Wise County | Gilliams of Virginia

GILLIAMs of Wise County, VA
Updated March 23, 2016

Background
Wise County was named for Henry Alexander Wise, governor of Virginia from 1856 to 1860. It was formed in 1856 from Lee, Scott, and Russell Counties. Its area is 404 square miles, and the county seat is Wise.


Parishes
Wise County was formed after the Disestablishment.

The GILLIAMs were members of Big Glades Baptist Church.


Overview
The GILLIAMs of Wise County, VA had their roots in Buckingham County, VA.


Biographies
John B. Gilliam (Singing John)


Births
26 Feb 1856
GILLIAM, Mahala
Female-Alive, February 26, 1856; Parents Martin and Jane GILLIAM.

14 Mar 1856
GILLIAM, John F
Male-Alive, March 14, 1856; Parents Ira and Nancy GILLIAM.

4 Jun 1856
GILLIAM, Ira
Male-Alive, June 4, 1856, Letcher Co., Ky.; Parents William E. And Elizabeth GILLIAM.

29 Mar 1857
GILLIAM, M. E
Male-Alive, March 29, 1857; Parents Ira and Nancy GILLIAM.

1 Oct 1857
GILLIAM, Ira S.
Male-Alive, October 1, 1859; Parents Martin L. and Sarah Jane GILLIAM.

15 Oct 1857
GILLIAM, John H.
Male-Alive, October 15, 1857; Parents Martin and Sarah J. GILLIAM.

27 May 1858
GILLIAM, Mary
Female-Alive, May 27, 1858; Parents Ira and Nancy GILLIAM.

3 Sep 1858
GILLIAM, Wm. Peter
Male-Alive, September 3, 1858; Parents Wm. and Elizabeth GILLIAM.

10 Feb 1859
GILLIAM, Rebecca E.
Female-Alive, February 10, 1859; Parents Ira and Nancy GILLIAM.

20 Mar 1860
GILLIAM, Martha Ann
Female-Alive, March 20, 1860; Parents William E. and Elizabeth GILLIAM

25 Mar 1860
GILLIAM, Racheal
Female-Alive, March 25, 1860; Parents Lilborn and Lucindah GILLIAM.

20 May 1861
GILLIAM, Stephen H
Male-Alive, May 20, 1861; Parents Ira and Nancy GILLIAM.

30 Sep 1867
GILLIAM, Martha E
Female-Alive, September 30, 1867; Parents Ira and Nancy GILLIAM.

24 Jan 1869
GILLIAM, Schyler
Male-Alive, January 24, 1869; Parents Ira and Nancy GILLIAM.



Cemeteries
John Gilliam Cemetery


Census
1860
William GILLIAM, age 34, VA
Elizabeth GILLIAM, age 28, VA
John B. GILLIAM, age 11, VA
Margaret GILLIAM, age 7, VA
Ira GILLIAM, age 5, VA
William J. GILLIAM, age 2, VA
[Birth records show William as William Peter]
Martha GILLIAM, age 1/12, VA

Lilburn H. GILLIAM, age 33, VA
Lucinda GILLIAM, age 30, KY
Ruth GILLIAM, age 10, VA
Martha GILLIAM, age 8, VA
Mahala GILLIAM, age 3, KY
Rachael GILLIAM, age 2/12, VA

John GILLIAM, age 55, VA
Martha GILLIAM, age 54, VA
Margaret GILLIAM, age 20, VA
John GILLIAM, age 22, VA
Rebecca GILLIAM, age 17, VA
Martha GILLIAM, age 13, VA

Martin GILLIAM, age 25, VA
Sarah J. GILLIAM, age 21, VA
Mehala L. GILLIAM, age 3, VA
John H. GILLIAM, age 2, VA
Ira S. GILLIAM, age 7/12, VA

1870
Gladeville Township
GILLIAM, Elizabeth, age 38, VA
GILLIAM, John B, age 30, VA
GILLIAM, Ira, age 14, VA
GILLIAM, Mahala, age 14, VA
GILLIAM, William P, age 11, VA
GILLIAM, Martha A, age 10, VA
GILLIAM, Susan C, age 8, VA
GILLIAM, Martin D, age 5, VA

GILLIAM, John, age 64, VA
GILLIAM, Elisa, age 51, NC
GILLIAM, John, age 34, VA, listed as idiot
GILLIAM, John W?, age 11, VA
GILLIAM, Martha ?, age 6, KY

GILLIAM, Ira S, age 11, VA

[Living in the household of Green B. Jones, silver smith, and his wife, Parthenia, both age 43. Also in the household of Jones children and William Robinett, age 12, and John Blanton, age 8.]

GILLIAM, Sarah J, age 31, VA
GILLIAM, John, age 2, KY



Court Orders
Poor Farm
28 Jul 1856

Joseph C. Wells, John GILLIAM, Jeremiah Boling, John N. Buchanan and Robert McCoy, who having been elected as Overseers of the Poor, for this County, came into court and severally took the oaths prescribed by Law to wit: the Oath to support the Constitution of the United States, the Oath of Fidelity to the Commonwealth, the oath prescribed by law.
Wise County, VA. Court Order Book 1, July, Monday 28th, 1856.

