Hans Jost Hite


Hans Jost Hite

Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Death 17 May 1761 (aged 75)
Kernstown, Frederick County, Virginia, USA
Burial Kernstown, Frederick County, Virginia, USA
Plot BG1
Memorial ID 13929994 View Source
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s/o Anna Magdelena Johannes HEYDT
h/o Anna Maria MErCKLE
f/o Maria Elizabeth "Mary" HITE
Jost led the American migation away from the Atlantic coast & settled southward in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Many thousands of people followed him up against the mountains.

Born in Bonfeld, Heilbronn, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany.

Son of Anna Magdelena and Johannes Heydt.
Husband of Anna Maria Merckle.
Father of the following children:

Anna Maria Hite (died young)
Maria Barbara Hite (died young)
Elizabeth "Mary" Hite (m George Bowman)
Elizabeth Hite (m John Paul Froman)
Magdalena Hite (m Jacob Chrisman)
John Hite (m Sarah Eltinge)
Jacob Hite (m1 Catherine O'Bannon m2 Frances Madison Beale)
Isaac Hite (m Alida Eleanor Eltinge)
Joseph Hite (m Elizabeth VanMeter)
Abraham Hite (m Rebecca VanMeter)

Jost's family immigrated first to New York state, then moved to Pennsylvania. As a land speculator, was an early and major influence in opening up the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia to settlement. Many thousands of people followed him up against the mountains.

"Jost died at age 75 in 1761. It is believed he is buried in the plot on the north end of the Opequon Memorial Churchyard, near Kernstown, Virginia. There is no grave marker. Jost's will was proved on the 7th of May. " [From "Hite Family Homesteads: Neckar to Shenandoah, Revised Ed., written and edited by Elizabeth Madison Coles Umstattd.]
Born in Alsace, Germany. Married Anna Maria Du Bois about 1708, Alsace, Germany. Died 1760 Frederick Co., Virginia. A native of Germany he came from Strasburg in 1710 to Kingston, New York. In 1715, he moved to Germantown. In 1731 he became one of the first settlers of the Shenandoah Valley. He was honest and taciturn, was a leader of men, possessing good judgment, fine executive ability, an indominable will. He feared no man and had great energy. This above was written in the family record. His wife, died in 1736.Johann Host Heydt was baptized in Bonfield, just west of Bad Wimpfen, Germany. His father was a butcher, Johannes Heydt. source: "The Palatine Families of New York, 1710" Vol. I pp.353-55. 1985 by Henry Z. Jones.

Research of descendant, Deborah Shelton Wood, 1997.

Twelve of his grandsons fought in the Revolutionary War.

Source: A.D. Smith's, "Smith Family History", Pub: Positive Gain Enterprises.

I personally believe that Jost Hite's second wife married Nov 1741 was Maria Magdalena HERR.

Born 5 Dec 1685 in Bonfield, Kraichgau, at the northern tip of Baden, d. 1761

Hite family cemetery on "Long Meadow " Farm, located at
1642 Long Meadow W. Rd, Middletown, Virginia
Cemetery started in 1739. unmarked graves of Jost and Anna Marie Hite

note: Bonfeld, Germany is now part of the city Bad Rappenau, at the eastern edge of the Kraichgau. Many of the records about Hans Jost Hite were from Kraichgau.

1745: Naturalization in Williamsburg, Virginia. It is stated that he was a native of Worms

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. It is known that part of that land was deeded to Isaac VanMeter by the Virginia governor in 1730; so I am assuming that VanMeter preceeded Hite by two or more years as the first white, although VanMeter never lived there. Later on Hite purchased the VanMeter land grants after Lord Fairfax challenged his ownership. The Fairfaxes had been given by the King of England a large portion of land whose boundaries were not well defined. 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]. From the

Belle Grove, home of Jost Hite's son, Isaac and Isaac's wife, Nelly. Nelly was sister of President James Madison.During the Civil War, Belle Grove was at the center of the decisive Battle of Cedar Creek. Today, the plantation includes the main house and gardens, original outbuildings, a classic barn, an overseer's house, the slave cemetery, a heritage apple orchard, fields and meadows, and scenic mountain views. From "National Trust for Historic Preservation".

He was a linen weaver when he married Anna Maria Merkle.

It is said that he and his family sailed to America on his own ships, The Brigantine Swift and Schooner Friendship. Other accounts show that Jost Heydt came with his stepmother, Maria on the ship, "Hartwell" to New York after fleeing their homeland as German Protestants, first to England in 1709. Later, he owned the Brigatine Swift and Schooner Friendship.

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. His name appears on a petition in 1728 asking the Colony of Pennsylvania to help fend of Indian attacks. By 1731, he and fifteen other families moved to Shenandoah VA. He and his second wife are probably buried at the original Lutheran Church in Winchester, Virginia.

Hans Jost Hite

moved and acquired a place in Perkiomen, Chester, PA. In the late 1800s, PA Governor Pennypacker purchased and added upon Hite's dwelling. Its within a short driving distance of Valley Forge. One may tour the home. The kitchen and dining room part of the existing house was Jost Hite's.

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.

"1732 - German immigrant Joist Hite brings 16 families to Frederick County and settles along Opequon Creek."

source: The Winchester Star newspaper, Millenium Legacy, Jan 1 2000.

"Our Church Planted by Early Settlers"

The exact date of the organization of the Lutheran Church in Strasburg is not known. However, there was a church building in the village as early as 1747, which was apparently used by both the Lutheran and Reformed congregations. The area was sparsely settled at that early date and neither denomination could support a resident minister. Joist Hite had brought the first settler, consisting of 16 families, into the lower Shenandoah Valley just fifteen years earlier in 1732, so it is safe to say that our church came with the first settlers. Rev. John Casper Stoever, Jr., of this area, baptized sixteen grandchildren of Joist Hite during his nine annual journeys (1734-42) into the then Valley wilderness. At present there are a number of substantial homes in this area which were built by the sons, sons-in-law and grandsons of Joist Hite: Springdale north of Stephens City, Long Meadows and Belle Grove just east and north of Strasburg. Three of Jost Hite’s daughters and sons-in-law also lived nearby: the Fromans at Marlboro, the Crismans at Valcluse, and the famous Bowman family at Harmony Hall on Cedar Creek just east of Strasburg. So it is not surprising that here were sixteen Hite grandchildren to be baptized by the Rev. Mr. Stoever." From : "HISTORICAL SKETCH OF ST. PAUL’S LUTHERAN CHURCH STRASBURG, VIRGINIA".

Dispute over the land which Jost Hite settled: Jost Hite vs.Thomas Lord Fairfax in 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.

Bio by: Carol STEVENS

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  • Created by: Jonathan Coulter
  • Added: 12 Apr 2006
  • Find a Grave Memorial 13929994
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Hans Jost Hite (5 Dec 1685–17 May 1761), Find a Grave Memorial ID 13929994, citing Old Opequon Cemetery, Kernstown, Frederick County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Jonathan Coulter (contributor 46788180) .