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July 15, 2019 / Joanne Yeck

Virginia Mills and the Gilliam Family of Buckingham County

Virginia  Mills Ruins. Photo by Joanne Yeck.

Click here for the original post: “For Sale: Virginia Mills, Buckingham County”


Following the June 6, 2019 post containing an advertisement about the sale of Virginia Mills by Archibald Taylor, Slate River Ramblings reader Greg Gilliam contacted me, sharing a transcription of Taylor’s will.  The son of Judith Gilliam and Joseph Taylor, Archibald Taylor’s will was signed January 21, 1819.  A copy survived in Henrico County records and in the Cumberland County Chancery Suit Samuel Spencer vs Exor of Joseph Taylor. It reads as follows:


Will of Archibald Taylor

21 Jan 1819

 I Archibald Taylor of Buckingham County, State of Virginia, do make and ordain this to be my last Will and Testament, that is to say, I give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Letticia H. Taylor all my property both real and personal. The real property at present being the tract of land on Slate River in Buckingham County containing by estimation 99 acres it being the same more or less on which the Virginia Mills are situated and one other tract of land in said county containing by estimation 112 acres which I purchased of Doctor John Adams with all and singular the appurtences thereunto belonging to her and her heirs forever together with all my personal property comprising all my slaves and other personal property, and all my goods and chattles, debts and money and all and every other kind or species of property whatever of which I may die possessed, to her and her heirs forever, she paying all just debts which I may owe at my death.

And I do hereby appoint and leave my beloved wife, Letticia H. Taylor my only and sole Executrix of this my last will.

 Given under my hand and seal this twenty-first day of January 1819.

 Sig: Archd Taylor

 At a monthly court held for Henrico County at the courthouse Monday, 7 January 1833, this writing purporting to be the last Will and Testament of Archibald Taylor deceased was presented in court for proof and there being no subscribing witness to the same Robert Gwathmey and William Nekervis were sworn and severally testified that they found (he said writing in a trunk belonging to the Testator, that they were well acquainted with the handwriting of the Testator and verily believe the said writing and the names thereto subscribed to be wholly in the handwriting of the said Archibald Taylor, dec’d . . .

A certificate de bonis non was granted Randolph Harrison. Jr., with John C. Page his security, for obtaining letter of Administration on the estate of Archibald Taylor.

At a Quarterly Court for Henrico Co., 2 March 1847, on the motion of Wm. M. Harrison who took the oath of Executor, together with Edward C. Harrison, his security, a certificate was granted him for obtaining letters of administration de bonis non on the estate of Archibald Taylor, deceased.

Henrico County, VA Will Book 8 (1831-1834), page 236.

Below are the beautifully preserved pages of Archibald Taylor’s will:


You can find much more about the Gilliam family (and many other Buckingham County connections) at Greg Gilliam’s website: Giliams of Virginia



Leave a Comment
  1. Joanne Yeck / Sep 25 2020 5:09 pm

    Thanks, again.

  2. Madeleine D. Eckert / Sep 25 2020 2:04 pm

    Note that William Mortimer Harrison 1817-1865 was born at Bear Garden.

    Goochland County Historical Society Magazine, Vol. 8, No. 1, Spring 1976.
    Pages 43-54:
    DOVER by Elie Weeks
    18 Thomas Randolph Harrison of Dover, Goochland County, was born at Clifton on 27 Feb. 1791 and died at Dover on 2 Nov. 1833. He married on 2 Dec. 1812 Elizabeth M. Cunningham of Cartersville and had issue: John Cunningham, born at Clifton in 1812; Mary Burleigh, born at Elk Hill in 1815; William Mortimer Harrison, born at Bear Garden in 1817; Elizabeth, born at Dover in 1819; Jane Cary, born at Dover in 1821; Edward, born at Dover in 1824; Burleigh Cunningham, born at Dover in1827; Archie Taylor, born at Dover in 1829; and Randolph W., born at Dover in 1831.

  3. Madeleine D Eckert / Sep 24 2020 8:02 am

    Sons of Thomas Randolph Harrison 1791-1833 and Eliza(beth) Maria Cunningham 1796-1869.
    (Thomas Randolph Harrison was the son of Randolph Harrison 1769-1839 and Mary Randolph 1773-1835. Eliza(beth) Maria Cunningham was the daughter of John Cunningham d 1812 and Mary Burleigh d 1799)

    William M. Harrison is William Mortimer Harrison 1817-1865.

    Edward C. Harrison is Edward Cunningham Harrison 1823-1852

    Letitia H. Taylor was Letitia H. Cunningham Taylor, daughter of John Cunningham and Mary Burleigh and sister of Eliza(beth) Mary Cunningham Harrison.

    • Joanne Yeck / Sep 24 2020 1:26 pm

      Many thanks for the additional information!


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