Mariner Gill

John Gill, Mariner, born c<1636? died c1696 married Mary Tull born c<1636 died >1700

This may be the same John Gill, Mariner, who appears in early Virginia records (see modern Tull oral traditions). If so, this man may have been a son of old Stephen Gill, or at least very close kin. Old Stephen Gill was an illiterate "Chirurgion" as was Richard Gill below. We may actually be kin to this Mariner Gill line back in the early 1600s.

Leonardo Andrea, the professional genealogist, information given him by other Gill descendants, supposed that James Gill of Richland County was descended from this man. It is documented that this was not so. Rather it is documented in the South Carolina Colonial records that James Gill of Richland County, South Carolina, came to South Carolina from Virginia. Mr. Andrea was incorrect in assigning our family to this one. However, there was a John Gill, who may have been this one, or equally another, in the very early Virginia colonial records.

(From the Andrea compilation of mariner Gill records) Mrs. Mary T. Gill, widow of the late John Gill, 11 March 1700 Grants a Power of Attorney for her South Carolina lands and the estate of her late husband to William Fullwood, Mariner, to collect money and to sign receipts for same for me while I am absent from this Province and on a trip to Jamaica to see about the Estate of my late father (see below, John Earle Tull). Witnesses Matthew Pratt & Gunning Bedford.

(Record quoted by Andrea) John Earle Tull Estate 27 January 1699 of Kingston in Jamaica Island. John E. Tull died in Kingston and possessed of an estate in South Carolina. This estate was administered by William Capers in South Carolina and the S.C. Appraisers named were: Henry Gill, Samuel Williamson, Ephraim Wingood, Humphrey Prewatt, & Joshua Wilkes. Inventory of personal estate on file, but no more, and no heirs. He is likely to be the father of Mary T. Gill referred to above?

While working for other Tull descendants, Andrea obtained the following record from them. Thomas Tull and Richard Tull came from England to Virginia and settled in Northumberland in 1664. Both removed to Maryland. Thomas Tull married a Mishall. John Earl Tull of Maryland with his son in law, John Gill, were traders in the West Indies and Charleston. John Gill died be(fore?) his father in law, Edward and William Tull set sail in 1698 or 1699 to Charleston to get Mrs. Mary Tull Gill and sail from there to the West Indies. Edward and William Tull never reached Charleston and presumption is that their boat was captured by pirates.

This John Gill may be one of the earliest immigrant Gills, but is definitely not traceable to Richland/Barnwell Gills.

"Mrs. Mary T. Gill of the 1700 power of attorney record, appointed "a mariner" to oversee her SC interests while she was in Jamaica about her deceased fathers estate.

The Tull records, which had been passed down for many generations completely independent of Gills, indicate that Mary Tull married John Gill, and that this John Gill was employed in some type of commerce which carried him to South Carolina, Jamaica, and also implied England. The Charleston records do state Mary T. Gill.

In the Gill records sent to Andrea by either Mr. Cupit or Mrs. Lucie Gill Price before 1947, Mr. Andrea states: "In the Gill data, these Gills are said to have come up from Charleston area and to have descended from a Gill who was a mariner from the Island of Barbados and with him a son, William Gill, who named a sister, Frances Gill in London. These Gills took up lands up the River from Charleston." Paul Gill and I (FOC) have documented this assertion to be incorrect. The Tull connection seems established to Kingston, Jamaica. The John Gill bc<1683 d1720 who lived in Barbados did not leave any male children in South Carolina. The William and Frances Gill mentioned are his children, not those of the John Gill married to Mary Tull. The will from which these names were obtained, is that of his son, William, who apparently left no children and named only his sister Frances Gill of London. I have not yet located a will or probate record or even a deed of old John Gill c<1636 - c1696 who married Mary Tull. I have yet to search English, and Jamaican records for his probate record.

