FITCH, the emigrant ancestor, of one branch of the Fitch Families of
New England, came to Lynn about 1633. It is understood that he lived
in Lynn a few years, and settled about 1640 in the South Parish of
Reading, now Wakefield, where he lived until his death.
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. It is
probable that he occupied the land in Reading, now Wakefield, a few
years earlier than the date assumed by Eaton's History of Reading.
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, '51,
'61. 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
A facsimile of his autograph is found in the REGISTER,
Vol. xxxiii, page 61, and other autographs are found in original
papers. He wrote his name Zachrie, and his contemporaries frequently
wrote it Zachary and Zachery, but the name of his son and many of his
descendants has taken the full form of Zachariah.
The name of his wife was
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
He died in Reading, June 9, 1662. His will is dated March 18, 1662.
To his sons Benjamin, Joseph and Samuel, who were farmers remaining in Reading,
he devised lands in Reading; and to his sons Jeremiah, Thomas and John he gave
money. It is known that 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. In naming the children of Zachary and Mary Fitch, the order of age is
not fully known."
Zachary Fitch's "occupation in England was that of a
glover, as appears by a bond which he signed at St. Albans about 1620. His son
Jeremiah is also described as a glover, and his son Thomas as a