The surname HOPES as it occurs within the north Somerset, south Gloucester and Bristol area grew from the family of Stephen HOPE (early 1700s). We do not know if he was correctly listed as HOPE or if he came from HOPES elsewhere. However the occurrence of HOPES in the baptisms of his children gave rise to all the subsequent HOPES within the west country of England. From there his descendants spread to Glamorgan & Monmouthshire (where very single HOPES can be traced back to the west of England), to the USA and Canada, Australia, New Zealand and even Germany.
HOPE as a variant of HOPES, possibly a deliberate attempt to re-establish the old family name, was to spring up in Corston, Somerset where Bob HOPE's grandfather was born. It was from my study that this was first established and that whilst he was born in London he only lived there for a few months before the family moved back to its home in Weston-super-Mare and then Bristol before emigration.
Another Corston HOPES offshoot was the HOPE family line established Marshfield, south Gloucs. So, instead of being part of the vary large old English family HOPE, the HOPES family members can count themselves as being from a rare brood very firmly rooted in the west country, around Bath and Bristol.
Welcome to every one of you and my thanks to my 'confederates' Caroline Rihan, Ruth Olson and John Hopes for their very valuable contributions and to all others who have given me their data, making the database on my site data possible (see main Researcher entry for link).
ResearchersClick on the names of researchers to see their additional interests and contact information on the Researcher page.
I started the study of the name HOPES because my great grandmother was Ellen HOPES and reputedly from a family of nurserymen. I was told but disbelieved that the family were related to Bob HOPE (Leslie Towns/Townes HOPE). It was hard enough tracking down the HOPES and I found great support from people in the Bristol and Avon Family History Society, which I commend to all researchers.
After several years I had found that my great grandma was a Coal Miner's daughter and that there was a huge coal, iron, brass and chemical industry in the Bitton area where she was born. So she was not from nurserymen stock. However, some of her great uncles had moved to Corston and were in horticulture, one a nurseryman. And it was there I found, to my astonishment, the link between the HOPES family and Bob Hope and so pleased my persistent cousin Ruth Olson.
So I benefited from sharing and cooperation with others, and learned to respect but not believe until proved, 'family lore'.