MS Roots

January 1, 2011

2011 Research Goals – The Hill Predicament

I have thought for a long time today about what to do with the Hill family research. It became clear very early that my present day HILL family was actually the SAMPSON family in 1900 and 1910. When my grandfather married my grandmother in 1925, his name was recorded as L C HILL not L C SAMPSON.

The question that has nagged me has been at what point did the children of Rosie SAMPSON decide that they were changing their last name? All five children, John, L C, Gothie Lee, Mary B. and Diana would use the name HILL for the rest of their lives. Their children and their children’s children are HILL to this very moment.

The Outside Children – My father used this term when I discovered that John Lacy HILL, his grandfather, was actually married to Ellen EDGAR and not this grandmother, Rosie Lee SAMPSON. He said that his father and aunts and uncles were the outside children meaning that they were born outside the bonds of matrimony. Do I dare study the HILL family? “We should leave this alone.” answered my uncle.

Just Looking – Initial research into the HILL family of Oktibbeha County yielded a few interesting names: Jesse, Ben, John, Roman, Caleb. Interesting. In the early 1980s, my aunt met a woman who told her that her grandfather (John Lacy HILL) had four brothers named Ben, Jesse, Roman and Caleb. We recorded this information in the program guide for the HILL / WRIGHT family reunion. The 1910 Census enumerated the household of Rose SAMPSON with four children, John, L C, Mary B. (the B stands for Bennie) and Jesse.

Tangled – After interviewing several family members, I learned that no one discussed the family history or familial relationships. Quoting my cousin, Joyce, “Back then if someone said they were your cousin, you just said okay. You learned not to ask questions.” I did a little more digging and found separate lives for John Lacy HILL and Rosie Lee SAMPSON. Living in close vicinity up to the 1920s but not connecting in any records so far. “We should leave this alone”, answered my uncle to a question I had not asked this time.

Looking for Rosie Lee SAMPSON – I have decided to let the HILL question wait for a little longer, while I search for Rosie Lee SAMPSON. Where was she from? Who were her parents? Her siblings? Did she really have 7 children and I can only account for 6? Certainly these aren’t incendiary questions to ask.

We should leave this alone.



  1. VERY interesting! You know how common “outside children” were…I have several in my tree, and know many others. I would research Hill and Sampson as it related to my bloodline. If Hill was the grandfather, then yes, I would research HIM & his ancestors(not necessarily his other family). The circumstances cannot be changed and were no fault of any of the descendants. Good luck with this!!!

    Comment by Robyn — January 2, 2011 @ 10:15 pm |Reply

  2. Thanks Robyn for the encouragement!

    Comment by tmailhes — January 4, 2011 @ 4:11 am |Reply

  3. The dliemma about whether or not to “leave it alone…”

    Your dilemma is not quite as many years ago as mine was, so my decision was easier. It got a whole lot easier once I realized there were two families for sure, and probably more, who had hit the proverbial brick wall trying to find the parents of their great grandfathers.

    Mine was a 140 year old family secret that my ancestors hoped (I’m sure) would die away when they “encouraged” the children of the other family to leave Pope Co., AR about 1920. What g-g-granddaddy did not count on was a determined descendant with access to the internet and lots of time to search the county courthouse…

    Since yours is more recent, maybe you want to find out for yourself, but not publish publicly until your uncle has passed on?

    Very nice blog. I found you through Geneabloggers.


    Comment by Dee Burris Blakley — January 22, 2011 @ 3:27 am |Reply

    • Wow. I also imagine that they wanted the family secret kept. I am learning that secrets are going to continue to be uncovered and I am excited and a little scared at the same time!

      Comment by tmailhes — January 22, 2011 @ 6:21 am |Reply

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