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Hester Kelsey (unknown)

Also Known As: "not Bethia Hopkins", "not the daughter of Stephen Hopkins of the Mayflower"
Birthdate: (64)
Birthplace: England
Death: December 1677 (60-68)
Hartford, Hartford , Connecticut
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Unknown father of William Kelsey's wife and Unknown mother of William Kelsey's wife
Wife of William Kelsey
Mother of Mark Kelsey; Priscilla Gillette; Anna Gillett (Kelsey); Hester Williams; John Kelsey and 7 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Hester Kelsey

Wife of William Kelsey, parents unknown.


  • John Kelsey, Mark Kelsey, Bethia Kelsey, Priscilla Kelsey, Mary Kelsey, Abigail Kelsey, Stephen Kelsey, Daniel Kelsey, William Kelsey, William Kelsey

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The long tradition that assumes that William Kelsey's wife's name was "Bethia Hopkins" is based on Hinman's misreading the 1663 record regarding William Kelsey's daughter Bethia "Kelly", the wife, then widow, of John Kelly who later married David Phillips. This confusion was further compounded by attempts by zealous genealogists to link this "Bethia Hopkins" to the pilgrim Stephen Hopkins. There is no reliable record of William Kelsey's wife. The name of William Kelsey's wife is not known but her birth is shown to be about 1613 when Winthrop records her age at forty-six years when he treats her in 1659 for a sore "right elboe". However, that her given name may be Hester might be inferred from from the fact that William's oldest daughter is named Hester and his sons, Mark and John, and daughters, Priscilla Gillett and Abigail Hull, all had elder daughters named Hester.

research by Jeff Gentes 17 Oct 2010

(see or or


Bethia Hopkins does NOT appear to be the daugther of Stephen Hopkins.

Acc. to Vol Six of Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, Stephen Hopkins' children were:

1. Constance b. ca 1607

2. Giles b. ca 1609

3. Damaris b. 1618/1619, on the Mayflower, was alive in 1627 but likely died young

4. Oceanus born aboard the Mayflower bet 16 Sept and 11 Nov. Died betore 22 May 1627 and probably before 1623

5 Caleb b ca 1622. Died in the Barbadoes.

6. Debaroh b Plymouth ca 1624 - 5

7. Ruth b probably Plymouth died unmarried after 30 Nov 1644 and prob before 3 April 1651

8. Elizabeth b prob Plymouth. Died unmarried after Oct 1657 and prob bef 29 SEpt 1659

"No evidence has been found that John Hopkins b. England in 1613 and d Hartford, CT in 1654, was a son of Stephen Hopkins by his first wife, as alleged in Mayflower Signers."

An alternative profile here on Geni has Bethia Hopkins being the daughter of John Hopkins ("twin") which may be the case as I have seen this elsewhere. [Hatte Blejer, descendant of Bethia Hopkins]

There are multiple Bethia Hopkins also.

One was the daughter of unknown (possibly John Hopkins), wife of Samuel Stocking.

Families of Early Hartford, Ct., Barbour, Lucius Barnes, Clearfield Pub., Baltimore, MD., 1977


pg. 586

"Deacon Samuel Stocking , son of George and Agnes, died Dec. 1683. He married on May 27, 1652, Bethia Hopkins who also married James Steele. She was the daughter of John Hopkins and Jane." All of their children are listed in Barbour, with dates and spouses. Bethia birth, spouse and marriage, John, birth and death Ebenezer,just birth George, birth and spouse Stephen, just birth Daniel,birth and spouse Lydia,birth and 2 spouses and Thomas, no dates or spouse.


Marriage: 1652


i. DANIEL STOCKING, b. 1677; d. 1733.

ii. HANNAH STOCKING, b. 30 Oct 1654.

iii. BETHIA STOCKING, b. 10 Oct 1658; d. 06 Nov 1732.

iv. GEORGE STOCKING, b. 20 Feb 1664, Middletown, Hartford Co., Ct.; d. 17 Feb 1727, E. Middletown, Middlesex Co, Ct..

v. JOHN STOCKING, b. 1660; d. 1725.


The other Bethia Hopkins married William Kelsey in England. Both Bethia Hopkins lived in Hartford.

The Kelsey family website says:

Some note about Bethia Hopkins:

William Kelsey and Bethia Hopkins married back in England.

Bethia Hopkins was not the daughter of Stephen Hopkins of the Mayflower.

There were two Bethia Hopkins in Hartford at about the same time. The older of the two was the one who married William Kelsey and settled in Hartford.

I am not aware of anyone who has found the parents of the Bethia Hopkins who married William Kelsey, we really do not know who Kelsey's Bethia's parents were.

There was a John Hopkins in Hartford at the same time as Kelsey's Bethia, but Bethia married back in England, so there is no reason to necessarily connect John and Bethia. However, the Hartford John Hopkins named his own daugher Bethia, but that Bethia is NOT the same person as the Bethia who married William Kelsey. Thus is is possible that John Hopkins and Kelsey's Bethia Hopkins might have been siblings (thus the two Bethias were aunt and niece)

Hester and William were married in about 1633 in an unknown locale.

Hester and William were married in about 1633 at an unknown locale.

view all 15

Hester Kelsey's Timeline

Age 15
Age 17
Milford, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Age 19
Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA
Age 21
New Towne (Present Cambridge), (Present Middlesex County), Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
October 16, 1636
Age 23
Cambridge, Massachusetts Bay Colony
Age 23
Hartford, (Present Hartford County), (Present Connecticut), (Present USA)
Age 25
April 19, 1645
Age 32
Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut