The first Hopkirk births recorded in Scotland are in the town of Dalkeith, located a few miles south east of Edinburgh.
There are a few Hopkirk/Hobkirk, etc. births recorded in Northumberland prior to the recorded Dalkeith births.
Based on the family history listed on the Hopkirk Coat of Arms, the first Hopkirk in Scotland was John Hopkirk.
There are at least 3 Hopkirk Coat of Arms. Below is the Coat of Arms of Thomas HOPKIRK, christened 22 Jan 1716 in Glasgow. He received the Coat of Arms on 01 February 1774.
You will notice that the Coat of Arms says that John Hopkirck originally came from Germany, but that was almost two hundred years before the Coat of Arms was created. It is probable that he came from the Hobkirk area, and received his last name because of where he came from. It is possible that his parents brought him from Germany at a young age, or that somewhere in the family history there was a German connection and it got confused in the telling down through the years. If he had come directly from Germany to Dalkeith, it is unlikely that he would have had the name of Hopkirk.
The text of the Coat of Arms reads as follows:
To All and Sundry whom these Presents do or may concern We, John Campbell Hooke of Bangeston Esquire Lyon King of Arms do hereby certify and declare that the Ensigns Armorial pertaining and belonging to Thomas Hopkirk, of Dalbeth Esquire in the County of Lanark fifth and only surviving son of Francis Hopkirk and Mary Paterson which Francis was* second son of Alexander Hopkirk who resided sometime in Leith second son of John Hopkirk who was eldest son of John Hopkirck a native of Germany who settled in this Country are Matriculated in the publick Registers of the Lyon Office and are Blazoned as on the Margin thus Viz. Argent a fess countercomponed Azure and the field surmounted of two naked Swords their points upwards in saltyr. Proper hilted and pommelled on a Chief of the second of three Bezants. Above the shield is placed an Helmet befitting his degree with a Mantling gules the doubling Argent on a wreath of his Liveries(?) is set for Crest a.dexter Arm armed couped below the Elbow in fess holding a Sword in Pale Proper ensigned on the top with a Crescent Argent and in an eseroll above the Crest this motto Spero Procedere. Which Armorial Ensigns above blazoned We do hereby Ratify Confirm and Assign to the said Thomas Hopkirk Esquire and the Heirs of his body as their proper Arms and bearing in all time coming. In Testimony whereof these Presents are subscribed by Robert Boswell Esquire Our Deputy and the Great Seal of Our Office is appended hereunto At Edinburgh the first day of February in the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy four.
Ro. Boswell, Lyon Dep.
Errata * Francis was son of William Hopkirk of Cousland in the Parish of Cranston near Edinburgh.
Our thanks goes to Paul Burns of Northern Ireland for helping us decipher the following words from the above text:
"fess" = an heraldic term for a horizontal band across a shield.
"saltyr" = an heraldic term for a diagonal cross(i.e. the cross of St. Andrew) on a shield.
"gules" = an heraldic term for the colour red.
"couped" = an heraldic term referring to a head or limb cut clean from the body. in this case the reference is to the arm couped below the elbow.
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This page last upated on November 30, 2005