Philip Spiller of Colonial Virginia

There are at least five distinct men named Philip (or Phillip) Spiller that came from the area around Prince William Co., Stafford Co., and Fauquier Co., Virginia during the Colonial period. This post has taken me a long time to put together as I sort, check, and organize the facts available. Many mistakes have been made regarding men by the name of Philip Spiller; the main error noted is that every record for a Philip Spiller is taken to refer to one man and only a few people entertain the possibility that there was more than one man with the same name.

This post is not an exhaustive look at these men and their families. It is just to point out how many different Philips there were.

Briefly the five Philip’s were:

1) Philip Spiller who first appeared in 1747 on a list of tithables in Dettingen Parish, Prince William Co., Virginia. He died ca. 1760 in Dettingen Parish, leaving at least four children who were mentioned in court and/or parish records: William, George, Daniel and Winney. Who his father was is speculation unless someone out there has some proof of parentage they would like to share.

2) Philip Spiller who was b. ca 1743 in Virginia. This was the Reverend Philip Spiller that died 6 January 1821 in Occoquan, Prince William Co., Virginia. His wife was Diana whose last name is unknown. (Where does the Fontaine come from? Does anybody have a source for this rumor?) He had at least six children, five of whom were mentioned in his will: Sophia Scanland (wife of Fielding Scanland), Samuel, Philip, Amos, Chloe Threlkeld (wife of William Threlkeld), and Elizabeth, who has no marriage record that I have found. Samuel was not mentioned in the will. I believe that this was the Philip Spiller that was a patroller of roads in Fauquier County, Virginia in 1776, along with Jeremiah Spiller.

3) Philip Spiller, son of Jeremiah Spiller. He first showed up on the tithables list of Fauquier Co., Virginia in 1782 with Jeremiah responsible for paying his tax. He was on the list following year as well. It appears that Jeremiah left Fauquier between 1787 and 1789. He is last found on a tax list there in 1787. He is shown delinquent in his taxes in Fauquier the following year and then we find Jeremiah in the court records of Union Co., South Carolina in 1789 and Philip Spiller there as well in 1790. In 1793, a Jeremiah Spiller is in the militia of Hancock Co, Georgia and in 1797, Philip and Jeremiah Spiller are ordered to go into the Creek Nation in Georgia. Was this Jeremiah really the same Jeremiah as the one living Fauquier who was born about 1740 or was this his son? Perhaps it was a nephew? Lest I go off on a tangent, I must remind myself that this is a post about Philip Spiller.

4) There was a Philip Spiller who was in Capt. John Ball’s militia company in 1782. I think that this is the Philip Spiller, Jr. who married Elizabeth Hume on September 9th of the same year. Was this the Philip Spiller who moved to Kentucky and whose widow, Elizabeth, married John Mulberry in 1792? Since Jeremiah’s son, Philip, was listed with him in the year 1782, this does not appear to be him. An additional item to note regarding the tax lists of Fauquier is the fact that in 1782, three separate Philips are mentioned: Philip, listed with Jeremiah; Philip listed with two tithes; and Philip Sr. listed with a slave named Sam.

5) Philip, son of Reverend Philip Spiller. He first appeared on tax lists with his father responsible for paying his tax in 1790. This would have made him between the ages of sixteen and twenty-one, giving his year of birth between 1769 and 1774.

I hope to write about each of these men and what happened to them and their families, or at least what I can uncover about what happened to them, but this will have to do for now. Enjoy, and don’t forget – this is not gospel, just what I can make out from the facts uncovered so far. If you have any corrections, I would love to have them!

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11 Responses to Philip Spiller of Colonial Virginia

  1. Ron Howell says:

    I am definitely interested on any information you have on Philip #2. This is the one that shows Chloe Spiller as a child mentioned in his will. A Chloe Spiller, first married a William Thrailkill and lived in area you described. Chloe is my 3 greatgrandmother. Upon the death of William, she moved her family to Clinton Co., Ohio and married a second time to a Thomas Babb. I am descended from her oldest child, Silas Thrailkill, who eventually made his way to Iowa where my grandfather, Chester Heanan Thrailkill, Silas’ grandson, raised his family in Madison Co., Iowa. My mother’s name is Nettie Thrailkill. William and Chloe SPILLER, have been a mystery. There is much information about their ancestors and descendents. It would be great to know more about them. I will share what I have gladly.

  2. Ron Howell says:

    Ooop! My 2 great-grandfather, Silas Thrailkill was not the “oldest” of Chloe’s children. Silas was child #8 of 11 per my records to date. Sorry for the error. Hope everyone sees this note before going further.

  3. Karen Lawless says:

    I’m hoping to find a male Spiller descendant from the Benjamin C. Spiller line to do dna testing for comparison with other Spiller lines. If you know of anyone, please send them my direction. Funding for the test is available.

