This material came from a 28 page, hand-written Gill genealogy in the possession of James L. Stokes, which is unsigned and undocumented. The only identifying information in it is the statement that the author joined the family in 1897. It was sent to Jim by John C. Roloff, Jr., from Haddon Heights, N.J. Jim thinks the compiler was named John Gill, whose father was Ephraim Tomlinson Gill, whose grandfather was another John Gill, and whose great-grandmother was Sarah Mickle Hopkins. Jim has kindly typed this material and sent it to me for inclusion on my Web site.
Please see the notes at the end of this page for corrections and additional information.
The name of Gyll or Gill is of very ancient record in the local annals of England, and signifies, Valley. A family of this name lived in Cumberland prior to the Norman conquest, and had possession of those lands known by the name of Gillesland, which were seized by the rapacious followers of William the Conqueror.
Early English deeds in possession of the writer, some in Latin and some in English, show that in 1530 a John Gyll was resident in Hertfordshire. In 1582 there was a John Gill of Hornchurch". In 1586 Queen Elizabeth granted to Thomas Gill and his son Ralph the office of Keeping the Lyons Lyonesses & Leopards within the Tower of London," their fees for this purpose being twelve pence per day, and for the sustentation of each Lyon etc. sixe pence per day to be paid by the Lord Treasurer at the feasts of Easter and St. Michael". In 1606 Ralph Gill alone had the same kind of patent; and in 1635 the office was filled by Robert Gill, Esq., who was still holding it in 1641. In 1592 a John Gyll was residing in Yorkshire. In 1598 Robert Gill, citizen and cutler, was living in London. In 1656 Richard Gill was witness to an indenture between Thomas Gill the younger and Matthew Gardner. In 1673 Robert Gill, Esq. - perhaps the keeper of
the royal lions named above, was buried from his house in the Great Street in Hatton Garden.
If the missing links could be found, it would probably be demonstrated that our Gill family is descended from some of the Gills here noted; but the earliest ancestor thus far found who can be claimed with indisputable proof, is Richard Gill, grandfather of John Gill of England and of Haddonfield, New Jersey.
Of Whilton, Northamptonshire, England,
son of _______, Born ______, Died between
Jan. 16, 1692-3, the date of his will and Dec. 21, 1693, the date of its proving.
Married Mary ________
1. Thomas, who married and had two daughters, -an eldest daughter named Mary, and at least one other.
2. Mary, bap. Oct. 14, 1644, at Whilton; married Jasper Payne, and had a dau. Mary and perhaps other children.
3. John, bap. Oct. 13, 1647; of whom more hereafter.
4. Jane, b. Aug. 6, at Whilton; mar. James Wright; had children Thomas and Elizabeth.
Richard Gill was a Quaker, and it is noted in Besse's Sufferings that he was imprisoned for attending Quaker meetings. In his will he calls himself "laborer", which to us of this day was a strange sound. It meant much more, and a higher calling England in the 17th century, a labourer than was of higher station, usually a farmer owning his home. The wills, abstracts of which follow,
imply a comfortable and prosperous farm establishment.
The ancient Hearth Tax Roll, (15, 254) in the public Record Office, London, shows that in 1673-4 Richard Gill paid tax for one hearth.
Abstract of Richard Gill's Will
"I, Richard Gill, of Whilton in the countie of Northampton, labourer,"....to Mary my
wife my house,.......orchard, yard, barns and outhouses"... for her life, and then to "my
son Thomas Gill" for his life, then to "Mary Gill, eldest daughter of the aforesaid Thomas
Gill and to her heirs; but if she have no heirs, then to Thomas Wright my grandson, the son
of James Wright: and to his heirs. To Thomas Gill's wife 20 shillings a year if she be left
a widow." To Bugbrook Meeting House "five shillings and to Moore Meeting House five
Shillings". His wife Mary is appointed the executrix and Thomas Langton, Jun. and Jonathan
Emery to be Overseers of his will.
Witnesses, Tho. Langton, Will. Butlin, Robert Carre, Jonathan Newbold.
