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Hans Jost Hite (Heydt)

Also Known As: "Hans Jost", "Heydt", "Hiatt", "Hite", "Hans Justus Hite", "Hyatt", "heydt/", "Jost Hite"
Birthplace: Bonfeld (within present Bad Rappenau), Kraichgau (Present Landkreis Heilbronn), Herzogtum Württemberg (Present Baden-Württemberg), Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation (Present Germany)
Death: May 07, 1760 (74)
Shenandoah Valley, (Present Strasburg), (Present Shenandoah County), Province of Virginia, (Present USA)
Place of Burial: Kernstown, Frederick County, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Johannes Heydt, I and Magdalena Maria Anna Heydt
Husband of Unkn Indian Hite; Anna Maria Hite and Anna Magdalena Neuschwanger
Father of Hannah Friend; Kezia Hyatt; Jemima Hite; Child Hite; Anna Barbara Bauman and 17 others
Brother of Maria Magdelena Kettenring; Johann Heydt; Anna Maria Kleeman; Anna Catharina Heydt; Johannes Jeremias Hite and 1 other

Occupation: Yoeman/farmer, land agent for Lord Fairfax
Managed by: Holly Gaye Peterson
Last Updated:

About Jost Hite

CURATOR'S NOTE (Pam Wilson, October 2019): Much has been written about Jost or Joist Hite (born Hans Joist Heydt in 1685 in the part of the Holy Roman Empire that is now Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany), who migrated as part of the German Palatine migration to England and from there to colonial America (New York) c. 1709-10 [see for clarity about the impoverished conditions of most of these immigrants, a far cry from the far-fetched claim of many fabricated Hite genealogies that Jost Hite was a "Baron" from Alsace who sailed his own ships to America in order to settle western Virginia.].

The growing Heydt-Hite family (complete with children as they added their spouses, then grandchildren), first lived in Kingston in New York state, then Pennsylvania (near Germantown on Skippack Creek) and then by 1718 had purchased 600 acres on the Perkiomen River.

Before 1730, Hite heard about a potentially profitable entrepreneurial opportunity being offered by the Governor of Virginia, probably through family connections with the Van Meter family (a Hite son was married to a Van Meter granddaughter). Governor Gooch was seeking resourceful speculators to bring in settlers to the backcountry of Virginia, beyond the Blue Ridge mountains and farther west than any English settlements had been made. This would become Hite's claim to fame. He rallied various business partners and family members to join in this endeavor. He sold his land in Pennsylvania in 1730, and with partner Robert McKay set up a land company and secured patents for 40,000 acres between Opequon Creek and the Shenandoah River from the Van Meter brothers and then another 100,000 from the Virginia Colony, under the conditions of settling one family per thousand acres. He and his family migrated to the northern Shenandoah Valley in 1731.

See for the history of how Governor Gooch of Virginia recruited Jost Hite, the Van Meter brothers, and others as agents to settle the back-country of Virginia beyond the Blue Ridge in order to create a safety buffer against the French and the Indians. Gooch's goal was "to recruit non-English immigrants, and targeted religious and economic refugees who had migrated from Germany, Scotland, and Ireland into Pennsylvania."

"Jost Hite (Joist Heydt) and Robert McKay obtained a separate grant [from the Van Meters] for 100,000 acres on October 31, 1731. Hite had been born at Bonfeld in Kraichgau region, north of Stuttgart, Germany. He was one of 13,000 Protestants who migrated to England in 1709, with the encouragement of Queen Anne. He was part of a second migration of 2,500 to New York in 1710....Jost Hite moved to Perkiomen Creek, Pennsylvania. From there, he and his partner Robert McKay acquired their own land order for a large chunk of Virginia's backcountry from the colonial officials in Williamsburg. ...Following the colonial government's formula, Hite and McKay were entitled to 1,000 acres for each settler. "

"...Hite and McKay negotiated no deal with Native Americans to extinguish their claims to the land. Officials from multiple colonies resolved Native American land rights in the Treaty of Lancaster in 1744, and ultimately through force by displacing the Monacan, Manahoacs, Tutelo, Shawnee, Delaware, Iroquois, Cherokee, and other groups who might have asserted land rights."

