8th G- Grandfather, James Gillilland, b. 18 Oct. 1715, d. 1778 mimmigrated to West Chester, Chester, PA, (date unknown) married Francis Burr, 4 Jul. 1736.
FROM IRELAND TO AMERICA
Most of what is available about the background of the Gilliland family is furnished in the book "Genealogy of the McMillen and Gilliland Families'' by Alonzo B. McMillen. Some of the following was from that book
The Gilliland family was of Scotch-Irish descent, with their homestead in the County Down, in the north of Ireland. In Scotland the Gillilands had been a Sept of the small clan of Maclelland of Ayrshire.
These Gilliland's had eleven children in their family, seven sons and four daughters. The names of the sons were: John, Thomas, Hugh, Adam, Andrew, Robert and James. The four daughters were: Jane, Mary, Sarah and Catherine (not in order of birth).
The three oldest brothers emigrated to America to look over the situation - the rest were to follow. Later when the rest were on board the ship ready to sail, as the signal was given to take in the gangplank, Catherine ran ashore so she could join her Catholic lover, and later they were married. The feelings at that time were so high between Catholics and Protestants that her name was not mentioned in their family for many years.
GILLILANDS IN AMERICA
The Gilliland family originally settled at Faggis
in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Although we know the names of the children, we don't know the parents names nor whether or not they came to America, but we should assume that they did.
Tax statements, census's, and the county histories show that a John Gilliland, b. cal710 - 1715, Ireland, moved from Chester County to York County, and married a Jane , and died there in 1789. A Mary Gilliland, b. 1 Apr 1724, in 1747 at New Brunswick, N.J., married Robert Lyle, a man twice her age.
JAMES ADAM GILLILAND:
Also shown on tax statements is a James Adam Gilliland, b.l8 Oct 1715, Londonderry, Ireland. On 4 July 1736, at West Chester, Chester County, he married a Margaret Francis Burr. We know that he was a gunsmith and lived in Chester County for the rest of his life. There is a record of his purchase of land in Chester County on August 24, 1751.
His oldest son, Alexander James, who was b.l8 Nov 1737 and later moved to Gaston County, North Carolina, where he married on 18 Nov 1767, Francis Elizabeth Baird.
Also, the DAR says that he had a son David, born in 1735 and died in 1831, who was a private during the Revolutionary War.
According to James Adam's will dated in 1778, James also had at least two other sons, Thomas and James, as they were listed to be his Executors (they had to be at least 21 to be executors). We do not have any record of James Adam's death but it had to have been in 1778 or later. One of the records referenced lists his death as 18 Oct 1795, but I do not know how accurate that is.
We know nothing about the son Thomas, but James served
as a 2nd Lt. during the Revolutionary War. According to the DAR records, he was born in 1739, and died on 18 May 1795 in Westmoreland County of Western Pennsylvania.
James Gilliland, in Chester County, Pa. married HANNAH ADAMS, the daughter of JOSEPH and ANN ADAMS, Chester County neighbors of James and some of the other Gillilands.The book .'Listing of Inhabitants in 1765 - Chester Co., PA." states that both James Gilliland and Joseph Adams were living in the West Fallowfield Township of Chester County. James and Hannah are generally considered to be the parents of the James Gilliland that went to Venango County, PA., and became the ancestors of the Hays families that we are now concerned with.
Sometime between 1780 and 1790, James and Hannah, with their children, moved westward, to Westmoreland County
James Gilliland Jr. was born in Chester County in 1774, son of James and Hannah (Adams). He went with his parents when they moved to Westmoreland County, Pa.
When James was 28, he left Westmoreland County and he moved to Venango County in northwestern Pennsylvania, where he spent the rest of his life. A possible explanation of how a Gilliland came to be in Venango County also comes from the book "Genealogy of the McMillen And Gilliland Families:"
"At an early age, John Gilliland (1763-1826) went into northwestern Pennsylvania, and there took up what was known as a 'Tomahawk right;' that is, he blazed the trees around a piece of land and this gave him claim to it.
"As he was returning he was pursued for thirty miles by Indians. The pursuit was only abandoned when he was in sight of Fort DuQuesne, now Pittsburgh. During his flight, he rode a fine horse to death and was so disgusted with himself and the trip that he never returned to claim his 'right;' so he
gave his interest to his brother, James, who improved it and
whose descendants are very numerous throughout northwestern
"John, after his escape from the Indians, settled in Adams County, PA. Later at the age of eighteen he served in the Revolutionary War and was at the battle of Yorktown when Cornwallis surrendered."
Different books considered how JAMES GILLILAND came to Venango County, but the best information is taken from "The 100th Anniversary of Polk, PA (formerly Waterloo);" "History of Venango County-1890;" and "The History of Presbyterian Churches." The following is a combination of the information from the above sources:
In 1802, during the month of May, there came into this country a young man, 28 years old, and dressed in a suit of buckskin, the hunter's garb of the times. He was carrying a flintlock rifle on his shoulder and he had some continental congress currency in his pocket, the grand total amount of property he possessed in this world. The young man was from Westmoreland County and was named James Gilliland.
James settled on the banks of the North Sandy Creek in Frenchcreek Township, near Waterloo. He became the school teacher at the school located at the fork of the road across from the present Millcreek Cemetery at Utica. He also farmed his homestead.
About 1806, James married HANNAH McCRACKEN. Nothing is known about her or her ancestry. But in any case, they had two daughters before Hannah died - Hannah, b. June 1808, who married to a Mr Henderson; and ELIZA, b. cal810, who married JAMES HAYS. Hannah probably died during the childbirth of Eliza, a common event in those days.
In 1811, James married Margaret McClaran, a daughter of James McClaran, one of the early settlers in the vicinity of Waterloo. They had five children: James, Jane, Mary, Joseph and Alexander Cook, later to be a "General" during the Civil War.
Federal archives show that James served during the War of 1812 as a Quartermaster for the 4 companies of Lt. Col. Alexander Cobean's Battalion of Pennsylvania Volunteers.
In 1828, James, with neighbors David and Robert Temple, secured a small portion of land and erected Waterloo's first schoolhouse. That building was made of planks held together with doubled and wooden pins. It's size was 16 X 20 feet and only one story high. The roof was created of old-fashioned long split shingles, held in place by stays (no nails). The desks were made of rough plank, and fastened to the wall the whole way around the room, and held in place by long wooden pins driven into the walls. The seats were common benches without backs and must have been tiresome to sit on all day. Among the first scholars was Mary Gilliland.
James also purchased for $50, a lot in the village of Waterloo, described as beginning at the northeast corner of the school house lot and consisting of about one half acre. This lot was granted for the purpose of his building an oldschool Presbyterian meeting house where the town's religious meetings would be held. This purchase was recorded in Deed Book P, Page 452, on Feb 17,1858.
James did much of the manual work in the construction of the church. This church was completed and organized on Mar 5, 1857, with one elder, James Gilliland. The building was frame, 40 X 45 feet in size. When James died in 1860, he left the church and property to the Trustees of the church's Congregation and their successors.
James died in 1860, and the April 25, 1860 issue of the VENANGO SPECTATOR contained a brief obit:
"Died at his residence in Frenchcreek Twp. on April 20, Mr James Gilliland, in the 86th year of his age.Mr Gilliland was born in 1774 in Westchester, Chester County, Pa. He then emigrated to this county in 1802, and since 1809 had resided on the farm which was his late home."
Margaret survived her husband by 17 years. She died in 1877, aged 84 years. Both James and Margaret were buried in
the private family burial ground overlooking the land he had
cleared on the banks of North Sandy Creek.
The following in the will of James Gilliland, 1774 - 1860..
I James Gilliland of the county of Venango, and state of Pennsylvania, being old and infirm in body, but of sound mind and understanding, do here in make and constitute this my last will and testament in the following manner.
First I commend my soul to Cod who gave it and my body to the
Second that all my funeral expenses and all my just debts be paid.
Third at my death I bequeath to my wife Margaret one bed and bedding, one bureau, one side saddle, and the balance of the personal property on the premises to be sold and one third of the proceeds to be given to Hannah P., Henderson, one-third to Eliza Hays and the remaining third to be given to my wife Margaret. My wife Margaret is to have the use of the place I now live on while she lives or remains my widow.
Fourth I give and bequeath to my daughter Hannah Henderson five hundred dollars all of which she has been paid and for which I have her receipt accordingly,
Fifth I give and bequeath to my daughter Eliza Hays sixty acres of land on which she now lives to be for her and her heirs, also one hundred dollars.
Sixth I give and bequeath to my son Joseph one hundred and fifty acres of land more or less which he now lives on together with one hundred dollars, forty dollars of which is already paid for which I have his note.
Seventh I give and bequeath to my daughter Jane Billingsly all that certain piece of land on the north side of little Sandy commencing at the crooked lane then down the creek to the Sugar Creek corner then a northeast course until it strikes the north and south line of the old track supposed to contain thirty acres more or less for the use of her while she lives and her heirs, together with one hundred dollars.
Eighth I give and bequeath to my son A, Cook the sum of one hundred dollars.
Ninth I give and bequeath unto my daughter Mary Hughs one side saddle, one bed, and one cow already paid together with three hundred dollars to be paid out of the proceeds of the land which I now live on when it is sold which shall not take place until after her mothers death.
