North Carolina

The GILLIAMs of North Carolina
Updated November 25, 2012

Background
North Carolina's outer banks were the scene of the first British colonizing efforts in North America. Both attempts, in the late 1500's, to form a colony on Roanoke Island did not succeed.

Virginia colonists began to settle the North Carolina region in 1653 to provide a buffer for the southern frontier. In 1691 Albemarle, the northern Carolina region, was officially recognized by the English crown. This is the first time the "North Carolina" designation was used.

Between 1663 and 1729, North Carolina was under the control of the Lords Proprietors and their descendants, who commissioned colonial officials and authorized the governor and his council to grant lands in the name of the Lords Proprietors. In 1669, John Locke wrote the Fundamental Constitutions as a model for the government of Carolina. Albemarle County was divided into local governmental units called precincts. Initially there were three precincts--Berkley, Carteret, and Shaftesbury--but as the colony expanded to the south and west new precincts were created. By 1729, there were a total of eleven precincts: six in Albemarle County and five in Bath County, which had been created in 1696.

Although the Albemarle Region was the first permanent settlement in the Carolina area, another region was developed around present-day Charleston, South Carolina. Because of the natural harbor and easier access to trade with the West Indies, more attention was given to developing the Charleston area than her northern counterparts. For a twenty-year period, 1692-1712, the colonies of North and South Carolina existed as one unit of government. Although North Carolina still had her own assembly and council, the governor of Carolina resided in Charleston and a deputy governor appointed for North Carolina.

In 1729, seven of the Lords Proprietors sold their interests in North Carolina to the Crown and North Carolina became a royal colony. The eighth proprietor, Lord Granville, retained economic interest and continued granting land in the northern half of North Carolina. All political functions were under the supervision of the Crown until 1775.

All colonial officials were appointed by either the Lords Proprietors prior to 1729 or the Crown afterwards. Members of the colonial assembly were elected from the various precincts (counties) and from certain towns which had been granted representation. The term "precinct" as a geographical unit ceased to exist after 1739. These areas became known as "counties," and about the same time "Albemarle County" and "Bath County" ceased to exist as governmental units.


Overview
Several lines of GILLIAMs settled in North Carolina.

Among the first GILLIAMs to arrive in North Carolina were the GILLIAMs of Albemarle Parish, Surry County, VA who crossed the state line seeking new land. They settled in the Northampton area of North Carolina and moved westward along the state line.
An early GILLIAM was Thomas GILLIAM of the Chowan District. He may be found in records as early as 1702.
Another line of GILLIAMs arrived from the Charlotte County area of Virginia and settled for a time in Granville County, NC before removing to Newberry, SC. This line includes Robert GILLIAM. This line was also Presbyterian.
Another line was that of Epaphroditus GILLIAM of Albemarle County, VA. This line settled in and around Buncombe and Wilkes County.


Records on this page include state wide records such as Census and Tax records.




For information on specific counties:


Alamance County, NC
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Alamance County, NC


Anson County, NC
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Anson County, NC


Bertie County, NC
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Bertie County, NC


Buncombe County, NC
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Buncombe County, NC


Burke County, NC
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Burke County, NC


Bute County, NC
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Bute County, NC


Cabarrus County, NC
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Cabarrus County, NC


Chatham County, NC
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Chatham County, NC


Chowan County, NC
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Chowan County, NC


Davidson County, NC
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Davidson County, NC


Franklin County, NC
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Franklin County, NC


Granville County, NC
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Granville County, NC


Guilford County, NC
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Guilford County, NC


Halifax County, NC
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Halifax County, NC


McDowell County, NC
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in McDowell County, NC


Moore County, NC
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Moore County, NC


Northampton County, NC
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Northampton County, NC


Orange County, NC
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Orange County, NC


Randolph County, NC
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Randolph County, NC


Rockingham County, NC
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Rockingham County, NC


Rowan County, NC
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Rowan County, NC


Wake County, NC
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Wake County, NC


Warren County, NC
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Warren County, NC


Wilkes County, NC
Various records relating to Gilliams that settled in Wilkes County, NC


Topical Records:


Land Grants


Wills, Estates and Inventories


Sources