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Hills, Hancock, Landon

Ancestors of Linley Hills

Son of Emma Hancock


Proposed Hills Lineage

Compiled by Judy Griffin, 2007 - email address


Hills Family

I couldn’t resist tracing Uncle Linley’s family line, since some of them were quite prominent. I suspect my mother, Hilda, would have found the information interesting. I do wonder if Uncle Linley knew anything about his father’s origins.

It is believed the Hills of Kent and many in England trace back to a Baron Thoebald de Helles of Helles Court at Ash Next Sandwich for whom there are considerable records in the 1100’s. Theobald the Baron de Helles married Agnes a’Beckett sister to Thomas, the Archbishop of Canterbury. One line of Hills traces back to the 1500s to the parish of St Laurence at Upminister, Essex which is about 8 miles from Darneth Manor which was a holding of the Hills of Helles Court at Ash Next Sandwich from about 1130 to the 1660’s. No one has successfully traced the Hills of England although various properties were owned by the Hills of Helles court for over 500 years. Hastad’s History of Kent traces ownership of several of the properties including Darenth Manor. (1)


Robert Hills

Most of the information on Robert Hills and his descendants of was taken from Ancestry.com OneWorldTree, no sources listed. None of the information has been confirmed, with the exception of Stephen Hills and his descendants.

The earliest known ancestor of that branch of the Hills family of which the English emigrants were sons of John Hills, a farmer of Henwood in Ashford, County of Kent, England, is Robert Hills of Wye, a parish about four miles northeast of Ashford and about nine miles southwest from Canterbury. The date of his marriage and birth and his parentage are at present unknown. The reasonable probability that he was the son or grandson of that Robert of Wye, who on the 28th of January, 1618, married at Swingfield, near Wye, Joan Harvey, has not been determined. He died at Wye in 1718, after the seventh of August, the date of his will, and the fourteenth of that month, the day of his burial. That part of his “last will and testament” genealogically valuable reads, “Imptimis – I will that my debts and funeral charges shall be paid and discharged, and whatsoever remains I do give unto my Dr. sons Robert, Thomas, John, Joseph and David Hills, each of them an equal share; and my daughter Mary Parker one shilling and that my sons Thomas and John be my executors.” In addition to the facts disclosed by this instrument, it is known that at the date of the baptism of the testator’s son Joseph in Sept. 1698, the wife and mother was recorded as of the name of Mary. Other records in the parish register of Wye indicate that this was an erroneous entry by the recording officer; and that a Deborah was the wife of Robert Hills from before the 18th of July, 1680, when the daughter Mary was baptized, to the death of her mother who as “Deborah wife of Robert Hills” was buried, July 3, 1717. (2)

Robert Hills was born circa 1650, probably in Wye, Kent, England, and died on August 10, 1718 (or after August 7 and before August 14, 1718, the date of his burial), in Wye, Kent, England. He married Deborah _?_ on July 18, 1680. Deborah was born in 1674, and died on July 3, 1717 in Wye, Kent, England. Their children were:




Joseph Hills

Joseph Hills (Robert1) was baptized September 25, 1698 in Wye, Kent, England, and died in September 1767 in Woodchurch. Joseph married Mary Pay of Wye, who was born in 1710 in Wye, Kent, England, and died in 1763, buried June 9. From information given to the compiler by his father, who was a grandson of this Joseph, confirmed and supplemented by the parish records of Wye and Woodchurch, it can be said of Joseph Hills that he was a farmer; that with his family he removed from Wye to Woodchurch about 1733; that he removed thence to a place called Bay Hill in Ashford where he lived for several years, when he again removed to Woodchurch, some eight miles southwest of Ashford, where upon an estate known as “The Bonny Cravat” he was a farmer and innkeeper until his death. The only children of Joseph and Mary (Pay) Hills of whom record has been obtained are:




John Hills

John Hills (Joseph2, Robert1) was born on September 30, 1730, in Wye, Kent, England, and died in December 1799, in Ashford, Kent, England. Buried on January 1, 1800. John married Sarah Lewis in December 1755 in Eastwell near Ashford, Kent. Sarah was born on April 22, 1730 in Ashford, Kent, England, and died on September 11, 1815 in Boston, Massachusetts. Buried in the John Jenkins tomb, number 29, Kings Chapel cemetery. The father of Sarah Lewis was Richard Lewis, born in 1670, in Kent, England and died in Ashford, Kent, England. Her mother was Bennet Hunt, born in 1710, and died in 1736. Richard and Bennet were married circa 1730.

