James Byron Hilliard Collection

Manuscript Collection #182
Hilliard, James Byron
Physical description
2.39 Cubic Feet, consisting of financial and legal documents, correspondence, genealogical material, a scrapbook, newspaper clippings, photographs, and miscellaneous.
Preferred Citation
James Byron Hilliard Collection (#182), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Collection (1760-1965) consisting of financial and legal documents, correspondence, genealogical material, a scrapbook, newspapers clippings, photographs, reports.

Biographical/historical information

James Byron Hilliard (1897-1965), a genealogist and family historian, collected and compiled historical data on the Hilliard and related families. These families were primarily from Northeastern North Carolina and Southeastern Virginia and were prominent in their communities.

Scope and arrangement

The Hilliards were owners of Woodlawn and Hilliardston Plantations in Nash County. Their letters and financial and legal papers (1760-1878) reflect the hiring and sale of slaves, estate settlements, the transferal of land, and their agricultural business. Early correspondence (1783-1818) focuses on illness and death in Halifax (Aug. 31, 1793), the purchase and establishment of a farm in Tennessee Baptists for camp meetings (June 25, 1807), and personal and business affairs (June 7, 1783). Later correspondence (1875-1949) deals primarily with genealogy and family histories. A few letters concern political campaigns for judicial seats in Tennessee (July 17, 1930) and in North Carolina (Fe. 21, Mar. 4, 1932) by R. Hunt Parker. The remainder of the collection contains genealogical notes, photographs, newspaper clippings, a scrapbook pertaining to the history of the Hilliards and related families, and miscellaneous material.

The genealogy portion of the collection pertains to the Hilliards and related families such as Alston, Johnston, Williams, Turnstall, Ruffin, Boddie, Perry, Ballard, Bennett, Carr, Carter, Swann, Crafford, Clark, Davis, Bridger, Drake, Hines, Hunt, Jeffreys, Kearney, Polk, Savage, Pitt, Evans, Godwin, Jones, Norfleet, Whitmel, Barrow, Thomas, Rogers, Hyman, Gray, Barker, Pettway, Eley, and Skipwith. These notes trace the relationships of these families through marriage, taking some lines back to early colonial America and even medieval Western Europe. Much of the genealogy is based on family wills as well as the acquisition of property by deed, purchase, and grant.

Also included are photographs and post cards. The post cards deal primarily with the time span around World War I and depict Nuremberg, Germany; Luxembourg; French Canada; and Eastern Virginia. The photographs included a substantial amount of material depicting life and training of U.S. troops preparing to go to the Western Front during World War I. Other pictures reflect the various plantations belonging to the Hilliards and related families, as well as family members and tombstones.

Miscellaneous materials include a report entitled "Suburban Development of Yorktown, Virginia During the Colonial Period," a pamphlet on Secession, Insurrection of the Negroes, and Northern Incendiarism, and a copy of The Tar Baby (March 17, 1919) published at sea aboard the USS SANTA TERESA.

Included in the oversize file are maps of Nash and Halifax counties, plantation land sketches, several genealogical charts, a copy of a town map of Raleigh (1792) as well as many miscellaneous items.

Administrative information
Custodial History

October 4, 1971, ca. 900 items, papers (1760-1965), including correspondence, genealogy, financial papers, clippings, photographs, historical accounts, and miscellaneous. Deposited by Miss Bessie Hilliard, Rocky Mount, NC.

Source of acquisition

Deposited by Miss Bessie Hilliard

Processing information

Processed by J. Smith; M. Quintanilla, October 1986

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Key terms
Personal Names
Hilliard family
Hilliard, James Byron, 1897-1965
Parker, R. Hunt (Robert Hunt), 1892-1969
Corporate Names
United States. Army--Military life
Plantations--North Carolina--Nash County
Slavery--North Carolina
World War, 1914-1918--Campaigns--Western Front
World War, 1914-1918--Virginia
Halifax County (N.C.)--Maps
Luxembourg--Description and travel
Nash County (N.C.)--Maps
North Carolina--Genealogy
Nuremberg (Germany)--Description and travel

Container list
Box 1 Folder a Correspondence, 1783-1820
Box 1 Folder b-d Legal and Financial Records, 1760-1905
Box 1 Folder e Slave Records, 1792-1826
Box 2 Genealogical Correspondence, 1931-1953
Box 3 Genealogical Correspondence, 1955-1957
Box 4 Genealogical Correspondence, 1959-1961
Box 5 Genealogical Correspondence, 1962-1965
Box 6 Genealogical Material, Hilliard Family
Box 7 Genealogical Material: Alston-Hunt
Box 8 Genealogical Material: Hyman-Williams, Misc
Box 9 Genealogical Notebooks and Typescripts
Box 10 Folder a Photographs, Postcards, & Clippings; Plantations
Box 10 Folder c Photographs, Postcards, & Clippings; Postcards
Box 10 Folder d Photographs, Postcards, & Clippings; Pamphlets & Clippings
Box 10 Folder e Photographs, Postcards, & Clippings; Clippings: Genealogy Column
Box 10 Folder f Photographs, Postcards, & Clippings; Clippings: Historical Column
Box 10 Folder g Photographs, Postcards, & Clippings; Clippings: Miscellaneous
Box 10 Folder h Photographs, Postcards, & Clippings; Negatives & Miscellaneous Photos
Box 11 Scrapbook
Folder os1 Nash and Halifax Cos. Maps; Map of Raleigh (by lots); Legal Documents; Certificates; Genealogy Notes and Charts; Hilliard Land Plats; Photograph