Let’s start with geography. Modern county boundaries in Virginia have little resemblance to county boundaries in the 1600. Northumberland was formed in 1648. This county was the parent county of several of the counties where the Spiller family lived, which makes sorting this family out all the more difficult. Westmoreland County was formed from Northumberland County in 1653 and sits above it. Northumberland, Richmond, and Essex Counties stretch down from Westmoreland towards the southeast, or the coast, kind of like little fingers with Northumberland being the easternmost of the three and Essex the furthest to the west. Westmoreland and Northumberland both have the Potomac River for their northern boundaries.
Lancaster County was taken out of Northumberland in 1651. Stafford County was formed from Westmoreland County in 1664. Prince William County was taken out of the western portion of Stafford Co. and part of King George Co. in 1731. King George County was formed from Richmond County in 1720.
Spillers were found in all of these counties, and also Lancaster County, during the colonial period. I would like to concentrate in this post on the Spillers that lived in Westmoreland, Stafford, and Prince William counties in the early history of Virginia, although just due to geography you might think they were all related.. I will post a seperate posts for the Spillers living Lancaster, Richmond, and King George and another for those in Surry, Essex, etc. It must be said, however, that these families seem to related, but I have been unable to uncover the relationship.
Cavaliers & Pioneers, Vol. 1, 1623-1666, Nell Nugent, Robert Vaulx 2000 acres in Westmoreland Co for the import of 400 persons . . . Clemt. Spiller
Who was Clemt. Spiller? No exact date given for this importation, but the title of the book limits the records to the years 1623-1666. No other record has turned up for Clemt. (Clement?) Spiller.
David Spiller [from earlier post] was living in Northumberland County, Virginia by at least 1643 when the first records for him are dated. David died there in 1658 leaving a will. Could he be a relation to this Clemt. Spiller?
Due to courthouse fires, the loss and theft of records, etc. there is quite a gap in records for this family. I would encourage family members or other interested persons living in these counties to take a trip to the courthouse and search out alternative records to wills and deeds, such as chancery court records. From our last record of David in 1658 we jump forward almost 50 years to find the next record of a Spiller in Virginia.
George Spiller – I think that this George Spiller will be a new one for most of you reading this post. I have often wondered why the name George popped up occasionally in this family that seemed to love to name their children after relatives.
Stafford Co., Virginia Order Book 7 Apr 1690 Anne wife of Richard Ayliff for speaking blasphemy . . . John Crafford, Richard Ayliff Sr, Richard Ayliff Jr, George Spillar & James Stanton informers
Stafford Co., Virginia Record Book 30 Nov 1691 James Nelson of Westmoreland to John Williams Jr. witnessed by George Spiller
Stafford Co., Virginia Order Book 1700 George Spiller on grand jury
Virginia Colonial Soldiers, Bockstruck [from Section III, Virginia Records in the Public Record Office, London] p. 220 Stafford County, Company of Horse Troops, 1701/02 George Spiller, Corp.
St. Paul’s Parish Register: Stafford-King George Counties, Virginia, 1715-1798, John B. Nicklin, p. 58 D. [died] George Spiller May 21, 1718
This Parish Register has an Elizabeth Spicer (Spiller?) recorded as marrying in 1725. The problem being that there are several Spicers also in the book and you can’t be sure if she was a Spiller or a Spicer. If she was a Spiller, it may have been the widow of George remarrying.
It seems almost certain that the later Spillers in Stafford County were related to this George Spiller, but how? Was he father, brother, uncle?
Michael Spiller – Michael Spiller appears in the following records with no other references found for him when Samuel Duchemen/Duchimin claimed a headright for his importation. It is worth noting that records for William Spiller in Stafford County show a Samuel Dishman having adjoining lands. This doesn’t prove anything, but it does seem as if it indicates some relationship between Michael Spiller and William Spiller. We see that this land was later awarded in Essex County.
The other interesting thing to note is that Samuel Duchimin was awarded land adjoining the line of Mrs. Behethlem Gibson, who I suspect was in actuality, Mrs. Behethland Gilson, the mother of Dorothy Gilson who married John Spiller
Westmoreland County, Court Order Book (1705-1707), page 6a: 1 27 Feb 1705/06: [Duchemen’s rights proved] Samuell Duchemen came into Court and upon the Holy Evangelist did sweare that hee had good right according to Law to claime Lands for the importacion of severall persons hereunder mencioned into this Colony, to witt, Henry Stapleton, William Mean, William Duff, Margrett Collins, Pierce Cale and Michaell Spiller and it is ordered a Certificate according to Law.
Cavaliers & Pioneers, Vol. 3, 1695-1732, Nell Nugent, p. 132 Samuel Duchimin 816 acres in Essex Co about 2 mi from Rappahannock River, beg at a pat. of Robert Pain, dec’d . . . . a line of Mrs Behethlem Gibson [Gilson?], import of 6 persons (incldg) Michael Spiller 16 June 1714.
John Spiller – John Spiller married Dorothy Gilson. There is a (another or the same) John Spiller mentioned in Richmond Co., Virginia, who married Sarah Harper Berry, widow of Henry Berry, sometime before 1700.
Married Well and Often: Marriages of the Northern Neck of Virginia, 1649-1800, Headley, Robert K. p. 329 Spiller, John and Gilson, Dorothy; well bef. 10 Apr 1722; bride was dau of Thomas and Eliza. (Newton) Gilson; WC DW 7:131; Behethland 1:61; Gilson:187.
Virginia Magazine of History, Vol. 38, p. 187 Dorothy Gilson d. 1722 md John Spiller. Will of Dorthy Spiller dated 20 April 1722, probated Nov 1722 in Westmoreland Co. d/o Thomas Gilson . . . left money, cows, etc. to “my little companion” William Berryman, son of Benj Berryman [I think her 1/2 brother] mentions her “grandchildren” Verlinda, Jan, and John.
It will be noted that she did not call these grandchildren Berrymans, so their name was probably Spiller. Neither did she mention any relationship between her and this family of Berrymans, although she seems to have left more to her little companion than to her grandchildren.
William Spiller – William Spiller first makes his appearance in Stafford Co., Virginia in 1707. He and his wife Mary lease land from William Brent for the life of “the longest liver” of William, Mary, and their son William. I am going to do a seperate post on William but wanted to mention him here. He is the only Spiller that left a traceable line in the Stafford County area.