Grants, Headrights & Bounds, Part 2 | Gilliams of Virginia

Gilliams in Virginia Land Office Patents and Grants/Northern Neck Grants and Surveys, Library of Virginia (not mentioned in Cavaliers and Pioneers, Volumes 1-7)
Updated March 10, 2016

Background

Colonial Land Office Patents, 1623–1774

With the abolition of the charter of the Virginia Company of London in 1624, the administration of the colony was placed directly under the crown. As this included the disposal of land, it fell to the governor to use his broad powers to issue land patents. In 1634 the Privy Council authorized the patenting of lands under the principle of granting patents to any person who qualified as a planter. In practice, the acreage was awarded to the person who paid the transportation cost of the emigrant and not to the settler himself. This method, called the headright system, was employed as the major means of distributing virgin lands in the 17th century.

The office of the Secretary of the Colony was key to the process, and it remained in place until the Revolution. This office issued patents after all the steps were approved. First, the patentee was required to appear before a county court and present proof that a stated number of persons had been imported to the colony at his expense. The certificate of importation rights issued by the courts was taken to the Secretary of the Colony in the capital, where a "right" was issued that, when presented to a county surveyor, authorized him to survey the tract located by the patentee. Once the survey was completed, it and all supporting papers were returned to the office of the Secretary, and, if no discrepancies existed, two copies of the patent were made. One copy was signed by the governor, sealed, and delivered to the patentee, and the other was retained by the Secretary. No Land Office surveys are extant prior to 1779 although some county court records include survey books. Also, none of the supporting papers mentioned above are extant prior to 1779.

Another method of land distribution authorized during the 17th century was the military right granted to persons who would settle in hostile territory, but this was seldom used. In the 18th century the treasury right was established whereby land could be purchased. The office of the Secretary of the Colony continued to act as the official channel for the legal distribution of land until the establishment of the Virginia Land Office on June 22, 1779.

Colonial Land Office patents, whether issued on importation, treasury, or military rights, or as part of an order of Council, were consistent in format. The patent always recited the titles of the sovereign or protector under whom it was issued, the consideration for which it was issued, the name of the patentee, the size of the tract, the county of location, a description of the land, any reservations for the crown, and the date the patent was signed.

This collection consists of the patents as recorded by the office of the Secretary of the Colony. These copies were hung on strings in the office and, as time was available, they were recorded in bound volumes. A random method of selection of documents to be entered accounts for the haphazard dating in the early volumes, and the method of hanging the patent on string accounts for loss of documents. The system of recording was improved in the 18th century. Rather than having duplicate copies made and entered in a bound volume at intervals, the patents were recorded when issued. All other accompanying documents including surveys were annually destroyed.

Land Office Grants, 1779–1993

The Virginia Land Office was established in 1779 by the General Assembly and was headed by a Register "appointed from time to time, by joint ballot of both houses of assembly. . . . " It was the responsibility of the Register to carry out the very carefully structured legislation that provided the procedure for obtaining waste and unappropriated lands.

Under the act, any person could purchase as much land as desired upon payment to the Treasurer of a fee of forty pounds for one hundred acres. In return the purchaser was given a receipt, that was then given to the Auditor of Public Accounts, who issued a certificate noting the amount of land to which the person was entitled. The certificate was taken to the Land Office where the Register entered a warrant authorizing a surveyor to lay off the land. The warantee entered a claim to the land by depositing the warrant with the surveyor of the county in which the land was located.

Once the survey had been completed, it and the warrant on which it was based were returned to the warrantee whose responsibility it was to deliver the papers to the Land Office. The documents were examined by the Register, and, if correctly executed, were filed for a period of not less than six months. If, within that time, no caveat was entered on the survey, the plat and certificate of survey were recorded and the grant was issued by the Register. Once written, the grant was signed by the governor, sealed, recorded, and delivered to the grantee.

In 1948 the records of the Land Office, which were then in the custody of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, were transferred to the State Library and, by Act of Assembly, March 5, 1952, the duties of the Register of the Land Office were transferred from the Secretary of the Commonwealth to the State Librarian. Following the reorganization of the Land Office, the localities were charged with the issuing of titles to vacant lands, while the state only issued grants for escheated lands, primarily for non-payment of taxes.



24 Feb 1675/1676.
Gwellins, George.
Nansemond County, 300 acres escheat land, formerly granted to James Pannady.
Land Office Patents No. 6, 1666-1679 (pt.1 & 2 p.1-692), p. 594 (Reel 6). Virginia State Land Office. Patents 1-42, reels 1-41.

15 Jun 1754
GILLIAM, William.
276 acres on a branch of Opeckon called Littler’s Branch adjoining John Littler’s patent land.
Northern Neck Grants, reels 288-311.
Northern Neck Grants H, p. 445 (Reel 293).


20 Oct 1779.
Gilliam, Peter.
Henry County, 112 acres on Blackwater River adjoining Chirtwoods land.
Land Office Grants A, 1779-1780 (v.1 & 2 p.1-685), p. 36 (Reel 42). Virginia State Land Office. Grants A-Z, 1-124, reels 42-190; Virginia State Land Office. Grants 125- , reels 369-.