Henry Gill (born<1668, died c1724) was one of the appraisers of John Earle Tull's estate, and is likely to have been related to him. James Gill (<1686 - d1724) of the Charleston area might be related, perhaps another son, as Oliver Spencer and Richard Rowser, witnesses to will of Jane Gill, widow of Henry, were also involved in the estate of James Gill. Oliver Spencer administered James Gill's estate, and Richard Rowser was one of the appraisers. This establishes (admittedly somewhat weakly) two sons of Old John Gill. John Gill c<1683-1720 of Barbados is also associated by virtue of the fact that the 1706 British Public Records Office record mentions that his plantation was about 1/2 mile distant from "Rowzers" (presumably Richard Rowser or his kin).

Possible Children of John & Mary T. Gill (no legal document connecting any of these)

1. Richard Gill, born c1658, first known Gill settler of SC, page 145 of Book 1672-82 of the Proceedings of the Lords Proprietors: 2 Nov. 1678, permission is given to Mr. Richard Gill to lay off for himself 100 acres of unclaimed lands at any place he may like in the hinterlands of Charles Town, and to have full hawking, fowling, hunting, fishing, and timber rights on said lands, but not to have royal mining privilege on said lands. (Andrea accidentally found this in an unindexed book while looking for something else). This is a pretty early reference, as my earliest date for "Charles Towne" is only 1664. In order to be 21 in 1678, Richard would have to have been born before c1657. This appears to be the first Gill record in South Carolina. No further South Carolina records are known for this Richard. {Barbados Records Vol. II, p192, probate record} John Johns departed 29 Sept. 1682. Richard Gill, chyrurgian aged 24: "as chyrurgian of the ship Barkshire in which ship one John Johns was a mariner and in Apr. 1682 the said Johns being very sick asked deponent to call Samuel Risborough to whom Johns gave all his wages." Proved 29 Sept. 1682. Note that this Richard Gill was born c1658, and this is too much to be coincidence! Richard probably obtained a grant of free land in "Carolina", but his heart was really at sea! Perhaps he settled somewhere other than South Carolina, this is the only Barbados record of him that I located, or perhaps he died at sea. The term "chyrurgian" is an archaic term for surgeon, and means therefore, that Richard Gill was the ships physician. A "chirurgeon" at this time was an uneducated person willing to amputate diseased limbs, not necessarily a well educated medical doctor. Capt. Stephen Gill of York Co., VA was also a "chirurgeon" (Va. Will Records p456, also Fleet's Colonial Abstracts v24, p27), and I place my bets that these VA and SC Gills were related (in England or Scotland)! Note that the name Richard Gill shows up again in the 1790 census in Lancaster Co., and in 1800 in Barnwell Co. (I believe these two are the same person). I emphasize that all Charleston records may not be in the SCDAH in Columbia. Certainly many are not indexed. There are no references to a Richard Gill in the SCDAH "Combined Alphabetical Index" (in 1993, but it does not even show the 1678 record above!).

2. Henry Gill, born before 1668, died c1724, married Jane Rowser. Henry Gill was one appraiser of the John Earl Tull, SC estate in 1699. The fact that Henry Gill served as an appraiser of JE Tull's estate may make him a relative. Henry married Jane Rowser {Mrs. Sarah Rowser will sg. 1 May 1721/2 pr. 22 Feb. 1722/3 in Charleston mentions "my daughter Jane Gill", and "my grandson Henry Gill".}{NOTE, Mr. Andrea details her will incorrrectly, this is what the original states - FOC}. The Register of Christ Church Parish states: Henry Gill son of Henry Gill was born 27 Jan. 1720 to Henry and Jane his wife, and baptized 16 April 1720. (Book of Misc., SCDAH 1724-25 p392) 22 June 1724 deed of gift from Jane Gill to her son Henry Gill of Berkeley Co. when he is 21: 2 negro children, David & Hannah, one gold ring, one small Bible, one heifer, provided Henry Gill, when 21, do pay unto my beloved friend, Henry Cornish, the sum of money laid out by said Cornish discharging what debts were contracted by Henry Gill, Sr., father of (unintelligible) only the first child that lives to the age of 1 year that shall be born to the aforesaid negro, Hannah, I freely give to my beloved friend, Henry Cornish, without any condition whatsoever. (s) Jane herXmark Gill. Witness Oliver Spencer, Richard R. hisXmark Rowser {Richard Rowser was a former servant of Mr. John Manerick in 1671 in Charles Towne, and Rowser was given 10 acres of land in 1671, having worked off his indenture - Rivers, "A Sketch of the History of So. Car.", 1856, p372}.

