Samuel and James Grantson Holliman Records

Discovering Samuel and James Grantson Holliman of Johnston County, North Carolina by Glenn N. Holliman (

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.

We know the Tuscarora War in North Carolina resulted in displacing most of the Tusacarora natives and opening the way for Europeans, some with their African slaves, to migrate inland and settle along the rivers and creeks by the late 1720s.  Before 1730 no more than 20 families lived along the Neuse River in what was part of Bertie County and is now Edgecombe County, North Carolina.  That would soon change as thousands, later tens of thousands, poured into the fertile sections of North Carolina.

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.

James Grantson Holliman was the son of Samuel and his wife, Elizabeth Jones, and was probably born a few years before 1750 in Edgecombe Co., NC.  James Grantson Holliman did marry in 1772 to Elizabeth Bryan, the daughter of Robert Bryan, one of the first settlers of Johnston Co., and father of several distinguished sons, one being Needham Bryan.

Hofmann, Margaret M. Abstracts of Deeds, Edgecombe Precinct, Edgecombe Co., NC, 1732 – 1758.  Weldon, NC, The Roanoke News, 1976. NC.
P. 360 Samuel Holleman of Onslow Co., Blacksmith to John Wall of Edge. Co., planter 19 Aug 1740, 4 pounds, 10 shillings current money of Va. 300 acres on the north side of Fishing Creek, joining James Cotton and the creek as by patent to the sd. Holleman.  Wit: Elias Forte, Thomas Pittman.  Nov. Ct. 1740 J. Edwards D.C. Ct. I think this is the first legal document of a Samuel Holliman, 1740.  Note he is from Onslow Co., NC. 

Edgecombe established in 1741.   Available land soon attracted more settlers from southern Virginia as well as those coming upriver from the coast.  Pop. influx up to over 10,000. Hundreds arrived and purchased land near the Tar River or its tributaries.  Fleming, Monika S. Edgecombe County along the Tar River.  Charleston, SC, Arcadia, 2003.

P. 416 – Samuel Hollyman, Arthur Bryan on Aug 1741 wit sale by James Bynum to Robert Surjoyner of Edge Co. 100 acres on south side of Marratock River. 

P. 423 Samuel Hollamon of Edge. Co. to Elisha Battle of Edge. Co. 12 Dec. 1752 the same land as mentioned in a deed from the sd. Hollaman to the sd. Battle 17 Aug. 1747, but Elizabeth wife of the sd. Samuel did not relinquish her downer as by patent to the sd. Hollaman 1 May 1742.  Wit: Joseph Sumner, John Rogers.  Reg. Edge. Co. May Ct. 1753  Bejamin Wynn C. Ct.  A problem with this sale.  Why did Elizabeth not release her dower?

 P. 139 – Samuel Holliman of Edge. Co. to Elisha Battle of Nansemond Co., VA 17 Aug 1747 for 50 pounds current money of VA 400 acres joining George Pollock, a grant to sd Holliman, 6 May 1742.  Wit: Jacob Sumner, Joseph Sumner.  Reg. Edge. Co., Aug Ct 1747.  R. Forster C.Ct.  This is the Old Plantation, Battle House Property today restored.  This abstract proves Samuel Holliman sold the Battles the land in 1747.

Photo taken 2011.
Will of Robert Hilliard April 13, 1743 in May Ct 1751, witnessed by Saml. Holliman, Willm Sergener, Bnj. B. Boykin. Edgecombe, CO, NC.

P. 150 - On April 12, 1743 Samuel Holliman witnessed sale of 400 acres on south side of a pond of Robert Hilliard to William Surginer.  Edgecombe Co., NC.

Court held at  Enfield on Feb. 19, 1744.  A deed of sale from John Rodgers to Saml. Holliman.  No indication of where or size.  Edgecombe Co., NC

P. 335 - Samuel Holliman and Robert Hatcher wit. Benjamin Blunt of Isle of Wight, VA to Daniel Harris on 8 Dec. 1744 290 acres on north side of Fishing Creek. Edgecombe Co., NC.

p. 328 – Robert Hatcher of Edge Co. to Thomas Holliman of Edge. Co. 19 Feb. 1744 30 pounds of current money of VA. 200 acres on the south side of Toyanchkey swamp, joining William Oshields.  Will William Pugh, John Sikes, Feb. Ct. 1744.

