Saturday, December 31, 2011

Help Wanted! A gift received from a Genea-Angel!

The letter below was found on the internet by Jeff Somers who, just a few days ago, found my story of The Search for Hawksbill Church. And then, wonder of wonders, Jeff actually contacted me!

He was able to obtain a partial transcription of the letter, which seems to be a letter of recommendation for my ancestor, Wilhelm George Forster (aka William Foster) signed by two of Jeff's ancestors!

Here's the transcription that Jeff sent:
The Hawksbill Church
We, the complete evangelical, protestant, lutheran parish hereby state
that we have had Mr. Goster (or Foster, name is not clear) for ten years as a pastor in our parish.
He had asked us for this reference, to be presented to an "Honorable Menisteri" (?)
and we are willing to confirm that he has served faithfully and never missed any of the duties of his office.
Especially he spend much time in the youth ministry and tried to keep the youth with their mothers.
This would be desirable for others to do as well.
He does not accept help for his office duties.
He takes all the time needed, to visit sick people, in oder to be with them and to comfort them
So far, we have been quite happy with him, and he ...
I'd love to have a more complete transcription, so, if anyone out there can make sense of the Old German Script, please contact me!

For printing purposes I split the letter into two images and also enhanced the contrast a little. The original image of the letter that was found by Jeff on this message board posting. I have contacted the poster of that message but have not received a response from him.

If I hadn't blogged about my little trip to find the Hawksbill Church, I would not (most likley) have found this letter on my own. Thank you, Jeff, for contacting me. It's very nice to end this year on a "high" note!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas :: Past - Present - Future

=+==+==+= Christmas Past =+==+==+=

When I was younger, before the teenage years, my family always got together at Christmas time with my mother's sisters and brother and their families – usually at my grandfather's house.

As we got older it became more difficult for all of us to get together at Christmas - there were really too many of us to fit in anyone's home. (My mom had three sisters and one brother and altogether they had 19 children.) Then the years went by all too quickly and we all went our separate ways, some got married and had families of their own, others just went away! But as many of us that could, still got together at Christmas. Sometimes it was just Mom and her siblings, but there was almost always some kind of Christmas gathering.

In 1980, after being diagnosed with cancer and having her leg amputated, my Grandmother decided that it was time for the entire family to get together again for Christmas! My mother and I were living in rural Noble County and the township had a community building that we rented and we made all of the arrangements. By this time there were about 75 family members in four generations.

The biggest family Christmas dinner was held in December of 1983 – 28 years ago! It would be the last time this many of the family was together. I think there were only two cousins who were not able to attend. The picture below was taken at that dinner and includes almost everyone who was there. I was taking the picture. (Better double-click on the picture to see all those smiling faces!)

My grandmother is in the wheelchair (she passed away the following May), her sister Jane is sitting beside her, and my nephew Jason is sitting on grandma's lap. Jason was five years old then; he is now 33 years old and has an eight year old daughter of his own. All of those little kids have grown up and many now have families. It is more than a little sad to think about those who are no longer with us – Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Jane, Uncle Bob, Uncle Walt, Aunt Phyllis, cousin Mike, my sister, and my mother. But it is such a pleasure to think of them and remember the good times we all had together.

=+==+==+= Christmas Present =+==+==+=

Christmas this year was spent in northeast Louisiana with extended family members. Twelve of us gathered together on Christmas Eve to celebrate. After a very good dinner of spicy Jambalaya we moved into the living room to continue one of their traditional events – caroling by telephone! As each family member who could not be present was called we all joined in with a hearty rendition of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” I lost track of how many people were called... East Coast, West Coast, and places in-between as well as one couple who was on their honeymoon on a Caribbean Island (they had gotten married earlier this year) and another couple who was vacationing in Thailand! It was a lot of fun.

=+==+==+= Christmas Future =+==+==+=

Ah, the future. Wouldn't it be great to get all of my first cousins and their families together again? Some of us do maintain contact on Facebook so we have stayed in touch that way. But it isn't the same as being together, in person. Many of that next generation – the cousins' children and grandchildren - have never met some of their cousins. I'm sure that some have no idea how many relatively-close relatives they really have!

