Harold C. Hopkins [email protected]
Hopkins Families in North Carolina and Beyond
By Harold Hopkins
Around 1980 a research project into the history of the Hopkins family of North Carolina intensified after several descendants from that family joined LaVonne Ketchum, now of Oroille, CA, in support of efforts to determine the origins of the family and other kinsmen of John Hopkins, who first appeared of record in Orange County NC in 1752. This was the same year that county was formed from parts of Johnston, Bladen, and Granville Counties, all a part of the charter territory granted to the Earl of Granville by the British Crown and to which the Earl had invited settlers from the mother country and other North American colonies.
Extensive research into North Carolina records was difficult for researchers who lived in distant parts of the country, and researchers, including Betty Jackson of Moscow, ID; Pinney Noble, now of New Orleans, LA; and T. Robert Hopkins, now of Ocala, FL, all descendants of or representing descendants of Dennis Hopkins (ca. 1739-1793), joined LaVonne and combined their research funds to hire a genealogical researcher who lived in North Carolina and had regular access to North Carolina county and state records.
This genealogist, Rosemary Richardson, made her report about 1980 and the information was generously shared with other interested researchers by the sponsoring research group. I had studied the Hopkins family briefly in the 1960s but had put the work aside because of the demands of my career and a growing family. After I retired from my work as an editor in 1984, and received inquiries from my cousin Donald A. Hopkins concerning my previous studies, my interest was renewed and I gradually resumed research into the Hopkins family.
Don Hopkins and I agreed in 1992 to hire Rosemary Richardson, the same genealogist who had worked for LaVonne Ketchum's group, to make additional studies, mainly in North Carolina, and share the cost of her fees. At that time I was sending whatever information I had acquired to several correspondents, along with copies of a series of comprehensive papers that Don Hopkins was writing about Hopkins family members in North Carolina and Georgia, where many of the family migrated in the 1790s, and Alabama and Mississippi, where migration continued.
At that time very little genealogical information was being distributed by the Internet, Prodigy, America on Line, etc., and genealogical findings had to be disseminated by xeroxing or other printing methods so copies could be mailed to other interested researchers or kinsmen. This distribution of both raw and integrated family data proved so popular that eventually about 24 researchers had indicated a desire to be placed on my distribution list and had agreed to reimburse my actual expenses for printing and mailing copies when the costs to me began to exceed the expenses of an ordinary hobby.
Most of the material in this first report, described below, was xeroxed, thus is not in its present form adaptable to transmitting on the Internet. The second and third reports were distributed before various factors made it impracticable for me to continue the considerable task of having the material printed and then mailing it to two dozen addressees, and I was forced to discontinue the reports. After the third report distributed in September 1993, I sent correspondents a few updates of specific information but never again compiled or distributed full reports. I don't consider any of the information proprietary, but I don't have the time and energy needed to prepare such reports and mail them, so you might say, I've whined off. At the same time the advent of the Internet has made possible the distribution of many genealogical items and from what I've seen there'll be many more to come.
Therefore, the chief function of the report that follows is to document and point to public and a few private or proprietary sources of the information described therein; in short, to let interested persons know that the information described does exist.
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