    Karen Lawless

  4. spotisadog says:

    I finally located the source for Diana Spiller’s maiden name. The application of Brock McGeorge Dear for membership in the Sons of the American Revolution (#46220) gives her maiden name as Fontain. No primary source is given for that information. This same application also incorrectly states that Diana died in 1825.

    • Karen Lawless says:

      Diana’s maiden name being given as ‘Fontain’ in Brock Dear’s SAR papers is very interesting to me. While researching the Spiller family of King William Co., VA, I found the following connection to the ‘Fontainebleau” estate:
      High Hills tract in King William Co., VA: Home of Batchelder Valentine; according to Sally Spiller Settle was also the home of Wm. Hickman Spiller, grandfather of William Rufus Spiller. “The so-called “High Hill” property is situated near Moncuin Creek, in King William County, about two miles from the present Brandywine post office, and is now a portion of the well known “Fontainebleau” estate, for many years the home of the Fontaine family in King William County.
      Could this be a piece of the puzzle?

  5. Karen Lawless says:

    Also of interest is that Elizabeth “Betsy” (Henry) Aylett, dau of Gov. Patrick Henry and Sarah Shelton, who m. Col. Philip Aylett, died 24 Sep 1842 at Fontainbleau.
    Died, September 24, 1842, at Fontainbleau, King William Co., VA, in the 74th year of her age, Mrs. Elizabeth Aylett, relict of Philip Aylett, and daughter of Patrick Henry. (The Virginian, Lynchburg, Virginia, October, 1842).
    Her daughter, Sarah Shelton Aylett m. William Spotswood Fontaine, 9 Jul 1832.
    Another piece of the puzzle: Elizabeth Henry (Preston) Carrington, wife of Gen. Edward Codrington Carrington and granddaughter of Col. Wm. Campbell and Elizabeth “Betsy” Henry (1749-1804) sold land to James Madison Spiller in Botetourt Co., VA in 1832. This Betsy Henry was a sister of Gov. Patrick Henry. My 6x gr. grandfather, William Diuguid, Jr. was Patrick Henry’s first cousin. His great granddaughter, Jemima Susanna Diuguid (1825-1897) m. George Anderson Spiller (my ggg gp) and George A. Spiller was the brother of James Madison Spiller who bought land from the above Elizabeth Henry (Preston) Carrington.

  6. I am very impress with all the hard work that all of you have done. Really and truthfully, it’s amazing and I am very hungry to learn about my decendants. I am financially unable to pay for the information, and would like to know if I can get your in keeping me abreast of your findings as it relates to the Spiller Decendants. I know, believe me, if I was able to afford these expenses, believe me I would not be asking for your help and assistance for free. I am not a freebie. But this information is vital to me and kids. I really would love to know my decendants or at least who they were. Thanks!

    • Karen Lucas says:

      Ms Spiller, I’m a long-time Spiller researcher and I’m interested in which line you descend from. Please contact me at I descend from George W. Spiller (1788-1830) who lived in the Buckingham Co., VA area. Three of his sons emigrated to Danville, Montgomery Co., TX ca 1846-48. DNA studies have shown that my line is closely related to the Spillers of Prince William Co., VA, some of whom migrated to LA.
      Karen Lucas, formerly Lawless

      • Anonymous says:

        Ms. Lucas, I’m too a long-time Spiller researcher and very eager to learn more about my ancesters, but do not have the funds to continue. Nevertheless, I would love to say that I descend from George W. Spiller, as well as my line is also closely related to the Spillers of Prince William Co., VA who in fact migrated to Louisiana, which is where I was born (New Orleans, LA). My sister Rachel Spiller-Riles is very connected to the, and will forward your information to her. You should be hearing from her real soon. I won’t forget you, let’s keep in touch. I can be reached at 504.222.1213. God Bless!

      • Karen Lucas Williams says:

        My George W. Spiller was born in 1788 in VA and died 1830 in Buckingham Co., VA. He never lived in LA, although according to DNA testing he is related to the lines that settled there. My descent is through his son, George Anderson Spiller, who emigrated from VA to Montgomery Co., TX in 1848. I do not know who George W’s parents were. I personally believe the LA lines trace back to Philip Spiller of Stafford, later Prince William Co., VA>William Spiller (Stafford/Prince Wm Co., VA).

      • Karen Lucas Williams says:

        Regarding the LA Spiller families, there was also a Col. Wm. Spiller who settled in St. Helena Par., LA. I only know of 3 children, all girls. Their names would suggest that he was from or related to the King William line of Spillers (Benjamin/William). These girls and their families ALL settled in New Orleans. Please email me if you’d like more information and I’ll send you my database notes on this group.
        Karen Williams

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