Born in England. Arrived in Rhode Island by 1655 and
Born in England. Arrived in Rhode Island by 1655.
As is the case today, Hill was not an uncommon name in either England or the English colonies of America during the 17th century, making difficult certain identification of the various Hills who arrived on America’s shores, in some cases. Not surprisingly, an examination of the records relative to the early history of the Hills in America discloses the fact that there were several immigrants of this name who arrived from England prior to about 1660, namely:
- John Hill (about 1602-1664) of the vicinity of Chard, Somersetshire, England. He is thought to have sailed from England, probably with his wife, Frances Tilden, on the Mary & Johnand arrived in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1630.
- William Hill of Lyme Regis, England, who also settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1633 (possibly a brother or other relative of John, although a connection has not been proven)
- John Hill, of Dover, New Hampshire, who was accompanied by at least one brother and perhaps more
- Peter Hill, of Saco, Maine (then part of the colony of Massachusetts).
- Jonathan Hill (about 1638-1690), our 9th g-grandfather, who settled in Rhode Island by 1655.
- Probably others
The above are mentioned because in some genealogies, their lineages become mixed together and confused. For example, many sources identify John Hill of Dorchester as the father or grandfather of Jonathan Hill of Rhode Island because the dates and names are similar. John Hill of Dorchester did have a son named Jonathan (born about 1640) and a grandson named Jonathan (born about 1679). As a result, the birth dates for Jonathan Hill of Rhode Island (about 1638) and Jonathan Hill (about 1640), son of John Hill of Dorchester, are close. Further adding to the confusion is that some of the spouses’ and childrens names also match. However, both the son and grandson of John Hill of Dorchester lived their entire lives in Massachusetts.
Not much is known of our ancestor, Jonathan Hill. There is no record of his birth or arrival in Rhode Island, but he was likely born in England and came directly to Rhode Island in the 1650s, as he has not been found in the records of any other place in New England. He iresided at various times in Warwick and Portsmouth, Rhode Island and perhaps elsewhere in Rhode Island as well. He died about 1690.
Jonathan Hill married Mary [surname unknown] in about 1655 in Rhode Island. The known children of Jonathan Hill and Mary are:
- Jonathan Hill, born 1657 at Prudence Island, Rhode Island and died 5 Sep 1731. He bought a farm at Conesset in 1703 and deeded to his son, Thomas of Swansea, one hundred and five acres at Warwick. Jonathan and his unknown spouse had the following children: Jonathan, Caleb, Mary, Patience Hill, Rebecca, Thomas, Ebenezer, Sarah
- Robert, born 28 May 1658 in Warwick, Rhode Island and died 1717. He married Mary Pearce. They lived at Warwick and at Prudence Island, Rhode Island. Their children are: Jonathan, Robert, Daniel, William, John, Susanna, Abigail,
- Henry, born 2 Jun 1661 and resided at East Greenwich.
- Possibly others
The daughter of Jonathan Hill and an unknown spouse is Patience Hill, born 1689 and died 1758. In October 1705 she married Daniel Pearce (Jr.), who was born 1687 in Portsmouth, Rhode Island and died 1758 in Kingston, Rhode Island. He was made freeman of the town of Portsmouth on 6 Jun 1715 and resided on Prudence Island. In 1724 he was made a freeman of the colony from Portsmouth. After 1737, he seems to have lived in North Kingston. He owned a large tract of land. He was deputy to the general assembly for Portsmouth in 1722-23.
Their lineage continues under the heading of John Pearce (1632-1692).
 The same vessel or another of the same name was one of two that had carried a group of settlers from the West Country of England to the Maine coast in 1607 under the leadership of Captain George Popham. The colony constructed a fort for permanent protection, but the settlers were unprepared for the harsh winter and abandoned the site a year later.