Ancestral Family Topic 416

 416   Nicholas Hilsman (c.1680-1761)
Pedigree Chart 07

Nicholas Hilsman, in his own words
If he could speak to us today, Nicholas Hilsman might describe his life as follows.

I was born in York County, Virginia, about 1680. My wife, whose name is not known, gave me four children, Matthew, Mary, John, and William.
Matthew went to Amelia County in 1742 and I went to live in his home after I became elderly.
I made my will in Amelia County in 1760 bequeathing livestock and some household goods to my children. I gave John and William each a desk, which then meant a bench or stool. I was certainly not for writing since neither I nor my sons were literate. I was glad to see Matthew set aside some money in his will to educate his sons.

We have yet to identify Nicholas’ wife. Nor do we know where he was living after he left York County. Nicholas owned no land in Amelia County as shown by the absence of his name in tithable lists and by his will that bequeathed personal property only. We cannot determine how long Nicholas had been living in Amelia County.

Nicholas’ will
Nicholas prepared his will 8 Nov. 1760 witnessed by John Cook and John Hill.  He was dead by 23 July 1761.

Will of Nicholas Hillsman
8 November 1760
In the name of GOD, AMEN. I Nicholas Hillsman being of sound mind and perfect sense and memory do make and constitute this my last will and testament in manner following, Viz.
Item: I do give and bequest to my son Matthew Hillsman all my household.
Item: I do give to my daughter Mary Ross two plates and one porringer.
Item: I do give to my son John Hillsman one desk.
Item: I do give to my son William Hillsman one desk.
Item: I do give to my son Matthew Hillsman six head of hogs and one cow and calf.
I do appoint my son Matthew Hillsman executor of this my last will and testament. As witness my hand this 8th day of November 1760.
Nichols (X) Hillsman

A porringer was a shallow cup or bowl with a handle. A desk could then mean a bench or stool.

Descendants of Nicholas Hilsman
Information about the children of Nicholas Hilsman, their descendants, and allied families previously found at is now available as Southside Virginia Genealogies. Learn more 
Names found in this topic include the following.
 Matthew Hillsman (c.1715-c.1781),  
 Mary (Hilsman) Ross,  
 John Hilsman,  
David Holt,   
 William Hilsman (-1771),  
Charles Dean,  Lucy Chavis,  David Ellington,   
Ambrose Hutcheson,  
William Hilsman,  
Leanna Hilsman,  John Sadler,  Mary L. Sadler,  William Wade,  
James Sadler,  
William Sadler,  
Elizabeth Sadler,  John Dyer,  
John Sadler,  

This family topic includes the following notable individuals.
Soldiers of colonial and American wars
John Sadler - Revolutionary War  

Selected sources
Hillsman, Thomas W., Naomi B. Hillsman, and Edward L. Hillsman. The Hillsman Family. Second Edition Revised. Privately published, 1996. • An outstanding presentation of this family, although it errs in the depiction of early generations. Includes my Hil(l)sman ancestors: John Hilsman, Nicholas Hillsman, Matthew Hillsman, James Hillsman, Col. John Albert Hillsman, and James Moses Overton Hillsman.

This topic, which represents .05% of all the family history material at, includes 14 citations and the names of 23 individuals.
Virginians - The Family History of John W. Pritchett
Copyright © 2001-2006, John W. Pritchett. All rights reserved.
Civil War Soldiers from Brunswick County, Virginia 
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