P. 341 -  John Rogers of Edge. Co. to Samuel Holliman of Edge. Co., blacksmith 2 Oct. 1744 66 acres on the north side of Fishing Creek,  Feb. Ct. 1744.  Here we have Samuel Holliman identified as a blacksmith for the second time. Samuel Holliman in 1744 held two real estate ‘estate’ sales for the court in Edgecombe Co., NC

Court held on Aug 20, 1745 at Enfield.  A deed of sale from Robert Council to Henry Turner was proved by the oath of Saml. Holliman. At same court, Saml. Holliman records his mark viz: a Swallow Fork in the left Ear & a Crop in the Right Ear.

Nov. 1745,  Samuel Holliman serves on the grand jury.

Haun, Wyenette Parks. Johnston County, NC Land Warrants, Surveys & Miscellaneous Land Papers, 1737 – 1899.  Durham, NC 1993 - Copied Bryan and Holliman land records between the Cat Tails and Buffalo.  Weynette Parks Haun also did Abstracts of Johnson Co. deed books from 1759 to 1771.  Unfortunately, deed books beginning in the year 1746, year of formation , to 1759, destroyed in a fire.

Needham Bryan did get a patent on Sep 27, 1745.  Gail Bryan on Oct 13, 1756.
#68, a-1:124….Henry Jernigan to Saml. Halliman, planter, Jo Co 300 acres on BS of Little Riv.  Wit: Will Nairn and John Hailes.  No date.

P. 407 - Samuel Holliman and James Pyrant wit. Robert Council to Henry Turner 100 acres joining Thomas Whitmill, Cattail Marsh.  Aug. Ct. 1745. Edgecombe Co., NC.

The North Carolina, Quarterly Journal of Genealogy, Vol. 3, Sept. 1955 -
P. 481 - Richards Sessumns of Edg. to William Reynolds 29 March 1746 90 acres.  Wit. by Samuel Holliman; 

May 1746 – A deed of sale from Richard Sessums to Wm. Reynolds was proved by the oath of Saml. Holliman.

P. 39  Edgecombe Court, August 1746, Thos. Hollyman some action not recorded;

P. 43 Hollyman ads Popoucoutry ----Judgemt.

P. 61 – Abraham Odom and wife Sebell of Edge. Co to John Sumner of Chowan Co. Feb. 1746. Ct.

P. 158 - Samuel Holliman and Elizabeth, his wife of Edge. Co. to Mathew Joyer of Isle of Wight Co., VA.  19 May 1747 245 pounds current money of VA. 210 acres on Cypress swamp, joining Whitmill, Daniel McDaniel, Thomas Turner and the swamp.  Wit: Joseph Sumner, Joseph Boykin.  Reg. Edge Co. Aug Ct. 1747. R. Forster C.Ct.  Note Samuel’s wife in 1747 is Elizabeth.  This is my generation’s 5th GGM!

P. 202 - Samuel Holliman witnessed with John Faulk May Ct 1748, sale of land by John Cahoon of Edge Co to Jacob Stricklen of Edge Co. 150 acres on the south side of the Tarr River on the mouth of Saddle Camp branch.


Under Captain Aqueler Suggs’ Company  were David and Thomas Holleman; Muster Roll of Edgecombe County Militia, NC in the 1750s and Absalom Holliman under  Capt. Solomon Alston’s company, muster roll of Edgecombe C. militia, NC 1750s

P. 498 - Thomas Holliman and Samuel Holliman on June 18 1750 witness sale sale of 350 acres on south side of Tar River by Phillip Alston to William Williams.
Can this Samuel Holliman, who is largely buying and selling land in Edgecombe Co. in the 1740s and 1750s  be the father James Grantson Holliman, born 1750 in Johnston Co.?  James Grantson Holliman could have stated in the 1830s the wrong county in which he was born.  Was this Samuel Holliman buying and selling land in the 1740s and 1750s in Edgecomb Co., the same Samuel who purchased and sold land in Johnston Co. in the 1760s, a days ride by horse?