Of course, it would be a logistical (and financial) nightmare but I think it would be great fun to meet up, oh, say in Hawaii or perhaps on a cruise ship – someplace warm! Just spend a week together doing various activities and have time to leisurely get caught up on all the family news.

Written for the 113th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy, "A Charles Dickens Christmas."

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Dunfee Family :: George and Nancy

This is the second installment on the children of James and Sophia (Hazlett) Dunfee.

George Dunfee was presumed to be a son of James and Sophia (Hazlett) Dunfee due to the fact that he resided in the same area of Dekalb County, Indiana as Sophia (Dunfee) McNabb who was known to be a daughter of James and Sophia. Additional information has been found confirming that he is indeed their son. George could have been named after his (presumed) grandfather, George Dunfee (see The Hazlett-Dunfee Connection :: On to Pennsylvania).

Cemetery transcriptions posted on the Dekalb County GenWeb site show that George Dunfee is buried in Corunna Cemetery in Fairfield Township and that he died November 3, 1871 at the age of 56 years 11 months and 12 days, which puts his date of birth at November 22, 1814. The 1850 and 1860 census records for Dekalb County, Indiana show that he was born in Pennsylvania while the 1870 census shows he was born in Ohio. It is highly likely that he was born in Pennsylvania. His age in those census records was 34, 45, and 55, respectively, which is in the right time frame for a late 1814 birth.

Since the two oldest children of George Dunfee were born in Ohio, is seems most likely that he was married in Ohio. However, I have not yet found a record of his marriage to “Nancy” who is listed in census records (1850-1870) as his wife. In the FamilySearch database of Ohio County Marriages I did find a George B. Dunfee who married Nancy Tipton on April 22, 1837 in Athens County, Ohio. However, the location did not seem to fit in with what was known of the Dunfee family. A search of Ohio Death Records, also on FamilySearch, came up with two records of children of George B. Dunfee that showed that he was born in New Jersey. So he is not the George Dunfee in Dekalb County, Indiana.

A possible clue to Nancy's maiden name came from another FamilySearch database (Indiana Marriages, 1811-1859) with the September 29, 1887 marriage record of their son, David Dunfee in Dekalb County. This record (referencing image 00161 on film 4476455) gives his mother's maiden name as “McKnobb” and his father as Geo. Dunfee. It also states that David was born in Ashland County, Ohio. It is possible that Nancy is related in some way to David McNabb who married Sophia Dunfee. I haven't done the research but McKnobb and McNabb are very close in pronunciation.

In my search for the marriage record of George Dunfee, I did find a more positive, though still indirect, link for George Dunfee to James and Sophia (Hazlett) Dunfee.... Shown below in the marriage record for Sophia Dunfee and David McNabb! How cool is that?

Reference Number 208, page 46, FamilySearch image 532 and film number 388736. Richland County, Ohio Marriage Records.
No. 208 David McNabb to Sophia Dunfee
I David McNabb being duly sworn upon and say that I am over the age of 21 years and unmarried at this time. Also George Dunfee being duly sworn depose and say that I am the Brother of Sophia Dunfee and know her to be over the age of eighteen years and unmarried at this time.

Sworn to & Subscribed before me this 25th day of Oct. 1842.
B. Burns Dept Clk.
Signed by George Dunfee and David McNabb.
The other record that provides a link between George and the family of James and Sophia (Hazlett) Dunfee is a land record dated February 21, 1848 in which Jonathan S. Dunfee of the county of Holmes, State of Ohio, sold 160 acres of land in Dekalb county, Indiana to George Dunfee of the county of Ashland, State of Ohio for $600. (NW ¼ S24 T35 R12) recorded in Dekalb County, Indiana Deed Book E page 38. This land is in the same section as that purchased by David and Sophia Dunfee McNabb in April 1855. Jonathan S. Dunfee is known to be a son of James and Sophia (Hazlett) Dunfee.

In the 1850 census of Fairfield Township, Dekalb County, Indiana (page 466), George Dunfee is a 34 year old farmer who was born in Pennsylvania. He has real estate valued at $800. Listed with him was Nancy, age 33, born in Pennsylvania; John, age 9, and David, age 1, both born in Ohio.

