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Special Collections: Guide to the Hill Family Papers

Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves
Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department
September 2004
Introduction and Summary Information
Collection Title: Hill Family Papers.
Dates of the Collection: 1698-1842 (inclusive); 1720-1770 (bulk).
Provenance: Purchased in 2001 and earlier.
Collection Number: MS 245.
Box Numbers: 1 (formerly Box 511 + new accession 2001-0614j).
Size and Arrangement: The collection consists of one document box of material (0.5 cubic feet).
Conservation Note: The collection has been re-housed in an acid-free box and acid-free folders.
Preferred Citation: Hill Family Papers, Special Collections, Raymond H. Fogler Library, University of Maine.
Restrictions on Access and Use: Kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice required for retrieval.

The collection contains personal papers and business records of members of the Hill family, early residents of Kittery and Berwick, Maine. It centers on John Hill (1666-1713) and his son, also John Hill (1703-1772).
John Hill, the son of Roger and Sarah Cross Hill, was born in Saco, Maine in 1666. Roger Hill had settled with his father, Peter Hill, in Biddeford near the mouth of the Saco River sometime before 1648. In 1686 John Hill entered into partnership with Francis Backhouse (modernized to Backus) to build a sawmill. He served in the military during King William’s War, spending most of his time at a fort in Saco. While at Saco he also acted as an agent in building vessels for Col. William Pepperell of Kittery. He married Mary Frost in 1694. After resigning his military commission in 1699, he moved to Berwick and became a farmer and owner of sawmills, some of which he owned jointly with John Plaisted. He died in 1713.
John Hill’s son John, whose papers make up the bulk of the collection, was born in 1703. Early in his life, he was appointed a justice of the peace, later becoming an associate justice and then chief justice of the Court of Common Pleas. He was a representative to the Massachusetts General Court and a member of the Massachusetts Governor’s Council from 1755 to 1771. He entered the military as an ensign in 1727 and left as a major in 1754. He also continued in the lumber and sawmill business in Berwick. John Hill married Elizabeth Gerrish and they had several children. After her death in 1763, he married Sarah Frost Blunt. John Hill in died in 1772.
Scope and Content Note
The collection begins with a small group of papers belonging to John Hill (1666-1713). These include accounts, correspondence, land records and sawmill accounts. The papers date from 1700-1713.
The bulk of the collection contains papers of John Hill’s son, also John. They reflect his work as a justice of the peace and as the owner of a sawmill and lumber business. Included are accounts and receipts for personal items purchased by Hill, as well as notes and receipts of his financial transactions. Of particular interest are several sawmill and lumber account books, 1721-1771, which include tally sheets for boards purchased, produced and delivered, and records of work done and amounts paid, sometimes in commodities. His papers also include records from the large amount of business he did as a justice of the peace. Court cost accounts are present from 1730-1770, as well as court documents such as bonds, writs of attachment, summonses, judgments and promissory notes, and warrants.
A few papers from other members of the Hill family are found in the collection, including an account of the estate of Roger Hill, 1698, and documents from the estate of Joseph Hill, 1743-1757. Also included are warrants for town meetings in Kittery, 1723-1798, and miscellaneous town documents. A group of records from various individuals including William Pepperell are found at the end of the collection; their connection to the Hill family is unclear.
Box List
Box 1
1 Hill family genealogical information
2 Biographical and genealogical information about Hill family
Papers of John Hill (1666-1713)
3 Accounts, 1700, 1703-1713
4 Correspondence, 1704-1710
5 Land records, Hill and Plaisted, 1701, undated
6 Sawmill accounts, 1701-1713
Papers of John Hill (1703-1772)
7 Accounts, 1733-1771
8 Account book, 1766-1767
9 Correspondence, 1767
10 Notes, receipts, etc., 1730’s-1770’s
11 Land description (to John and Elisha Hill), 1729
12 Deed abstract, 1810, land of John Hill
13 Estate settlement papers, 1767-1773
14-28 Sawmill and lumber account books and records, 1721-1771, undated
29 Lumber contract, 1730
30 Court cost accounts, 1730-1770, undated
31 Court documents, 1731-1770, undated
32 Judgments and promissory notes, 1730-1770
33 Warrants, 1735-1752, 1770
Papers of other Hill family members
34 Account, estate of Roger Hill, 1698
35 Promissory notes, Elisha Hill, 1729, 1736
36 Account for Mrs. Mary Hill, 1731
37 Documents re estate of Joseph Hill, 1743-1757
Kittery documents
38 Warrants for town meeting, 1723-1798
39 Miscellaneous documents, 1731-1737
Miscellaneous documents
40 Receipts, etc. of William Pepperell, 1724-1741
41 Gerrish family documents, 1785-1791, 1793, 1814
42 Account book, shoemaker (?), 1715-1721
43 Accounts, 1732-1736, 1759-1764
44 Judgment, 1705
45 Correspondence to Dea. William Leighton, Kittery, 1764
46 Correspondence to Daniel Pierce from Nathaniel Pierce, 1817
47 Land description, 1734
48 Account statement, Portsmouth, Saco and Portland Railroad, 1841-1842
49 Will, George Rogers, Kittery, 1780
50 Unidentified accounts, 1714-1797, 1825, 1836, 1837
51 Unidentified fragments

Finding Aids for selected manuscript collections in the Special Collections Department at Fogler Library are accessible online in URSUS, in a browsable Guide to Manuscript Collections. Please contact Special Collections at or (207) 581-1686 for further information.

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Special Collections Staff: | Revised: 03/18/2015
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