P. 524 – Thomas Bryant of Edge Co to William Bryant of Northampton Co. 22 Aug 1750 200 acres on the south side of Tar River, joining Captain Thomas Bryant, Indian old field, a reedy slash, Ozboon Jeffreys and the rive as by patent.  Wit: John Murphree, Samuel Holliman.  Aug. Ct 1750.  B. Wynns C.Ct.  Note, we have in 1750 the Hollimans and Bryan(t)s living next to each other in Edgecombe Co.  Is this the same family that will live near each other in Johnston Co., and result in the marriage of James Grantson Holliman to Elizabeth Bryan?

P. 498 - Thomas along with Samuel Holliman witness sale of land on 18 June 1750 in Edge. Ct. Ct. Aug. 1750.


P. 255 – Samuel Hollomon of Edge Co. to Thomas Hill of Edge. Co. 19 May 1752 200 acres on the north side of Fishing Creek, joining Haw Branch and James Cane.  May ct. 1752

P. 423 Samuel Hollamon of Edge. Co. to Elisha Battle of Edge. Co. 12 Dec. 1752 the same land as mentioned in a deed from the sd. Hollaman to the sd. Battle 17 Aug. 1747, but Elizabeth wife of the sd. Samuel did not relinquish her downer as by patent to the sd. Hollaman 1 May 1742.  Wit: Joseph Sumner, John Rogers.  Reg. Edge. Co. May Ct. 1753  Bejamin Wynn C. Ct.  A problem with this sale.  Why did Elizabeth not release her dower?

55-(85) Moses Hare Jr of Edgecombe Co to James Gray of Surry Co VA.  1 Feb 1760 -  300 Pds. 150 acres where sd Moses Hare now lives and which sd Hare had purchased from Samuel Holliman 11 Apr 1753 on the south side of Tar River, joining the river, John Cohoon, Walnut Creek; also 360 acres which Samuel Holliman conveyed to sd Mose Hare 8 Jan 1756, joining sd Moses Hare on the south side of Tar River…Jun Ct 1760.  Jas Hall CC.

P. 366 – Samuel Holliman wit with Joshua Elin on Feb. 1753 ct. sale of 100 acres on the north side of Tyancokey swamp of John Newton to John Elkin. Edgecombe Co., NC

P. 500 – Samuel Hollaman of Edge. Co. Sells to Moses hare, the younger of Chowan Co. 11 Apr. 1753 85 pounds lawful money of VA. 150 acres on the south side of Tar River.  Whereon the sd. Samuel now lives and which he bought of John and Mary Faulk 8 Oct. 1747 and is part of a grant to John Cohoon.  Dated 8 July 1739.  Wit: John Streater, James Ruffin.  Reg. Edge. Co. Nov. ct. 1753. Benjamin Wynns C.Ct.

P. 502 - I, Samuel Hollaman of Edge. Co. am firmly bound to Moses Hare, the younger of Chowan Co. 11 Apr 1753 in the sum of 500 pounds the condition of the obligation is such that the sd. Samuel for 85 pounds currency money of Va. Hath sold 150 acres to the sd. Moses and 400 acres for 15 pounds current money of Va. Wit: John Streater, James Ruffin.

Serjeant William Holliman of Capt. John Sallius’s Co. under regiment of Col. William Eaton, Granville Co., NC, Oct. 8, 1754.

Book 3, page 197. John Faulk and Mary Faulk of Edgecomb Samuel Holliman on 8 Oct. 1747 for twenty pounds current money of VA. 150 acres on the south side of Tarr River joining John Cahoon

P. 257 - Thomas Holliman, Jarratt Stevens and Edward Moore wit.  Rowland Stinson of Edge Co. selling to Samuel Deloch, 22 May 1755 , 225 acres near Tyancokey Swamp.

55-(85) Moses Hare Jr of Edgecombe Co to James Gray of Surry Co VA.  1 Feb 1760 -  300 Pds. 150 acres where sd Moses Hare now lives and which sd Hare had purchased from Samuel Holliman 11 Apr 1753 on the south side of Tar River, joining the river, John Cohoon, Walnut Creek; also 360 acres which Samuel Holliman conveyed to sd Mose Hare 8 Jan 1756, joining sd Moses Hare on the south side of Tar River…Jun Ct 1760.  Jas Hall CC.

