Last Hopfe on Earth?

I was recently asked, “Are there any people left on Earth with the surname Hopfe?” As far as the asker knew, her Hopfe line had daughtered out with her.

Certainly, surnames go extinct. I’ve read how Hugh Bonneville’s (famous for playing Robert Crawley in Downton Abbey) surname is on the “near extinction” list, while surnames like Bread and Chips are supposedly extinct.[i]

Map shoint distribution of Hopfe surname.
Distribution of Hopfe surname per Forebears

My go-to site for looking at surnames is forebears.io. It provides lots of really interesting information about any surname and, in particular, the approximate number of people who have that particular surname. Worldwide, there are approximately 1,118 people with the surname Hopfe, which makes it the 275,936th most common surname. According to the site, there are approximately 841 people with the surname in Germany and 179 in the United States. (in 2014).

Forbears also allows you to drill down into the US and see the distribution by state. There are no Hopfes in Maine and only seven people with the surname in Massachusetts. Interestingly, the largest number of people with the Hopfe surname are in Hawaii. They have twice the number – 46 – of Hopfe surnamed people than the 2nd most common Hopfe state, Texas, with only 23. I know if it were me, I’d like to figure out how those Hawaiian Hopfe’s were related so that I could visit them. (Ha ha – just kidding.)

There are a couple surnames similar to Hopfe that may be variations of the name, including Hopf, which has more than 10,000 individuals worldwide, and Hoepf.

Hopfe Distribution 1920 CensusAnother site I like regarding surnames is Ancestry.Com; they have a name origin page. It is really cool because it shows the distribution of a surname during three different US Censuses. In the case of Hopfe, the 1920 Census shows there were 7 Hopfe families in New York (including some of her ancestors).

The bottom line is that there are many more Hopfes in the United States and the world but, none left in Maine.

Takeaway: Use Forebears.io and Ancestry.com/name-origin for learning more about surnames.

ENDNOTES:

[i] Internet: Family Tree; “Extinct Family Names”; http://www.familytree.com/blog/extinct-family-names/; however, Forbears.io indicates there is one person surnamed Bread, and two people with the Chips surname.

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Buel – Surname Saturday

Brown Line

Name Origin

According to Ancestry.Com, Buel is a variation of Buell. Then they indicate that Buell is, for Welsh, a variant for Bowell and for Dutch, it is an occupation name for a hangman. It continues that Bowell is a variant for Powell and that Powell is an Anglicized form of Welsh ap Hywel meaning “son of Hywel.”[i]

I think that Forebears does a better job of defining the name.  It too says it is Welsh, but that it means “a herd of cattle” or “an ox.” They also mention that it may refer to “Bueil,” a place in France.[ii]

So the question is, where our Buel’s come from, Wales, Holland, or France?

Geographical

The 1840 Census indicated there were 192 Buel families in the United States. Seventy, or 36%, were living in New York. During the 1790 census, the majority of Buel’s were in Connecticut, but my Buel family members were living in Amenia, Dutchess County, New York in 1790.

My Buel Ancestors

I have six known Buel’s in my tree – Two are direct, my 6th great-grandmother, Deborah Buel and her father, my 7th great-grandfather, Grover Buel[iii].  Grover was born in Connecticut on 4 April 1732. He and Jerusha Buck has at least 4 children besides Deborah. They were Jenusha, Simon, Daniel and Grover. All of the children were born in Dutchess County, New York.

My Direct Buel Ancestors[iv]

  • #830 – Grover Buel (1832-1818) – Generation 10
  • #415 – Deborah Buel (1761-1843) – Generation 9
  • #207 – Electa Rowley (1782-1830) – Generation 8
  • #103 – Deborah Buel Mabon (1804-1874) – Generation 7
  • #51 – Mary Electa Parsons (1827-1888) – Generation 6
  • #25 – Marion Sanford (1846-aft. 1885) – Generation 5
  • #12 – Arthur Durwood Brown (1864-1928) – Generation 4
  • #6 – Richard Earl Brown (1903-1990) – Generation 3
  • My mother – Generation 2
  • Me – Generation 1

My known relatives.

My records have 287 known descendants of Grover Buel identified over thirteen generations.

Endnotes

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Buck – Surname Saturday

Name Origin

Buck was a nickname used to describe someone resembling a he-goat (Old English Bucc(a)) or a male deer (Old English Bucc). Sometimes, it was a topographic name for someone living near a beech tree (Middle English boc).[i] There are also several different sources for Buck from German roots, but it appears that my Buck ancestors were probably English.

