Chowan County, NC | Gilliams of Virginia

GILLIAMs of Chowan County, NC
Updated October 25, 2007



Background
Chowan was formed in 1670 as a precinct in Albemarle County of the Carolina Colony, and was originally called Shaftsbury Precinct. The Precinct's original territory included all the land (inhabitable) west of the Chowan River, as well as the northern half of the peninsula south of the Albemarle Sound and north of the Pamlico Sound. The earliest records of Chowan Precinct, therefore, cover several of our current-day counties, including Gates, Hertford, Halifax, Northampton, Tyrrell, Washington, and Bertie Counties, in particular. In 1720, the Town on Queen Anne's Creek was renamed Edenton, for Governor Charles Eden, and became the county seat in 1722.

At one time southern Virginia extended to the Chowan River. About 1648 Henry Plumpton of Nansemond County, Virginia, just north of the Chowan region, in co-operation with Thomas Tuke and several others, bought from the Indians "all the Land from the mouth of the Morratuck [Roanoke] River to the mouth of Weyanook Creek".

In 1650 a Virginia merchant, Thomas Bland, was one of a party of eight who explored the Chowan, Meherrin, and Roanoke river valleys. His petition to the Virginia assembly for permission to settle "to the Southward" was approved October 20, 1650. The Assembly instructed him and his associates to "secure themselves in effecting the said Designe with a hundred able men sufficiently furnished with Armes and Munition". In 1651 he published a promotional tract, "The Discovery of New Brittaine, 1650".

In 1653 the Virginia Assembly made a grant of 10,000 acres, in response to a petition from the Rev. Roger Green, "unto one hundred such persons who shall first seate on Moratuck or Roanoke river and the land lying upon the south side of Choan river and the branches thereof" and "to the said Roger Green, the rights of one thousand acres of land, and choice to take the same where it shall seem most convenient to him, next to those persons who have had a former grant".

In a pamphlet entitled "Virginia's Cure", printed in London in 1662, the Rev. Green cited the colony of Virginia as being bound "on the North by the great River Patomak, on the South by the River Chawan".


Overview


Court
6 Nov 1693/94
At a court Holden at ye house of Mrs. Diana Foster the first Monday in November being ye 6th day of the Month 1693/1694.
Mr. Thomas GILLAM enters a Caviat for £8 by acco:
The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Volume 1. page 401

24 Sep 1694
General Court for the County of Albemarle at the house of Mr. Thomas White, 24 Sep 1694.
Thomas GILLAM served as juror
The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Volume 1. page 408

26 Sep 1694
Thomas GILLAM served as juror
The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Volume 1. page 411

28 Sep 1694
In Chancery
Thomas GILLAM and Sarah his wife summoned to answer Mr. Edward Smithwike and Jno Smithwike and they came and Edward Smithwike by Capt Walker their attorney pray that the judgemt obtained against them the sd Edw Smithwike and Jno Smithwike at the sute [sic] of Thomas GILLAM and Sarah his wife in an action of trespass at the Common law may be reversed and they unto their possession may be restored for and because the plantation and dwelling hose wherein the sd trespass was pretended to be committed is upon the land formerly survey and laid out for Mr. Hugh Smithwike ye Orator’s father as by the survey returned by the Honrble Major Saml Swann doth appear and also craves that they may have a patent for the sd land according to the sd survey and they further prove that no force hath been by the prsnt Orators used for the gaining of their lawful possession but that the entry whereon the sd action at common law agaist them was brought was a peacible and lawfull entry by the oaths of Mr. Nicholas Chrisp and William Charleton upon consideration of the whole matter and hearing of all ye partys.
Decreed that the right and title of the sd land is in ye sd Mr Edward Smithwike and Jno Smithwike and that the order of court obtained against the sd Edward Smithwike and Jno Smithwike at ye sute of the sd Thomas and Sarah GILLAM be reversed and it is hereby reversed and yt the Provost Marshall or deputy shall put and restore ye sd Edward Smithwike and Jno Smithwike into their lawfull possession in and upon the plantation where the sd Thomas GILLAM now liveth upon the first day of January next until wch time the sd Thomas GILLAM now liveth upon the first day of January nest until wch time the sd Thomas GILLAM and Sarah GILLAM shall have liberty peacibly to remove all their goods and chattels and crop of corne of & from the sd plantation making no waste and that the sd Edward Smithwike and Jno Smithwike shall pay unto the sd Thomas and Sarah GILLAM ye sum of five pounds in pork in consideration of the building and other improvement upon the sd plantation by them done and the sd Thomas and Sarah GILLAM shall pay cost of sute.

The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Volume 1. page 422

Prior to 1699
Thomas GILLIAM and wife Sarah petition Gov. Thomas Harvey relative to a tract of land on which he had lived for 21 years adjoining that of Mr Hugh Smithwick.

7 Jul 1703
To the Honorable Henderson Walker Esqr. president of the Councill and the Rest of the Honorable Members of this Court of Chancery

The Humble Petition of Sarah GILLAM Executrix of [torn] Last Will and Testament of Thomas GILLAM Deceased Humbly Sheweth That Whereas the said GILLAM was Executor of the Last Will and Testament of Wm. Stevens who was Assignee [torn] Legatee of Wm. Rigg Deceased of the Bill of thirty pounds Sterling Due from Mr. William Duckenfield and Since the Death of the Said Rigg the Said Mr. Duckenfield hath obteined Comission of Administration on the Estate of Said Rigg by what ways and meanes your petitioner Knows Not but Refuses the Said thirty pounds to pay unto Your petitioner Aledging that he hath not Assetts in his hands So that Your petitioner is wholy Kept out
of her Right without Releived by your Honors Whereupon your petitioner Humbly prayes that the abovesaid Mr. Wm. Duckenfield may be brought before this Honorable Court by A Sumons or such other wayes as to your Honors Shall Seem Meet To give Answer to Your Honors By what wayes and means be obtained administration on the Said Riggs Estate. And Likewise An Account how he hath Disposed of the Same By which means your Petitioner shall Know whither there be any of Riggs Estate [torn] Hands to make good the Said Bill Acon[torn] by the Said Rigg and your Petitioner [torn] Duty Bound Pray etc.

July 7th 1703
To the Court of Chancery Copia Vera Nath[torn]

[Endorsed]
GILLIAM Versus DUCKENFEILD
Bill Cancillaria
Price, William S. The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Second Series, Volume IV, North Carolina Higher-Court Records, 1702-1708


Deeds
1703
William Wilkinson bought lands patented by Thomas GILLIAM from Edward Smith and wife Sarah.
Book 1, page 612

22 May 1707
Nathaniel Chevin, 100 acres land joining the lands of John Goreham and Thomas Peterson. (This tract was formerly granted to John Porter, but lapsed for want of seating. So held by jury at an inquisition held at the house of Thomas GILLIAMs, May 22, 1707. Wm Duckinfield acting as Deputy Escheator.)
Book 1, page 179


Parish
15 Dec 1701
Vestry of Saint Paul’s Parish, Chowan Precinct
Met at the house of Mr. Thomas GILLAM, Dec 15th 1701
The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Volume 1. page 543

13 Oct 1702
Vestry of Saint Paul’s Parish, Chowan Precinct
Met at the house of Mr. Thomas GILLAM, Oct 13th 1702
To Thomas GILLAM for trouble of his house 1.10.0
Vestry scheduled the last Tuesday in April next [1703] at the house of Mr. Thomas GILLIAM
Next meeting of the Vestry at the house of Mr. Thomas GILLIAM the 15th of December next to give an account of collections.
The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Volume 1. page 558-560

15 Dec 1702
Vestry of Saint Paul’s Parish, Chowan Precinct
Met at the house of Mr. Thomas GILLAM, Dec 15 1702
[Thomas writes his will 10 Oct 1702]
The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Volume 1. page 558-560


Patents
17 Apr 1697
Thomas GILLAM, 560 acres in Chowan Precinct, joining the River.
Sig: John Archdale, Danl Akehurst, Fra Toms, Tho. Pollock, Saml Swann, Henderson Walker
Province of North Carolina 1663-1729, Abstracts of Land Patents, Patent Book 3, 202, page 76

30 Mar 1721

Hinshay GILLAM, 600 acres in Chowan precinct on ye N side of Morattuck river on ye S. side of Sphere Island, joining William Weiche, turkey hill, ye Island, and ye River
Wit: Cha. Eden, Wm. Reed, Fra. Forster, Richd. Sanderson, John Lovick
Province of North Carolina 1663-1729, Abstracts of Land Patents, Patent Book 3, 314 pg. 69

30 Mar 1721
William Bridges, 160 acres in Chowan precinct on ye N. side of Morattuck river, joining Stone hill, Canoe Creek, and __ple hill
Wit: Cha. Eden, Wm. Reed, Fra. Forster, Richd. Sanderson, John Lovick
Province of North Carolina 1663-1729, Abstracts of Land Patents, Patent Book 3, 3l5 pg. 69

30 Mar 1721
John GILLAM, 580 acres in Chowan, joining William Weiche. dogwood run, and ye N. side of Morattuck river
Wit: Cha. Eden, Wm. Reed, Fra. Forster, Richd. Sanderson, John Lovick
Province of North Carolina 1663-1729, Abstracts of Land Patents, Patent Book 3, 316 pg. 70

30 Mar 1721
Walter Lashley, 640 acres in Chowan precinct on ye N. side of Morattuck River, joining John GILLUM, Dogwood hill, pine hill, and ye river
Wit: Cha. Eden, Wm. Reed, Fra. Forster, Richd. Sanderson, John Lovick
Province of North Carolina 1663-1729, Abstracts of Land Patents, Patent Book 3, 317 pg. 70


Taxes
Tithables 1674; quit rents 1675-1678; headrights.
GILLAM, Tho
Walker, Alexander M. "Some Pioneers of North Carolina, 1674-1701." In National Genealogical Society Quarterly, vol. 53:3 (Sept. 1965), p. 196


Wills, Estates and Inventories
27 May 1678
Zachariah GILLIAM, City of London
Early North Carolina Will Abstracts

24 Oct 1697
Will of William Stevens (before N. Chevin) of Chowantanke.
"Sick & weak in body"
To Col. Pollock, apprentice boy JOHN HARDY.
To Robert West, beaver hat.
To Margaret Houldbrook, cow & calf now held by Na. Chivens.
To Thomas GILLAM, rest of my estate.
Ex: Thomas GILLAM
Wit: Henderson Walker, John Houldbrook, Ann Walker
Rec: 4 Apr 1698
[N. Chevin/Na. Chivens is Nathaniel Chevin, Deputy Lord Proprietor of North Carolina]

10 Oct 1702
Will of Thomas Gillyam
"Weak in Body"
To Wife Sarah Gillyam, all my estate.
Ex: Wife
Wit: Wm Wilkison, John Tyler, Margarett Holbrook
[No probate]

Will of George Guilliams
22 Sep 1746
April Court, 1747
Sons: Isaac (“my manner plantation”), Samuell, George
Wife and seven children
Executor: Samuell Guilliams (son).
Witnesses: William Hughes, Junr., George Guilliam, Jr., Samuell Guilliam.
Clerk of the Court: Henry Delon.
Chowan County, NC, Will Book ___, Page ___


Sources
  • The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Volume 1
  • Province of North Carolina 1663-1729, Abstracts of Land Patents, Patent Book 3