What is the origin of the last name Hopkins?

The last name Hopkins derives from the Middle English personal name "Hopkin," a diminutive form of "Hobbe" or "Robert." Hobbe was a popular given name during medieval times, and its diminutive form, Hopkins, gradually evolved into a hereditary surname. The surname Hopkins has English roots, and its origin can be traced back to the 13th century in Suffolk and Worcestershire, England. Throughout history, the name Hopkins has spread to various regions, particularly the United States, where it remains relatively common today.

Countries of origin for the last name Hopkins

The last name Hopkins is of English origin and is derived from a patronymic surname. A patronymic surname is one derived from the given name of the father or a male ancestor. In the case of the Hopkins surname, it is derived from the given name “Hob” or “Hopped,” which were medieval diminutives of Robert.

The surname Hopkins is most commonly found in England and Wales, with a significant presence in the United States as well. The earliest recorded instance of the surname can be traced back to the Domesday Book of 1086, where a Willelmus filius Hopkins is mentioned. This indicates that the surname has been in use for over nine centuries.

The surname Hopkins has undergone various spelling variations over time, including Hopkin, Hopkyns, and Hopkinson. These variations are largely due to differences in pronunciation and regional dialects. The spelling of surnames was not standardized until relatively recently in history, so variations were common.

As with many surnames, the meaning of Hopkins is not explicitly stated in historical records. However, through etymological analysis and knowledge of name patterns, we can infer that the surname is likely to have originated as a patronymic, indicating descent from a person named Hob or Hopped, derived from Robert. The name Robert itself has Germanic origins and means “bright fame” or “famous ruler.”

The surname Hopkins has been borne by several notable individuals throughout history. One such individual is Gerard Manley Hopkins, a renowned English poet of the Victorian era. His poetry is known for its innovative use of rhythm and imagery. Additionally, Hopkins is a relatively common surname in the United States and has been held by numerous individuals who have made contributions in various fields.

Studying the surname Hopkins provides us with a glimpse into the rich tapestry of human history and the interconnectedness of our past. While we can trace the surname back to its medieval origins and make informed deductions about its meaning, there will always be aspects that elude our understanding. Nevertheless, the surname Hopkins continues to be a part of many families’ histories and serves as a link to generations that have come before us.

Interesting facts about the last name Hopkins

  • Hopkins is a surname of English origin.
  • The name Hopkins derives from the medieval personal name “Hobbe” or “Hodges,” which itself is a diminutive form of “Robert.”
  • The surname Hopkins has been found in recorded forms since the 14th century.
  • The name was originally associated with the southwestern counties of England, particularly in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
  • Historically, many Hopkins families were involved in agriculture, with some becoming wealthy landowners.
  • Famous individuals with the surname Hopkins include the Welsh actor Sir Anthony Hopkins, known for his roles in films like “The Silence of the Lambs” and “Thor.”
  • The surname is also associated with historical figures such as Edward Hopkins, who was a governor of the Connecticut Colony in the 17th century.
  • Hopkins is a relatively common surname in the United States, with a significant concentration of Hopkins families in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina.
  • The surname has also spread to other English-speaking countries, including Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Name Rank


There are around 96810 people with the last name Hopkins in the US

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