Mr Herbert Henry Hilliard was born in Teddington, Surrey, England on 29 June 1867. He was later baptised on 8 September that year in Holy Trinity Church. Haverstock Hill, Camden and at the time was a resident of Clarence Street, Kingston, Surrey.
He was the son of John Henry Hilliard (b. 1844) and Frances Ann Lusty (b. 1847). His father, a draper and later an agent for a tea merchant, hailed from Kingston, Surrey and his mother from Middlesex and they had married on 14 August 1866. He had one sibling, his brother Walter John (1871-1926).
He first appears on the 1871 census as a resident of 1 Florence Cottages, Leyton, Essex. His father died on 12 May 1875 and he, his mother and brother went to live with his maternal grandmother Ann Lusty (b. 1815) in St Pancras, London, appearing there on the 1881 census at 151 Price of Wales Road. His mother was remarried in 1884 to Edwin John Cross (b. 1834), a China dealer, and it seems Herbert and his family spent the next few years living in Kent.
Herbert was married in Kent in 1888 to Sarah Curtis (b. April 1867) and had two children: Francis Sydney Herbert (1888-1974) and Daisy Louise (1889-1968, later Mrs Leon Goss Chase). The death of Herbert's stepfather in 1889 perhaps compelled the family to seek new prospects and he, his wife and children and his mother and brother emigrated the following year, settling in Boston, Massachusetts. It was here that Herbert and his wife had a further three children: Elsie Frances (1894-1977, later Mrs Oskar Frederick Hedlund), Walter George (1904-1993) and Gertrude Mary (1907-1986, later Mrs Carl Olaf Ernest Carlson).
The 1900 US census shows Herbert and his family, including his mother and brother, living Boston. By 1912 he was a resident of Brighton, Massachusetts and worked as a buyer for the Boston department store Jordan Marsh.
Following a business trip in Europe, Hilliard and his friend and work colleague Timothy J. McCarthy boarded the Titanic at Southampton on 10 April 1912 as first class passengers. They held ticket number 17463 (which cost £51, 17s, 3d) and shared cabin E-46.
Herbert died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.
His widow never remarried and later settled in Watertown, Massachusetts with her children. She died in 1924 and is buried in Mt Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts with Herbert commemorated on her headstone.