The Hopkins Family of Maryland
Connections to the William Hopkins Family
I had heard since I was a boy that we were related somehow to Johns Hopkins, the wealthy merchant of Baltimore. When I began working on our family's history, I regarded that as a myth, as wishful thinking. But after ignoring the family story for a long time, I decided to ask my father what he knew about it. Here is what he told me:
My grandfather started looking into the possibility of a connection, but had to give it up because of his financial and other handicaps. If I remember rightly, he got off to a late start, and the litigation, etc. was too far along to try to pursue it further. (January 26, 1998)
Following that exchange, I looked up Johns Hopkins in a biographical dictionary. It gave a brief account of his life and ancestry. I didn't see anything in it to give me hope of finding a connection, so I dropped the matter.
Recently, on a trip to Haddonfield, New Jersey, I bought a copy of Harriet Gotchel Monshaw's book Elizabeth French Gill 1794-1854, First Mistress of Greenfield Hall. In it she gives the details of a connection between the Hopkinses of Haddonfield and the Hopkinses of Maryland.
This connection is through the marriage of Mary Rebecca Gill, daughter of William Hopkins Gill and Sarah Mickle (Hopkins) Gill to Johns Hopkins, son of Gerard T. and Elizabeth (Coates) Hopkins on December 30, 1885. This Johns Hopkins was the first cousin, twice removed, of the famous Johns Hopkins of Baltimore. Sarah Hopkins was the daughter of William Estaugh and Ann (Morgan) Hopkins, and the great-great-great-grandaughter of William Hopkins of Northamptonshire and Southwark.
A second connection is one I found in MacKenzie's Colonial Families of the United States of America, Vol. II, p 358. He lists a marriage between Joseph S. Hopkins, son of Joseph Janney and Elizabeth (Schofield) Hopkins, and Annette Hopkins, daughter of John Hopkins of Haddonfield, New Jersey. Joseph Janney Hopkins was the older brother of Johns Hopkins, the Baltimore merchant and financier.
Origins of Maryland Hopkinses
Strangely enough, considering the prominence of the family, there are varying opinions about the background of the Maryland Hopkinses. Johns' obituary in the Sun (see below) said that they are descended from "six brothers who emigrated from England to America, two of whom made their homes in New England and four in Maryland." No reference was made in the obituary to the source of that information. The sketch of Johns Hopkins in the Dictionary of American Biograph, Vol. V, pp. 213-14, says that his first known Hopkins ancestor in America was William, who was living in Anne Arundel County, Maryland in 1657. Burke's American Families with British Ancestry, p 2479, says that the Maryland Hopkinses began with Gerard Hopkins, who was born in Coventry, Warwichshire, England, settled in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, married Thomsin, and died in 1692.
Since my Hopkins ancestor came from Northamptonshire, which is adjacent to Warwickshire, I think what Burke says is very interesting. Besides the information above, he also says that Hopkinses were prominent in Coventry, representing that city in Parliament since the time of Richard II. It may well be that my Hopkins family was related to the Hopkinses of Warwickshire. Further research is needed.
Early Maryland Hopkinses
Gust Skordas' Early Settlers of Maryland says that there were Hopkinses in Maryland as early as 1650:
| 1650 || Robert ||
|| 1652 || Robert ||
|| 1652 || Thomas ||
|| 1658 || Garrett |
| 1658 || William ||
|| 1659 || Thomas ||
|| 1660 || Prudence ||
|| 1662 || Henry |
| 1662 || Thomas ||
|| 1663 || Dennis ||
|| 1664 || Joseph, Mr. ||
|| 1665 || Ann |
| 1665 || Peter ||
|| 1665 || William ||
|| 1667 || Thomas ||
|| 1668 || Elizabeth |
| 1669 || John ||
|| 1669 || William ||
|| 1673 || Richard ||
|| 1673 || Robert |
| 1679 || Robert ||
|| 1679 || Robert, Jr. ||
|| 1679 || Sarah ||
|| 1680 || Hannah |
| 1680 || Hannah ||
|| 1680 || Nathan ||
|| 1680 || Samuel ||
|| 1680 || Samuel, Jr. |
| 1680 || Temperance |
There were several Hopkinses on the Eastern Shore, some of them in the Third Haven Monthly Meeting:
Note: The foregoing were taken from F. Edward Wright, Maryland Eastern Shore Vital Records, Book 1, 1648-1725, Second Edition.
