It has always been known to my family that the first of our line came from Germany about the time of the Revolutionary War. In the book General History of Shelby County Missouric. 1911 there is a biography of James J. Hiles a grandson of Palser Hiles. It is stated on page 502, Mr. Hiles is a son of Jacob and Mary (Haley) Hiles. Jacob being born in Scott Co. Kentucky in 1805, and that Jacob's father was Palser Hiles, a native of Germany. (This book is online at http://shelby.mogenweb.org/ContentsShelbyHistory1911.htmhttp://shelby.mogenweb.org/ContentsShelbyHistory1911.htm- scroll to the index, click on 501- Hiles, James, J).
In June of 1832 by an act of Congress, pension money was made available to those persons who served during the Revolutionary War. In August of that year John Hiles applied for his pension. The transcript of that application follows:
REVOLUTIONARY WAR PENSION & BOUNTY APPLICATION FILE Taken from National Archives Microfilm # 804, roll 1273
The dictation ofJohn Hiles in order to * the * of the act of Congress of the 7th June 1832. On this 20th of August 1832, John Hiles personally appears before the justice of the county court of Scott County, resident of said county and state of Kentucky. Age (blank) years (*sentence not legible*) on his oath make the following dictation to me to obtain the act of Congress of the7th June 1832Mr. John Hiles states that he was a resident of the state of Virginia in the county of Frederick. That he served two 3 month tours of duty making in all six months, that the first tour of three months was for the purpose of "taking of old Cornwallis", and that he was present during the whole siege. "I had the pleasure to see Cornwallis and his men surrender to General Washington". He cannot recollect the precise time of the siege and surrender but told about the * and * of the siege and surrender. He was then ordered to guard the prisoners to Winchester Barracks where he volunteered and agreed to stay and guard the prisoners * other * of three months which he faithfully performed making six months in all. The last three months he served under Captain Peter Hyskill.
And the said John Hiles states in open court that he hereby in * makes every claim (*sentence not legible*) and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of any agency in any state. Sworn in the day and year aforementioned Ron R. Fordett
And the * court do hereby declare this opinion,- That the above named was a Revolutionary War soldier and served as he states. 22 August 1832
Two days later, Palser Hiles goes to the courthouse to support his brother's claim of Revolutionary War service
AFFIDAVIT OF PALSER HILES FOR HIS BROTHER JOHN HILES
film frame 0487 This day Palser Hiles, brother of John Hiles aged about 70 years of age came before me * justice of the peace for the county and made oath that he can read the declaration of his brother John Hiles and to his Revolutionary services and he states that the same is true to his personal knowledge. He knows that John Hiles did serve two tours of militia duty in the year 1781 of three months each, that * he was at the taking of Cornwallis, then served three months guarding the prisoners at Winchester Barracks. (* = word not legible) Given under oath this 24th August 1832 John Price
A week later, a Mr. Johnson also gives affidavit:
To certify Mr. John Price did sign the within Certificate of Affidavit of Palser Hiles * * and now is a justice of the peace for Scott County Kentucky and that I know Palser Hiles, I have known him twenty years and he is a man of truth. R. Johnson 30th August 1832
Another document from the microfilm is transcribed:
Treasury Department, Second Comptrollers Office, October 10th, 1839
Sir, Under the act of 6th of April 1838, entitled “An act directing the transfer of money remaining unclaimed by certain pensioners, and authorizing payment of the same at the treasury of the United States”, John Hiles, a pensioner on the rolls of the Kentucky agency, at the rate of twenty dollars and –blank- cents per annum, under the law of the 7th June 1832, has been paid at this department, from the 4th ofSept. 1836, to the 4th Sept. 1838, 2 years.
Respectfully yours, (name not legible) Comptroller To the Commissioner of Pensions Present.
Another document transcribed from the national archives:
666 Kentucky John Hiles of Scott Co. in the state of Kentucky, who was a private in the company commanded by Captain Bell of the –blank- commanded by –blank- in the Virginia Militia for six months.
Inscribed on the roll of Kentucky, at the rate of20 dollars – blank- cents per annum, to commence on the 4th day of March 1831.
Certificate of pension issued the 5th day of October 1832, and sent to Hon. R.M. Johnson, Georgetown Kentucky
Arrears to 4th of September 1832$30 Semiannual allowance ending 4 March 1833$10 ------- $40 Revolutionary Claim Act 7th June 1832 Recorded by (name not legible)
Book DVol. 9Page 43
Then in different handwriting on the facing page:
Settles to (not legible) 8th October 1839 Paid at the Treasury under the act of the 11th of April 1838, from 4th Sept. 1836 to 4th Sept. 1838. Agent notified , 15th Oct. 1839
In different handwriting again:
Death – July 20, 1836A.B.
There seems to be some confusion that John Hiles, Revolutionary War soldier is actually John Hillis. Does anyone know the basis of this association?May I point out evidence to the contrary. John Hiles own declaration in open court he swears his name is John Hiles. The whole purpose is to prove he is who he says he is, and that he served in the war. I have copies ofthe original documents listed above, and the name on all of them is Hiles not Hillis. Wills, deeds, birth, death, marriage and census records from Scott Co. Ky. list hundreds of Hiles. I have never seen the name John Hillis on any record in Scott Co. There are no John Hillis or any Hillis whatsoever in the Scott Co. census in the life span of John Hiles. Palser Hiles is my g.g.g. grandfather, and I have established a documented unbroken lineage to him. I have no information on John and Palser Hiles from 1781 in Yorktown Virginia, until a 1802 tax list in Scott County Kentucky.