Member Biography

William Gilliland 


Early Families of Frederick County, Maryland and Adams County Pennsylvania, Steve Gilland, Gettysburg, 1996 

Sessions Office Position District Party
1809-1810       11 Democrat
1810-1811       11 Democrat
1811-1812       11 Democrat
1812-1813       11 Democrat
1817-1818       11 Democrat
1818-1819       11 Democrat

COUNTIES: Adams, York  


01/12/1753 - 07/07/1831

Major General William Gilliland (D11) Adams and York Counties 1809-1813 (D11) Adams and York Counties 1817-1819

Early Life:

Major General William Gilliland, born January 12, 1753, Menallen Township, Biglerville, York County (now, Adams County), Province of Pennsylvania, British Colonial America; son of John and Jane Gilliland; lieutenant colonel, Revolution War; married, Catherine Fleming 1777 (d.1798), children, John Gilliland, Samuel Gilliland, James Gilliland, William Gilliland, George Gilliland, Fleming Gilliland, Joseph Gilliland; unsuccessful candidate, Pennsylvania Governor, 1805; married, Mary Galbraith, 1807; major general, War of 1812; justice of the peace; first, associate justice of Adams County; first postmaster, Adams County; elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1809-1813, unsuccessful candidate reelection, 1813; unsuccessful candidate, Trustee, Academy, Adams County, Pennsylvania, 1810; elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1817-1819; died, July 7, 1831, Straban Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania; interment, Great Conewago Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Straban Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania.

Early Career:

Lieutenant Colonel, commanded, Fourth Battalion, York County Pennsylvania Militia, Revolution War; appointed, Governor Thomas McKean, Major General, War of 1812.

Pennsylvania Politics: 

Justice of the peace. 

First associate justice of Adams County.

First postmaster, Adams County. 

Unsuccessful candidate, Pennsylvania Governor, 1805. 

Elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senate, Adams and York Counties, 1809-1813, unsuccessful candidate reelection, 1813. 

Unsuccessful candidate, Trustee, Academy, Adams County, Pennsylvania, 1810.

Elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senate, 11th district, Adams and York Counties, 1817-1819.


Owned, 105 acres, tax assessment of Straban Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania, for the year, 1800, valued at $3,032.

His obituary appeared in a local paper. Here is part of it:

Died on the 7th, William Gilliland, esq., in the 79th year of his age. His youthful ardor was identified by the spirit of 1776. He felt for his country's wrongs, and as a soldier of the Revolution, assisted in maintaining its rights, and securing its liberty and independence. He served as a Justice of the Peace and as a member of the State Legislature for many years and later acted as Associate Judge of the county. The deceased was a member of the Presbyterian church


Cox, Harold. "Senate Members "G""Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University.

A New Nation Votes (

Unknown author, History of Cumberland and Adams County, Pennsylvania, Part III, page 334.

The Republican Compiler, July 12, 1831.

LTC William Gilliland (1753-1831) - Find a Grave Memorial