26 Oct 1857
Ordered that John GILLIAM, Overseer of the Poor, Bind Jane Collier and Ivannah Collier to the age of 18 years of age.
Wise County, VA. Court Order Book No. 1, October 26, 1857

Ordered that John GILLIAM go to John Farmers and see to two children who are said to be in sufferance.


Deaths
Deaths 1884-1886
16 Oct 1884
GILLIAM, C. L., male, age 6 yr 9 mn 29 dy of flux, parents William M & Orah D GILLIAM

19 Oct 1884
GILLIAM, Nancy A., female, age 11 yr 5 mn 11 dy of flux, parents Ira & Elizabeth GILLIAM

7 Oct 1884
GILLIAM, Daniel A., male, age 4 yr 3 mn 3 dy of flux, parents S W & Louisa GILLIAM

28 May 1885
Baker, Rebecca R, age 43 yr, parents John & Martha GILLIAM, reported by husband Con C H Baker


Deaths 1887-1888
3 Aug 1888
Edna GILLIAM,
Infermation of Brain, age 5 m., 3 d., Wise Co., VA, parents, I. S. & Sarah J. GILLIAM

12 Oct 1888
Male GILLIAM
Croup, age 1 month, Wise Co., VA. parents, D. S. & Easter GILLIAM

27 Sep 1888
John GILLIAM 38-20
Paralysis, age 84 years, Wise Co., VA, Hetty GILLIAM, wife, parents Richard & Judy GILLIAM

Deaths 1891-1892
8 Aug 1891
David M. GILLIAM,
Menifee County, KY, Fever, 37 years, Wise Co., VA , Sally GILLIAM, wife, Ira & Nancy GILLIAM, parents, H. L. GILLIAM, brother

17 Aug 1891
Daniel W. H. GILLIAM
Cholliera Infantum, age 1 y., 7 m., parents Ira S. & Sarah GILLIAM

20 May 1892
Sarah I. N. GILLIAM
Fever, age 23 years, Wise Co., VA, I. S. GILLIAM, husband, parents John & Peggy McConnell



Elections
1856, James Buchanan for President
Those voting for the Democratic ticket at Gladeville voting precinct were as follows
60. Ira GILLIAM
61. John GILLIAM
Johnson, Charles A. A Narrative History of Wise County, Virginia. Norton, VA. Norton Press. 1938.


Local History
Pound Massacre
Testimony of W. M. GILLIAM, witness for the commonwealth
The witness testified as follows
"I live near Wise C. H. which is 16 miles from the place of the killing. I know M. B. Taylor and heard of the killing of Ira Mullins. About one week before the killing, I met Taylor at Wise C. H., and he told that Ira Mullins had tried to hire Dock Mullins to kill him, and said he was over in Kentucky and some one shot in Mullins' bed. I said, 'How do you know that?' and he said, 'The spirits told me of it,' and I said, 'I can't talk to them spirits that way,' and he laughed and said, 'You have not got sense enough.'"
Testimony of Milburn GILLIAM, witness for the commonwealth
The witness testified as follows
"I know M. B. Taylor. I heard him talk before the killing, about a week, he said that Ira Mullins had offered $200 to have him killed; he, Taylor, had went across the mountain and some one had shot into his, Ira Mullins', house that night; he said it looked pretty hard for a man to lose his life and his money too; he said the spirits told him about it. I think Pap had stepped off at the time, he, Taylor, had the last part of the talk.'"
[W. M. GILLIAM is known as Bud GILLIAM in the testimony of Joe Perkins.
In the Pound Massacre five persons were murdered. "Red Fox of the Mountains" was executed as the chief perpetrator.]
Johnson, Charles A. A Narrative History of Wise County, Virginia. Norton, VA. Norton Press. 1938.

Biography of John GILLIAM
John GILLIAM emigrated from Scott County in 1842 and settled on Glade Creek, two miles north of Wise courthouse, where he bought several hundred acres of land for a pony and rifle gun. His first wife was (Mattie) Martha, a daughter of William Elliott of Scott County, who died at Louisa, Kentucky, of smallpox during the war. He married the second time Elizabeth Smith, and the third time Hettie Wilson Vance, better known to the older people of Wise County as Aunt Hettie GILLIAM.

He enlisted in the Union Army at Catlettsburg, Kentucky, and served until the end of the war. He was with the command of General James A. Garfield when he destroyed the Confederate breastworks and burned the Camp at Pound Gap, on March 19, 1862, and was with the Union Troops that burned the Wise County Courthouse in 1864, at which fire he saved part of the records, from being burned.

Sometime during the War Between the States, he was caught for Unionism and sentenced to be hanged. Judge Henry S. Kane of Estilville, (now Gate City) defended him and he was liberated.

John GILLIAM was the first Overseer of the Poor for Wise County, elected July 28, 1856.

His son, William E. GILLIAM, enlisted in Capt. Salyers Company H, 50 Virginia Confederate Volunteers, June 3, 1861, but deserted that company July 17, 1861, and joined the Union Forces and died of smallpox at Louisa, Kentucky, sometime during the war. He was born in 1827 and married to Elizabeth, a daughter of Stephen Skeens.

