Charles Hopkins Allen is my great, great grandfather, and the last in my family tree to carry the "Hopkins" name. I was shocked to realize that this name goes all the way back to famed Mayflower passenger Stephen Hopkins, turns out he's my great great (+) grandfather!
Son of Pioneer Andrew Lee Allen
Charles Hopkins Allen was the son of Clarinda Knapp and Andrew Lee Allen - and one of eleven children. He was born in 1830, and died in 1922 - coincidentally, in the same Arizona town I was born in. His is among the oldest photographs in my family tree. (Andrew Lee Allen may have him beat.)
Tracing My Family History Back to the Mayflower
If you're not familiar with the story of the Mayflower pilgrims, they were the first Europeans to settle in the "new world". In 1620, they crossed the Atlantic ocean in a wooden ship named "the Mayflower". As a result of bad weather and a long journey, many of the passengers died along the way...and just over half survived the first winter at Plymouth Colony.
My great, great (+) grandfather Stephen Hopkins was one of them. In fact, his son was the only child born during the Mayflower's voyage.
(By the way, if you're interested in your own family heritage, check out these awesome new home DNA testing kits!)
Stephen Hopkins' Story of Shipwreck & Treason
Stephen Hopkins was said to be quite a hothead, and was actually shipwrecked in Bermuda during a previous Atlantic crossing. Amazingly, the island had fresh water and plenty of food, and the crew was able to survive there for 9 months. Additionally, it had cedar trees which were suitable for building a new ship.
Stephen Hopkins (an indentured servant) got in trouble with the authorities, because he was adamant the new ship should take them back to England instead of continuing to Jamestown Colony. His persistence led to a charge of treason being levied against him. Sentenced to death, he somehow managed to beg and plead for his life...it worked.
Inspiration for Shakespeare's "The Tempest"
News of this real life saga spread to England. Soon after, William Shakespeare unveiled his new play, "The Tempest" - allegedly based on Stephen Hopkins' story of shipwreck and mutiny.
(Continued below, but I do hope you'll consider following along with me...I'm a travel photographer, but am now journeying back into America's roots to uncover my own family story. I'm just getting started!)
- Nathan Allen
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More Stephen Hopkins Facts:
- He settled both the Jamestown and Plymouth Colonies (said to be the humble beginnings of modern America).
- Samoset was the first Native American to make contact with the Plymouth Colonists, and he stayed with Stephen Hopkins in his home.
- Stephen, his wife Elizabeth, and their son Giles Hopkins all attended the first Thanksgiving feast with the Native Americans. Giles Hopkins is also my great grandfather.
- Many other books and movies feature Stephen's character and story.
An Unexpected Discovery
So, one of the first Allens to be photographed was the last to carry the historic (and possibly infamous) Hopkins name. That I know of, at least.
- Nathan Allen
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