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Dillard, George
Dillard, Edward (Dilliard), Sr.
Dillard, John "The Elder", Sr.
(Abt 1720-Abt 1794)


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[Mnu], Sophia

Dillard, John "The Elder", Sr. 610

  • Born: Abt 1720, King And Queen County, Virginia, USA 490
  • Marriage: [Mnu], Sophia
  • Died: Abt 1794, Culpeper County, Virginia, USA about age 74 490

bullet  General Notes:


There is no conclusive proof that John Dillard is in fact, the father of
James Dillard. He is the most likely of the Dillard brothers to have
been Capt. James' father. Of the Dillard brothers, it could only have
been John of possibly George that fathered this James. There was another
James Dillard in Culpeper Co. at the same time who was probably a cousin
to our James.
John Dillard, the fourth Culpeper County, Virginia settler, said to be
"of King and Queen," bought his land in 1749 after Culpeper County was
formed from part of Orange County in 1748 and after a lawsuit determined
that Lord Fairfax owned Culpeper County. Lord Fairfax owned all of the
Northern Neck, millions of acres between the Rappahannock River and the
Potomac River. This had been given to several who had supported Charles
II after Charles I was executed. John thus was the first of the four to
buy his land from Lord Fairfax. His land purchases included 300 acres 23
June 1749 on the north side of the Hazel River in the Gourd Vine Fork and
166 acres 4 November 1749 in the Gourd Vine Fork adjoining the first
tract and running near the foot of the Grindstone Mountain. On 20 and 21
April 1753 John sold John Gayle and Thomas Poole 50 acres of the 166-acre
John was generally thought to have died in Culpeper County, and no
will exists. On 17 March 1761 Sophia Dillard and John Dillard witnessed
a deed, "Aaron Oliver and Elizabeth his wife" to John Campbell; and
thirteen years later "John Dillard, and Sophia X Dillard" witnessed the
will of John Brown of Bromfield Parish. This implies that Sophia was
John's wife. When John died some time after 1774, what happened to his
remaining land after his death is still a mystery.
The following is taken from the Research Notes: THE DILLARDS OF CULPEPER
COUNTY, VIRGINIA written by the esteemed researcher, Dorothy
Dillard-Hughes of Lubbock, TX and presented to the Dillard Family
Association in Dillard, GA.
John Dillard, who probably was born in King and Queen County, possibly
about 1720, and died either in Culpeper County or in Bourbon County,
Kentucky, some time after 1794, was the fourth of the Culpeper County
Dillard settlers. No marriage record exists; but he may have married
Sophia about 1745 or after 21 April 1753, since there is no release of
dower in John's sale of 50 acres to John Gayle and Thomas Poole on 20
April 1753. This marriage is assumed, since the two witnessed a deed and
1761 and a will in 1774. Although George Dillard had a son John (born
about 1740) who appeared in Culpeper County records, John Dillard, Jr.'s
first record appearance was in 1760, when he was probably about twenty.
Between 1760 and the John Dillard's record kin 1774, records of a John
Dillard could belong to either of the two. However, since county court
clerks were careful to assign "Junior" in one of its abbreviations to a
younger man with the same given name when he came of age or became
taxable at 16, the John Dillard records before 1774 are assigned to this
man. At that time "Junior" did not mean a son with the same given name
as his father, but simply a younger man in the same area with the same
"Pages 161-162. The estate of John Bowmer, dec., to Philip Clayton,
admor (tobo) (L) 1745 . . . To paid Thomas and John Dillard
0.11.9 . . . By cash of Edward Dillard 0.3.1 1." This is the first
record of John Dillard in Culpeper County. (Dorman, Culpeper W.B. A
1749-1770, p. 39).
Dillard, John 23 June 1749 / Culpeper C ounty 300 a on the North side
of the Hazel River in the Gourd Vine Fork. Northern Neck Grants
G, 1747-51, p. 213. (VSLAD, now LVA, NN Grants, card file indexs.)
On 27 June 1996 Lucile R. Johnson sent an abstract showing that John
Dillard was in the same neighborhood as the Olivers, who made the 1761
Deed witnessed by Sophia and John Dillard

