Stephen Hopkins

One of the first ancestors my grandmother ever told me about was my 10th-great-grandfather, Stephen Hopkins, who came here from England on the Mayflower. But my grandmother didn’t tell me that it wasn’t his first trip across the Atlantic Ocean. Or about the troubles he got into. Recently I started reading (listening to) a book about him, Here Shall I Die Ashore: Stephen Hopkins: Bermuda Castaway, Jamestown Survivor & Mayflower Pilgrim by Caleb Johnson. What an adventurous life he led!

My 10th-great-grandfather, Stephen Hopkins, son of John and Elizabeth (Williams) Hopkins, was baptized 30 April 1581 at Upper Clatford, Hampshire, England, and died at Plymouth Colony, before 17 July 1644, when his will was proved. He married (as his first wife) about 1603, Mary (—), who died before 9 May 1613, when she was buried in Hursley, Hampshire, England.

Stephen married (as his second wife) 19 February 1618 in Whitechapel, London, England, Elizabeth Fisher. Stephen and his pregnant wife Elizabeth came here together on the Mayflower in 1620, with their daughter and two children from his first marriage. Elizabeth gave birth to their son, Oceanus, on board the ship during the voyage. My grandmother delighted me with that tidbit of information!

There is a great biographical sketch of Stephen’s life on Caleb Johnson’s Mayflower History website: Stephen Hopkins

Mary & Stephen were the parents of three children, all baptized in Hursley:

1. Elizabeth Hopkins, born before 13 March 1604, died young.

2. Constance Hopkins (my 10th-great-grandmother), born before 11 May 1606, died in October 1677 in Eastham (Barnstable) Massachusetts. Constance was 14 when she came over on the Mayflower. She married about 1627 in Plymouth, Nicholas Snow, who was born about 1600, and died 15 November 1676 in Eastham. Constance & Nicholas were the parents of twelve children. They lie buried in Cove Burying Ground in Eastham.

3. Giles Hopkins (my 9th-great-grandfather), born before 30 January 1608, died before 16 April 1690, when his will was proved. Giles was 12 when he came over on the Mayflower. He married 9 October 1639 in Plymouth, Catherine Whelden, who was baptized 6 March 1617 in Basford, Nottinghamshire, England, arrived in Plymouth with her parents in 1638, and probably died shortly after her husband, daughter of Gabriel and Jane (—) Whelden. Giles & Catherine were the parents of ten children.

Elizabeth & Stephen were the parents of seven children:

1. Damaris Hopkins, born about 1619 in England, probably died young. Damaris was probably a baby when she came over on the Mayflower.

2. Oceanus Hopkins, born at sea before 11 November 1620, probably died before 1623.

3. Caleb Hopkins, born about 1622 in Plymouth, died before 3 April 1651 in Barbados. He was a seaman.

4. Deborah Hopkins, born about 1624 in Plymouth, died there before 1674. She married (as his first wife) about 1645, Andrew Ring, who was born about 1618 in Leiden (South Holland) Netherlands, and died 4 March 1694 in Plymouth, son of William and Mary (Durrant) Ring. Deborah & Andrew were the parents of six children.

5. Damaris Hopkins, born about 1628 in Plymouth, died there before 18 November 1669. She married there (as his first wife) after 10 June 1646, Jacob Cook, who was born 20 May 1618 in Leiden, and died 11 December 1675 in Plymouth, son of Francis and Hester (Mahieu) Cook. Damaris & Jacob were the parents of seven children.

6. Ruth Hopkins, born about 1630 in Plymouth, died there before 3 April 1651.

7. Elizabeth Hopkins, born about 1632 in Plymouth, disappeared and presumed dead by 5 October 1659.

This is the line of descent my grandmother gave me. Marriages noted are between Hopkins cousins…

Stephen Hopkins (1581-1644)
Giles Hopkins (1608-1690)
Joshua Hopkins (1657-1738)
Joshua Hopkins (1698-1780)
Joshua Hopkins (1725-1775)
Abigail Hopkins (1764-1829) m. John Freeman (1761-1817) ~ 3rd cousins, once removed
Thomas Freeman (1787-1864)
Warren Freeman (1814-1894) m. Elisabeth Weekes (1822-1908) ~ 4th cousins
Elisabeth Emma Freeman (1851-1876)
Capt. Martin Freeman Thompson (1875-1965)
Emma Freeman Thompson (my grandmother)

Over the years I have discovered three more lines from Stephen to my grandmother:

Stephen Hopkins (1581-1644)
Giles Hopkins (1608-1690)
Stephen Hopkins (1642-1718)
Stephen Hopkins (1670-1733)
Thankful Hopkins (1700-1753)
Thankful Linnell (1732-1810)
John Freeman (1761-1817) m. Abigail Hopkins (1764-1829) ~ 3rd cousins, once removed
Thomas Freeman (1787-1864)
Warren Freeman (1814-1894) m. Elisabeth Weekes (1822-1908) ~ 4th cousins
Elisabeth Emma Freeman (1851-1876)
Capt. Martin Freeman Thompson (1875-1965)
Emma Freeman Thompson (my grandmother)

Stephen Hopkins (1581-1644)
Giles Hopkins (1608-1690)
Joshua Hopkins (1657-1738)
Hannah Hopkins (1700-1793) m. Capt. Ebenezer Paine (1692-1734) ~ 2nd cousins, once removed
Hannah Paine (1732-1808)
Seth Allen (1755-1838)
Elisabeth Allen (1784-1868)
Elisabeth Weekes (1822-1908) m. Warren Freeman (1814-1894) ~ 4th cousins
Elisabeth Emma Freeman (1851-1876)
Capt. Martin Freeman Thompson (1875-1965)
Emma Freeman Thompson (my grandmother)

Stephen Hopkins (1581-1644)
Constance Hopkins (1606-1677)
Mary Snow (1630-1704)
Lt. Samuel Paine (1652-1712)
Capt. Ebenezer Paine (1692-1734) m. Hannah Hopkins (1700-1793) ~ 2nd cousins, once removed
Hannah Paine (1732-1808)
Seth Allen (1755-1838)
Elisabeth Allen (1784-1868)
Elisabeth Weekes (1822-1908) m. Warren Freeman (1814-1894) ~ 4th cousins
Elisabeth Emma Freeman (1851-1876)
Capt. Martin Freeman Thompson (1875-1965)
Emma Freeman Thompson (my grandmother)

8 thoughts on “Stephen Hopkins”

    1. I’m not sure how illustrious it is! Interesting that the name Giles was passed so far down the line in the family of the guy you dated. Millions of Americans have Mayflower ancestry so I keep telling people it’s not all that remarkable. I think my grandmother might have been surprised to learn that Stephen wasn’t as pious as she made him out to be. 😉

    1. It’s fascinating and wonderful. But I have plenty of “brick walls” that I can’t break through, so it can be frustrating, too. 😉 There were some kind Norwegians in Skien who helped me with some of my Norwegian ancestors.

    1. I am enjoying the audio book very much! I’ve discovered I love being read to.

      I find myself wondering about my 10th-great-grandmother, Mary, as the author tried to flesh out what her life might have been like. It seems like she was probably living with relatives while Stephen was out seeking opportunities. They likely helped her with the three children she had to raise without him. She died while he was gone. So I feel for her across the centuries…

  1. You are the only person I know who knows about her tenth great grandfather! The rest of us probably know–maybe–something about our first great grandfather if we’re lucky.

    1. You never know, Kathy… I used to have a license plate frame that said “Genealogy” on top and “Life in the Past Lane” on the bottom. 😉 There are quite a lot of us out there!

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