Ancestors of Mandy Willard

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Thomas SMITH (1742-1827)

and Grace HILL (c1745-1793)


Thomas Smith and Grace Hill were my 6x Great Grandparents.  (Click here to see their place in my pedigree chart.)  They married by banns on 16 April 1765 in Wadhurst, Sussex.  They were both of Wadhurst and both made their X marks.  The witnesses to the marriage were Robert Smith and George Chapman who both signed their names.

Thomas Smith was baptised on 27 October 1742 in Wadhurst.  He was the son of 5 180 Robert Smith (1710-1775) and 5 180 Elizabeth Swift (1710-1766).  He was a labourer.  He died aged 86 years and was buried on 1 April 1827 in Wadhurst.

Grace Hillís date and place of birth are unknown (see below).  She was buried on 16 July 1793 in Wadhurst and the burial register only records that she was the wife of Thomas Smith who was poor.

A cricket match was played in Wadhurst on 9 June 1788 - I wonder if Thomas went along to watch?


Thomas Smith and Grace Hill had 3 known children:

  1. Elizabeth Smith, my 5x Great Grandmother, was baptised on 24 August 1766 in Wadhurst.  She married William Moren in 1790.  (They have their own page.)

  2. Thomas Smith was baptised on 19 March 1769 in Wadhurst.

    Thomas may have married Mary Chittenden by banns on 28 June 1789 in Wadhurst.

    The couple had 2 known children:

    1. Philadelphia Smith was baptised on 8 September 1793 in Wadhurst, at which time her father was a Labourer.

    2. William Smith was born on 8 June and baptised on 10 July 1796 in Wadhurst.

    And/or Thomas may have married Esther Stevens on 25 December 1799 in Wadhurst.

    They had 1 known son:

    1. Richard Smith was baptised on 1 November 1802 in Wadhurst.

      Richard married Lucy Underdown by banns on 12 April 1828 in Wadhurst.  At the time they were both of Wadhurst.

      Lucy was born about 1805 in Ireland.  In 1851 the family were living at Hunters Hall in Wadhurst and Richard was then a sawyer.  When the 1861 census was recorded they were living in Cousleywood Street in Wadhurst and Richard was an agricultural Labourer.  Also with them at that time was their unmarried 31 year old son, Richard Smith and 6 year old grandson George Smith.

      Richard and Lucy had 4 known children:

      1. Richard Smith was born about 1830 in Wadhurst.

      2. Thomas Smith was born about 1836 in Wadhurst.

      3. James Smith was born about 1838 in Wadhurst.

      4. Charity Smith was born about 1841 in Wadhurst.

  3. John Smith was baptised on 22 Aug 1782 in Wadhurst.

    Did he marry Jane Walker on 31 May 1803 in Wadhurst?

    When the 1851 census was recorded the John married to Jane was said to be 73 years old, therefore born about 1778.  Jane then gave her age as 65, therefore, born about 1786 and born in Mayfield.




If Grace was about 45 when son John was born then she was born after about 1737.  If she was about 18 when she married, then she was born before about 1747.  I have checked the East Sussex Baptism Index and the only baptism of a  Grace Hill was on 25 October 1738 in Hamsey, Sussex the daughter of John Hill and Elizabeth.  But Hamsey to Wadhurst is a fair distance, so I am not sure that this was my Grace.  There is also the possibility that Grace was a widow at marriage, but there was nothing in the marriage register to indicate her marital status.  Also given the proximity of Wadhurst to Kent, and to some extent Surrey, it is possible she was born outside Sussex.  I have checked the IGI and although there were numerous Grace Hill(s)ís born throughout England between 1730-1750, there was only one in Kent in 1727 Canterbury. 

There was a William Hill and Mary who had a daughter Mary Hill baptised on 19 January 1735 in Wadhurst - might they have had other children, including Grace?  William Hills married Mary Tanner on 27 September 1733 in Wadhurst.

At some point I will attempt to find any Hill(s) wills that might just mention Grace and try and trace what became of the John and Elizabeth in Hamsey and the William and Mary in Wadhurst.


