Ancestry: Early Youth in Germany.—1835-1853
HENRY VILLARD was born on April 10, 1835, in Speyer, Rhenish Bavaria, in the home of his maternal grandparents, which now bears a municipal tablet commemorating the event. His baptismal name was Ferdinand Heinrich Gustav Hilgard. His branch of the Hilgard family, whose surname occurs widely in South German village nomenclature, was of Nassau stock. His first known ancestor, Johann Hilgard, was a landowner and a member of the Reformed Church. His descendants of the fourth, fifth, and sixth generations filled pastorates in various parts of what is now Rhenish Prussia. One of them, Gerhard Samuel Hilgard, wrote in 1792 'A Defence of the Revealed Christian Religion,' which he dedicated and presented to King Frederick William II. His son, Jacob Hilgard, was tutor to the heir of the Prince of Nassau-Weilburg, and afterwards associate pastor at Bacharach on the Rhine, where he married a daughter of the pastor, Theodor Erasmus Engelmann, a
- The line, briefly tabulated, is as follows:
Johann1 Hilgard (deceased before 1626) and Doris Zwenk.
Philipp2 Hilgard (1603-1634) and Christine Caesar; married in 1626.
Johann Gottfried3 Hilgard (born in 1628) and Anna Katharina Caps; married in 1654.
Johann Heinrich4 Hilgard (born in 1669) and Luise Margarete Mauel; married in 1701.
Gerhard Samuel5 Hilgard (1717-1810).
Jacob6 Hilgard (1752-1813) and Maria Dorothea Engelmann (1760-1845); married in 1782.
Georg Friedrich (Fritz)7 Hilgard (1784-1859) and Lotte Henrich (1780-1818); married in 1806.
Gustav Leonhard8 Hilgard (1807-1867) and Lisette Pfeiffer (1811-1859), parents of "Henry Villard"; married June 11, 1833.