"Big John" Hill (1767-1830) and Obedience Cullom (1770-1849)

Francis Marion Hill, the founder of my Hill branch in New Mexico, was born in May 1857 in Cisne, Wayne Co., Illinois. He was the father of Herbert Hill born in New Mexico. This is information is based on research done by Deborah Soper and Marty Hill, who was based in Washington D.C. during the 1980s and did an immense amount of research there. Hill Cousin Rich Fischer has sent me a lot of documents. 

JOHN HILL was born Abt. 1767 in Surry Co., NC, and died 1830 in Wayne Co., TN. He married OBEDIENCE CULLUM in about 1784. One source of information says that she was born 1770 in Wayne or Lawrence Co.,TN and died in May 1849. According to death records in Lawrence County TN, she was born in North Carolina and died of cancer at the age of 82 in May of an illegible year in Lawrence Co., TN.

John Hill served under General Jackson in the Creek Indian War. He was at the battle of the Horse Shoe and was called by the Indians "Captain Big John Hill" Indians because of his size and strength. On 17 Oct 1797, he was living in Davidson Co., TN when he sold a tract of land on Ash Camp Creek, NC "which he is entitled to as one of the heirs of Rev. William Hill, deceased."

Children were:

i. WILLIAM HILL (1785-1841 or 1842). From his Will: "In the name of God Amen. I William Hill of Williamson Count and State of Tennessee being of sound and perfect mind and memory blessed be God do this twentyth day of May of the year of our Lord one though eight hundred and forty one make and publish this my last will and testament in manner following that is to say First I want all of my just debts settled out of my estate. Article Second I give and bequeath unto William G. Hendrix, the son of Elisha W. Hendrix a certain negro boy named Harry to him and his heirs for ever and his heirs also. If the said William G. Hendrix do live with my wife Nancy Hill until he is twenty one years old or marry he is to have a horse saddle and bridle with an hundred dollars. Also he is to have a common English education. 3rd I give unto Allen McGaugh Fifty dollars. 4th I Give unto B??? Hill Fifty dollars. 5th I give unto my mother Obedience Hill Forty dollars annually of the produce and ??? on my ??? for her support during her natural life and sufficiently to decently ??? Also it is my wish provide my my mother Obedience Hill disabled in consequence of sickness or old age that she be allowed a negro girl named Selia to wait on her during her life time. Article 6th I give unto my wife Nancy Hill the benefit of my Land. Also I give unto my wife Nancy Hill my Negroes during her widowhood or her life time also the house ??? kitchen furniture and farming tools, also one half of all my Stock also if my wife Nancy Hill can't manage my negroes I want my Executrix to have the right to ??? as he may think best. Article 7th It is my wish the remaining part of my estate be sold and after paying Allen McGaugh fifty dollars which I gave unto them, that the remaining parts be retain in the hands of my Executrix for the use of my wife and mother. Article 8th It is my will at the death of my beloved wife Nancy Hill that my Lands be Equally divided between my brothers and sisters and after a negro boy named George willed to my wife Nancy Hill and Elisha W. Hendrix decease be received by the said Elisha W. Hendrix and the land negro boy Harry be received by William G. Hendrix the remaining of my Estate be divided by ??? Elsha W. Hendrix Half and the other half equally divided beween my brothers and sisters. Article 9th I now appoint Elisha W. Hendrix my Executrix of my Last will and testament as witness my hand and seal the day and year above written."

ii. ELIZABETH HILL, b. March 19, 1788; d. August 18, 1822, Lincoln Co., TN. She married MATTHEW MCGAUGH on July 15, 1802 in TN. He was born January 11, 1774 in VA, and died May 17, 1858 in Marshall Co., TN. I have 11 children for them.

iii. NANCY HILL, b. Abt. 1790, wife of William G. Clayton, of Rutherford

iv. JAMES HILL, b. 1794, of Rutherford County

v. GRESHAM HILL, b. 1798.

vi. FRANCES HILL, b. 1800, married Martin Lamb of Rutherford County, 10 heirs.

vii. CYNTHIA TUNNELL HILL, b. January 21, 1803 was also born there. Cynthia married Alexander Andrew "Andy" Norman (born December 24, 1797) on January 11, 1819, in Lauderdale County AL, and lived in Wayne County, TN in 1820 census. She died at the age of 67 years 10 months and 14 days on December 4, 1870 (information from a family bible)

Andy and Cynthia moved, in late 1858 to Canton, Van Zandt Co, TX, where she died in December 1870. He died in 1887? and both are buried in Cana Bapt. Church Cemetery, near Canton, TX. Alexander Andrew Norman is s/o John Alexander Norman/Mary Ann Ray. John Alexander Norman is brother to the above listed David Norman--and are sons of George Norman/Margaret Dodd.

viii. NAOMI HILL, b. 1805, married John Bivins, of Wayne County,

ix. JOHN GREEN HILL, born in Williamson County, TN on November 21, 1804 (1806). He was Herbert Hill's ancestor.

x. MARY HILL, b. 1810, wife of Thomas Burgess, of Wayne County

xi. MARTHA M. HILL, b. 1814, wife of John C. G. Wilson of Henry County


xiii. MARTIN HILL who married a woman named Elizabeth.

