Thomas Hill’s 
Ancestry, Relations, 
















A Documentary History

Compiled by Mary Helen Haines







This history has been in the works for several years and thanks are owed to many for their work that helped guide my research. First and foremost, is the research and history written by my grandfather, Joe Meredith Hill, who was born in White County at Evans Cove in 1888.  Although he moved to Texas with his widowed mother, Amanda Meredith Evans Hill in 1902, he maintained contact with his Tennessee relations. When he compiled his book, A Family History- Hill, Meredith, Lowery, in 1966, besides the family trees, he included personal remembrances about his father, William Ransom Hill, an autobiography written by his mother, and the “Obituary” of Abner Hill, which had been passed down in the family.


So this short history is not to duplicate his work, but is intended to take the history back to the period before William Ransom Hill and his wife Amanda Meredith (Mandy, or Granny Hill, as she was known by the younger descendants). I started this with research using the Sons of American Revolution application, and the research compiled by my father, Joe McFarland Hill. Then using information from the “Obituary” of Abner Hill as a guide, began looking for the primary source references to back up the history written by Abner. Some had questioned whether this “Obituary” was authentic, but I have found nothing in my research that contradicts his memories to any significant degree. I found instead, that Abner had a phenomenal memory and an excellent self-taught education.


Many thanks go to various relatives. Charles Massey, a descendant of William Jasper Hill, generously has shared his research about the early years of William Hill in North Carolina and Georgia. Cynthea Johnson Amason, daughter of Bill and Rena Jones Johnson of Sparta, did fabulous work on the family of Amanda Meredith for the Heritage of White County, TN publication and shared her research about Martin Meredith with me. Her parents, Bill and Rena Jones Johnson, and uncle Walter Hill Carlen and his wife Beverly, have generously given time and hospitality to their Texas relations.


So here we are today, in June, 2007, reunited in Sparta, in celebration of our ancestors who came to this newly opened territory in 1808 and made it their home.


Mary Helen Haines

6610 Garlinghouse Ln.

Dallas, Texas  75252









North Carolina Period: 1759 to 1790


Our ancestor Thomas Hill was born in 1759 near the Dan River, close to the Virginia border, in what is now Rockingham County, near the presently existing town of Eden. We know by pension statements, and his son Abner Hill’s “Obituary,” that his parents were William and Hannah Hill. Certainly William Hill seems to have legally considered Thomas his own, and Thomas never indicated otherwise.


However, DNA says otherwise. The Hill descendants of Thomas are genetically descended from a male with the last name of Grogan. The Hill descendants of Thomas’ brother are not connected by DNA to Thomas’ descendants. So now the investigation into our Hill roots before Thomas, shifts gears to the Grogan family. DNA will give us no more information; from here we must rely on the familiar paper trail of deeds, censuses, tax lists, etc.


What do we know about the Grogans? According to Grogan descendants, two brothers came to America from Kings County (today called Offaly County), Ireland probably in the 1750s. The brothers are Thomas David and Bartholomew Grogan. Thomas David is believed to have been born around 1727 and Bartholomew around 1730. Some believe they landed in Pennsylvania and made their way south.


The first documented record in North Carolina is for Bartholomew Grogan when he purchased a 384 acre Lord Granville land grant in 1760 on Buffalo Island Creek on the north side of the Dan River for ten shillings sterling. (Rowan Co. NC Deed Book 5, p. 74.)  Then in 1764, Bartholomew and his wife Lurina sold 186 acres of this land to John Simons. (Book 5, p. 538)  In the Rowan County Minute Book 3, p. 158, Bartholomew Grogan is appointed the overseer of the road from Grassey (sic) Spring to Orange (County) Line in 1769. There are no other records of any other Grogans in Rowan County at this time.


The land in this area of North Carolina was all a part of the proprietary grant made to George Carteret, Lord Granville by the Crown of England, who established a land office and sold parcels of it in the early years.


The earliest record of a Hill in the area of the Dan River, is the purchase of 160 acres by William Hill on Rock House Creek from James Sims in 1763 (Rowan Co. Deed Book 5, p. 355). Rock House Creek is south of the Dan River, and empties into it. This possibly could be our William Hill, but it is not certain.


Since our Thomas Hill was born in 1759, and he is not the son of William, but a Grogan father, he most likely is the son of Bartholomew.


Another relation also appears in the early years in this area: William Bridges.  In 1755, Robert Jones sold to Wm. Bridges two plots of land, one is 190 acres on the north side of the Dan River, and the other is 100 acres on both sides of the Dan River. (Rowan Co. Deed Book 2, pp. 39-40) It is likely that William Bridges is the father of Hannah Bridges, mother of Thomas Hill and wife of William Hill.


When Lord Granville died, the land office closed in 1763, so no new land grants were made in the years before the American Revolution. That does not mean that the land was uninhabited, however. Enough people had moved into the territory that demands for a county seat closer to their place of residence led to the creation of Guilford County in 1771. The county seat became what is today Greensboro.


According to family researchers, Bartholomew and his wife Lurenia (Lurina) came from the same county in Ireland, probably married there, and began having children around 1750. If the researchers are correct the children are:

(1) Eleanor "Nellie" Grogan born about 1750, later married to Drury Smith

(2) John Grogan born about 1752, married Ann Nancy Edwards

(3) Lurenia Grogan born about 1754, married Benjamin Smith

(4) Samuel Grogan born about 1760

(5) Thomas Grogan born Sept. 7, 1762, married Martha Smith

(6) Francis Grogan born about 1763, married Elizabeth Price

(7) Daniel Grogan born about 1764, married Jane Smith

(8) William Grogan born about 1766, married Sarah Davidson

(9) Bartholomew Grogan Jr. born about 1768, married as his second wife Elizabeth Price.


