Hyslop crab originated well before 1850, probably in or around Boston, MA. The Hyslop family came to America relatively late in the colonial period. William Hyslop may have been the first arrival in about 1740. His decendent, William Hyslop Sumner, was the primary developer of what became East Boston which he created out of five islands in the early 19th century. Though the history of the crabapple is unclear, it is almost certain that it was named by the family sometime during the 1800s.
For well over 100 years, it was very well known and commonly grown. Although crabapple aficionados all know the apple, in recent times it has been mostly forgotten. Fortunately many commercial orchards still hold on to a crab or two despite a lack of interest and the additional expense of picking small fruit.
Unlike the Whitney or Chestnut crab, this is not an apple for fresh eating. However, Hyslop is one of the best for jellies, pickles and even as a source of tannin for hard cider. If you don’t plan to do any serious cooking with them, try tossing a few in a pot of applesauce. They will color the sauce and add a nice zing to the final product.