arrow arrow
Capt. Samuel Hitch
Lydia Allen
Capt. Joshua Hitch
Mary (Polly) Wilkey

Henry Hiram Hitch


Family Links

1. Elizabeth Hathaway Swift

2. Nancy F. Swift

Henry Hiram Hitch

  • Born: 1805, Bristol Co., MA 3 4 5
  • Marriage (1): Elizabeth Hathaway Swift on 05 Jun 1829 in New Bedford, Bristol Co., MA 1 2
  • Marriage (2): Nancy F. Swift on 03 Feb 1846 in New Bedford, Bristol Co., MA 1
  • Died: 1847, Pernambuco, Brazil


From the book, The Founders and Builders of the Oranges, we find the following: "Henry Hiram Hitch son of Capt. Joshua and Mary Wilkey Hitch was born in Fairhaven Mass 1805. He went out to Pernambuco Brazil when a young man where he was engaged as clerk in commission house. He was living there at the time Lord Cochran bombarded and captured the city 1824. He subsequently sailed as supercargo of a vessel and rose to the position of captain. In 1835 he formed a copartnership with his brother in law Henry Forster and established a large trade Pernambuco and the United States. He was well and favorably known in the shipping trade He at his home in Brazil in 1847. He married Elizabeth daughter of Jireh Swift of New Bedford Mass."

From "A Hitch Orchard", Daisy Hitch Davies, 1931: "Both Henry Hiram Hitch and his first wife died in Brazil. He in Pernumbuco and she in Pesqueira. His second wife married again, Franklin Billings, and has a son who in 1930 was very prominent in Vermont. Henry Hiram Hitch, son of Capt. Joshua and Mary (Wilkey) Hitch was born in Fairhaven, MA in 1805. He went to Pernambuco, Brazil when a young man where he was engaged as a clerk in a commission house. He was living there at the time Lord Cochran bombarded and captured the city in 1824. He subsequently sailed as super cargo of a vessel and rose to the position of Captain. In 1836, he formed a co-partnership with his brother-in-law, Henry Forster, and established a large trade between Pernumbuco and the U.S. He was well and favorably known in the shipping trade. He died in his home in Brazil in 1847. He married Elizabeth daughter of Jireh Swift of New Bedford, MA. She was born in Acushnet, MA. which is not far from New Bedford." (See Munsell)

Here is an E-Mail I received from L. Reynolds LeVally on April 7, 2000: ------------ The saga continues! Mike, this speaks to the descendants of Henry Hiram Hitch, specifically

Jack Whiting writes: "We have a picture taken on the occasion of E.J. Hitch's wedding in Orange NJ on 3-3-1908 which includes most of the family on the porch of the house. 13 persons in all including my wife's grandfather, L. H. H. Johnson, who married Henry's sister." (Jack is sending me a copy of this photo, which I'll scan and send to you. -Ren)

May Lewton, granddaughter of Henry Forster Hitch, writes: In a letter written by Henry Forster Hitch from Brazil on August 22, 1893 to (daughter) Elizabeth Johnson Hitch, he said "This is the anniversary of the birthday of your dear Aunt Lizzie, for whom you were named, she was a dear lovely woman and such a good loving sister to me and I will be so much gratified if you grow up to be like her in all things, her death was such a very great loss to us all as well as to her children." In Elizabeth's mother's (Elizabeth Delano Hitch) diary written on the day of Elizabeth and Garrat's (Van Wagenen) wedding she wrote, "Harry and Leila Johnson stayed overnight." I believe Harry Johnson was married to Henry's sister Elizabeth, and after she died he remarried. This would explain Elizabeth's middle name of Johnson..

Katherine Larsen, 2nd great granddaughter of Henry F. Hitch, writes: -----Original Message----- [] Sent:Friday, April 07, 2000 5:34 PM Subject:Henry F. Hitch

