Part I

    It is said that today there is a greater interest in genealogy than ever before. It is to be hoped that this is a true statement. As people look into the past, they learn to understand the present. As they review the lives of worthy ancestors, they are inspired to conduct their own lives worthily and to carry the family name proudly. Each generation makes its own contribution. Will our generation add to, or take from, the worthiness of the family name?

    It is not the purpose of this booklet to trace in detail the history of the Dillard family. That would be a task for the professional genealogist. Instead, we shall sketch some of the early history brought together from several sources and follow with a more thorough account of the family, beginning with the family of George Madison and Mary Elizabeth Smith Dillard. The records and dates have been compiled by children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. It is their hope that future generations will value this research and find it informative as well.

    Regarding the early history of the Dillard family, the following information was sent to a member of the family by Mrs. S. Gary Dillard of Clinton, SC. She states that it came to her from Mrs. E. B. Richards, 5308 Easton Drive, Springfield, VA. It is as follows:

            "The Dillard families of America came from Carbonne d'illard---that
        is Carbonne of the cantonment or family of Illard on the upper waters
        of the Rhine in France. Because of religious oppression, they
        accompanied William the Conqueror from France to the Isle of Man.
        This family settled in Waltshire (Wiltshire), England. They had a son
        named John Carbonne d'illard who had two sons, one of whom was named
        John. This John changed his name to Dillard. His son, George Dillard,
        was a barrister of the British Government and was sent to James Town,
        Virginia, as attorney for George III. From George Dillard, who came to
        America in 1660, all lines of the Dillard families descend."

            "According to George Dillard's will he had one son, but it is
        believed he had more and two daughters. This son, James Stephen,
        came to America at the age of two. He married Louise Page and
        settled in James City County, Virginia. He, with Captain Wise,
        was granted 25,000 acres of land known as Williamsburg Plantation."

            "James Dillard, born 1698 in James City County, Virginia. His will
        was dated March 13, 1790. He was married in 1724 to Lucy Wise, daughter
        of the above mentioned Capt. Wise. They lived in Amherst County and he
        was a Revolutionary patriot of Virginia. He had nine children: Thomas,
        George, Nicholas, Stephen, James, John, Sarah, Mary, and William Terry."

    We pause here to say that the material furnished by Mrs. Richards, mentioned above, includes additional information concerning the nine children of James Dillard and his wife, Lucy Wise Dillard. However, we shall now write only of George who was the ancestor of George Madison Dillard.

    Back to the information furnished by Mrs. Richards, mentioned before, but omitting some of the details not connected with the direct line of George Madison Dillard, we learn that George Dillard, son of James Dillard and his wife, Lucy Wise Dillard, was born in Virginia in 1725. He married Priscilla Major. They went to Bertie County, North Carolina, then to Laurens County, South Carolina. Their children were Samuel, Major, John, Ann, James, Elizabeth, and Sarah.

    Samuel Dillard, son of George and Priscilla Major Dillard, married Ann Hutchins. They went to Laurens County, South Carolina. Their children were George, John, Polly, Nancy, Mildred, and Sarah.

    John Dillard, son of Samuel and Ann Hutchins Dillard, was born in 1780. In 1800 he married Elizabeth Pearson of South Carolina. To this union came the following children: Lemuel, Simeon, Serena, Anna, Charlotte, Betsy, and John.

    We pause again to say that, in the information furnished by Mrs. Richards, mentioned earlier, it is stated that the above mentioned John might be Manon, that there was a Manon Green Dillard in Greer, South Carolina. While it cannot be stated with certainty that Manon Green Dillard was the son of John and Elizabeth Pearson Dillard, it is the feeling of this writer that he was. The dates are about right. Too, in naming his children, four of them apparently are named for his brothers and sisters. More research will have to be done to settle this question. If and when it is settled, the fact will be given at a future reunion of the Dillard Family.

    Before leaving the early history of this family, it might be of interest to some to read the following about the family name. These excerpts are taken from "The Name and Family of Dillard" compiled by the Media Research Bureau of Washington, DC.

            "The name of Dillard is of uncertain origin, some writers stating
        that it is of French derivation and was anciently spelled D'Illard.
        This would clearly indicate a local origin, since the French de means
        "of". Possibly, too, Dillard was an early corruption of Diller, a
        name frequently found in France, Germany, and the Netherlands. One
        English writer on surnames says, "To 'dill' is a Northernism meaning
        to finish, and both this name (Diller) and Dillman may have been
        derived from some handicraft". At any rate, the name is found in
        ancient and early American records in the various forms of Dieler,
        Dillher, Dillherr, Dilherr, Dillar, Dilliard, Diller, Dillard, and
        others, of which the last two are the spellings most frequently used in
        America in modern times.

        ..."The Dillards and Dillers have been known, generally speaking, for
        their courage, determination of purpose, ingenuity, and mental capacity.
        Certain lines have been prominent in literary and educational fields,
        while others have pursued scientific lines of endeavor or practiced law."

        ..."James, John, George, Thomas, Peter, Nicholas, and Benjamin are
        among the male Christian names most frequently encountered in the
        annals of the Dillard family."

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