John Hopkins, Hartford Founder

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Compiled by Timothy Lester Jacobs, SDFH Genealogist

JOHN1 HOPKINS, HARTFORD FOUNDER was born abt. 1606 in England, and died bef. 14 Apr 1654 in Hartford, CT (inventory). He married JANE ______ bef. 1631 in England. She was born abt. 1619 in England, and died aft. 03 Sep 1674 in Hartford, CT (husband Wilterton’s probate). (She married Founder Nathaniel Ward bef. 1657 & Founder Gregory Wilterton 24 Oct 1670.)

The origin of John Hopkins is unknown, and he seems to have had no relation to Hartford founder Gov. Edward Hopkins. He emigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1634, first residing in Cambridge, where he was made freeman 4 March 1634/5, and where in the Cambridge land inventory of 1635 he held three parcels.

He removed to Hartford in 1636 where in the land inventory of February 1639/40 he held six parcels which was originally granted: one acre and one rood on which his dwelling house stood with other outhouses, yards and gardens located on the north side of the road to the South Meadow and an the highway on the bank of the Little River; one rood and six perches in the Little Meadow; one acre on the east side of the Great River; five acres and twelve perches in the South Meadow; four acres in the Great Swamp; and fourteen acres and two roods of upland. He, or his estate, later accumulated another nine parcels of land.

He was chosen in January 1640 to order the affairs of the town, and was on the Connecticut petit jury 4 September 1643, but seems to have held no other public offices.

On 7 May 1640 he was freed from watching until further order be taken by the court. Such freeing from watch duties occurred at age 60, but he had written a letter to John Winthrop requesting medication for his “distemper” (Winthrop Papers 6:15-16).

His will was dated 1 January 1648/9 and was proved 16 May 1654.

Recommended genealogy: “John Hopkins of Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1634 and Some of his Descendants”, Timothy Hopkins, 1932

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