Jacob H. Hopper. The Hopper family, it is said, started in France. They spelled the name Hoppe, and finally changed it to Hopper. Some of them went to Holland during times of religious persecution. It is known that Andries (Andrew) Hopper came to America from Amsterdam, Holland, with a wife (and, perhaps, two or three children), as early as 1653, and located in the City of New Amsterdam. The name of his wife does not appear in the New Jersey records. After their arrival the couple had three children born to them: William in 1654, Hendrick in 1656, and Matthew in 1658.
Of the three last named children William (2) married Mynen Paulus and had issue three children: Christina, Gertrude, and Belitie (Bridget), all born in New Amsterdam. William’s two brothers, Hendrick (2) and Matthew (2), went to Bergen (Jersey City) in 1680. There, on March 14, of the same year, Hendrick (2) married Mary Johns Van Blarkum, a daughter of the American emigrant of that name, and April 15, 1683, Matthew (2) married Ann Peterse, afterward called Antje Jorckse. It does not appear that Hendrick and Matthew purchased lands in Bergen. They probably lived on leased lands while there. William (2) went to Hackensack in 1686, where he joined the Dutch Church in March of that year. His brothers Hendrick (2) and Matthew (2) went to Hackensack the following year. William (2) had a child, Andrew, baptized at Hackensack in March, 1686, shortly after his arrival. Nothing more is said of William (2), and the inference is that he died soon after. Hendrick (2) and Matthew (2), soon after their arrival, each purchased from Captain John Berry, a farm of between two and three hundred acres at Hackensack (party in the present village), and extending from the Hackensack River to the Saddle River. Each of them settled and built on his farm, where they remained until their deaths. Both were farmers, but took an active art in town and church matters. Matthew was a deacon of the “church on the Green” in 1705.
Matthew’s children (of the third generation) were Andrew, born in 1684, at Jersey City, married Elizabeth Bross; Christina, born in 1686 (married John Huysman); Lea, born in 1695 (married Jolin Vanderhoff, of Albany); Rachel, born in 1703 (twice married); and John, born in 1705 (married Elizabeth Kipp). All except Andrew were born at Hackensack. Hendrick’s children of the third generation were Andrew, born in 1681 (married Abigail Ackerman); John, born in 1682 (married Rachel Terhune); William, born in 1684; Catharine, born in 1685 (married Peter Garretse Van Allen, of Rotterdam, Holland); Garret, born in 1696; Gertrude, born in 1699 (married Hendrick Alberts Zabriskie); and Lea (married Christian Alberts Zabriskie).
Many of these, with their children, removed to Paramus and scattered through Saddle River, Ridgewood, and Mildland Townships, where their descendants are to-day numerous. Members of the family have represented Bergen County in both houses of the Legislature; others have worn the judicial ermine with dignity and respectability; still others have become famous as physicians, clergymen, lawyers, mayors of cities, publicists, mechanics, sailors, soldiers, and agriculturists.
Jacob H. Hopper, the subject of this sketch, is a lineal descendant of Andrew Hopper, the first emigrant of the name. He is a son of John Hopper and Elizabeth (Goetchius) Hopper, and was born at Saddle River, in Bergen County, August 6, 1823. Having received a fair common school education in the schools of his native county, he acquired while quite young the trade of harness-making, which he followed successfully at Hackensack until 1880, when he was made superintendent of the cemetery in that village. He still holds this position, having filled it with great ability and fidelity during the last twenty years. Mr. Hopper has also been a prominent figure in public affairs. He was Town Collector of Hackensack for three years and a Justice of the Peace for ten years, and has served as a member of the Town Committee. For forty-nine years he has been a leading member and one of the chief supporters of the Hackensack Christian Reformed Church. The ability, faithfulness, and integrity with which he has discharged every trust, and the active interest he has taken in the progress and welfare of his town and county, have won for him great respect and the confidence of all who enjoy his acquaintance. He is public spirited, enterprising, and patriotic, and a liberal, progressive citizen, whose energies have been directed toward useful and charitable ends.
He married Lydia Bogert, a descendant of one of the old Bergen County families, and their children are Ann Elizabeth, John Henry, and Martha Amelia Hopper.
Source: Harvey, Cornelius Burnham, Editor; Genealogical History of Hudson and Bergen Counties, New Jersey, New York: The New Jersey Genealogical Publishing Company, 1900.