Submitted by Helen Durbin.
A title dated November 4, 1843, states that John Criswell and Rebecca, his wife, sold and conveyed 34 1/2 acres of land to Benjamin Hill for the sum of $276, in the County of Marshall, and state of Virginia. We can readily learn from these land titles how permanent the settlements were in this community by 1831-32.
Benjamin Hill was one of the prominent early settlers and his cabin was near where Elbert Francis' house now stands. He was born in Ireland and migrated to America, and settled in Wheeling in 1818. He settled in this community in 1833. The following is a copy of naturalization papers.
MARSHALL COUNTY COURT, AUGUST TERM, 1834.
Benjamin Hill, a native of Ireland this day applied to the court to be admitted to become a citizen of the United States, whereupon the said Benjamin Hill exhibited a copy of the record of Marshall County Court, showing that he arrived in the United States more than five years previous to the date hereof and that more than two years ago he had declared on oath in the said court his intention to become a citizen of the United States. Which record is in these words:
Marshall County Court, May term, 1840. Benjamin Hill, a native of Ireland, who has lately arrived in the United States and is desirious of being naturalized a citizen thereof, this day appeared in court and in pursuance of the act of Congress made a report of himself which report is in the following words, to-wit: "I, Benjamin Hill, make the following report of myself to the County Court of Marshall County in the State of Virginia that is to say, I was born in Ireland in the County Devy on December 25, 1798, being now in the forty-second year of my age; that in the month of April in the year 1817 I removed to the United States, and in 1817 settled in Virginia where I have resided for the last 21 years in the County of Ohio and Marshall; that I was a subject of Victoria Queen of Great Britian and Ireland and owe allegiance to that Monarch and none other. And I intend to remain in the State of Virginia, one of the United States, and to become a citizen thereof.
Given under my hand this 18th day of May, 1840.
And thereupon the said Benjamin Hill this day declared on oath that it is his bona fide intention to become a citizen of the United States and to renounce forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign Prince, Potentate, State, or Sovereignty, whatever and particularly to Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britian and Ireland, and it being proved to the satisfaction of the court by the testimony of John Parriott and Walter Gray, citizens of the United States, who were examined as witnesses on oath that since the arrival of the said Benjamin Hill, as aforesaid, he has resided within the United States five years, at least, and within the state one year, at least, and during that time has behaved as a man of good moral character attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States and well disposed to the good order and happenings of the same.
He, the said Benjamin Hill, declared an oath in open Court that he will support the Constitution of the United States and that he doth absolutely and entirely renounce and reject all allegiance and fidelity to every foreign Prince, Potentate, State or Sovereignty whatever and particularly to Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of great Britian and Ireland and thereupon the said Benjamin Hill is admitted a citizen of the said United States.
A teste: JAMES D. MORRIS, Clerk.