12 Jan 1780.
Gillam, Zacheriah.
Bedford County, 562 acres on both sides of Difficult Creek a north branch of Goose Creek.
Land Office Grants A, 1779-1780 (v.1 & 2 p.1-685), p. 203 (Reel 42). Virginia State Land Office. Grants A-Z, 1-124, reels 42-190; Virginia State Land Office. Grants 125- , reels 369-.

10 April 1781.
Gillum, Deberix.
Henry County, 202 acres on the north branches of North Mayo River adjoining Randolph & Co.
Land Office Grants D, 1780-1781 (v.1 & 2 p.1-930), p. 883 (Reel 45). Virginia State Land Office. Grants A-Z, 1-124, reels 42-190; Virginia State Land Office. Grants 125- , reels 369-.

21 May 1794.
Gwilliam, Edgcomb.
Franklin County, 175 acres on the branches of Stoney Creek and Town Creek.
Land Office Grants No. 31, 1793-1795, p. 147 (Reel 97). Virginia State Land Office. Grants A-Z, 1-124, reels 42-190; Virginia State Land Office. Grants 125- , reels 369-.

27 Dec 1796.
Gilliam, Richard.
Buckingham County, 413 3/4 acres on the branches of Slate River.
Land Office Grants No. 36, 1796-1797, p. 233 (Reel 102). Virginia State Land Office. Grants A-Z, 1-124, reels 42-190; Virginia State Land Office. Grants 125- , reels 369-.

11 April 1796.
Easley, Miller.
Patrick County, 122 acres on the south waters of South Mayo River adjoining William Gilliam.
Land Office Grants No. 33, 1795-1796, p. 577 (Reel 99). Virginia State Land Office. Grants A-Z, 1-124, reels 42-190; Virginia State Land Office. Grants 125- , reels 369-.

21 Aug 1797.
Gilliam, Richard.
Buckingham County, 261 acres adjoining the land of Robert Smith, Charles Patteson and Uriah Smith.
Land Office Grants No. 39, 1797-1798, p. 547 (Reel 105). Virginia State Land Office. Grants A-Z, 1-124, reels 42-190; Virginia State Land Office. Grants 125- , reels 369-.

20 Oct 1797.
Gilliam, Richard.
Buckingham County, 241 3/4 acres on both sides of a fork of Willis’s River.
Land Office Grants No. 36, 1796-1797, p. 615 (Reel 102). Virginia State Land Office. Grants A-Z, 1-124, reels 42-190; Virginia State Land Office. Grants 125- , reels 369-.

19 Jan 1801.
Gilliam, Richard.
Buckingham County, 235 acres adjoining the land of William Morris, Thomas Blackburn and others.
Land Office Grants No. 48, 1801-1802, p. 21 (Reel 114). Virginia State Land Office. Grants A-Z, 1-124, reels 42-190; Virginia State Land Office. Grants 125- , reels 369-.

18 Jan 1802.
Gullian, John.
Wythe County, 15 acres on the waters of Reed Creek adjoining George Davie, Newman, and Doak.
Land Office Grants No. 49, 1802, p. 605 (Reel 115). Virginia State Land Office. Grants A-Z, 1-124, reels 42-190; Virginia State Land Office. Grants 125- , reels 369-.

27 July 1803.
Gilliam, James.
Buckingham County, 100 acres adjoining John Webb, John Miller and others.
Land Office Grants No. 51, 1802-1803, p. 425 (Reel 117). Virginia State Land Office. Grants A-Z, 1-124, reels 42-190; Virginia State Land Office. Grants 125- , reels 369-.

15 Mar 1803.
Patteson, William.
Buckingham County, 230 3/4 acres adjoining Richard Gilliam, Peter Patteson and others.
Land Office Grants No. 50, 1802-1803, p. 415 (Reel 116). Virginia State Land Office. Grants A-Z, 1-124, reels 42-190; Virginia State Land Office. Grants 125- , reels 369-.

14 Mar 1803.
Patteson, Peter.
Buckingham County, 89 1/4 adjoining Robert Smith, Richard Gilliam and John Morain
Land Office Grants No. 50, 1802-1803, p. 414 (Reel 116). Virginia State Land Office. Grants A-Z, 1-124, reels 42-190; Virginia State Land Office. Grants 125- , reels 369-.

25 Aug 1804.
Gilliam, James.
Buckingham County. 100 acres adjoining Thomas McCormick, Alexander Faubush and others.
Land Office Grants No. 53, 1804, p. 320 (Reel 119). Virginia State Land Office. Grants A-Z, 1-124, reels 42-190; Virginia State Land Office. Grants 125- , reels 369-.

24 April 1805
Patteson, David R.
Buckingham County, 100 acres adjoining Richard Gilliam, John Miller and John Webb.
Land Office Grants No. 55, 1805-1806, p. 219 (Reel 121) Virginia State Land Office. Grants A-Z, 1-124, reels 42-190; Virginia State Land Office. Grants 125- , reels 369-.