"To eliminate confusion and to eliminate competition with settlers surveying lands based on the previous Van Meter grants, Hite purchased the Van Meter's rights for unpatented parcels within the 40,000 acres [between Opequon Creek and Shenandoah River] on August 5, 1731. In 1734, they sold him the parcels they had previously patented, except for some parcels near Shepherdstown where John Van Meter had lived. Hite may have been John Van Meter's cousin or nephew, a relationship that could have facilitated their dealings.10"

"Hite personally migrated to the Shenandoah Valley in 1731. Local tradition holds that he brought 16 German and Scotch-Irish families in the initial settlement caravan. They lived near the Pack Horse Ford crossing over the Potomac River, until completing their houses further south on Opequon Creek."

"Hite's first home was a classic German House, a Flurkuchenhaus (Ernhaus) where a door led directly into Kuche (kitchen) before guests went into Stube. Hite was part of the Opequon Settlement. Peter Stephens settled further south, where he initiated what would develop into Stephens City."

Also intriguing is the legal struggle between the Virginia Colony and Lord Fairfax about ownership of the lands of the lower (northern) Shenandoah Valley, which had been settled under the agency of Hite & Robert McKay but claimed by Lord Fairfax:

"On October 10, 1749, Hite and McKay filed suit to force Lord Fairfax to grant title without requiring resurveys. The Joist Hite et als. v. Fairfax chancery lawsuit would cloud land ownership for over 35 years. James Wood, surveyor for Orange County and then clerk of the court for Frederick County, marked boundaries of properties that became the town of Winchester but could not obtain clear title.19 The General Court in Williamsburg ruled in favor of Hite and his buyers in 1771, but Lord Fairfax still continued legal proceedings. He had won in the Privy Council 25 years earlier, and was not willing to accept the judgment of a colonial court. The Supreme Court of Virginia ruled on May 8, 1786 that the Privy Council ruling was not valid and that Hite was entitled to his 140,000 acres.... The Joist Hite et als. v. Fairfax lawsuit was decided by a Virginia court after the American Revolution, and no Privy Council influence could shape the decision. Hite's rights were upheld by the final court decision, his purchasers and their descendants received clear title to their land, and all of the Fairfax Grant lands that had not been sold already was transferred to the Commonwealth of Virginia."


[Curator's Note: It is not clear who originally wrote the following narrative. Posted most recently by Lee Case (, it seems to be excerpted or adapted from the compilations of Hite family trees included on this site --J.B. Hitt's Worldconnect profile for Jost Hite at -- and *may* be attributable to "Jost Hite by Ralph Conner, 1980 orJoist Hite and Some of His Descendants by M. Frances Cooper 1983."]

Hans Justus Heydt, known later in America as Jost Hite, was born 6 December 1685, the second of the family of eight children of Johann and Magdalena. He was eleven years of age when his stepmother came to live with them.

Jost became a linen weaver, and on 11 November 1704, married Anna Maria Merkel. She was the daughter of a prominent family of the Bonfeld-Wimpfen area. Two children of this marriage, Anna Maria and Maria Barbara, died shortly after birth. The third child, Mary, not listed in the Bonfeld church records, with a birthday of 1708 or 1709, may have been born after the family left for America.

Records of 1709 indicate that the families of Johannes Heydt and his son Jost (Hans Justus), emigrated. It appears that only four family members reached America: Jost, his wife Anna Maria, their baby daughter Mary and Jost's stepmother, Maria. Probably typhoid, severe at the time, accounted for the rest. Entire families were known to be wiped out.