George Dunphey resided in Fairfield Township, Dekalb County, Indiana (page 29) in 1860. He was 45 years old and born in Pennsylvania. He was a farmer with real estate valued at $600 and a personal estate of $300. In his household were Nancy, age 44, born in Pennsylvania; David, age 11 and James, 10, both born in Ohio, William, age 6, and Almira, age 2, both born in Indiana.

1870 finds the family still in Dekalb County but now residing in Richland Township (page 346). George Dunfee is 55 and born in Ohio. He is a farmer with real estate valued at $8000 and a personal estate valued at $670. Residing with him were Nancy, age 52, born in Pennsylvania; James, 19, born in Ohio; and William, age 15, born in Indiana.

George Dunfee passed away on November 3, 1871. He is buried in Corunna Cemetery, Fairfield Township, Dekalb County, Indiana along with two of his children, Almira and John.

George and Nancy (McKnobb /McNabb ?) Dunfee were the parents of five known children. There is a nine year gap between the first and second child so it is highly likely that there may have been other children that, perhaps, died before the family came to Indiana.
  • John Dunfee. Cemetery transcriptions show that John died Sept. 23, 1855, age 15y, 1m, 15d - son of G. & N. He is buried in Corunna Cemetery, Dekalb County, Indiana. His date of birth calculates to August 8, 1840.
  • David M. Dunfee was born about 1849 in Ashland County, Ohio. He married Clara Currant on July 15, 1873 in Dekalb County, Indiana. By 1880 they were divorced and David was living with his brother James and his wife Sarah in Richland township. On September 29, 1887 David was married to Mary E Tod in Dekalb County. (This is the record that gives his fathers name as Geo. Dunfee and his mother as McKnobb.) I have not found David in census records after 1880. However, the Indiana Marriages database on FamilySearch includes records for two of his children, which gives their parents as David Dunfee and Clara Current . If their place of birth is correct, it means that David moved around a bit. There could also be other children.
  1. George Clifford Dunfee born December 16, 1875 in Monticello, Indiana (White County). He was married to Sarah (Hudson) McDaniel on October 5, 1923 in Warren County, Indiana.
  2. Lillian Claude Dunfee born 1877 in Michigan. She married Raleigh Muir on August 22, 1898 in Marion, Indiana. For whatever reason, it was apparently a marriage of short duration! On May 1, 1899 Lillian C. Muir was married to Martin Kiplinger in White County, Indiana.
  • James E. Dunfee was born about 1850/51 in either Ohio or Indiana. He was married on July 3, 1870 in Dekalb County, Indiana to Sarah J. Finch. The 1880 census for Richland Township shows that he had two children: a daughter, Mickey, born about 1872 and a son, John W. born about 1878. Both children were born in Indiana. James and Sarah may have had other children. I have not found them in 1900 or later census records.
  • William C. Dunfee was born about 1854 in Indiana. On January 23, 1872 William Dunfee was listed as a minor heir of Geo. Dunfee who “died intestate more than 15 days prior to this time.” Nancy Dunfee was appointed guardian of William. (Dekalb County, Indiana Probate Order Book "C" page 321.) On October 2, 1875 he was declared of full age (Probate Order Book D). A deed record, dated December 5, 1878 provides the name of William's wife. It shows that Nancy Dunfee and William C. Dunfee and Saphronia Dunfee, his wife, all of Dekalb County sold land to Robert Shippy for $3050. (Dekalb County Deed Book DD page 550.) The 1870 census is the last census record I've found for William and I have not found his marriage record.
  • Almira Dunfee. Cemetery transcriptions show that Allmira died March 3, 1864, age 6y, 1m, 19d - daughter of G. & N. She is buried in Corunna Cemetery, Dekalb County, Indiana. Her date of birth calculates to January 12, 1858.
In reviewing notes from the early days (1980s) of my “research” I discovered that my deed abstracts were done rather poorly. In some cases I didn't record as much information as I should have. Also, I don't have the records for when George purchased this land. That will, hopefully, be remedied on my next excursion to the Family History Library in February. The following deed records are from Dekalb County, Indiana.
  • January 27, 1872 David M. Dunfee released and Quit claim to James E. Dunfee and Sarah J. Dunfee, his wife for $1,000 the E ½ SE ¼ S5 T34 R12 (vol. W p85)
  • May 13, 1873 Nancy Dunfee sold to David M. Dunfee for $500 the W ½ SE ¼ S5 T34 R12 (vol. W p444)
  • June 29, 1876 Nancy Dunfee sold to James E. Dunfee for $1000 E ½ SE ¼ S5 T34 R12. (vol. BB p531)
  • February 2, 1877 David M. Dunfee and Clara Dunfee, his wife, sold to Lafayette J. Miller the W ½ SE ¼ S5 T34 R12 for $1400 (vol. CC p110)
  • February 6, 1877 Nancy Dunfee sold to William C. Dunfee W ½ SE ¼ S6 T34 R12 for $800 (vol CC p114)
  • December 5, 1878 William C. Dunfee and Saphronia Dunfee, his wife, and Nancy Dunfee of Dekalb County sold land to Robert Shippy for $3050. (Deed Book DD page 550)
  • March 21, 1883 James E. Dunfee and Sarah Ann Dunfee, his wife, and Nancy Dunfee sold land to Lafayette J. Miller for $4000 (Deed Book JJ page 104)
I have not found Nancy, widow of George Dunfee, or their son William in the 1880 census records for Dekalb County. Their sons David M. and James E. were not found in Dekalb County census records after 1880.

