Big changes have come to — all content is now read-only, and member subscriptions and the Shop have been discontinued.
Learn more

Home Page |Surname List |Index of Individuals |InterneTree |Sources

View Tree for Ann DillsAnn Dills (b. 1725)

Ann Dills (daughter of Joesph Dills and Elizabeth Crosky) was born 1725 in st. andrews parish s.c.. She married Peter Dills, son of Lawrence Dills.

 Includes NotesNotes for Ann Dills:

Dill Family Reunion - E H Dill
href="Dill Family Reunion - E H Dill_files/dill.css" type=text/css

by Ellis Harold Dill
Origin of the Dill

Hereditary surnames are a comparatively recent development in Europe. Most
People had only one name prior to about 1100. As the population grew,
individuals came to be distinguished by occupation, location, patronymic, or
physical characteristics. When William the Conqueror invaded England he ordered
his new subjects who went by only one name to adopt surnames. The Normans
possessed both given names and surnames, and the same system was ordered for the
English so as to keep an accurate record of them.

There are indications that the earliest Dill families are of Danish
origin.(1) Descendants appear to have migrated to Germany, Holland,
England, Scotland, Ireland and America. The name may come from the herb of the
parsley family that is called in old Anglo-Saxon dile, and which would
have the final "e" sounded. Various spellings have evolved: Dill,
Dils, Dills, Dille, Dilly; maybe Diehl,
Deal, Dale, Dell, etc. The final "s" may have been added to
show possession or inclusion and later retained by the family so recorded. The
final "e" may have been retained in Germany where all letters are sounded.
Diehl or Deal is more the way Dill would be pronounced in
much of Europe. The most common and doubtless basic spelling in English is

The number of different surnames in the United States is surprisingly large.
In 1790, the total population of the States was 2,505,371 and there were 27,337
different surnames. In 1964, the social security roles included 152,757,455
account numbers. A machine count covering only the first six letters discovered
1,091,522 different surnames. Thus, there are probably over 1,500,000 different
surnames. The number of names which frequently occur is much smaller; but even
the relatively rare name of Dill has a large number of occurrences. The
Dill name ranks about 1,539th in occurrence with an estimated 17,835
individuals with that name. On the other hand, Bell ranks number 54 with
248,400 persons. Some Dill names occur early in the history of America.
Rachel Dill arrived in Virginia in 1637.(2) Lawrence
arrived in the Sommers Islands in 1673,(3) Henry Dill
arrived in Virginia in 1702.(4) Annanias Dill and Wilhelm
arrived in New York in 1710.(5) And, according to JLD,
Daniel Dill of York was in America in 1660. Capt. George Dill,
mariner, was a proprietor in Salem in 1638. Thomas Dill of Medford, son
of Peter and Thanks Dill of Concord, married Mary Pierce at Woburn in
1705. Children of George Dill and Elizabeth Dill baptized 1687.
Doubtless there were many others before 1710.

The first name can also be a clue about the family. First names are called
given or Christian names because early Christians changed their pagan first
names to Christian names at baptism. In 1545, the Catholic Church made the use
of a Saint's name mandatory for baptism, so that for centuries first names were
confined to the John-and-Mary tradition. In all western countries during the
Middle Ages, there were only about 20 common names for infants, and John
and Mary were the most common. About one half of the population of the
United States today have names derived from the New Testament: Elizabeth,
Mary, John, Joseph, etc. It is little wonder that one
encounters so much trouble sorting out the Johns and Marys in the Dill records.

In the 1600s the Protestants rejected anything associated with Catholicism
and began to use names from the Old Testament: Elijah, Rebecca,
Joshua, etc. We see a number of such names in the Dill records. Middle
names weren't used until the 15th Century when a second first name was used as a
status symbol by German nobility. Many years passed before the practice became
widespread. Middle names did not become popular in the United States until after
the Revolutionary War when the fashion was to use the mother's maiden name.

Titles attached to a name have meanings that have changed over the years.
Esquire originally meant someone much respected, one step away from a knight.
Gentleman was one step down from and Esquire. Esquire and Gentleman were
expanded over the years to include someone with special social standing in the
community. Also Senior and Junior appended to names did not necessarily imply a
father son relationship. They could have been an uncle and nephew who had the
same name and lived near each other. The term cousin was widely used to mean an
extended family, not just the child of an aunt or uncle.

