Saturday, March 01, 2008


My 3Xgreat grandfather Johann Daniel Hilgenberg (called Daniel) was born September 10, 1752 at Rohrenfurth, Hessen-Cassel, Germany to Johann Christian and Anna Catherine (Sinninger) Hilgenberg. His birthplace still stands today.

Entering the Hessian Army at age 24, Daniel shipped to America to help the British during the Revolutionary War. A grenadier in Rall’s Regiment, Company 2, Daniel fought in New York and New Jersey. Captured by Washington’s troops at Trenton, Daniel was a POW one year before being exchanged.

After the Battle of Savannnah, Daniel deserted at Zitterauer’s Bridge, near Purysburgh, South Carolina on April 24, 1779. Other Hessians also left at this time and Daniel may have accompanied one to North Carolina. Some believe Daniel joined the American forces.

After the war, Daniel settled on Spraker Road near Crockett, Virginia, changed his name to Hildenberg and engaged in linen weaving. He married Mary Barbara Shrader, born in 1770, the daughter of John Shrader and sister to Philip, Peter, and Christian Shrader. Daniel and Barbara Hildenberg’s four sons and nine daughters were born in Wythe County, Virginia.

Daniel and Barbara’s daughters Christina, Sally, and Catherine married Michael, Jacob, Jr., and John Deckard, sons of Jacob Deckard, Sr. of Wythe County. A fourth Deckard brother, William, married Elizabeth Emeline, a niece of the three daughters and daughter of Anna (Kinser) and John Lewis Hildenberg. Sally, born 1798 near Crockett, Virginia, and Jacob Deckard, Jr., my great great grandparents, were married May 8, 1817 in Wytheville.

Before Daniel’s death in June 1819, his name changed to Hillenberg (some use Hillenburg). Daniel was buried on his land. John Wampler was appointed guardian of Daniel’s children and married Daniel’s widow, Barbara, October 25, 1821.

Daniel Hillenberg, Jr. (Sally’s brother) purchased Daniel, Sr.’s farm from the heirs on October 25, 1834. Daniel, Jr. and his sons were Virginia Confederate soldiers. The farm passed to Daniel, Jr.’s son Eli Hillenberg, who in 1897 was buried at King’s Grove Methodist Cemetery.