Western Pilgrims: The Hill, Stockwell and Allied Families [2 volumes]


Ancestors and Descendants of George J. Hill and Jessie Fidelia Stockwell, who were married in Wright County, Iowa, in 1882

This book tells the story of the ancestors of a rural Iowa farm family, from the origins of each branch in northern Europe to their arrival in colonial New England and the colony of New York before the Revolutionary War. More than 150 ancestral branches of the Iowa pioneers, George J. Hill and his wife Jessie F. Stockwell, are traced in their migration to the New World, and then westward to the heartland of America. It is an epic story of genealogy, told in the form of biographies of each generation of George and Jessie’s ancestors. Many of the ancestors’ other children and their descendants are also followed for additional generations, and they appear in the book’s massive index.

Most of the ancestors of George Hill and Jessie Stockwell immigrated to the seaports of New England in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. These early settlers largely stayed near the seacoast, where it was safe, land was readily available, and the Atlantic Ocean and the great rivers were useful for commerce and food. Most of their ancestors were from England, and the book will be especially useful for those who are studying the lives of colonial immigrants who came from that part of Great Britain. The men were usually humble folk, such as farmers, tradesmen, servants, and fishermen, and their wives were kept busy with house work and raising children. But there were also a few who came as gentry, as warriors, and as businessmen. One family came on the Mayflower in 1620, and others came with the Winthrop Fleet in what is known as the Great Migration. Five of them appear to have Royal ancestors.

In the next generations, the families spread west, seeking new farmland and opportunities in western New England, the New Hampshire Grants (now Vermont), and eastern New York State. By 1775, when the Revolutionary War broke out, they were in Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Dutchess County, N.Y. They were poised to cross the Hudson River, but none had yet settled on the west side of that great river. After the war, some of these families moved across the Hudson River from Connecticut and Massachusetts. After settling temporarily in the North-West Territory (now Ohio), they relocated into the southern tier of counties in New York State. Others went west from Vermont. By the time of the Civil War, they had all reached Iowa. A wealth of photographs, a full-name index for each volume, and a Hill-Stockwell five-generation full-name index add to the value of this work.

George J. Hill, M.D., M.A., D.Litt.

2014, 8½x11, paper, index, 2 vols., 866 pp.

ISBN: 9780788455551