(Source: The Heritage of Rockingham County North Carolina, Entry “Bartholomew Grogan Family,” written by H. Wendell Grogan, p. 284)

Bartholomew Grogan appears first in the new county records in 1773 when he and his wife Susannah sell 240 acres on both side of Buffaloe Island Creek to Constant Perkins. This was not registered, however, until 1780. Another question—are Susannah and Lurina the same person? It could be that there are two wives.




During the years of the American Revolution, local militias were recruited to fight against the English and the Indians.  In 1775 a treaty signed between a land company and the Cherokee opened a huge area for settlement from the Ohio River to the Watauga settlement in what became East Tennessee. Not all Cherokee groups recognized this land purchase, and when the American Revolution broke out, some Cherokee groups decided to throw their lot with the British, hoping to stem the flow of Americans into their traditional lands. In June, 1776, white settlements in the Watauga Settlement and South Carolina were raided by the Cherokee, and in July, Gen. Griffith Rutherford responded with a force of 2,400 men. This army destroyed 32 towns and villages, and it is this expedition that Thomas Hill explains in his pension statement.


Our Thomas Hill was only sixteen when he was drafted into Captain Leek’s company. In the words from his pension statement made in 1832 in White Co., TN:


The object of the draft was to raise men to go against the Cherokee Indians on the Tennessee River. This was a 3 month tour in the year 1776 and he believes the month of June. Captain Leeks Company was attached to James Martin’s Regiment.


The troops marched to the Cherokee Towns and destroyed them. The first town they entered was Watauga. The second was called King Town, the third was called Echota, with numerous smaller towns. This expedition was commanded by General Rutherford of North Carolina. This was about the time Colonel Christy marched against the Indians from Virginia. This detachment then returned home not having a written discharge, but states that the Company to which he was attached to was mustered out of service near the head of Catawba River in the State of North Carolina, the Company he does not remember.


His next service was the year of the Battle of Guilford. He went out as a volunteer under Captain John May of Guilford Co. according to the best of his recollection. The Company to which he was attached on this occasion also belonged to and which was the first Regiment commanded by Colonel James Martin, but of this he is not possible certain. The object this time was to protect the County from the rages of the British who had penetrated into the State. The special object of the forces to which he belonged was to keep the British from Crossing Dan River. He was not in any battle at the end of 6 weeks the company to which he was attached was relieved by fresh troops and permitted to return home in order to obtain provisions and enjoy a short rest from the fatigue of war. They however soon returned to the service and in the whole, this tour amounts to about 3 months. He was not in the battle of Guilford, but Captain May was on the way to join General Green's Army on the day the battle was fought.


He was acquainted with Colonel Martin, Colonel Crisby, and General Green. After this battle of Guilford he returned home. After this he came to Holston below the Long Island to what then supposed in the County of Hawkins. He then volunteered under Captain Robert King and he believed in the year 1782 to protect the county from the ravages of the Cherokee Indians. He is not positive whether this was in the year of 1781 or 1782 he served on this occasion 3 months and was engaged in various skirmishes against the Indians. This was the last term of services, which could be called such in which he was engaged. It is true he was subsequently out on what were termed ranging and scouting parties, but for this service he asks nothing from his country. He has no documentary evidence nor is there any living witness within his reach.




William Shropshire, Thomas Hill’s future brother-in-law, fought as well. The pension application states:

WILLIAM SHROPSHIRE, a resident of White County, Tennessee, aged 67 years in August 1827:

            That he, WILLIAM SHROPSHIRE, enlisted for the term of twelve months in the month of September 1775 in the County of Guilford, state of North Carolina, in the company commanded by Captain JOHN ARMSTRONG in the regiment commanded by Colonel ALEXANDER MARTIN in the line of the state of North Carolina in the continental establishment. That he continued to serve in the said corps until September 1776 when he was discharged in Guilford County, state of NC..."

Rockingham County, NC. JOHN FIELDS-"That WILLIAM SHROPSHIRE was a soldier in the regular service of the United States under Captain JOHN ARMSTRONG in the 2nd regiment of North Carolina regulars. That this deponent states that he served with the said WILLIAM SHROPSHIRE in the year ‘76 and that ALEXANDER MARTIN was the Colonel Commandant. That this deponent further maketh oath that he was a sergeant in Captain ARMSTRONG’s company, and that said WILLIAM SHROPSHIRE served under him."

Rockingham County, SNEED STRONG, made oath that WILLIAM SHROPSHIRE was in the militia service of the United States in the year ’80. That himself and said SHROPSHIRE received their discharges both at the same time. That GEORGE PEAY was captain, and getting sick, he served under RICHARD VERNON, lieutenant in said PEAY’s company."

Lincoln County, Tennessee, JOHN W. CRUNK-"That he is well acquainted with WILLIAM SHROPSHIRE…that he enlisted in the service of the United States in February 1776. That he served in Captain JOHN ARMSTRONG’s company in the continental army, the 2nd regiment, commanded by Colonel ALEXANDER MARTIN. That he remained in the service for nine months or more. That he was taken sick and furloughed to go home. That deponent further states that he also was a soldier and served with the said SHROPSHIRE."


Listed as part of Captain Richard Vernon’s militia found in Room 400 of the National Archives were James Hill, Gustavous Hill, and Winkfield Shropshire. The year is not included, however 1781 would be likely based on Richard Vernon’s pension statements. (Heritage of Rockingham County, p. 11)


We know about Thomas Hill’s and William Shropshire’s Revolutionary war service through pension applications filed in White County, Tennessee; however, Bartholomew Grogan did not live that long, so his military adventures are second-hand. In the book, The Old North State in 1776, written by the Rev. Eli W. Caruther, D.D. in 1854, Grogan is mentioned on page 87 of Vol. II as having joined Col. Dugan (Thomas Dougan), Capt. William Clarke, Jacky Veach and many others as they hunted down a Tory Major John Elrod who lived near the fork of the Yadkin River. It seems that Elrod had killed a Whig neighbor named Johnson and Thomas Dougan, who was home recovering from his time on a British prison ship, raised an informal militia to go after Elrod. “The alarm having been given in the neighborhood, a trip of mounted men was quickly paraded and ready for marching orders, consisting of colonel Dugan, Captain William Clarke, Jacky Veach, Bartholomew Grogan, and many others.”


There was a lot of skirmishing between the British Loyalists (called Tories) and the United States Patriots (called Whigs) in this area, and often it was neighbor against neighbor. It culminated in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in 1781, where Lord Cornwallis fought against the Patriots in what is now Greensboro, NC. Technically, it was a British victory (Pyrrhic in nature) in numbers lost, versus numbers put in the field; however, the British moved out of the area and back into Virginia, to soon face the Patriots at Yorktown and the formal surrender. Our Thomas Hill mentions it in his pension statement, but was not present at this battle.




In the interim of the Revolution the unsettled land in North Carolina that had not been granted by Lord Granville was now open for state grants. In 1778 the North Carolina State Land Office was established and soon ready for business. Settlers, who had probably been living on the land already, quickly moved to acquire legal possession of their land.


The warrants were issued on a first come, first serve basis. The settler would mark off the section of land he was claiming, then go to the Entry Office to have his entry claim logged in by number with a description of the land. The settler would receive a Surveyor’s Warrant, which gave him permission to have the claim surveyed. The surveyor would usually use chain carriers to mark the lines, frequently these would be neighbors or relatives of the settler. Once all the paperwork was completed, the state then issued the grant, which was the primary deed for the piece of land.


William Hill very quickly acquired the warrants #160, and #161 on Feb. 26, 1778. One was for 350 acres, and the other for 382 acres, both with his improvements (meaning a house or structure, which indicates he had been living there). Both were on Buffaloe Island Creek, one adjacent to Joseph Gibson, the other to Henry Scales. #161 was surveyed in July 1779 and the grant #298 was issued March 1, 1780. #160 was surveyed in 1779 and issued as grant #313 also on March 1, 1780. (Guilford Deed Book 2, p. 156, p. 165)


These were followed by:


Warrant #311 issued to Henry Grogan for 200 acres on both sides of Little Buffloe Cr., a branch of Matrimony Creek.  This was surveyed for 150 acres in 1779 and grant issued March 1, 1780.


Warrant #879 issued to Gustavus Hill (brother to William?) on Dec. 1, 1778 for 200 acres on North fork of Buffloe Island Creek, with improvement, next to Winkfield Shropshire, William Hill, and Gibson on south. One of the chain carriers was Henry Grogan.


Warrant #1638 issued to Thomas Bridges (brother to Hannah Bridges Hill) for 350 acres on North side of Buffloe Island Cr. William Bridges was one of the chain carriers and the grant #760 was issued on Oct. 14 1783.


Warrant #2111 issued to Winkfield Shropshire (either brother or father of Catherine Shropshire Hill, wife of Thomas Hill) for 100 acres on Buffalow Creek. One of the chain carriers was St. John Shropshire, and the grant #816 was issued Oct. 14, 1783.


The Hill, Shropshire, Bridges, and Grogan families were all neighbors in the Buffalo Island Creek area. We know that many of them became members of the Matrimony Creek Baptist Church, and obviously were acquainted and possibly friends. In 1783, Hannah Bridges and Thomas Hill were married.


In 1785, Rockingham County was created from the northern half of Guilford County.


Below is a close-up map of part of Rockingham County with the land grants marked.



It wasn’t long before the Hills and Shropshires made plans to move away. William Shropshire received a land grant in the newly opened territory of Wilkes County, Georgia.  Joseph Pain Johnson, married to William’s sister, Elizabeth, sold his Buffalo Cr. Land in 1786 to John Hill and moved to Georgia as well. Then William Hill sold his 382 acres in March 1788, and purchased land in nearby Surry County.


The stay in Surry County NC was very brief for the William Hill family. The first federal census for the new United States in 1790 show the adult Hill men living in the same district. Thomas, by 1790, has four boys: Elijah, James, Abner, and William in his household. His father and James and John are listed as adults and heads of households. William has 3 other boys/men over 16 living with him, as well as 5 females. There is also another William Hill family living in Surry County that has often been mixed with our Hill group.


Image of 1790 census of Surry County, NC, #510


Thomas decided to try his luck in Georgia with his Shropshire in-laws. Thomas had purchased a 100 acre track of land in Surry County on the waters of the Tarrarat River that he sold October 2, 1792 after he was already in Georgia. (Surry Co. Deed Book F, p. 348) When his father William Hill died (probably that same time period), Thomas sold his father’s survey to his three brothers, John, James, and Jacob for 240 £ specie total. The wording of the deeds made it clear the borders of each son’s property had been worked out earlier. (Surry Co. Deed Book F, pp. 273-275)



Although two Winkfield Shropshires and St. John Shropshire had households in Rockingham County, NC in 1790, by 1791 Winkfield, Joshua, John Shropshire, and Thomas Hill had joined William in Clay’s district of Wilkes County, Georgia. One John Shropshire stayed behind in Rockingham Co. and appeared on the 1800 census there. I assume this is the elder St. John Shropshire, brother of the older Winkfield Shropshire.











Georgia Period

1791 to 1804


Wilkes County, Georgia was created as one of the eleven original counties in Georgia in 1777. The first appearance of our relatives in Georgia is William Shropshire, brother-in-law of Thomas Hill. He was present and taxed in 1785 in Capt. Hagan’s District in Wilkes County. According to his wife’s pension statement, he received a land grant in 1786, and then in 1787 sold 200 acres on Sherrel’s Creek of Little River. In the 1791 tax list from Wilkes Co., William Shropshire had been joined by his brothers John, Joshua, William, and Winkfield, as well as Thomas Hill. They were all living together in Clay’s district, which is near the present day border of Greene County.


In the 1793 Tax Returns in Capt. Humphrey Edmonson’s Co. in Wilkes County, William had 100 acres on Little Creek, Winkfield had 200 acres on Little River (both adjoining Joel Hurt’s land), John Shropshire had four slaves, no land, Walter Shropshire was present, and Thomas Hill is paying taxes for 85 acres on Fishing Creek. I have found no deed records for this 85 acres, however on November 12, 1795 Thomas Hill of Oglethorpe County officially purchased 170 acres on Harris Creek and another 81 acres on Fishing Creek from George Smith. (Oglethorpe Co. Deed Book B, p. 228 and Green Co. Deed Book 4, p. 90) Both creeks flow into the Oconee River and are adjacent to each other.  The land is today part of the Oconee National Forest in Greene County.

The confusion with counties where Thomas Hill lived in Georgia is not due to any moves, but due to the changing borders. Wilkes County was created first, then Greene county in 1786, then Oglethorpe County in 1793. The land where the Hills and Shropshires lived was close to the border between Oglethorpe and Greene and changed hands a few times.


In Abner Hill’s “Obituary” the time in Georgia is described as fairly rough. “Georgia was then a new country.  My father sold his land in N. C. for horses and cattle and drove them to Georgia.  His horses and mares all died except one bay filly, and the cattle all died except one heifer.  This left us very poor, father having enough to buy only 70 acres of land. Elijah, James, I and William were born in N. C.  Jane, Winkfield, Hannah, Thomas and Cynthia came in close succession, so that father and mother were much crowded with children.  In consequence of this I was raised poor.” 


There is also a description of Thomas’ baptism in the Oconee River, “About this time father joined the Baptist Church and was baptized in Ocona River, Ga., Greene County, about 2 miles above the skull shoals.” That reference is to the scull shoals, which means the shallow waters of the river.  There is no mention by Abner on how the family earned income. They owned land, but there is no mention that crops were planted, or fields were plowed. The fact that this is now a national forest, would lead to the conclusion that not much clearing was done for planting, and indeed, Abner talks about being hired out for the planting season to another farmer to do the plowing.


In December, 1804 Thomas Hill sold 60 acres to Peter Kimbro and made his move to Claiborne County, Tennessee.















Tennessee Period

1805 to 1901


The journey into White County, Tennessee is well known from Abner Hill’s autobiography. Our Hills sold their land in Rockingham County, North Carolina in 1788, moved to Surry County briefly, and then our Thomas Hill moved with his Shropshire in-laws to Wilkes County, Georgia by 1791 and purchased land in what became Greene County. After several years, Thomas sold his property and moved into Tennessee, first to Claiborne County where Thomas’ younger brothers had located, and from there to White County in 1808.


            Below is the original land grant for the 100 acres Thomas Hill received.




            The transcript is as follows:


Thomas Hill’s White County Tennessee Land Grant


Page 505

December first 1809





To all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting:


KNOW Ye, that in consideration of military service performed

by Micajah Henry to the State of North Carolina Warrant

No. 4755 dated the 27th day of February 1797, and entered on the

29th day of August 1807 by No. 484~

there is granted by the said state of Tennessee, unto Thomas Hill

assignee of the said Micajah Henry.~

A certain tract or parcel of land, containing one hundred acres, part of

said warrant lying in White County in the first District, first

range, and ninth Section on the waters of Cany fork including

the improvement where on said Hill now lives. Beginning at a hick-

ory in a conditional line formerly made between said Hill and

John Chissum, one hundred and twenty one poles west of a point-in

the Eastern boundary line of said Section, five hundred and eighty

poles North of the South East corner, and running thence South

eighty nine poles to a blackoak, thence West one hundred and seventy

eight-poles to a a poplar and black gum, thence North eighty nine

poles to a Hickory, thence East one hundred and seventy eight poles

to the Beginning—Surveyed July 11th 1808.~



With the hereditaments and appurtenances—To have and to hold the said

Tract or parcel of land, with its appurtenances to the said Thomas


And his—heirs for ever—In witness whereof John Sevier Governor

of the state of Tennessee, hath hereunto set his hand, & caused the great

seal of the state to be affixed, at Knoxville, on the tenth day of

April--, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and

nine, and of the Independence of the United States, the thirty third.


By the Governor,


R. Houston     Secretary                                                         John Sevier




This grant is mentioned in Deed Book H, p. 55 as being the Thomas Hill survey of 100 acres. It was witnessed by Joel Smith, Elijah Hill and William Shropshire. Thomas Hill’s land, as well as the land received by his son Abner, and then purchases and grants by son Elijah, were all located in the southern part of the county, near what became known as Cave Hill. Cave Hill was about 5 miles south of Sparta and about one mile east of what became the Doyle Rail Station once the railroad was built. This area becomes District 3 in the census records for White County.


Below is a map that incorporates modern roads marked with old homesteads and cemeteries.




