Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History & Culture Enduring Connections: Exploring Delmarva's Black History

Record Detail

Record #46 from Free Black Families of Colonial Delmarva (abstracted by Paul Heinegg)

State Virginia
County (Primary) Accomack
Other Counties Northampton, Sussex
Family Name Hitchens
Family History Notes 1. Jarret1 Hitchens, born say 1675, received an Accomack County deed of gift from his parents Edward and Elizabeth Hitchens on 19 September 1692 for 170 acres which his father had patented on 9 October 1672 [DW&c, 1682-97, 250]. Jarret made a 13 November 1708 Accomack County will, proved 1 February 1708/9, by which he left his son Major the 170 acres where he was then living, gave daughter Abigail Hitchens a cow, gave daughter Rosanna Hitchens a cow when she reached the age of 16, and gave his son Edward a bed that he had with Edward?s mother Mary when Edward reached the age of 21, and 2 iron pots after his mother Mary?s death [Wills &c 1692-1715, 466a]. He was the father of 2 i. Major1, born say 1686. ii. Abigail, born say 1688. 3 iii. Edward1, born say 1692. iv. Rosanna, born say 1698, perhaps identical to Anne Hutchins who was taxable in the Northampton County household of Major Hitchens in 1733. The Northampton County court presented her for bastard bearing on 8 November 1737. Major Hitchens paid her fine [Orders 1732-42, 284, 291]. 2. Major1 Hitchens, born say 1686, was living in Accomack County on 1 April 1718 when he sold the 170 acres which he received by his father's will for 10,800 pounds of tobacco, noting in the deed that it was land that his father Jarret received by deed of gift from his Major's grandfather Edward Hitchens on 19 September 1692 [DW 1715-29, 41]. He was head of a Northampton County, Virginia household of four tithables in 1733 and 1744 and head of a household of 4 free tithables and 2 slaves, Nan and Sue, from 1737 to 1744 [Bell, Northampton County Tithables, 232, 237, 262, 274, 280, 312, 325, 330, 362]: Master of family tithable names nubr. Major Hitchens : Tamar, Edward and Anne Hutchins nann & Sue negros 6 On 12 May 1747 the Northampton County court presented him for intermarrying or cohabiting with a "mulatoe" woman and presented Siner Bennett alias Hitchens for cohabiting with Major Hitchens, a "mulatoe man." The King's attorney discontinued the suit against Major on 10 June 1747 and discontinued the suit against Siner on 9 September 1747 [Orders 1742-8, 402-3, 422, 429, 445, 457]. He died before 20 December 1766 when Tamer Hitchens presented his inventory in Worcester County court. Edward Hitchens and Peter Dolbee were nearest of kin [Prerogative Inventories 91:135-6]. By his 10 November 1765 Worcester County will, proved 18 June 1766, he left his wife Tamer the use of his land which was then to descend to his son Edmond(?), and named sons Edward, Major, Edmond and Jard [Jones, Worcester County Wills, JW-3, 1759-1769, 36]. He was the father of i. James, born say 1722, tithable in Major's household in 1738 and 1743. ii. Major 2, Jr., born say 1724, tithable in Major's household in 1740 and 1741 and in Edward Hitchen's household in 1743. He was listed in the Muster Roll of Recruits to the Delaware Regiment at the Port of Christiana Bridge on 20 June 1781 with Caleb Hitchens, Peter Beckett, Levin Magee, Presley/ Preston Hutt, George Lehea (a slave) and David Hanser in an undated list of the 1st Delaware Company. Major and Caleb were paid for their services [NARA, M246, roll 30, frame 283 of 532, roll 31, frame 495 of 658; Delaware Archives, I:135]. iii. Jared2, born say 1726, tithable in Major's household in 1743 and 1744. He was called Garret Hitchens, a "mulato," on 12 May 1747 when the court presented Mary Filby for intermarrying and cohabiting with him. The case was dismissed by the King's attorney on 12 August 1747 [Orders 1742-8, 402-3, 429, 444]. He was taxable in Broad Creek Hundred, Sussex County, Delaware, in 1777. iv. Edmund. 3. Edward1 Hitchens, born say 1692, was tithable in Major Hitchens's Northampton County household in 1737. He married a white woman named Tamer Smith before 10 October 1738 when the sheriff was ordered to take her into custody, keep her in the county jail for six months without bail, and to discharge her after she paid a fine of ?10 as punishment for marrying Edward Hitchens, a "Mulatto man" [Orders 1732-42, 334; Deal, Race and Class, 216]. On 1 January 1773 he sold for ?90 (signing) 200 acres of a 215 acre tract called "Hitchens Choice" in Worcester County near Indian River which was land he received by patent of 22 August 1762 and on the same day sold another 50 acres of Hitchens Choice for ?15 [DB I:209-11]. He was taxable in Broad Creek Hundred, Sussex County, in 1777 and also listed that year in Baltimore Hundred. He was probably the father of i. Edward2, Jr., taxable in Baltimore Hundred, Sussex County in 1777, listed in Captain William Peery's muster raised to guard the Town of Lewes and the coast of the Delaware Bay, enlisted on 6 May 1777 [NARA, M246, roll 31, frame 322 of 653]. ii. Isaac, taxable in Baltimore Hundred, Sussex County in 1777. And they were likely the ancestors of i. Milly, born 1776-1794, head of a Dagsboro Hundred, Sussex County household of 6 "free colored" in 1820 [DE:388]. ii. Eli, born 1776-1794, married Hester Jackson on 9 September 1802 in Sussex County, and was head of a Dagsboro Hundred, Sussex County household of 9 "free colored" in 1820 [DE:378].
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[Author (if known)], Free Black Families of Colonial Delmarva (abstracted by Paul Heinegg), [Date (if known)], Enduring Connections: Exploring Delmarva’s Black History, Nabb Research Center, Salisbury University.

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