Jost and Anna Maria lived in New York State three or four years, as indicated by the baptism of their next two children at Kingston; Elizabeth and Magdalena. The family then moved to Pennsylvania, near Germantown, now part of the city of Philadelphia, where they bought 150 acres on the Skippack River in 1714. Four years later, on 15 Nov 1718, they purchased 600 acres a few miles up the Perkiomen, for the price of 125 pounds. Here Jost built a grist mill just outside of present day Swenksville. Family tradition says he also bought slaves, which seems likely in view of the size of his property. It must also have been here, while near the Pastorious Colony at Germantown, a Quaker settlement, that Elizabeth met and married Paul Froman, a member of The Society of Friends.

The rest of Jost and Anna Maria's eleven children were: John, Jacob, Isaac, an infant, Abraham and Joseph.

It would seem that by now the Hite family, in possession of considerable property and comfortably situated in a new two-story house with stone walls two feet thick, would be content with their success in the new world. And perhaps they were, even though an Indian attack, repulsed by the local German farmers, occurred close by. But unknown to them, the actions of a traveling Indian trader from the New York area were shaping their future, and drawing the name of Jost Hite into the history of the development of a rich wilderness area 140 miles to the southwest, in the "Northern Neck" of Virginia.

For a number of years, John VanMeter had traveled among the Indian tribes supplying them with a variety of materials in exchange for furs. He was widely known and readily accepted by a number of tribes, living with them and moving among them with apparent ease. During the late 1720's, it is said that he attached himself to a war party of Delawares and accompanied them on an expedition to the south, up the valley of the Shenandoah River, to attack the Catawbas. He was so well impressed with the lower valley area that upon returning he and his brother Isaac obtained a grant from the Colonial Government at Williamsburg for 40,000 acres, 17 June 1730, with the condition that they settle one family per thousand acres on the land within two years.

Word of this venture immediately aroused the interest of Jost Hite and he sought out the VanMeters, acquiring the rights to their grant on August 5, 1731. Not satisfied, he and Robert McKay pursued what appeared to be golden opportunity and on October 31 signed papers at Williamsburg for an additional grant of 100,000 acres, subject to the same conditions of settlement within a two-year period. Then, together with Robert Green and William Duff, they set up land company operations. Just what part McKay played in this enterprise is not entirely clear. Accounts of the settlement of the lower Shenandoah Valley invariably list Hite as the leader of this first permanent settlement west of the Blue Ridge.

Prior to this transaction Jost had disposed of his Pennsylvania property. Jacob Merkle (the name later became Markley), Anna Maria's brother, had arrived from Germany, and the Hites saw fit to release 100 acres of land to him for the legalizing token of five shillings, July 16, 1728. Although it is not indicated here, it seems to have been the custom to lease saleable land to prospective buyers for one year at a very nominal fee such as five shillings, after which actual sale was made. Hite's remaining 500 acres, with the grist mill, were sold to John Pauling for 540 pounds on January 9, 1730. Deeds exist for the various Hite transactions. What prompted these final transactions is not known, but Jost was left in possession of ready money at the opportune time to make the VanMeter purchase.

It is of some interest to note that John Pauling sold the former Hite property to Peter Pennypacker in 1747, and that it has remained in that family. The mill was operated as Pennypacker Mill for many years, finally being extensively damaged by fire in 1898. It was rebuilt the next year as the Red Fox Inn. In 1980 it burned. The original Hite house served as General Washington's headquarters during September and October, 1777, after the Battle of Germantown. It was remodeled, with additions, and is known as the Pennypacker Mansion.

The trip from Pennsylvania to Virginia in 1731 was slow. A passable road over the rough terrain had to be cleared for the wagon train as they went. The Potomac River was crossed a few miles above the mouth of the Shenandoah at Packhorse Ford (later called Mecklenberg, and finally Shepherdstown). They arrived at their destination on Opequon Creek in the fall of 1731.

