Northumberland County | Gilliams of Virginia

GILLIAMs of Northumberland County
Updated June 29, 2011

Northumberland County probably was named for the English county. It was formed about 1645 from the district of Chickacoan, the early-seventeenth-century name for the region between the Potomac and the Rappahannock rivers. Its area is 223 square miles, and the county seat is Heathsville.

Boutracy Parish, before 1679-before 1716
Fairfield Parish, 1664-before 1699
Lee Parish, 1664-before 1680
Nomini Parish, before 1653-1653
Saint Stephen's Parish, about 1698
Wicomico Parish, about 1648 (Wicomico Parish called Lee Parish for a short time)

The family of Dr. James Skelton GILLIAM of Petersburg, the son of Robert GILLIAM and Janet Colquhoun, his wife settled in Northumberland County. James married Elizabeth Bates Hudnall and had several children. The family is buried at the GILLIAM Farm on GILLIAMs Road in Heathsville.

GILLIAM Cemetery
Dr. James Skelton GILLIAM

Eliza Bates GILLIAM

Bessie Davenport

John Hobson Davenport

John Hobson Davenport, Jr
February 1902 to December 1902.
[The cemetery includes several tombstones that are illegible. It is likely that one is the tombstone of James Skelton GILLIAM born 1877 and died 1878. James and Eliza are said to have had six children, with only three reaching adulthood.]

[Though several of the following Census records do not pertain to Northumberland, they do pertain to the family of Dr. James Skelton GILLIAM that settled in Northumberland.]
Jane GILLIAM, age 44 [Jane/Janet Colquhoun, wife of Robert GILLIAM]
Clara GILLIAM, age 24
Climan GILLIAM, age 16
James GILLIAM, age 15 Year: 1850; Census Place: Petersburg, Petersburg (Independent City), Virginia; Roll: M432_941; Page: 430; Image: 432.

E W Bates, age 66
F Bell, age 28
E B Hudnal, age 20
[Eliza Bates Hudnall, future wife of James Skelton GILLIAM]
M E Hall, age 17
A B Ball, age 9
J S GILLIAM, age 24, Doctor of Medicine. Year: 1860; Census Place: Eastern District, Lancaster, Virginia; Roll: M653_1357; Page: 616; Image: 195.

James S GILLIAM, age 34
Eliza B GILLIAM, age 30
[Eliza Bates Hudnall, future wife of James Skelton GILLIAM]
Clara C GILLIAM, age 3
Elizabeth GILLIAM, age 1 Year: 1870; Census Place: Heathsville, Northumberland, Virginia; Roll: M593_1669; Page: 35; Image: 72.

James S. GILLIAM, age 44
Eliza B. GILLIAM, age 39
[Eliza Bates Hudnall, future wife of James Skelton GILLIAM]
Clara W. GILLIAM, age 12
Elizabeth B. GILLIAM, age 11
Janet C. GILLIAM, age 5
James S. GILLIAM, age 1 Year: 1880; Census Place: Heathsville, Northumberland, Virginia; Roll: T9_1382; Family History Film: 1255382; Page: 40.1000; Enumeration District: 86.

Death Register
Gilliam, James S. white, male, 18 Nov 1884, Northumberland County, typhoid fever, 5 years old
Gilliam, James S. & E. B.
born in Northumberland Co, VA
Gilliam, E B, mother gave info
Northumberland County, VA Death Register 1853-1896

Referring to St. Stephen's Church
On motion of certain named individuals, pursuant to Va. Code 1873, Chapter 76, Section 9, the Circuit Court for Northumberland County, Virginia, entered an Order of October 2, 1874,

2 Oct 1874
On the motion of James F. Ball, S.A.M. Leland, William Brown, Slater Cowart, William A. Hudnall, Octavius H. Cox and James S. GILLIAM, the vestry of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the County of Northumberland and the proper authorities of said Church, It is ordered that the said James F. Ball, William Brown, Slater Cowart, William A. Hudnall, Octavius H. Cox, Sam'l A.M. Leland, Charles Carter, & Jas. S. GILLIAM and John S. Davenport and their successors be, and they are hereby appointed Trustees of the said Protestant Episcopal Church, pursuant to the 9th section of Chapter 76 of the Code of Virginia 1873.

[Just over a month later, by deed, certain named grantors granted legal title to certain property to all of the same trustees identified in the previous paragraph.]

