John Francis Gilliam was born on July 16, 1863 in Maury County, Tennessee. He is the son of Stephen M. (1828-1902) and Nancy Niles Campbell Gilliam (1829-), both of Maury County, Tennessee. He was the youngest of the five (5) children of Stephen and Nancy Gilliam. John’s older siblings included Amanda J. (born January 9, 1847), James Riley (born October 13, 1848, Sarah C. (born September 10, 1854) and Delaware (born August 18, 1861).
John is my great-great grandfather. My mom, Dalsie Mills Norman, fondly referred to John as “Pa John”. She said that she remembered him, although he died when she was four (4) years old. She said that he was a very kind and loving man.
John appears in the 1880 US Census for Maury County, Tennessee, District 3. He is listed with his parents. No other children are reported as living in their home at the time. They are reported as 52 years old and he is 17 years old. Both Stephen (dad) and John are listed as a farmer and Nancy (mom) as keeping house. Stephen reported that he was born in Tennessee; while his parents (John’s grandparents) were both born in Virginia.
On December 23, 1883, John married Mildred Gertrude Neathery (daughter of William and Mary C Braden Neathery) in Maury County, Tennessee. Mildred (also called Maggie or Meg) was born on June 4, 1867 and died in 1901 (probably in Marshall County, Tennessee). Mildred is buried in Lewisburg, Marshall County, Tennessee at the Bethlehem Cemetery. John and Maggie had four children: Eunice Ada (born October 8, 1884) and brother Willis G (born June 24, 1887), Lunie Mae (born August 23, 1890) and William Leslie (born February 18, 1894). (Click here for marriage record)
John married Rachel Catherine Lovett on October 23, 1904. They did not have children together. Rachel Catherine was the daughter of Thomas Davis Lovett and Mary Palestine Derryberry. She died in 1928 (probably in Marshall County, Tennessee) and is buried at the Bethlehem Cemetery, Lewisburg, Tennessee. (Click here for marriage record)
John and Rachel C., along with Lunie M. and William L. are listed in the 1910 US Census, District 4, Maury County, Tennessee. John is reported as 47 years old and a general farmer. The Census states that he is renting the property that he is farming. Catherine is reported as 47 years old, Lunie as 20 years old and WIlliam as 16 years old.
John and Catherine are listed in the 1920 US Census, District 4, Maury County, Tennessee. John and Catherine are both listed as 56 years old. John is listed as owning his own home/farm without a mortgage. His occupation in listed as a general farmer. Listed in the 1920 US Census, living in household with John and Catherine is Willis (son to John and Mildred). He is reported as 33 years old and widowed. His children, Gertrude (daughter, age 10) and Neuion (son, age 5), are living in the house also. Willis’ occupation is listed as a teamster at the sawmill.
John is listed alone and “widowed” in the 1930 US Census, District 4, Maury County Tennessee. He is reported to be 66 years old and a general farmer that owns his own home/farm.
John died on December 9, 1936 , in District 4, Maury County, Tennessee, of labor pneumonia, according to his death certificate. Information for the death certificate was provided by Mrs. M.E. Mills (Lunie Gilliam Mills). The certificate also reports that John is buried in the Bethlehem Cemetery, Lewisburg, Marshall County, Tennessee, on December 10, 1936.