answer came on this day to the be heard and the bill and the examination of witnesses and was argued by the counsel for the plaintiff
On consideration whereof the court being of opinion that the charge of adultery against the defendant is proved I doth adjudge, order and decree that the marriage heretofore solemnized between the plaintiff and the defendant he and the same is hereby dissolved, the said Jennie M. Gillian forever divorced from her husband Richard Curd Gilliam, some times and at the marriage called Gillian and all the rights, title and interest of the said deft in or to the estate, real and personal of the said pltff shall hence forth cease and ______ and that the pltff recover from the defendant her costs by her ______ in the prosecution of the suit and nothing further remaining to be done in this suit it is ordered that the same be removed from the docket, but leave is reserved to the parties or either of these to remake application to the court for such orders as are authorized by law.

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Note for decree

  • Jennie M. GILLIAM vs. Richard Curd Gilliam. Chancery Files. Library of Virginia. 1868-014