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Hans "Jost" Hite (1685-1761), Colonial Virginia Land Speculator

This week, WeRelate looks at the Person Page of Hans "Jost" Hite, born 5 December 1685 in Bonfeld, Württemberg, Germany. Jost Hite played a very important role in the development and migration of early Frederick and Augusta County, Virginia. Hite migrated from the area around Kingston, New York to Germantown, Pennsylvania about 1714. He bought his first land in Skippack Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania in 1714 and sometime between 1720 and 1730, Hite built a grist mill and a home near Schwenksville, Pennsylvania. Nearby in the Colony of Virginia, Gov. William Gooch, a native of Scotland, in 1730 began to issue the first grants in the Valley of Virginia (later to be know as the "Shenandoah Valley"), that land that lay between the Blue Ridge Mountains to the eastand the Allegheny Chain to the west. Jost Hite would become one of the first settlers in the Northern Neck, or the Upper Shenandoah Valley.

Sometime probably in the late spring or early summer of 1731 Hite, with three sons-in-law, Jacob Chrisman, George Bowman and Paul Froman and with what was reported as 16 families, began his pioneer trek to the Northern Neck of Virginia, or the upper reaches of the Shenandoah Valley. According to historians, they spent the winter of 1731-1732 at what is now Shepherdstown, West Virginia before going further down to a site near Winchester, Frederick County, Virginia. Much of their trek took followed an old Indian Trail, called the "Monocacy Path", which was used by the first Germans coming out of Pennsylvania into Maryland and continued along the Monocacy Valley to a point South of present Frederick, Maryland, where they crossed through Virginia's Blue Ridge mountains at Crampton's Gap, following the Potomac River into the Shenandoah Valley. Hite's group travelled through extremely rough terrain in what would have been a rigorous journey under the best of conditions. Hite's "Company", including fellow land speculators Robert McKay, Robert Green and William Duff, was responsible for the importation of many early settlers into early Augusta County. They obtained (by order of the Council) several large patents: 1) one tract of 3,060 acres on north branch of Shanando; 2) one tract of 9,860 acres in a hollow of the mountains in the fork of Shanando; 3) one tract of 2,200 acres on north branch of Shanando; 4) one tract of 7,009 acres on south branch of Shanando (which later became known as "Linville's Creek"; 4) one tract of 891 acres on north branch of Shanando; and 5) one tract of 310 acres on south branch of Shanando.

Jost Hite died before 7 May 1761, when his will was proven in Frederick County, Virginia. This Person Page, is a good example of the type of Page that you can add to WeRelate for your ancestors. (learn more...)

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