Peter W. Hilton


Known as Peter W. Hilton, this individual probably was born early in 1745 and christened at the Albany Dutch church on February 17. He was the son of William and Margaret Jones Hilton. He grew up in the first ward home of a prominent, English-speaking carpenter.

In September 1772, he married Elizabeth Echts, an Albany-born spinster. By 1790, the marriage had produced a number of children who were christened at St. Peter's Anglican church where he was a member. However, by 1815, he was identified as a deacon at the Albany Dutch church.

By the mid-1760s, Peter W. had reached adulthood and was mentioned along with his father on first ward tax rolls. At that time, he was a member of an Albany militia company as well . In 1769, he was named constable for the first ward. During the 1790s, he served in fire companies in the first ward.

In his early thirties at the outbreak of hostilities, Peter W. Hilton might have been expected to have played an active part in the crusade for American liberties. However, so far, the record has shown only that he contributed toward supplies for the relief of Ticonderoga in 1775. In November 1780, he was identified as a cooper when he posted one hundred pounds bail for a disaffected neighbor. His name seems to have been absent from the obvious military rosters or bounty lists from that era.

After the war, he continued to live in a modest home at 40 Beaver Street where he plied the cooper's trade. In 1790, his first ward home included seven people. By 1800, he appears to have relocated from Albany or to have been absorbed under another household. However, beginning in 1813, city directories listed his Beaver Street address for several years.

In March 1813, he witnessed the will of Albert Van Der Zee of Bethlehem. We seek information on the final three decades of his life.

Peter W. Hilton died in Guilderland on January 26, 1835. His will passed probate in Albany County in October. According to the newspaper, this Albany native had lived ninety-two years - the last forty-four of them in Guilderland.

biography in-progress


first posted: 8/10/08