Johnson, Charles A. A Narrative History of Wise County, Virginia. Norton, VA. Norton Press. 1938.



WPA Histories
Works Progress Administration of Virginia Historical Inventory
John GILLIAM Home Site
Research made by Emery L. Hamilton, Wise, VA
20 Nov 1937

Subject:
John GILLIAM Home Site

Location:
Near the John Stallard place on Birchfield road about 300 yards on a by road that heads up here and on the left side of the by road.

Date:
1842

Owners:
John GILLIAM bought a very large tract of land around this place about 1840. It is aid that he paid for it with a rifle gun. The land that this house stood on s now owned by Kelly and Vicars.

Description:
The house here or that formerly stood here was a one story log house, with a lean-to kitchen, puncheon floors and board roof and a stone, much daubed chimney on the west end. The house also was chinked and mud daubed and faced eastward toward the road.

Historical Significance:
John GILLIAM built this house and lived here until the War Between the States. He was in sympathy with the Federalist, and left Wise county about the beginning of the war and moved to Louisa, Kentucky, and served with the Union Army. Henderson H. Dotson lived there during the War.

John GILLIAM was a son of Richard and Judy GILLIAM of Scott County, born 1804. Died Sept. 27, 1888. His parents were of Scotch-Irish extraction and his father fought in the battle of King’s Mountain during the Revolution. He fought under Campbell in this battle. John GILLIAM emigrated from Scott County in 1842 and settled on Glade Creek, two miles north of Wise courthouse, where he bought several hundred acres of land for a pony and rifle gun. His first wife was (Mattie) Martha, a daughter of William Elliott of Scott County, who died at Louisa, Kentucky, of smallpox during the war. He married the second time Elizabeth Smith, and the third time Hettie Wilson Vance, better known to the older people of Wise County as Aunt Hettie GILLIAM.
[I have yet to find evidence that Richard GILLIAM, father of John GILLIAM, fought at the Battle of King's Mountain (October 1780) during the Revolution under Campbell. According to the 1840 Census, Richard, was aged 70-80, placing his birth at 1760 at the earliest, making him 20 at the oldest, at the time of the Battle of King's Mountain. A Devereaux GILLIAM, son of William and Mary Jarratt GILLIAM, did fight in the Battle of King's Mountain.]

He enlisted in the Union Army at Catlettsburg, Kentucky, and served until the end of the war. He was with the command of General James A. Garfield when he destroyed the Confederate breastworks and burned the Camp at Pound Gap, on March 19, 1862, and was with the Union Troops that burned the Wise County Courthouse in 1864, at which fire he saved part of the records, from being burned.

Sometime during the War Between the States, he was caught for Unionism and sentenced to be hanged. Judge Henry S. Kane of Estilville, (now Gate City) defended him and he was liberated.

John GILLIAM was the first Overseer of the Poor for Wise County, elected July 28, 1856.

His son, William E. GILLIAM, enlisted in Capt. Salyers Company H, 50 Virginia Confederate Volunteers, June 3, 1861, but deserted that company July 17, 1861, and joined the Union Forces and died of smallpox at Louisa, Kentucky, sometime during the war. He was born in 1827 and married to Elizabeth, a daughter of Stephen Skeen.

His son, Martin, also a member of the above mentioned company and deserted to serve in the Union Army, July 11, 1861. Martin was born in 1835, and was married to Jane, a daughter of Stephen Skeen.

His son, Lillburn, who married Cinda Parks, also died of smallpox at Louisa, Kentucky, during the War.

John and Martha GILLIAM were members of the Big Glades Baptist Church, also William and Martin. William and his wife, Elizabeth, joined on August 4, 1848.

In 1862 Uncle Morgan Lipps was pastor of this church, when he was taken a prisoner to Louisa, Kentucky by the Unionist. John GILLIAM was with the squad that captured him and being a brother to Mr. Lipps in the church, as well as friend and neighbor, he promised Aunt Betty Lipps (wife of Morgan), that he would see that no harm befell her husband.

After the War was over and peace had been made, John GILLIAM again returned to his old home on Glade Creek and there spent the balance of his days.

Sources of Information:
Informants:
J. E. Lipps,
C. A. Johnson
J. T. Adams
Court Records, Wise County, VA
Hamilton, Emery L. "JohHamilton, Emery L. "John GILLIAM Home Site, Wise, VA." Works Progress Administration of Virginia Historical Inventory, 20 Nov 1937. Library of Virginia. of Virginia.


Sources
  • Brummett, Jack D. "Singing John." Appalachian Quarterly, September 1999
  • Hamilton, Emery L. "John GILLIAM Home Site, Wise, VA." Works Progress Administration of Virginia Historical Inventory, 20 Nov 1937. Library of Virginia.
  • Johnson, Charles A. A Narrative History of Wise County, Virginia. Norton, VA. Norton Press. 1938.
  • Robertson, Rhonda, Wise County Deaths
  • Stevens, Vickie Sturgill and Rhonda Robertson. John GILLIAM Cemetery, Wise County, VA.
  • Wise County, VA, Court Orders.