Origins of the Scottish Surname of Hope - Section 8


8. Hope Early Colonial Settlers.


The first colonial settler with the surname of Hope was a Thomas Hope who arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, on the first supply vessel in January 1608, he was one of six tailors.   All the settlers in Jamestown were recorded as English hence the first Hope in the U.S.A. was English ie not Scottish etc. 


Another English early colonial settler was Major Richard Hope who was given a large parcel of land in Jamaica c1660 as a reward for his efforts in ousting the Spanish from the island.   The land became the Hope Estate, a sugar plantation.   The Hopes were there to at least 1800.  The present day Hope Botanical Gardens on Old Hope Road in Kingston are on a portion of the Hope Estate.   There is also the Hope river that provided water for the plantations and eventually Kingston itself.


Barbados was first settled in 1627 by the British.   Many of these early settlers eventually moved to the mainland and settled in Virginia, Georgia, The Carolinas etc.  In fact, there was a continuous flow of settlers from Barbados to virtually every point along the Atlantic seaboard.  As a result, many families can trace their origins in the New World origins first to Barbados.   There are recorded several Hopes in Barbados from about 1650 to 1800.   The earliest being a Rachel Hope in 1653. The most prominent appears to be a Nicholas Hope who was originally a tailor.  His father also Nicholas Hope was from London.   Nicholas Junior was married to Katherine Hope and they had several children including Thomas who became a doctor on the island.  c1750 a Nicholas Hope was private secretary to the Governor.   On the Barbados Slave Register of 1834 there are 186 entries of slaves with the sole name of Hope or with the surname of Hope  and nine of those with the surname of Hope also had the middle name of Small. Only three of the total were registered with Hope families.  It is clear that slaves took the name Hope from the name of the plantations of Hope and Small Hope where they had worked or perhaps they just liked the name as suitable for a freed slave.  In the Barbados records there is a will dated 1651 which mentions Mr. Thorborne's plantations: The Hope, The Content, and Joane's Hole.   There is certainly a place named Hope at the north end of the island and also a place named Small Hope.    (Small Hope sounds as if it it straight out of the Scottish Borders!).  However I suspect that the origin of the name of the plantation Hope is in this case is esperance. 


The Betty's Hope Sugar Plantation in Antigua, on the tourist trail there, has also no connection with the surname.


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