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Research into my line of the Hills family started with gathering and outlining information from an old family bible. Based on that outline, my launching point for gathering further ancestral information was my second great grandfather Hiram A. Hills (b. May 20, 1806). According to the Bible, Hiram was the fifth child of five siblings which included: Lucy Hills (b. June 22, 1799), Caroline Hills (b. November 20, 1800), Eunice Hills (b. August 15, 1802) and Henry Hills (b. August 4, 1804).

I've since found that Hiram was born to Amasa Hills and Eunice Rathburn in Brookfield, New York (during Thomas Jefferson's term in office as President) and that Hiram had eight (8) additional younger brothers and sisters (Lydia, Amasa Jr., Laura, Lawrence, Olive, Catherine, Richard, and Deborah).

The documentation of the ancestry of Hiram and his siblings is outlined in "The Hills Family in America" (HFIA) compiled by William Sanford Hills, published by Grafton Press in 1906. This publication takes the ancestry of Hiram Abiff Hills back to the immigrant William Hills who arrived in 1632 in Boston from Upminster, England.

Hiram’s ancestry back to his 2nd great grandfather Samuel Hills who is listed as being born in Saybrook, Connecticut on May 20, 1671 to John “Hills” and Jane Bushnell appears well documented and undisputed; however the parentage of Samuel has raised some questions and controversy with regards to whether John Hills, son of William Hills and Phyllis Lyman, was the actual father of Samuel. This question first appears raised by Donald Lines Jacobus in his discussion of the Hills family in “Hale, House and Related Families of the Connecticut River Valley published in 1952.

Recent DNA testing would appear to verify that the John Hills listed as father to Samuel was not the son of William Hills the immigrant of 1632 and his lineage is the subject of continuing research. Hiram’s undisputed lineage at his point includes:

· Great great Grandparents Samuel Hills - Phoebe Leonard
· Great Grandparents Samuel Hills - Hannah Turner
· Grandparents Consider Hills - Azubah Rowley
· Parents Amasa Hills - Eunice Rathburn

Hiram was only 19 when he married what would be considered today a very young Betsey Stevens, who was only 16 at the time, on March 17, 1825. Betsey was born in Fairfield, Vermont, on January 22, 1809, the daughter of George Stevens and Wealtha Buck.

Hiram and Betsey had two boys between 1829 and 1832 (Enos and Hiram Jr.) who both died in early childhood (Enos at 2 and Hiram Jr. at 8). In February 1837 Betsey gave birth to their third child (George Edward Hills, my great grandfather) while residing in Batavia, New York. Later that spring, Hiram completed the purchase of 160 acres of land in Michigan from the U.S. Land Office (see web link below for copy of actual Land Patent document). Notably, earlier that same year, President Andrew Jackson had just signed a bill declaring Michigan the 26th State of the Union.

After clearing the land and establishing a new farm, Hiram and Betsey moved to Highland township, Michigan with their family somewhere between 1837 and 1840 (The family, including two boys appear in the 1840 Census in Highland Township; their son Hiram Clarke Hills died shortly after the census was taken on September 23, 1840).

Hiram was active in the community, serving as Deacon of his local church and as both a Township Supervisor and Justice of the Peace for Highland Township. Hiram and Betsey both lived long productive lives (Hiram to age 78 and Betsey to age 85). Both are buried in Historic Novi Cemetery.

Subsequent generations of this Hills family line have lived predominately in southeastern Michigan in Farmington, Novi, Northville, Howell, Fowlerville, Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor.

Maternal surnames following the Hills family include: Tomion, Mendham, Lerchen, Stevens, Rathburn, Rowley, Turner, Leonard, and Bushnell.

Maternal surnames f
Descendents and Ancestors of Hiram Abiff Hills
Updated May 25, 2013

