Hilton Family


Spelled variously, the Hilton family of early Albany traces its roots to the marriage of widower and soldier-turned-innkeeper William Hilton and Anna Van Berkhoven in 1693. Thru the end of the next century, the Hilton family flourished in the city of Albany. Throughout that time, this numerically significant family inhabited the first ward.

By 1720, William "the elder's" Southside inn was a pillar of the Anglo-Albanian community.

In 1742, the city freeholder list counted William (the patriarch or elder) but also his three adult sons individually also in the first ward.

In 1756, five Hilton-named households were listed on the census including the establishment of innkeeper Benjamin Hilton and the "good house" shared by Jacobus and Richard Hilton.

In 1763, a freeholder list for Albany and its environs (but possibly not for the entire county) named five Hilton men.

The Albany Hiltons stood on each side of the Revolutionary question. After the war, a list of those eligible for a land bounty in connection with the Albany militia regiment included four Albany Hiltons. On the other side stood Benjamin Hilton, Jr., a notorious Tory who had fled to Canada.

The Albany Hiltons were found in service and transportation-related activities. They participated in civic activities but were not able to ascend to the rank of alderman - probably not helped by their almost exclusive residence in Albany's most affluent ward where many others stood ahead of them.

In 1790, eight Hilton-named households were living in the the first ward of the city of Albany. They were the most numerous among the twenty "Hiltons" listed in New York State and also included the household of Albany native but then New Scotland resident Robert Hilton - whose growing family was enumerated under the census for surrounding Watervliet.

A decade later, ten Hilton-named households were configured on the first ward city census. Six more Hilton households were listed in Watervliet. The large family of Robert Hilton was enumerated under more recently formed Bethlehem.

In 1813, eight Hilton addresses (including those three different Peter Hiltons asa well as those of widows Phebe and Nancy) remained in the city. In 1816, ten, Hilton-named households (mostly in the first ward) were listed in the city directory.

Spelled variously (Helton for example), other (and apparently not closely related) Hilton-named families established themselves elsewhere in early America.



the people of colonial Albany Sources: These Hiltons do not appear to be closely connected to a contemporary New England-based family. Community-based resources have provided most of the information we use on the Albany Hilton family. Chief among the family-based resources is Lewis Parker Abell's 1936 typescript entitled "The Hilton Family of Albany, N. Y." filed in the New York State Library in Albany. But the Hilton family forum and other Internet resources should become more useful in the future! Hiltons in early Massachusetts.
    A focused family history resource is lacking giving us pause in assigning qualitative information to individual biographies - particularly with several Peter Hiltons being at-risk during the last quarter of the eighteenth century. However, consider this!

Follow this link to more information on the Hilton family on this website.
    Hiltons in the index.

Early Albany Families

first posted 6/30/03; recast and revised 7/25/15; last updated 10/13/18