Edgecombe County Will Abstracts 1732 – 1792  246 – Will of Richard Lee, Sr. April 1, 1756; May ct. 1756.  Witnessed by Absalom Holliman, James Permenter and William Fokes.  Gave 100 acres of land on Conentny Creek to son.  Edgecombe Co. NC

P. 398 – Samuel Holliman of Duplin Co. to Moses Hare of Edge Co. 8 Jan. 1756 360 acres on s. side of Tar River, joining the sd Hare, John Jameson, a small branch of Walnut Creek, the River and Cahoon’s former land.  Feb. Ct 1756. Now we have a Samuel Holliman of Duplin Co., 16 years later.  Is this the same person moving from Onslow to Edgecombe to Duplin to finally Johnston Co.?  Or are counties being subdivided as population increases?  I think the latter.  

P.108 - Thomas Holliman  (co. not identified) to Benjamin Hart 24 Feb. 1756 200 acres, a plantation on the south side of Tyanquoque swamp, joining Captain Samuel Ruffin and the swamp.  Wit: David Hart, Richard Braswell.  Nov. Ct. 1756.  Edgecombe Co., NC
Deed Book 6

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.



#15, A-1:24…23 July 1759…Robert Duck, Dobbs Co to David Holliman, Jo Co. 260 acres on NS Great Buffelow, sw part of survey granted to Wm. Boykin by Granvil Deed 8 Nov 1756.

55-(85) Moses Hare Jr of Edgecombe Co to James Gray of Surry Co VA.  1 Feb 1760 -  300 Pds. 150 acres where sd Moses Hare now lives and which sd Hare had purchased from Samuel Holliman 11 Apr 1753 on the south side of Tar River, joining the river, John Cohoon, Walnut Creek; also 360 acres which Samuel Holliman conveyed to sd Mose Hare 8 Jan 1756, joining sd Moses Hare on the south side of Tar River…Jun Ct 1760.  Jas Hall CC.

Haun, Wyenette Parks. Edgecombe Co, NC County Court Minutes, 1744 – 1762. Durham, NC, Privately Printed, 1985. P. 146 – Absalom Holleman and others to work on Parsimon Branch to Evan’s Road.    Dec. 1760.

#74 A-1: 135…24 Nov 1760.  Henry Jernigan sold to John Hales 300 acres.  Wit by William Narn and Saml. Holliman.

Samuel is granted 640 acres of land on Little River 13 Jan 1760. Joe Parker, 2011

July 22, 1761 – Granville to Samuel Hollimon, Jo Co, 10 ster, 355 acres vacant land in Jo Co on Little riv…A Samuel Holliman patents land from the Granvilles!  Is this the Samuel Holliman of Edgecombe Co. who may have moved to Johnston Co.?  It is now 1761, and Samuel seems to have wonderlust!  The Little River is located just above the 't' in Johnston County marked in yellow.  To the west and south of it flows a large creek named the Buffalo River.  Hollimans purchased land along both tributaries.  I believe Samuel Holliman (1708-1789) to be the father of James Grantson Holliman (1750-1836).  

A Johnston County farm field in April 2011, near the Buffalo River.
#178, B-1: 306…29 April 1762, Sam. Halliman and John Stevens wit. Sale of land by Ambrus Blackburn to James Downing again on BS of little riv.

#138 B-1: 217…David Halliman proved in April. Ct 1762 sale of land by Richard Baley to John Kent.  Johnston Co., NC.

#156 B-1:252…Samuel Holliman of Jo. Co, valkin?, Vulkin? To Jacob Yelverton 342 acres on BS Little Riv on Jernigain’s line.  Wit by John Hinnard and Celia Halliman.  Proved in April. Ct 1762 by Celia Halliman.  Who is  Celia, a sister or a daughter?  In Edgecombe Co. in the 1740s, a Samuel had a wife named Elizabeth.  Celia married in 1768.

#176, B-1: 301…Saml. Halliman wit with John Stevens sale of land of Ambrus Blackburn to John Richardson, 350 acres on BS of Littl Riv.  May 1, 1762.  BS means 'beside'.

A Richard Holliman was granted 700 acres in Johnston Co., NC in 1762. This land adjoined Robert Bryant.  Joe Parker, Apr. 2011

So in 1761 and 1762, two Hollimans purchased land (Samuel and Richard) and one, David, served as a witness to a sale.