Tenth I give and bequeath to Sarah Gilliland, now Sarah Allen and former widow of my son James all the personal property of the late James Gilliland at the time of his death, also three hundred dollars to come out of the price of the land she now lives on which I have sold to Mr. Allen which is already paid.
Eleventh I give and bequeath unto the presbytery of Erie two hundred dollars for the purpose of paying for preaching in weak vacant congregations,
Twelfth I give and bequeath to the board of domestic missions of the Presbyterian Church the sum of one hundred dollars to be in the Treasury at Pittsburgh.
Thirteenth I give and bequeath to the Presbyterian Church of Waterloo the lot of land upon which the Presbyterian Church now stands containing one half acre more or less together with all the buildings, also one hundred dollars to pay for preaching in said congregation,
Fourteenth and the balance of the proceeds of my property when
sold and the foregoing business of this will settled shall be equally divided betweenthe board of domestic missions, the Presbytery of Erie for the afore mentioned and my lawful heirs.
Lastly I appoint Dr. J., C. Feather of Waterloo and John McCracken
of Mill Creek my executors of this my last will and Testimony.
This will is dated February 7, 1860 and was witnessed by Josephine Feather an] James M. Anderson,
Recorded in Venango County Will Book 3, page 240.
GILLILAND FAMILY RECORDS
MARRIAGES, BIRTH AND DEATH DATES
The parents of the Gilliland's that lived in Chester County, Pennsylvania are not known, but lived in and had their children in County Down, Northern Ireland (Ulster). The Gilliland children, most of whom came to America, were: (not in order of birth)
John E., b. ca l706; d. 1789, York Cty, Pa.
m. Jane . Served during Rev. War.
7. JAMES A., b. 18 Oct 1715; d. 18 Oct 1795, Chester
Cty, Pa. m. Margaret Francis Burr.
b. 1 Apr 1724; m. 1747, Robt Lyle.
Stayed in Ireland.
JAMES ADAM GILLILAND - MARGARET FRANCIS BURR:
James Adam Gilliland, b. 18 Oct 1715, Londonderry, Ireland; d. 18 Oct 1795, Chester Cty, Pa. Married 4 Jul 1736, at West Chester, Chester Cty, Pa., Margaret Francis Burr. James provided Patriotic Service during the Revolutionary War. Known Gilliland children:
2. Alexander, b. ca 1736; d. 1831. PVT during the Revolutionary War. b. 18 Nov 1737; d. in North Carolina. m. 18 Nov 1767, Francis E. Baird.
3. Thomas, b. ca 1738. Probably lived in
Washington County, Pa.
4. JAMES:, b. 1739; d. 10 May 1795. m. Hannah
Adams in Chester County, Pa.
JAMES GILLILAND - HANNAH ADAMS:
James, son of James Adam and Margaret Francis (Burr) Gilliland, was b. 1739, in Chester County, Pa.; d. 10 May 1795 in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. m. Hannah Adams, dtr of Joseph and Ann Adams of Chester County, Pa. James was a 2nd Lt. during the Revolutionary War. Only known Gilliland child:
1. JAMES JR., b. 1774, Chester County, Pa.; d. 20
Apr 1860, Venango County, Pa. m. w/1
Hannah McCracken; w/2 Margaret
JAMES GILLILAND-(1) HANNAH McCRACKEN:;(2) MARGARET McCLARAN: James Gilliland, son of James and Hannah (Adams) Gilliland of Chester and Westmoreland Counties was b. 1774, Chester Cty; d. 20 Apr 1860, Venango Cty, Pa. m. (1) cal806, Hannah McCracken (parentage unknown); m. (2) Margaret McClaran. Lived in Frenchcreek Twp., Venango Cty. Served during the War of 1812. Gilliland children:
b. June 1808; m. _ Henderson. b. ca 1810, Venango Cty, Pa.; d. 23 Nov 1878, Venango Cty. m. ca 1839, JAMES HAYS, Frenchcreek Twp., Venango Cty., Pa.
MARGARET McCLARAN :
3. James, b. 1812. Preceded his father in death.
6. Joseph P.,
7. Alexander C.
b. ca 1814; m. Billingsley.
b. ca 1816; m. Hughes.
b. 4 Dec 1818; d. 23 Jul 1891.
m. Elizabeth Brunell.
b. 11 Apr 1824; d. 21 Apr 1900.
m. Eleanor Hughes. Was a General
during the Civil War.
Notes on the Gilliland Family
See book, The Loving Irish: The Gillilands by Marture Hutcheson Greenwood, Holy
Oaks Farm, Bluff Dale, TX, 1970. Published by The Gilliland Family of Texas
Association. Printed by the Stephenville Printing Co., Stephenville, TX 76401.
