Facts and Events
Sarah Hopkins' origins are unknown. Her first confirmed sighting is on 12th October 1795, when she was married at King's Walden in Hertfordshire to an agricultural labourer named William Swallow. One of the witnesses to that marriage was a William Hopkins, who was presumably a relative.
William and Sarah did not stay in King's Walden after their marriage, but moved south to Wheathampstead, where they had eight children between 1799 and 1816, although two of those died as infants and another as a girl of 16. In 1813 the parish registers start recording precisely where each family lived, and thus we know that from at least 1814 onwards the family was living at Hollybush, a 16th or 17th century row of cottages near the hamlet of Mackerye End in the west of Wheathampstead parish. Hollybush still stands today, but the whole row of cottages has now been combined into one house.
William died in 1835, aged 65. This is the last time the family was listed as having lived at Hollybush. After William's death, Sarah moved to Gustard Wood, a hamlet to the north of Wheathampstead parish, where she appears in the 1841 census living next door to her son William and his family. Her granddaughter Eliza was living with her - Eliza was Sarah's daughter Hannah's daughter, born before Hannah's marriage to William Thompson.
Sarah stayed at Gustard Wood for the rest of her life. She died in 1848 and was buried at Wheathampstead on 2nd August 1848. She was 79.