Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Part #3: Daniel Gilliam Found in the Paper Trail: Wanted Dead or Alive

I am so glad that you decided to see what is going on with Part #3 of Daniel Gilliam, My 2nd Great Grandfather. 

…Now that we have looked at the Petition of Hannah Gilliam upon her deceased husband Daniel’s estate (which can be seen at this link) http://www.thecullyfamily.com/2012/06/part-2-daniel-gilliam-found-in-paper.html

Let’s look at the second page that is in the file.

Hannah Gilliam
The Court

Jas Osgood J. P.
*Ian E. Augeth 
W.P. Moore
W.G. Singleton


* I Was not able to make out name.  If you can, please let me know what you think.

This page states Hannah as the Petitioner also listing the Justice of Peace along with the three freeholders who are unconnected to Hannah.  I would have just bypassed this page, but there was a red flag!  A Clue!  The name W.G. Singleton gave me goosebumps.

W.G. Singleton was supposed to be a freeholder unconnected with Hannah.  I began to wonder if he really was unconnected.  Hannah's slave surname was Singleton.  One of her sons name was Leander Singleton Gilliam.  Leander had three boys and no girls and all the boys carried Singleton as their middle name, and their boys carry the Singleton as their middle name today.  On Leander's marriage certificate dated 5 March 1891, his father is listed as William G. Singleton. [what does the "G" stand for in William's name?] 

I had always assumed that Daniel Gilliam was Leander's father as he was listed as the father of Hannah's younger children.  After further investigation, it would be impossible for Daniel to be the father of Hannah's other children because they were born a few years after Daniel died. [More to come on another post "Who is the father of Hannah's Children?]

In the 1870 Census in Craven County, North Carolina, Leander is listed as being born in 1860, 10 years old and mulatto.    Leander is not living in the same household as Hannah, but living with Hannah's sister Jane B. Collins.  All of Hannah's children at one time or another lived with Jane according to censuses from 1870-1880.

According to family reports, Hannah had her children by the Plantation owner. [More research must be done, to confirm that he even owned a Plantation or land.]

What is clear to me, is that Daniel Gilliam was a slave, and Hannah was married to him, but her children were not from Daniel.  She had to be hiding her relationship that she had with the plantation owner.  It is possible that Hannah was also fathered by one of the Singleton's as she was very fair complected and could pass as white, just like her son Leander.

There is a gentleman by the name of William Henry Singleton who wrote a Slave Narrative, "Recollections of My Slave Days."  In this narrative, William H. Singleton states that his father is John Nelson.  That surname gave me chills as Hannah also carried the Nelson surname as one of her slave-names.  When I was reading the slave narrative, I could tell that William H. Singleton was related to Hannah. 

It is possible that William H. Singleton is Hannah's brother as they are only a few years apart, born in the same place, and had the same surnames.  

The book reviewers stated that William G. Singleton was William H's father and it would be impossible for John Nelson to have been Williams father.    If William's recollections is fully correct a Ms. Nelson married a William G. Singleton and that is how they carried the Singleton name.

I tend to believe William Henry's Recollections because every thing, and I mean everything else was documented as true by the reviewers, but since they were not able to find that piece of evidence of who William H's father was, they stated that it was not probable.  But according to what I have seen in various documents, and analyzing what I have found, I believe that there is a correlation.  I hope to one day prove this theory and to rewrite the documentary of the book.

My cousin's husband sent me a message of what his thought process was regarding the Nelson/Singleton connection. 


    I have started to search for more info regarding William G Singleton and came across a review of William Henry Singleton’s book, ”Recollection of My Slavery Days”.  In it, the reviewers claim that William Henry Singleton’s father was William G Singleton and not John Nelson, as he initially claimed. The book review can be found at the following site: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2838/is_4_35/ai_82554816/ . If the reviewers are correct, then is this the same William G Singleton that appeared at Hannah’s probate hearing and if he is the same person, why was he there?
    I then noticed that Hannah and William Henry Singleton were born within one year of each other. Perhaps they both were children of William G Singleton and he was at the probate to protect the interests of Hannah, his daughter. This seems to be a possible answer, but begs some additional questions, like: If William G Singleton is not Leander’s father, who is? and If Hannah took the surname “Singleton”, why would her sister Joan have the surname “Nelson”
    I’m continuing to search for answers, but I wanted you to see my current thoughts. If you have any additional ideas or info about these relationships, please let me know, since they’re all conjecture on my part

So, now you see where I am going with this and my cousin is on the same trail....I will transcribe the rest of the document and discuss who the father of Hannah's children are.

Until Next time....