Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Our Sixth Great Grandfather Died Beside His Son in Battle

Battle at Fort Ticonderoga

Benjamin Hill - Betsy (Elizabeth) Dudley (6th Great Grandparents)
Betsy Hill
Deborah Dearborn
Almira Swift
Isabel Deanora McCrilles
Vesta Dennis
Grandma Mattson

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

I’m looking down on the valley from the Fortress. The sky is gray with low hanging clouds. Rain is falling and has been for an hour or so. I’m in my rocker listening to the dripping from the rain gutters outside the front window. It is a cold, wet evening in Pleasant Grove.
It is time to gather all from the Mattson side of our family to tell you about our sixth Great Grandfather, Benjamin Hill and his son, our 6th Great Uncle, Nicholas.

Benjamin Hill was born at Brentwood, N. H. He married Betsey Dudley, of Stratham, N. H., and raised a family of eight children. On the 18th of March, 1752, Benjamin Hill moved with his family from Brentwood to Northwood, N. H, farming the land which has ever since been occupied by the Hill family. Its present occupant is Frank R. Hill, a lineal descendant of Benjamin, and of the fifth generation from him.

Benjamin Hill was drafted into the Revolutionary War, and his son, Nicholas Dudley, not wanting him to go alone, also enlisted. Our Great Grandfather Benjamin died at Ticonderoga. Nicholas survived the war and returned home. He became the head of the family and cared for his mother and siblings. Nicholas Dudley Hill was born at Brentwood, N. H., and was the eldest of his father's family. He married Mary Crockett, and they also had eight children

The Battle at Fort Ticonderoga.
Fort Ticonderoga lay on the shores of Lake Champlain. Called Fort Carillon by the French, it was renamed Ticonderoga by the British after it was captured in 1759. The fort was positioned to cut the colonies in half, and two Americans, Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold, were determined to capture the fort. Allen was approached by Connecticut citizens to lead his men known as the Green Mountain men to take the fort. Meanwhile Benedict Arnold had himself been appointed to the same task by the Massachusetts committee of safety. The two men argued over command, but this did not deter them from attacking the fort. On May 11th, all the men who could fit were loaded in boats and set off for the fort. The men defending the garrison of Ticonderoga were surprised in their beds. Allen called out to Lieutenant Joceyln Feltham, "Come out of there you dammed old rat!" When Feltham asked on whose authority, Allen stated,"in the name of Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress." The fort, with its heavy artillery, fell without a shot being fired. Two days later, Crown Point fell as well.
And so we add another name to our growing list of Ancestors who fought and gave their all for this new nation.

Now, its time to shut the computer down and move on to other things that need attention. Let me just say how excited I am to share these histories of our our ancestors. Their stories should not be forgotten and won't be as long as you teach your children about their roots and this proud American family they are part of.



  1. love all the post I was talking to ashley and she loves them too. so keep it up. also the pictures and the top I don't know who all the people are. thanks Janice

  2. This is wonderful to find! I just sent you an email, because Benjamin Hill is also my 6th Great Grandfather through his son Jonathan. Thank you for this information. I've just begun my search and look forward to hearing from you.
    Best, Greg

  3. I moved to Strafford, New Hampshire a few years ago and had visited the Benjamin Hill Cemetery at the corner of Tasker Hill Road and Ridge Road in Northwood where I discovered Benjamin Hill's grave. I was curious who he was so I did some research, leading me to this page. One of my hobbies is local history, so I appreciate the information you provided about Benjamin Hill.