Prior to the coming of Hite, the valley had been seen by very few white men. A Jesuit priest, a wandering German physician and a British colonel had reported their respective journeys there as 1632, 1669 and 1673. Then came an interesting and only partially believed report from Louis Michel, a Swiss in 1705. He wrote of finding evidence of an ancient Indian tribe at today's site of Winchester, who used huge sacrificial stone altars 60 feet across, and whose warriors stood seen feet tall by actual measurement of their remains. This latter point was to be confirmed by George Washington in excavating for Fort Loudoun in 1755. The valley was penetrated again in 1716, in pinpoint fashion, by Gov. Spottswood with his "Golden Horseshoe" group. He named the river "Euphrates," and claimed all of the land westward "to the River of the Spaniards," the Mississippi, as British territory, an as "Virginia" in particular.

From the Potomac the Shenandoah Valley, the "Valley of Virginia" as it came to be known, stretched nearly 200 miles south, forming about half of the length of a natural passageway to the great Smokey Mountains in the southwest. It served as more of a thoroughfare than as a place of residence for the Indians. The Shawnees had a small cluster of villages around the springs at present day Winchester, from which a well-beaten path led up the length of the valley. It was close beside this trail, five miles south of the Shawnee Springs, that Hite chose to settle. The Valley Turnpike follows much of the old Indian Trail, called by many the "Great Indian Highway." Sections of stone walls thought to be of the house and tavern built by Jost Hite still stand some 30 yards east of the Turnpike, beside the house built by his son, Colonel John Hite.

"Tavern" in that time meant "inn" - a place where travelers could stop overnight with some assured protection. No doubt liquor was kept in supply, but it was considered a social amenity, even by many of the clergy. Tavern keepers of the time were accorded civic courtesy and their children were sought out by educational institutions. They were widely acquainted, an essential link in the news media chain, and usually were more affluent than most. As such they merited respect and were held in high regard. The tavern served as a warm up place for everyone between long morning and afternoon church services in unheated churches. A carefully kept ledger recorded the pints and quarts consumed by saint and sinner alike; hence the origin of "Mind your P's and Q's."

Site locations for the several families, surveying, corner staking and cabin building all had to be done at once. The Hite sons-in-law were permitted to make their own selection of 750 acres each. From the Hite location the Chrismans settled two miles south, the Bowmans about seven, and the Fromans some five miles southwest. Robert McKay, Jr. chose a site at the forks of the river where he set up a saw mill. His father settled about five miles up the south fork of the river. By agreement, a line running from the Shawnee springs to the forks of the river divided the land. McKay was to settle the land east of the line, while Hites' land lay to the west. Hite, as might be expected, set up a grist mill on Opequon Creek a short distance from his house.

The Indians were peaceful at first, but trouble began almost at once with officials at Williamsburg. The Colonial Government, knowing nothing of the territory started making grants to others involving the Hite-McKay land. Jost made at least one trip to Williamsburg in the summer of 1732 to take care of the matter.

But greater trouble, soon to be upon them, stemmed from the fact that King Charles II of England in the middle 1600's had rewarded a prominent Scottish family with a grant of the "Northern Neck" of Virginia. Thomas, sixth Lord Fairfax, Baron of Cameron in Scotland, arrived at Williamsburg in May 1735 to investigate his inheritance, only to find that the Colonial Government had issued settlement grants on his property to Hite and McKay. Finding that settlers had moved onto the land in sufficient numbers to satisfy the conditional grants, and an extension of one year to December of 1735 had been allowed on the larger one, he paid two visits to the home of Jost Hite on the Opequon in 1736 and 1737. These produced no favorable results for him, so he settled himself on a 10,000 acre tract about five miles east of Hite, and proceeded to have his land surveyed. George Washington, aged 16, was one of the surveyors, and a favorite of Lord Fairfax. As such, it was inevitable that he come into contact with the Hite families. His diary records one occasion when he spent the night at the home of Captain John Hite.

There had been no western boundary established for the Fairfax land, and Virginia was considered to extend as far as the Mississippi River. King George II rectified this by a decision on April 16, 1738, establishing a straight line 76 miles long from the head of the Rapidan River to the head of the north fork of the Potomac as the western boundary. This was surveyed in 1746 and became known as the "Fairfax Line". Hite and his associates filed suit in 1749, starting litigation which extended until 1786, and became a classic textbook study in law schools. It was settled in favor of Hite some years after both he and Lord Fairfax were dead.