Geographical

The 1840 Census indicated there were 1158 Buck families in the United States. The majority of them lived in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, and Illinois.[ii] (Note: This includes many of the German forms of Buck.)

My Earliest Ancestors

Family Tree DNA - Family Finder and Population FinderMy most recent known Buck ancestor is my 7th great grand-grandmother, Jerusha Buck. Jerusha Buck was born 25 August 1739 in New Milford, Litchfield County, Connecticut. Her parents were Enoch Buck and Mary Beebe. She married Grover Buel on 15 February 1758. They had at least five children, including my ancestor Deborah Buel. my ancestor. She died in New Milford, Litchfield County, Connecticut, on 23 September 1778, and was buried about 25 miles away in the Old Amenia Burying Ground, in Amenia, Dutchess County, New York.[iii]

I have not had a chance to research Jerusha Buck, nor her father,Enoch, in depth yet, so my understand of their lives is quite limited still.

My Direct Buck Ancestors

  • #1662 – Enoch Buck (1683-1745) – Married Mary Beebe – 8th Great Grandparents
  • #831 – Jerusha Buck (1739-1778) – Married Grover Buel. – 7th Great Grandparents
  • Deborah Buel – Married Wicks Weeks Rowley – 6th Great Grandparents
  • Electa Rowley – Married Robert Maben – 5th Great Grandparents
  • Deborah Buel Maben – Married Chester Parsons – 4th Great Grandparents
  • Mary E. Parsons – Married William Sanford – 3rd Great Grandparents
  • Marion Sanford – Married William Henry Brown – 2nd Great Grandparents
  • Arthur Durwood Brown – Married Mary Elizabeth Manning – Great Grandparents
  • Richard Earl Brown – Grandparents (Biological father of child with Madonna Montran)
  • My mother – Generation 2
  • Me – Generation 1

My known relatives.

I only have six individuals with the surname Buck, in my records.  However, my records do have 292 direct-line descendants of Enoch and Mary (Beebe) Buck identified over fourteen generations, which is about 5% of my known Roberts/Brown Ancestors.


ENDNOTES


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Surname Saturday – Brown

 Meaning – Brown Name Meaning

English, Scottish, and Irish: Generally a nickname referring to the color of the hair or complexion, Middle English br(o)un, from Old English brun or Old French brun. As an American family name, it has absorbed numerous surnames from other languages with the same meaning.[i] The name is from an old adjective meaning ‘brown dark red,’ Old English and OHG. [ii] Read More About This Surname

Geographical

Although only ranked #202 in the world, the surname Brown is ranked #2 in Scotland and Canada, #3 in Australia, and #4 in England and the United States. In the United States, it is surpassed only by Smith, Johnson, and Williams in frequency.[iii]

In the 1840s, the Brown families in the United States were in every state but concentrated in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York.[iv]

My Brown Ancestors

#96 – My earliest known Brown ancestor is my 4th great-grandfather, Odel Brown. I know virtually nothing about Odel other than he was probably born about 1773, he married a woman named Jane and had at least two children, David and my 3rd great-grandfather, Barney Brown.

#48 – Barney/Daney Brown was born in New Hampshire about 1814. He married a woman named Mary probably about 1840.[v] Barney and Mary had at least four children, William Henry, Myron O., Alice C., and David V. Brown. Barney/Daney Brown seems to have vanished from the records after 1860 and before 1870, so I believe he died before 1 June 1870.

#24 William Henry Brown (he apparently went by Henry) was born in 1842 in Michigan. I speculate that he married Marion Sanford in 1866.[vi] They had 11 children that I know of.

  1. Arthur Durwood Brown
  2. Nettie May Brown
  3. Charles Dean Brown
  4. Mary Brown
  5. Almond Brown
  6. Gerome Clifford Brown
  7. William Henry Brown
  8. Clyde Hewett Brown
  9. Frederick Brown
  10. Ada Brown
  11. Edward Warberton Brown

William Henry Brown appears to have died between 1885 and 1900.

Arthur Durwood Brown

#12 Arthur Durwood Brown was born about 1864 in Michigan. He married Mary Elizabeth Manning in 1891. Arthur and Mary had twelve children:

  1. Clarence Arthur Brown
  2. Clyde Leroy Brown
  3. Victoria Cecelia Brown
  4. Martin Brown
  5. Cora Elsie Brown
  6. Richard Earl Brown (Aka Clifford Durand Brown)
  7. Dorothy Brown
  8. Edward Lewis Brown
  9. Arthur Eugene Brown
  10. Charles William Brown
  11. Delores Sarah Brown
  12. Nettie Mae Viola Brown

Arthur Durwood Brown died on 27 Aug 1928 in Walker, Minnesota.

