The Hoppers of Iveston

The Hoppers of Iveston

The Hopper family lived in the small County Durham village of Iveston in the parish of Lanchester from the reign of Elizabeth I until at least 1754.  These articles tell of one branch of the family who were part of one of the earliest Quaker communities and of their ancestors. 

The Quaker Hoppers

The story starts with 6 siblings, the children of John and Elizabeth Hopper,  who lived in Iveston in the 17th and 18th centuries: Margaret, George, Johanna, Rachel, Benjamin and Joseph Hopper.  They were all Quakers and part of the Benfieldside Quaker Community.  

The three sisters all died unmarried but were of independent means and held land in their own names.  Margaret and Rachel left wills which provide valuable information on their family. 

Benjamin was the adventurous sibling, emigrating to Pennsylvania, USA, in ca. 1700.  He married in America and had at least 2 sons, before dying young. 

George appears to have been the most prosperous member of the family, regularly having property seized when he, as a Quaker, refused to pay tithes to the Anglican church.  George married Elizabeth Watson in 1680 and the couple had at least 8 children. 

Joseph was the youngest of the siblings, being born in 1668.  He remained in Iveston until his death in 1754. 

The Early Hoppers

The ancestors of John Hopper are then traced using a variety of sources including Lanchester parish registers and documents related to the transfer of land around Iveston.  

Three further generations of Hoppers are discussed: John and Margaret, Lancelot, and Christopher and Margaret.  The latter couple married at Lanchester parish church on the 17 September 1581, during the reign of Elizabeth I.  

The Hopper Family Tree



  • Annex 1 – Quakerism in Benfieldside
  • Annex 2 – The Julian calendar and “double-dating”
  • Annex 3 – Lanchester All Saints Parish Registers