March 19, 2014

FAMILY FOCUS: John I Hill 1801-1884

John was a lumberman in Wawarsing, Ulster County, New York, born to unknown parents possibly in Shawangunk.  About 1830 John married Esther Furman (1808-1902), daughter of Joseph Furman and Polly Sheeley.  My challenge this year is to identify John’s parents and siblings.

Interestingly one of Esther’s sisters, Catherine (1816-1880) married Isaac Dubois Hill (1812-1888).  I’ve been wondering if Isaac (who often seems to have gone by his middle name) and John might have been brothers or cousins.  Isaac reported that he was born in Orange County and John reported Ulster. They were born 11 years apart and the 2 counties are adjacent. Some unsourced online records show John as the son of John W and Charlotte Mullaney Hill; I have not been able to confirm this.

Assuming that John was in fact born in Shawangunk, I checked the 1810 census and found two families with boys under 10, headed by Isaac and Sturgis Hill.  But that trail goes cold in 1820 when neither Isaac nor Sturgis show up as head of household in Ulster County. Might they have moved to Orange County? There was a family headed by Isaac but it’s almost impossible to know if it is the same household.

John and Esther had 8 known children – perhaps one of their descendants knows something of John’s birth family and will stumble upon this post. That would be my lucky day !! The children and spouses are listed here.

1833   JOHN  + Phebe
1835   JOSEPH + Mary (moved to VA)
1837   LUCINDA (unmarried)
1840   JANE + James Cutler
1843   ALMIRA + August Stangle (Brooklyn)
1844   EMILY + Francis Sheeley
1847   WILLIAM + Eliza (moved to VA)
1850   MARY A + Lorenzo Low (moved to CT)

I don’t know where else to look. I’ll search out church records for Shawangunk and see if they show up. If you have another suggestion, please drop me a note 

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