*

David Charles Hills
skihills@sbcglobal.net


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Family Photos

  • Family Bible Birth Records (194 KB)
    I believe that the bible originally belonged to George Edward Hills and included family records copied from the bible of Hiram Abiff Hills, his father. The bible was passed to my father from his uncle Henry H. Hills.
  • George and Olive Hills (22 KB)
    George Edward Hills and wife Olive Maria Gue shortly after their marriage in 1855. Residing in Novi, Michigan. George was the only son of Hiram A. Hills to survive to adulthood.
  • George Edwin Hills Family (14 KB)
    Left to right, this is George Edwin Hills (son of George Edward Hills and Louisa M. Lerchen), his wife Hazel (Smith) Hills, daughter Marjorie and his brother Charles W. Hills Sr. George operated the Hills Meat Market on West Main street in Northville, Michigan for 35 years before retiring to Downey California.
  • Charles W. Hills Jr. - Ann Arbor Public Schools (60 KB)
    Charles (Chuck) Hills taught instrumental music in the Ann Arbor Public Schools from 1964 until his retirement in 1986.
  • The Hills Brothers (Michigan Style) (38 KB)
    Left to Right: Frank Hills, Charles W. Hills Sr, George Edwin Hills. Picture taken circa 1887 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. These are sons of George Edward Hills and Louisa M. Lerchen.
  • Hills Family Farm in Howell, Michigan (42 KB)
    Farm of Charles W. Hills Sr and Lillian M. Hills in the mid 1930s after moving from Northville, MI
  • A very young Charles W. Hills Jr. (49 KB)
    Charles Walter Hills Jr, son of Charles W. Hills Sr. and Lilliam R. Mendham, circa 1925 (age 3) while residing in Northville, MI. Sporting an original Beatles Haircut ??
  • George Edward Hills Gravestone (46 KB)
    Burial site of George Edward Hills. Located in Knapp/Aldrich Cemetry Northville, MI. Born February 1837, Died July 1897.
  • Lillian Mendham (8 KB)
    Lillian Mendham of Milford Michigan, my Grandmother, circa 1910. Daughter of John Mendham and Cyrena Clum.
  • Bringing in the Hay (250 KB)
    Charles W. Hills Jr. bringing in the Hay on the Howell farm, circa late 1930s. (Charles is standing in front with the horses)
  • Family Bible Records -2 (209 KB)
    Additional Birth Records from the aforementioned Family Bible persumed to be that of George Edward Hills
  • Lillian Mendham (15 KB)
    Lillian Mendham's Graduation picture from Milford HS.
  • Charles Walter Hills Jr. (701 KB)
    Charles W. Hills Jr. earned both his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Michigan in Music Education. In 1948 he traveled to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl as a member of the Uof M Marching band and as the band's student business manager (UM's first return trip to the Rose Bowl since last appearing in 1902, which also resulted in a National Championship Football Title for the Wolverines). Charles taught instrumental music in the public schools of Fowlerville and Ann Arbor, Michigan. He also taught summer sessions at the National Music Camp in Interlocken, MI, and at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp (both in Michigan and in Bavaria, Germany.) In 1971 he was honored by the MSBOA as the State’s Music Teacher of the Year. In the summer of 1972 Charles was a Conductor for the Youth for Understanding (YFU) Symphonic Band that toured for 8 weeks in Chile. He was a lifelong member of both the American School Band Directors Association (of which he was a charter member) and the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association.
  • Charles and Lillian (Mendham) Hills (31 KB)
    Charles W. Hills Sr and wife Lillian (Mendham) Hills on their farm in Howell, Michigan circa early 1940s
  • Charles and Lillian Hills Gravestone (170 KB)
    Charles W. Hills Sr and wife Lillian R. (Mendham) Hills gravesite in Lakeview Cemetery, located in Howell, Michigan. Charles was born April 25, 1882 and died February 23, 1953. Lillian was born January 1, 1893, and died May 26, 1948.
  • Musical Talent at a Young Age (32 KB)
    Charles W. Hills Jr. (son of Charles Sr. and Lillian) destined for a career in music education. Taken in Northville, Michigan circa 1934.
  • Betsey (Stevens) Hills Gravestone (114 KB)
    The burial site of Betsey (Stevens) Hills, located in Novi Michigan. Betsey Wife of Hiram A. Hills - Died Feb 18, 1894 - Aged 85 Ys & 26 Ds
  • Louisa Matilda (Lerchen) Hills (435 KB)
    Louisa Matilda (Lerchen) Hills, 3rd wife of George Edward Hills and my great grandmother Hills. George and Louisa had seven children together. Louisa was 43 when George passed away in 1897 at the age of 60.
  • Charles W. Hills Sr. (227 KB)
    Charles Walter Hills Sr. while living in Northville, Michigan Circa early 1920s.
  • Hiram Abiff Hills Gravestone (89 KB)
    The burial site of Hiram Abiff Hills located in Novi Michigan. Hiram A. Hills - Died Aug 23, 1885 - Aged 78 Yrs & 3 Ms.
  • Henry and Myrtle (Walker) Hills (28 KB)
    Henry (Hank) Hills, the youngest son of George Edward Hills and Louisa M. Lerchen, and his wife Myrtle S. Walker.
 

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