A Brief History of Hopkins

AMONG THE FIRST settlers of colonial America (Inter Primos)

NOTE: Hovering your mouse over the “GENEALOGY” tab at the top of the page will reveal each of my ancestors detailed pages. You can click the links to visit them.

The earliest ancestor of direct Paternal lineage that I have found so far in my genealogical search is James Hopkins SR (1750~1825) who was married to a Mary with an unknown maiden name. Many genealogy sites on the web mistakenly connect him to Eleanor Wallace by marriage however, this is NOT so. His death date is also confused on many genealogy trees. His son James JR died 3 years after he did. when his wife turned in the documentation at that time.

James was from Ulster of Scotch-Irish descent. It is unclear if he came from Ireland or one of his earlier ancestors did but there are  references that I have found that explain this (below). More than likely (a DNA test for Y chromosome for Paternal pedigree will need to be performed by myself) James was Scotch-Irish and had moved to Scotland from Ireland as many did during before coming to the West during this time.

Ref:Irish James #1
Ref:Irish James #2
“The History of Blair Co. PA” 1808 James served as overseer of the poor; 1810 James served as supervisor 1810-1850 James owned 70 acres valued at $170.00. 1821 James served as overseer of the poor, James b. Ireland.

My research shows James Sr living in Chester County, PA (East Bradford to be exact)  working as a weaver in the latter half of the 18th century. This profession was not unique but was  an integral part of the early industrialization of Pennsylvania, noted in this book.

There was another Hopkins in Chester County at this time whom also was a weaver, Alexander Hopkins. County Tax records declare this. It is possible that Alexander was either James’ father, brother or cousin. Tax records also indicate that both men were married (inmate) and that Alexander died in a tree.   

The James Hopkins in Chester County (there were 2 of them actually – one was an attorney that moved to Lancaster) was a Dragoon Sargent, who also moved to Lancaster then on to Antis Twp. Blair county, PA (Bellwood, PA formerly Huntingdon and Bedford County) by a land warrant that was granted to him for his military service in 1789 after the end of the Revolutionary war (among the first settlers in Blair County, PA) . This can be verified by documented  movement of the Dragoon unit that transferred to Lancaster twice during the war and the fact that James’ Grandson Benjamin (noted earlier) was born in Lancaster, PA.

By this time, James Jr Hopkins was born in 1772, James served in Capt. Edmund Tipton’s Pennsylvania Militia  during the war of 1812. He married Mary Turner and had  four (4) children (Miles,Samuel, William and Turner Bell) one of whom worked as a “saddler” and was named after his mother Mary’s maiden name Turner, as was often the custom with the Hopkins. James JR died in Blair County in 1828.

Turner Bell lived in Hollidaysburg,PA his entire life where he is buried  (Hollidaysburg Presbyterian cemetery). Turner was a veteran of the Civil War. The Hopkins were a long line of Presbyterians. Turner was married to Mary Donaldson  whom had 7 children of their own. One of their kids was named William Leamer Hopkins.

Wm L. as he often signed his name, traveled extensively around the US working as a printer. He lived in San Diego, CA for 19 years and worked for the Chicago Tribune and the Pittsburgh post Gazette before coming back home to Hollidaysburg Pennsylvania. He and his wife Rose A Morgan (a restaurant and store owner)  are buried beside Turner Belle. Wm L. lived with Mary, his granddaughter in Altoona, PA after his wife Rose died.  Rose and William had four (4) children themselves. One of them named George Turner lived in Altoona, PA with his wife Celia J Himes.

Not much is known about George T except that he was married at St. Patrick’s Church (where he is buried) and he and Celia had two (2) kids themselves named Mary and George William Hopkins.

George William was a S\Sgt, and WWII veteran. He lived in Altoona, PA with his wife Margaret Mary Ellen Delozier, a nurse. They had three (3) kids named Michael, William (Butch) and Patrick. George and Margaret “Mag” Hopkins are buried near each other in the Calvary Cemetery in Altoona, PA.

Mike (my father) lived in Elizabethtown , KY (near Ft. Knox) where he retired  Army (multiple tour Vietnam war veteran).His brother (near Ft. Knox) William (Butch) also was a career Army Vietnam veteran who retired in Cecelia , KY (near Ft. Knox) where he passed on March 29th 2011. my other uncle, their brother Patrick who was also a career Army and Vietnam veteran, retired in Chapman Kansas near his last post while serving in the military. Pat died in Junction City in 2014.