Dated Jan. 26, 1692-3. Proved at Northampton Dec. 21, 1694, by "Mary Gill, relict" (Probate
Registry, Northampton England, Book L. 3rd Series, p. 17)
Mary, the wife and "relict" of Richard Gill, outlived him but a short time dying between Dec. 28, 1693 and June 16, 1693, as shown by the dates of making and of proving her will.
Abstract of Will of Mary ____, widow of Richard Gill.
"I, Mary Gill of the parish of Whilton in the countie of Northampton, widow".... To"
my granddaughter Elizabeth Wright, daughter of James Wright and of Jane his wife, of St.
James (2), five pounds". To "Mary Payne my granddaughter, daughter of Jasper Payne of
Throppe, five pounds. To Mary Gill and Elizabeth Gill my granddaughters, being the daughters
of my son John Gill of Thropp (3), fifty shillings apiece". To my "daughter Jane Wright all
my beds." "The rest of my furniture and the wood in the yard, and other lumber I give unto
my three sonns (4), namely John Gill, Jasper Payen and James Wright, to be equally divided
among them.: She appoints her "sonn John Gill to be sole executor. Witnesses Tho.
Langston, Jonathan Newbold, Vincent Bailey, Richard Emery. Dated Dec. 28, 1693. Proved at
Northampton June 16, 1694. Proved at Northampton June 16, 1694 by James Wright, John Gill
having renounced probate.
It will be noted that Richard Gill devises his home and its appurtenances after his wife's death, to his elder son Thomas, with a bequest to Thomas's wife if she be left a widow, Richard's widow, Mary does not mention Thomas in her will. It therefore seems probably Thomas Gill, son of Richard, died between Jan. 26, 1693 and Dec. 28, 1693, the dates of making these two wills.
References and Notes
|Richard Gill||m. Mary _____|
|John Gill||m. (2) Ann Haddon|
|John Gill 1st||m. Mary Heritage|
|John Gill 2nd||m. Amy Davis|
|John Gill 3rd||m. Anne Lovett Smith|
|John Gill 4th||m. Sarah Hopkins|
|John Gill 5th||m. Elizabeth Inskeep Tomlinson|
|Ephraim Tomlinson Gill||m. Julia Bedford|
|John Gill 7th.|
Son of Richard Gill and Mary _____
Born Oct. 13 1647 at Whilton (1), Northamptonshire England.
Married 1 April 12, 1675, Mary Bliss, at Brockhall (2), a village between Whilton and Floore
in Northamptonshire. Note 1
2nd Sept. 19, 1685, at Friends Meeting, Northampton, Ann Haddon (3)
Children of John Gill and Mary Bliss
1. Mary, b. Feb. 12, 1675-6 at Rothersthorpe, bap. Mar. 17, 1675-6 (4)
2. Elizabeth, b. Apr. 23, 1677, bap. May 20, 1677 (4)
3. Thomas, b. June 9, 1679; bap. June 20, 1679
4. Sarah, b. May 23, 1681; bap. May 29, 1681, buried June 21, 1683 (4)
Children of John Gill and Ann Haddon
1. John, b. Jan. 19, 1686-7 (4); the ancestor, of whom more hereafter.
2. William, b. 2mo. 29, 1693-4 (3)
3 Dinah, b. May 22, 1695 (4); unmarried in 1724 when named in will of her uncle, Thomas Haddon.
4. George b. 4mo. 19, 1698 (3)
We have but little knowledge concerning this John Gill. Like his father, Richard, he was imprisoned for attending
Quaker meetings. All of his eight children were born at Rothersthorpe. The records show that the last child by his first wife died in infancy, and no further information concerning the children of John Gill and Mary Bliss has been found. Mary Bliss died, and was buried Mar. 12, 1683-4.