If anyone has information on the George Dunfee family, I'd appreciate hearing from you! Leave a comment below or send me an email at kinexxions “at” gmail “dot” com.

See Dunfee Family :: Index to Posts for more information on the Dunfee family.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I'm “Home” for the Holidays...

Greetings from Louisiana! I've made it safely to my destination and will be here through Christmas and New Years. It's not “Home” as in Indiana, but it is “Home” in the sense that my friends welcome me as family (we are, after all, distantly related). Mother Nature has not been very cooperative with the weather since I left Utah so it is quite nice to be “settled” in and out of the elements for a few weeks. I can't thank them enough for allowing me to be a part of their family!

To all of my friends and family scattered around the country, and all of the readers of Kinexxions, I offer you my heartfelt wishes for a Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Dunfee Family :: Are Jonathan H. Hoff and John H. Hoff the same man?

This post continues with the search for Jonathan H. Hoff, son of Aquilla and Eliza (Dunfee) Hoff. My intent was to possibly locate living descendants in the hope that they might have additional information on the Dunfee and Hazlett families.

As noted in the previous post, Jonathan was not found in the online census index after 1880. I did find a John H. Hoff in Kansas census records, 1900 through 1930, that I think is a likely candidate to be Jonathan H. Hoff, son of Aquilla and Eliza. However, there is a 5-6 year discrepancy in their ages. This John H. Hoff was recorded consistently as born in 1859/1860, sometimes in Ohio and other times in Indiana. However, census records for Jonathan H. Hoff (1860 through 1880) consistently report that he was born about 1854 in Ohio.

But, this John H. Hoff has a daughter, his first born child, named Eliza... and his middle name is Hazelet!

It should be noted that Jonathan H. Hoff was living with his father, Aquilla, in Drum Creek Township, Montgomery County, Kansas (in the south east corner of the state, on the border with Oklahoma). His mother had passed away on August 6, 1876 in LaGrange County, Indiana. Aquilla returned to LaGrange County, Indiana where he died on June 27, 1883.

In 1900, John Hoff was found in Lyon Township, Decatur County, Kansas (page 6b). Decatur County is in the north west corner of the state, on the border with Nebraska, about as far away as you can get from Montgomery County and still be in Kansas!

John, age 40, born Nov 1859 in Ohio, was residing with his father-in-law James Wilson. John's parents were both listed as born in Ohio; his occupation was Clergyman; he had been married 8 years. His wife Mary was 32 years old and the mother of 3 children: Eliza, age 7 born May 1893; Grace, age 3 born Nov 1896; and his son Joyce, age 3/12 born Feb 1900. There were others in the household of James Wilson but for my purposes, at this time, they aren't important.

In the 1910 census, John H. Hoff is listed as the head of household, still in Lyon Township, Decatur County, Kansas (page 3a). He is age 51, born in Ohio. His father was born in Maryland and his mother in Pennsylvania. He is a farmer doing general farm work. There was no marital status given for John.