Dear Cousin Ren, Thanks for the e-mail. Unfortunately, I think that some of your information is a bit off from what I have found. I spent a certain amount of time trying to find out about the Hitch family and who exactly I was related to. I have not yet found all the answers, but this much I feel quite certain of. Henry Hyrum Hitch married Elizabeth Hathaway Swift on June 21, 1830. They had two children Henry Forster Hitch born January 10, 1835 in Fairhaven, Mass. and Elizabeth Swift Hitch born August 22, 1837 in Pernambuco, Brazil. The birth of Elizabeth was arrived at by putting together several bits of information. The first was the letter that I sent Aunt May a copy of. The second is the 1850 Massachusetts Census where an Elizabeth S. Hitch age 13 and born in Brazil (1837) is visiting a Charles Sedgwick in Lenox, Mass. There is also the fact Elizabeth Hathaway Swift died on August 31, 1838 in Pernambuco, Brazil and was buried in the British Cemetery there on September 1st. If the person who gave the information for the census didn't know exactly how old Elizabeth was and she was going to turn 13 instead of already being 13, then I would guess that her mother died of complications following her birth. But I think that I can state for sure that Elizabeth (Swift) was the mother of Elizabeth (Hitch) and not Nancy (Swift). Henry H. Hitch married Elizabeth's younger sister Nancy on February 3, 1846. He died sometime prior to September 15, 1848 leaving behind two minor children. The guardianship of Henry went to Jireh Swift Jr., brother of Nancy and Elizabeth. The guardianship of Elizabeth went to Nancy. This would not have been necessary if Elizabeth had been the daughter of Nancy. Also, I don't think that there was a child born to Nancy and Henry because his estate is only probated for Nancy and 2 wards. In 1995, I asked Lisa (granddaughter of Henry F. Hitch) about the middle names of Johnson and Forster. This is the reply that was sent back by Beppy (great granddaughter of Henry F. Hitch). "Lisa says that Harriet Johnson was an old maid cousin of Mum's (Elizabeth J. Hitch). Her sister Elise Johnson was Lisa's god-mother. She remembers that Harriet did brass rubbings from tomb stones and Elise was a great baseball fan. They had several very handsome brothers whom Mum had many good times with. The name Forster was taken from a family friend or business associate." This last is true as both Henry Hyrum and Henry Forster worked for (Henry) Forster and Co. which had offices in New York and Brazil. If Elizabeth Swift Hitch did marry a Johnson, it would make sense as the families were friends as they were with the Forsters and Swifts. If you have any dates or places for this marriage and the subsequent children, I would be happy to check them out. Sincerely, Katherine Larsen ----- Best regards, Ren

Ren Levally also gave me a copy of a letter written by Henry Hiram Hitch to his sister-in-law Sylvia (Swift) Delano in 1844 from Brazil. I have transcribed it as follows:

Morro de Canto 5 August 1844

My dear sister Sylvia will be someday ________ed to know in what corner of the continent I am now scribbling when she shall first break the seal of this note as I dare say she had never before heard of the "Morro De Conto" well as she is versed in matters geographical - but I must take up the thread of my story where I hath dropped it or rather broke it off - a few days before I left Pernambuco I forwarded a long dry epistle to Liverpool announcing my intention of making a voyage to Rio during the dull months of July & August accordingly I sailed for the said Port the 6th of the first named month on board the American Brig Janet & on the 21st found myself comfortably established at "No. 12" Hotel Pharoux where I awaited the arrival of my comrade? (contact?) Mr. Ernest Schianum? who being under the necessity of taking Bahia in his way in Rio had taken passage on the Steamer and did not reach the Capital until the 25th after delivering the both of introductory letters with which our friends had favored us & falicously(?) enduring(?) the infliction of some half a dozen cu______ dinner parties &c. we made our agreements to plunge into the mountains writing to Mr. George March who owns the estate where I am now luxuriating to send down the necessary saddle & Baggage Mules, Guide &c to carry(?) us to visit his again(?) - On the 1st Aug, we embarked on the steamer for Pudade(?) a little village on the northern shore of the magnificent Bay of Rio de Janiero (about 20 miles distant from the city) where we landed at 3 o'clock in the afternoon and found a Guide, three fine mules & a very friendly note from Mr March requesting us to have our baggage at Pudade to be forwarded by a Troop of cargo mules which would follow us on the following morning -- the first important matter was to dine which we did on the contents of a Box brought from Madame Pharoux which on examination furnished us a cold fowl several slices of cold Ham, Bread, a dessertion? and a bottle of Brown Stout all of which disappeared with remarkable rapidity - At 4 o'clock their behold us in the saddle the Guide a young negro resorcing(?) in the name of Lucio & who looked as sharp as a steel trap leading the way & the mules pricking up their long ears following at that easy, semi-ambling, trot for which they are remarkable - a league from Pudade we passed through the village of Mase' situated on a little river supplying into the bay where most of the coffee produced in the neighbourhood is embarked for Rio - on we march over a country clothed in vegetation & but sparsely inhabited the road winding around the bases of Hills that in almost any other country would be considered very respectable mountains & meeting occasionally long lines of mules going down to Pudade passing others encamped upon some open com_____ near the road the drivers with their casars(?), Pack saddles &c comfortably bivouacked cooking their supplies while the mules were as assiduously(?) employed in taking theirs from the short rich grass around ---- At 8 o clock in the evening we reached Fresahal at the foot of the mountains & found Senor Castano the keeper of the little Inn ready to receive us, the Guide having informed him when going down of our intention of quartering with him for the night - a ride of 18 miles was no bad introduction to a fricasseed fowl, "canja de arros" (a kind of rice soup) is which he set before us and to which we did infinite honor - at 10 I threw myself upon an apology for a bed & there was an hiatus in my adventures until Senor Castano made his appearance canole(?) in hand, night cap on head at past 4 next morning - in a few minutes we had made our toils were booted & sp____ by sipping our coffee - the mules were munching their corn while Lucio wrapped in his Poncho was saddling them & preparing for attack? - as soon as it was light enough to distinguish the road we were enroute & began to ascend gradually the lower ranges of the Organ? Mountains - I should in vain attempt adequately to describe to you the scenery that is presented to me during the transit from Frischal to Terra de Conto only about 10 or 12 English miles but which took us between 3 & 4 hours to accomplish the road is merely a bridle path & only functionable? for mules indeed in some places it is so excessively precipitous that even they can scarcely keep their footing. at others it passes on the verge of precipices where one may look perpendicularly down upon objects a thousand feet below while the mountains on the other side rises several thousand feet above our head - then again is crosses a furious mountain ___ly on a slight wooden bridge some 10 feet wide innocent of parapet or railing, & to induce ones neck across which it would apparently be well worth 99 % a there is Sow____ in reality no danger with a quick & well broken mule for this animal is so sure footed & so well acquainted with the mountain roads that accidents rarely or ever occur - At a little after 9 o clock we reached the Farienda of Mr. March where we met a hearty welcome to a most excellent breakfast - but enough for this time. I have conducted you to a sonnet(?) in the mountains 3200 feet above the sea where I will leave you for this morning - adieu.