Richard Lewis was probably of Eastwell, at the time of his daughter’s marriage, but of Ashford when she was born and at the time of his death in August 1765, at the age of about ninety-five years. This statement is based on information imparted by his daughter to her son. Bennet (Hunt) Hills died when her daughter Sarah “was about six years old.” John Hills was a farmer. At the time of his marriage, he settled at Kennington, a little parish between Ashford and Eastwell. There his first child was born in 1756, and probably his second in 1758. About the time that his family consisted of a wife and two children, he removed to Ashford, and occupied as lessee or tenant, the estate known as Henwood till his death. His widow and son George carried on the farm until 1803, when they came to Boston in Massachusetts, where three of her sons had already made a residence. It has been told of a famous spring of water upon this farm and was inquired about it in the summer of 1894. The tenant occupant said that the owner, a Mr. John Lewis, then held but thirty-five acres, that part of Henwood where the great spring was located having been taken for the water supply and pumping station of the parish of Ashford, which being at the junction of two trunk lines of railway, has, since the middle of the nineteenth century, changed from a quiet agricultural community to a thriving, bustling town.

The children of John Hills and Sarah Lewis were:




Stephen Hills

Stephen Hills (John3, Joseph2, Robert1) was born on August 10, 1771 in Ashford, Kent, England, and died on 17 October 17, 1844, in Columbia, Monroe County, Illinois. Stephen married Margaret Ashby in 1794 in Pluckley, Kent, England. Margaret was born on December 21, 1772 in Pluckley, Kent, England, and died on August 4, 1822 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. After Margaret died, Stephen married Elizabeth Fletcher in 1824 in Derby, Derbyshire, England. Elizabeth was born in 1800 in Tickhill, Yorkshire, England, and died in 1854 in Portland, Oregon. The parents of Elizabeth Fletcher were Thomas Fletcher and Elizabeth _?_, who married in Tickhill. Elizabeth _?_ was born circa 1769. The information below seems to confirm that Loftus Otto Hills was the son of Stephen and Elizabeth Hills.

Stephen Hills was the architect of the State Capitol of Pennsylvania, was the fifth child of John and Sarah (Lewis) Hills, who were married in December, 1755, and had a family of seven sons and a daughter. Stephen, the fourth son, was born at Ashford, Kent county, England, August 10, 1771. According to the custom of the times, he was “bound out for seven years” and apprenticed to a local housewright, living in his ldquo;master’s” family until his twenty-first birthday. In 1794 he married Margaret Ashby, of Pluckley, a parish village about five miles from Ashford. He was the first of the five brothers who came to America, arriving at Boston in either 1796 or 1797. His brothers Richard and William joined him in 1801, and subsequent to his departure for this city, about 1802, his brothers George and Joseph, and their widowed mother, came to the Unites States and settled in the capitol of New England.

While a resident of Boston he was actively engaged in business and built several houses. The building erected for his own home in 1799, in what was then the outskirts of the town, still stands in what is now a very thickly settled part of Boston. The city’s geographical center has passed it, and is now nearly a mile beyond its location. At how early a date he became a resident of Harrisburg is not known to his New England relatives, but it is believed that he built many of the houses of that city which were erected in the earlier part of the present century. His plans for the capitol of Pennsylvania were adopted, and he was the builder as well as the architect of that edifice, the cornerstone of which was laid May 31, 1819.

While on a visit to England his wife, Margaret Hills, died at Harrisburg, on Sunday, August 4, 1822, in the 51st year of her age, leaving four children. Sarah, who married November 26, 1821, Samuel White, and subsequently removed to Indianapolis, where she was living in 1845, and three sons, John, Stephen, and Thomas. Before returning to America, Mr. Hills again married, and was for a short time once more a resident of Harrisburg. About 1825 he went to England for the last time and remained there about eleven years, and in the winter of 1836-7 returned to the United States. He is described by those who knew him at this time as a man of large frame, weighing about two hundred and fifty pounds. In the spring of 1837 he went to Jefferson city to build the capitol for the state of Missouri. The plans made for the Pennsylvania structure were accepted for this edifice, and so closely followed that the building was practically a duplicate of his earlier work. Immediately following the completion of the capitol, he commenced the erection of the university at Columbia, in that State, and finished his contract in the spring of 1843. He then retired from his profession and went to his farm in the western part of Illinois (about twelve miles from St. Louis). Here he died, October 17, 1844, leaving a widow and her children, two daughters and a son; and a son, daughter and six grandchildren as descendants of himself and Margaret Ashby, his first wife. (3)

The narrative above indicates that by 1844 only one son and Sarah, children of Stephen and Margaret, were still alive. All three children of his second marriage were still living. Cathy Hills found Stephen in the 1840 census for Cole County, Missouri. She recorded: Males: 1 - age 10-15; 1 - age 60-70. Females: 1 - age 10-15; 2 - age 15-20.