20 Nov 1874
This deed made this the Twentieth day of November in the year of Our Lord one thousand Eight hundred and Seventy four between Peter C. Cox and Sophia Thibodeaus D. Cox his wife of the first part, and James F. Ball, Sam'l A. M. Lealand, William A. Hudnall, William Brown, Slater Cowart, Octavius H. Cox, Charles Carter, James S. GILLIAM and John S. Davenport, of the second part, all of the County of Northumberland, State of Virginia, Witnesseth, that the said parties of the first part for and in consideration of the sum of Fifty dollars ($50) to them in hand paid at or before the sealing and delivery of these presents, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, have bargained and sold and by these presents do bargain, sell and convey to the said parties of the second part as trustees duly legalized and appointed by the Circuit Court of said County in pursuance of section 9, chapter LXXVI of the code of Va. 1873 all of that certain lot, parcel or piece of land situate in Heathsville in said County and included in & bounded by the following courses & distances, beginning at a corner post on the road side leading from Springfield Gate to John D. Betts' house, then South 33 1/4° East 14, 32 poles to a post in front of Mrs. Deshields old kitchen, thence North 61 1/4° East 2,08 poles to a locust tree, thence, North 73 3/4° East 3, 32 poles to a corner post of the enclosure around Mrs. Deshields kitchen yard, thence North 66 1/4° East 2, 00 poles in said Cox's lot corner to this & side to said Cox, thence North 8 1/4° West 10, 80 poles to a post on road leading to John D. Betts' house, corner to this & said Cox, thence South 85° West 13, 10 poles to the point of beginning, Containing an area of one hundred and twenty poles or three quarters of an acre. To have and to hold the said lot, parcel or piece of land with all and singular the privileges & appurtenances thereto belonging unto the said parties of second part their assigns and successors who may be legally appointed from time to time, In trust nevertheless and for the sole use and benefit of the religious society and congregation known as the Protestant Episcopal Church for the purpose of erecting a house for divine worship and such other houses as said congregation may need, And said church or house for divine worship when so built shall be used and enjoyed by said religious society or congregation according to the laws and canons of said church not inconsistent with the laws and constitution of Virginia . . .

12 Jan 1875
This deed made this 12th day of January 1875 between R. L. T. Beale and John Davenport Commissioners acting under a decree of the Circuit Court of Northumberland County in the Cause of Gilliam etc vs. J. H. Fallins’ admr. and others of the one part and James S. Gilliam of the other part, whereas by the report of Commissioner A. J. Brent of the 9th day of February 1891 the estate of J. H. Gilliam in right of his wife, in the sum of five thousand nine hundred sixty five 46/100 dollars, debt which was entitled to priority, and where as the said Gilliam agreed with the parties of the sd. part to take the Home Tract (Mongullion) of the said J. H. Fallin, in full satisfaction and discharge of the said debt of $5965.46 with its interest as of 1st day of January 1870. Now this deed witnesses that for and in consideration of the above recitals and the payments of the said sum of five thousand nine hundred sixty five 46/100 dollars by receipt in the full endorsed on the said report of A. J. Brent, they the said parties of the one part, do grant and convey unto him the said James S. Gilliam all that tract of land bounded on north by Barnes, Derry Gulick’s, & Hazard’s land, east by J. H. and Jos. Marsh’s land,on south by Bunker Hill, on west and southwest by Hornsby’s, Lampkin’s, & Fallins land as shown by plot,
To have and to hold unto him the said James S. Gilliam his heirs and assigns forever with special warrantly from them the said Beale and Davenport,
In testimony whereof witness their signatures and seals this the day above written.
R. L. T. Beale
J. S. Davenport

State of Virginia
At a county Court begun and held for the county of Northumberland at the Courthouse thereof on Monday the 8th day of March 1875. This deed of Bargain & Sale from R. L. T. Beale and J. S. Davenport commissioners to J. S. Gilliam was this day acknowledged in open court by said Beale & Davenport parties thereto and ordered to be recorded
Teste Wm J. Cralle CC
Truly Recorded

Northumberland County, Deed Book ___, page 539

Family Histories
A Quiet Glory: The Life and Times of Dr. James Skelton Gilliam
Civil War Surgeon, Beloved Country Doctor
of Northumberland and Lancaster Counties, Virginia

By Susan Anthony-Tolbert and Dorian A. Tolbert

Homes and Estates
The Ruins of Home of Dr. James Skelton GILLIAM and Eliza Bates Hudnall, his wife may be found off GILLIAMs Road in Heathsville.

