In 1831, Robert McMullin Jr. (1787-1862) and wife Mary Tabele (1795-1869) of Philadelphia named their eldest son Samuel Hildeburn McMullin (1831-1892).  Samuel achieved some renown in the late 19th century as a Presbyterian clergyman and theologian.  He is my 2GG.  This biographical excerpt from Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans: Volume VII , describes him:

McMullin, Samuel Hildeburn, clergyman and educator, was born in Philadelphia, Pa., March 19, 1831; son of Robert and Mary Hamilton (Tabele) McMullin.  He was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, A.B., 1849, A.M., 1852, and from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1854.  He was ordained by the North River presbytery, Oct. 16, 1856; was pastor of Calvary Church, Newburg, N.Y., 1856-60; at Bel-Air, Md., 1860-61, and at Smithtown branch, L.I., N.Y., 1861-64; … at the Belmont Avenue church, Philadelphia, Pa., 1865-67; was Professor of Greek language and literature at Miami university, 1867-70; professor of church history at Danville Theological seminary, Ky., 1870-72; pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Circleville, Ohio, 1873-82, and at Glendale, Ohio, 1882-89 … He is the author of several published sermons and an inaugural address on church history.  He died in Glendale, Ohio, Feb. 17, 1892.[1]Rossiter Johnson & John Howard Brown, ed., Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans: Volume VII (Boston: Biographical Society, 1904).  The sketch mistakenly spells … Continue reading

Rev. Samuel Hildeburn McMullin (1831-1892), enhanced by MyHeritage (Author’s collection)

A generation later, Samuel’s daughter Mary McMullin (1858-1952), my great-grandmother, named her first born son Hildeburn Jones (1885-1961), nicknamed “Habe,” and Habe himself in 1919 named his only child Hildeburn Jones, Jr. (1919-1991), nicknamed “Burn.”  Burn Jones was my Father’s first cousin.  Despite three instances of this name over four generations, living descendants have never understood the origin of the name Hildeburn.

The only time I remember meeting Uncle Habe was in the summer of 1960.  Here’s a photograph showing Hildeburn “Habe” Jones with my brother and I during a family visit to the Eastern Shore.  A year later, my mother brought all four children into her bedroom and quietly informed us that Uncle Habe had passed away.  We had a good cry.

Habe Jones with grand-nephews Steve and Chris Jonnes, 1960, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, enhanced by MyHeritage (Author’s collection)

The explanation for the Hildeburn name goes back to Philadelphia 130 years earlier!  There was a gentleman named Samuel Hildeburn (1787-1856) who was a prosperous silversmith in the city.  His portrait may be viewed at the top of the post.

Samuel Hildeburn was connected to the McMullins via marriage.  3GG Robert McMullin, Jr. had a first cousin named Elizabeth Linnard (1786-1835).  Elizabeth was born in 1786 and Robert in 1787, so they were almost the same age.  Elizabeth was the daughter of the union between Col. William Linnard (1749-1835), a Revolutionary War hero, and Susannah McMullin (1757-1809).  Susannah was Robert Jr.’s aunt, sister to his father Robert McMullin, Sr. (1756-1828).

Elizabeth Linnard Hildeburn (1786-1863), enhanced by MyHeritage (Source: Findagrave member “ReeT”)

Elizabeth Linnard married Samuel Hildeburn in 1810.[2]I don’t have a specific marriage record for this, but a couple online trees I respect give the date 3 November 1810 at Old Pine Street Church.  My understanding is that church records were … Continue reading   Thus, the McMullins were in-laws to the Linnards and Hildeburns.  The McMullin, Linnard, and Hildeburn families all lived in the Southwark area of Philadelphia during the late 18th and early 19th centuries and were relatively prominent and prosperous.  Robert Jr. was a lumber merchant and Samuel a silversmith.  You can still find his silver pieces at auctions and on E-bay today.

One of Samuel Hildeburn’s maker’s marks (Source: americansilversmiths.org)

Samuel Hildeburn Rococo-style Coin Silver Teapot, early 19th c. (Source: Eldreds.com, auction lot photo, 2021)

Robert, Jr.’s uncle John McMullin (1765-1843) was also a well-known Philadelphia silversmith.  I have never found an image of Robert Jr., unfortunately, but John’s portrait may provide some indication of Robert’s looks.

John McMullin (1765-1843), portrait by Joseph Biays Ord, enhanced by MyHeritage (Source: philamuseum.org)

The McMullin, Hildeburn, and Linnard families attended the same church, Old Pine Street Presbyterian Church, at 412 Pine Street in the historic section of Philadelphia.  It is now a historic landmark – and still active church.  The Linnards and some of the McMullins are buried there.

Robert McMullin Jr. and Samuel Hildeburn were born the same year, 1787, so they would have grown up together and known each other well.  The assumption is that they were close friends as well as in-laws and Robert named his son Samuel Hildeburn out of respect and affection.

Samuel Hildeburn also named a son Samuel Hildeburn.  Samuel Hildeburn, Jr. was born in 1825 while Samuel Hildeburn McMullin was born six years later.  Samuel’s namesake died at age 10 in 1835, however.

I found out the Hildeburn surname is incredibly rare.  Samuel’s father was Martin Hildeburn (1730-1793), a grocer in old Philadelphia.  He is the only head-of-household surnamed Hildeburn in the entire 1790 U.S. census,[3]1790 U.S. census, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Southwark, p. 9, image 622, Martin Hildebourn, Grocer; digital image, Ancestry (https://ancestry.com : 20 December 2021); … Continue reading and Samuel is the only one in the 1830 U.S. census.[4]1830 U.S. census, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Philadelphia South Ward, p. 376, Samuel Hildeburn; digital image, Ancestry (https://ancestry.com : 20 December 2021); citing … Continue reading  A century later, the 1930 U.S. census enumerated only 15 souls in the country with the Hildeburn surname.  None of the online surname websites has any information about it.  The name sounds vaguely German or Dutch; possibly it is a variation of Hildebrand.

References

References
1 Rossiter Johnson & John Howard Brown, ed., Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans: Volume VII (Boston: Biographical Society, 1904).  The sketch mistakenly spells Circleville as Crickville.
2 I don’t have a specific marriage record for this, but a couple online trees I respect give the date 3 November 1810 at Old Pine Street Church.  My understanding is that church records were consulted.
3 1790 U.S. census, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Southwark, p. 9, image 622, Martin Hildebourn, Grocer; digital image, Ancestry (https://ancestry.com : 20 December 2021); citing NARA microfilm publication M637, roll 9.
4 1830 U.S. census, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Philadelphia South Ward, p. 376, Samuel Hildeburn; digital image, Ancestry (https://ancestry.com : 20 December 2021); citing NARA microfilm publication M19.