Hezekiah Frith was born in Bermuda in 1763, the son of William Frith and Sarah Lee. William Frith was a sailor and salt trader, and Hezekiah, like several of his siblings, also became a shipping merchant. Following the American Revolution, several of the brothers formed a partnership, trading goods between Bermuda, the West Indies, and the United States. Hezekiah Frith dissolved the partnership after his first marriage and opened a store on the Salt Kettle peninsula. During the Anglo-French Wars of the 1790s, he became a notorious and financially successful privateer, though he later lost much of his wealth. He eventually returned to his career as a merchant, settling in New Haven, Connecticut, where he worked with his son-in-law, Thomas Darling. Hezekiah Frith had three wives: Mehitabel Geary, Sarah Johnson, and Ann Marischal Keith ("Nancy"). He died in Bermuda in 1848.
After graduating from Yale in 1803, Thomas Darling worked as a wholesale merchant with the New York City firm McGregor & Darling. He married Frances Frith (1788-1871) in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1807, and they had 9 children: Joseph Frith, Ann Frances (1811-1886), Mehitabel, Thomas, Mary, Clarinda, Harriet, Susan, and Helen.