#239, Tr-1:14…17 Jan. 1763.  Saml. Holliman and John Salter wit John Hayles sale of land to Charles Wilkinson.  Johnston Co., NC.

#283, Tr-1:61…16 March 1763.  Saml. Holliman wit with John Salter and Tho. Whitley to George Witley sale of land to John Gardner.  Johnston Co., NC.
#565 D-1:45: 15 Oct 1763 John Salter and Samuel Holliman wit sale by John Hayles to Charles Wilkerson.

#244, GTr-1:20 17 Jan 1763…John Salter, J Co. Planter to John Hailes 400 acres on BS Great Buffaloe Swamp…Wit Saml. Holliman, Charles Wilkinson

This year, Samuel Holliman witnessed four sales of land.  A land rush was on in Johnston County!

Meldrum, Charlotte. Johnston County NC Marriages, 1764 – 1867 . Westminister, MY,  Family Line Publications, 1994. Printed from microfilm in NC Dept of Archives and History.
P. 2 – William Watson to Elizabeth Tanner 20 Oct 1763.  Bdsm James Watson, Henry Rains and David Holleman.  Johnston Co., NC..  David Holliman served as a bondsman (bdsm) for a marriage. 



149 2 Aug 1766 Samuel Holliman of Craven Co SC to Jacob Yelverton JN Co 10 ac between Little River and Great Bukffellow, part of granted to Holliman 22 July 1761 by Granville…signed Saml Hollimon Ja. Ct 1767.

114 13 Oct 1766 Mary Edwards and others to David Holliman, Jo Co 100 ac NS Little River.  Wit: Absalom Holliman
Hmmm...this is odd.  A Samuel Holliman of Craven Co., South Carolina sold land.  I think this is an error in the transcribed document, and the transcriber meant North Carolina.  Still, had Samuel temporarily moved to Craven County or purchased land there?  Notice an Absalom Holliman has appear on the scene.  Is he a son or brother of David Holliman?

The Johnston County Heritage Center - the archives in Smithfield.
David Holliman was a captain in the NC militia Oct 1768 along with Needham and William Bryan.  Earlier date, Oct 1767.  Served through 1772.

James Holliman m. Elizabeth Bryant 16 Nov 1767, Johnston Co. Records.

The records are clear that David Holliman served for years in the North Carolina militia.  David may be a brother or son of Samuel Holliman.  

The records throw us a curve with a statement that James Holliman married Elizabeth Bryant in 1767.  Another record states this marriage occurred in 1772.  As this is an abstract, the 1767 record may be in error.  However, this is the first statement of the existence of James Grantson Holliman.  This couple will be the parents of Warren, Charles and Cornelius Holliman who will move to Fayette County, Alabama in 1836.

On March 8, 1768, James and Frederick Holliman witness a sale of land by John Nairn to Arthur Bailey.  Johnston Co., NC.

Joseph Garner will witnessed by Jospeh H. Garner, Saml. Holliman, Charles Wilkinson and James Holliman.  

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.

Richard Holleman to Asptie Bryan 8 Jan. 1768.  Bdsm Richard Holleman and David 
Holleman.  Another record has Asptie Bryan's name spelled Bryant.

A Richard Holleman witnesses a marriage of a Richard Holleman.  We may have two if not three Holliman families living in Johnston County in the 1760s. 

Celia Holliman married Lewis Bryant 18 Nov 1768.

So now let the confusion really begin!  The Bryan and/or Bryant family(ies) are prominent in Johnston County history and in the story of the Hollimans.  Are there two families, one named Bryan and the other named 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.?

April 24 1769 - Samuel Holliman, Dobbs Co, planter to James Hollimon, Jo Co planter 135 acres in Jo Co on BS of Little riv being part of a larger tract granted formerly granted to Henry Jernigan by deed from Granville.  Dobbs Co. disappeared and became part of Johnston Co.

