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Progress on James & Zillah Hill Family

I may have made progress on one Hill family mystery.

The deed recording from December 1868, selling the last of James Hill's property, lists initials of "legatees of the estate of James Hill (deceased)". All the initials have been linked to names except for J. R. Hill. To date I have found no other references that include J. R. Hill with other members of the James & Zillah Hill family.

I recently searched ancestry dot com for J. R. Hill information and found a new search result, a family tree that shows a John R. Hill in the 1860 US census living in Atlanta. This John R Hill was born about 1832, fitting right in to my theoretical timeline for unknown Hill family members. He and his wife Dorothea have two children, William G. and Zillia.

The name Zillia got my attention. I tracked the family in the next two censuses. In 1870 the daughter is listed as Zilla J Hill, and in 1880 as Zilla Geurieu, married to Adolphus Geurieu.

As far as I can tell, Zilla and Adolphus had one daughter in 1880, Mary Lenora Guerin, sometimes known as Lina, sometimes known as Nora. Zilla died in 1885. The funeral announcement has her name as Zilla J. Guerin.

I have identified Dorothea's mother as Nancy Jane (Nelson) Cole. If John R's mother was Zillah, and Dorothea's was Nancy Jane, then it seems likely that their first daughter was named for her grandmothers, and the J stands for Jane. So I am going with Zillah Jane Hill as her birth name, assuming "Zilla" is taken from the Bible where Zillah is one of the wives of Lamech.

It's interesting to me that the oldest known son of James & Zillah Hill, Washington Floyd Hill, and his wife Salina Jane (Guest) Hill named their first daughter Mary Zilla, apparently for her two grandmothers, Zillah (Poole) Hill and Mary (Varner) Guest.

I'm taking a few facts, adding a couple of suppositions, and building a family connection on that. My next task is to see if I can find living descendants of John R and Dorothea Hill and either convince them to do DNA testing, or if they already have, compare mine to theirs. Any living descendants will probably be 3rd cousins, possibly once or twice removed.

John and Dorothea had five children, three boys and two girls. The three boys died young. The two girls, Zillah Jane (Hill) Guerin and Lena M (Hill) Grady, married and each had one daughter. I have tracked several generations down. All my third cousins from that line have died. It looks like I may have once or twice removed cousins living in Florida, Atlanta, or Oklahoma.

The search continues.

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