The Hill and Meredith names show up in official documents from the earliest years in White County. There are two distinct Hill families: the Richard Hill family in the Cherry Creek area and the Thomas Hill family near Cave and the Caney Fork. Richard Hill, with his sons James and William Harden Hill are the ancestors of Robert Lee Hill, husband of Mollie Evans, oldest daughter of Amanda Meredith Evans Hill.


In 1810 Thomas Hill and William Meredith were asked by the court to review and mark off a road, so the Hills and a family of Merediths must have been early neighbors. There is also a mention of property being taken from James Meredith in 1809 and being sold by the sheriff. The Meredith name appears again in the records in 1817 when John Meredith bought a certificate and Platt for 12 ½ acres. It is not known if these Merediths are related to our Martin Meredith.


Thomas Hill served on his first grand jury in 1809, and starting in 1811 taxes were paid by Thomas Hill (b. 1759) for 126 acres, Abraham (Abner, b. 1788) for 87 acres, and Elijah (b. 1784) for 150 acres. They were all part of Capt. James Randale’s militia district. In another district (Isaac Pruvet’s.) John and James Hill have 50 acres each on the Caney Fork. In 1812 the Hill listings were Elijah, Abner, Thomas, and William listed together in Randale’s district along with Elijah Bates and John Cotton, future in-laws. John and James Hill are listed in Benjamin Denton’s company around South Caney Fork along with three Cummings men. Elijah, Abner, William, and James are sons of Thomas, but how John is related is not known.  In 1812, William was able to vote (b. 1790) and paid a poll tax, but did not own land yet. Thomas is shown in 1812 as having 356 acres, and his land is a grant entry occupant N.C. This amount of land changes over the tax years.


In 1813 Thomas (176 acres), Abner (197 acres) appear together in Randale’s militia company again, and then John (50 acres), James (48 a.) and Elijah (180 a.) are in Capt John Cummings Militia. Also appearing on that same page is John Meredith, with no land (p. 116). There is no proof of any connection yet between this John Meredith and our own Merediths. Why Elijah is in two places is a mystery.


 In 1816 in Capt. William Grimes Company of militia is John Meredith, Elijah, Thomas, Joab, and a Hill widow. The Hill widow is Eleanor Cummings, wife of James Murray Hill, who died in the War of 1812 in New Orleans in 1815. This Thomas Hill seems to be Thomas Hill, Jr., because he has no land and he is listed as paying a poll tax. Elsewhere that year is William and James Hill, sons of Richard Hill. In 1818, Elizabeth Hill, appears on the tax rolls, but I don’t know who she is connected to.


By 1821 Wingfield (correctly Winkfield) appears on the tax rolls for the first time. All of the rolls have classifications of WP and BP. This stands for the poll tax that was levied for each adult. The WP means White poll and the BP means Black poll. Men over fifty years old were exempt from paying, therefore Thomas Hill, Sr. never has to pay. In 1822, Thomas Hill was appointed Constable in White County. This was probably Thomas Hill, Jr., but the records made no distinction.


During the 1820s, some of Thomas’ sons began to move on to newly opened lands in Alabama, and later Texas and Illinois. His son Abner Hill began preaching the doctrines of the Christian Church (as opposed to the Baptist) and was able to convince his siblings to convert to this new thinking. So although his parents stayed Baptist, Winkfield, Elijah, and the rest became members of what evolved into either the Church of Christ or the Disciples of Christ denominations.


In 1832, Congress passed legislation to give pensions to veterans of the Revolutionary War. On 21 August 1832, White Co., TN, Thomas Hill made a sworn deposition about his service during the war. It was accepted and he received a pension of $30.00 a year, with back pay.


Below is the image of his Certificate #13633:



The transcription of his war record was cited earlier on pages 3 and 4. He went on to state some other facts:


He states that he was born on December 22, 1759 near the Dan River in North Carolina, then Guilford County, but today that area is Rockingham County. The Bible which contained his birth date was in his house in Claiborne County in East Tennessee when it burnt about twenty-seven years before, so he has no proof of his age.


Thomas records that he moved 8 years after the war to Surry County, North Carolina and lived 2 years, then moved to Green County, Georgia and lived 13 years, then to Claiborne County, Tennessee for 2 years thence to White County, Tennessee.


He called the following people to testify as to his veracity: James Anderson Esq., Major James Randals, Thomas Crawley, Turner Lane, Esq., Jesse Lincoln of Sparta, and the Rev. James Sisgruunz (?).



In 1845, Thomas, now eight-six years old, began making arrangements for his property. In Probate Deed Book, Vol. C p. 267, Thomas Hill deeded to Winkfield Hill 200 acres, known as the Thomas Hill survey. Dated April 7, 1845.




In 1850 widow, Catherine Hill, applied for continuation of his Revolutionary War pension as his widow. Their children, Elijah and Winkfield Hill, also made collaborating testimonies:


Be it remembered that on the 18 day of February 1850, personally appeared before  the undersigned acting Justice of Peace and for the County and State aforesaid, Elijah Hill  aged upwards of 65 years and Winkfield aged 57 years with whom I am personally  acquainted and who made oath in due form of law, that they are sons of the above  mentioned Thomas Hill and Catherine Hill that they have respectively heard their father the said Thomas Hill speak of his wife the said Catherine and of their marriage and that they verify believe they were legally married as aforesaid and that they lived as man and wife until the death of said Thomas Hill on the 5 day of April 1849 and that they verify believe all the statements made in the foregoing declaration to be true and  subscribed      I further certify there are now of good standing, sworn and subscribed  before me ———                              Pension File No.  624                                                       Washington, DC


A collaborating statement was also given on June 14th, 1850 by a friend, Martha McElroy, who said she had known Thomas and Catherine Hill since 1800 in Georgia, and that they removed to Tennessee in 1805. She verified that Elijah and Winkfield were her sons. The pension was then approved and backdated to Thomas’s death.


