Spiller’s of Prince George County, Virginia

Robert and William Spiller, Surry Co. and Prince George Co., Virginia 1682-1721
Francis Spiller, Prince George Co. and Amelia Co., Virginia 1733-1744

We find one solitary record for Robert Spiller on the titheable list of Surry County in 1682, listed with Ni: Witherington. (Nicholas?). Surry county is adjacent to Prince George county on its southeastern side. No record has been found for what became of Robert.

William Spiller is found on a list in “Virginia’s Colonial Soldiers” by Bockstruck serving in the company of Captain Joseph Sumner in 1701, from Surry County. Was he a son of Robert? That is only conjecture; there is no proof, just the circumstantial evidence of geography and the same last name. Next, William Spiller appears in several lawsuits in Prince George County beginning in 1715. (And we think modern society is litigious! These people were constantly in court.) Is this the same William Spiller that served as a soldier? Geography seems to indicate that yes it was, but there is no certain proof of it.

Virginia Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 19, No. 2
p. 47 Court Orders and Returns of Prince George County 1714-1720
At a court held for Prince George 14th June 1715
The attachment awarded John Simmons agst estate of William Spiller is dismissed neither of them appearing.
p. 48 Edward Goodrich vs. William Spiller dismissed
Elizabeth Limbrey vs. William Spiller dismissed

Virginia Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 21, No. 1
p. 4 At a Court held for Prince George County 9 Oct. 1716
In action of John Hatch vs. William Spiller for 20s. 10d. due by account dated 1716, deft. by his attorney Edward Goodrich, appears to confess judgment. Pltf. to recover.
Francis Mallory vs. William Spiller, dismissed.

Virginia Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 22, No. 4
p. 41 At a Court held at Merchant’s Hope for Prince George County
11 Dec. 1717 Francis Mallory vs. William Spiller, dismist.

Virginia Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 1
At a Court held at Merchants Hope for Prince George County
p. 48 13 Oct 1719 William Spiller Vs. John Whittmore ref. to next court
p. 53 8 Dec 1719 William Spiller Vs. John Whittmore cont.

Virginia Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 2
p. 11 12 Jan 1719 In case of John Pook agt William Spiller for 247 lbs. tob., deft. is non est inventus and attachment awarded plf. against his estate.
p. 14 8 Mar 1719 John Pook agt estate of William Spiller cont.

Non est inventus is a legal term indicating the return of a sheriff on a writ, when the defendant is not found in his county. So where was William in 1719? He certainly appears to be back by 1720.

Virginia Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 3
p. 8 10 May 1720 Case of John Pook agt William Spiller referred to next court for trial.

Virginia Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 26, No. 1
p. 60 11 Jan 1720 In Case of John Pook agst. William Spiller, a non suit is granted the deft., and the plantf is to pay him 5 s. plus costs.

Non suit refers to the judges order against the plaintiff either because he/she have no case to prove or that they are unable to provide sufficient evidence. A voluntary non suit is when plaintiff withdraws the case or it is involuntary non-suit, when the plaintiff does not appear in trial or that he/she is not able to provide any evidence.

Virginia Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 26, No. 2
p. 128 14 Feb 1720 Thomas Simmons vs. William Spillers, dismst.

William finally gets out of court and purchases some land. He and John Pook apparently stayed friends despite the lawsuits between them as evidenced by the fact that William witnessed a deed for Pook.

Prince George County, Virginia Wills & Deeds 1713-1728, Weisiger
p. 95 11 Jan 1720 To William Spiller on both sides of Wallices Creek, 202 acres, surveyed in Prince George Co by Robert Bolling
p. 58 7 Mar 1720 John Pook of Martins Brandon Parish, Prince George County to William Mattox of same, witnessed by Joseph Rives and William Spiller. Rec. 14 Mar 1720

Prince George County, Virginia Wills & Deeds 1713-1728, Weisiger
p. 61 William Spiller witnessed the will of Joseph Carter along with John Hamlin and John Wilkins. Date of will 8 May 1721, proved 13 Jun 1721.

The following seems to indicate that William, or some unnamed brother or son of William, married a daughter of Daniel Higdon. Daniel’s will names his living sons Daniel and John, daughters Sarah, Elizabeth, and Ann, and a grandson, Francis Spiller. If Francis was staying with Higdon’s daughter Sarah, does that mean his father had died? It would certainly explain the sudden lack of records for William Spiller of Prince George. The other unanswered question is, who was his mother? Was Sarah, daughter of Daniel Higdon, Francis’ mother or his aunt?

Francis Spiller is found on the tithables lists of Amelia County, Virginia for the years 1742-1744. Amelia County was formed in 1734 from the western portion of Prince George County, just after Daniel Higdon wrote his will, so it is likely that his land fell in the new county.

Virginia Genealogical Society Quarterly, Volume 31, Number 4, p. 351
Selected Wills from Burned Counties

Will of Daniel Higdon of Prince George County 14 Jul 1733/ 8 Jul 1735
“to my grandson Francis Spiller, provided he stays with my dau. Sarah until he is 21 . . .”
Joseph Carter witnessed this will. This Joseph Carter must be a son or gson of the Joseph Carter whose will is mentioned above.

I am including the following two entries because the names Higdon Spillars and Daniel Spiller seems to suggest some relationship to Francis Spiller, grandson of Daniel Higdon. It seems as if these two, and possibly Jesse Spillars as well, must be descendants of Francis Spiller. It also suggests a very close relationship between Francis Spiller and his grandfather, Daniel Higdon. But it is not proof.

1790 Census, South Carolina, Beaufort Dist.
Higdon Spillars 1 wht male 16+ 2 free white females
Jessee Spillars 1 wht male 16+ 1 wht male <16 2 free white females

Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution
Spillars, Higdon – He served in the militia on foot and on horseback. In addition, he drove cattle and lost a mare while in service. A.A. 7245, X3975.
Spiller, Daniel – He enlisted in the Second Regiment of 10 July 1775 under Capt. Bernard Elliot. S.C.H.& G. XVII, 100.

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