Tag Archives: Philip Hill

Philip Hill of Bedminster, Somerset, England, Early 1600s

Philip Hill is a bit of an unknown in the early Massachusetts Babson family tree.

Evidence supports the idea that Philip Hill is the father of siblings Zebulon, Philip, Eleanor and John Hill, who settled in Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts by the 1640s.

Philip Hill was born c1590 and died after 1635 in Bedminster, Somerset, England. He married an unknown wife, by 1611.

Bedminster church records are limited, but we find several Hill entries.


1. Joan, buried 1 December between 1599-1616
2. Joan, buried 1 May 1611
3. Margery, baptized 18 October 1616
4. Zebulon, baptized 16 March 1619; probably the Zebulon who removed to Massachusetts; died before 8 March 1699/1700, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts; married Elizabeth Dike, 16 November 1651, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts
5. (probably) Philip, born probably c1620-1636; died before 8 January 1709, Bedminster, Somerset, England
6. (probably) Eleanor, born c1629; died 14 March 1714, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts; married James Babson, 16 November 1647,  Gloucester, Massachusetts
7. (probably) John, born c1635; died 8 or 9 February 1707/08 , Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts; married Abigail Woodbury, 24 November 1657, Salem, Massachusetts

There are multiple reasons to believe that Zebulon, Eleanor and John Hill were siblings and the children of Philip Hill:

1. Zebulon is an unusual given name and the age of the baby baptized in 1619 is close to the estimated birth year of 1621 for Zebulon of Massachusetts.
2. John Hill’s death record in Beverly, Massachusetts states that he was born in the ‘county of Bristol in England.’ Bristol is a city and county in and of itself. However, Bedminster, Somerset is on the outskirts of Bristol, less than 2 miles away from the city.
3. Eleanor (Hill) Babson named one of her sons Philip, which isn’t a particularly common name in early Massachusetts.
4. There are no further records for Zebulon, John or Eleanor Hill found in England, supporting the idea that they emigrated to Massachusetts.
5. Zebulon Hill appointed his brother John as executor of his will.
6. Eleanor Babson assigned her rights to anything to which she was entitled in the estate of her brother John Hill to his wife, Abigail.
7. Walter Tybbot, who happens to also be an ancestor of mine, left bequests in his 1651 will to Eleanor, Zebulon and John Hill, thereby establishing not only a connection between the three Hills, but also to Walter Tybbot, as his second wife was Joan Hill. Joan married Walter in 1630 and James Hill wasn’t born until c1635, so Joan probably isn’t the mother of Eleanor, Zebulon and John, but could be their aunt, cousin or perhaps a half-sibling.