24 April 1769 Samuel Holliman, Dobbs Co. planter to James Holliman, Jo. Co. Planter 135 acres in Jo Co & on BS Little Riv being part of a larger tract granted formerly to Henry Jernigan by Deed from Granville…bet Samuel Holliman and Charles Wilkinson…Wit: Edmond Godwin, Elias George

1769, Frederick Holliman purchases land between his land and James Holliman’s.  Adj. to Samuel Holliman

Ross, Elizabeth E. Kinfolks of Johnston Co., Abstracts of Deeds, 1759 – 1825, Vol. 1. Clayton, NC

BS means both sides.  SS, South side…

P. 4 - Jan. 19, 1769, James Holliman, Saml. Holliman and Charles Wilkinson wit will of Joseph Garner Sr.

Under Johnston Co., NC militia commanded by Capt Simon Turner  prior to 1770, Soloman Holloman.

1 March 1770  Robert Cobb,  Cumberland Co, merchant to Samuel Holliman, Jo Co, Planter 374 acres on BS little riv, formerly granted to James Downing by Granville 1 Jan 1763. 

31 March 1770 Robert Cobb to Samuel Holliman, Jo Co, planter 100 acres on BS little Riv being land & plantation whereon Samuel Holliman now lives on being part of a larger tract granted to Ambrose Blackburn by Granville.

 Under Johnston Co., regiment, Col. Samuel Smith and Capt. Benjin Hardy was  David Hollyman; Col. Samuel Smith

6 Jan 1770 David Holliman Jo Co to John Moore 100 acres on NS little rive .

21 Aug 1771 John Moore Sr to John Moore Jr…..wit: Absalom Hollimon

P. 2 – James Halliman to Elizabeth Bryan 16 Apr 1772.  Bssm  (Bondsman) James Halliman and Charles Jones.  James Grantson Holliman m. an Elizabeth Bryan.  Note, one of the bondsmen was a James Holliman.  Who is this James Holliman?

25 May 1772 James Hollimon and John Hinnant wit. sale of land by Jacob Yelventon to Sharrack Yelventon.

Joe Parker, Feb. 2011:  'There were a large family of Bryants living in Johnston Co., NC as
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.'

258. 15 Nov 1775 – James Hallimon of Jo Co to Samuel Hallimon  Jo Co 336 ac. BS Little River part of a grant to Robert Bryan by Granville, adj. Boykin, James Hallimon; Solomon Johnson…Elisabeth Hollimon w/o sd James Hollimon surrenders her right of dower; thirds… Wit: David Hollimon, Solomon Johnson…signed James Hollimon and Elisabeth Hollimon. This is an important deed.  Robert Bryan received a patent from Granville.  By surrendering her dower right, Elizabeth is stating Robert Bryan is her father!  My generation’s 5th GGF!  

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.


322. 27 Feb. 1777 Samuel Holliman of Jo. Co. to Seth Holliman Jo. Co. for GW and Aff. To my son…100 ac BS Little River, being part of a tract granted to Ambros Blackbkurn adj…tract granted to James Dowing by Granville, adj Thomas Faulk and Jacob Yelventon…Wit: Jas Holliman, Elizabeth signed Sam. Holliman.  More evidence that this Samuel Holliman  is father of James Grantson Holliman.  Samuel has given to son Seth for good will and affection 100 acres.  Samuel have have been in ill health.  1777 is the last legal document we have concerning him.

28.  32 (sic) July 1777 Samuel Holleman of Jo Co to John Holleman Jo Co for L; GW to my son, a negro girl Hannah ca. 6/7 years.  Wit: Charles Wiklinson, Benca Wilkenson, signed Sam Holleman Nov. Ct 1777.

191. 1 Dec. 1777 John Kent of Edgecombe Co to John Lockhart Jo Co in Jo Co BS Little River  being part of tract granted to Henry Connacan by Granville…being the plant. Bought of James and Fredrick Holliman…

Cat Tail Lake, Johnston County, North Carolina 2011
P. 66 – Charles R. Holloman, co-author of The Story of Kinston and Lenoir County wrote Nathan Holloman settled in 1778 in Grantham section of Wayne County, NC when he came down from Southampton Co., Virginia.  Was 3 G Uncle of Charles Holloman. Near Cox’s Mill on south side of Neuse River about ten miles from Goldsboro in the direction of Mt. Olive.

Also Charles R. Holloman, B.S., LL.B. compiled a Cross Index to Deeds for Johnston Co. 1746 to 1759, Dobbs Co and Lenoir Co. He co-authored a book with Talmadge C. Johnson (Raleigh: Edwards and Broughton Co, 1954). 

