Updated May 24, 2019
The City of Williamsburg, in James City and York Counties, was established by the General Assembly as Middle Plantation in 1633. After the capitol building at Jamestown burned in 1698, the assembly decided to move the capital of the colony to Middle Plantation, which was renamed Williamsburg in 1699 in honor of William III. Williamsburg was established in 1699 and declared a "city Incorporate" in 1722, although its actual status was that of a borough. It served as the capital of Virginia from 1699 until 1780. Williamsburg was incorporated as a city in 1884. Its area is 9 square miles.
Bruton Parish, 1764
It appears that few GILLIAMs actually lived in Williamsburg. A Joseph GILLIAM either purchased or subleased the Red Lion in September 1745 from William Wyatt. Joseph, like other tavern keeps, depended on local farmers and merchants for many of their food supplies. Joseph, is found among the accounts of the Burwells of Carter's Grove.
The identity of Joseph is not known at this time. It has been suggested that a Joseph GILLIAM is found in the records of Southam Parish, Cumberland, but a close examination of the documents suggests that "Jos." has been confused with "Jas."
It has also been suggested that Connie Parrish, daughter of Humphrey Parrish, married on 6 Nov 1779 in Dover Parish, Goochland Joseph GILLIAM. W. Mac Jones' edition of the Douglas Register does read:
Guillam, Jos: & Conney Parish, both of Goochland 1779, Nov: 6. However, at the birth of their children, "Jos:" appears as "Jo:" (Jo: Guillam & Connie Parish, a child named Elizabeth born Nov 20, 1780 and Jo: Guillam & Annie Parish, a Son Robert born Jul: 6, 1782). It appears from the Will of John GILLIAM of Goochland ( —1794) that, John's son, John, not a Joseph, married Connie Parrish.
A Private Joseph GILLIAM of Revolutionary War records, is likely too old to be Joseph of Williamsburg.
There is a Joseph who may be found in Surry County Court Records, page 118, around the same time as Joseph of Williamsburg. In fact, he first appears in Surry records the same year Joseph sold the Tavern in Williamsburg.
The petition brought by Joseph Gillium against Thomas Addison for one pound fourteen shillings & six pence said to be due by account, this day came the plt. by his attorney & the Defendt. having been duly served with a copy of the plts. petition & account and summoned and now called and . . .
Murdoch-Austin family Bible record, 1820-1911.
Notes and Summaries:
Includes Bible record (5 leaves) and slave record (1 leaf). Area covered is James City County, Virginia. Bible printed in 1860. Other surnames mentioned: Adams, GILLIAM, Johnson and Martin.
Murdoch-Austin family Bible record, 1820-1911. Library of Virginia.
Cedar Grove Cemetery:
According to the humorous story of the funeral of Billy GILLIAM: The Military Funeral of Billy GILLIAM, which has appeared in Wit, Mirth & Spleen, Winter 1995-1996,
Billy GILLIAM was buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery, shortly after the end of the Civil War. If so, his grave in unrecorded.
Bruton Parish Churchyard:
Jane Sophia GILLIAM (2 Feb 1842—8 Mar 1920), wife of William Brown Thompson Christian is buried at Bruton Parish.
Buried nearby is Annie B. GILLIAM (26 Dec 1851—20 Jan 1900)
[It appears that Annie B. GILLIAM is Annie B. Lindsay, wife of Richard Benjamin GILLIAM of the 1900 Williamsburg Census. Richard is listed as Benjamin, widowed.]
Bruton Parish Church
Rochelle, Butts and Johnson vs. GILLIAM
Tidewater Virginia families: a magazine of history and genealogy. Williamsburg, VA. v.10, no. 1 (May/June 2001), p. 55-56.
Also, Virginia Historical Society, General Collection, F221 .V8 T432 v.10 no.1, Record #176814
[Mary Butts, Thomas GILLIAM, Judith Rochelle are the children of John GILLIAM and his wife Lucy Clements of Southampton]
College of William and Mary
Ambler, John Jaquelin Ambler. "Schoolmates at William and Mary College of J. J. Ambler as He Remembered Them in 1828."
The William and Mary Quarterly, 2nd Ser., Vol. 11, No. 4 (Oct., 1931), pp. 343-344
[Written in November 1828 by John Jaquelin Ambler, Sr. of Glemambler, Amherst County, VA. copied form his diary. John J. Ambler was at William and Mary in 1816, 1817, and 1818.]
