History, History, History

26 March 2013

Over the past several years I have become very interested in discovering and exploring my family history.  Knowing that I will be going to Europe, where nearly everyone of my ancestors migrated from, I want to take advantage of visiting the sites where my ancestors lived.  The Hylton Castle and Queen Mary’s throne in Edinburg are two places that I have on my itinerary, but I want to make sure I know as much about them as I can before I visit them so I can have the best experience possible!  I have been in contact with my grandparents on both my mother and father’s side and hope to gain some valuable information before I leave for my trip in 41 days!

Below is an email I received from my grandmother concerning our family history in England.

Good Morning Kylie,

Grandma Hilton was a Stoddard and her family came from Scotland.  We have a family genealogy book, written by a member of the family which starts “Our story begins in Scotland, near Edinburgh in the coal mining area south of the Firth of Forth.”

Rob is a direct descendant of the Hilton (Hylton) family from Durham, England.  “Although the evidence seems quite conclusive that the Hiltons were in Durham from the reigh of King Athelsten (924-940) we still have but little detail of their activities until 1072 when Henry built Hilton Castle in Durham.”  “The Hilton Family is the most ancient in England.”  This remarkable statement is made by Hutchinson in his History of Durham, England.  The Encyclopedia Americana also declares that the Hilton family was “The oldest entitled to bear arms in England”.  These statements are taken from the book written by Eugene Hilton, which we have in our possession.

The first book FIG TREE IN ZION (of the Stoddard Family), has only 10 pages written before the family comes to America.  The Hilton book has 50 pages of their life in England before coming to America.  It contains a sketch of the Hilton Castle in Durham and says “Much has been said and written about Hylton Castle on the Weir, about five miles below South Shields.  It is one of the most famous castles of Old England.”

I am waiting to hear back from my Grandpa Brown about some information on my father’s family history line.  I know that much of his family comes from England and Germany.  His maternal grandparents, the Ingrams, lived in England before migrating to New York, and his paternal line, the Browns, lived heavily in Germany.

Family history is quite interesting, and I have also found that it is quite ADICTING!  When you are learning things that have directly impacted you it seems to stick in your mind a lot easier.  As a freshman in high school I was required to do a family history project aaaannndddd that project was probably one of the most influential projects I have ever done.  It opened my eyes to how much history truly impacts us and gave me the opportunity to learn about my own ancestors.  I LOVED IT and now I know enough to go and visit many of the places I learned about!


Queen Mary of Scots, my great-great-great….grandmother, lived in this great Edinburgh castle!

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