My ancestor Stephen Hopkins, by most current accounts, was born about 1578, probably in Hampshire, England. By 1609, he was married with three children: Elizabeth, Constance and Giles. His family situation did not deter him from making the long voyage to America, specifically Jamestown in the Virginia Colony.
|The wreck of the Sea Venture, as|
depicted on Bermuda's coat of arms
Hopkins and the others did eventually reach Jamestown after building a small ship from the wreckage. He remained for several years before returning to England. His wife Mary, unfortunately, had died during his absence. He remarried (to Elizabeth Fisher) in 1618 and had seven more children. The second child, a son named Oceanus, was born aboard the Mayflower during Hopkins' next--and more auspicious--journey to America in 1620.
|Image and signature|
of Stephen Hopkins
I knew the story was familiar, but I couldn't make the connection right away. None of the mutineers were named. I had to dig through several books and files before I found the Freeman Families reference again. The two accounts did indeed match.
Discovering stories like this is the true reward of genealogy. And this is just part of Stephen Hopkins' story. His life in Plymouth, Massachusetts, continued a pattern of ups and downs that could probably fill a book. Did he live happily ever after? That's a story for another day.