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Hopkinton to play host to founding father’s great, great, great, great grandson

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HOPKINTON - Colonel Roswell Hopkins purchased the land that would eventually become Hopkinton for $1.50 an acre in 1801.

The following year he traveled from Vergennes, Vt., to Hopkinton with a group of five other men including his son, Benjamin Hopkins, brother-in-law Jared Dewey, Eliphalet Brush, Samuel Goodell and Joel Goodell.

Now more than 200 years later, Mr. Hopkins’ great, great, great, great grandson, Maryn Roswell Bettel, is traveling to Hopkinton from England, retracing his grandfather’s footsteps starting in Vergennes and ending up in Hopkinton at around noon Tuesday.

Hopkinton Historian Mary Converse said she has been exchanging emails with Mr. Bettel since January 2009, but she was surprised when she heard he was planning a trip to Hopkinton.

“This is really exciting for us,” she said, adding the town hall will be open starting at noon with lunch expected to be served at 2 p.m.

“We encourage those who have roots in Hopkinton to bring a copy of their genealogy and stories about early Hopkinton,” Ms. Converse said.

Ms. Converse said that Mr. Bettel will be joined on his journey by his wife, Jaqui. The couple have three daughters and five grandchildren, including two grandsons with the middle name Hopkins.

According to information from Ms. Converse, provided by Mr. Bettel, the name Roswell has been traced back to his great, great, great, great, great grandfather.

Mr. Bettel also reports being able to trace his lineage back to John Hopkins, who founded Hartford, Conn., sometime in the middle of the 17th century.

Mr. Bettel began tracking his lineage in 1993 and thanks to the internet, he has been able to resolve several inconsistencies and add additional information to the tree.

“Importantly, I am now able to visit some of the places where my American ancestors lived and worked,” he wrote.

When asked if Mr. Hopkins had any other descendants in the area, Ms. Converse said she estimates that roughly 60 percent of Hopkinton’s population can be traced back to the town’s original settlers.

“I think at least 60 percent and perhaps even more,” she said. “That’s pretty amazing.

Ms. Converse said that while her own lineage isn’t connected to Hopkinton’s founding fathers her children, through their father’s side, are related to three of the five men who accompaniedMr. Hopkin’s on his original voyage into the Hopkinton.

However, she said she knows why her family tree isn’t connected to the town’s original settlers.

“I’m not originally from Hopkinton,” she said. “I moved her 58 years ago.”

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