Richard Hilton was born in March 1701. He was the son of former soldier William Hilton and his second wife, Anna Van Berkhoven Hilton. He grew up in a large family in the Southside home of a marginal trader. William Hilton's offspring enjoyed more lasting success.
Ryckert Hilton was a carpenter who set up his home on "the Plain" in the first ward. He may have lived with or next to his brother, wampum maker Jacobus Hilton. In 1756, their home was called a "good house." He performed wood-related services for the city government over several decades and was a sergeant in the militia as well. In 1742 and 1763, he was identified as an Albany freeholder.
He may have been the "Richard Hilton" who signed the constitution of the Albany Sons of Liberty in 1766. During those years, his name appeared on city assessment rolls along with that of his son. In 1773, he was called as a witness in an election trial. As late as 1788, his property still appeared on the first ward assessment. In 1790, his household included seven family members.
In August 1772, the Albany Gazette called him an insolvent debtor.
Richard Hilton died in January 1795. He was ninety-seven, "the oldest man in the city, and had for many years been afflicted by an enormous wen on his left cheek, about 15 inches in circumference." His will passed probate in 1806.
Sources: The life of Richard Hilton is CAP biography number 7618. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.
first posted: 8/5/07