From dillardhistory3.html:
John Dillard was likely born around 1720 in or near King and Queen County VA. Many Dillards named John can be found in America today, but researchers recognize this one as the first and, therefore, refer to him as John The Elder. He first emerges in the same area as four other Dillards thought to be his brothers and father. Collectively, these five--Thomas, George, Edward, John The Elder, and Edward, their father, would ultimately be known to genealogists as the Dillards of Culpeper County.
In the early years of the eighteenth century, settlers from the tidewater region of Virginia begin pushing north and west into Spotsylvania County, a huge wilderness lying west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Researchers think that's where John was probably born. Over the next 100 years, the area comprising original Spotsylvania will be periodically whittled to eventually form five Virginia Counties including Orange, Culpeper, Madison, and Rappahannock. Today John's property, which was a tiny part of Lord Fairfax's original grant from King Charles II, falls into an area where Culpeper, Madison, and Rappahannock Counties meet. The Dillards of Culpeper, however, actually reach the area before there is a Culpeper, even before there is an Orange County from which Culpeper was carved. When the Dillards arrive, it's still wild and unsettled Spotsylvania.
The Virginia General Assembly attracted settlers to Spotsylvania by waving property taxes for three years for those "establishing themselves" by Jan 1, 1735. Two of John's brothers patented tracts immediately, Thomas with 550 acres in late February and George with 400 acres in mid-June of 1735. The 950 acres of prime Virginia land is thought to have cost the brothers a total of about $11.
In 1737, the western part of Spotsylvania County was chopped off to form Orange County in which an Edward Dillard bought land that same year. Although John's father, Edward, may have been the one who bought the 190 acres in Orange, it could have been his brother, Edward, instead. Either way, George is found living on it later and without a transfer deed, we can easily assume he inherited it from his father.
In 1748, about the time the western part of Orange County was chopped off to form Culpeper County, Lord Fairfax met 16 year-old George Washington, whom he hired to survey his estate of more than five million acres. For his loyalty, King Charles II granted the land to Lord Fairfax's grandfather, Lord Culpeper, who passed it on to his daughter, Catherine, who married Thomas, Lord Fairfax the 5th. Their son, the 6th Lord Fairfax, would have to fight almost everyone to prove himself the rightful owner. However, once it's settled, Lord Fairfax hires the future president to survey the property, after which he offers some of it for sell. John becomes the first Dillard to buy land from Lord Fairfax when on Jun 23, 1749 he's granted 300 acres "on the north side of the Hazel River in the Gourd Vine Fork." The next month, Culpeper County hires George Washington, then 17, as official surveyor. For the next two years, Washington holds the job he described as a "high and pleasant situation."
Later in 1749, on Nov 4, John buys 166 acres in the Gourd Vine Fork adjoining the original 300 and "running near the foot of the Grindstone Mountain." John sold 100 acres of the 166-acre tract in 1753, 50 acres each to John Gayle and Thomas Poole on the 20 and 21 of April.
Over a four-year period, from 1748 through 1752, John served as clerk of Saint Mark's Parish Little Fork Church, for which he received 1,000 pounds of tobacco. His brother, Thomas, earned 1,000 pounds of tobacco a year from 1741 through 1746 for reading in the church. When Saint Mark's is divided in 1752, John's land falls into Bromfield Parish.
He apparently married a Sophia, but we don't know when or have a record of her last name. The two witnessed a deed between "Aaron Oliver and Elizabeth his wife" and John Campbell on Mar 17, 1761. In 1774, John Brown of Bromfield Parish has John and Sophia witness his will.
Two men thought to be sons of John and Sophia join the fight for American independence. For his exploits, one becomes somewhat of a South Carolina legend. The other, our grandfather William, is killed in battle. John and Sophia's daughter, Elizabeth, married Robert Strother, who apparently owned property jointly with John in Culpeper. No will for John has been found and we have no record of what happened to his remaining property, when he died, or where he is buried. Some researchers theorize he may have sold out and moved with the Strothers, perhaps to Kentucky near where his grandson, James (son of William Dillard and Mary Norman ), settled.
Branches of some of John's brothers' families have been well documented, particularly those of George and Thomas. It's noteworthy to mention brother George, who married Pricilla Major. Their great-grandson, Major Lemuel Dillard, would play a pivotal role in the lives of two of our Dillard grandmothers, Martha Lofton and her daughter, Margaret.
Probable children of John Dillard and Sophia ?:
1. Elizabeth b. about 1746, m. Robert Strother, d. ?.
2. William b. 1753, m. Mary Norman, d. Sep 8, 1781.
3. James b. 1755, m. 1st Mary Ramage, m. 2nd Mary Puckett, d. Dec 4, 1836, buried next to Mary Puckett in SC. Rose to the rank of major during the American Revolution.
?. George b.?, m. ?, d. ?.


bullet  Noted events in his life were:

Occupation: served as Clerk of Saint Mark's Parish, Little Fork Church, Between 1748 and 1752, Culpeper County, Virginia, USA.

Land: bought 300 acres of land from Lord Fairfax the 6th on the Hazel River in the Gourd Vine Fork, 23 Jun 1749, Culpeper County, Virginia, USA.

Land: bought 166 acres in the Gourd Vine Fork adjoing his previouse 300 acres, running near the foot of the Grindstone Mountain, 4 Nov 1749, Culpeper County, Virginia, USA.

Land: sold 50 acres each of the original 166 to John Gayle and Thomas Poole, 20 Apr 1753, Culpeper County, Virginia, USA.

Legal: John and Sophia witnessed a deed between Aaron Oliver and Elizabeth his wife and John Campbell, 17 May 1761, Culpeper County, Virginia, USA.

Taxes: Rent Rolls, 1764, Culpeper County, Virginia, USA.

Legal: John and Sophia witnessed a John Brown of Bromfield Parish Will, 1774, Culpeper County, Virginia, USA.


John married Sophia [Mnu].

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