NameAdam Hoops , 7G Uncle, M
DeathJun 1771, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
BurialNorth Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA256
OccupationTrader/Merchant, Victualler to the Troops, Entrepreneur, Land Speculator
Death19 Jul 1782, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA264,255
BurialNorth Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA256
Notes for Adam Hoops
Adam Hoops’ land speculation group received the Germantown (Shepody/Hopewell) land grant in “Nova Scotia” (later New Brunswick) on Sept. 24, 1765. He was the uncle of Robert Cummings.90
Regarding his life:
“Adam Hoops is unknown to most Pennsylvanians today. But at the time of his death in 1771, he was one of the wealthiest men in the Province. Other than a few entries in the Colonial Records and Archives of Pennsylvania, Adam Hoops remains a mystery to most historians... Of vague origins and unknown parentage, Hoops appears first on the western frontier of Pennsylvania in 1738. There is nothing to indicate he had much formal education; his handwriting was execrable and his spelling was, to put it kindly, distinctively phonetic. However, by sheer grit, hard work, and relentless drive he became one of Pennsylvania's first self-made men...”255
“Adam Hoops did not start off well-connected. He wore buckskin, carried a musket, had been a "whiskey kegg maker. " He had walked the Indian trails west of the Susquehanna selling his wares from wagons, trading with friendly Indians and fighting off bellicose ones. As an Indian trader, Hoops came to know the mountains, forests and paths of the Alleghenies. Living on his farm in the Conochocheague settlement near McDowell's Mill on the edge of Cumberland County in the 1750s, Hoops helped fortify log homes and organized frontier defense, riding out in the night with his neighbors to rescue settlers from burning cabins. Some of his own men had been killed by marauding Indians. He himself had been nearly scalped. As one of five road commissioners in 1755 Adam Hoops had spent a month supervising the cutting of a road from Shippensburg west to Raystown (today's Bedford), where none before existed. He knew the Pennsylvania frontier as well as Philadelphia merchants knew their counting houses, their ledgers, and their ballrooms...”255
There is much more in Roberts’ and Tull’s excellent and throughly researched account on Adam Hoops’ indefatigable drive and remarkably broad range of activities that allowed him to amass his fortune and move east.255
“...In May 1761 Adam Hoops packed up his family-five daughters, one son-in-law and three sons-and moved to Third Street in Philadelphia, property he had purchased in 1759. However, he never severed his ties with Carlisle and Cumberland County. He leased his large stone house in the main square, remained active in promoting the Presbyterian Church there, served as administrator for the Orphans' Court, and continued to buy up good farm land in that county. Settled in the thriving commercial center that was Philadelphia, the largest city in the colonies in the 1760s, Adam Hoops expanded his portfolio and diversified his financial investments. He bought land, property, warehouses, estates, ships, and an iron furnace. He was quick to take advantage of economic opportunity and was an industrialist before his time. He was also a one-man financial institution in a time when there were no banks, no checks, no savings and loans, no stock market. Those with cash on hand, one of whom was obviously Adam Hoops, weathered the downturn in the economy which followed the end of the War and the signing of the treaty of 1763. Those less fortunate, or provident, borrowed from Hoops. The number of persons to whom he lent money grew larger, including a future President of the United States, the young James Madison.”255
Regarding his origins:
“...the Scots-Irish theory...is propounded by independent researcher Mrs. Betty Huber of Morrisville, a charter member of the Historic Morrisville Society, who has been studying the Hoops family for years. Although she has yet to identify Adam Hoops’s birth place or ancestry, she believes he was Scots-Irish, as he was one of the early settlers in that part of Lancaster County (later Cumberland County in 1750) which was heavily settled by immigrants from Ulster...This is a reasonable conclusion, as Hoops was a devout Presbyterian. The fact that Adam Hoops in 1763-64 spent several months in Ireland lends credence to this belief.
