Category Archives: History

Those damn Presbyterians!


doc2Presbyterianism is proving to be an important factor in the lives of some of my ancestors, so I’ve been learning more about it.

My great grandmother’s mother was born into an Ulster Presbyterian family. They came to America from Northern Ireland in 1790 and likely migrated from Scotland before that, settling in Ireland.

The Hill family, based on oral traditions and DNA evidence, likely came from Scotland during America’s colonial days. We are closely related to the Johnsons-Johnstons-Johnstowns of southwest Scotland.

August 25, 1560: Led by John Knox, the reformed Church of Scotland is established on Protestant lines. The Scottish parliament accepts the Calvinistic Scots Confession, forbids the mass, and declares the pope has no jurisdiction in Scotland.

But the story doesn’t end there!

The following year things were complicated (to say the least) by the return from France of Mary Queen of Scots to assume her throne and adhere personally to the Catholicism in which she had been raised.



Thankfully, the Troubles are over, mostly.

My interest stems partly from being a descendant of immigrants from Northern Ireland, Ulster Presbyterians.


I love seeing a flag at the grave of the Hill family patriarch, James, in Ohio. #July4th

The star is a veteran marker, noting his service during the War of 1812. He was born in Pennsylvania in 1763, witnessing the Declaration and the ensuing war against the British Empire. Remarkably, James died in 1862. His life spanned the end of the French and Indian War, before nationhood, and the beginning of the Civil War, with Abraham Lincoln at the helm.


“It was one of the few occasions on which the bayonet was decisively used.”

Douglas MacArthur wrote the following about July 26, 1918, the day one of my great grandmother’s brothers was dropped by German machine gun fire. He was hurried to a field hospital, the 165th, which was attached to the 165th regiment of Ohio, where he died days later.

“…the 167th Alabama assisted by the left flank of the 168th Iowa had stormed and captured the Croix Rouge Farm in a manner which for its gallantry I do not believe has been surpassed in military history. It was one of the few occasions on which the bayonet was decisively used.”