Hopkins Family History & Genealogy

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Farmington Center Village February 21st 1855

Dear Brother Wm,

I thought this rainy afternoon I would drop a line thinking I would excite the attention of some of our family to let me know how they are. I have not heard anything from any of our folks except Mary since Joseph left Camden. I have written to brother Richard and sister Lurana. I saw an account of the death of a John Hopkins by a railroad accident, but think it could not be my nephew as sister Mary's John I expect is older.

Joseph brought the melancholy news of the death of Brother Spencer...let me know how his surviving family is. I think for my part I should rather dispense with the gold of California than to loose the lives and treasures we did to acquire it. Spencer was a young man being somehow connected with the company in some unguarded moment enlisted.

Theophilus' family, how are they? Watson and Simeon were children when I left Starks, and you could not speak plain...you called squirrel a 'surl" ...but I think I should know you if I should see you from home, you know we are rather dark fellows, but if I remember right Richard has blue eyes which is not very common among the Hopkins.

Captain Peachy I expect by this time has made enough to be content to stay at home with his family and quit his cabben (?ship's cabin) for a dwelling house. Ship ricks (?wrecks) within four years exceeds anything I ever knew...When I went to sea we thought very little of the danger when on board of a good ship. Since steam has been used we hear of more accidents by sea and land, but an all-wise hand will over rule all for his glory.

Men have always live on the sea and probably always will....on Cape Cod where our father used to live, there seamen composed about all the male population. You can find them in almost every seaport in New England, and better seamen I never found. But I have been too far advanced for many years to stand on sea legs in a rough time, and I am so lame now I can hardly get about.

I went up into the loft of Joseph's stable where I was not acquainted...stepped on some loose boards which let me down, the boards coming endwise onto my side was not so pleasant, and, however, I came off with a few bruises and one or two ribs broken on one side. I am in hopes I am doing well, but find two peices of rib is not equal to a whole one.

But it is uninteresting to dwell on one's infirmities. I hardly know where to call my home. I have given my farm to (son) Eliphalet in New Portland. Mary Ann (Weston) lives in Madison, and (son) Joseph in Farmington. My wife and I have helped them enough for a living, and so we live among them.

I expect Brother Richard's curiosity has rather abated...when I went to Starks father and mother was from home, Richard was very inquisitive to know whom I was and where I came from. Give my best to him and family Watson and Simeon. I know where some of our sisters live, and I remember the baby...when old men grow childish they are attached to the youngest, although I never saw her. Brother Simeon has called on us once at New Portland, and that is all I have from our family for fifty years, and he came on business. (!)

(cousin) Mark R Hopkins I am told lives at Skowhegan this winter, in the family of his second wife, somewhat out of health so much so as not to be able to preach [external link]'s unpleasant if he is conscious of doing good in the Vineyard of our Lord, but all of us in private stations in life have something to do in the cause of Christ...the one who received the one tallent was commanded to improve as much as those who received five...a great responsibility rests on us as regards our children...the Bible is our guide for that, you have reason to be thankful.

How many in the middle age of life reflect back to youth and remember the advice of a pious mother with her sincere prayers that God will make them blessings to their earthly parents and heirs to his Heavenly Kingdom. Is the family able, and the elapsed remembered every day, as God helps us under his parental care with fresh tokens of his mercy, and a Being who hears and answers prayer. Your wife is a professor of religion. God helps her with all the household.

Life is short and uncertain...fifty years or more since I saw you in Starks...if we never meet on earth may we meet in the mansions of the blest. The fashions of this world passeth away, happiness complete and durable is nowhere to be found short of a treasure in Heaven, for where the treasure is there will the heart be also. Do not think I am too pointed...I speak from the heart of an affectionate brother, and I think from my own experience...our Savior has said, "he that heareth my word and beleaveth on him that sent me hath everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation."

Religion does not interfere with our secular concerns...a man never professes better than when his heart is filled with the love of the Saviour. Peter lost nothing by attending to the instruction of Christ...he took a multitude of fishes by casting the net on the one side of the ship...Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and its righteousness, and all other thine needful shall be added...what can we wish for more, but human nature says give me more than what is necessary for my real wants, so that I can feast my eyes ever and appetite. God gives us as much as we use for his glory. He has not seen fit to trust me with riches, but I have no reason to murmur. The apostle learned in whatever situation he was to be content. The young man in the gospel, you know, refused to follow Christ rather than part with his riches, although he had a sure promise of a treasure in Heaven. Christ never condemned any one for being rich if not idolized. How could the Kingdom of Jesus Christ be spread among the nations of the earth (according to the plan God has devised to do it), unless he blesses his church with the means to do it. But I see I am near the bottom of the page...perhaps you will say, "I know all this,,,does he think that I don't keep the bible in my house and read it, and go to church every sabbath day? I wonder brother, don't send me the alphabet of A-B-C."
I think I am somewhat acquainted with human nature which we all posess... frequently when the laboring man comes from his field, received by his companion and children with a smile, will I have performed a great day's work, my crops of all kinds look promising, and after his frugal repast, perhaps the product of his own farm, I believe I will recline. Are you not aching to read the Bible and thank your heavenly Father for his blessings on us the past day, and protection through the night? No I am tired. Then comes sabbath morning, "are you going to church?" says the partner of his toils. "No I think not, I have labored so hard through the week I want to rest and start early in the morniing for the landing after breakfast take a sweet knap (?nap), then rise, salt the sheep and cattle, and feel more languid at night than to have gone to meeting. So on the margin I concluded. With my hearty good wishes for the future's health and longevity of your self and family.

Isaac Hopkins

If you favor with an answer, please to direct to Farmington Center Village, Franklin County, or Madison Bridge, Somerset County.
Dec 04, 2005 · Reply
Just after Montana became a state my father’s family made their home at the foot of 11,209 foot high Crazy Peak, the most topographically prominent peak in the state of Montana. As a child beside the mountain meadows that had been my Grandparents, Joseph and Josephine (Getchell) Hopkins’ ranch, I played in the polished rock beds of icy waters that flowed from the huge glacier that covered most of the mountain and could walk to its snow based feet on summer’s hottest days.
The last time I heard people ask my father if it was melting away as they marveled at the great flows of water coming from it year around was in 1960.He told them it looked the same as it did when he was a small boy around 1892.
To help people understand where I lived I would direct them when traveling west on interstate 90 from Billings, Montana and before the town of Big Timber my home was at the foot of the great white glacier covered mountain that can be seen in the distance even after summer’s hottest days. I can no longer use that landmark…I went to Montana two years ago in early fall…there was not even snow on its top…it was bare!
Mar 01, 2008 · Reply
My 11th great grandfather is Stephen Hopkins of The Mayflower. It is quite an extensive family. I would like to know if Johns Hopkins, the founder of Johns Hopkins University, is connected in any way with Stephen Hopkins.
Also, my 10th great grandfather is Stephen Hart. He is a co-founder of Hartford. CT. A very large family as well. Anyone connected to these families, i would love to get to know you. Finding new relatives is great.
I am living in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada and can be emailed directly at [contact link]
Sep 14, 2009 · Reply