Hite/Heydt Family Genealogy

Presented by Deborah Shelton Wood

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 JOST HANS (JUSTUS) VON DER HEYDT  also known as  Hans Jost HITE or Joist HITE, was born December 05, 1685 in Strasbourg, Alsace, Germany or Bonfeld, Kraichgau,(the northern tip of Baden) Germany, and died May 07, 1761 in Long Meadows House, Middleton, Virginia.  He married ANNA MARIA MERCKLE, daughter of ABRAHAM and ANNA MERCKLE. They are my ancestors. 
Hite and some of the connecting families from Holland and Germany, first lived in NY and PA areas before going south into Virginia. Jost Hite came with his stepmother, Maria on the ship, "Hartwell" to New York after fleeing their homeland as German Protestants, first to England in 1709.
Jost Hite was a linen-weaver from a working class family.  Like so mnay others, Hite fled religious discrimination by moving as many as four times before settling in Virginia.
Many Palatinates removed first to England, then to New York or Pennsylvania in America.  These families came to America as refugees. He is found on the 1710 and 1712 Palatinate Subsistence List in NY. In 1714 he then purchased land in Pennsylvania on Skippack Creek in Philadelphia County where daughter Elizabeth was married. In 1718 Jost Hite purchased 600 acres near Perkiomen Creek, PA where he built a grist mill.

By 1731, he and several other families moved to Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, near present day Winchester, Frederick County. 

 Using his wits and through the sweat of his brow, Hite went on to own the largest land holdings in the Colony of Virginia held by a private citizen. Lord Fairfax technically owned about half of Virginia, but this was held in trust for a series of investor groups.

Our ancestor Jost managed to glean away his lands from the Fairfax holdings via Governor Gooch.  He was sued by Lord Fairfax in a court litigation which began in 1749 and did not end until after the Revolutionary War. It was settled in favor of Hite in 1786, twenty-six years after the death of Hite, and four years after Fairfax's death.
 He and his second wife are probably buried at the original Lutheran Church in Winchester, Virginia.  His sons, John, Jacob, Isaac, Abraham, and Joseph (deceased), were listed in his Last Will written in 1758


In the spring of 1731, Jost Hite secured a grant of land and organized a group of  families to settle in the Shenandoah valley near present-day Winchester, Virginia.  He is thus credited in U.S. history books as the first white to settle west of the blue ridge mountains. Origins of Jost Hite and his wife were identified in ["German Origins of Jost Hite, Virginia Pioneer", by Henry Z. Jones, Jr., Ralph Connor, and Klaus West, Edingburg, Va 1979]. and from Chrisman.org

He was given land in exchange for bringing in families to settle this wilderness.  They built roads and homes and churches where no white settler had done so before. Land Grant from William Gooch, Lieutenant Governour and Commander in Chief of Virginia Colony -3 October 1734 Jost Hite, 228 acres. Thomas Shepherd, 222 acres. Jost Hite, 2,668 acres. Jost Hite, 668 acres.Jost Hite, 2,931 acres. Jost Hite, 700 acres. Jost Hite, 2,168 acres. Jost Hite, 3,393 acres. Jost Hite, 5,018 acres.

Courtesy Webshots

Jost Hite ran a mill and tavern in Virginia. His children and later descendants built homes in this area of Virginia, the best known probably being Belle Grove, a home built by his grandson Isaac Hite, Jr. from 1794-1797, now a National Historic Trust Site. Isaac's wife Nelly was the sister of President James Madison.   Isaac's first son James Madison Hite built or remodeled another home 1812-1820 named Guilford, a 2-story brick Roman Revival style house. During the Civil War, Belle Grove was at the center of the decisive Battle of Cedar Creek.

  "Fort Bowman" (aka Harmony Hall) in today's Shenandoah County, was the home of Mary (Hite) Bowman (born 1708), the eldest surviving child of Jost Hite, and the wife of George Bowman (1709-1768), the extant "Stone House" was constructed 1751/5 and the extant Bowman Cemetery was use by the early family for 100 years.
  Long Meadows was the home of Isaac Hite (1723-1795) and his wife, Eleanor (Eltinge) Hite (1724-1792) in Frederick County, Virginia. The original building is no longer standing, but the cemetery remains. Among those buried there are Isaac, Eleanor, their son Isaac Hite, Jr.(builder of Belle GrovePlantation 1794) and both of Isaac's wives."  [ Hite Family Association]
  Jost Hite and his descendants, in general, used the German method of homebuilding, which  provided sturdy homes of lasting beauty.
 My line is via Jost Hite's daughter, Magdelena Hite who married Jacob Chrisman.   The Chrisman home was used during the Revolutionary War as a hospital. The large spring near which they built has been known since 1735 as Chrisman's Spring. One of the earliest roads built west of the Blue Ridge was from Hite's Mill to Chrisman's Spring. And, in 1738, Jacob Chrisman joined in a petition to the Orange County Court to have a road opened to the Shenandoah River. Their daughter, Anna Maria Chrisman married the son of one of Jost Hite's Virginia settlers. Peter Stephens Sr, who  built the first home in Stephens City (the area named for him)  in 1732.  Peter's son Peter Stephens Jr. married Maria Chrisman.
  Below is a photo of a home built by yet another of Jost Hite's sons.  Springdale was built by John Hite.

photo: courtesy of Pat Patterson

The Inn at Vaulcuse

~~~Children of JOST HITEand ANNA (DUBOIS)MERKLE ~~~
  •   CHILD HITE, b. 1705, , Germany; d. Bef. 1708,  Germany.
  •   ANNA MARIA HITE, b. February 22, 1705/06, Germany; d. February 24, 1705/06,  Germany.
  •   MARIA BARBARA HITE, b. January 28, 1706/07, Bonfeld, Germany; d. March 01, 1706/07, Bonfeld, Germany.
  •  MARIA ELIZABETH "MARY" HITE, b. January 02, 1707/08, Germany; d. Aft. 1768, Middleton, Frederick County, Virginia.
  • ELIZABETH HITE, b. November 04, 1711, Kingston, Ulster County, New York; d. 1794, Mercer County, Kentucky.
  •  MAGDELENA HITE, b. September 06, 1713, Kingston, Ulster County,  New York; d. 1771, Frederick County, Virginia.
  •  JOHN HITE, b. 1714, Kingston, Ulster County,  New York or Skippack Creek, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania; d. 1792, Monocracy, Frederick, Maryland.
  • JACOB HITE, b. March 14, 1718/19, Perkiomen, Chester County, Pennsylvania; d. July 01, 1778, South Carolina.
  •  ISAAC HITE, b. May 12, 1723, Perkiomen, Chester County, Pennsylvania; d. September 18, 1795, Long Meadows, Middletown, Frederick County, Virginia.
  •   SUSANNAH HITE, b. 1725, Berks, Pennsylvania.
  •  CAPT. ABRAHAM HITE, b. May 10, 1729, Perkiomen, Chester County, Pennsylvania; d. January 17, 1790, Harrodsburg, Jefferson County, Kentucky.
  •  JOSEPH HITE, SR., b.1731, Virginia; d. February 1757, VA
My ancestral line is via Magdalena Hite who married Jacob Chrisman.
MAGDELENA HITE was born September 06, 1713 in Kingston, Ulster County,  New York, and died 1771 in Frederick County, Virginia.  She married JACOB CHRISMAN Abt. 1730 in Pennsylvania.  He was born Abt. 1710 in Germany, and died 1778 in Frederick County, Virginia.
  • ABRAHAM4 CHRISMAN, b. October 15, 1733.
  •  SARA CHRISMAN, b. September 23, 1734.
  •  ANNA MARIA CHRISMAN, b. September 29, 1735.
  •  ISAAC CHRISMAN, b. November 09, 1736.
  •  JOHANNES CHRISMAN, b. March 09, 1738/39.

My line continues with Anna Maria CHRISMAN who married Peter STEPHENS, Jr.

Copyright 1998, 2006 Deborah Shelton Wood - All Rights Reserved

One of the earliest references to the family name Hite dates back in history to the year 1404. The colour Azure, Blue, in the Hite coat of arms symbolizes Loyalty and Truth. It also reflects the hopes, ambitions and aspirations of its original bearer.

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The Palatine Families of New York, 1710" Vol. I pp.353-55.

"Ulster-Scots in Virginia"

German Origins of Jost Hite, Virginia Pioneer

Special Collections, Virginia Tech


Settling the Upper Shenandoah Valley

Settlement and Some First Families of Back Creek Valley

Ethnicity, and Community at the Opequon Settlement, Virginia, 1730-1800