 P. 1 Samuel Collins to Martha Nowel, Sep 15, 1778.  Bondsmen Samuel Collins and James Holliman.

William Hollimon and Thomas Hollimon  were absent at the Genl Muster and fined 20 shillings. Nov 1778.

173-(495). State Grant No. 45 to John Proctor.  1 Jul 1779 - 460 acres on the south side of Tyoncokey Swamp, joining sd Proctor, Arthur Williams, Holliman’s Branch, William Proctor. Nov. Ct 1779.  Edward Hall CC.  Edgecombe Co. NC.

124–(441). State Grant No 5 to William Proctor.  10 Dec. 1778 - 230 acres on the east side of Holliman’s Great Branch. Aug Ct 1779.  Edward Hall CC.  Edgecombe Co., NC

358 – (126).  John (x) Proctor of Edgcombe Co to Absalom Williams of same.  22 May 1780

302.  13 May 1780 Isac Ferel of Jo Co to Edward More of Nash Co 300 ac. In JoCo NS Neus River, SS Cattail, Sw. adj. Tho Hollimon, upper end of Hollimons Mill pond…granted to Isac Ferrell Dec. 1778…Wit: Phil Thomas, Jas Holliman.

178 (date missing), Feb. 19 - James Hollimon, Jo Co to Josiah Taylor on the SS Great Buffalow sw, being part of a larger tract granted to sd Hollimon from the state office for 550 a Beg.  Wit Elisha Woodard and Charles Pope.  No ct. date.  Believed 1780s.

The Cat Tail River is north of the Buffalo and Little River in Johnston Co.  Go north from Smithfield, NC, up Highway 96 and cross all three.

Cat Tail Mill in 2011, Johnston County, North Carolina

P. 9 - William Holleman bondsman for Augnelia Nairr to ? Baily, Nov. 15, 1782. 
1782, Aug. 21 James Holliman, Jo Co, planter to Samuel Collings, 200 acres.  Wit: Lewis Bryant and Nathan Gulley Sept. 10, 1782 - Jas.  Holliman and Lewis Bryant witness sale of land by John Bruer to Benjamin Wilkinson.

Sept. 10, 1782 - Jas.  Holliman and Lewis Bryant witness sale of land by John Bruer to Benjamin Wilkinson.

Jan. 27, 1783 – Nathan Gully and Jas. Holliman sell to Jas. Holder 250 acres NS of Great Buffelow near Bryan’s.

The Buffalo River, Johnston County, NC, April 2011

Feb. 24, 1783 - Jas Holliman and Frederick Holliman witness sale of land by Jams Price to Dixon Price.

Johnston County, NC Abstracts: Deed Books, 1764 – 1791

Jan. 23, 1783 James Holliman and G. Warren witness sale of land by Isham Rogers to John Bruer.
April 2, 1783 – James Holliman witnesses with Lewis sale of land by Jethrow Woodward to George White.

1784-1787 Johnston County Census
Eight Holliman families:
 James - 1 male, ages 21 – 60, 4 females under 21, no slaves  This I believe to be James Grantson Holliman
Fred – 1 male, 2 female, 1 slave
John – 1 male, 2 female – either under 21 or over 60, no slaves
Samuel- one male over 60  Is this James Grantson Holliman’s father?  Note, no David Holliman now lives in Johnston Co.  Has he moved to Georgia?  Is this the Samuel Holliman who bought and sold land in Edgecombe Co. in the 1740s and 1750s?
Samuel, Jr. – one male 21 – 60, 2 females under 21 or over 60
Seth – one male and one female
Thomas – 2 between 21 – 60; 6 under 21, 1 female, 2 slaves
William – 1 21 – 60, 3 under 21 or over 60, 6 female


1 7 Nov 1786…Simon Strickland sold to Zacharias O’Neal land on BS Little River.  Near Fred Hollimon.  And purchased from William Hollimon….Wit: Fred Hollimon
Seth Holliman m. Unity Godwin 20 Aug 1786, Johnston Co. records