John Hills and Elizabeth Acton married by banns on 5 May 1711 in Iford, Sussex.  He was then from Ringmer and she was of Iford.

Elizabeth Acton may have been the daughter of Edward Acton and Joane, or perhaps Edward Acton and Susanna.

John and Elizabeth may have had the following children:

  1. John Hill was baptised on 27 February 1711/2 in Ringmer.  A John Hills was buried on 26 April 1778 in Ringmer.

    John may have married Hester Axford on 16 June 1741 in Ringmer.  John and Hester had the following children:

    1. Edmund Hill was baptised on 19 April 1742 in Ringmer.

    2. Hester Hill was baptised on 1 May 1743 in Ringmer.

    3. Betty Hill was baptised privately on 21 June 1745 in Ringmer.

    4. Rebecca Hill was baptised on 23 May 1746 in Ringmer.

    5. Richard Hill was baptised on 24 April 1748 in Ringmer.

  2. Edward Hills was baptised on 3 March 1713/4 in Ringmer and buried there on 2 May 1715.

  3. Robert Hills was baptised on 20 April 1716 in Ringmer.  He may have died of smallpox and have been buried on 13 March 1775.

  4. Elizabeth Hill was baptised on 26 February 1718/9 in Ringmer.

  5. Elnathan Hill (son) was baptised on 19 January 1719/20 in Ringmer.  He married Mary Shoebridge by banns on 25 July 1749 in Hartfield, Sussex.  They were both then of Hartfield.

  6. Martha Hills was baptised on 30 November 1720 in Ringmer.  She probably married William Brann on 7 May 1741 in Ringmer.

  7. Elizabeth Hill was baptised on 2 March 1720/1 in Ringmer.  [I have checked a transcript of the Ringmer baptism register.  Martha the daughter of John and Elizab. and Elizabeth the daughter of Jno and Eliz.  No other details were recorded as to whether the parents were the same couple, other than Martha was a Hills and Elizabeth a Hill.]

  8. Mary Hill was baptised on 2 January 1722/3 in Ringmer.

  9. Ann Hill was baptised on 19 May 1724 in Ringmer.

  10. Rebecca Hills was baptised on 14 June 1726 in Ringmer.  She may have married John Starnes on 26 April 1756 in Uckfield.

  11. William Hills was baptised on 1 December 1727 in Ringmer.

  12. Richard Hills was batpised on 28 October 1729 in Ringmer and buried there on 6 February 1730.

  13. Ruth Hill was baptised on 18 December 1730 in Buxted.

  14. Latitia Hill was baptised on 27 April 1732 in Buxted.  She married Robert Chatfield on 11 April 1757 in Horsted Keynes.

  15. John Hill was baptised on 4 July 1736 in Ringmer.

  16. Grace Hill was baptised on 25 October 1738 in Hamsey.

  17. Giles Hills was baptised privately on 18 March 1738/9 in Ringmer.

I'm not sure as to whether the last 5 children were part of the same family.


[A Thomas Hill married Ann Back on 16 April 1734 in Ringmer.  They were both of Ringmer.  Thomas Hills was buried on 3 July 1772 in Ringmer.]


Edward Acton and Joan Colvil married by banns on 15 May 1683 in West Firle.  He was then of Ripe and she of Chalvington.  They had the following children:

  1. Thomas Acton was baptised on 19 May 1684 in Chalvington.

  2. Elizabeth Acton was baptised on 10 December 1686 in Chalvington.

  3. Mary Acton was baptised on 4 June 1689 in Chalvington.

  4. John Acton was baptised on 21 February 1690/1 in Chalvington.

  5. Elizabeth Acton was baptised on 19 January 1693/4 in Chalvington.  Did she marry John Hills in 1711?  If so then she would about been about 44/5 when her youngest known child was born.

  6. Edward Acton was baptised on 19 January 1696/7 in Chalvington.

  7. William Acton was baptised on 29 August 1701 in Chalvington.


Edward Acton and Susan Belson married on 4 July 1682 at St. Thomas, Cliffe, Lewes.  They had the following daughter:

  1. Susannah Acton was baptised on 28 October 1683 in Iford.


HILL          SMITH