Rockbridge County | Gilliams of Virginia

GILLIAMs of Rockbridge County
Updated May 23, 2019

Rockbridge County was named for Natural Bridge, an exceptional rock formation located in the county.  The county was formed from Augusta and Botetourt counties in 1778, and another part of Botetourt was added later.  The area is 604 square miles, and the county seat is Lexington. 

Rockbridge Parish, 1777

One of the earliest GILHAMs in Rockbridge was that of Capt. Thomas GILHAM and his wife Margaret. Thomas had seven sons and two sons-in-law that served in the armies of the Revolution. His family moved first to South Carolina, but eventually ended up in northern Illinois.

Another GILHAM is Col. William GILHAM, son of Henry Miller GILHAM of Rockbridge. Though Col. GILHAM was born in Vincennes, Knox County, IN, he spent most of his adult life in Virginia teaching at VMI. He served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, and became president of the Southern Fertilizer Company in Richmond after the War. He is buried at Lexington, Virginia in the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery. GILHAM is mentioned in Agricultural Science and Education in Virginia Before 1860. William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, 2nd Ser., Vol. 19, No. 2. (Apr., 1939), pp. 197-213.

Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery
Sacred to the Memory of
Col. William GILHAM
Jan 21, 1818- Nov 16, 1872
Faithful unto . . .

Sacred to the Memory of
Mary Josephine GILHAM
March 16, 1846 - March 11, 1906
daughter of
Col. William and Cordelia A. GILHAM. . .

Sacred to the Memory of
Cordelia A. GILHAM
Wife of Col. William GILHAM . . .

High Bridge Church and Cemetery
Born 29 July 1911
Died 4 Sep 1912
[The 1910 Rockbridge County Census contains one "mulatto" Gillum family. Cathern does not appear to belong to this family. The 1920 Census contains a GILLIAM family with young children. Cathern likely was a daughter of this family, of Samuel and Neoma GILLIAM.]

Rapps Union Church Cemetery
Henderson, Thomas
18 May 1821- 15 Apr 1897

Henderson, Mary A. J. GILLIAM
16 Apr 1831- 27 Aug 1883
[Mary Ann J. GILLIAM is the daughter of Jonathan Patterson GILLIAM and his wife Elizabeth]

William GILHAM, age 30, Indiana, Prof, VA Inst.
Cordelia, age 25, New Jersey
S. F., age 6, New York
Mary Jane, age 4, New York
Wm. H., age 1, New York
M. Hadden, age 45, New York
[William GILHAM, son of Henry Miller GILHAM of Augusta County]

Lot 3, Thomas and Margaret GILHAM, 168 acres, $18.86, sold to James Lockridge

April 1860
Jacob Fuller, as leading partner, with Jackson, J. T. L. Preston and Wm GILLIAM purchased the Lexington Tannery from the Estate of Andrew Withrow.
Rockbridge County, VA, Deed Book ___, page ____
[Likely Wm GILHAM]

17 Oct 1796
Richard GILLIAM and Martha Hodge

Know all men by these presents that we Richard GILLIAM & James Hodge are held and firmly bound to Robert Brooke Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia or his successor in the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars to which payment well and truly to be made we find _____ our heirs, exors etc jointly and severally firmly by these present
Witness our hand and seals this 17th Day of October 1796
The condition of the above obligation is such that whereas there is a marriage shortly intended to solemnized between Richard GILHAM and & Martha Hodge. If therefore shall be no lawfull cause to obstruct the same then this obligation to be void or else to remain in force

James Hodge

A. Reid

Thomas GILHAM qualified as captain of foot in 1752.

  • Brown, Ralph M. Agricultural Science and Education in Virginia Before 1860. William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, 2nd Ser., Vol. 19, No. 2. (Apr., 1939), pp. 197-213.
  • Morton, Oren Frederic. A history of Rockbridge County, Virginia. Staunton, Va. McClure Co. 1920.