Ann Haddon, his second wife was the daughter of Matthew Haddon and Philippiah Marriott, and the sister of John Haddon, father of our revered Elizabeth Haddon. It is known their son William lived to maturity; but of George nothing more is this far
References and Notes
|£ sh. p.
|Paid for a Coffin £
||0: 13: 6
|ffor Bread Bisket and Bunns
||0: 5: 6:
|ffor 1 Gall: P wine and 2 £ sugar
||0: 5: 6
|ffor half a barrel of Beer
||0: 6: 5
||0: 6: 0
|Digging the Grave and a Boat for the corps
||£ 0 4: 6
The 3rd May.
|The charge of Administration the Letter etc.
||1: 17: 6
|Paid John Key and for my own trouble etc.,
||0: 12: 2
|To Charges on the appraisement of the goods
|To Jno Key and Jos. Collins
||0: 13: 6
|To my own trouble and charge on attendance att the appraising and fetching of cattle out of the woods, etc.
||0: 11: 6
|Paid Jn'o Key more and for my own charge and trouble
||0: 12: 2
|To writing 2 Letters and Postage to York
||0: 2: 2
|To my trouble in his sickness and time in carrying him to Philad'a and charges to the Doctor and Bill
||1: 6: 0
|To the charge of acknowledging a power of ATT:
||0: 8: 0
|To recording of the effects of Goods
||0: 4: 0
||8: 8: 5
|Rec't P cash pd as P rec'to - Viz. Aug. of ye 21th 1709 To Cash pd. Jno Molten As pr. Rec't.
||1: 3 3
|May ye 11th To Ditto pd. Rich'd Gray
||0: 11: 9
|Sept. 4 ye 7th Tod Ditto pd. Rob't Presmall
||0: 15: 0
|3: 10: 0
|8: 8: 5
|11: 18: 5
|Pd. for writing this Acc't0:
Burlington the 3rd May 1709
Then appeared before me Richard Ingoldsby Esq., Lieutenant Governor of her Majesties provinces of New Jersey, New York etc., John Gill principall creditor of the estate of William Higgs deceased and praying for administration of the good chattles and creditts of the said deceased I doe thinke fit to grant the same accordingly being duely attested faithfully to administer the said estate and returne an inventory hereof Accordingly.
A true and perfect inventory of the Estate of William Higgs late of ye townshipp of Newton in ye province of New Jersey and county of Gloucester Deceased.
|Imp't one coat wast coat at pair of breeches & a pair of Stoking
||£ 06: 06: 00
|a parcell of ould cloathes at
||02: 00: 00
|a parcell of lining 1£ - 8s and in money about 6s
||01: 14: 00
|one coat two hatts a pair of gloves a pair of mittens at
||02: 00: 00
|a small trunk with 2 raisiers & other small things in it at
||00: 10: 00
|A bible at nine shillings
||00: 09: 00
|an ould bed 10s a bag 3s a pair of ould breeches 2s
||00: 15: 00
|a dress'd buck skin and a raw brim at
||01: 00: 00
|two pair of ould Shoones at
||00: 06: 00
|a grubing axe other axes wedges, with some other small things
||01: 06: 00
|a bed stead a barill & a small peale at
||00: 08: 00
|five coard and a half of wood
||00: 15: 00
|one saddle six shillings one ould chest eight shill
||00: 14: 00
|two stears at four pound one heffer thirty five Shill
||05: 15: 00
|four yearlings at four poinds tens shillings
||04: 10: 00
|29: 94: 00
|Debt's oweing to William Higgs in mony and goods3
||05: 16: 0
|which means the whole
||35: 00: 11
This is a true inventory of all of goods and chattles of ye above said William Higgs which was bought before us or come to our knowledge taken and appraised by us this 10th day of May Anno 1709 to be added one iron pot at 00: 12: 00:. It is to be observed that these goods are praised as at the rate of mony at 9s 2d. pounde.
I John Gill doe sollemnly declare in the presence of almighty God,
the witness of the truth, of what I say that the within writing contains a true & perfect inventory of estate of William Higgs deceased as far as came to my view possesion or knowledge unto the views possesion or knowledge of any other person or persons for my use.
An account of John Gill administrator of the goods chattles and credits of William Higgs deceased as well as for such and for many of the goods chattles and credits as came to his hand & as also for his payments and disbursements as followeth. The Administrator chargeth himself with the sum of thirty five pounds twelve shillings & 11d being the full amount of the inventory of the said estate./pr>
|£ S d
35 12 11
|sundry debts paid as pr annexed Acco't||4: 13: 6|
The said accountant desires credit for nine casques of flowers & two drie tinns of bread on account of Mr. John Higgs brother & administrator of the said William Higgs.