They had the following 8 children: James G. Hill; Jane E. (married Alsey Richardson); Mary (married) Benajmin Forsythe; Catherine Hill; Martin Hill, (Martha? see below); Amy (or Anny?) Hill; Lucy Hill; and Charlotte Hill.

Martha, Amy, Lucy and Charlotte Hill, were all still minors when Martin died. Brother John Green Hill assumed guardianship.

According to Lauderdale County, AL court records (the presently living Marty Hill has copies of these from a typed transcription, the question marks and underlines are from the transcriptionist), in chronological order:

From the section for 1850, page 57, 20 Nov.:

John G. Hill, the administrator of Martin Hill, dec'd, filed petition to sell land (in Tp 2 R 10 W). The widow, Elizabeth Hill, has had her dower allotted. The heirs at law are James G. Hill (the petitioner (sic)), Jane E. The wife of Alsey Richardson, Mary the wife of Benajmin Forsythe, of age and residing in Lauderdale Co., Catherine Hill, Martin Hill, Amy (or Anny?) Hill, Lucy Hill and Charlotte Hill all minors, residing in Lauderdale Co.

From the section labeled 1851, page 150, undated:

Final settlement of the estate of Marton (sic) Hill dec'd by John G. Hill, administrator. For division $963.21. To Elizabeth Hill the widow $192.64. Ansley (or Ausley?) Richardson and wife Jane E. $70.05. Benjamin Forsyth and wife Mary A; John G. Hill, to retain A. The following heirs, by their guardian, each A@ viz: Martha A., Amy, Lucy and Charles Hill A@ Eliza Hill A@

 From the section labeled 1851, page 169, undated:

 John G. Hill applied for Letters of guardianship for Martha, Amy, Lucy and Charlotte Hill, minor heirs of Martin Hill, dec'd; he is their brother.

Page 19 Early Lauderdale County Graves has the following entry for Martin Hill Cemetery:

Location: from Florence go east on U.S. Highway 72 for about 7 miles, turn left on U.S. 43, go about 1 miles (sic). The cemetery is about 150 yards to the left of the highway on a high hill and covers an area of about 1/4 acre. There were about 15 graves marked with fieldstones, all of these graves were on the back side of the cemetery and it is possible that these were the graves of slaves. At the time of this listing the cemetery was clean and well kept. The land surrounding the graveyard is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Brown, Killen, Ala., Route 2, and they live near the cemetery.

Hill, Martin, died 28 Sept. 1849, aged about 54 years.

A @ , Elizabeth, wife of Martin Hill, born 4 Sept. 1801, died 7 June 1857.

A @ , Deborah, born 9 June 1831, died 27 May 1868.

A @ , Susannah, born 11 June 1855, died 7 August 1861.

A @ , John W., born 3 June 1858, died 7 Nov. 1858.

A @ , Joseph H., born 2 Dec. 1860, died 11 Aug. 1861. Listed 1966 by William Q. Hill, Florence, Alabama.

The presently living Marty remarks: Regardless of what it says here, the family weren't slaves, or at least they were not black from the census and other information. Interestingly, there was a sort of census taken each ten years that listed the cause of death for people who had died in the past year. Marty couldn't find his notes on it (they may still be somewhere in my bushel box or notebooks) but recalls Martin Hill being listed. Death was either TB or pneumonia. Quite possible that John Martin would have been included in that listing. Marty found it interesting that his namesake, Martin Hill, was buried on land own by Charlie Brown.

Linda Sherman, a descendent of Cynthia Tunnell Hill writes: "This is my family line, and I have handwritten papers on this group (at last I have something of interest to share *smile*). William married Nancy Hendrix, Nancy Hill married Stephen Clayton, James H. Hill married Delilah Gore, Gresham m.?, Frances "Frankie" married Martin Lamb, Mary "Polly" married Thomas W. Burgess, Naomi married John George Washington Bivins, Martha "Patsy" married John C. G. Wilson and Thomas Williamson married Virginia Washington Pryor. My family does not list a Martin here. I have notes from Cynthia's daughter Martha stating her mother's siblings, and Martin is not mentioned. Another "cousin", Jerri Ritter, says Martin may be one of John's brother's children. You mention the "presently living Marty," so I know you've got to feel pretty confident he belongs with John and Obedience. I just thought I'd bring it to your attention, and if you can help me understand why he belongs here, I'll be blessed. I know he died fairly young, maybe that's why Martha Norman didn't include him in her notes. She also left out William and Elizabeth, and she was rather old when she wrote the notes." The only thing I can respond is that this is research that my brother Marty research did many years ago. I only know what I have recorded here.

According to land records for Wayne County, Indiana. John "Big John" Hill and his son John are all over the records as setting up property lines etc.