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 John Hopewell Mackie

Photo added by Chris Enright Snyder

John Hopewell Mackie

  • Birth 10 Dec 1827
  • Death 7 Jan 1909
  • Burial Stony Brook, Suffolk County, New York, USA
  • Memorial ID 19541541

married to CLARA DAVIS (1831-1904)

John Hopewell Mackie was born in New London, Connecticut, on December 10, 1827. His father was John Hewitt Mackie from Scotland, and his mother was "Cath" [perhaps Catherine Hopewell?] from Ireland.

Coming from a family of seafarers, it is only natural to find the 22 year old John Hopewell Mackie working at the outer tip of Long Island as a ship's rigger. This is according to the 1850 Census of Southold, New York. John is living with his parents, his father also is a rigger.

The oral history of the family said that John worked on his father's ship as a rigger in Greenport (near Southold). We see that Greenport, Long Island, was known as having "its own whaling fleet but it was mainly an outfitting and trading port for other whaling vessels from Sag Harbor, New Bedford and other nearby ports."

On January 29, 1852 John married Clara (Clarissa) Davis. According to his obituary they were married in Stony Brook, Long Island, New York, which is right next to Setauket. Clara joined the First Presbyterian Church in Setauket on October 2, 1856. "Mrs. Clarifsa [sic] Mackie, wife of J.N. [sic]Mackie…[was]received into the membership of the church…Mrs. Mackie upon [her] baptism."

Although John Hopewell Mackie was married in 1852, there were no children for fifteen years!
Perhaps this is due to his traveling to Asia. He's not listed on U.S. Census of 1860, but his wife is living with her own mother in Setauket, Long Island, New York.

Certainly John had to have been back in the States in 1866 because his first child, Katherine, was born the next year. After this the oral history has it that his wife, Clara, traveled to China in 1868 with her one year old daughter, Kate, and her twenty year old sister, Mary. So maybe John's "14 years" in the orient were from 1859-1865 and 1867-1875.

John Hopewell Mackie was a "merchant in Shanghai for about 14 years, importing coal and exporting tea. He also spent a year in Yokohama, Japan," said his son, John Hopewell Mackie II. His obituary wrote, "He conducted a large warehouse and storage business" in Shanghai, living in the American Concession.

John was a mason in the Royal Sussex Masonic Lodge No. 501 in Shanghai, China, according to The Shanghai News-Letter, December 11, 1872. In his obituary it states that he "was the first American citizen to join the order of Masons, west of the Pacific Ocean; being a member of the Lodge of the Ancient Landmark of Shanghai."

In the same 1872 issue of the Shanghai newspaper which John saved from his years in the orient is mention of the ship Hopewell. Perhaps this was one of his ships, as it has his middle name. And that is what leads us to think that it was also his mother's maiden name. But not documented yet.

Lillie Mackie - no dates.
Katherine (Kate) Mackie 1867- 1935, born in Setauket, Long Island, New York.
John Hopewell Mackie II 1869-1951, born in Shanghai, China.
Clarissa (Cal) Mackie 1872- 1935, born in Shanghai, China
Charles Dickerson Mackie 1876-1948, born in Oakland, California.


Clearly hard times hit the importing business for next we see the Mackies in Oakland, California in the late 1870s. John didn't seem to have any particular profession but did odd jobs during these years.

Back in Bridgeport in the 1880s, John was not listed as employed anywhere for the first decade. Eventually he is seen as a night watchman in 1892 for H & H Manufacturing Co.

John and Clara lived in Bridgeport with their two daughters after their sons married. Clara, 73, died in 1904. Five years later John Hopewell Mackie died at age 81 after an illness of three days, the result of a fall, which broke his thigh. Dying in Bridgeport, John was buried back in Stony Brook, Long Island, next to Clara.

1850 U.S. Census, Southold, New York.
1860 U.S. Census, Setauket, New York.
1880 U.S. Census, Oakland, California.
The Shanghai New-Letter, December 11, 1872, Shanghai, China.
City Directories, Bridgeport, Connecticut.
First Presbyterian Church records, Setauket, Long Island, New York.
Obituary for John Hopewell Mackie, January 10, 1909, Port Jefferson Echo, Long Island, NY.

Thanks to my cousin, Robert Rowen, for his wonderful compilation of information, "A Mackie history in documents, clippings, maps and pictures, 1996."

Special thanks to my mother, Anne R. Mackie Enright Gustin, for her foresight as a busy young mother to ask the right questions. Go Ma!

If you have been blessed by this labor of love
say a prayer for those who await you in eternity.
Info compiled by Christine A. Enright Snyder.
September 2003

Family Members

Gravesite Details My great grandfather, married to Clara (Clarissa) Davis in 1852.





  • Created by: Chris Enright Snyder
  • Added: 26 May 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 19541541
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Hopewell Mackie (10 Dec 1827–7 Jan 1909), Find A Grave Memorial no. 19541541, citing Oak Hill Cemetery, Stony Brook, Suffolk County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Chris Enright Snyder (contributor 46910196) .