Marty and Karla Grant
Dillard Genealogy - NC, SC, TN and GA
Welcome to my Dillard genealogy pages. I am interested in the Dillard surname in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia.
My most recent Dillard ancestor is my four times great grandmother, Nancy Dillard, who we haven’t actually proven was a Dillard yet. Nancy was born ca 1789/90 either in SC or NC. She married Noah Stewart in 1802 in Buncombe (now Haywood) Co., NC. They lived in Buncombe and Haywood Counties until moving to Union Co., GA in 1849. She died there in 1880, he in 1881, having outlived all of their children, and dying in poverty.
We have never found any source document, either primary or secondary, with Nancy’s maiden name. However, many of us have wondered why they named their second son “Dillard Stewart.” That is almost certainly in honor of a recent ancestor or close family friend. Kathi Bobb did some DNA analysis and found we are related to many members of the Dillard families that lived in the area so it makes sense to conclude that Nancy herself was the namesake of son Dillard Stewart. If she was indeed a Dillard, which seems a reasonable conclusion, then who were her parents? There are only two choices as I see it.
Thomas Dillard (c1768-1827) and Dorcas Love (c1773) of Buncombe and Haywood Co., NC. We have DNA matches to their descendants. Thomas is the son of Thomas Dillard Sr. who died 1784 in Washington Co., TN. However, there are various documents proving their children, and Nancy Stewart is not listed among them.
John Dillard, Rabun, (1755-1842) and Ruth Vaughn. According to what appears to be some quality research by others, this John was apparently a son of Edward Dillard who died in 1761 in Virginia. He was bound out to his uncle Thomas Dillard (father of above Thomas), and apparently raised as a son by said Thomas. This John, along with 1st cousin/adopted brother, Thomas (1768) are the only Dillards in Buncombe area who could possibly be Nancy Dillard Stewart’s parents. That is, unless another family passed through just long enough for Nancy to meet Noah Stewart and marry him there and remain after they moved on (or died). John Dillard lived in Buncombe from the 1780s through the 1820s when he moved to Rabun Co., GA where he died in 1842.
John’s family is not 100% documented, though many children are known. There is room for Nancy there, but I’m not convinced she’s his.
One final possibility is a William Dillard who appeared in the Newfound Baptist Church minutes on 6 Feb 1802 as one of three men (with Joshua Kelly and Ezekiel Campbell) sent to help (i.e. preach to) the people at the Old Fields of Pigeon on Turkey Creek. This is noteworthy because Noah Stewart’s parents were members of that church, though he himself was not. I’ve found nothing else on this William Dillard. He *might* be the same as William F. Dillard (1782-1877) son of John Dillard, Rabun, mentioned above. However, that William would only have been 19 when that church record was made. That doesn’t preclude it from being him though. If not him, then an older namesake perhaps? Noah and Nancy didn’t name any of their sons William (unless it’s one that died young), but most of their children named a son William. Of course it’s a common name and this doesn’t prove anything, but certainly worth noting.
Is it possible that Nancy Stewart herself wasn’t the Dillard, but her mother was instead? Thus, we’d still be DNA matches with Dillards, but one generation removed from where we think. The only paper trail connection so far is that Noah Stewart witnessed a deed from Robert Love in the 1820s. Col. Robert Love (1760-1845) was marred to Mary Ann Dillard (1767-1842), sister to John, Rabun (1755) and Thomas (1768) mentioned above. There were several Love marriages into the Dillards. Robert Love (Mary Ann Dillard 1767), James Love (Winnesophia Dillard 1763), Thomas Love (Martha Dillard 1774) and Dorcas Love (Thomas Dillard 1768) all married Dillard siblings.
Could our Nancy Stewart be a Love instead? It’s possible, but I haven’t seen anything to indicate that might be the case other than the one instance of Noah Stewart witnessing a deed from Robert Love.
More research is needed to expand upon our Dillard ancestry, if we in fact have Dillard ancestry.
There were Dillards in Laurens Dist., SC that seem to be related to the Buncombe County family. Col. James Dillard (1755-1836) and Samuel Dillard (1749-1805). I don’t know that our Nancy comes from either of them, but it’s possible.
Those, and the others I’ve mentioned all seem to come from Pittsylvania Co., VA and Culpeper Co., VA before residing in TN, NC and SC.
Revised: February 21, 2023