- Tuesday 6 Aug. You may judge how coal (sic) it is here when I tell you that the Thermometer was standing at 49 of Farenheit when I put my nose out of here yesterday morning & my fingers feel very much as they used to do in November at home - but to return to the "Terra de Conto" ----- Mr. George March the proprietor of this Farienda or estate is an Englishman who came to Rio in 1808 when the Porto of Bravard(?) was first opened to foreign commerce on the removal of the Portuguese Royal family from Lisbon to this country - he was for many years one of the first merchants in the first city of Portuguese America was subsequently unfortunate like many others of his commercial brethren & finally purchasing a large tract of land returned from the viscissitudes of merchantile life to become a farmer in the Organ? Mountains - his estate only covered 64 square miles of mountain & valley, forest & glade - he has about 120 llama some 200 head of horned cattle nearly 100 Brood mares & Horses, mules and sheep, goats, swine be almost innumerable - the profit from his farm is drawn from the sale of horses & mules to the breeding of wich he pays much attention - he had also a considerable tract of land under cultivation from which he supplies the market of Rio with Potatoes, cauliflowers, apples, peaches, turnips, carrots and other products of the Temperate latitudes which grow freely at this altitude though they are unknown near the sea - What pleasure it would give me dear sister could you & Joseph drop? in upon me just now & help me to enjoy this delicious climate & _____ scenery. There the botanical treasures on which I am continually stumbling, beautiful flowering shrubs & parasitical plants to which my ignorance will not allow me to give a name even, but to you they would be I dare say most interesting --- Yesterday or rather the day before I rode down 24 miles over hills & across dells, through stream & wood to a cascade at the extremity of the estate - the waterfall was no great thing but the scenery around it was wild & romantic in a ____ again & richly repaid us for the trouble of getting at it - we went also to a coffee estate & tomorrow or next day I intend to climb the highest peak of the organs which by the way, is close to us & rides nearly 4000 feet above the spot where I am now writing or somewhat over 7000 feet higher than the sea - but enough for addition the second So good morning dear Sibby, my mule is saddled & I am off for a scamper - Thursday 8th. Yesterday we were hunting the Auta (?) or Tapir all day but without success and I returned to dinner at 6 o'clock tired to the bone to this town by the Bamboo Jungles I had threaded (?) hungry as a wolf my mule knocked up and your brother somewhat mortified at his ill luck - today the weather is beautiful the air cool and bracing, heavens quittles of a cloud and all things bright and cheering - the Blacks have just brought in two Jacous (a species of wild Turkey) and I shall take my gun by & by & try if I can mend yesterday's failure - tomorrow we intend to commence the ascent of the mountain in the hope of getting down by dusk although our host assures us that we shall be obliged to sleep in the hill side in the event of our reaching the highest point. This would not be altogether agreeable with the thermometer at 35 or 40 as it will be at that altitude but with a plenty of cloaks & blankets may be endured however I doubt whether my companion on voyage will consent to sharing so airy a bedroom. "nous venous" - On Sunday we contemplate starting from Morro Comado (where there is a Swiss settlement) this will occupy two days as the road through the mountains is said to be much worse than that from Pudade here - quite unmed____ly by the way for a more diabolical pathway dignified with the little(?) of road I had never before seen - from Mono Camado or rather Quermado for that is the correct orthography to Jampaco a point on the Bay where we contemplate embarking again for Rio is about 70 miles & will also occupy two days. On the 16th or 17th of the current month we shall probably be once more snugly located at No. 45 Hotel Pharoux in readiness to take the first steamer for the North as I shall by that time be anxious to turn my face homeward -- I send this note to Rio the day after tomorrow to be forwarded by the first conveyance for the U.S. & shall not probably you Sibby ship, again until after my arrival at Pernambuco - in the meantime please kiss my Harry & Lizzy for their Father, Bettie & Joseph Junior, Ellen & Willie for their uncle - Nannie ReRe(?) & Ha____(?) for their Brother all and sundry their kisses I will duly return you when we shall next meet - Love to our dear parents & Brothers remembrances to all ---- Adieu for this time my own dear sister may Heaven pleasure & make you happy - Your Affectionate Brother,

P.S. I had almost forgotten to tell you that I am much better than when I left Pernambuco & more if not for an occasional slight palpitation should be perfectly well - this will go off in time I dare say - H.

Henry married Elizabeth Hathaway Swift, daughter of Jireh Swift and Elizabeth Hathaway, on 05 Jun 1829 in New Bedford, Bristol Co., MA.1 2 (Elizabeth Hathaway Swift was born on 09 Aug 1806 in Acushnet, Bristol Co., MA, died on 31 Aug 1838 in Pernambuco, Brazil 6 7 and was buried on 01 Sep 1838 in British Cemetery, Pernambuco, Brazil 7.)

Henry next married Nancy F. Swift, daughter of Jireh Swift and Elizabeth Hathaway, on 03 Feb 1846 in New Bedford, Bristol Co., MA.1 (Nancy F. Swift was born between 1823 and 1825 in MA 8 9.)


1 New Bedford, Bristol Co., MA Marriages to 1850.

2 MA Vital Records (Library of Congress).

3 Age is listed as 39 on his marriage (2nd) record.

4 1810 MA Census, Listed as under age 10 in the 1810 Bristol Co., MA Census.

5 1820 MA Census, Probably listed under the Samuel Hitch tally as under age 10 in the 1820 Bristol Co., MA Census.

6 Correspondence from Ernest J. Towers, 54 Witchwood Road, South Yarmouth, MA 02664-2911, dated March 11, 2000. Sent copy of pages from the book, "Deaths Recorded in the New Bedford Mercury 1807-1845", Free Public Library, New Bedford, Massachusetts, States, Elizabeth H. Swift, wife of Henry H. Hitch and daughter of Jireh Swift, (died) at Pernambuco, 31 Aug 1838 paper.

7 E-Mail from L. Reynolds LeVally-4/7/2000 (7:41 PM); concerns evidence of Elizabeth Swift Hitch being daughter of Henry Hiram Hitch and Elizabeth Swift (not Nancy Swift).

8 Age is listed as 21 on her marriage record.

9 1850 MA Census, Listed as age 27 in the 1850 Bristol Co., MA Census, born in MA.

Table of Contents | Surnames | Name List

This Web Site was Created 21 Jul 2019 with Legacy 9.0 from Millennia