At the time of Thomas Hill’s death in 1849, only a few of his children were nearby.

Using the 1850 census records, their locations can be verified.


Elijah Hill: 66 years old, living nearby in VanBuren County, which had been created out of White County, with wife Sarah Cummings Hill, working as a waggonmaker.


James Murray Hill: died during the War of 1812. He was present at the siege of New Orleans and died of wounds he received there. His four children were given to Thomas Hill in a custody suit. They were scattered to various states by 1850.


Abner Hill: 60 years old, living in Hopkins Co., Texas with his fourth wife, and next to his son Joshua Bartlett Hill and his daughter Sarah Cotton Hill Jameson, wife of Thomas Jameson.


William J. Hill: died in 1846 in Fulton Co., Illinois, where his descendants resided for many years.


Winkfield Hill: 58 years old, living on family land in White County with his wife Martha and mother Catherine.


Hannah Hill Bates: died in 1837 in Bradley Co., Tenn., wife of Ezekiel Bates.


Jane Hill Bates: died in 1850 in Itawamba Co., Mississippi, widow of Robert Patrick Bates. Many of her children would move to Texas.


Thomas C. Hill: 52 years old, living in Hopkins Co., Texas with wife Matilda Shropshire Hill and children. They would move on to Mercer Co. Illinois.


Cynthia Hill Chisum (Chisholm): 50 years old, living in Franklin Co., Alabama with husband Gillington Chishum and children. They would move back to Tennessee to Nashville.




Winkfield Hill did not live much longer than his father Thomas.  In the 1848- 1850 Tax Listings, Winkfield was living on the Thomas Hill survey in District 3 with a total of 245 acres worth $900. His son Joab Hill was also living in Dist. 3 with 300 acres, worth $450. His son James Anderson Hill had no land yet, but by the time of the 1850 census, he was living on land valued at $700, and was a close neighbor of brother Joab, who was listed as a merchant on land valued at $900.


Winkfield and Martha “Patsy” Anderson had eleven children at their home in White County. Although his parents remained in the Baptist church, Abner Hill was successful in converting Winkfield and his other brothers to the new faith, the Christian Church, that he had joined. From a letter from James B. Hill to W.F. Hill, dated Jan. 26, 1912: “Abner Hill changed the faith of Winkfield Hill, my grandfather, to the Christian Church and all my people are members of that church.”


Joab Hill: born in 1820, married to Elizabeth Pinner, buried in Anderson Cemetery.

Catherine Hill: born in 1822, married to Levi Jarvis Kerr, buried in Anderson Cem.

James Anderson Hill: born in 1823, married first to Hulda Greer, and second to Mary Lowrey, buried in Bethlehem Cem.

Elizabeth A. Hill: born in 1825, married to James M. Sanderson

William Jasper Hill: born in 1827, married to Mary Carnes

Cynthia C. Hill: born in 1829, married to William F. Greer, and then to Henry P. Smith

Helen Hill: born in 1830, married to E.T. Moore

Martha Jane Hill: born in 1831, married to George Washington Real

Hannah B. Hill: born in 1833 and died in 1835.

Riley Hill and Permelia Hill: born in 1837.


When Winkfield died intestate in March, 1851, son James A. Hill was appointed the administrator of the estate. Winkfield’s effects were sold and the profits were divided among the heirs according to the court papers.  In Probate Deed Book Vol. D. , page 188, on Feb. 10, 1851, Joab Hill deeded to Wm. Anderson 30 acres, and to James A. Hill, 209 acres a month prior to Winkfield’s death. The fact that James A. Hill was appointed administrator of the estate indicates to me that Joab may possibly already have been ill, because he died in 1853 at only 33 years old. There is no known cause of death, but it left his widow Elizabeth with 7 children ranging in ages from 13 to less than a year old. Elizabeth never remarried, but continued to live on the Thomas Hill survey, or at least 106 acres of it, until her death in 1886, at 65 years old.


Thomas, Winkfield, and Joab are all buried together at the Anderson Cemetery, located near the old home place in the southern part of White County near Doyle. In a letter written by James Brents Hill to cousin W.F. Hill, descendant of Abner Hill, dated Jan. 26, 1912, “He (Thomas Hill) and his son, Winkfield Hill, who is my grandfather, are both buried in the Anderson Grave-yard near their old homes in White County. The grave-yard was named from the wife of my grandfather, who was Pattie Anderson. Great-grandmother, Katherine and Grandmother Pattie are buried in the same grave-yard.”


Joab and Elizabeth’s children were:


Martha J. Hill: born in 1840, married to William C. Warren

Ellen Katharin Hill: born in 1841, died in 1856, buried in Anderson Cemetery. She has been called Helen C. Hill in family reports, but her gravestone reads Ellen Katharin.

William Ransom Hill: born in 1842. First wife was Mary L. Anderson, daughter of Matthias Anderson. Second wife was Amanda Meredith, daughter of Elisha Meredith and Lee Ann Scott. Buried in Bethlehem Cemetey.

James M. Hill: born in 1845, married to Rutha Wallace.

George M. Hill: born in 1847, married to Hulda Rogers, and to Anne Austin. Sheriff in White County, and buried at Anderson Cemetery.

Russell B. Hill: born in 1850, married to Nan Yeager. Moved to Ladonia, Fannin Co., Texas and is buried in the Ladonia Cemetery.

