|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
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