In 2011 I travelled to Edgecombe and Johnston Counties, North Carolina, visited a library and archives, took copious notes and drove through the area visiting known Holliman sites. During the same year, fabulous Holliman family historians, Joe Parker and Jeanette Stewart, provided invaluable information on the question of who is James Granton Holliman's father. What follows are my notes and photographs as I search for my generation's 5th great grandparents, the parents of James Grantson Holliman (1750). James Grantson stated in 1835, when he applied for his Revolutionary War pension, that he was born in 1750 in Johnston County, North Carolina. As Maxine Wright, family historian, has pointed out, he failed to mention where he was born and who is parents were.
Let's engage in what is called 'record stripping'. Let us look at the official records that are on file from Johnston and surrounding counties in that time period and see what Hollimans emerge. In order to keep this readable, I compress abstracts from land and legal documents in the Johnston County, NC archives and ask questions as I move through the records. Comments and corrections welcomed.
To help you get your bearings, here is a map, courtesy North Carolina Department of Transportation. I have yellowed Johnston County and Edgecombe County. Click twice on the map and it will enlarge.
My 5th GGF, Samuel Holliman settled in Edgecombe County by 1742, as his house still stands near Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Samuel, a blacksmith, originally from Onslow County, NC, moved to Edgecombe Co. by the early 1740s, lived there through the 1750s, and later moved finally to Johnston Co., NC dying there 1789.
There is often confusion between my Samuel Holliman born of Richard Holliman and a Samuel Holliman born of Christopher Holliman, Jr. who settled and evidently stayed in Bertie County, North Carolina. My Samuel lived further south in North Carolina and moved about quite a bit.
Pg. 108. Thomas HOLLIMAN (co not identified) to Benjamin HART (co not identified), 24 Feb. 1756, 50 pounds current money of Va., 200 acres more or less a plantation on the south side of Tyanquoque swamp, joining Captain Samuel RUFFIN and the swamp, all houses, buildings, etc. As by patent 22 May 1741 to Robert HATCHER. Wit: David HART, Richard BRASWELL X his mark, George FORT X his mark. Reg. Edge. Co. Nov. Ct. 1756. J. MONTFORTC. Ct.
Hmmm.....James Holliman (James Grantson) witnessed a deed and a will in 1768. Yet, he stated in 1835 he was born in 1750. Either he witnessed a deed before the age of 21, or he stated his birth day incorrectly or this is another James Holliman (which seems doubtful as the records only support one James Holliman).
Notice a Frederick Holliman has entered the records. He may be a son of Samuel, as I believe James to be.
Holleman. Another record has Asptie Bryan's name spelled Bryant.
Could Saml. Holliman, this Samuel Holliman, be the father of James Grantson Holliman, and the birthdate of James Grantson (1750) be incorrect by a few years too young? James had to be 21 to be a witness? Does his birthday need to be changed to 1747 and his birthplace to Edgecombe Co.?
next door neighbors of James G. Holliman and his family in the early to mid 1800's, and there was intermarriage in these family groups. I was never able to establish who was with whom in these groups, and, because they were not associated with my Hollemans.'
Also, we have Samuel and James combined yet again in a legal exercise providing more fuel to the idea that James is the son of Samuel. The dates work.
P. 1 Samuel Collins to Martha Nowel, Sep 15, 1778. Bondsmen Samuel Collins and James Holliman.
189. 28 Sept.1786; Oct.Ct.1786. Inv. Est. EDWARD HOLLIMAN, dec'd. (other than property devised).; WILLIAM & BLAKE HOLLIMAN, Extrs. Includes am't. debt owed by WALTER C. BALLARD. Warren Co. NC
A Summary of Facts that Support James Grantson Holliman as a son of Samuel Holliman (1807-1789)
Fact: David Holliman married a Charity Bryant, widow of Robert Bryant in the early 1760s. David became guardian of her six children. One of the children was Elizabeth Bryant, the future wife of, yes, James Grantson Holliman!