22 Oct 1827.
Gillum, Joseph. And Webb, John
Scott County, 80 acres on both sides of Copper Creek.
Land Office Grants No. 76, 1827, p. 454 (Reel 142). Virginia State Land Office. Grants A-Z, 1-124, reels 42-190; Virginia State Land Office. Grants 125- , reels 369-.

22 Aug 1828.
Gilliam, Richard
Russell County, 92 acres on the northside of Copper Creek.
Land Office Grants No. 77, 1827-1828, p. 292 (Reel 143). Virginia State Land Office. Grants A-Z, 1-124, reels 42-190; Virginia State Land Office. Grants 125- , reels 369-.

24 Aug 1831.
Snapp, Joseph.
Frederick County, 5 1/4 acres joining Clevenger, Gilham and others.
Northern Neck Grants D, No. 2, 1820-1829, p. 113-114 (Reel 309). Recorded survey available. Northern Neck Surveys No. C, 1827-1833, p. 240-241 (Reel 319).

10 Jul 1834.
Gillum, John.
Scott County, 60 acres on the head spring of Valley Creek.
Land Office Grants No. 83, 1833-1837, p. 233 (Reel 149). Virginia State Land Office. Grants A-Z, 1-124, reels 42-190; Virginia State Land Office. Grants 125- , reels 369-.

10 Sep 1836.
Gillom, James.
Scott County, 52 acres on both sides of Copper Creek.
Land Office Grants No. 85, 1835-1836, p. 662 (Reel 151). Virginia State Land Office. Grants A-Z, 1-124, reels 42-190; Virginia State Land Office. Grants 125- , reels 369-.

30 June 1841.
Gillum, William N.
Albemarle County, 15 1/2 acre on Beaver Creek Mtn. and some of the head waters of Lickinghole Creek.
Land Office Grants No. 91, 1840-1841, p. 463 (Reel 157). Virginia State Land Office. Grants A-Z, 1-124, reels 42-190; Virginia State Land Office. Grants 125- , reels 369-.

31 Mar 1846.
Bauldwin, William H.
Prince Edward County, 114 acres adjoining Jarmon Gilliam, James Hurt and Polley Dungey’s Estate.
Land Office Grants No. 97, 1845-1846, p. 269 (Reel 163) Virginia State Land Office. Grants A-Z, 1-124, reels 42-190; Virginia State Land Office. Grants 125- , reels 369-.

30 Sep 1848.
Gilliam, Glover D.
Campbell County, 217 acres on waters of Big Falling River.
Land Office Grants No. 100, 1848, p. 777 (Reel 166). Virginia State Land Office. Grants A-Z, 1-124, reels 42-190; Virginia State Land Office. Grants 125- , reels 369-.

1 Jul 1853.
Gilham, Peter.
Shenandoah County, 108 1/4 acres on south side of Cedar Creek called the Presbyterian Church land.
Northern Neck Grants F, No. 2, 1847-1859, p. 423 (Reel 311). Recorded survey available. Northern Neck Surveys No. E, 1837-1854, p. 501-502 (Reel 320).

2 Apr 1860.
Gillum, Joseph.
Scott County, 144 acres on north side of Copper Creek.
Land Office Grants No. 117, 1858-1861, p. 44 (Reel 183). Virginia State Land Office. Grants A-Z, 1-124, reels 42-190; Virginia State Land Office. Grants 125- , reels 369-.

10 Feb 1873.
Gillium, Jesse. And Jackson
Scott County, 46 1/2 acres on the waters of north fork of Clinch River.
Land Office Grants No. 119, 1874-1883, p. 239 (Reel 185). Virginia State Land Office. Grants A-Z, 1-124, reels 42-190; Virginia State Land Office. Grants 125- , reels 369-.

23 Sep 1876.
Gilliam, Ira. And Joseph Hall
Wise County, 564 acres.
Land Office Grants No. 119, 1874-1883, p. 201 (Reel 185). Virginia State Land Office. Grants A-Z, 1-124, reels 42-190; Virginia State Land Office. Grants 125- , reels 369-.

28 Sep 1909.
Gilliam, M. C., Mrs.
Dinwiddie County, 66 acres in Namozine District.
Land Office Grants No. 122, 1902-1910, p. 410 (Reel 188). Virginia State Land Office. Grants A-Z, 1-124, reels 42-190; Virginia State Land Office. Grants 125- , reels 369-.


Sources
  • Library of Virginia. Virginia Land Office Patents and Grants/Northern Neck Grants and Surveys - A fully-searchable index to: land patents issued prior to 1779; land grants issued by the Virginia Land Office after 1779; grants issued in the Northern Neck from 1692-1862; and original and recorded Northern Neck surveys. Images for the land patents, Land Office grants, Northern Neck grants, and recorded Northern Neck surveys (1786-1874) are available online. The unrecorded Northern Neck surveys prior to 1782 are available on microfilm.