187. (A) Will of EDWARD HOLLIMAN. 28 Jan. 1786; Oct. Ct. 1786. Names: Wife MARY; Sons WILLIAM & BLAKE, Extrs.; Dtrs. ELISABETH HARRIS, MARTHA COLEMAN & NANCY HOLLIMAN. Land devised to his sons adj. LEWIS PATTERSON & URBANE NICHOLSON & line for division was made in presence of NATHL. FELTS & LEWIS PATTERSON. Wit: WILLIAM FELTS (Jurat), JOHN BOBBIT & JOHN FAULCON.  Warren Co., NC
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

May 19, 1787, James Holliman wit sale of land by John Price to William Richardson.
The Samuel noted in my note on above, can be located again in some tax records in 1787, when he stated to the tax collector that he was 79 years old at that time, and so noted the tax collector on his notes. This would have put Samuel born about 1708 - the same time noted for Richard Hollyman's Samuel.  Joe Parker, Apr 2011




North Carolina Heads of Families at the First Census of the US taken in the Year 1790  (I have listed only a few; more work required. See below for Johnston Co. names in 1790 census.)
James Holliman, Hillsborough District, Wake County, p. 105: 1 white male over 16, 2 free male whites under 16, 3 free female whites. No slaves.  Wake Co. was created in part from Johnston Co.

Isham Holliman, Halifax district, Edgecombe C o, 1 male, 3 males under 16, 4 females and 5 slaves

Jesse Holliman, same location, 1 male, 3 males under 16 and 3 white females. No slaves.
Many Hollomans in Edenton District, Hertford Co. with heads of families begin Samuel, Silva, Aaron, David (all spelled Holomon).  Plus John Holoman and Cornelius Holoman and Christopher Holomon.

 1790 Johnston Co., NC Census
Only John, Seth, William and Frederick Holliman are listed.  No James in this county!  Has he moved to Anson Co. by 1790?  Samuel has died?

James Holliman m.. Nancy Narin 8 Nov 1791, Johnston Co., NC

P. 17 - Joseph Holliman to Nancy Niarn 5 Nov 1791.  Bdsm John Holder.


P. 18 – Tobias Holliman to Prudence Holder 29 May 1793.  Bdsm Hardy Parker.

Fact: One 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!

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!

Fact: In April 1772, James Holliman obtained a license to marry Elizabeth Bryant. All records agree Elizabeth Bryant was the mother of James Grantson's children.

Fact: In 1768, one Richard Holliman married Arpey Bryant, a sister of Elizabeth. Is this Richard a brother of James? The license was witnessed by David Holliman.

Thesis: Brother Richard and James married sisters, that much is known. These sisters were under David Holliman’s guardianship. 

Fact: One thing is known, we are descended from Elizabeth Bryant’s father, Robert, and his family tree is published. This branch of our Holliman tree is fascinating in and of itself.

Fact: The 1790 census shows James Grantson living in the Hillsborough District of Wake County, NC. In his pension petition he stated he moved to Lancaster County, SC in 1792.


  1. Bob Holloman Rye NYJanuary 21, 2013 at 11:16 AM


    As always, excellent forensic analysis. As Joe Parker said regarding the Bryant-Holloman interconnections, Hertford county census for 1810 shows a Briant(Bryant) Hollimon, who continues to be listed for succeeding Hertford Co censuses in 1820, 1830 and 1840. Bryant married Lavinia Holloman, daughter of John and Marina Holloman of Hertford County. I have no evidence as to Bryant's mother and father, but it was believed by my aunt that Bryant was possibly the son of Samuel Hollomon of Bertie County(1752-1809) and Christine ? who were married in 1785. Bryant's property in Hertford County was adjacent to Samuel's property that straddled both sides of the Hertford-Bertie County border. If he was Samuel's son, my aunt believed that he would have been the first born male, so Bryant may have been Christine's maiden name. You mention Aspey and Elizabeth Bryant had four siblings, do you know their names?

  2. Oh me, Bob, I have run out of records on the Hollomans and Bryants at this point in time. However, Joe Parker and Jeanette Stewart are the champs on this. I am going to post your question on the Tina Peddie chat site and ask for others to chime in. We might also hear from Lynn Holliman. Good to hear from you. I am still working on our English ancestors. Glenn

  3. Generally speaking, children aged 14 and over could legitimately perform a variety of legal actions:

    Choose their guardian, or replace an existing guardian
    Apprentice themselves without parental consent
    Bequeath personal property (but not real property) in a will
    Witness deeds and contracts
    Testify in court