Hitchen Holland
Stefan Bielinski

Hitchen Holland probably was the son of Henry Holland and Jenny Seeley. His place of birth is unknown but perhaps he was named for Henry Holland's mother's family - the Hitchens.

About 1735, he married twenty-year-old Margaret Collins - the daughter of a garrison officer. The couple had at least eight children between 1736 and 1756. Only the last five were baptized in Albany churches after 1749 - permitting the inference that they were not living in Albany before then.

Hitchen Holland's career seems to have been as a soldier, officer, and then official at the trading post of Oswego. By the late 1740s, he was referred to as the commander and commissary at Oswego. Beginning in 1747, he also held a commission as lieutenant in the New York Regiment of the British army.

In 1751, he unsuccessfully sought the apointment as Albany sheriff. In that year, he was commissioned a justice of the peace for Oswego. Holland served as commissary at Oswego until 1756 when the concentration of British forces there relegated the Oswego caretaker to a subordinate position. He endured the seige and capture of Oswego by the French. According to William Johnson, Holland "suffered greatly" there.

"In poor health," Hitchen Holland was sent home from Oswego in August 1756. He retreated to his home south of Albany to convalesce. At that point, he retired from public life - with his Albany home coming under the care of his new son-in-law, postmaster Henry Van Schaack.

His will filed in February 1761 stated that he was "of Rensselaerwswyck" and in "good health." Although his wife was dead, he mentioned their four living children who were to share his real and personal property which included three slaves. Hitchen Holland died in July 1762 and was buried from the Albany Dutch church.


the people of colonial AlbanyThe life of Hitchen Holland is CAP biography number 8489. Our presentation on the Holland family is further informed by the work of genealogist Henry Hoff in an article published in NYGBR volume 111:219-20, and in notes on file at the project offices. However, Hitchen Holland was not mentioned in the will of Edward Holland - filed in 1756. Also, because he married a woman born in 1715 and continued to father children until 1756, perhaps he was a very young son of Henry and Jenny or was a young kinsman brought over from Europe during the second decade of the eighteenth century!

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first posted: 10/00; last revised 9/10/02