Charges of Accounting, etc.
|22: 00: 00
37: 18: 01
Burlington the 5th February 1711
I John Gill do sollemnly declare in the presence of Almighty God the witness of the truth of what I say that the above written contains a just and true acco't of my administration of the estate of William Higgs and that I have charged all the moneys I have rece'd & demanded no more than I have expended & so justly due to me from the said estate.
Shipped in good order and well conditioned by John Gill of west New Jersey in and upon the Sloope called the Diamond whereof is master for this present voyage Anthony Burton and now riding at anchor in the harbor of Philadelphia and bound for Jemeco
to say nine Jemeco Casques of flower & two drie tinses of corse breade on acc'tt and risque of Jn'o higs of wansworth neare London old England & goode consigned to Sameuell Lad for sales & returns being marked and numbered as in the margin and are to be delivered in the like good order and well conditioned at the Port of Jemeco (The danger of the seas only excepted) unto sd. Samuel Lad or to his assigns he or they paing freight or the said goods after Toll of Eight pounds per tunn at ye sd port of Jemeco with primage and avarage accustomed. In witness whereof the Master or Purser of the said Sloope hath affirmed to three Bills of Lading all of this jenor and date: The one of which three Bills being accomplished the other two to stand void. Dated in Philadelphia the eight da of ye 3m call'd May 1711
Att a mo(nth)ly m(eetin)g of wo(me)m friends held at Newton ye 8 of 7 m., 1718 Jn'o Gill & Mary Heretaige ye first time declared ye intentions of marrying ye meeting appoints Mary Hooten & Esther Adams to make ye usual inquirey & report accordingly to next mo(nthly) meeting.
The Jemeco Casques of flower "and the tinses of corse breade" met ready sale in Jamaica, and brought the net sum of £12-16sh -5 1/4 d. for the benefit of William Higg's heir, his brother and with John Gill's signature to this
last transaction the administration is closed - much work and time expended for an estate so small. But it was an important responsibility for a young man of twenty three years. Among these papers only the declarations are in his handwriting. In both penmanship and spelling he far excelled the other men concerned.
At this time John Gill was almost certainly living in the immediate vicinity of the present Haddonfield, for on July 26, 1714, his uncle, John Haddon of London, "by his attorney John Estaugh, yeom... conveyed to John Gill of Waterford in the county of Gloucester, yeom... for & in consideration of the sum of sixty five poundes of Lawfull mony of America.....Two hundred and Sixty acres of land as it is allready surveyed and layde foarth being now in the actuall posession of the sd John Gill". The boundaries show that this land was on both sides of the present Haddonfield and Berlin road, near the head of what was formerly known as Swett's Mill pond. Judge Clement says John Gill lived in a small hip-roofed house surrounded by locust trees, which stood on the north side fo the stream that fell into the mill pond. Although this place was in the midst of a forrest he was not entirely without
neighbors. William Bates had settled at Tindall's Run about a mile west; George and Timothey Matlack had their plantations about two miles south and Joseph Cooper had built a house on the opposite side of the stream, not far from the residence of John Gill. Only two and a half miles away was the home of his cousin, Elizabeth Haddon Estaugh, with whom throughout his life he had most cordial relations. In a letter to his daughter dated London, 15th of 8th mo. 1713, John Haddon said "our love to John Gill and let him know his brother is well".
After the beginning of the 19th century practically no vacant land remained in this township of Newton. All had been purchased and surveyed and many of the tracts had been build upon and partly developed. Wood was plentiful but buildings were of primitive type, for sawmills had not yet been erected for the purpose of preparing lumber suitable for building purposes, and tools were few. Food was also plentiful, for forests and streams yielded abundance. Clearing the land for agriculture was the most difficult test; but industry and perseverance brought gratifying results. Newton Township, with a navigable stream on either and the Delaware River
on the front enjoyed a "particularly favorable situation. But even with these advantages new settlers had many privations to endure. With physicians, schools, mails, good roads and separated from each other frequently by miles of forests, we can scarcely at this day appreciate the trials and difficulties that surrounded them.
