The Media Research Bureau, Washington, D. C. has compiled the following genealogical
and historical sketch on the name and family of "Hill".
The name of HILL or HILLS was derived from the residence of its first bearers on or
near a hill. It is found in ancient records in the various forms of Hil, Hille, Hyll, Hylls, Hylles, Hell,
Hells, Hull, Hulls, Hilles, Hills, and Hill, of which the last is the form most generally used in America
today, and the next to the last is also frequently found. Families bearing these forms of the name appear
to have been, for the most part, of the landed gentry and yeomanry of England.
One of the earliest lines of the family in England was that of Robert de Hill, who is
believed to have gone into England with William the Conqueror in 1066. He was the father of Robert, who had
a son named Robert, who was the father of Thomas of County Cornwall and William of Shropshire, of whom the
last was the father of William, who had a son Thomas, who was the father of Thomas.
Thomas Hill of Cornwall, elder son of the third Robert, was the father of Thomas,
who had John, who had William, who was the father of William, who had a "Son also named William, who was
the father of William and John, of whom the last was the father of William, who had John, who had two sons,
William and John.
William Hill, elder son of the before mentioned William of Cornwall, was the father
of William, who had William, who was the father of William and Henry, of whom the last had a son named
William and the first also had a son named William, who was the father in the early seventeenth century
of a son named Thomas.
Another early line of descent is given as beginning with one Robert de la Hull of
Shropshire as early as the year 1202. He had a son named William, who was the father of Hugh or Hugo Hull
or Hill, who was the father of William, who had a son Griffith, who had Humphrey, who was the father of
William, Ralph (ancestor of a numerous Shropshire line), and Thomas, of whom the last made his home in
London and was the father of Sir Rowland (Lord Mayor of London) and numerous others.
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William Hill, eldest son of Humphrey of Shropshire, was the father of William, Jacob,
and Thomas, of whom the last was the father of George and John. The son George had a son Edmund, who was
the father of John, who had Thomas and Edmund. The son Thomas was the father of, among others, a son named
Humphrey, who was the father of, among others, a son named Leonard, who had issue in the early seventeenth
century of Thomas, Edward, . Andrew, Fabian, Leonard, Humphrey, Matthew, Richard, and several
While it is not definitely known from which of the many illustrious branches of the
family in England the first emigrants of the name to America were descended, it is generally believed that
all of the Hills were of ancient origin and, in many cases, of common ancestry at a
One of the first of the name in America was John Hill or Hills of Plymouth, Mass.,
in 1630, who is believed to have made his home at Medfield in 1656. His children, by his wife Hannah, were
Abigai1, Samuel, John, Eliezur, Johnson, and Ebenezer.
The brothers, William and Thomas Hills, emigrated from Essex County, England, to
Roxbury, Mass., in 1632. Thomas died in 1634 without issue. William removed to Hartford, Conn., and probably
had no issue by his first wife, Phillis Lyman, whom he married in 1634. His second wife, the Widow Risley,
was the mother of his sons, William and John; and his third wife, the Widow Mary (nee Warner) Steele, was
the mother of Joseph, Benjamin, Susannah, Mary, Jonathan, Hannah, and Sarah.
One William Hill emigrated in 1633 to Dorchester, Mass., whence he later removed to
Windsor, Conn. He was the father of Sarah and William, as well as possibly of others.
John Hill of Dorchester, possibly brother of the preceding emigrant William, emigrated
to America about 1633 or shortly thereafter. By his wife, Frances, he was the father of John, Jonathan,
Frances, Rebecca, Mary, Samuel, Hannah, Mercy, Ruth, Ebenezer, Isreal, Martha, and Mehitable.
The brothers, Robert and John Hill or Hills, are recorded as having emigrated about
1635. They settled at New Haven, Conn. The younger brother appears to have left no issue; but Robert was
the father of Abiah, John, Hannah, Ebenezer, and Nathaniel.
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Ahraham Hill settled at Charlestown, Mass., in 1636. He had issue by his wife, Sarah
Long, of Ruth, Isaac, Abraham, Zechary, Sarah (died young), Mary, and Jacob.
The brothers, Valentine and John Hill, came from London to Boston, Mass., about 1636.
Valentine was the father by his wife, Frances, of Hannah, John (died young), Elizabeth, Joseph, and
Benjamin. By his second wife, Mary Eaton, he had further issue of John and Nathaniel. His younger brother
John married Elizabeth Strong in 1657 and had issue by her of Joseph, Samuel, John, and Benjamin.
Joseph Hills of Charlestown, Mass., in 1638 came from Malden, England, with his first
wife, Rose Dunster, by whom he was the father of Joseph, Rebecca, Amy, Mary, Hannah, Gershom, Mehitable,
and John. By his second wife, Hannah Mellowes, he had further issue of Samuel, Nathaniel, Deborah, and
Abigail. Some authorities believe, however, that the last two children may have been by his third wife,
Helen Atkinson. It appears that Richard Hill or Hills of Charlestown in 1638, who was probably the brother
of the preceding emigrant Joseph, died without issue.
Ralph Hill settled at Plymouth, Mass., about 1638. He was married in that year to
Margaret Toothacre, by whom he had issue of Jonathan, Nathaniel, Ralph, Martha, and Rebecca, several of
whom may have been born at Billerica, where he lived in the latter part of his life.
