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
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.