I have always accepted the Hillhouse family as given in Hillhouse & Petigru, "The Hillhouse Family: South Carolina Branch." The generally accepted lineage is that William Hillhouse of South Carolina (by way of Pennsylvania) was a son of Samuel Hillhouse of Londonderry; that Samuel was a son of John Hillhouse of Free Hall; and that John was a son of Abraham Hillhouse of Artikelly, but born in Ayrshire, Scotland. The lack of clear proof was in the generation of Samuel, but he was given as an ancestor of this line in records of the Hillhouse-Gilbert family of Washington, Georgia, in the 1840s, I think it was, when a descendant of William of South Carolina visited them and copied from their family records.
The line of the Reverend James Hillhouse of New Haven, CT, shows that he was a son of John Hillhouse of Free Hall, and thus was an uncle to William of South Carolina, thereby meaning that the Reverend James of New Haven was an older brother to Samuel of Londonderry.
I have never heard the famous "three brothers" story applied to the Hillhouse family, but I know that it is legend with any number of American families -- one brother always went north, one went west, and one went south. I never believe this tale, although the law of averages makes it inevitably true in some cases.
As to the Hillhouses, I only know of the immigrants James of New Haven, who came over about 1721, and his nephew William of South Carolina, who came over I would suppose in the 1740s or 1750s, first to PA and then down the wagon road to what was first thought to be Mecklenburg, NC, but on a corrected survey, was found to be in what became York County, SC. He was in South Carolina in the 1760s.
The Hillhouse & Petigru book used to be on line and so far as I know, still is, although I have not looked at it in some time. A Google search should turn it up.
I am most interested in any DNA studies that would support the family history as we have always had it, but I doubt if it would reveal what we do not already think we know, and think we have known for many generations. It would be nice to have definite proof regarding Samuel Hillhouse, son of John of Free Hall, and of whom there are virtually no records in Ulster beyond the fact that he existed. Could he have come to America with his son William? I have no idea. I know nothing of the Samuel of North Carolina whom you mention, nor of Charles of Maryland, but can say that the name Charles was used in the family, Charles being a son of John of Free Hall and thus brother to Samuel and to the Rev. James of New Haven. This Charles is thought to be the youngest of that generation.
Please keep me informed in your research and let me know if you are able to locate the "Hillhouse Family."
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