52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

52 Ancestors #25 Same Name

Yesterday, I went searching for newspaper articles for the descendants of John Partridge Whimpey and Charlotte Herbert in the Rhode Islands Newspapers collection at My Heritage, since My Heritage has free access from 3 July to 8 July.  As a result, I decided to check what information I had for the family, and what additional information I could find.  I decided to check the FamilySearch Family Tree, to see if this had more sources/information about the family.  I only had limited information in my tree for Charles Hopkins, who had married John and Charlotte’s daughter Ellen Partridge Whimpey, so I decided to look at his entry in the FamilySearch Family Tree.

I discovered that records that weren’t for this Charles, but for another Charles Hopkins, were attached to his profile, and that he had been linked as a child to Ebenezer Hopkins.  I therefore needed to review the information I had for my Charles, and check for additional sources.

Ellen Partridge Whimpey married Charles Hopkins on 12 December 1878 in Rhode Island, United States.  I haven’t been able to find them on the 1880 census.  Ellen and Charles had two children, Charlotte (Lottie) Hopkins, born in 1882, and Charles Edward Hopkins, born in 1884.

Charles died in 1885, per his Find a Grave Memorial, which includes a photo of the gravestone, which reads:


There is a death entry for a Charles Hopkin who died 8 February 1885 at the age of 34, which appeared to be for Charles (“Rhode Island Deaths and Burials, 1802-1950,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F8Z3-L8G : 10 March 2018), Charles Hopkin, 08 Feb 1885; citing Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, reference ; FHL microfilm 2,022,963.).

The 1885 Rhode Island census, which was held on the 1st June, has the following entries:

  • Charlotte Whempey, age 54, married, head, household number 252
  • Ellen Hopkins, age 32, widowed, daughter, household number 252
  • Lottie Hopkins, age 3, single, granddaughter, household number 252
  • Chas E Hopkin, age 1, single, grandson, household number 253.

This matches my family.  Since Ellen was a widow on the 1 June 1885, and her son Charles was born in January 1884, this narrows the time frame for Charles’ death to between January 1884 and June 1885, so the death in February 1885 would fit.

Although I haven’t been able to find Charles and Ellen on the 1880 census, I did find Charlotte Whimpey (nee Herbert), and her 3 other daughters, Emily, Kate and Minnie.  In the next household were Alfred and Jane Thornton.

The 1875 census shows a Charles Hopkins in the household of Alfred Thornton.  Charles was listed as Alfred’s brother in law.  When I searched for a Charles Hopkin(s), born in 1851 with parents Thomas and Bridget, I found a baptism entry for Charles Hopkin, 23 August 1850, baptized 31 July 1853 at Dewsbury, All Saints, West Yorkshire, England.  There was also a baptism in the same parish for Jane Priscilla Hopkins, with parents Thomas and Bridget.

This would indicate that these entries are for the Charles Hopkins who married Ellen Whimpey, and that Jane Thornton, nee Hopkins, was his sister.

In summary, my Charles Hopkins was born 23 August 1850 in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, England.  He appears on the 1851, 1861, and 1871 censuses in Dewsbury, and then migrated to the United States in 1872, and in 1875 was living with his sister and her husband in Providence, Rhode Island. He married Ellen Whimpey in 1878, and had two children, Charlotte and Charles, and died 8 February 1885 (I have found a death entry that appears to be for a third child: an Infant daughter of Charles and Ellen Hopkin died 26 November 1880 in Providence (“Rhode Island Deaths and Burials, 1802-1950,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F8D3-6XN : 10 March 2018), Charles Hopkin in entry for Infant Daughter Hopkin, 26 Nov 1880; citing Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, reference ; FHL microfilm 2,022,958.).

I have done quite a bit of work attaching records to Charles’s profile (https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/details/KGZ4-GZS) in the FamilySearch Family Tree, and while I was doing this, I found that after attaching an entry from the Rhode Island Deaths and Burials, 1802-1950 to a profile in the FamilySearch Family Tree, when you return to the record, there is a message:

This record may have come from this image. You may need to look through several surrounding images if it does not appear on this image.

I therefore clicked on the link for Charles’s death entry, and found the entry had been linked to his record in the Rhode Island, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1630-1945 collection, which is a browse only collection.  This record provided more information, including the fact that Charles was born in Dewsbury, England.

So, who was the other Charles Hopkins?

His Find A Grave Memorial provides a summary: Charles Henry Hopkins was born 12 May 1851 and died 22 April 1929, and was buried 1929 at Pocasset Cemetery, Cranston, Providence, Rhode Island.  He married Eliza Persis Watson on 24 January 1881 at E. Greenwich, Kent Co., RI.  They had no children.

His parents were Ebenezer Hopkins and Catherine Julia Mawney.

Background of featured image is a Photo by Martin Adams on Unsplash