Hildreth descendants migrated from Anson County, N.C.

Published 2:32 am Saturday, January 13, 2018

Hildreth descendants migrated from Anson County, N.C.

Today’s story will be a further look at the Hildreth family which was featured in an earlier column. This is made possible by an elderly descendant, Dalton Hildreth, who shared his family records.

Two Hildreth brothers, Richard and Thomas, arrived on the shores of Lynn, Mass., in 1635. They had sailed from their home and family in Durham County, Yorkshire, England, to seek their fortunes in the New World. Thomas was 24 years old when he settled in America. He soon met and fell in love with a young lady named Hanna who was among the new settlers in the area. Around 1640, they migrated south to Southampton on Long Island, N.Y., where settlers were being given three acres of land to help establish a settlement on Long Island.

Thomas and Hanna were blessed with three children: Joseph, b. ca 1638, m. Hanna Jessup; James, b. ca 1640; and Hanna, b. ca 1641. Thomas died in 1657 at the age of 46, and Hanna later was married to Jonas Bowers.

In the next generation, Joseph Hildreth, was married to Hanna Jessup, born circa 1841 who was the daughter of John Jessup. They were the parents of four children whose names are not known. Joseph’s brother, James Hildreth, b. circa 1640, m. Margaret Ward. Among their children was a son named James, but it is not known if he was a junior or what his middle name was.

In the third generation, James Hildreth, the son of James and Margaret, was born circa 1690. It is believed he married a young lady named Nancy. They like others of the Hildreth family began to migrate to other sections as America grew. James and Nancy began to move south through the foothills of Virginia and into North Carolina. They finally settled in Anson County, N.C. Their migration occurred in the 1740s and took them several months. They located in a part of Anson County called Jones Creek. The first deed for a Hildreth was recorded in 1759 between James and his son, David. James and Nancy Hildreth were the parents of several children including sons and daughters, but the names of two sons, David and Reuben, are the only ones identified. James died circa 1770 at the age of about 80 years. He was buried there in Anson County.

The fourth generation of this family is represented by James’s son, Reuben Hildreth. Reuben was born circa 1749 and lived to be 96 years of age when he died in October 1845. Reuben participated in the Revolutionary War (1776-1787) and fought for the independence of our nation from the mother country of England. Reuben’s wife was named Mary, but her maiden name was not identified. Reuben and his family moved south in the 1820s to Morengo County, Ala. He along with Elder James Yarbrough and his family founded the town of Jefferson, Ala. They also established Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, which, according to last account, still stands and holds services on a regular basis. The church was eventually named Jefferson Baptist Church. Reuben was buried in the adjacent cemetery

Reuben and Mary Hildreth were the parents of the following children: Lewis, b. 1786; Reuben Jr., b. 1790, m. Mary Samples; John, b. 1793, m. 1824 Elizabeth Williams; James, b. 1794, m. Julia Simmons; William, b. 1801, m. Martha Yarbrough; Parthena, b. 1808, m. Jessie Morris; and Mahalia, b. 1810, m. 1842 Lemuel Simmons. All of the children moved to and made Alabama their home.

Also in the fourth generation was Reuben’s brother, David Hildreth. He was born circa 1740 and remained in Anson County, N.C. while Reuben migrated to Alabama. He was married to Ann Vickery, and they were the parents of the following children: Mary, b. 1778, m. William Bailey; James, b. 1785, m. Sarah ?; William, b. 1789, m. Nancy ?; David Jr., b. 1790, m. Nancy ?; Thomas, b. ca 1791; and Robert, b. ca 1792, m. Frances ?. They were blessed with only one daughter, but there may have been other unidentified children. David and Ann both lived into the 1870s. Most of the Hildreths currently living in the Anson area are the descendants of this couple.

The oldest son, James Hildreth, and his wife, Sarah, who was born circa 1810, resided in Anson County. Records suggest they were the parents of the following children: Reuben J., b. 1826; Caroline, b. 1828; Burwell, b. 1830; Gilson, b. 1831; Sarah, b. 1832; Elie, b. 1837; Mary K., b. 1839; Ellen, b. 1820; William, b. 1824; and Fannie, b. 1826.

