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Maternal Generation I: Elizabeth Hill married William Pinley

George Hill & other Hills in Virginia

It is now deemed highly probable that our ancestor Edward Hill was the youngest son of the 58 year old George Hill who arrived in Jamestown, Virginia in January of 1608. George Hill is redundantly verified as a passenger on the “First Supply” mission, arriving aboard the John & Francis (, though some sources cite The Phoenix. PenleyPearls has found no primary source document to validate the ship. He survived only part of the “starving time” during the winter of 1609 - 1610 after John Smith’s return to England, records indicate that he died at Jamestown in 1610.

Most of the new information on George Hill's family was graciously provided by Jim White of Missouri (, Jim recently found the English roots of George Hill's family at Ellesmere, County Shropshire, England. George Hill’s wife, Isabella Cross, died in 1606. Jim White believes that the widower George Hill took off for Virginia to create new opportunities for his four sons. Although George Hill died before the age of 60 in Virginia, his sons apparently shared his vision and came to Virginia for a time, and his grandchildren fulfilled his dream. The four documented sons of George and Isabella Cross Hill were:

1. Hugh Hill, born 1576
2. John Hill, born 1581
3. Robert Hill, born 1585
4. Edward Hill, born 1587, died 1624: married Hannah Boyle

1. Hugh Hill, born 1576 in Ellesmere: Hugh Hill arrived in Virginia between 1613 and 1619, but died well before the 1622 Massacre. Hugh's youngest documented child was born in England circa 1614; Jane and Marmaduke, Hugh Hill's two youngest children arrived at Virginia in May of 1619 on The Marygold. Hugh Hill may have also come over on the 1619 Marygold, but he probably sailed over earlier to prepare a home before his family arrived.

Hugh's oldest son, Francis arrived in Virginia on March 17 aboard the first Bona Nova voyage of 1620, probably completing his education before joining his family in Virginia. Francis Hill served under army officer Sergeant William Barry. Though he is often listed as a company servant, a 4-7 year indenture would have been expired before he was assigned to Governor George Yardley in 1627. Hugh's son Francis is located with soldiers at Elizabeth City on the List of the Living, and Army duty would have been more consistent with his family status. Francis perished in Virginia, or returned to England with his brother Marmaduke.

Collected information indicates that Hugh married a Frances Evans and fathered children Francis, Jane, Marmaduke before moving to Virginia. However, Rebecca (Biggs-Hill) Rose/Rosse was identified in a 1627 court document as the mother of Jane Hill, and had custody of Jane and Marmaduke Hill after the Massacre and on the 1625 Muster.

It is here postulated that if Hugh Hill married Frances Evans, she died sometime after the birth of his oldest son Francis, and he married Rebecca Biggs by 1610, and had children Jane and Marmaduke before moving to Virginia. Rebecca (Biggs-Hill-Rose/Rosse) and her children Jane (born circa 1610) and Marmaduke arrived on The Marygold in May of 1619. Hugh died long enough before the 1622 Massacre for Rebecca to marry a Mr. Rose/Rosse, who also died before the Massacre.

The widow, Rebecca Rosse is found on the 1624 List of the Living with two children (cited as two sons Rosse) at “West and Sherlow Hundred”. On the 1625 Muster, the widow Rebecca Rose is found at age 50, still at “West and Sherley Hundred” at Charles City. The two children are named Jane (age 14) and Marmaduke (age 11) Hill on the Muster. Rebecca and both children cited their arrival as May, 1619 on The Marygold. Later documents cite Rebecca as a midwife, the sister (could be sister-in-law?) of Richard Biggs of Charles City, and that she was indeed the mother of Jane Hill. (See List of the Living, 1624/5 Muster, Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers 1607 - 1635 (McCartney), Adventurers of Purse and Person, (Dorman).)

2. John Hill, born 1581 in Ellesmere, second known son of George and Isabella Hill: Although there are John Hill sightings in early Virginia, greater documentation is available that Edward Hill’s brother John remained based in London. In April of 1623, Edward Hill addressed his poignant description of life in Virginia to his brother John: “Edward Hill to his Brother, Mr. Jo. Hill, mercer in Lumbar Street [London]: dat’ 14 Ap. 1623”.

The other John Hill entries in early Virginia are accounted for as follows:
  • One John Hill, an orphan from St. Bride’s and Christ Church Hospital, was indentured to the Virginia Company in 1617. England swept their streets, jails and orphanages clean to provide poor servants for the Virginia endeavor.
  • Another John Hill is found on the List of the Living between Mr. and Mrs. Baynam, a typical arrangement for a male servant on that list. That same John Hill is found on the Banum muster as a servant on the 1625, documented as arriving with Mrs. Banum on a 1620 Bona Nova voyage.
  • The John, Mary and Henry Hill who arrived on the John & Dorothy in 1634 came as a servants to Adam Thorogood, though it is possible that servant status was negotiated only for Thorogood headrights.
3. Robert Hill, born 1585, in Ellesmere, third known son of George and Isabella Hill: Family researchers indicate that Robert Hill married Judith Atkinson and sailed off to Virginia to join his father, George Hill at Jamestown. He joined the “Second Supply” mission, sailing with his father-in-law, William Atkinson and arriving in August 1609 aboard The Diamond. Gentlemen Atkinson and Robert Hill, were both listed as endorsers of The Second Virginia Charter on May 23, 1609, each invested £87 and 10 shillings. This places Robert in Jamestown during “the starving time”. His father George Hill died at Jamestown in 1610. His father-in-law William Atkinson’s estate was settled in 1613, in accordance with the will left before his 1609 departure for Virginia. Robert Hill returned to England after these deaths, and there is no found proof that this particular Robert Hill ever returned to Virginia. Edward Hill, the son of Robert and Judith (Atkinson) Hill was born at Ellesmere in 1615, and traveled to Virginia by 1638.