A biographical sketch of William Beck, the husband of Stephen’s daughter by his second marriage, Anne Elizabeth, gives information on Stephen: “Mr. Hills, an architect of prominence, came to Boston in 1796 and the house he erected for himself in 1799 is still standing in the heart of that old city. His work in Philadelphia attracted attention and he was the builder as well as the architect of the state house at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the corner stone of which was laid, May 31, 1819. Seventy-eight years later this fine edifice was destroyed by fire. In 1825 Mr. Hills returned to his beautiful home at Royal Leamington Spa - a town and celebrated watering-place in Warwickshire, England. . . . In 1837 her [Anne] father was recalled to the United States to build the state house at Jefferson City, Missouri. Immediately following the completion of the capitol he built the university at Columbia.” Source: “William Beck,” in Gaston, Joseph, Portland, Oregon, its history and builders: in connection with the antecedent explorations, discoveries, and movements of the pioneers that selected the site for the great city of the Pacific, Chicago: S. J. Clarke, Pub. Co., 1911, p. 282. Note that there is information on Royal Leamington Spa available via an internet Google search.

This biographical sketch of William Beck also states that Anne and William Beck ended up in Portland, Oregon, which confirms the death place of Elizabeth Fletcher. The 1850 Indiana census for Indianapolis lists William and Anne and the widow Elizabeth Hills was living with them, so she undoubtedly went West with them.

The ship’s record confirms the return of Stephen Hills and his second wife, Elizabeth to the United States. They departed from Liverpool on the ship Canada and arrived at New York on June 20, 1823. Stephen was listed as age 57, Elizabeth was 29. This would put Stephen’s birthdate at circa 1766, Elizabeth’s at circa 1794. Source: Ancestry.com. New York, 1820-1850 Passenger and Immigration Lists [database online]. Provo, Utah: MyFamily.com, Inc., 2003. Original data: New York. Registers of Vessels Arriving at the Port of New York from Foreign Ports, 1789-1919. Micropublication M237, roll 4, list number 273. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

More important, the ship’s record for the return of Stephen in 1836, with two of his children by his second marriage, Loftus and Matilda, and his son Thomas from his first marriage, strongly indicates that Loftus was a son of Stephen. They arrived at New York on August 18, 1836, having departed from London on the ship Ocmulyee. Stephen, who listed himself as an architect, stated he was age 66, which would put his birthdate circa 1770. Thomas, probably a son by Stephen’s first marriage, was age 42, putting his birthdate circa 1794. Loftus was age 7, birthdate circa 1829, Matilda was age 8, birthdate circa 1828. Just where his second wife, Elizabeth, was is not known. Source: Ancestry.com. New York, 1820-1850 Passenger and Immigration Lists [database online]. Provo, Utah: MyFamily.com, Inc., 2003. Original data: New York. Registers of Vessels Arriving at the Port of New York from Foreign Ports, 1789-1919. Micropublication M237, roll 31, list number 732. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

There is additional information on Stephen published in the newsletter of the Historic Harrisburg Association (4) that confirms some of the information above:

The children of Stephen Hills and Margaret Ashby were:

The children of Stephen Hills and Elizabeth Fletcher were:

There is some additional information on Anne Elizabeth from the biographical sketch of her husband, William Beck: (5)

“William Beck was born November 2, 1817, in Roxbury, Pennsylvania. He was the sixth son of Christian and Lana (Ahl) Beck. His ancestry was German. His grandfather Beck emigrated to America in early manhood. His grand uncle, Dr. John Peter Ahl, born in Berlin, came to this country in the beginning of the revolution, settling in Bucks county, Pennsylvania. Soon after his arrival he joined the Continental army as surgeon, serving in that capacity until the end of that memorable struggle. A few years later “Uncle Peter” became a Lutheran minister.