Some Dill family lines in a book titled The Phelps-Marshall
published after 1973, Nancy S. McBride (NSM) writes on some early
Dill families and descendants in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Kentucky. Excerpts from
her book are reprinted by JLD. Some of her results are repeated here.

One line has been spoken of as the Holland line. This David Dill (A2
below) ancestor is supposed to have come from Holland as a soldier in 1689 with
William of Orange. It is not proven whether he was an Englishman sent by James
II to Holland, or originated in Holland, or whether the whole reference to
Holland is in error. However, it would be an interesting coincidence in light of
the reference to Holland as the source of the John Dill family of Caswell
County, North Carolina.(6)

One Dill line has been traced to George Dill who arrived in Salem,
Massachusetts, in 1639. Along with other members of his family, he had survived
a Bermuda shipwreck. Some of the family remained there but George came on to
Salem. His descendants moved south to Maryland, South Carolina, and Alabama. A
descendant, Katherine Dill (Mrs. James A. Lee) reported in 1931 that her
grandfather was born in Maryland in 1757, and her father was Joseph Dill
of Talladega, Alabama.(7)

Another line leads from Scotland to Dillsburg, Pennsylvania:(8)

Matthew became a Captain in the Pennsylvania militia and is known in
genealogy as Captain Matthew Dill. He died in 1750 and is buried in the old
cemetery near Dillburg, PA. Closely related to this line is Francis Dill,
born in Ireland about 1748, who came to America and settled in Ohio, producing a
large number of descendants in that State.

A1. John Dill of County Donegal
In his book written in 1983, Alonzo
Thomas Dill(9) cites information provided by Miss Nancy Kinghan of
Belfast, Northern Ireland, about her ancestors, as follows:

In this kind of descendants chart, A1 is the principal ancestor, A2 denotes
his children, A3 denotes the children of A2, etc, The last Francis may be that
one cited in the preceding paragraph. John (A1) may be a son of David (M1). John
(A1) is listed on the Hearth Money Roll of 1665 for County Donegal along with a
David Dill. Each was charged with one hearth, the number of hearths in a
building being the unit of taxation.

Pioneering in America
The settled area in 1700 stretched inland
about 20 miles along the coasts of New Hampshire and southern Maine and 50 miles
along the coasts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. From New York
an arc of settled land reached to Albemarle Sound,penetrating inland about 100
miles in south Pennsylvania and in central Virginia. Far to the south an
isolated rectangle, with Charleston as its center, extended 75 miles along the
coast of South Carolina and nearly 50 miles into the interior.

The frontier moved slowly westward. Mississippi became a State in 1817. Texas
became a State in 1845. Oklahoma became a State in 1907. Unorganized individuals
and isolated families played a greater part in this frontier advance than in the
settlement of New England, although the Appalachian pioneers cooperated in an
informal way in traveling, clearing land, building cabins, defending their
claims, and fighting the Indians. The Scotch-Irish were effective Indian
fighters and usually occupied the farther edge of the frontier.

The Scotch-Irish
Following 1607, England, making another
wrongheaded effort to cope with Ireland, settled thousands of Lowland Scots
Presbyterians in turbulent Ulster to replace the natives. Three generations
later they were a thriving yeoman-craftsman caste, still Presbyterian with Scots
tongues, practicing intensive farming mixed with cottage industry. After William
defeated James at the battle of Boyne in 1690 with the support of the English
Protestants and Scottish Presbyterian colonists of the Ulster Plantation,
Britain enacted repressive Penal Laws (1695-1727) designed to suppress the
Irish. But these laws were also applied to Ulster. One section of the Penal Laws
caused ruinous restrictions on the industry developing in Northern Ireland and
this, along with the tithes for support of the Anglican Church, sorely chafed
the Scotch-Irish Presbyterian manufacturers of Ulster. The Irish Presbyterians
worshipped on suffrance and were excluded from all posts in the government they
had helped to preserve. In addition, between 1715 and 1720 a series of natural
calamities, a series of crop failures and other blows, intensified the economic
problems of northern Ireland. Many of these Scotch-Irish, seeking political
freedom and economic gain, became the earliest wholesale emigration of Irish to
America in the 18th century. Large scale north Irish emigration to the American
colonies began in 1718. Many of them arriving through Philadelphia.