From the beginning the difficulty of travel made the size of Spottsylvania County much too large for convenience. In 1734, Jost and his fellow settlers petitioned for formation of a new county, to be called Orange. The county was formed, with Jost as one of the magistrates. In the same meeting, James Wood (from Winchester, England) was made surveyor, and he soon set about laying out a town site at the Shawnee Springs. So Frederick Town, later to be called Winchester, was founded. It became the county seat when Frederick County was formed in 1738.

When son John Hite and Sara Eltinge were married in 1737, Jost and Anna Maria turned the house and tavern over to them and moved to a site about a mile east of the Bowmans on land that had been set aside for Isaac, a location later known as "Long Meadows." This is the title chosen by Minnie Hite Moody for her historical novel concerning the family, published in 1941.

Anna Maria died in 1739 and in the fall of 1741, Jost married Maria Magdalena, widow of Christian Nuschwanger. As was often the case, a remarriage of by both parties involved use of a specific agreement drawn up to list not only the material possessions brought into the marriage by each, but their distribution back to the heirs of the two original families after death. When she died is not known. Jost died in 1761 at the age of 75. Family tradition holds that he and Anna Maria (Merkle) were buried at the Opequon church. Grave stones were convenient building blocks during the Revolution as well as the Civil War, both of which raged up and down the valley, so no marker remains.


From the Find A Grave page for Jost Hite:

Birth: Dec. 5, 1685 - Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

Death: May 7, 1760 - Kernstown, Frederick County, Virginia, USA

s/o Anna Magdelena Johannes Heydt

h/o Anna Maria Merckle

Burial: Old Opequon Cemetery, Kernstown, Frederick County, Virginia, USA


------------------------------- [Note: some spelling may be incorrect due to scanning technology]

Mythology and genealogy!

Please note that the first paragraph of this history blog/article (which seems to be copied from Louise Pecquet du Bellet's profile, below) is extremely far-fetched as to the origins of Jost Hite and should not be believed (for instance, saying that he was from Alsace and sailed his own ship, that he was a Baron and that his wife's name was Du Bois):

Louise Pecquet du Bellet, Some Prominent Virginia Families (1907), pp. 332-336


[This paragraph is clearly fantasy} In 1710, Hans Josh Heydt, or Yost Hite, as his name is spelled in English documents dated at the time of his emigration, a native of Alsace, Germany, came from Strasbourg to New York, with his wife, Anna Marie, nee du Bois, and their little girl, Mary. He came in his own ships, Brigantine Swift and Schooner Friendship, bringing with him sixteen (some say more) Dutch and German families, as tenants for lands he expected to settle.

Hite remained in Kingston, New York, until 1715, when he came south to Germantown, Penn. In 1717, we find him on the Schuylkill River, where he bought lands, and in 1720 built a mill at the mouth of Perkiomen Creek, and a dwelling house, which is at present the country home of Gov. Samuel Pennypacker of Pennsylvania, and became a thrifty, enterprising farmer and manufacturer. The mills are now called Pennypacker's Mills.

At this time the Indians, ma(hU'ned by the encroachments of the whites, took revenge by making raids upon the colonists in both Pennsylvania and Maryland, ruthlessly murdering settlers and destroying property. In 1728, a petition signed by Yost Hite and many others, for protection against the Indians was presented to Gov. Gordon of Pennsylvania, who ignored the petition and the atrocities became more frequent and more cruel. Hite became disgusted by the culpable indifference of the government and inaugurated a scheme to re-emigrate to the wilds of the then unknown Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, and in January, 1730, sold his holdings on the Schuylkill and with his family and followers once more turned his footsteps southward.

In 1730, John Van Meter went to Williamsburg and obtained a contract from Gov. Sir William Gooch, for forty thousand acres of land in the Shenandoah Valley, and in 1731 sold this contract to Yost Hite, which sale was afterwards confirmed by Gov. Gooch, and the tract was known as "Hite's Grant."