On 29 June 1724, Jane Gill (Holcomb incorrectly spells her name Jean) married her "beloved friend", Henry Cornish, Christ Church Parish Register (Holcomb's SC Marriages). The next line of the Church Parish Register lists: "Elizabeth Cornish borne (sic) 28 Dec. 1724, baptized 28 March. Although it does not state who Elizabeth's parents were, it seems reasonably clear that this is a record of Jane Gill's "hanky panky" with her "beloved friend" Henry Cornish, whom she married apparently immediately after her husbands death, and Elizabeth was born a scant 6 months later (and don't give me a line of BS about premature!). I wonder what Henry died of? These records are all too clear! A letter of guardianship of Henry was granted to Jane Cornish on 8 Nov. 1730. 8 March 1730, Henry Gill, a minor and now aged 14 prays that his mother, Mrs. Jane Cornish, be named his legal guardian. (Thus Hy. Gill, Jr. should have been born c1716 although the church register states 1720!, he was only 10. Perhaps the church record is one of Baptism, and at a later date). The name Henry Gill appears much later in both Richland County (Columbia area) and Barnwell County (Allendale area).  Two documented Children of Henry Gill (Elizabeth is not his):

  1. Henry Gill, Jr. born 27 Jan. 1720, baptized 16 April 1720. Still alive in 1730, nfi.
  2. Elizabeth Cornish born 28 Dec. 1728, half sister. (end Hy. Gill).

3. Captain John Gill, born c<1679, died "suddenly" between 28 Feb. and 10 Aug. 1720 (dates of will and probate in Barbados), mariner. Apparently resided in Bridge Town, Barbados at the time of his death (according to will of his son, William). Possibly same man: 11 Sept. 1700 Capt. John Gill married Mrs. Mary Wheeler, St. Michael's Parish, Barbados (Barbados Marriages, p98; p589, RL1/1); by my birth year, John would have been 21 or older. Since John's will was in St. Michael's Parish, this is probably him. This 1700 record implies that he was at least 21 in 1700, so he was born c<1679. Memorial for a land grant of 500 acres on south west side of Medway (Meadway in original) River in Berkeley County, and bounded on NE by the Medway River, on SE by lands of Landgrave Smith; on SW by John (Job) Howas, Esqr. (Howe or Howes) {Howes' land adjoined Yeoman's Ck., also called Goose Ck.; Howes' neighbors: Lewis Pasquenan?, John Emperor, Dr. Nathaniel, & John Gill}, on NW by Math Snowes; and is due 5 shillings rent on every first day of December. Return made by John Gill 8 Feb. 1704). (from odd volume on early land returns, Columbia SCDAH -Andrea).

According to his will in Barbados, this land was "in the possession of George Legon, Esq." in 1720 at the time of his death. The fact that John left it to his son, William, and was listed as "mariner" implies that John was an absentee landlord in South Carolina. John Gill mentioned on land plat of Robert Howe, Goose Creek, Berkeley Co. 16 Dec. 1706. Likely a reference to John: "Gill's Plantation", 1/2 mile distant from Rowzer's (likely Richard Rowser, see below), near "the Neck" dated 30 Aug. 1706, p179 of Records of British Public Rec. Office relating to SC 1701-10 [note name "Rowzer", which also occurs in records of Henry and James Gill]. (Barbados Records, Vol. III, Wills: "John Gill suddenly intended to depart this island, mariner. St. Michael's Parish, 28 Feb. 1720 (book states 1719/20), RB6/6, p107. My son, William Gill, at 21, plantation in Province of South Carolina in Berkeley County butting land now or late of Thomas Smith, Job Howes, and Nathaniel Snow, and on Midway and Cooper Rivers now in possession of George Legon, Esq., estates in Barbados and Great Britain; daus. Frances Gill, Anne Bellwain Gill, Mary Gill, and Jane Gill all at 16; my friend Henry Alleyne of St. Michaels Parish. Xtr. signed John Gill. wit. Mary Luisllbo, John Hempton, John Kempson. Proved 10 Aug. 1720." These records clearly associate this John Gill with South Carolina, Barbados, and England. Barbados is the easternmost island of the "West Indies", a small island of 166 square miles area. Children of John Gill (from his will):