Richard Earl Brown

#06 Richard Earl Brown was born 14 September 1903 as Clifford Durwood Brown. He had a daughter, my mother, with Madonna (Donna) Montran. He always wanted to marry Donna, but she said, “No.”

He changed his name to Richard Earl Durand and married Dorothy Amanda Wilhelm. Dick, as he was known, and Dorothy had two children. Living Durand and Mary Lou Durand. He married Cecelia Ann Squires in 1975.

Richard Earl Brown died 19 January 1990.

My Direct Brown Ancestors

  • #96 – Odel Brown (c. 1796-?)
  • #48 – Barney/Daney Brown (c.1814-c.1860)
  • #24 – William Henry Brown (1842-c.1895)
  • #12 – Arthur Durwood Brown (1864-1928)
  • #6 – Richard Earl Brown (aka Clifford Durwood Brown, aka Richard Earl Durand) (1903-1990)
  • #3 – My mother – (Living)
  • #1 – Me – Generation

My known Brown relatives.

My records have 248 direct-line descendants of Barney/Daney Brown identified over nine generations, which is about 5% of my known Brown/Montran family tree. Looking at the Browns another way, I have 144 individuals with the surname of Brown in my Brown/Montran family tree, the most of any surname.

ENDNOTES

[i] Ancestry.com; Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press via http://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=Brown

[ii] Web: Forebears – http://forebears.io/surnames/brown

[iii] Web: Wikipedia – List of most common surnames in North America
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_common_surnames_in_North_America

[iv] Ancestry.com; From the 1840 US Federal Census Date – http://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=Brown

[v] William Henry Brown was born in 1842 and is believed to be the first child of Barney and Mary Brown. Assuming they did marry, that would estimate they married about 1840.

[vi]   Marian’s first child was born in 1867 when she was 20. I guesstimate she and Henry were married about a year earlier when she was 19.

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Do you have a Brown ancestor?  Do you think that ancestor is one of mine?  If so, let’s prove it.  If you have tested with Ancestry, Family Tree, or 23 & Me, please contact me through the comments field below.  If you haven’t tested, I recommend you do so. Either FamilyTreeDNA or Ancestry.Com tests will easily show the genetic connection.

 

 

Blackhurst a rare name in my family tree.

Surname Saturday – Blackhurst

by Don Taylor

Name Origin

Blackhurst is a surname based upon habitation, that is to say it is based upon where a person lived or came from. In this case “Blackhurst” derived from Old English blæc meaning ‘black’ and hyrst meaning ‘wooded hill’.

Geographical

According to Forebears, there are only about 2,387 individuals with the Blackhurst surname in the world today, mostly in the United States and England.[i]

Back in 1840, there doesn’t appear to have been any families with the Blackhurst surname in the United States.[ii] By 1880 there were only 62 families in the United States and 11 of them were in New York. The 1920 Census reports only 74 Blackhurst families in the entire nation.

Our Blackhurst ancestors came from Yorkshire, England. Steven Blackhurst (1801-1869) in 1848 and settled in New York State. By 1880, there were still only 11 Blackhurst households in New York and only 62 Blackhurst households in the entire United States.[iii] However, there were still 599 Blackhurst families living in England and Wales according to the 1881 Census.[iv]

Forebears indicate that there are several similar surnames.[v]

Blackhirst – primarily in the United States.
Blokhorst – primarily in the Neatherlands.

My Direct Blackhurst Ancestors

#124 – Stephen Blackhurst 1775-1845 – 4th Great Grandfather.
#62 – Stephen Blackhurst (1801-1969) – 3rd Great Grandfather. Immigrant Ancestor.
#31 – Sarah H. Blackhurst (1847-1929) – 2nd Great Grandmother.
#15 – Ida Mae Barber (1875-1953) – Great Grandmother.
#7 – Madonna Mae Montran (1893-1976) – Grandmother.
#3 – My mother (Living).
#1 – Me.

My known relatives.

My records show 52 known, direct, descendants of Stephen Blackhurst over ten generations. Of my 99 known ancestors, that I have identified, three have the Blackhurst surname.

Ancestry DNA  indicates that I have one person, with a DNA Match that has Blackhurst in their family tree. Unfortunately, it is only 7.2 centimorgans on one DNA Segment and is likely a 5th to 8th cousin. She does have ancestors from Lancashire, England, which is next to Yorkshire, England where my Blackhurst ancestors came from but a genealogical connection isn’t evident. If you have Blackhurst ancestry, why not check out Ancestry DNA and see if you are related to one or both of us?

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