In 1682, Wm Penn divided Delaware into "hundreds" for
purposes of taxation. The Hundreds are thought to have been groups of 10
families, figured at 10 members per family, including servants. There were
originally 5 Hundreds in Kent County: Duck Creek, Little Creek, Saint Jones
(which became Dover in 1823), Motherkill (which became Murderkill), and
Mispillion. Some hundreds were subsequently subdivided and renamed.

J1. John Dill (c1680-1751) of Delaware
The following
information is primarily from the book by John L. Dill (JLD), privately
published in 1990, 1991, 1992, and from subsequent correspondence with

John Dill (c.1680-1751) was born in County Donegal, Ireland, around
1680. He came to America and married Sarah in Talbot Co., Maryland, in 1702. He
died in 1751, probably in Kent Co., Delaware. He may be the son of John (A2).
There may have been brothers, or other relatives, who arrived with him from
Ireland. John and Sarah had several children:

Children of John Dill(c.1680-1751) and Sarah
Name/Spouse Born at Died at
c.1703 Kent Co. DE
1770 Kent Co. DE
1757 Kent Co. DE
c.1704 Kent Co. DE
1782 Kent Co. DE
1760 Kent Co. DE
Mary Early(?)
c1705 Kent Co. DE
Mary Brown
c1706 Kent Co. DE
George (?)
Mary Fisher
c1708 8/1771 Kent Co. DE

There were probably others. Records show a marriage of one of those named
John Dill to Mary Early on 17 June 1732.

The Dill Family History, by Thomas H. Dill tells of the Dills
of Delaware. He was born 7 February 1839 in Kent County, Delaware, and died 9
March 1924 in Columbus, Ohio. His principal source was "Aunt Polly" Dill,
widow Abner Dill, with whom he spoke in 1865. She resided at that time on
the old Dill farm in a house over two hundred years old. Following is some
information as recorded by Thomas.

The Dill family was of Scotch-Irish extraction. Three brothers William, Abner
[John Lewis Dill suggests that the name may have been Edward], and John were the
first settlers. They were ship builders by trade and settled first in Nova
Scotia, later moving to Delaware and Maryland. [The only such reference.] They
came from Londonderry County, Ireland. The earliest land transfer on record for
parts of the old Dill farm is dated 1705. William settled in Murderkill Neck,
Kent County, Delaware, a few miles from Frederica. He married into the Barratt

According to the book by Harry F. Dill(10), three Dill brothers,
William, John, and Abner [?] settled around the year 1700 at the head of the
Choptank River, in Bear Swamp, near Whiteleysburg, in Murderkill Hundred, Kent
County, Delaware, about ten miles west of what in now Felton. He states that
several researchers have discovered the religious preference of many Dill
families living in that area was Presbyterian and that they migrated from
Ireland. He cites a 1727 report of the Pennsylvania provincial office that
identified several Dill families as being of the Presbyterian faith. It seems
likely, but has not been proven, that these early Dill settlers where

In a letter of 1727, the provincial secretary of Pennsylvania, commenting on
the influx of "Presbyterians" from Northern Ireland through the ports of
Delaware Bay, stated that "These immigrants settle generally toward the Maryland
line, where no lands can honestly be sold till the Penn family's dispute with
Lord Baltimore is decided."(11) By "Presbyterians, he presumably
meant the people whom the British called Ulster Scots and are now referred to as
Scotch-Irish. As early as 1698 Presbyterian congregations had been established
at Philadelphia and in the Delaware Bay ports of Lewes and New
Castle.(12) The Philadelphia Presbytery, which included these early
congregations, tried to reach out to the settlers of Kent County, noting "the
desolate [religious] condition of the people", and sent ministers to preach
among them.(13)

The is some evidence of the original Dill settlers. A Kent County surveyor
reported in 1722 that John Dill had applied for a warrant of 200 acres
near Bear Swamp.(14) Kent County tax assessments(15) list
William Dill and John Dill as the only Dill families in the Murderkill
Hundred from 1726 through 1735. John Dill, Jr., appears first in 1736.
There are no records for 1745-1747. John, son of William, appears in 1748. There
are no records for 1749-1750. The notation John Dill, Sr., appears for
the last time in 1751 where his name is written in and then crossed out. Also
first appearing in 1751 are Solomon, Job, John (son of William), and
William (his brother). The notation John Jr. appears last in 1754.
William, son of William, appears last in 1754. Job is listed and
crossed out in 1757. William is listed and crossed out in 1763. From 1764
on, there are several persons named John Dill. After 1767, the number of
Dill families in Kent County grows rapidly.

