Based on subsequent information, Albany resident Nicholas Hilton was born prior to 1774. Other same-named contemporaries are at risk in the region. This sketch focuses on the Nicholas Hilton who lived in the first ward in 1800.
We expect that he was a member of the Albany Hilton family. However, specific documentation of his origins has not been recovered from Albany church records except for the burial of the child of "Nichs J. Hilton" in the Dutch church in February 1802. In those days, most Albany Hiltons were associated with St. Peter's Anglican/Episcopal Church.
This individual was married and had a family. Perhaps his wife was one Phoebe Hurst. During the 1790s, they christened children at the "Helderberg Reformed Church" in Guilderland where the Hurst family had set down roots.
In August 1798, the name of Nicholas Hilton from Albany appeared on a list of men recommended by Alexander Hamilton for commissions in the army. Hilton was characterized as of good reputation, the son of a Mechanic, and would make a "tolerable" Ensign. His name was among those forwarded to the Secretary of War.
In 1800, his household in the first ward was configured on the Albany city census. At that time, a man aged 26-45, two girls under 10, and a woman 26-45 were enumerated in that dwelling. A year earlier, his lots in the South End of the city were assessed modestly. In 1810, the city census counted four females and two free people of color in that household. In 1800, a second Nicholas Hilton was listed on the census for Watervliet.
Perhaps his widow "Phebe Hilton" was was identified as the proprietor of a "morroc., hat & cap store, 134 Market" in 1813. Perhaps a different Nicholas Hilton was identified as a carpenter on subsequent city directories.
Sources: The life of Nicholas Hilton has no CAP biography number. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.
first posted 6/20/14