The State of Georgia required all male qualified voters to swear an oath of allegiance to United States government under the provision of the 1867 Reconstruction Act. The State applied this voting requirement to all adult-male Georgians who had been citizens of the Confederacy, Euro-descended and freedmen, alike. The post-Civil War migration of freedmen was rare before the chaotic and devastating conditions of Georgia at the war’s end in 1865. Therefore, freedmen who swore allegiance in 1867 in Glynn County were, in all probability, freed in Glynn County.
Jupiter Gilliard swore his allegiance in Militia District 27 of Glynn County, Georgia. In 1870, the census enumerator for the US Population Census listed Jupiter Gilliard, born about 1812 in South Carolina, in the Brunswick District where he lived with his wife Riner, born about 1820 in Florida. The Glynn County Tax Digest for the years 1874-1880 lists Jupiter Gilliard as a landowner in the 27th Militia District. Glynn County taxed Jupiter for 457 acres valued at $9.00 in 1875, 456 acres in 1876, 330 acres 1877, 25 acres in 1878, and 40 acres in 1880. While the Tax Digest lists the 1877; and in the 26th Militia District of Glynn County, this change in militia district and purchase of land in another. Georgia’s county militia district boundaries were not set at their contemporary positions until 1956.
Jupiter probably sold land during the years 1874-1877, as the Glynn County Tax Digest did not list him as having defaulted on the payment of taxes. In 1878, the Tax Digest listed a significant decrease in taxed acreage owned by Jupiter Gilliard. While it is possible that Jupiter Gilliard, who was approximately sixty-six years of age, sold land to decrease his work load, such an action would have been usually in the 1870s and 1880s. The elderly of a family usually held land and passed it on at death as an inheritance for their children. Both the decrease in taxed 1877 and 1878 and the change in Militia District shown in the Tax Digest may reflect the ownership of land by more than one Glynn County resident named Jupiter Gilliard.
Jupiter Gilliard, born about 1812, was listed on the 1870 US Population census with his wife, Riner. In 1880, the census enumerator did not list Jupiter, about 1812, in all probability, died between 1870 and 1880 and the Tax Digest lists seems to suggest that his death occurred around 1877 or 1878. The census enumerator for the 1880 US Population Census listed Jupiter Gilliard, born about 1853 in Georgia, and his wife Silla Gilliard, born about 1856 in Georgia, in the Glynn County 27th Militia District. Jupiter Gilliard married Cella Frazier on 3/10/1870 in Glynn County. In 1880, this Jupiter’s mother Rina Gilliard, born circa 1820 in Florida, and his brother “Lonon,” born circa 1861 was living in his household.
It is significant to note that in 1878, the Glynn County Tax Digests listed tow new names of men whose surnames closely resemble Gilliard. London Gillins and Sam Gaillard began to pay tax on land in the 26th Militia District of Glynn County. Glynn County taxed London for 6 acres of land while Sam paid tax on 10 acres. London Gillins may have also have used the name “Lundy”.
The Glynn County Tax Digest appears to show that Jupiter Gilliard, born in 1812, died in 1877 or 1878 and left acreage to his sons, Jupiter, born in 1853, and London, born in 1861. While he may have left land to Sam or Sippio, Sam or Sippio was not the son of Jupiter Gilliard, born in 1812. The 1870 census enumerator listed Sippio Gilliard, born about 1855, in the household of his mother, Anna Gilliard, born about 1853, by Jupiter, born about 1812. Although census records do not directly link London, born circa 1861 in Georgia, to Jubiter, born circa 1812 in South Carolina, in a father/son relationship, the 1880 US Population Census does link London and his older brother, Jupiter Gilliard, born about 1853, directly to Rina Gilliard, born about 1820 in Florida.
London Gilliard married Affie Short on 12/24/1881 in Glynn County. In 1900, London Gilliard, born about 1857, was living in Militia District 27 of Glynn County, Georgia with his wife Affie, born 1857 and three children: Thomas, born circa 1885; Arabella, born about 1890; and Flensina, born 1896. While the 1900 census enumerator misspelled Florine Gilliard’s name Flensina, this Flensina, born about 1896, married Horace Johnson, born about 1895, on May 1, 1914. In 1920, the census enumerator listed Horace and Florine Johnson as living in the 27th Militia District of Glynn County. Florine’s elderly father, London Gilliard, born about 1860, lived with the couple at Gillyard Terrace. The census enumerator did not list children in the household although the couple did have children, Affie Belle, born about 1915, James W., born 1918, Ophelia, born in 1919, and Horace Johnson, Jr.
Surviving documents has showed that the genealogy of Ophelia Johnson Killens on her maternal side could be traced from Ophelia’s great-grandfather Jupiter Gilliard, born about 1812 in south Carolina, and his wife Rina, born about 1820 in Florida. Jupiter and Rina began their marital union before the Civil War and were enslaved in Glynn County, Georgia as evidenced by the births of two sons, Jupiter Gilliard, born about 1853 in Georgia, and London Gilliard, born about 1861 in Georgia and by Jupiter’s 1867 oath of allegiance to the United States. Ophelia Johnson’s grandfather, London Gilliard, the son of Jupiter and Rina Gilliard, married Affie Short. London and Affie were the parents of Florine Gilliard. Florine Gilliard married Horace Johnson and their union produced four children, Affie Belle, James W., Ophelia, and Horace Johnson, Jr.