W1. William Dill (c1704-1760) of Delaware
William Dill
(c.1704-1760), son of John [J1], was born about 1704 in Kent Co. DE, married
about 1722 to Mary. He lived out his life in Kent County, and died there about

Children of William [c1704-1760] and Mary
Name/Spouse Born at Died at
Job c1724 Kent Co. DE c1819 Maury Co. TN
Mary Ann Barrett
1/1726 Kent Co. DE c1807 Greenville Co. SC
Edward c1726 Kent Co. DE 10/11/1773 Kent Co. DE
6/1727 Kent Co. DE 3/1783 Kent Co. DE
Mary Skulley
12/1728 Kent Co. DE 5/1783 Kent Co. DE
Mary (widow Herring)
c1733 Kent Co. DE 3/1790 Kent Co. DE
Cornelius Shehorn
c1736 Kent Co. DE
Elizabeth c1738
John Dixon
c1746 Kent Co. DE 12/1819 Smith Co. TN
Philemon C. 6/1748 Kent Co. DE c1823 Kent Co. DE

The will of William Dill was probated on 27 December
1760.(16) It mentions his wife Mary, seven sons, and two
youngest daughters.(17) One son may be deceased. The reference to
"youngest" daughters suggests that there was an older daughter. The list of
goods and chattels mentions "cash by John Dill and James Dill."

Mary Dill, widow, had her estate administered in 1782. Elijah
(son of Edward) and Nimrod Dill are listed as administrators of
the will of Mary Dill.(18) The report of the administrators mentions
Dill heirs: William, Job, John, Edward, James, Elizabeth, Joseph, Sarah,
Solomon, Rebecca, Philemon
. A copy of this document is in HFD. Nimrod is
probably a son of Joseph.

HFD states that several of the sons of William[WI] went on to NC and SC, and
that Joseph settled in Smith County TN.

GSD states that James was the first son of William to leave Kent County in
search of new land. In 1754, shortly after he became 21 years of age and before
he became a taxpayer in Delaware, James went to Orange County, NC. He is listed
as a tax payer in 1755 in the Dan River Valley, in the part of Orange County
that became Caswell County in 1777. His older brother John followed with his
family after 1770. James returned to Kent County in 1775 and married Mary, widow
of George Herring.

GSD states the Job left Kent County in 1756 and was listed as a tax payer in
Bertie County NC in 1757. A Job Dill is listed as a tax payer in Maury County TN
in 1816 but it is not known if this is the same person.

The Carolinas
In 1665, King Charles of England gave all of Carolina
to eight nobles who governed for about 70 years. Carolina was divided into North
and South in 1710. King George asked the nobles to return the land to him in
1729. One of them, George Carteret, Earl of Granville, refused to sell his 1/8
share; so, in 1746, what is now known as Old Granville, was cut off from
Edgecombe County and given to him as his share. The counties of Caswell, Person,
Orange, Vance, and Granville comprise most of that land. Orange was cut off from
Granville in 1751. Caswell was cut from Orange in 1777 and the county seat was
established in Leasburg. Person was cut off from Caswell in 1791 and the county
seat of Caswell was moved to Yanceyville. Caswell was settled in 1850 by Scotch,
Irish, and English peoples from Virginia who introduced the planting of tobacco.

J2. John Dill (1726-1807) of Delaware, NC, SC
John, son of William
[W1], was born in Kent County, DE, about 1726. He married Mary Ann Barrett. They
had children as follows [HFD].

Children of John Dill [1726-c1807] and Mary Barrett
Name birth date birth place death date death place
Archibald abt 1747 Kent Co. DE 1838/39 Jackson Co. TN
Richard abt 1751 Kent Co. DE bef 1840 Wilson Co. TN
Anna (Mitchell) abt 1754 Kent Co. DE abt 1845 Greenville Co.SC
Runnels 1757 Kent Co. DE 27 Oct 1844 Greenville Co.SC
John[II] 25 Nov 1759 Kent Co. DE 7 Jan 1846 Caswell Co. NC
Stephen 9 Jan 1765 Kent Co. DE 19 Mar 1837 Greenville, Co.SC
Lydia abt 1770 Orange Co. DE 4 Oct 1847 Walker Co. AL

About 1768, after the death of his father, John took his family to the part
of Orange Co. NC that became Caswell County in 1777. The land, tax, and census
records in the appendix document their location.

