My great uncle John Hill disappears from the Census Returns in Swansea, Wales UK after 1861 but I was never able to find a record of him elsewhere in the UK, nor a death record for him. What I did come across with old family papers, were 2 photos, one of a young couple, unnamed, and another from the same studio of 2 children with Otto and Bertie Hill written on the back. The photographer was in Monmouth Illinois. It had obviously been sent back to Wales from the US. These photos could have been of John and his wife and their children, but there was another missing uncle and some missing cousins too, so there seemed no way of identifying them.

Some time ago I subscribed to Ancestry World-wide and found that a John Hill from the UK was lodging with a Franklin family in Warren County, Illinois. I also found a marriage between a John Hill and Lucy Franklin, but it was only when I found them appearing in the Iowa Census returns that I started to feel fairly confident that I had found my lost great-uncle, especially as this John had sons named Bertie and Otto.

What confirmed everything was the biography for John, known as Jack Hill on your site, which correctly places his birth in Somerset, before his family's move to Swansea, South Wales, though the town is not correctly spelled in the biography. It was most interesting to read of his very successful and full life in your community and to know of all his children. When I found there was even a photo of his tombstone, I could hardly believe my luck....

I am going to send separately to you the photographs which helped my research, which you may like to add to your photo collection. The couple are obviously John (Jack) and Lucy (nee Frankliln) Hill, the boys are Bertie and Otto. I see from the Census returns that Bertie was short for Gilbert which was a family name from way back. The last Gilbert would have been John's great grandfather.

If there are any descendants of this Hill family still in Taylor County, I would very much like to be in touch with them. I've searched the message boards , etc. but have not found anything.

Mary Daley (Mrs), Swansea, West Wales UK