The son, David Hildreth Jr., was married to Nancy who was born in 1780. They were the parents of the following children: Elizabeth, b. 1820; Jane, b. 1822; Mary, b. 1824; William, b. 1826; and David III, b. 1828.

The family of the son, Robert Hildreth, experienced a very sad tragedy. The story is told of how his children were visiting the children of a neighbor, William Taylor, and the Hildreth children became unruly. Taylor sent them home, so they related the incident to their father. He became enraged and encouraged by his brother, David, to confront Taylor. Once he did, an argument ensued during which Robert shot and killed Taylor. He was tried and convicted of murder and sentenced to death by hanging. He was hanged on November 2, 1849, at the “Hanging Tree” in Rockingham and then buried in a cemetery near the site. Afterwards, his children were placed with relatives and the “poorhouse.” Nothing is known of his wife after Robert’s death.

Robert and Frances were the parents of the following children: Louise, b. 1835; Nancy, b. 1838; Emeline, b. 1841; Robert Jr., b. 1843; Susan, b. 1845; and James, b. 1847. There were three older sons, but their names have not been identified.

Another son, Thomas Hildreth, and his wife, Hispira Childress, had a son named Thomas O., b. 1820, who rendered service in the Confederate Army and died in prison at Elmira, N.Y. Another son, William Hildreth, and his wife, Nancy, were the parents of four children: Berrygrove, b. 1825, served the South and died of wounds, May 20, 1864; William, b. 1835, served in Confederate Army; Julia, b. 1838; and Elizabeth, b. 1842. Still another son, Reuben Hildreth, and his wife, Mary, were the parents of the following children: Elizabeth, b. 1832; David, b. 1836; Walter, b. 1839; Mary, b. 1845; and Thomas, b. 1851.

The sixth generation is represented by Gibson Hildreth and his wife, Martha Terry. They were the parents of two known children: James Leonard, b. 1856, d. 1928, m. Louisa Ella High; and Mary Jane, b. 1853. Nothing more is know of Mary Jane, but in the seventh generation, James and Ella, who were farmers, were the parents of the following children: Joseph, b. 1886, d. 1959, m. Docia Hasty; Edward, b. 1891, d. 1959, m. Jenny (Tyson) Little; Martha J., b. 1893; Samuel, b. 1897, d. 1972, m. Addie Kiker; Connie B. “Doll,” b. 1898, d. 1985, m. J. Benjamin Hildreth; John C.F., b. 1903, d. 1989, m. Anna Frances Sanders; and Jane “Vade,” b. 1902, m. Alter Watts.

The eighth and last generation in this narrative was the family of John C. and Anna Frances (Sanders) Hildreth. They were the parents of the following children: Mary Frances, b. 1926, m. Durwood Turner; Janie Lee, b. 1927, m. Adam Renis Sides; James Andrew, b. 1929, m. Leta Ann Helms; Warren Grant, b. 1931, m. Jo Ann Wright; Edward Franklin, b. 1935, m. Julie Bell Kelly; John Thomas, b. 1936, m. (1) Ester Brooks (2) Mary A. Coppeage Davis; Dorothy Louise, b. 1939, m. Beacher R. Watkins; Clyde Leonard, b. 1940, m. Ruth Sellers; Rachel Fay, b. 1943, m. Larry G. Hancock; and Basel Mason, b. 1943.

The family records of a descendant, Dalton Hildreth, were the source for this column. Anyone who might find an error is encouraged to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: cthomasson@centurytel.net.




The Covington Rifles Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will have a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 18, the day before General Robert E. Lee’s birthday. Camp Member Roger Broxton will present a tribute for Generals Lee and Jackson. The UDC chapter will be special guests and will present awards to students who have won state honors for the essays they wrote on Confederate topics. Finger foods will be served following the meeting. Guests are welcome.