...The mystery may be solved if the missing "Hoops Bible" can be located. This Bible was described in an article in The Christian-Evangelist of November 8, 1900 written by Decima Campbell Barclay, wife of John Judson Barclay, great grandson of Thomas Barclay and great-great grandson of Adam Hoops. "I have now in my possession a much older Bible, which was published in London in 1696, during the reign of 'William and Mary'...This 'Family Bible' descended to my husband from his great grandmother, Mary Hoops, of Philadelphia, who was married to Thomas Barclay in 1770, so that it must have been in the possession of the Hoops family many years prior to her birth." We thank George F. Miller of Historic Bethany, Bethany, West Virginia, for this reference. One fact appears certain. Adam Hoops is not descended from the Quakers Joshua Hoopes and son Daniel of Chester County. Of Daniel's seventeen children none was named Adam.”255
The Quaker Joshua Hoopes came from Yorkshire but another branch of that family, Robert Hoopes, went to Lurgan, Ireland, and one of Robert’s sons, John Hoopes, came to America in the late 1600’s. It’s still conceivable that Adam is related to the Irish line in Lurgan but this is just conjecture at this time.
Adam Hoops was appointed a Coroner in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania Oct. 6, 1750.265
In 1755-56 he was a Captain of the Militia and Commissary of Provisions to the British troops during the French and Indian War.266
He was appointed a Justice of the Peace in Cumberland County Oct 17, 1764.265
He was appointed Justice of the Peace in Bucks County May 16, 1769, and again the next year May 23, 1770 at which time his name is spelt “Hoopes” on the transcription.267
Fraom the Historic Morrisville Society Newsletters:“The Architectural Consultants who are studying Summerseat
for restoration under the Pew Charitable Trusts grant have completed a draft of a documentary history that is largely based on research done by former HMS member Betty Huber. Early records show a 1684 grant from William Penn to John Wood of 650 acres plus an island in the Delaware River. John's son, Joseph, inherited the land and subdivided it among his three sons. A generation later, Josiah Wood sold 70 acres and the island to Adam Hoops
in 1764. Benjamin Wood sold 174 acres to Hoops in 1766. Betty Huber determined that the second purchase (1766) included the land with Summerseat's site by reconstructing old area deeds overlaid on a modern map. Adam Hoops executors - his wife and oldest son - advertised Summerseat for sale in 1772, describing a "large new and well furnished brick house, kitchen, stone barn, stables, and other offices," indicating that Summerseat had been recently built. This suggests that Summerseat would have been built between 1766 and 1770, the historic preservation specialists conclude.--11/93The Architects' Report on Summerseat
provides information on the original owner, Adam Hoops. Hoops rose from a start as an adventurous frontier whiskey trader to become one of the richest men in the colonies. Born in 1709, Hoops was involved with George Croghan and William Trent, Indian traders and land speculators, at about age 30. In his mid-forties he narrowly escaped capture by Indians during the French and Indian War while engaged in guiding settlers at the frontier. Hoops prospered during the war both as a trader and as a subcontractor for the provincial troops. He acquired land in Franklin, Cumberland, and Lancaster counties. Hoops traveled between York, Carlisle, Lancaster, and Fort Pitt (Pittsburgh) and then, in 1759, he bought two houses in a part of Philadelphia inhabited by prosperous businessmen. He continued to acquire property in Philadelphia, Carlisle, and Lancaster County, where he bought the Martic Iron Furnace. In addition to his acquisitions in America, Hoops traveled to England and Ireland, and purchased trading ships to extend his business activities. When Hoops died in 1771 at Summerseat his estate was valued at more than £42,000.--2/94More About 18th Century Summerseat
from the architectural consultants studying the building under The Pew Charitable Trusts grant: An inventory of Summerseat's contents at the time of Adam Hoop's death shows that one way in which the Philadelphia merchant displayed his wealth was by having seven mirrors in the building. Mirrors were very expensive at the time. Their association with fireplaces in the inventory suggests that they were often hung over mantels. The inventory indicates that mixed use was made of some rooms, one containing both a dining room table and a bed. The first floor center hall contained dining and other tables and chairs. One of the two front rooms on the ground floor contained a bed and other furniture. Each of the rear rooms on the ground floor contained a bed, as did all the rooms on the second floor. The inventory indicates that the kitchen was separated from the main house, which is borne out by old photographs of Summerseat. One item in the inventory that was highly valued was a gold watch, listed as being worth £20. The inventory also listed law books, Hoops having been a Justice of the Peace. (The consultants credit research done by Betty Huber as the source of much of the information in their report.)--1/94”268