John Hill of Guilford, Conn., came from Northamptonshire, England, about 1646. By
his first wife, Frances, he had John, Sarah, James, Elizabeth, and possibly others, and by his second wife
the Widow Catharine Chalker he may have had further issue, although they do not appear in
About 1648 Peter Hill came to Saco, Me., bringing with him his son Roger, who left
numerous issue at Wells.
>One John Hill or Hills of Dover, N. H., in 1649 had issue by his wife, Elizabeth,
of a son named Benjamin, as well as possibly of others.
Zebulon Hill(s) of Gloucester, Mass., about 1650 came from Bristol, England, and
was the father of eight children, Joanna, Elizabeth, John, Philip, Zebulon, Mary, Abigail,
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Luke Hill(s) married Mary Hoyt at Windsor, Conn., in 1651 and had issue by her of
Lydia, Mary, Eleazer, Tahan, Luke, Abigail, Elizabeth, and John.
The brothers Ignatius and James Hill or Hills came to Boston sometime before 1658.
The first married Hannah Henchman in 1662 and had issue by her of Hannah, James, Ignatius,
Jonathan Hill of Portsmouth, N. H., and Warwick, R. I., before 1661 was the father
by his wife, Mary, of Robert, Jonathan, and Henry.
Charles Hill was living at New London, Conn., in 1665, having been previously at
Maryland, to which place he had come from Derbyshire, England In 1668 he married Ruth Picket, who gave him
four children, Jane, Charles, Ruth, and Jonathan. He appears to have had no further issue by his second
wife Rachel Mason.
John Hill of Portsmouth, N. H., in 1665 was the father by his wife, Elizabeth, of
Joseph, Nathaniel, and Samuel.
Another John Hill or Hills was living at Boston in 1668 and had issue by his wife,
Mary, of Elizabeth and John.
Still another John Hill or Hills made his home at Saybrook, Conn., and was married
in 1670 to Jane Bushnell, by whom he had at least one son named Samuel and probably
others as well.
Thomas Hill(s) of Middletown, Conn., before 1678 was the father by his wife, Mary,
of Susannah, Elizabeth, Thomas, John, Sarah, and Mary.
About 1680 one Samuel Hill(s) resided at Portsmouth, N. H., and was married in that
year to Elizabeth Williams, by whom he had issue of John, Elizabeth, Mary, Hannah, Abigail, Samuel, Sarah,
Benjamin, and Joseph.
Many others of the name emigrated to America in the eighteenth century. Among them
were Dr. Richard Hill, who married Deborah Moore of Maryland in 1720 and had issue by her of Richard,
Hannah, Mary, Deborah, Harriet, Henry, Rachel, Margaret, Sarah, Milcah, and others as well; and Jabez
Hills, who was married in 1727 at Wrentham, Mass., to Martha Metcalf. Their children were Joseph,
Benjamin, Ebenezer, and David.
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The descendants of these and of other branches of the family in America have spread
to practically every State of the Union and have aided as much in the growth of the country as their
ancestors did in the founding of the nation. They have been noted for their piety, resourcefulness,
courage, loyalty, and leadership.
Among those of the name who fought as officers in the War of the Revolution were
Captain Baylor, of Virginia; Lieutenant Charles, of New Hampshire; Lieutenant Ebenezer, of New York;
Captain Jeremiah, of Massachusetts; Lieutenants Philip and William, of Maryland; Major Thomas, of
Virginia; Lieutenant William, of North Carolina; and Lieutenant Henry of Connecticut.
Thomas, John, Robert,. Humphrey, Edward, Samuel, Ebenezer, Joseph, Abraham, Nathaniel,
Jonathan, and William are some of the Christian names most highly favored by the family.
A few of the many members of the family who have distinguished themselves in America
in more recent times are:
David Bennett Hill (1843-1910), of New York, lawyer and politician.
Frank Alpine Hill (1841-1903), of Maine, educator.
Henry Wayland Hill (1853-1929), of Vermont, lawyer.
James Jerome. Hill (1838-1916), of Canada and Minnesota, railroad promoter and
Thomas Hill (1829-1908), of England and the United States, painter.
Walter Barnard Hill (1851-1905), of Georgia, lawyer and educator.
One of the most ancient coats of arms of the English family of Hill or Hills, which
is closely allied with the American branches of the family is described as follows (Burke, Encyclopedia
of Heraldry, 1844; Matthews, American Armoury and Blue Book):
Arms. - "Gules, a saltire, vaire, between four mullets argent."
Crest. - "A demi leopard argent spotted of all colors, ducally gorged or."
Motto. - "Per Deum et ferrum obtinui." (Held thru God and sword).
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Bardsley. English and Welsh Sumanles. 1901.
Harleian Society. Cornwall Visitation. 1874.
Harleian Society. Shropshire Visitation. 1889.
J. L. Hill. A Genealogical Account of the Family of Hill. 1881.
Savage. Genealogical Dictionary of New England 1862.
W. S. Hills. Hills Family. 1902.
Bartlett. John Hill of Dorchester. 1804.
Paige. History of Cambridge, Mass, 1877.
Lapham. John Hill of Dover. 1889.
Wyman. Charlestown, Mass., Genealogies. 1879.
Hills Family Association Report. 1891-1895.
Hazen. Bi11erica, Mass. 1883.
Hill. Notes on the Family of John Hill. 1903.
New England Register. 1858.
Stiles. History of Ancient Windsor. 1892.
Austin. Rhode Island Genealogical Dictionary. 1887.