4. Edward Hill, born 1587, in Ellesmere: This was Our Edward Hill! Please see his chapters at George Hill’s youngest son chose land with the Ancient Planters by 1619 along the Hampton River at Elizabeth City, married Hannah Boyle, fathered Elizabeth Hill, and was cited as a hero during and after the 1622 Massacre. Our Edward Hill wrote a poignant letter home to his brother John and his father-in-law Richard Boyle describing the desperate conditions in Virginia. Our Edward Hill is found on the 1624 List of the Living, and his May 13, 1624 burial is noted on the 1625 Muster of the Inhabitants of Virginia. Our Edward Hill had been dead for 14 years before his nephew, the much better known Edward Hill arrived in Virginia.
George Hill’s Descendants
In addition to Edward Hill’s daughter, Our Elizabeth Hill (born in Virginia circa 1621), some of Robert and/or Hugh Hill’s children remained in Virginia. Brother Hugh Hill’s widow Rebecca and presumed orphan Jane were still alive at Shirley Hundred in 1627, and his son Francis was in the service of Governor Yeardley. Most notable to this research, another Edward Hill, the grand son of George Hill and the son of Robert Hill, who is often confused with OUR EDWARD HILL arrived in Virginia by 1638.

The Other Edward Hill
Our Elizabeth (Hill) Pinley's first cousin, the son of her Uncle Robert Hill is often confused in collected records with Our Edward Hill. "That Edward Hill" arrived in Virginia by 1638 and settled in Charles City County, where his Uncle Hugh’s orphans Jane and Marmaduke Hill were last documented in 1627. The present day owners of Shirley Plantation claim their ancestors settled the Shirley Hundred area by 1613, and they trace the ownership of their specific current property to Edward Hill’s 1638 land grant.
  • On July 25, 1638, Edward Hill, Gentleman was granted 450 acres for transporting himself and eight servants, seemingly near Walter Aston/Ashton in Charles City County (Nugent, p. 93).
  • In 1655, Edward Hill was granted another 4,000 acres due for his import of 80 Irish servants (Nugent, p. 324).
  • In 1656 he further increased his acreage by marrying his neighbor, Walter Aston’s second wife, Hannah Jordan Aston after Walter’s 1655 death.
  • In 1660, Hill received another land grant of 2,476 acres (Nugent, p. 405)

Proof of the continuity of ownership back to 1613 by the Hill family may be found in a 1648 Poythres document which references a 1636 sale of land processed by agent Dictoris Christmas for Captain Edward Hill and orphans Jenkins and Mary Osborne, and (Nugent, p. 175). On the List of the Living, Francis Hill, presumed son of Hugh Hill was listed near Dictras Chrismus at Elizabeth City. No found record indicates this Edward Hill’s presence in Virginia until his 1638 land grant.

If Dictoris and Francis Hill were close in 1627 when Francis Hill died, he may have appointed Chrismus as his agent for property Francis inherited from his father, Hugh Hill. Robert Hill may have certified land at Charles City before his return to England. Robert Hill’s son Edward probably completed his education in England before sailing to Virginia to continue his father’s and both grandfathers’ dreams for a new life in America.

The Poythres land transaction appears to prove that Edward Hill had a land interest in Virginia several years before his arrival, and almost certainly documents an inheritance from his earlier Hill or Atkinson relatives.

Robert Hill’s son Edward lived on for many years after Our Edward Hill’s death, and served Virginia as a military and political leader, and was chosen Governor of Maryland during Leonard Calvert’s 1646 exile. He was even elected Governor of Maryland during Calvert's 1646 exile, and was widely supported by William Pinley and associates. Details on Edward Hill's tenure as Governor of Maryland is available under the William Pinley chapters at this site.

This Edward Hill founded the tobacco farm at Shirley Plantation which is still owned in 2007 by descendants of Edward Hill. The estate is now open to the public and is highly touted as the oldest continuous family owned business in America.

A timeline for development at Edward Hill’s plantation is provided at the Shirley Plantation website (

1638: Edward Hill I established 450-acre tobacco farm in Charles City County, establishing what is now the oldest family business in America
1651: Edward Hill I in residence at “Shirley Hundred,” elected Speaker of House of Burgesses
1650’s: Edward Hill I built Hill House
1660: Edward Hill I patented 2,476 acres in vicinity of “Shirley Hundred”
1663: Edward Hill I died, Shirley inherited by Edward Hill II
1676: Bacon’s Rebellion: Hill family imprisoned by Bacon’s Rebels
1700: Edward Hill II died, Shirley inherited by Edward Hill III
1723: Edward Hill III’s daughter Elizabeth married John Carter, the son of Robert “King” Carter
1723-1738: Great House and outbuildings built; Hill House and its outbuildings torn down
1726: Edward Hill III died, Shirley inherited by John and Elizabeth Hill Carter