- George Hopkins, son of Robert and Sarah, was born at Anamessex, Somerset County, on 17 Jun 1673
- Sarah Hopkins, daughter of Robert and Sarah, was born at Anamessex, Somerset County, on 12 Apr 1675
- George Hopkins, son of Robert of Somerset County, cattle mark 22 Jan 1677
- Alice Hopkins, daughter of Robert and Sarah, was born at Anamessex, Somerset County, on 12 Apr 1678
- Stephen Hopkins, son of Robert and Jane of Somerset County, was born 31 Jul 1692
- Sarah Hopkins, daughter of Robert and Jane of Somerset County, was born 15 Apr 1695
- Philip Hopkins, Kent County, 10 May 1697, cattle mark
- William Hopkins married Dorthy Willis on 31 Mar 1700
- James Hopkins, son of James of Third Haven, was born in 1702
- Rebecca Hopkins, daughter of Thomas of St. Michael's River, born 5? Oct 1702
- Philip Hopkins married Johanna Piner 24 Mar 1705 in St. Paul's Parish, Kent County
- Ann Hopkins, wife to Philip, died 28 Sep 1705 in Shrewsbury Parish, Kent County
- Joseph Hopkins buried 29 Mar 1714 in St. Paul's Parish, Kent County
- Dennis Hopkins married Sarah Edmondson 28 Jun 1720 at St. Peter's Parish, Talbot County
- Anne Hopkins, daughter of William of Third Haven, born 22 Nov 1702
- Richard Hopkins married Sarah Resho 12 Sep 1723 at St. Peter's Parish, Talbor County
As an aside, I found, while doing research on the Maryland Hopkinses in the Quaker records, that one of the Hopkins sons married one of the daughters of Isaiah and Hannah (Pancoast) Boone. Philip Hopkins of Anne Arundel County married Mary Boone on 3rd mo 21st day 1787 at the Sandy Spring meetinghouse (West River Meeting Records from Maryland Genealogical Society Bulletin, Vol 14, No 3, August 1973, p 8).
Another family that intermarried with both the Boones and the Hopkinses was the Janney family. They were largely in Virginia, belonging to the Fairfax and Alexandria Monthly Meetings. Two examples: George Janney married Susanna Boone, daughter of Isaiah and Hannah (Pancoast) on 31 Oct 1834, and Hannah Janney married Samuel Hopkins, father of Johns Hopkins the Baltimore merchant, in 1792.
Here are some references to further information about Johns Hopkins and the Maryland Hopkinses:
- A brief article about Johns Hopkins written by Kathryn A. Jacob, formerly University Archivist, Johns Hopkins University. The article includes a portrait of Johns and pictures of his home.
- A short biographical sketch of Johns Hopkins from the Johns Hopkins University Archives.
- Johns Hopkins' obituary from the Baltimore Sun.
- A short biography written by his cousin:
Helen Hopkins Thom, Johns Hopkins: A Silhouette. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1929.
- Caroline Jones Franz, "Johns Hopkins," American Heritage, 27 (February 1976), pp. 31-33, 98-102.
- Harriet Gotchel Monshaw, Elizabeth French Gill 1794-1854, First Mistress of Greenfield Hall. Haddonfield, NJ: The Historical Society of Haddonfield, 1998.
- Sir John Bernard Burke, American Families with British Ancestry. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1977.
- Dumas Malone, ed., Dictionary of American Biography, Vol. V Hibben-Larkin. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1932-1961.
- George Norbury MacKenzie, Colonial Families of the United States of America, Vol II. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1966 (series originally published 1907-1920).
- F. Edward Wright, Maryland Eastern Shore Vital Records, Book 1, 1648-1725, Second Edition. Westminster, MD: Family Line Publications, 1982, 1993.
This file was last updated on 7/12/2019.