“The boyhood of Mr. Beck was spent in the environment of the old-fashioned home, under the influence of the gentle mother whom he idolized, and the example of the father, an upright and honorable man, he developed a character which was absolutely impervious to every temptation in later life. He made the most of his early opportunities and learned the trade of gunsmith in those days when everything was done by hand. He was a natural mechanic and with his indomitable perservance and exact methods, he soon became an expert; he was noted for his beautiful workmanship. He heard the call of the west and in early manhood left Pennsylvania to try his fortunes in the frontier state of Missouri. At Columbia in that state he met the beautiful English girl who won his heart. Anne Elizabeth Hills was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and was the daughter of Stephen and Elizabeth Hills, of Ashford, Kent county, England. . . . It was here [Royal Leamington Spa, England] the girlhood of Anne Elizabeth was spent. She wandered about the picturesque ruins of Kenilworth and spent many happy hours under the magnificent trees and roaming at will through the historic halls of Warwick Castle, among the relics of a by-gone day. . . . On March 16, 1846, at Columbia, Missouri, William Beck and Anne Elizabeth Hills were married. They went first to Hannibal, Missouri; later moved to St. Louis; they then settled at Liberty, Missouri, where Mr. Beck was superintendent at the United States arsenal; and they lived three years in Indianapolis, Indiana.

“In 1849 when the wave of excitement following the discovery of gold in California swept over the land, Mr. Beck promptly struck out for the golden west. Before very much of the long journey had been accomplished his money was stolen and he was obliged to return. Three years later, with his wife and little boy, he again turned his face toward the sunset land; this time Oregon was . . .”



Loftus Otto Hills

Most of this information is from a descendent of Loftus, Cathy Hills, who sent the following information on Linley’s paternal line, (6) with additional information found by this researcher.

Loftus O. Hills (Stephen3, John3, Joseph2, Robert1) was born in at Leamington, Warwickshore, England on November 4, 1830 and came to America circa 1836. Loftus died on October 12, 1878 at Grafton, Illinois. His death certificate stated that he was born in Lemington, England and had been a resident of the state for fifteen years. In 1880, Melissa was found living in Jersey County with three of their young children. There is a marriage record for a Melissa D. Hills who married a William H. Reed on August 18, 1883. On the Jersey County Index of Burials for the son of Loftus and Melissa, Stephen, the accompanying note states “Lofust O. & Malissa Reed Hills.” This seems to confirm her second marriage. Melissa died on July 25, 1904. (7) There were two death certificates for Melissa. The second one stated that she was born in Louisville, Kentucky on September 5, 1835. She was buried in Edsall cemetery.

His sister, Mrs. Beck, in a letter dated September 1888, said “He died, at or near Grafton, Ill; he left a widow Mellisa Hills, and I think six or seven children . . . I do not know where any of his family are living . . . they had one son I known called John Ashby Hills, and another Stephen but I am almost sure that one of these is dead.”

Cathy states: “He married Melissa D. Roberts, who was born in Louisville, Kentucky, September 5, 1835. Family story states that she was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian. I believe both are buried in Edsell cemetary. Their farm use to be next to the Edsell farmland. And I remember seeing that Hancocks also lived near by.”

Loftus and Melissa were found in the 1870 census, living in the Otter Creek area. Loftus was age 39, a farmer with real estate valued at $1,500 and personal at $400. He stated he was born in England and his parents were of foreign birth. Melissa was age 34, born in Kentucky. Listed with them were Katy M., born in Missouri; John A.; William A., Stephen V.; and Charles H. John A., though in school, was listed as being unable to write.

In the 1900 census, Melissa was living with her daughter Ellen/Mary Ellen and John Davenport. It stated that she was born in September 1835, a widow, age 64, had eleven children, seven living. Melissa was also listed as living with her daughter Lillie, listed as Malissi Reed, born Sept 1831, age 68, widow, had ten children, seven living.

Cathy received a copy of Loftus’ will which stated that he had three living sons and four daughters. He named the sons as John A., Stephen V. , and Charles H. Hills. They believe the unmentioned other son, William Hills, died before 1878. The children of Loftus and Melissa were:



Endnotes

1 Re: Requesting Info and Photos of Stephen Hills Family in Illinois. Posted by: John Hills , January 03, 2006. In Reply to: Re: Requesting Info and Photos of Stephen Hills Family in Illinois by Catherine Hills.

2 The Hills Family in America. The Ancestry and Descendants of William Hills, the English Emigrant to New Enland in 1632; of Joseph Hills, the English Emigrant to New England in 1638, and of the Great-grandsons of Robert Hills, of the Parish of Wye, County of Kent, England, Emigrants to New England 1794- 1806. Compiled by William Sanford Hills. (New York, New York, The Grafton Press, 1906) 529-553, p. 529.

3 Commemorative Biographical Encyclopedia of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Containing Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, and Many of the Early Scotch-Irish and German Settlers. Illustrated, Chambersburg, PA: J. M. Runk & Company Publishers, 1896. Online at maley.net/transcription/Sketches/BEhills.htm.