19 Aug 1783
Letter of William H. Waller of Williamsburg, to Thomas Jones, New Castle
Concerns debt owed to [the estate of] Meriwether Skelton by Waller's father's estate. Wants Jones, [as executor of Skelton's estate], to arrange full payment in tobacco if acceptable. Includes note that a copy was sent to Robert GILLIAM.
College of William and Mary. Earl Gregg Swem Library.
8 Jul 1855
Deed Between John M. Galt and Richard GILLIAM for the rent of the small farm belonging to Dr. A. D. Galt’s heirs.
Swem Library, College of William and Mary, Finding Aids, Galt Family papers, page 396.
In 1867 Margaret Parsons had died and her heirs conveyed to Rosa E. GILLIAM "That said lot of land on the south side of Queen Street, adjoining the lots of Joseph Walthall and the lot of GILLIAM, being the property of which Peggy Parsons died, seized and possessed. . ."
In 1870 William P. Wright and wife (Rosa E. Wright) conveyed to Elizabeth GILLIAM (mother of Rosa Wright) the above described lot "bounded by the lots of Joseph Walthall and the said Elizabeth GILLIAM, together with all the buildings improvements, privileges, . . . thereto belonging." The GILLIAM family or their relatives kept the property until 1891 when it was conveyed to Maggie G. Sanderlin.
York County, VA, Deed Book 2, p. 399
[Elizabeth GILLIAM was the wife of Richard GILLIAM. She was the daughter of Richard Hansford]
Pensioners of 1754
The following is a partial list of military pensioners who had served in the armed expedition to the Ohio under the command of Colonel George Washington in 1754, and who, from disabilities caused by wounds and disease, subsequently petitioned the House of Burgesses for relief, which was granted them. Their names are culled from the journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia.
Joseph Gillam—not wounded, allowed back pay
Jacob Van Braam
[Though it is not known whether the above Joseph is "of Williamsburg," this record has been included here as we know a Joseph GILLIAM did live in Williamsburg. It should be noted that Robert Stobo was involved with John GILLIAM of Prince George.]
Washington, George. Journal of Colonel George Washington: Commanding a Detachment of Virginia: Washington's Expedition to the Ohio, 2nd, 1754-1793.
18 Apr 1745
The subscriber in Williamsburg, has a very good traveling Chair and Horses, to hire to any part of the Country: also a cart and horses.
Virginia Gazette, Page 4, Column 2
26 Sep 1745
THIS is to give Notice, That the Subscriber [is] remov'd to the House where Mr. John Parker lately lived, in Williamsburg: Where all Gentlemen may depend on very good private Lodgings for themselves. Joseph GILLIOM.
N.B. He has got a very good travelling Chair, Horses, and Driver, to hire to any Part of the Country, likewise very good Saddle Horses.
[John Parker It is Order'd that a License be granted him to keep an Ordinary at the red Lyon in Wmsburg Whereupon he immediately enter'd into Bond with Security to keep the same according to Law. Parker's license was renewed at the June 19, 1738 court. Also, the license was renewed at the May 21, 1739 court. During 1740-1744, Parker was sued for debts by several. In 1740 Matthew Moody sued Parker for trespass. Parker lost in the court. Parker had died by February, 1745.]
Virginia Gazette, Page 3, column 1
The ordinary was leased to William Wyatt: [April 18, 1745]
THIS is to give Notice, That the Subscriber, who keeps the Ordinary lately kept by Mr. John Parker, in Williamsburg, has very good Accommodations for Man and Horse, where all Gentlemen and others that will please to favour him with their Company, may depend on Civil Treatment, by Their very humble Servant, William Wyatt.
In September, 1745, Wyatt had either moved out or subleased the ordinary to Joseph GILLIAM.
28 Nov 1745
Richard Caulton, Upholster, from London, gives this public Notice to all Gentlemen, Ladies, and others, That he doth all Sorts of Upholsterer's Work, after the newest Fashion, with all possible Care and Expedition, at reasonable Rates, either at their Houses or at his Lodgings, at Mr. Joseph GILLIAM's in Williamsburg. He likewise makes and mends Easy Chairs, Dressing Chairs, Windsor Chairs, Settees, Pin Cushion Chair Seats, Couches; also covers and stuffs the Backs of Billiard Tables, lines Coaches, Chariots, Chaises and Chairs.
[GILLIAM, evidently, had room enough to lease a part of the house to Richard Caulton, upholsterer, from London]
Virginia Gazette, Page 4, Column 1
From July 24 to July 31, 1746.
RAN away on Saturday, the 19th of this Month, from the Subscriber, living in Williamsburg, a lusty well-set Irish Servant Woman, named Bridget Dolan; she is about 5 Feet 6 Inches high, of a fresh Complexion, and is very much pitted with the Small-Pox. She took with her a Blue and White strip'd Virginia-Cloth Gown, a blue Camblet Ditto, and a new flower'd Calico Ditto, a blue quilted Petticoat, and a brown Linen Ditto, a white Linen Shift, a Straw Hat, a new Holland Apron, with a double Hem, a check'd Ditto. Whoever takes up and conveys the said Servant to me, shall have Half a Pistole Reward, besides what the Law allows, paid by Joseph GILLIAM.
31 Jul 1746
Stray’d away from the subscriber in Williamsburg, on Wednesday Night the 16th Instant, a well made bay horse, branded on the near buttock ___, some part of his mane is cut, he is about 13 hands high, and paces very well. Whoever will bring the said Horse to Mr. Joseph GILLIAM in Williamsburg, or to Mr. Samuel Apperson in James City County, shall have half a pittole reward.
Virginia Gazette, Page 6, column 1
22 Apr 1757
The assembly having given a sum of money to build a furnace and prepare materials for the making of pot ash in the City of Williamsburg, that Mr. Thomas Stephens may instruct any persons who are willing to learn his method notice is hereby given that 3d will be given for every bushel of good ashes that shall be delivered to Mr. John GILLIAM, at the Attorney’s, in Williamsburg.
Virginia Gazette, page 3, column 2
26 Mar 1779
On Wednesday last the following criminals were brought to the bar, and received sentence, as follows: Mason Miller, Thomas Thornton, Wilson Pinkerton, Jesse Philpots, Luke Lemy, and Gilbert Pierce, guilty, death. Benjamin Lawless, burnt in the hand. John GILLIAM, acquitted and discharges upon a plea in arrest of judgment.
Virginia Gazette, Publisher: Dixon, Page: 2, Column: 2
Estate of John Mundell
In obedience to an order of court dates 19 Jun last John Holt & J. Davenport settled the account of John Coke’s administration of the estate of John Mundell . . . to a mistake for chairs charged to Thos Bennett which were afterwards sold to Jos Gilliam . . .
Williamsburgh, 17 Aug 1749
Errors excepted, Jno Coke
Ordered to be recorded 21 Aug 1749
Attest: Thos Everard, Clerk
Will Book ____, page 157
Will of Thomas Mutter
23 Nov 1811
Wife Anna and my children as they come of age.
Exors. Wife, brother John Mutter, friend Gawin S. Corbin, brother-in-law George Southall, Col. Richard Adams.
Wit: W. M. Waller, A. D. Galt, Wm. GILLIAM.
Rec: 20 Jul 1812
- Crozier, William Armstrong, Williamsburg Wills: Virginia County Records
- Ambler, John Jaquelin Ambler. "Schoolmates at William and Mary College of J. J. Ambler as He Remembered Them in 1828." The William and Mary Quarterly, 2nd Ser., Vol. 11, No. 4 (Oct., 1931), pp. 343-344
- Bruton Parish Church Records
- Crozier, William Armstrong, Williamsburg Wills: Virginia County Records
- Davis, Tidewater Virginia families: a magazine of history and genealogy. Williamsburg, VA. v.10, no. 1 (May/June 2001), p. 55-56.
- Murdoch-Austin family Bible record, 1820-1911. Library of Virginia.
- Stephenson, Mary. Richard Crump House Historical Report, Block 2 Building 50 A (Originally entitled: "Bracken-Carter House, Block 2 [James Carter Lot]). 1950 Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Library Research Report Series - 1036, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Library, Williamsburg, Virginia, 1990
- Virginia Gazette at www.PastPortal.Com
- Washington, George. Journal of Colonel George Washington: Commanding a Detachment of Virginia: Washington's Expedition to the Ohio, 2nd, 1754-1793.
- Wit, Mirth, & Spleen. "The Military Funeral of Billy GILLIAM", Winter 1995-1996.
- York County, VA, Deed Books