Regarding Adam’s children:
“Jane, Isabel and Mary married Irish-born immigrants, while Sarah, Margaret and David married into Virginia families. Robert married a daughter of a New Jersey lawyer and Adam Jr., as far as we know, remained unmarried.”255
From the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 35 p. 512 published in 1911:
Adam Hoops: -- Information wanted of the birth-place and parentage of Adam Hoops who died at Falls, Bucks Co., Pa., June 30, 1771, aged 62, and of his wife Elizabeth Hoops who died in Philadelphia July 19, 1782, aged 62. They were both buried in Bank Street Church yard, which was the 1st Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia. Adam Hoops is supposed to have lived in that part of Chester Co., Pa., that became Lancaster county, in 1729, and Cumberland county, in 1750, as the first record we know of him is his being drawn on the first Grand-jury empanelled in Cumberland county, July 24, 1750, and his appointment, the same year, as first Coroner of the county. After this he led an active public life until his death. He resided for some years at Carlisle, Pa., where lived also his sister Margaret Cummins. He had another sister Anne, wife of Joseph Evans, of South Carolina, married at Christ Church, Philadelphia, October 29, 1734. Both sisters are mentioned in his will. Adam and Elizabeth Hoops had eight children, the eldest Jane, who was born in 1743, married Daniel Clark, who moved to New Orleans and amassed the enormous fortune that was the subject of historic litigation for many years, on behalf of Myra Clark Gaines; Isabel who married 1st, James Mease and 2ndly, Jasper Moylan, having by her second marriage one child who became the wife of Robert Walsh, Jr.; Sarah who married, for his second wife, Colonel John Syme, of Virginia, the half-brother of Patrick Henry; Mary who married Thomas Barclay, Consular Agent of the United States in France at the close of the Revolutionary war; Margaret who married Thomas Walker; Robert (of New Jersey); David (of Maryland and Virginia), and Adam (Major U.S. Army), the youngest, born at Carlisle, Pa., January 9, 1760, died at West Chester, Pa., June 9, 1846.
In her “History of Ceres, N.Y.,” Miss King, now deceased, says that Major Adam Hoops “was of English descent and had a genealogical record back to the ninth century;” which members of her family had seen. This would be a most important and valuable document to find. Does any one know of its present whereabouts?
Major Adam Hoops left all his estate (1846) to his niece, Mrs. Maria Isabel Coulter of Staunton, Va. She was living in 1858. Whose child was she?
The Adam Hoops family most likely belonged to the Presbyterian denomination, and although Joshua Hoops, the emigrant ancestor of the Quaker Hoopes Family, of Chester county, spelled his surname the same as Adam Hoops, Gilbert Cope says: “no relationship was known to exist.” But a strong personal likeness existed between Major Adam Hoops and some members of the Hoopes family of Chester Co. From at least three of the daughters of Adam Hoops having married born Irishmen, and his grand-daughter Moylan also, it would seem not at all unlikely, from the clannishness of the Irish, that he was of Irish birth or extraction.
There is a tradition, for what it is worth that there were the proverbial three brothers Hoops in England, one, Joshua Hoops, emigrating to America, one to Scotland and one to Ireland. With these key-notes, as pointers, cannot some of your readers add to our information?
Charles Henry Hart.”259
From “History of Ceres” by Maria King, p. 25, published in 1896:
“He [Major Adam Hoops, son of Adam Hoops] had a genealogical record that went back to the 9th century. They were of English descent but had no relatives living even in those earlier days of their residence at Olean, except a niece in Virginia to whom this genealogical record was to descend.”261
From "A Sketch of the early settlement of Olean and its founder, Major Adam Hoops” [Jr.] by Maud D. Brooks, p. 28, published in 1898:
“Adam Hoops [Jr] was a native of Carlisle, Cumberland county, Pa., and was born on the 9th day of January, 1760. He was of English descent, and had a genealogical record back to the 9th century.
