I can report a small amount of incremental progress on my Peter Dill line. I’m working hard on Peter’s FAN club – the members of his circle of Friends, Associates and Neighbors who appear in the records
Peter is my 5x-great-grandfather. I’ve been trying for years to figure out who his parents were. Family lore suggests his father was Peter also, and that he had two brothers. None of this has ever been confirmed. I’ve pretty much exhausted all the easy record sets which might identify him by name. So I’m casting my net a bit wider to capture individuals from his FAN club to see what might turn up.
Here’s a short refresher on Peter Dill. He was married to Phebe Brown. Phebe and her Quaker family arrived in Georgia in 1785 and settled in the Wrightsboro Quaker community. Her date of marriage to Peter is unknown. They had a child William born in 1794 and then Daniel born in 1800. (I wonder if William is Peter’s son from a previous marriage? There is a long gap between William and Daniel, and Phebe would have been only 16 years old at the time of William’s birth. Something else to follow up on…as usual). Peter and Phebe bought land in Columbia County, Georgia in 1802 and sold it in 1804. Shortly thereafter, they moved with their two young sons to Montgomery County, Ohio. Peter and Phebe had a total of nine children together before Phebe died. In 1817, Peter remarried to Sarah Wimmer and they had seven children together. Peter died intestate in about 1839 and there are quite a few helpful records out there related to the settlement of his estate, which included assets in both Ohio and Illinois.
Peter’s second son, Daniel, returned to Georgia as a young man. He owned a confectionary business in Augusta and married Mary Ann Dill in 1832. Mary Ann was presumably a cousin although I don’t know how they’re related. She died in 1835 and shortly after, he moved to Mobile, Alabama where he was once again in the confectionary business. He died intestate and there is a HUGE probate file for him that I wrote about at length in a series of posts entitled, “The Curious Case of Daniel Dill“.
I believe that Daniel’s return to Georgia and his subsequent marriage to Mary Ann Dill are clues to Peter Dill’s extended family. So I decided to take a closer look at Daniel’s return to Georgia and explore some of his connections there. A long-dormant research topic has been to determine the identity of a different and older Daniel Dill who died in Augusta in 1816. Who was this older Daniel Dill and how might he be connected to our Daniel and Peter?
Discoveries so far:
- According to a tombstone transcription, the elder Daniel Dill was born in about 1727 and died in 1816 at age 88.1 His place of birth is as yet unknown although it is unlikely to have been Georgia (hardly any European settlers were in Georgia that early).
- Per probate records2 and newspaper notices3, the elder Daniel Dill owned about 200 acres of land, a house and empty lot in Augusta, two negro women, and assorted household goods. Among his household goods, we find listed a spinning wheel, perhaps suggesting that there was once a woman in the household. There are also multiple beds listed, indicating that at one time, at least, the household contained more than just one elderly man. (I doubt that the enslaved persons had beds nice enough to be included in an estate inventory.)
- Daniel Dill died intestate (without a will). A man named Andrew J. Dill was appointed administrator of the estate.4 Andrew’s relationship to Daniel is not known but my first assumption would be that Andrew is Daniel’s son.
- Daniel Dill’s real estate assets were acquired by Green B. Marshall on February 19, 18195 (I haven’t finished transcribing this record yet, there may be more here than meets the eye).
- I have not yet found any documents related to the final settlement of Daniel Dill’s estate and thus no indication of who his heirs were.
- According to tax records, there were other Dill men living in Augusta during the time before and after Daniel’s death. They are: Andrew J. Dill (administrator of Daniel Dill’s estate), Jacob Dill, and Robert Dill. Based on online family trees, it seems likely that Robert is Andrew’s son. Additionally, the following persons bought various items at Daniel Dill’s estate sale: Jacob Dill, Andrew Dill, and Philip Dill. (Note that Philip Dill was Mary Ann Dill’s father.) Philip and Andrew also had outstanding loans from Daniel at the time of Daniel’s death.
- On July 24, 1820, another man named Daniel Dill appears in a list of dead letters at the post office in Milledgeville, Georgia.6 Is this the first appearance of the younger Daniel Dill (Peter’s son) upon his return to Georgia? Milledgeville was the capital at the time, and is about 100 miles west of Augusta. Based on migration maps, it seems likely that someone traveling to Augusta from Ohio during this period would have passed through Atlanta and Milledgeville.
- On July 22, 1822 in Augusta, Daniel Dill is a witness to a case involving a dispute between a man named Pellaquin and a man named Donaldson.7 “William” is also mentioned as a witness – one might infer that the note applies to both Daniel and William Dill. Daniel did indeed have a brother named William.
Starting October 8, 1822, there are Augusta newspaper notices describing a court ruling in favor of Daniel Dill against Donaldson, with Dill being paid out of the proceeds of the sale of a negro man.8 The connection between this incident and the July court case is as yet unknown.
- From 1823 forward, I can confidently connect the Daniel Dill in Augusta to the Daniel Dill who died in Mobile, Alabama in 1855 and who is certainly the son of my 5x-great-grandfather Peter Dill. There are tax records, newspaper articles, census records, and a probate file to support this.
- (There are many more records not listed here – tax records in particular.)
So what does all of this mean? Here’s a working theory.
I wonder if the elder Daniel was the father of Philip, Jacob, Peter and Andrew. Upon the sale of Daniel’s assets and the final settlement of the estate, did Peter send his son Daniel to Georgia to collect his share of the inheritance? It can’t be a coincidence that the land was sold in February 1819 and Daniel Dill appears in Georgia in July 1820.
There is also a Philip Dill Sr. who was a loyalist during the Revolutionary War. I believe he had his assets seized by the State after the war. I believe there is some connection between this Philip Dill and the other Dill men listed above. I suppose he could be a brother to the elder Daniel Dill and perhaps the father of the younger Philip Dill? This would make our Daniel Dill and Mary Ann Dill second cousins.
It’s a little dangerous to engage in this much conjecture but at least it gives me some ideas about where to look next. I’m not attached to any particular outcome here other than solving the puzzle.
Next steps in my research:
- Continue to search for all extant records related to the settlement of Daniel Dill’s estate, especially a list of the heirs!
- Create a timeline for Phebe Brown and her marriage to Peter Dill. Was she really the mother of William Dill? Can we find a marriage record for Peter Dill anywhere? (I’ve looked before, but need to perform a more exhaustive search.)
- Dig deeper into the paper trail for Philip Dill Sr. and his possible connection to the Dill men in Augusta.
- Start building descendancy trees for the Dill men in Augusta for possible future use for DNA matching.
To be continued…
1 Historical Collections of the Georgia Chapters, Daughters of the American Revolution, Volume 1, p. 134. Available at ancestry.com at https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/25492/images/dvm_LocHist010589-00073-0.
2 Inventory of the Estate of Daniel Dill, Richmond County Inventories and Appraisements Book B, 1815 – 1822, Richmond County Ordinary Court Records, pp. 122-123. Available at Georgia Archives Virtual Vault at https://vault.georgiaarchives.org/digital/collection/tax/id/7766/rec/16.
3 Augusta Chronicle and Georgia Gazette, September 16, 1818, page 2. Available at Georgia Historic Newspapers at https://gahistoricnewspapers.galileo.usg.edu/lccn/sn82014182/1818-09-16/ed-1/seq-2/#date1=01%2F01%2F1763
4 Richmond County Ordinary Court Minutes 1791-1818, p. 650. Available at Georgia Archives Virtual Vault at https://vault.georgiaarchives.org/digital/collection/tax/id/56749/rec/24.
5 Georgia. Richmond County Deeds. Deed book v. Q 1819-1821, p. 130. FHL online images, Family History Library. Available at https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C3QP-XSRH-T?cat=195986.
6 Georgia Journal. Tuesday, Jul 04, 1820 Milledgeville, GA Page:3. Available at GenealogyBank.com at https://www.genealogybank.com/nbshare/AC01190121034640326461678915676.
7 Richmond County Inferior court writs 1799-1857, image 269 of 718. Available at FamilySearch.com at https://www.familysearch.org/search/film/008188532?cat=128688
8 Augusta Chronicle Tuesday, Oct 08, 1822 Augusta, GA Page:4. Available at GenealogyBank.com at https://www.genealogybank.com/nbshare/AC01190121034640326461678920955