October 31, 1731, Hite took as partner a young Quaker, named Robert McKoy, and obtained an order of council for one hundred thousand acres of land on the west side of the mountain on condition he would settle one hundred families on it in two years. Afterwards the time for making these settlements was extended to Christmas, 1735.

In the spring of 1731, Yost Hite with sixteen families left York, Pa., and crossed the Potomac River at what was called Parkhorse Ford, afterwards Mecklenburg, now Shepherdstown, and entered the fertile and beautiful, but unexplored Valley of the Shenandoah River. He made his first settlement at ISTew ^lechlenburg, just one hundred and twenty-five years after the first settlement on James River, in 1607. "To Hans Yost Hite, therefore, belongs the honor of having planted the first standard of civilization in the mountainous region of Virginia."

Yost Hite proceeded down the Valley to a place called by the natives and traders, "Red Bud,"' on the Opequon Creek ; there he located his eldest son, John Hite, who built the first colonial stone house in the Valley, just where the turnpike now crosses the creek, and called it "Springdale." These settlements were on the west side of the Shenandoah River, hence were in no county, as Spottsylvania extended only to the river. The counity of Orange was made August, 1734, and "extended to the utmost limits of Virginia," to-wit: "from sea to sea." Hite surveyed the land, marked out farms, and the old records of Orange County show many deeds from him. In June, 1734, an order of council stated, "Yost Hite" had complied with the terms of the grant, and had settled his land with more than the requisite number of families," and directed patents to be issued to him and his assignees, upon the surveys then returned to the secretary's office. This same year, Lord Fairfax, without making any investigation of Hite's claim, entered a general caveat against all orders of councils, deeds, patents, entries, etc., issuing from the crown office, for lands lying in his proprietary and gave Hite preemptory notice to purchase or vacate.

The first of January, 1736, Hite and McKoy had fifty-four families on their one hundred thousand acres of land. Some surveys were made, which were returned to the secretary's office, in due time, but the caveat was served before the patents on the surveys were issued. Lord Fairfax arrived in 1736, and a survey of the Northern Neck was made, by which it appeared part of the contested lands did lie within the boundary of his proprietary. This condition of affairs gave rise to certain petitions made to the governor and council, who confirmed the Fairfax surveys on express condition he establish all the grants made by the crown, and, December 31, 1738, an order was issued to that effect. Lord Fairfax gave his word the deeds should be made to the grantees under the crown, particular mention being made of Hite and his associates, who had threatened to remove to some other part of the country. This promise was to be redeemed, as soon as Lord Fairfax could open his office, thereupon Hite withdrew twenty-seven surveys and fees from the secretary's office, and lodged them with the proprietor for patents, and the claimants remained on the lands. Lord Fairfax opened his land office, and then refused to give the promised patents to Hite and his associates, and even conveyed part of the land to others. Hite and parties now filed a bill against Fairfax and those claiming under him, setting forth all the facts and prayed his Lordship be decreed to make the deeds to the plaintiff's for the surveyed lands, etc., etc. On October 13, 1769, the court decreed that Hite and McKoy were entitled to the lands surveyed before Christmas, 1735, for which patents had been issued before August 11, 1745, and that Fairfax must issue deeds for said lands, and appoint a committee to examine and state a memorial for all such surveys claimed by the plaintiffs, and that his lordship deliver the said commissioners all the original surveys lodged in his office, by Robert Cxreen, Gent., deceased.

Thomas Marshall and other commissioners reported twenty-seven surveys, containing forty-seven thousand two hundred and seventy-eight acres, showing the Van Meter claim more than satisfied. In 1771 there was a final decree, which gave Hite forty thousand of the Van Meter claim and to Hite and McKoy fifty-four thousand acres of the one hundred thousand acres in the order of October 21, 1731. Lord Fairfax appealed to the King in council, but never prosecuted the case. Hite and others appealed from parts of the decree, which confirmed grants made by Fairfax since the commencement of the case. This went to the Court of Appeals of Virginia. Fairfax died in 1781. Gabriel Jones was one of his executors. Randolph argued the case in Appellate Court for Hite et al., Baker for Appellees, John Taylor for Hite et al., Marshall for tenants.

