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Hills name history

Hills name history

Megan Hadden (View posts)
Posted: 1003543077000
Classification: Query
Origin: English

Spelling variations include: Hill, Hille, Hyll, Hills, and others.

First found in Worcester.

Some of the first settlers of this name or some of its variants were: Edward Hill settled in Virginia in 1623; George Hill settled in New Jersey in 1677; Henry Hill settled in Bermuda in 1635; Joan Hill settled in St. Christopher in 16 and others.

Origin: English

Coat of Arms: Ermine a silver sash of honour with a three towered castle on it.

Crest: A three towered castle.

Motto: Avancez

Motto Translated: Advance

If anybody is from this line or knows anything about it please contact me at
thank you,

Re: Hills name history

june (View posts)
Posted: 1075136397000
Classification: Query
Surnames: hills
i am doing a hills family search. most of my family came from clifton,langford and a few other surounding bedfordshire grt.grt grdad,charles hills moved to islington in the 1800's until my moved back to bedfordshire soon after the 2nd w.w. i have a tree going back as far as 1770app to a thomas hills,langford.would like to hear from any one who may have a connection.

Re: Hills name history > James from Clifton & Bedford Town

Lesley Francis (View posts)
Posted: 1077988198000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1312899859000
Surnames: HILLS
Hi June

My James Hills lived in Clifton untin 1889 when he moved to Bedford Town. James father was Thomas and his mother was Eliza.

Re: Hills name history > James

june (View posts)
Posted: 1078086499000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1312899925000
hi lesley, is it possible your james and my james could be the same person.
my james hills was born 1848( app) clifton and christened 24 dec 1848 clifton,beds. he married a mary ann jordan ( b.henlow ) on 14 march 1868 clifton.
james father is thomas hills .b. 1821 langford,beds. and his mother is eliza crossley .m. 20 jan 1844 langford,beds.
at the 1881 census james and mary were living clifton fields,clifton,beds.
thier children were; charles 1869; george 1871; thomas 1873; arthur 1875; annie 1878; albert 1880. you say your james moved to bedford, if this is the same as my james where in bedford did they live? i have been going through the igi on the fhs and the hills are all over beds counties. i think also the 's' has been left off, this makes it harder to find them when they have moved about the counties. i have a long decendants list i am working through, i have 2 contacts from genes connected who have passed on what they have so i have my work cut out. if we connect and i can help in any way just let me know. regards june

Re: Hills name history > James (update)

Posted: 1249446187000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1312900006000
Hi June
Since our last messages in 2004, I have found that my James Hills born 1838, married Elizabeth Cross, father of William James Hills, father of Derek Hills, to me. On the 1881 census, James Ills is living in Cambridge. His parents are Thomas Hills and Mary Grummet. Thomas parents are Thomas Hills and Sarah Pearson. Thomas Hills (married to Mary Grummot) and your James are brothers. I also have heaps on the HIlls line if you wish to compare notes. I can send to you via email. My home email is


Lesley in Australia

Re: Hills name history

Posted: 1249481845000
Classification: Query
Just wanted to go back to the original post as well as ask English cousins for help.

Halstead's History of Kent says the name was originally de Helles. There are various properties that carry the Helles name and are assumed to have been named for the family. The Abby Roll (List of Brompton) also has the name delaHill, There are references to a Gosselin de Helles from 1050 as witness to a charter granted by King Henry 1 of France. The family is said to be named for or to have named Hielles, Beauvais, Normandy.

I'm looking for connections to a Hercules Hills in Canterbury and in Rochester. Hercules Hills seems to go back to Boughton Under Blean. There are records through the 1750's in Canterbury. St. Peter and Paul's parish register takes the given name into the 1500s.

Re: Hills name history

Posted: 1312743171000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1312899775000
Surnames: Bull, Hills, Howell
I have been searching for the family of Albert Henry Hills born Dec 9, 1911. He married Lavinia L. Bull Aug 25, 1934 in Surrey South Easton. They had two children - a daughter Lynda Lavinia and a son ? Kenneth or David (can't seem to find any info on him) - he was supposed to have gone to an aunt to be raised. Albert H. Hills died and Lavinia remarried a Thomas James Howell (we have been in touch with the Howell family only to find that Lavinia passed away a few years ago.

Would appreciate any info you might have.

Re: Hills name history

Posted: 1362071818000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Hills Carman Borall

I have an Albert Henry Hills in my family tree, born 1911 in Redhill, Surrey. He was the older brother of my grandfather Leslie Claude Hills and I believe there were 8 or 9 children in total. His father was Walter Edward Hills son of Reuben Hills and his mother is Isabel Maria Hills (maiden names of Carman and Borall). Walter Edward Hills was born in Croydon abt 1978.

Hope this helps


Re: Hills name history

Posted: 1362199164000
Classification: Query
Wanted to update my earlier entry and correct some of the information given.

In the Western World surnames were uncommon until the 12th, 13th and later centuries. Communities were small and there was little need to differentiate between families. But there were some exceptions. Hills seems (or could be) one of those names that dates far back in History.

We know that from several different sources.

Hastead's History of Kent lists a number of properties that were traced to centuries of ownership by a family then known as Hills but said to earlier be de Helles. Hastead traces the family to ownership of Helles Court (Ash Next Sandwich), Darenth Manor with its chapel de Helles and to Eggarton Manor said to have come to the de Helles as a gift from their kinsman David of Stratbogie, Earl of Athol, a Scotish title equivalent to today's Prince of Wales.