National Register of Historic Places:
Howland Chapel School
"John Hobson Fallin of Mungullion, a Northumberland County plantation, that adjoined the tract that Howland bought. . ."
[The GILLIAMs are said to have owned Mungullion Plantation. The obituary of Janet Colquhoun GILLIAM states that she was educated at Mungullion. It is yet to be determined if Mungullion was actually the home of the GILLIAMs or a school where their children were educated or both.]

25 Oct 1866
Married in St. Stephen's Church, Baltimore, by the Rev. Edmund Withers, Dr. James S. GILLIAM to Eliza Bates Hudnall, both of Lancaster County on Thurs, 4 Oct 1866.
Southern Churchman
[See R. Bolling Batte Biographical Card Files - GILLIAM, A - Card 92 of 140, Library of Virginia.]
[James S. GILLIAM and Eliza Bates Hudnall were married by James' brother-in-law, the Rev. Edmond Withers who married James' sister, Clara Colquhoun GILLIAM.]

4 Oct 1866
Hudnall, Elisa B. and James S. GILLIAM
Lancaster County, VA
State Record of Marriages, Baltimore City, page 42
[The marriage date of Eliza and James has been published as 4 Oct 1855. 1855 is incorrect per census records and the above marriage record. Also see also Southern Churchman above.]

James Skelton GILLIAM
13 Jun 1878
Died: GILLIAM, In Northumberland County, VA, on evening of 1st Instant. James Skelton, infant son of Dr. James S. and Eliza B. GILLIAM, aged 8 months.
Southern Churchman

Dr. James Skelton Gilliam
Friday, December 30, 1881
The death of Dr. James S. Gilliam which was simply announced in the last issue of this paper, deserves a much more extended notice than we can accord to it. The lesson of his noble life is a beautiful and instructive one, and no short notice can faithfully portray that life. To other and better hands will that task be committed. As an accomplished physician and a skillful surgeon he had acquired a wide reputation in his profession and for many years he enjoyed a large if not lucrative, practice in Northumberland and adjoining counties. He was born and raised in the city of Petersburg, and had numerous relatives and friends in and around that city, to whom the announcement of his death carried much sorrow. His father was the late Robert Gilliam, a lawyer of prominence and long the prosecuting attorney of the city of Petersburg, and he was the grandson of Dr. James Skelton Gilliam, for who he was named and who eighty years ago was Petersburg's most eminent physician. Soon after graduating in medicine he settled in the county of Lancaster, but afterwards removed to Northumberland, having intermarried with Miss Hudnall, a lady of that county. Few men have ever enjoyed the confidence and esteem of his fellowmen to as great an extent as did Dr. Gilliam, and at one time he represented the county of Northumberland in the HOuse of Delegates, with the greatest satisfaction to his constituents and credit to himself. He has left a devoted wife and loving children, who will long mourn his premature death, and a large circle of friends, to whose hearts he was fastened as with hooks of steel, to whom we offer our warmest sympathy and most sincere condolence.

Janet Colquhoun GILLIAM, daughter of Dr. James Skelton GILLIAM
Thursday, January 1, 1953
Franklin - Age 77, died here, Thursday, January 1, 1953 at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Beaman Story. She was the daughter of James Skelton and Mrs. Eliza Bates Hudnal GILLIAM of Northumberland County. Mrs. Peirce was educated at Mungullion in Northumberland County and Pace Junior College in Raleigh, NC. She was the widow of Joseph Peirce of Oakley, Lancaster County. Besides Mrs. Story, she is survived by 4 other
daughters, Mrs. Eliza Schwenck of Washington, Mrs. Winton Whitehead of Eastville, Miss Alice Clark Peirce of Richmond and Mrs. William J. Dann, Jr. of Berkeley, Calif and 2 grandchildren. Funeral services will be held Friday, January 2, 1953 at 2 p.m. at St Mary's White Chapel Church in Lancaster County. Burial will be in the church cemetery. The family has requested that flowers be omitted.


Dr. James Skelton Gilliam

  • Federal Census records.
  • Library of Virginia. R. Bolling Batte Papers — Biographical Card Files. [Digital images of more than 30,000 index cards containing biographical and genealogical information compiled from a variety of original and secondary sources.]
  • National Register of Historic Places: Howland Chapel School
  • Southern Churchman
  • State Record of Marriages, Baltimore City