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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Hills family come from? What is the English Hills family crest and coat of arms? When did the Hills family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Hills family history?

The name Hills was brought to England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Hills family lived near or on a hill. Hills, which was extremely popular and widely distributed in England, is a classic example of an English polygenetic surname, which is a surname that was developed in a number of different locations and adopted by various families independently. The name was originally derived from the Old English hyll, which simply meant hill.


Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Hill, Hille, Hyll, Hills and others.

First found in Worcestershire, where one line is descended from the De Montes of Castlemorton in Worcestershire. The manor of Hillend in Castlemorton, Worcester was likely built on land held by Odo de Monte, or Hill, in 1238-9. Richard Hill of Castlemorton is mentioned in 1383 and John Hill of Castlemorton in 1408-9. John Hill died about 1623 holding a "messuage" at Hillend, which then passed to his son Thomas. Other early records of the name include Gilbert del Hill, listed in the Pipe Rolls for Norfolk in 1191; William "attehil" (literally at the hill,) listed in 1260 in the Assize Rolls of Cornwall, and Simon Hille listed in the Rotuli Hundredorum for Worcestershire of 1273.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hills research. Another 277 words(20 lines of text) covering the years 1484, 1484, 1549, 1601, 1602, 1271, 1597, 1727, 1589, 1657, 1628, 1629, 1605, 1667, 1672, 1699, 1692, 1695, 1694, 1734, 1735, 1685, 1750, 1736, 1749, 1711, 1663, 1797 and are included under the topic Early Hills History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 243 words(17 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hills Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Hills family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 149 words(11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Hills or a variant listed above:

Hills Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Ismale Hills, who landed in Virginia in 1623
  • Richard Hills, who arrived in Maryland in 1633
  • Rose Hills, aged 22, landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Elizabeth Hills, who landed in Maryland in 1650
  • Henry Hills, who arrived in Virginia in 1652

Hills Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • John Hills, who landed in New York in 1785

Hills Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Joseph Hills, who arrived in America in 1807
  • Margaret Hills, aged 29, arrived in Massachusetts in 1812


  • Roderick Maltman Hills (1931-2014), American Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission between 1975 and 1977
  • John David Hills (b. 1978), English footballer
  • Joseph John Hills, first class English cricketer and test match umpire
  • Kenneth D. Hills (1948-2010), Australian botanist
  • Lee Hills (b. 1990), British footballer
  • Barry Hills (b. 1937), British thoroughbred horse trainer
  • Adam Hills (b. 1970), Australian comedian and television presenter
  • Richard Hills (b. 1963), British flat racing jockey
  • Michael Hills (b. 1963), British flat racing jockey
  • Patrick Darcy 'Pat' Hills (1917-1992), Australian politician



  • The Hills-Neet Story; Reminiscences by Jessie Hills Stewart by Dorothy Chapman.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Avancez
Motto Translation: Advance.


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  1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  2. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  3. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  5. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  6. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  7. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  8. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  9. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  11. ...

The Hills Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Hills Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 31 October 2014 at 13:10.

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