Outside of the properties- Helles Court seems to have been an original holding that was sold in the 1470's; Darenth Manor was held bron the 1100's to the 1600's; Eggarton Manor at Godmersham seems to have come and gone in family ownership with Edward Knight having demolished the medieval manor at some point prior to it's reconstruction. There are some historical connections of some matter.

A Thoebald de Helles shows as the husband of Agnes a"Beckett Sister of the Archbishop of same fame. One of their children shows in connection with the crusades and Richard the Lionhearted- the medal of Acron. Agnes is said to have inherited the a' Beckett London properties which is the site of the current Mercer's Hall in Cheapside. The property for many years had a hospital, school and facilities for the poor. Thomas a'Beckett was and is a cult figure of considerable note. It is not clear whether of not the de Helles family had property prior to the death of Thomas a 'Beckett. Many of the family properties show connected to Agnes a'Beckett rather than to Thoebald who she outlived. We do know she was Thomas a'Beckett's heir as well as heir to Gilbert a'Beckett who had been "port reve" of London as well as cloth merchant.

Descendants of Theobald de Helles are said to include some notable folks- Henry de Helles who was Mp for Kent in the 1300's. His brother Gilbert was Sheriff of Kent and held the title Viscount of Kent He was buried in the Godmersham church with his own chapel. A lithograph of the tomb shows in Hastead. The chapel existed until the 18th century and included requirements for prayers for the family. A daughter Alice de Helles is a famous figure in English law. Their father was said to be Betram de Helles who was constable of Dover Castle.

There are numerous probates. law suits, public offices and more held in the name of a de Helles of one sort or the other. There are numerous properties that seemed to have been owned by someone of the de Helles lineage.

There is much element of myth with this a'Beckett connection and claims. We do know the history of London and various records from Canterbury and other early churches prove there was a Thomas a'Beckett with a sister Agnes. Agnes's many donations to churches and convents reverence Theobald de Helles and other Helles males. Her name occurs in law suits for property in Stepney and elsewhere.

There is reference to the name from the Battle Abbey Roll (The List of Brompton) but the name shows as delaHill and there is claim the family came from Heilles, Beauvais, Normandy. The claim is the family took its name from that place. Supposedly the proof is a charter of Henry II of Normandy, dated 1059 and witnessed by a Goesselin de Helles. There are various references to a French line of the family that shows as active on the English side of the 100 years war.

But the tales is complicated by various other claims and matters. There are records of a Robert Agodshart or Robert Saves Lady who is claimed to be a brother to Theobald de Helles.

There is an Ellis/Allis genealogy who claims de Helles as a junior of that family. I am less than convinced by the arguments proposed in the Ellis work. The Ellis work notes the numerous references to de Helles and variations but says no genealogy is possible despite all those references.

Some of the confusion is not only because the references are numerous but also because the same document will have 3 or 4 variations on the name- describing the same individual in many cases. And in some cases the clerk writing the record was also a de Helles (Alex de Helles or Alex atte Helle or Alex Hailes or Alex Hylys or something else.)

The issue is that Hills today and in earlier days had a meaning in normal speech. Atte Helle referenced a place. The anglo-saxon for "of the hill" Atte Helle appears in Piers Ploughman and in other early English works.

Helles means blonde in Norse or in German. Helles refers to a type of lager beer.

Hells has a biblical meaning.

Hilles is still a word with distinct meaning in Spain, France, Italy, Scandanavia and elsewhere. Meanings refer to stone, heat, iron and others.

Helles referred to Greeks. We have the Hellespont and Helles in the Crimea. At one point, Helles in English history referred to those who protect Jews from persecution. A number of de Helles show in the Great Tallage of another day.

The Romans used Heilles to refer to unconquered tribes in today's Great Britain.

Germany has a town called Hille and people of that town have often ended up as Hills.

And we can't overlook language changes. Helles probably was a two sylable word - Hey Les or even 'Ey Les with the H being silent in it's earliest incarnation.

So variants that I have seen include Ailis, Ales, atte Helle, Elis, Ellis, Hales, Hailes, Helles, Helle, Heiles, Heilles, Hilles, Hills, Hyllys, Hylls, Hild, Hiltz, Hijh, Hulles, Hollis. I have seen records from Ellis Island that changed a Russian Jewish name from what would have been Goldman/Golberg to Hills as the English equivalent to gold (blonde again). I have seen Dutch from New Amsterdam where Hiltz eventually became Hills.

It is pretty clear to me (and based on dna evidence see the Hill/Hills surname project at that many of us with the name Hills are not related and our claim to the surname arises from many places and sources. Our claims may often be far less grand than proposed by Hastead and others going back to a once landed family that was somehow connected to Anchsitil de Ros and his uncles Bishop Odo, the half brother of William the Conqueror.

It's fun to think about of course. There is the coat of arms painted on the ceiling of Canterbury's Cloister. There are various other coats of arms according to the Herald's College. But the vast majority of us have at best far more modest claims to the name.

Re: Hills name history

Posted: 1364317966000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1364962391000
Surnames: HILLS
Enjoyed reading your update of the Hills name in History. I agree it would be wonderful to find some of my Hills family were gentry in days gone by but mine, I think, descended from Francis of the Hills 1400's - who was probably a shepherd tending his flock or had a few acres of land up in the hills - as mine seem to a have been mainly hard working farmers down through the ages - and a Coat of Arms would definitely include some sheep!!! some even dared to voyage to America & Canada - one at 17yrs old in early 1800 - to make a better life on the land they could get to farm there - at the times of wagon trains & American Indians - I am so proud of them & would never have known about my ancestors without this site and all of you sharing information. Thank you for this little history lesson which must have taken you ages to compile - well done .
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