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Newberry Sheriff Robert Gillam Sr

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Newberry Sheriff Robert Gillam Sr

Posted: 13 Aug 2012 11:30AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Gillam,
I have copied this on the Newberry Sheriffs for Robert Gillam Sr. due to the fact that it states Robert Gillam's wife as Mary Rebecca Wallace. Something for Gillam ancestors to take note of...

Sheriffs of Newberry County
Newberry County, South Carolina
contributed by Edith Greisser

When Sheriff Gordon served his office, Newberry District was a much larger area and took in parts of Laurens. A town of Newberry did not exist. Newberry was a stagecoach stop-over in the woods with a place to change horses and get some food and water. Deputy sheriffs served for the various areas of the District. Since the Constitution of 1778 did not prohibit dual office holding some of the sheriffs served simultaneously as Legislators and judges.

In 1785 (Statutes IV, 661) Ninety Six District became too large to administer and the area was divided into six counties.

Men who served in the office for Newberry County 1785 to 2005 were:

1787 Robert Gillam
Father-in-law to the sister of Sheriff James Caldwell; Grand father to the cousins of Sheriff William Thomas Caldwell; Grand Father-in-law to sheriff Philomen Berry Waters.

Robert Gillam Sr. was Sheriff of Newberry Co. 1788 - 1790 and died at his rebuilt home on Page's Creek Jan. 1796. Robert Gillam Sr. was married to Mary Rebecca Wallace. In Annals of Newberry by O'Neal Robert Gillam Sr. was described as tall, slim, erect, active, sprightly with goodness of heart but when aroused by injury to act he was violent, impetuous and brave.

An incident was recalled in the Annals which happened around 1780. Robert Gillam Sr. was sitting on a fence cleaning his nails with a knife when a Tory soldier on horseback happened by, making offensive remarks as he passed. Robert Gillam sprang up from the fence, snatched the soldier by his collar, pulled him off his horse and took him prisoner. Perhaps this is why in 1780 the Tory sought out his farm and destroyed it. Robert and his wife had the following children: Joshua Gillam, Robert Gillam Jr., Susanna Martin, Susan Finley, Martha Smith, Frances Gillam. He and his wife are probably buried at the family graveyard in Chappells known as the Gillam/Wallace graveyard although there are no headstones to verify.

I believe William Gilliam was a cousin to the Robert Gillam family of western Newberry County. The family legend is that the records of the Revolutionary Service always wrote Robert Gilliam's name without the 'i' and for the sake of continuity, the family left it that way. For that reason the cousins on east Newberry wrote their name Gilliam and on the west side Gillam. (I have seen a court document where John Gilliam had his name changed to Gillam since most people pronounced the i "Gill e um" so they dropped the i. But what stays true to form is that it does help identify our line of Gillams.

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