The Appellate court gave Hite all he asked, with rents of the land from January, 1749-50, and costs. Fairfax was a '"Royal pet,'^ and it was almost as daring in Hite to enter suit against him, as it was to go into the wilderness of the Shenandoah Valley to settle, for the influence of Lord Fairfax, with the King and the Colonial government, was quite equal to that of any other man in this country at that time. The suit was delayed fifty years, both contestants were dead, foreign influence was lessened and courts were learning to act independently and according to the merits of the case. (Reference 4 Col. Va. Reports, 42, 83.)

Of Yost Hite's private life there is but little known. He was honest and taciturn, and his public career marks him as a leader among men, possessing good judgment, fine executive ability, and indomitable will. Obstacles only aroused his ardor, and he feared no man; he also must have had large means at his command. His wife, Anna Maria du Bois, was of Huguenot extraction. Among the descendants of her son, Isaac, there is a tradition that at the time of her marriage, neither she nor her bridegroom understood more than a few words of their respective languages. 'Tis said, "Cupid laughs at bars/' but in this instance he laughed at words, for there was no difficulty about the courtship; all went smoothly until the question of a marriage settlement by Yost on his bride arose, then papa du Bois was determined there should he no mistake. They were married in Germany and emigrated in 1710, bringing one little daughter with them. While living at Kingston, New York, the baptism of two others were recorded. Yost Hite made his will in 1757 and died in Frederick Co., Va., in 1760.

Family Record.

Yost Hite died 1760, Anna Maria du Bois died 1736. They were married in Germany. Issue :

  • I. Mary Hite, b. in Germany. Married George Bowman.
  • II. Elizabeth Hite, baptized in Kingston, N. Y., Nov. 4, 1711. Married Paul Froman, of New Jersey.
  • III. Magdelene Hite, baptized in Kingston, N. Y., Sept. 13, 1713. Married Jacob Chinmann.
  • IV. John Hite, d. 1792. Married Zara Eltinge, daughter of Cornelius Eltinge and Rebecca, nee Van Meter.
  • V. Jacob Hite. Married Catherine O'Bannon, in Ireland. She died and he married second, Frances (Madison)
  • Beale, widow of Col. Tavener Beale and daughter of Col. Ambrose Madison and Frances, nee Taylor, of
  • Orange Co., Va.
  • VI. Isaac Hite, b. 1723; d. 1795. Married (1745) Eleanor Eltinge, daughter of Cornelius Eltinge and Rebecca
  • Van Meter.
  • VII. Abraham Hite, b. May 10, 1729 ; d. Jan. 17, 1790. Married (Dec. 3, 1751) Rebecca Van Meter, daughter of
  • Isaac Van Meter and Annetjie, nee Wyncoop, of Hampshire Co., Va.
  • VIII. Joseph Hite, b). 1729. Married Elizabeth . Issue four children, Joseph Hite, Jr., b. 1761, John Hite,
  • William Hite, and Ann Hite.


Credit Findagrave 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 Virginia

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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Jost Hite's Timeline

December 5, 1685
Bonfeld (within present Bad Rappenau), Kraichgau (Present Landkreis Heilbronn), Herzogtum Württemberg (Present Baden-Württemberg), Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation (Present Germany)
December 6, 1685
Bonfeld, Neckar Valley (kraichgau), Wurttenburg
December 6, 1685
Bonfeld, Neckar Valley (K, Wurttenburg
Bucks County, Pennsylvania
June 4, 1705
Bad Rappenau, Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Bonfeld, Heilbronn, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany
February 22, 1706
Bad Rappenau, Stuttgart, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
Bucks County, Pennsylvania