See materials compiled by H. N. (Nick) Weedman, 1988.
The following is from Weedman's paper, which he got from the Greenwood book:
One John Gilliland, his wife and family are said to have come to
Philadelphia, PA in the 1730s. One daughter, Catherine, jumped ashore
as the ship left Ireland, to marry her Catholic sweetheart. It is reported
that three of the older brothers came first and the rest followed. They
were: Thomas, Hugh, Adam, Andrew, Robert, John, James, Jane, Mary,
and Sarah. Descendants of this John say that all Gillilands in this country
are in some way descended from John Gilliland who came to PA in the
1730s. Almost every Gilliland family has a tradition regarding the
beginnings of the family back through Northern Ireland. Descendants of
one John, who was born in Antrim County, Ireland, 1706, d. Chester Co.,
PA 1780, and his wife Hester Romar, state that they were descended from
three Gilliland brothers who came from Ireland in 1740 and that they
were descendants of a "Willy" Gilliland. Possibley this John (1706-1780)
was a son of the John who came to Philadelphia in the 1730s. Record was
also found of a James Gilliland, who was also a possible son of the early
John. This James came in the 1730s to Flaggs Manor, Chester Co., PA and
married ca 1735, a girl named Margaret. Early land records in PA give
the following data on this Gilliland family: (1) Hugh, a warrantee for 400
acres of land March 1, 1734, Lancaster County; (2) John had a grant of 250
acres, February 15, 1737, Dauphin County, Hanover Township; (3) Robert,
a warrantee for 50 acres in Dauphin County, in 1751.
In another document (I can't find the source), an "Historical and Biographical Sketch of
the Galligan, Gallin, Gillilian, Gillan, Gillen, Gilligan, Gilliland, Gillin, Gilland Family"
says the following:
The distinguished name and its many variants, according to one
authority, is said to come from the Gaelic "Giolla" meaning a servant or
youth, and that the name is found in Westmeath, Thomond, Galway,
Roscommon, and Sligo.
The same source lists the following Gillilands:
1. James E. and Susannah Gilliland. He was born in Lancaster, PA in 1750 and
moved to Rockingham County, VA. Their children were Jessie, Benjamin,
William (born 1771), Samuel (1775), Henry (1777), Nancy, Susannah, James
Jr. (1783), Sheppard (1786, Sarah (1790), Elizabeth and Tolly. James died in
1810 and Susannah in 1842 in Tennesee.
2. Alexander Gilliland had children: James, John, Robert, William, Thomas. They
were from Tyron County, NC. (nw Lincoln County)
3. John Gilliland lived at Pigeon Creek and was a friend of John Sevier. His
granson, Silas Jasper Gilliland moved to Missouri.
4. Abel Gilliland of East Tennessee was the brother of James who was a leader
in Zion Church. In 1821 Abel moved to Alabama and located on Wolf Creek,
St. Clair County. He had sons Patric and Wesley.
5. A James Gilliland recorded his will in 1800 in Davidson County, Tennessee,
mentioning his wife Nancy and children Robert, Daniel, James, and Sarah.
6. A William Gilliland was a merchant in New York City before founding
several settlements on the western banks of Lake Champlain, NY. He kept a
diary-"The Journal of William Gilliland 1765-1793." His wife was
Elizabeth. He later served in the American Army in the Revolution and was
distinguished for his service at Yorktown. Among his children were William
(who had sons named William and Henry), Elizabeth (Mrs. Daniel Ross),
Charlotte (Mrs. Stephen Cuyler), Jane (Mrs. John Bleecker).
7. James Gilliland, brother of William, is buried in St. Paul's Churchyard, New
York City, dying in 1777. He was born in Caddy, County Armagh, Ireland.
He was a teacher.
8. James Gilliland of Londonderry, Ireland, came to America in 1730 and settled
in Flaggs Manor, Chester County, PA. His son James served in the
Revolutionary War and married Hannah Adams in 1739; they had a son,
9. In what is now West Virginia (then Virginia), a James Gillilan received a
grant of 205 acres in Greenbrier County. In 1799, William Gillilan received a
patent for 405 acres also in Greenbrier County.
10. The baptismal records of the First Presbyterian Church of New York City
shows the baptisms of Elizabeth Ann Gilliland, daugher of Thomas Carroll
Gilliland, October 7, 1766, and also the baptism of John Gilliland, son of John
Gilliland, September 26, 1784.
11. Marriage records of Trinity Church, NYC, show the marriage of John
Gilliland to Susanna Harrison, January 3, 1792.
12. Robert Gilliland, farmer and lumber business owner in St. Joseph, IN was
born in Ontario County, NY in 1822, the son of T