Zachariah, the emigrant ancestor of one branch of the Fitch Families of New England, came to Lynn, MA about 1636. In some records, this man's name and his sons' are spelled "Fitts" and often "Fitz." He is said to have lived in Salem, MA for a short time. It is known that he lived in Lynn a few years. In 1638, he was the owner of 40 acres of land there. About 1640-44 he settled in the South Parish of Reading, now Wakefield, MA where he lived until his death on a fine hill farm still known as Fitch's Hill.
The boundary lines of Lynn and other early towns were not clearly defined. Zachary Fitch with others received grants of land from Lynn which fell within the town of reading when that town was organized. He was admitted freeman in 1638. He was an original member of the church of Reading and a Deacon from 1645 until he died, and a selectman, 1649, 1651, 1661. In the records of Reading he is frequently named, and in the colonial papers of his time the good character of the man is fully confirmed. He wrote the name Zachrie, and his contemporaries frequently wrote it Zachary and Zachery, but the names of his son and of many of his descendants has taken the full form of Zachariah.
The name of his wife was Mary, but a record of the marriage has not been found. It is certain that he was married about the time he emigrated to America and so far as known, the marriage could have been consummated in England or immediately after his arrival in America. He died in Reading June 9, 1662. Mary, his widow, died in Reading on December 25, 1698. Zachary's will is dated May 3, 1662 and was proved June 17, 1662. It is known that his sons Jeremiah and Thomas were merchants in Boston, and as this is the only mention we have of John, it is presumed from the character of the bequest that he had removed from Reading, and possibly was engaged in business.
I Zacrie Fitch Being weake in body but whole in minde and perfit in memory comitting my soule to God and my body to the earth As my last will and testiment do thus disspose of all my worldly Estate as Followeth
First I dew give unto my deare and loving wife mary Fitch dureing hir naturall Life the best on halfe of all my housing within and without and all my orchard and my no homlote both undisposed of with all my housould goodes and two oxen and three cowes with all my Impullemens For Husbandry to hir disposeing duering her life aforesaid with eight akers of medow in the hundered aker medow and nine akers more of medow in the medow called bermedow on the hether side of my medow there Item I give to my sonn Joseph Fith aftr my wifes deses Eighteene poule wide of my lott nex to John Weson with on halfe of my thirty aker lot with Eight akers of medow in Reedimedow and five akers of medow in hundered akers with the on halfe of my medow in the towne medow
Item I give unto Samuele Fitch my sonn my lot at bere hill with all my lot in the First divsident with five akers of medow In the hundred akers and Five akers more in Rock medow with Three akers more next to godman palferyes medow
Item I do give unto Bennimen Fitc my son the on halfe of my therti aker lot with Eight akers of medow in bere medow with halfe my medow in the towne medow Item I do give unto John Fitch my Sonn Thirty pound to be paide him Ten pounds within on yeare after my desese and the Rest of it within to yeare after my wives deses
Item I do give unto Jerimiah Fitch my sonn twenty pounds To be paide within on yeare after my deces ten pound f it And ten pound within on yere after my wives deces Item I dow give to Thomas Fitch my sonn twentie pounds to be so to Also I do make Genjemine Fitch my sonn my hole and sole Exesecutor of this my last will and testament to pay All theese legases and then to take unto him halfe selfe after my wives Deces all the rest of my Estate Both houses lands and goodes Also I do herby Bind him whosoeve marieth with my wife to put in good securiti befor he enter on hir estate to leve Att hir decese all hir estate as good as good [sic] as he finds it. And I desier and impower my to Sonnes Jeremiah and Tho Fitch to see thas my will fullfilled and do give unto them For their paines twenti shilings apeece all Further lands And medow due unto me I do give Ecoly unto my three sonns Joseph Benjamen and Sammeul Fitch For witnes to his will Nicholas Browne of Redding and John his sonn
[verso] Uppon Better And Further Consideration I Zachery Fittc doe give unto My wife Mary Fittc: two heiffier calves the one A yearling caffe and the other a this years calfe and Further I doe give unto My wife Mary and to my Sonne Samuell Fittc a yearling colte beetweene them
Further more whearas I have sayd one the Otherside of this paper that I have given to My wife Eighte Ackere of Meddow in he hundered Ackers And to My sonn Joseph And samuell Fittc five Ackers a peece After my wifes desease: butt now my minde and will is that after my wives decease my sonn Benjamin shall have two Akers of it and My Sonn Joseph and my Sonne Samuell shall have Eight Ackers a peece Further more my mind and will is that my Sonne Joseph and my sonn Benjamin shall (with the helpe of my sonne Samuell of his owne hand) build my sonne Samuell a house, uppon his Lott by Beare hill twenty fower foote Longe and Eighteen foot wide and twelve foot heigh in the stod and Cover itt and calbboard or board itt: and fence in the Lott att Bear hill with a good suffitient fens of five Rayles and Breake it al up att Leaste soe Mutch of it as is Capabell of Breaking up: By that Time that my Sonne Samuell comes to the Age of twenty two yeares
Further more my mind and will is that my sonn John wesson shall have twelve pence payd hime within a year after my deasceas.
further more I doe give unto my Daughter Sarah wesson five pounds In case her husband John wesson dey and soe Leave her a widdow
further more My will is that if either of my sonnes dies without heires of their Bodies Lawfully Begotten: that then their portion shall Equally be devided amongste the Reste of my sonnes that shall be living.
Datted this 3d of Maye 1662
[Endorsement] At a County Court held at Charlestown June 17, 1662, Robert Barnap and Thomas Parker appearing in Court attested on oath that this above written was declared by Zachary fitch, abov named deceased ,to be his last Will and testament and that He was of Sound Judgement and memory when He so declared Himselfe.
Inventory exhibited 17 June 1662. An Inventory of the goodes An Chattls of Zachery Fittc who died the 9th of June in the yeare 1662
Apprisers of these goods were
[Endorsement] At a County Court held at Charlestowne June 17, 1662. Benjamin fitch Executor of the last Will and testament of the above named Zack: fitch deceased, appearing in Court and being sworne do say that this is a true Inventory of all that estate whereof his father the said Zachery fitch died seized and that if any more appeare He will truly discover the same and cause it to be added hereunto.
Court Record June 1662. The last will of Zach. fitch attested on oath by Robert Barnap and ThomasParker, and his Inventory by his Executor Benjamin Fitch.
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