Miss King, author of “History of Ceres,” states that members of her family have seen this record. The King family were intimate friends of both Major Hoops and his brother Robert, and frequently entertained them at their home in Ceres.”260
WILL OF ADAM HOOPS OF PENNSYLVANIA (abstracted)108
Dated: 7 June 1771
Prob: 6 July 1771, Philadelphia PA
“In the Name of God Amen. I Adam Hoops, of the Falls in the County of Bucks and Province of Pennsylvania, being of sound and perfect mind and memory ---- this 7th day of June 1771 ------
do make and publish this my Last Will and Testament -------
to my dearly beloved wife Elizabeth Hoops my southernmost messuage tenement and lot of ground which I purchased of William Henderson, now in the tenure of William Clifton and sisters, situate on the east side of Third Street in the City of Philadelphia during her natural life, 250 pounds to be paid her yearly, household goods, etc. -----------
To my son Robert Hoops, my plantation in West Jersey called Paquess together with the Grist Mill ------ (assorted items) ---- which was delivered to him by Jos: Watson about two years ago ---------
To my son David Hoops after the decease of his mother, the messuage tenement and lot of ground which she holds during her natural life,
and the sum of 2,000 pounds current money ---------
To my son Adam Hoops, my northernmost house and lot in Third Street aforesaid, adjoining that given to his mother, to be posessed by him when he arrives at age 21, also 2,000 pounds current money the principal and interest paid to him when he arrives at 21 years ------
To my daughter Jane Clarke, wife of Daniel Clarke, 1,000 -pounds, which I paid to her husband more than a year ago, and my plantation and
land in lower Makefield in the County of Bucks ------------
To my daughter Isabel Mays, wife of John Mays, the house and lot in Front Street in Philadelphia which I purchased of the executors
of David Callwell, deceased -----------
To my daughter Sarah Sims, wife of Col John Sims, the sum of 4,000 pounds current money which I have paid to her said husband by a bond on Col. Harrison ---------
To my daughter Mary Barclay, my house and two lots on the east side of Water Street in Philadelphia which I purchased of John Malcolm and John Knowls, the lots, house and money her husband Thomas Barclay has had of me I estimate at 2,821 pounds ---------
To my daughter Margaret Hoops, the sum of 2,000 pounds current money ---------
To my grandaughter Elizabeth Sims, 553 pounds, 17 shillings and 1 penny, which is now in the hands of her father which he received of Col. Birrd and Tho: Willing bonds, and other bonds ------ To my sister Margaret Cummings, the sum of 50 pounds yearly during her life --------
To my nephew Robert Cummings the sum of 300 pounds current money -----
To the children of my sister Ann Evans, deceased, the sum of 300 pounds to be equally divided between them -----
To Mary Emerson, wife of James Emerson, the sum of 100 pounds -------
To my wife's niece, Jane Taylor the sum of ..... (mutilated) ... hundred pounds and one-half of a certain tract of land which I purchased of Robert McCrea in Cumberland County, the other half of the tract being given her by her Uncle Alexander Finney -----
To Frances Batchelder, wife of Edward Batch-elder, the sum of 100 pounds -------------------
remainder of my estate both real and personal, after funeral expenses, just debts and legacies I bequeath unto my dear children, to wit, Jane, Isabel, Robert, Sarah, David, Mary, Margaret and Adam to be divided..(he explains how)....------
I appoint my beloved wife Elizabeth executrix and my sons Robert and David executors of this my last will and testament ---- and I do nominate my sons in law, Daniel Clarke and Thomas Barclay, merchants, to be trustees of my last will and testament, requesting of them the favour of their advice and assistance--- and for their trouble my executors to pay them 100 pounds exclusive of their dividend of my estate above mentioned.-------
set my hand and seal the day and year first above written.
Wit: James Emerson, Timothy Taylor, Adm. Hoops (seal)
The foregoing is a true copy of a writing lodged in my office
as the testament and last will of Adam Hoops, Esq. deceased, and as
such propos'd to prov'd as soon as the witnesses thereto can come
to town for that purpose. Witness my hand at Philadr. the 6th day
of July AnnoDom. 1771.”
Benjamin Chew Regr. Gl.
Wills: Abstracts, Book P: 1770 - 1774: Philadelphia Co, PA
HOOPS, ADAM. Falls. Bucks Co.
June 7, 1771. July 9, 1771.
Children: Robert, David, Margret, Adam, Jane Clarke,
Isabel Mays, Sarah Symes, Mary Barclay.
Sons in law: Daniel Clarke, James Mays, Col. John Symes, Thomas Barclay.
Granddaughter: Elizabeth Symes.
Sister: Margaret (Hoops) Cummings.
Nephew: Robert Cummings.
Nephews and Nieces: Children of sister Ann Evans (decd.), Jane Taylor.
Friends: Mary (wife of James Emerson). Frances (wife of Edward Batchelor).
