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vital records sources

William was born in East Coker parish, Somerset, England, and baptized there at St. Michael and All Angels Church. In Massachusetts Bay Colony, Francis Hooper, captain of a shallop owned by Moses Maverick & Co., was likely William's father. He appears in two court cases in 1662 and 1665. See Francis's biography page for more information about this. Massachusetts may not have been his primary residence, but it's plausible that he brought William over from England while William was still a teenager and arranged for him to be in service to Osmund Traske of Beverly, who also came from East Coker.
     As a servant of Trask, William deposed in several court cases. When Osmund was fined for "rescuing hogs and cattle as they were being driven to the pound," William "of Bass River" deposed that "contrary to the presentment of Edmund Grover's cattle, the said Ozmund Traske's cattle were impounded at that very time."1 November 1665, William, aged about seventeen years," deposed that he saw Ephraim Herrick hit Traske, who, as constable, was impounding a pair of his shoes."2 This is consistently younger than his real age, but this is common in the county court records. Most ages given in court depositions are qualified with "about," inferring that the deponents weren't giving the information themselves.
     The first recorded real estate William bought was on "Bass River side" of Salem on 10 February 1667/68, just before this area became part of the town of Beverly.3 There were two pieces. One was five acres with a house. Others have put this in the area of what is now Heather Street in Beverly based on the bounds described in the deed. This corresponds with the maps of property owners as they probably appeared in 1700.4 The other was ten acres. On 23 April 1672, he sold the latter to his son's father-in-law Edmund Gale.5 There is no recorded deed in which William sold the house and five acres.
     For 35, William Livermore and his wife Elizabeth sold their house and an acre of land to William, who was to "take possession" on 30 September 1670.6 This deed is very unusual. It's structured and worded very differently from standard deeds of the time. Also, there are no property bounds described and no actual date of transaction, just a date at which it would be in effect. Deeds in New England rarely give details about payment other than the amount, unless it was a gift. Livermore outlines that 10 were given to him up front. This was to be followed by 12 in dry fish given to Mr. Brown or Nicholas Woodbery "at or before the last of July next 1670," which shows that the deed was made before 31 July 1670. Following this, "likewise William Hooper hath paid to Capt. Price one pound thirteen shilling & ten pence & ten pound more to ye abovesaid Mr. Browne in ye yeare 1674 & ye remainder of ye 35 to be paid to William Livermore or his assignes in ye year 1671 & for these premises I William Livermore with my wife doe surrender up to ye said William Hooper or his assignes all our houses and land above mentioned," which, aside from the house and land, included "all ye out houses and ye apurtenances thereunto belonging with all the fences & aple trees except six aple trees and three plumb trees for ye said houses & land." The deed was acknowledged by William and Elizabeth on 1 November 1676.
     William Hooper, Jr., lived in Beverly up to about 1711-1713, when he moved to neighboring Manchester. He sold a house and an acre and a half of land in Beverly in 1713, strongly suggesting this was his father's home.7 Deeds are vague and I lose track of it after 1719,8 but it was probably on what is now Essex Street near the corner of Dane Street.
     William is on a 3 December 1677 list of men who had taken the "Oath of Fidelity" at Beverly.9 This list is among those from other towns and appears to be an account of townsmen who had already taken the oath. It didn't necessarily mean he took the oath on that day, which has been the assumption in various publications.
     I don't find a record of either William joining the church in Beverly, but Elizabeth did on 3 December 1678 and they had their first three children baptized there soon after.10 Dorothy followed in 1680, when Elizabeth was described as William's "relict."11
     Without this remarkable death record, William's connection to England would always be a guess: "William Hooper aged aboute 30 years aboute the 8th day of November, falling overboard at sea & was son unto Francis & Julian Hooper of Coker in Old England Anno Domini 1679."12 In a summary of the minutes of the Essex County Quarterly Court,13 administration of his estate was given to Elizabeth, "the widow, and there being three children alive, and other in prospect" (Dorothy). The oldest son was to get 8, and the other four 4 each and land to be held in trust while they were minors.
     "Beverly in 1700"says the house lot was appraised at 5 after he died, and without citing a source.14 The only inventory transcription I've found is for his personal estate. Perley also says the property "soon after came into the possession of Roger Haskell." This is plausible given that Haskell's land nearly surrounded the lot but again, he gives no source. This house isn't still standing.

children of William Hooper and Elizabeth:15

i. Elizabeth, b. 1 August 1672, bap. 15 December 1678
ii. William, b. abt 1674, bap. 15 December 1678
iii. Edward, bap. 15 December 1678
iv. Dorothy, b. 4 August 1680

vital records sources: The earliest version of his death record I've found is in "Massachusetts, U.S., Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988," database online, "Beverly, Family Vital Records,", image 117 of transcribed mss page 100. It's been transcribed and referred to in publications many times since.

1. 14 November 1664, Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts [hereafter ECQC], vol. 3 (Essex Institute: Salem, 1913), 221.
2. Ibid, 289.
3. Essex Co., MA, deeds 3:166 (transcription pagination, index volumes say pg. 50, old pagination).
4. Essex Institute Historical Collections, vol. 55 (Essex Institute: Salem, 1919), "Beverly in 1700," which refers to abutting property owners and the town's "training field." William's lot isn't mentioned specifically. 5. Essex Co., MA, deed records 5:92 (transcription pagination, index volumes say pg. 21, old pagination).
6. Ibid, 11:236.
7. Ibid, 28:176.
8. The last deed found for the property was John Bradford to Capt. William Bowditch, ibid, 36:196.
9. ECQC, vol. 6 (1913), 401.
10. Records of the First Church in Beverly, Massachusetts, 1667-1772 (Essex Institute: Salem, 1905), 185.
11. Ibid, 189.
12. see vital records sources.
14. ECQC, vol. 7 (1919), 359.
15. see notes 10 and 11 and Vital records of Beverly, Massachusetts, to the end of year 1849, vol. 1 (Topsfield, MA: Topsfield Historical Society, 1906), 183.

all text and photographs 1998-2022 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted