Sylvanus Frederick Hitch
- Born: Abt 1811, New Bedford, Bristol Co., MA 2 3 4 5
- Marriage (1): Ann Apollina Nichols on 23 Feb 1845 in Jones Co., GA 1
- Died: 05 Jun 1880, Homerville, Clinch Co., GA 5 6 7
- Buried: Abt 08 Jun 1880, Blackshear, GA 5
From "A Hitch Orchard" by Daisy Hitch Davies, 1931: Excerpt from a letter dated February 28, 1930, Savannah, Georgia from the Rev. James W. Hitch; "His (referring to Sylvanus F. Hitch) father and mother died when he was a child and he lived with his grandparents until he left them to come south which he did in his early youth. It is quite possible that my grandfather may have been born in Fairhaven as the information that he was born in New Bedford is not at all certain."
Here is an article I wrote for the "Hitch Family Newsletter" in Autumn 1997:
"Sylvanus Hitch of Massachusetts and Georgia (1811-1880)
The following is a biography taken from the book, "Pioneers of Wiregrass Georgia, Volume I, A Biographical Account of Some of the Early Settlers of That Portion of Wiregrass Georgia Embraced in the Original Counties of Irwin, Appling, Wayne, Camden, and Glynn" by Folks Huxford:
SYLVANUS HITCH (1811-1880)
Sylvanus Hitch was born in New Bedford, Mass., in 1811. He came south a young unmarried man, and located at Clinton, Jones County, where he established a merchant tailor business. He was married there Feb. 23, 1845, to Miss Ann A. Nichols, daughter of Hon. Simon W. Nichols of Clinton (but who soon after moved to Clinch County; see Vol. III). She was born in Savannah in 1822. Born to them were seven children, viz:
1. Sylvanus Jr., b. 1846, m. _________ Scholfield 2. Simon Wood, b. 1848, m. Frances Myers, dau. of Rev. Dr. H.P. 3. Margaret, b. 1849, m. Joel L. Sweat 4. Charles F., b. 1855, m. Alice Mattox, dau. of Hiram P. 5. Radford T., b. 1858, m. Dollie C. Colesbury, Apr. 21, 1896 6. Anna, b. 1860, m. John P. Hughes 7. Nannie, b. 1862, m. S.G. Sanders
Mr. Hitch following the example of his wife's father, invested heavily in wild lands in South Georgia, principally in Ware and Clinch counties. He bought the historic Coleraine tract on the St. Marys River in Camden, and moved there in 1855. Mr. Hitch continued living at Coleraine until after the Civil War, when he moved to Homerville in 1865. He bought a tract of about 50 acres in the southeast part of the village of Homerville, and built a comfortable home on it. He retired from all business activities after moving to Homerville, and died there June 5, 1880. His remains were taken to Blackshear by his son, Simon W. Hitch (who at the time was Solicitor-General of the Brunswick Circuit and was living there), and were buried there. Mrs. Hitch died in 1898 and was buried by (sic, beside) her husband.
Mr. and Mrs. Hitch were faithful members of the Methodist Church, and he served a good many years as steward in the church.
Some notes on the family of Sylvanus Hitch are in order. First of all, there is very little doubt that Sylvanus was a grandson of Capt. Samuel Hitch (1740/41-1825), who was in turn a grandson of Adam Hitch (1658/59-1731) through Samuel (1703/09-1750). The trouble is, we are not certain which son of Capt. Samuel is the father of our Sylvanus Hitch. The possibilities focus around two of Capt. Samuel's sons: Sylvanus and Ebenezer Hitch (More is known about his other two sons, Hardy and Joshua, who can be eliminated from consideration). The former was born in about 1785 and the latter circa 1784. Neither one is listed as a head-of-household in the 1820 Census, but this is not that unusual as both were seafaring men and may have been at sea with the rest of their family living with other relatives at the time.
The most recent record I have found of Ebenezer Hitch being alive was when he was married to Sarah White on August 16, 1821. Sylvanus Hitch, on the other hand, shows up only as late as the 1810 Bristol County. Massachusetts Federal Census and for his marriage to Polly Wood on January 4, 1807. Therefore, we cannot establish with certainty at this point that Ebenezer was living after 1821 and Sylvanus after 1810. However, it is most probable that is one of these two gentlemen who is listed in the June 5, 1824 edition of the Columbian Centenial (the old Boston newspaper) as, "Capt. Hitch of the brig Elbe died at sea, lost overboard on passage from New York to Ireland, 14 days out."
Based upon this limited information, I believe that it was Ebenezer who died at sea in 1824 and that Sylvanus Hitch may have died before 1820. I also now believe that Sylvanus Hitch was the father of the Sylvanus of this article. Note that this contradicts my original thoughts about this branch where I had placed Sylvanus as a son of Ebenezer Hitch. In any regard, the question cannot be fully resolved at this point.
We do know much more about the younger Sylvanus' family. Sylvanus F. Hitch was born about 1811 and married Ann Apollina Nichols (daughter of Simon Wood Nichols and Margaret Waver) on February 23, 1845. The couple had the following children:
(1) Sylvanus Hitch Jr. (1845/46-??) married Carrie Scholfield about 1879 (2) Simon Wood Hitch (9/5/1848-9/18/1915) married Frances Alice Myers on 12/3/1874 (3) Margaret Ann Hitch (1849/50-??) married Joel Lee Sweat (4) Charles F. Hitch (6/30/1855-6/30/1894) married Alice Mattox about 1890 (5) Radford T. Hitch (c.1859-aft 1900) married Dollie C. Colesbury on 4/21/1896 (6) Anna Hitch (1860-??) married John P. Hughes (7) Nannie Hitch (1862-??)
I have had the real pleasure of corresponding with two descendants of this line who have provided me with lots of excellent information on this family. They are Simon Herbert Hitch of North Carolina and a grandson of Simon Wood Hitch through his son James Wood Hitch (9/20/1880-10/23/1962) and, Louise (Hitch) Gilchrist of Alabama who is a granddaughter of Simon Wood Hitch through another of his sons, Edward Sylvanus Hitch (11/1884-??). I will write more about this distinguished family in future issues."
In the Federal Census of 1850, Sylvanus Hitch is indicated in Jones County, Georgia (page 181, 47th Division) in a household as follows: - Sylvanus Hitch, age 24 (?), tailor, born in MA - Ann A. Hitch, age 24, born in GA - Sylvanus Hitch, age 4, born in GA - baby Hitch (male), age 2, born in GA - Margaret I. Hitch, age 1, born in GA. In the 1850 Slave Schedule he is shown as owning 6 slaves of various gender and age.
In the Federal Census of 1860, Sylvanus Hitch is indicated in Camden County, Georgia (page 34) in a household as follows: - Sylvanus Hitch, age 44, born in MA - A.A. Hitch (female), age 35, born in GA - S. Hitch Jr. (male), age 14, born in GA - Simon Hitch, age 12, born in GA - M. Hitch (female), age 10, born in GA - Charles Hitch, age 6, born in GA - R. Hitch (male), age 4, born in GA - Ann Hitch, age 6 months, born in GA.
In the Federal Census of 1870, "S. Hitch Sr." is indicated in Clinch County, Georgia (page 142, Homerville P.O.) in a household as follows: - S. Hitch Sr. (male), age 50, born in MA.
Sylvanus married Ann Apollina Nichols, daughter of Simon Wood Nichols and Margaret Waver, on 23 Feb 1845 in Jones Co., GA.1 (Ann Apollina Nichols was born about 1822 in GA,5 8 9 10 died in 1898 in GA 5 7 and was buried in 1898 in Blackshear, GA 5.)