Among the early settlers here there was no greater source of trouble, dispute and litigation than the ownership of the cattle, horses and swine that ran wild in the forest; and among the first enactments of the legislature was one requiring the owners to brand each animal with a particular earmark before it was turned loose to procure its own living. The recording of this earmark in the county books, with a diagram, was required by law. At once Gloucester County began keeping a record of "the names of such persons that gave in the marks of their hogs at the court held at Gloucester. The 1st of March 1686 which were those approved of and ordered to be register and a public registry there of to be kept by the clerk of ye said Court (4). On this history we find that "John Gill has the mark of John Reading
this 19th of ye 8 mo. 1716. The left ear swallow forked the right eare cropt."
In 1718, when he was thirty two years old, John Gill married. His bride was Mary, daughter of Joseph Heritage and Hannah Allen; and all the conventions of the Society of Friends were scrupulously observed.
Att a m(onth)ly m(eetin)g of wo(me)n fr(ien)ds held at Tho. Shackles ye 13th of the 8 M. 1718, Jn'o Gill & Mary Heretage signified ye continuation of ye intentions of m(arryin)g consent of parents apearing & return of inquiries clear ye m(eetin)g gives consent to ye accomplishment of ye s(ai)d m(eetin)g according to ye good ord(er) amongst fr(ien)ds Estab(lishe)d and apoints Mary Hooten & Mary Matlack to see good ord(er) and rep(or)t.
Ten days later their marriage took place; and as this is the first American marriage in their native line, my children may in years to come be glad to have (unreadable)
copied in full.
Whereas John Gill of Haddonfield in the townshipp of Newton in the County of Gloucester and in the Western Division of the Province of New Jersey, and Mary Heritage, the daughter of Joseph Heritage of Chester in the county of Burlington and province, singlewoman. Haveing declared their intentions of marriage with each other before several monthly meetings of the people called Quakers in the county of Gloucester aforesaid according to the good order used among them whose proceedings therein after a deliberate coinsideration thereof, and having consent of parents & relations concerned nothing appearing to obstruct were approved of by the said meetings. Now these (can' read) to certifie all whome it may concerne that for the full accomplishing their said intentions this three and twentyth day of the eighth month in the yeare of our Lord One Thousand Seven hundred and Eighteen they the said John Gill and Mary Heritage appeared in a
Publicke meeting of the said people and others at the meeting house in Chester aforesaid and the said John Gill taking the said Mary Heritage by the hand did in solemn manner openly declare that he took her to be his wife promising to be unto her a Loveing and faithfull Husband untill the Lord should by death sepparate them and then there in the said assembly the said Mary Heritage did in like manner declare that shee took the said John Gill to be her Husband promising to be to him a loveing and faithfull wife till it should please the lord by death to sepparate them. AND MOREOVER the said John Gill and Mary Heritage (she according to the Custome of Mariage assuming the name of her husband) as a further confirmation thereof did then & there to these presents set their hands. And wee whose names are hereunder subscribed being amonge others present at the solmenization of the said marriage and subscription in manner (last line ureadable)
thereunto have also to these presents sett our hands the day and yeare above written.
John Hollinshead juner
The Old Gill House
In 1741 (Dec 1.) John Gill 2d. aged 20 and Amy Davis aged 17 were married. J.G. 1st took title to the land in 1741 and built house for his son. J.G. 2d. had seven (7) daughters and three (3) sons. One son and five duaghters lived to maturity. Mrs. J. G. 2d. died there in 1766 after 25 years of married life. J.G 3d was ten (10) years old when his mother died.
J.G. 2d married second and third time. He was living in house on Kings Road in 1777 (predating present brick house) when he entertained count Donop.
A Note about the Author:
John Gill the 7th was a freelance photographer and amateur naturalist. He was born in 1898 and attended the William Penn Charter School, from which he graduated in 1917. He married Katheryne Williamson in 1962. He was well-liked in and around Haddonfield. He died in 1985.
Source: Elizabeth French Gill, 1794-1854 by Harriet Gotchel Monshaw, page 66.
Notes and Corrections:
For other pages on this site with Gill family references, see:
This file was last updated on 7/14/2019.