Execs.: Elizabeth, Robert, and David Hoops.
Trustees: Daniel Clarke, Thomas Barclay.
Wit: James Emerson, Timothy Taylor, Mahlon Kirkbride. P.110.108
Excerpts from The History and Topography of Dauphin, Cumberland, Franklin, Bedford, Adams, and Perry Counties (Pennsylvania) by I. Daniel Rupp, published 1846. Chapter VI., Indian Massacres--1755.269
“Conococheague, Nov. 3d, 1755
To the Hon. R. H. Morris, Esq., Gov. of Province of Pennsylvania.
Sir:--I am sorry I have to trouble you with this meloncholy and disagreeable
news; for on Saturday an express came from Peter's township that the
inhabitants of the Great Cove were all murdered or taken captive, and their
houses and barns all in flames--some few fled, upon notice brought them by a
certain Patrick Barns, a captive, who had made his escape that very morning
before this sad tragedy was done. Upon information, as aforesaid, John Potter
and myself sent expresses through our neighborhood, which induced many of them
to meet with us, at John McDowell's mill, where I, with many others, had the
unhappy prospect to see the smoke of two houses which had been set on fire by
the Indians; viz: Matthew Patton's and Mesech James' houses, where their
cattle were shot down, and horses standing bleeding, with Indian arrows in
them, but the Indians had fled.
The Revd. Mr. Steel, Esq., and several others with us, to the number of about
one hundred, went in quest of the Indians, with all the expedition imaginable,
but without success. These Indians have likewise taken two women captives,
belonging to said township. I very much fear Path Valley has undergone the
George Croghan was at Aughwick, where he had a small fort and about thirty-
five men; but whether he has been molested or not, we cannot, as yet say. We,
to be sure, are in as bad circumstances as ever any poor christians were ever
in. For the cries of widowers, widows, fatherless and motherless children,
with many others for their relations, are enough to pierce the hardest of
hearts. It is likewise a very sorrowful spectacle to see those that escaped
with their lives, have not a mouthful to eat or bed to lie on, or clothes to
cover their nakedness, or keep them warm; but all they had, consumed into
ashes. These deplorable circumstances cry aloud for your Honor's most wise
consideration; and that your Honor would take cognizance of, and grant what
shall seem most meet. How shocking it is for the husband to see the wife of
his bosom, have her head cut off, and the childrens' blood drunk like water by
these bloody and cruel savages; as we are informed it has been the fate of
While writing, I have received intelligence by some that fled from the Cove,
that chiefly those in the upper part of it were killed, and taken. One
Galloway's son escaped after he saw his grand-mother shot down, and other
relations taken prisoners.
From some news I have had, I am apprehensive that George Croghan is in
distress; though just now Mr. Burd, with about forty men, left my house, and
we intend to join him tomorrow at Mr. McDowell's mill, with all the force we
can raise, in order to see what damages have been done, and for his relief.
As we have no magazines at present to supply the guards, or scouts, the whole
weight of their maintenance lies chiefly upon a few persons, I pray your Honor
to excuse what blunders there are by reasons of haste.
I am with due regard, your Honor's
Most obedient and humble servant,
Conococheague, Nov. 6, 1755
“May it please your Honor:
I have sent enclosed two qualifications, one of which is Patrick Burns', the
bearer, and a tomahawk which was found sticking in the breast of one David
The people of Path Valley are all gathered in a small fort, and according to
the last account, were safe. The Great Cove and Canalloways are all buried to
ashes, and about fifty persons are killed or taken. Numbers of the
inhabitants of this county have moved their families , some to York county,
some to Maryland.
Hance Hamilton, Esq. is now at John McDowell's mill, with upwards of two
hundred men (from York County) and two hundred from this county; in all about
four hundred. To-morrow we intend to go to the Cove and Path Valley, in order
to bring what cattle and horses the Indians let live. We are informed by a
Delaware Indian who lives amongst us, that on the same day the murder was
committed, he saw four hundred Indians in the Cove ; and we have some reason
to believe they are about there yet.
The people of Shearman's creek and Juniata have all come away, and left their
horses; and there are now about thirty miles of this county laid waste. I am
afraid there will soon be more.
I am your Honor's most
P.S. I have just received the account of one George McSwane, who was taken
captive about 14 days ago, and has made his escape, and brought two scalps and
a tomahawk with him.”269