Capt. Joshua Hitch
Mary (Polly) Wilkey
Jireh Swift
Elizabeth Hathaway
Henry Hiram Hitch
Elizabeth Hathaway Swift

Henry Forster Hitch


Family Links

1. Elizabeth Hathaway Delano

Henry Forster Hitch

  • Born: 10 Jan 1835, Fairhaven, Bristol Co., MA 1 2
  • Marriage (1): Elizabeth Hathaway Delano on 23 Oct 1862 1
  • Died: 10 Oct 1913, Alstead Center, Cheshire Co., NH 1 3


From "A Hitch Orchard", 1931: "Henry Forster Hitch was born in Fairhaven, MA. Married in New Bedford, MA. and died in Alstead Center, NH. He was of Massachusetts, Brazil, New York and South Orange, NJ. Henry Forster Hitch was the only son of Capt. Henry Hitch and Elizabeth N. Swift. He was born in Fairhaven, MA. in 1835. He was educated at Stephen M. Weld's School, Jamaica Plains, MA. and began his business career as a clerk in the dry goods commission house of Wright and Witman, Boston, MA. From there he went to Pernambuco, Brazil in 1854 and entered his late father's firm (Henry Forster & Co.) of which he became a partner in 1857, remaining there permanently until 1861.

He then came to New York and established the house of H.H. Swift and Co. He has continued his connection with this old firm for more than forty years going back and forth as occasion requires. He has largely increased the trade between Brazil and the U.S. introducing many new articles of commerce. He was the first to introduce kerosene into Brazil and for many years his firm was the largest exporters of sugar and importers of American flour.

He was acting American Consul of Pernumbuco for some time and became very popular with the people, his own place being the headquarters of the Americans. In 1865 he assisted in obtaining a subsidy for, and in establishing the first line of American steamers between Brazil and the U.S. which continued for twenty five years, his firm acting as agents. Mr. Hitch has also been connected with the internal improvements in Brazil. His firm assisted in Pernumbuco.

He became a resident of that part of South Orange known as Montrose in 1876 (1871) and after renting for a time he bought of Mr. Vose a plot of nearly three acres on Irving Ave., corner of Scotland St. (Note: For about $9000. His son sold the same several years later for $40,000). He enlarged the home and made many improvements.

He interested himself in public affairs and worked with his neighbors to build up the locality. He was elected village trustee. He assisted in founding the free public library, and was its first treasurer. He was instrumental in starting the First Unitarian Church of Orange and has been president of the Board of Trustees since its organization. His connection with the New England Society began in 1872 when the society was in its infancy and from that time to the present has been among the most earnest of its workers' members and always in full sympathy with its objects. He served as Vice President from 1889 to 1891 and was elected President in 1892. He was a member of the special committee appointed in 1888 to take suitable action to compel the E.L. & W. R.R. to furnish better accommodations to the traveling people of Orange, resulting in withdrawing of over four hundred commuters from the road who transferred their patronage to Erie R.R.

The work assigned him on that committee was finished by another member as he was obliged in the in the interim to leave home to attend to his business in Brazil. He was in full sympathy, however, with the committee and endorsed its action. Mr. Hitch has filled a prominent part in social affairs for years, also of the Orange Athletic Club and was one of its first Board of Directors.

He is a member of the South Orange Field Club, Essex Country Club and other local organizations. He was one of the early members of the Union League Club of New York and a member of Executive Committee. He was also one of the first subscribers of the Down Town Club of New York.

Elizabeth H. Delano was a very beautiful woman. She was born in New Bedford, MA. She was the daughter of Capt. Joseph C. and Sylvia (Swift) Delano of New Bedford, MA., a descendant of Phillippi De La Noye, a French Protestant (born 1602-3) baptized in Walloon Church Dec 7, 1603 who joined the English at Lyden when they were about to start for America and was allowed to come with them in the second vessel, The Fortune, which arrived in Plymouth Nov. 9, 1621.

He was made freemason 1632, and moved to Duxbury, had forty acres of land there in 1637 and eight hundred in Dartmouth. He was the son of Jean De Lanney, a French Huguenot, expelled with his wife from France on account of his religion. He married first in 1634 to Hester Dewsbury; married second to Mary, daughter of William Pontus.

Mrs. Hitch (nee Delano) traces her descent from Phillippi De La Noye through Jonathon, the fourth son born in 1648; Thomas born in 1704, married Jane Peckman; Ephrain born in 1733 , married Elizabeth Cushman; Allerton born in 1767, married Sarah Clemment; Joseph C., married first Alice R. Rowland, second, Sylvia Swift.""

Paraphrased Obituary: Henry F. Hitch, former village President of South Orange, NJ, died last night at his home in Alstead, NH. He was 79 and born in Fairhaven, MA. He went into the South American exporting trade, later becoming head of the firm Henry Foster & Co., which has plantations at Pernambuco, Brazil. He moved to South Orange 45 years ago. Mr. Hitch is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters. ("New York Times," October 12, 1913, page 15, col. 3).

Henry married Elizabeth Hathaway Delano, daughter of Joseph C. Delano and Sylvia Swift, on 23 Oct 1862.1 (Elizabeth Hathaway Delano was born on 13 Sep 1839 in New Bedford, Bristol Co., MA 1 and died on 26 Mar 1916 1.)


1 "A Hitch Orchard", by Daisy Hitch, 1931.

2 1850 MA Census, Listed as age 15 in the 1850 Roxbury, Norfolk Co., MA Census, born in MA.

3 New York Times Obituary for October 12, 1913.

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