Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Most Exciting Find on Mom's side of Family by Susi Pentico

Currier and Ives Doc filled out by Sanford Hoffman. Henry's is very hard to read.

My Most Exciting Genealogy Research Find on Mom’s Side by Susi Jones Pentico

My Mom had me help her do research and write letters to our family in Wyoming from the time I was 12. 

We had inherited some great information and facts written by her ancestors.

But when I went to help her find Henry Huffman/Hoffman’s parents, the world came crashing down.

I found 5  H H’s in the neighborhood. I spent 3 years separating the families and finding the partial list of the children.

I wrote to Historical and Genealogical Societies I joined many lists and groups.

These men I learned in the end were all family but only one was the ancestor of my Henry Hoffman b 1803 in Greene Co. PA.

Census did not lists names before 1850 so no help at least not much but where these men’s homes appeared to set.

Having talked many times to Grandad Hoffman in Wyoming I knew some things to watch for but not much to actually help in researching ancestors back 80 years or better.

I did Land Deeds, Every Will for a Hoffman/Huffman, Probates, Court Records, Newspaper researches.  Writing more letters than I ever thought I would. 

 I looked at school records, I found some help when the newspaper would report about arguments on school meetings.  It listed who was whom, generally.

Looked at Civil War Records, looked at Rev War Records. Since everyone said his father was in the Frontier Rangers and Rev War.  Many had thought the one they found was right but not in the end.  My first break came in a tax record.
The Henry Hoffman  b 1803, I was aware of, had to fill out a tax paper in Maryland and PA. It listed where his father was born and when .    He sold Apples he grew in his orchards.

A lot of the data I dug out was against what most of the family had written down 80 years or more before.  Yes, I went to Pennsylvania and met the descendants of Sanford’s siblings that never left PA. Sanford being my line down from Henry Huffman. Sanford’s sister and one brother came to Iowa right after the Civil War.

Loved the pictures and documents (Greene Co. PA kin) they had and it helped me to point out where the connections were not correct.  They are super great cousins.

One was a History Professor and when he read my papers he called and said it has to be wrong. I asked him to please track the sources and if I was wrong I would change my data, because I did not grow up hearing the daily stories on my ancestor like they did..

About a week later he called and was excited to say I was correct in my paper trails and connections.  How the family had lost some of that data,  he did not know.
Yesk we are all human and we all make mistakes.

Two of the Henry Huffman’s/Hoffman’s were cousins, one was an Uncle, one was my direct which I knew of, the other one was the Father whom I was looking for. Henry Huffman b abt 1740 in VA died 1811 Dec or 1812 Jan when Probate took place.

The name in records was spelt Huffman, Houghman, Hoffman and HOOFMAN.

One of my biggest breaks was when Henry’s brother George sold him land in Virginia and the Sr. Henry did not sell it until 1805 in Greene Co. PA.   I tracked it back to VA and found the original transfer to Henry from George, paid for by a gun.

Many thought he was his father but no that was not true. Thanks to an elderly relative who had more data in a trunk in Ohio she shared.

The oldest three boys were Henry, John and George, known to us.  My cousin whom died last spring had tracked John’s line down, I did Henry and another worked on George.
Actually we all worked on John because the father of Henry Sr. born 1740’s was a John or Johann Hoffman from Germany.  John had land in Westmoreland Co. PA., early. I have the land deed. But tax license  for Henry b 1803 stated on it Henry Sr was born in VA.

We worked together and separately to put the pieces together.  John’s descendant we learned lived in Fallbrook Ca and moved to Michigan to care for her Mom about the time we found each other in the early 90’s,  George’s line lived in Ohio where George had land in both Ohio and PA at the time of his death in PA. abt 1814  Those records are in the OGS Library. I have lived in San Diego since 1970 this last trip. I have been in and out of San Diego since 1848.,

When we founded the CVGS Group, there were to our amazement 5 Huffman/Hoffman cousins as part of the first 7 members, myself included.

Yes,  I saw Pat Postma the other day and she is hoping to come visit us soon.
She has had knees fixed but suffered a small stroke in May.  Nina Schulteis was a close cousin and her kin did another book on Greene Co. that  is in our library.
Geni Powell was related but not via Huffman/Hoffman.  I kept close contact with Pat and Nina.
The others are gone but Sandy. 

My older computer has all the data if I can ever get it open again. My back updrive died as did computer.

So never give up, leave no rock, tidbit or thought unturned.

Do not forget to pay attention to family traits, birthmarks,  medical history and other things  many never mention or discuss.  A cowlick in the hair, twisted fingers, webbed toes, ear defects, (not really but different than others).  

There appears to be three more members of Huffman/Hoffman’s that if DNA was done would verify they also were from Johan Hoffman.  I worked with Rudolph’s line with cousin In Kansas. His work was awesome.  We never found the link but the data implies they were all kin.  I just hope some of Bill’s down line does the DNA test.  They have all the same traits, and quirks the rest of us have.  Some more pronounced than mine. Truly believe Rudolph was also a brother and an Elizabeth was a sister.  Their family pictures all fit right in.  I have his CD and book for use.

Never Found proof of Rudolph on paper, but we all agreed , he lived near the rest of them , they married into the lines and moved together when moving.

What we know now is Johan Hoffman came to USA,  time unknown, had sons : John, George, Henry,  and two daughters and probably 2 more sons.

My Henry b abt 1740 in Va died 1812 Jan Probate. Lived in Hampshire Co. a while but not named that then, moved to now Greene Co. married Mary Provator, had daughter (?), divorced her and went back to VA.  Was told jumped the broom with new spouse Catherine  and had five children in Va before coming back up to Greene Co. PA in 1801 where Joseph Huffman was born then my Henry b 1803 d 1879 Greene Co. PA  and brother Rezin b 1805.  Earlier children have stated Va for birth.

Many moved to Monroe Co. Ohio when they learned PA was claiming their land as being Pennsylvanian for taxes.  They signed papers when purchasing land that it was VA land.  Tax base different, rules different, etc., England had different rules for almost every boat load that left England it seems.

Henry b 1803 died 1879  m Elizabeth Higgins, had several children including our Sanford Huffman/Hoffman.   Sanford had Franklin whom walked behind wagon herding the animals with his dog to Iowa.  Several other children were had by Henry and Elizabeth.

Sanford had several children besides Franklin, oldest male, living in Iowa,
Wife was Rachel Plants also from Greene Co. first child buried there. Sanford served in the CW there for WVA. The PA Units were full.

Franklin and his wife Samantha Abigail Duvall, family also from this Greene Co. region, living in Fayette and Washington Co. at times. They had  3 living children
Robert, Grace and Cecil L Hoffman (my grandfather). 

The Duvall line moved to Wheatland, Wyoming first. Grandad moved due to chronic bronchial problems in Iowa. 

Grandad was married to Inez Mae Scott from Iowa, Moravia region etc.  Her line came from Halifax Co. VA. , via Kentucky, Indiana. 

Grandad shared with me his father said he was of Indian heritage.  We found that heritage about 6-7 years ago.  I didn't a cousin in Ohio did. Thanks Debbie West.

Submitted by Susan Carol Jones Pentico

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