4 Harrisburg Heritage, Newsletter of Historic Harrisburg Association, August–September 2002, pp. 4-5.

5 “William Beck,” in Gaston, Joseph, Portland, Oregon, its history and builders: in connection with the antecedent explorations, discoveries, and movements of the pioneers that selected the site for the great city of the Pacific, Chicago: S. J. Clarke, Pub. Co., 1911, p. 282.

6 Linley Hills, emails from Cathy Hills, to Judy Griffin, 18 Nov 2005, 20 Nov 2005, 22 Dec 2005.

7 Jersey County Index of Burials [online]. Hills, Melissa D.; Edsall cemetery; Otter Creek Twp.; born 1842; died 25-07-1904.

8 Loftus Hills household. 1860 Missouri Federal Census, 4th Ward, city of St. Louis, St. Louis County, Roll: M653_649, probably page 24, Dwelling 99, family 186.

9 Updated: Feb 6 13:29:03 2003, Contact: Cal Craig, Name: John W. Davenport; Reference Number: Ruby Postlewait; Marriage 1 Mary Ellen Hill; Children 1. Florence A. Davenport b: 10-28-1889.

10 Loftus Hills household. 1860 Missouri Federal Census, 4th Ward, city of St. Louis, St. Louis County, Roll: M653_649, probably page 24, Dwelling 99, family 186.

11 Loftus Hills household. 1860 Missouri Federal Census, 4th Ward, city of St. Louis, St. Louis County, Roll: M653_649, probably page 24, Dwelling 99, family 186.

12 Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, 1763-1900. Wallace, Elijah; Hills, Catharine; 07/15/1873; A /206; Jersey.

13 Jersey County Democrat, late Feb. 1935 (from Cathy Hills).

14 Loftus Hills household. 1860 Missouri Federal Census, 4th Ward, city of St. Louis, St. Louis County, Roll: M653_649, probably page 24, Dwelling 99, family 186.

15 The Hills Family in America. The Ancestry and Descendants of William Hills, the English Emigrant to New Enland in 1632; of Joseph Hills, the English Emigrant to New England in 1638, and of the Great-grandsons of Robert Hills, of the Parish of Wye, County of Kent, England, Emigrants to New England 1794- 1806. Compiled by William Sanford Hills. (New York, New York, The Grafton Press, 1906), p. 551.

16 Jersey County Index of Burials [online]. HILLS, Stephen; White cemetery; Otter Creek Twp.; born 26 Feb 1865; died 31 Oct 1937; note: Lofust O. & Malissa Reed Hills; hus of Rosetta L. Hills.

17 Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, 1763-1900. Hills, Stephen V; Landon, Rosetta; 03/03/1889; 00B/ 00001478; Jersey.

18 Jersey County Democrat, November 4, 1937. From Cathy Hills.

19 Lenlie O. Hill household. 1920 Kansas Federal Census, Marmaton, Allen, Kansas; Roll: T625_522; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 18; Farm, dwelling 299, family 314. Lenlie O. Hill; age 29; born Illinois; parents born Illinois; occupation farmer; rents. Clara M. Hill; wife; age 25; born KS; parents born Illinois. Lindley O. Hills household. 1930 Kansas Federal Census, Moran, Allen, Kansas; Roll: 692; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 22; dwelling 29, family 29. Hills, Lindley O.; rents; age 40; married at age 23; born IL; parents born IL; ocupation teamster, odd jobs; not a veteran. Hills, Clara M.; wife; age 35; married at age 17; born KS; parents born IL.

20 Birth certificate.

21 Jersey County Marriage Book Two 1877-1915 [online]. HILLS, Eva E.; WHITE, George L.; 1908 Aug 05

22 Jersey County Index of Burials [online]. WHITE, George L.; White cemetery; Otter Creek twp.; born 12-07-1887, died 30-06-1924; note: George W. & Rose White.

23 Boone White family including surnames: Boone, White, Amis, Jackson, Tomlinson, Trogdon, Flinn, Wimmell, Brown, Rivers and others. Updated: 2005-11-20 Contact: Boone White, [online].

24 Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, 1763-1900. Hills, Charles H; Barnes, Amelia; 07/30/1891; 00B/ 00001810; Jersey. Hills, Chas H; Patton, Rose; 05/08/1886; 00B/; Jersey.

25 Hamilton Hills household. 1910 Illinois Census, Quarry Twp, Jersey, Illinois; Series: T624; Roll: 295; Page: 158A; Enumeration District: 56; Part: 1; Line: 9; dwelling 28, family 28.

26 Jersey County Marriage Book Two 1877-1915 [online]. HILLS, Lillie M.; WALLACE, Isaac N., 1887 May 29.