Helmanus Frederick Wiltbank
(Abt 1640-1684)


Family Links

1. Jonakin (Jane) Hill?

Helmanus Frederick Wiltbank

  • Born: Abt 1640, Sweden
  • Marriage (1): Jonakin (Jane) Hill? about 1659 in Sussex Co., DE
  • Died: 15 Jan 1684, Sussex Co., DE 1


To the Lewes, Sussex Co., DE area before Sep 1664 and probably about 1658. He was the Sussex Co. High Sheriff from 1669-1679. In 1672, he patented a tract of land that included a portion of the Town of Lewes. The following are excerpts from "The History of Lewes Delaware," Delaware Historical Society, Nov 17 1902 (Hoornkill=Whorekill and the early Dutch name for the Lewes area):

It is not certainly known when the first actual settlers came to the Hoornkill after the Indian massacre in 1631, but following the re-establishment of the Dutch trading post in 1658 and the Dutch surrender to the English in 1664, all customs were abolished in October, 1670, when new settlers began to come in and by a census taken May 8th 1671, there was a total population of 47 in the Hoornkill, while transfers of landed property, which had already commenced, became more numerous. On the 7th of July, 1665, 80 acres were granted to Alexander Molestedy (Molestine) "lying upon Whorekill neare unto the mouth of the kill," and 130 acres to Hermanus Wiltbank on the Whorekill and Pagan's Creek. On the 12th of January, 1670, a grant was made to Janies Mills of a "neck of land lying to the southward of the town called Whorekill," while following the English conquest in 1664 among the earliest deeds for land in lower Delaware was one for a tract from the British governor, Sir Francis Lovelace on the 2d of July, 1672, to Hermanus Frederick Wiltbank, designated as "all that piece of land at the Horekill signed and called Lewes, in Delaware Bay which piece of land is called ye West India fort. "

It would be well to say here, however, as a matter of curious history, if nothing more, that prior to any land transfers by or to English parties, on the 7th of February, 1635, two years after the departure of De Vries and his colonists the whole of the patroon lands stretching 32 miles along the Delaware shore, including the site of Lewes, and embracing 12 square miles, including Cape May on the New Jersey side, were sold by Godyn, Blommaert and associates to the Dutch West India Co. for 15,600 guilders or $6,240, constituting the first land sale between white parties upon the Delaware Bay or River, and probably ending in this region all individual landed interests held under patroon tenure. During their brief re-possession of power the Dutch in 1673 established a court at Lewes, which was continued by the English when they resumed control the following year. When the new 7 justices were appointed May 28 1680, they took steps looking to a permanent seat of government, and upon petition for a change of name Gov. Andross promptly rechristeued the Horekill or Whorekill, both being a corruption of the original Hoornkill, with the name of "Deale," which appellation it bore until the coming of William Penn, who named the county Sussex, while Lewes took its name from an English town in the English shire of Sussex.

Under the new auspices linked with William Penn's acquisition of the country, a new interest was inspired in Lewes with special hopes of making it a merchant port. The court was instructed to grant titles upon conditions implying the building of good sized houses on pain of fine and forfeiture, upon which basis various improvements were encouraged, and quaint petitions urged with odd specifications, are to be found in the curious transactions of its ancient records. John Brown, shipbuilder, petitioned the court for "a lotte at Lewes on which he might build a sloop or shallop, as the one he now occupies is not fit;" and the same year William Beverly was sued by Hermanus Wiltbank for neglect of his work in building the vessel. Shipbuilding was then a growing industry in Lewes, while the records show that tobacco was then largely grown and used in nearly all business transactions.

Helmanus made a deposition in April 1681 saying he was "age 40 or thereabouts." (Kent Co. Court Records, 1680-82, pg 44-45)

Helmanus married Jonakin (Jane) Hill? about 1659 in Sussex Co., DE. (Jonakin (Jane) Hill? was born about 1642 in Netherlands and died in Dec 1693.)


1 "Wiltbank of Sussex County, Delaware" by John G. Herndon, PA Genealogy Society Magazine, Volume XVIII - No. 1, December 1950.

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