Mary Eveline Hill: born Jan. 30, 1852, died March 3, 1852. She has never appeared on this family’s tree; however, her gravestone at Anderson Cemetery would seem to indicate she is from this family.

Cynthia Josie Hill: born abt. 1853, married a Warren. Nothing more is known about her.


From this point on the story of William Ransom Hill is told very well in Joe Meredith Hill’s books. However, some documents were not included.


William R. Hill, age 19, joined the Confederate Army on July 26, 1861. He was recruited in Cave (near present day Doyle), White Co. and became a member of Company C, of the 25th Infantry and was ranked a Sergeant. A reorganization took place in May, 1862 and Lt. Col. George C. Dibrell was not reelected, so Dibrell organized the 13th (8th) Cavalry Regiment and W.R. Hill transferred to this unit on May 10 1862. The 13th is also called the 8th as well as Gore’s Cavalry. Source: Tennesseans in the Civil War.


Archival Records: Two records state he was Enlisted by Lt. A. B. Hardcastle on July 26, 1861 for 12 months in White Co. as a Sgt. In Co. C, 25 Reg’t Tennessee Infantry. This was organized for State service on Aug. 10, 1861, and transferred to the service of the Confederate states on October 1, 1861. On October 1 muster-in roll he is shown as present, 19 years old, and Sgt. In Capt. Wm. G. Smith’s Company of the 25 Regiment Tennessee Infantry. Another record for a company muster roll dated April 7, 1864 near Zollicoffer, E. Tenn. Agrees he joined July 26, 1861 at Cave Hill, Tenn. By Col. S.S. Stanton. This record also states that he transferred to 8 Tenn. Cavalry on May 10, 1862. On the company Muster Roll for the 13th Cavalry, W.R. Hill was serving as 2nd Lt. of Co. D, 8 Reg’t Tennessee Cavalry. This regiment was organized as Partisan Rangers in September 1862, and consolidated into 10 companies. He was enlisted by Col. Dibrell in Sparta, Tenn. On Aug. 2, 1862. It states that he served as a 2nd Lieutenant for Co. D, 13th enlisted by Col. Dibrell, enlisting on Aug. 2, 1862 and on the Muster Roll from June 30 to Dec. 31 in 1864. Family history calls him Captain, and on the last muster roll it says he was “Commanding the Company” although he is still listed as a 2nd Lt. When Col. Dibrell was promoted to Brigadier General in July 1864, Capt. Leftwich, leader of Co. D, was usually in command of the regiment after Lt. Col. Dougherty was taken prisoner. So even though the Archives do not reflect a formal promotion, it must have taken place. The chaos of the last year of the war for the Confederacy meant that many records were not kept.  Another source is Amanda Hill’s Pension Application #51979 filed in Hunt Co., Texas. That can be found in the book Johnny Rebs of Hunt Co. Texas p. 47, compiled by Frances Terry Ingmire, 1977, as well as the archival record from the State of Texas.


A more detailed look at the whole Civil War period for our relations is found in the document “Our White County Relations in The Civil War.”


After the war, William came home to Cave and paid his poll taxes in Dist. 3 (his family home) in 1865. By 1866 he had married Mary Anderson and had moved into Sparta and was paying his poll tax in Dist. 1. In 1870 W.R. Hill was the Tax Collector for the Railroad, filed the taxes in April 1875, p. 43-44 of Vol. 26 of County Court Minute Book. On p. 77 of same book, in Sept. 1875, W.R. Hill resigned his office as overseer of the Road, and Wm. Anderson was appointed to take over that position.


In the 1875-1886 White Co. Tax Books (FHL #507970),Wm. R. Hill was living in Dist. 1, which is the district for Sparta. In 1875  he owned no land, however, in 1876 he owned 100 acres, with a value of $750. This land bordered Mat Anderson, H.A. Doyle, the Calf Killer River, and Wm. Anderson, so I assume it was an inheritance made to his wife Mary, daughter of Mat Anderson. In 1883 this same land is listed as belonging to W.R. Hill’s heirs—the children of William Ranson and Mary Anderson Hill. This land will later be sold by the children.


It is during this time that Amanda Meredith Evans Hill’s inheritance from her marriage to Sevier Evans was being finalized. The land was put up for sale and W.R. Hill bought the 365 acres, known as Evans Cove. The money paid for the land would be the inheritance for Mollie Evans. So now William Ransom owned two parcels of land in Dist. 1.


Land records: In Book W, p. 421 W.R. Hill on March 17, 1877 sold the mineral rights to G. M. Colbert for 100 acres on the Calf Killer tributary of Caney Fork of the Cumberland River. He would be paid $10.00 a year for the right to search for oil, coal, etc. That same year Elizabeth H. Hill signed a mining contract with the same party for her 106 acres.


Below is the last will and testament of W.R. Hill, made July 27, 1900.


He died June 3, 1901. When Amanda Hill moved to Texas she sold the 360 acres of land in Evans Cove. The agreement is recorded in Vol. 41 p. 367. Amanda was paid $4000 by Charles T. Huston in increments from 1902 to 1904. This agreement was signed Aug. 19, 1902, and it was these funds that helped her begin her boarding house business in Wolfe City, Texas.


Details of birth dates, death dates, children’s names, etc. for the Hill line can be found in the Descendants of William Hill Genealogy Report in print and on-line.

The Meredith Relations


Although there are scattered references to Merediths in White County in the earliest years, as mentioned earlier on page 15, the entrance of our known family of Merediths is in 1839, with Martin Meredith’s appearance on the tax rolls for the first time.