  1. William Gill b. <1699 died between 12 Feb. 1740 and 10 Aug. 1743; at various times in Barbados, South Carolina, and England, a son and heir of Capt. John Gill, mariner. Will of William Gill sg. 12 Feb. 1739 and pr. 10 Aug. 1743 and recorded at Somerset House, London, England: "William Gill (son and heir) of Captain John Gill, Mariner, late of Bridge Town, Barbados, deceased, but now of London, Gentleman. Will 12 Feb. 17(39-)40, proved 10 Aug. 1743. To my sister Frances Gill, now in London, lands which my father, John Gill, bought of Nathaniel Snow, Doctor, situated upon the River near Charles Town, SC, also all goods due from my father's will in Barbados, Carolina, or elsewhere. Executrix, Sister Frances. Witnesses: John Eaglesfield, Ann Eaglesfield, Catherine Payne. Boycott 262." {FOC: "Boycott" apparently means name of clerk?}.
  2. Frances Gill b. <1704 alive in 1740 (will of brother Wm.) and apparently unmarried in 1740.
  3. Anne Belwain Gill b. <1704
  4. Mary Gill b. <1704
  5. Jane Gill b. <1704

4. James Gill, wife, if any, unknown, not mentioned in 1724 inventory. Estate administered 4 May 1724 returned 21 July by Oliver Spencer and the bond of Spencer signed by John White & Joseph Law; appraisers named were John White, Phillip Jones, Joseph Law, Richard Rowser, & John Evans. No list of heirs in WPA copy, but perhaps there is in original in Charleston. Notice the presence of Richard Rowser again. Richard Rowser was a servant of Mr. John Manerick in 1671, and was given 10 acres in this year (Rivers p372). This man was clearly a farmer, and the presence of two beds indicates that he did not live alone.

Inventory of estate of James Gill: negro woman 140 £
1 negro boy 40 £ 2 feather beds 2 bolsters 3 pillows 27 £
2 rugs 2 blankets 6 £ 30 weight of old iron 15 S
2 Hoes 1 frowe 1 pr. tongs one ace 2 £ 5 S 1 parcel pewter 5 £ 10 S
1 hanger & spit 2 £ parcel of leather & hides 2 £ 10 S
curing knife & hanger 2 £ 10 S parcel of wearing cloths 13 £ 10 S
2 Indian trading pieces 3 £ pair of Stilliards 1 Lb. 4 stone juggs 1 £ 5 S
parcel of pails & tubbs 1 £ 12 S 6 de parcel of shoe maker's tools 1 £ 17 S 6 de
pair of scales & weights 1 £ parcel of household goods 18 £ 3 S 9 de
8 hogs 10 Lb, 4 head cattle 10 £ pair shoebuckles 2 £, 15 S
cash received 7 £ 2 S 6 de ----------------------------
total 311 £ 10 S 3 de.

Thomas Boone, Esqr. Justice of Peace for Berkeley Co. Bundle FF No. 29.

         Possible Children of James Gill. Absolutely no documentation!

  1.  John Gill died 1738, mentioned in memorial for land of Robert Hume on Goose Creek 8 Feb. and 9 May 1733. Gill entry in the Parish Register of St. Phillips Episcopal Church in Charleston: John Gill, mariner, buried 23 Dec. 1738. {could also be child of Richard, #1, but unlikely; could also be new immigrant} Notice that Goose Creek is the location of the land of John Gill <1679-1720 who resided in Barbados, which strengthens my association of these Gills. "Goose Creek", or Yeoman's Creek is about 26 km due north of Charleston (as the crow flies!), and enters the Cooper River from the northwest. The mouth of the Creek is about 15 km north of Charleston.
  2.  Joseph Gill, born before 1689, God child mentioned in SC will of one Phillip Lee, 10 Feb. 1689. No further SC records.

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Copyright ©1997, Dr. Frank Oliver Clark. These documents may be freely used for private purposes, and included in your own genealogy. However, this document is copyrighted and may not be sold, nor given to anyone who may attempt to derive profit from same.