The family remained in Caswell through the Revolutionary War. The sons
Archibald, Richard, Runnels, and John (Jr.) served in the Revolutionary
war as privates.

The Caswell Co. NC Historical Association states "...Pleasant Grove (a
primitive Baptist Church community) was organized in 1829. Near here is where
the Dill family settled in 1759 from Kent Co. DE. They were a dark complexioned
people and originally came from a corner of Holland bordering on
Germany.(19) The actual date was probably later and this origin does
not agree with the other reports unless it refers to the migration from Denmark
to Holland to Scotland to Ireland to America. About 1789, John and several of
the sons took their families on to Greenville Co. SC. John, Jr., remained in
Caswell County for the remainder of his life.

Greenville County, SC
The site of the city of Greenville, on the
rolling hills above the Reedy River and Richland Creek, was once the hunting
ground of the Cherokee Indians. After the French and Indian wars, when the
Indians signed treaties with the English, these Indians made friends with the
early pioneers. In 1777 they signed a treaty with the Governor of South Carolina
and ceded the land in the northwest corner to SC. From this land, Greenville
County was created. Prior to 1777, Scotch-Irish and English pioneers ventured
into this Indian territory. Some had land grants from their English King and
some came without grants. The settlers came in groups and settled where they
found satisfactory locations for building homes. Most of the settlers came south
through the mountains from PA and VA and NC, while others pushed north from the
coast of SC and GA. Among the early settlers in the northern part of the county
were the DILLs, Gowens, Fishers, and Howards. Jesse Morgan settled to the east
near the Spartanburg line. These settlers built log forts or block houses near
the Indian boundary to protect them from the Indians. The last of these on the
Dill place has completely disappeared. [Bridging the Gap, by L. S. Ebaugh,
1966]. In the 1790 census, the northwest corner was called Ninety Six District.
It was divided into eight census subdivions including Greenville and
Spartanburg. By 1800, these subdivions had been organized into districts, with a
small increase in the area of Greenville, that functioned like counties. They
were designated as counties in 1868.

The 1790 census for Greenville Co., SC. lists the following Dill families:

1790 Census of Greenville Co. SC

Given name Probable relation
Stephen Son of John (J2)
Ekkels Ennels, Renolds, Runnels, son of John (J2)
John (J2)
Joseph Brother of John (J2)
Archibald Son of John (J2)
Elijah Son of Edward the brother of John (J2)
Nimrod Son of Joseph the brother of John (J2)

Other Dill families are located in Ninety-Six district: John, Joseph, Joseph.

Other Dill families were in the Charleston District: Sarah, Joseph, Joseph

One Dill was in the Orangeburgh District (North Part): Dill (widow). The
relationship, if any, of these other Dill families to John is unknown to me.

By 1800, there were 11 separate Dill families in Greenville County.

1800 Census of Greenville Co. SC
Given name Probable relation
Richard son of John (J2)
Thomas Rev. Stephen Thomas Dill
Joseph Brother of John (J2)
Reynolds Ennels, Renolds, Runnels, son of John (J2)
John (J2)
Archibald Son of John (J2)
Stephen Son of John (J2)
Joseph, Jr. Son of Joseph the brother of John (J2)
Arter Arthur, son of Archibald

Stephen DILL (1765-1837)
Stephen, son of John[J2], was born 9 Jan
1765 in Orange Co. (later Caswell County), NC, died 19 Mar 1837 in Greenville
Co. SC, married Mary (Polly) Pike. Their Children were as follows [HFD] [JLD]

Children of Ann Dills and Peter Dills are:
  1. Henry Dills, b., rutherford co.n.c., d. WFT Est. 1748-184847.
  2. +Thomas Dills, b. 1745, rutherford, d. 1786, rutherford co..
  3. Peter P. Dills, b. 1749, rutherford co.n.c..
  4. Elizabeth Dills, b. 1751, rutherford co.n.c..
Created with Family Tree Maker

Children of Stephen Dill and Mary
Name Born/at Died/at
Elijah abt 1786 abt 1857
Greenville Co. SC
Frances (Frankey) abt 1794
Greenville Co. SC
William M. abt 1795
Greenville Co. SC
Charles S. abt 1798
Greenville Co. SC
Elias 22 May 1800
Greenville Co. SC
15 Oct 1885
Greenville Co. SC
John abt 1802
Greenville Co. SC
Home | Help | About Us | | | Site Index | Terms of Service | PRIVACY
© 2009