He is shown with no land, and living in town. He died that same year, and was buried in the Old City Cemetery, in a grave not marked today. Martin Meredith was married to Margaret McCoy about 1817 in Virginia. It has not been determined who Martin’s parents were, nor Margaret’s. Much deeper research into the Virginia records is needed. On the surface there are a couple of leads. We know that Martin and Margaret moved from Virginia after the birth of their first daughter Ann. It is believed that they moved to Franklin County Tennessee before the birth of their second daughter, Matilda Jane in 1823. Martin Meredith does not appear in the 1820 census in Franklin County, although there are other Merediths present, in particular, a John Sr. and a James Meredith. These Merediths, who own a rather large number of slaves, seem much more involved in agriculture than our Merediths ever were. There is also the family of Daniel McCoy living in Franklin County, TN in 1820.


Could the father of Margaret McCoy possibly be this Daniel McCoy? Margaret states in the 1880 census that her father was born in Scotland. The Daniel McCoy in Franklin Co. Tenn. Swore in his pension application in 1833 that he was born in the Shire of Sutherland around 1750. He served for two months during the Revolutionary War in 1779, living in Albemarle County, Virginia. He then moved to Amherst Co. VA until around 1804 when he moved to Winchester, Franklin County, Tenn.


During the years in Franklin County six more Meredith children were born to Martin and Margaret Meredith. There are no ownership records belonging to Martin, and he does not appear in any official documents, except the 1830 census.  During the 1830s, an Elisha Meredith family moved into Winchester in Franklin County by 1837, from their former residence in Alabama. The similarity of names and occupations, make one suspect that Elisha and Martin are related somehow. Again, more research into Virginia is called for, before connections can be proved.






Martin and Margaret McCoy Meredith’s children are:


Ann Meredith: born abt. 1817 in Virginia and died single aft. 1880. Buried in unmarked grave in Old Zion Cemetery.


Matilda Jane Meredith: born abt. 1823 in Winchester, Franklin Co., TN, married Monroe Jones in 1845, had three children possibly, then died in 1850.

Joseph B. Meredith: born in 1825 in Winchester, married Margaret Emma Carrick, moved to Waxahachie, Texas in 1853, had 12 children, died there in 1892.

Martha Meredith: born abt. 1826, m. J.H.C. Groning in 1841 in Warren Co., TN, where he worked as a blacksmith.

Elisha Meredith: born in 1828 in Franklin Co., TN, married Lee Ann Scott in 1852 in White Co., TN, had 10 children. Moved to Texas in 1860, and back to Tennessee when war began. Back to Alvarado Texas in 1884, died there in 1888, suicide.

Edward W. Meredith: born 1830 in TN, married Elizabeth C. Wallace, in 1861. Never had children. Died in 1900 in White Co. and is buried in Old Zion Cemetery.

James W. Meredith: born 1833 in White Co. TN, married Mary Lucetta Lisk in 1858 and had one son, married Mary Beaver in 1890 and had three children. James and Mary Beaver are buried in Old Zion Cemetery.

John S. Meredith: born in 1835, died during the Civil War.

William H. Meredith: born in 1840 in White Co., TN, married Frances Brown in 1865 and had three children, including Daniel Martin Meredith, and then married Kitty Hudgens in 1884 and had two sons. His burial place is not known, nor the year of death, although he was alive in 1904. William was not included in my grandfather’s listing of children, however he was present in the 1850 and 1860 censuses with Margaret Meredith and the rest of the family, so I am not sure why he was not included.


Our forefather, Elisha Meredith is described in his Civil War papers as 5' 10" with blue eyes, and brown hair. He had been married to Lee Ann for nine years when the Civil War broke out, and after an unprofitable foray into Texas territory, returned home and joined the local Confederate regiment under Col. Dibrell. For the details of his Civil War experience please see my document “Our White County Relations in The Civil War.”  Elisha and Lee Ann had ten children:


James Scott Meredith: born in 1853 in White Co., TN, died bef. 1915 in California.

Amanda Meredith: born in 1856 in Cumberland Co., TN, died in 1948 in Wolfe City, Hunt County, Texas. Buried at Mt. Carmel Cemetery outside of Wolfe City.

Margaret “Maggie” Meredith: born in 1858 in Tenn., married David Crockett Lowry in 1876 in White Co. and had four children. He died in 1889 and Maggie moved to Texas to be with her mother, where she married Richard Simonds abt. 1894 and had two more children.

Edward Meredith: born in 1861 in Ellis Co, Texas, married Rosa Hodges in 1892 in Texas. They had no children.

Sallie Meredith: born in 1864, died early.

Elizabeth Meredith: born abt. 1866 in Tenn. And married James F. Hickey in Texas. She had two known children, born in Texas, died in San Francisco in 1956.

Mary Lou Meredith: born in 1868 in Tenn., married Ed Shultz in 1891 in Alvarado Texas, and had three children, one that survived. She died in Alvarado before 1948.

Nettie Meredith: born in 1871 in Tenn. Married F.M. Slough in 1892 in Alvarado. He died before 1900 and she married Finis Ewing McKay in 1902 in Texas and had two children.

Kitty Meredith: born in 1873 in Tenn. Married W.W. Edwards in 1893 in Texas and had one known child.

Jonathan Thomas Meredith: born in 1875 in Tenn. Married Estelle Orr in 1909 in Texas. They had four known children. He lived most of his life in Hillsboro, Hill Co., Texas where he was partners in a grocery business on the courthouse square. They are buried at Ridge Park Cemetery in Hillsboro, TX.


The details of their birth dates, death dates, names of children, etc. are available in the Descendants of Martin Meredith Genealogy Report in print and on-line.


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