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James Hill's Parents Confirmed!

In another forum post I discussed my Hypothetical family of James Hill. Based on very nebulous evidence I theorized that the parents of my 2nd great-grandfather James Hill (1801-1868) were Thomas Hill (abt 1775-bef 1850) and Elenor (abt 1780-bef 1860).

In a follow up to that post, Update on Thomas and Elenor, I presented evidence that supported my theory. I found a 1799 marriage in Granville County, North Carolina between Thomas Hill and Nellie Highfield. "Nellie" is sometimes a nickname for Eleanor/Elenor. That is still circumstantial, but supportive evidence for my theory.

Thanks to DNA Matches on Ancestry.Com, I have found concrete evidence supporting my theory.

I have no idea who were parents or siblings of the Thomas Hill that lived in Franklin County, Georgia or the Thomas Hill who married Nellie Highfield. However, Nellie Highfields parents are known,
Hezekiah Highfield (1760-1818) and Delila Floyd (1766-1840). If Nellie is in fact my 3rd great-grandmother, that makes Hezekiah my 4th great-grandfather. And cousins descended from a sibling of Nellie would most likely be 5th or 6th cousins to me.

So I searched Ancestry DNA Matches looking for any with surname Highfield or Highfill in their trees. I found eight estimated to be 4th-6th cousins, and many more distant cousins. I focused on the eight 4th-6th cousin.

The first thing I did is check shared matches. Doing so confirmed that all of them are connected to me through my paternal grandfather, Luther Jean "Luke" Hill (1880-1950).

Of the eight, three have their trees set to "Private", so I cannot get more information from them.

Of the remaining five, two have Highfill/Highfield ancestry going back to families in Maryland, not in Virginia or North Carolina. That does not rule them out completely, but it makes it unlikely they are descended from Hezekiah and Delila.

Based on their trees, the remaining three are all 5th cousins to me. They all show clear lineage to Hezekiah and Delila, though not necessarily well documented. I looked at the entire tree for each of them, looking for any other possibility for a connection besides Highfield/Highfill, and found none. I consider this to be enough evidence for me to "officially" declare Thomas Hill and Delila Floyd to be the parents of my James Hill.

This also disproves some theories I've seen about a different Thomas Hill being the father of James. That Thomas Hill was married to Christian Walton. I have found no evidence to support that couple being the parents of my James Hill, and my DNA connection to Nellie Highfield directly contradicts that theory.

There you have it! I am convinced enough that I am adding Thomas Hill (abt 1775-bef 1850) and Elenor (abt 1780-bef 1860) to my tree as the parents of James Hill (1801-1868).

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