His wife and four children were found in Clay Center City, Ward 3, Clay County, Kansas (page 106) in 1910. Clay County is in the northeast corner of the state. Mary Hoff is the head of household, 42 years old, married once for 18 years with 4 children, all living. Mary's occupation was listed as janitor and she worked in a school building. Daughter Eliza was 16 and worked for board with private families. Daughter Grace was 13, sons Joyce and Eryll were 10 and 1, respectively. All of the children were born in Kansas.

The 1915 Kansas State Census has the family residing in Lawrence, Douglas County, Kansas (page 28). Douglas County is southeast of Clay County, one county away from the Missouri state line. John Hoff is age 55, Mary 47, Elisa is 21, Grace 18, son Joyce is 15 and son Ehryll is 6 years old.

1920 finds the family living on Ohio Street in Lawrence, Douglas County, Kansas (page 15a). John H. Hoff is 60 years old, born in Indiana. His parents were born in Ohio. He was a dishwasher in a cafe. His wife, Mary F., was 51 and also a dishwasher in a cafe. Listed with them were their two sons, Joyse W, age 19 and Eryll F, age 10 and daughter Grace E., age 23. There was also a roomer, Matthew B. McIntee who was 36 years old and was born in Connecticut.

The 1925 Kansas State Census tells us that they were still residing in Lawrence (page 36). John H. Hoff was 65 years old and born in Indiana. He came from Missouri and is a cafe keeper and is able to read and write. His wife, Mary F. Wilson Hoff came to Kansas from Indiana. She is 57 years old and a house keeper. Their sons, Joyce W. and Eryll F. were living with them. Joyce was 25 years old and a cafe keeper. Eryll was 15 years old.

In 1930, John H. Hoff is still living on Ohio Street in Lawrence, Kansas (page 7a). We learn that he rent his home for $12, is 70 years old, was born in Ohio. His parents were born in the United States. He was first married at age 32 and has no occupation. His wife Mary F is age 62 and was first married at age 24. Son Joyce W. is 30 and a waiter in a restaurant. Son Eryll F. is 21 years old and a reporter for a newspaper.

The family of John H. Hoff appears to be:
  • John H. Hoff, born Nov 1859 in Ohio or Indiana (father born Ohio or Maryland, mother born Ohio or Pennsylvania)
  • married about 1892 to Mary (Wilson) Hoff, born Jan 1868 in Indiana
Their children:
  • Eliza Hoff, born May 1893 in Kansas
  • Grace Hoff, born Nov 1896 in Kansas
  • Joyce W. Hoff, born Feb 1900 in Kansas
  • Eryll F. Hoff, born about 1910 in Kansas

Previous searches for Aquilla Hoff/Huff born 1815 in online trees produced no results. A few days ago, as I was preparing this post, I did a search for Eryll Hoff, born 1910, in the ancestry public member trees. I chose him because of the rather unusual spelling of his name. Yeah, I do all this census stuff (he really was easy to find) and then look at the online trees. For various reasons, I often wait until I've done some initial research on a family before looking at the online trees.

Anyway, the search for Eryll Hoff returned nine results. Six of those trees gave his parents as John Hazelet Hoff and Mary Fiducia Wilson. One listed his father as John Sherman Hoff with the same mother. The other two did not give his parents.

A search for John Hazelet Hoff also returned nine trees, some different than in the search for Eryll. Three of those trees gave John's parents as Emil Hoff and Mary Martha Emiline Jane Cowper/Cooper and one listed them as Kingsbury Hoff and Cora Matilda Hadley (with John's year of birth as 1865). None of the trees provided sources for the parents.

The entry for John Hazlett Hoff in “The Van Sickler Family Tree” (no parents) provides some nice photographs and one story for John. (I think you have to be signed in to for the links to the trees to work.)
“from the life story of Grace Elizabeth Hoff concerning her father John Hoff: Papa, the only child of along-toward-middle aged parents, had a father "mostly" German born in the United States. His mother, Irish, was born in Ireland and came to the U.S. in her seventeenth year.

I believe Papa inherited the Irish characteristics. I never knew them nor much about them They both died during Papa's early teen years, and he lived with an uncle. This uncle had a family of several big rough boys who picked on and teased their younger, smaller, and somewhat delicate cousin. However, there was money inherited from his parents' estate for his education. He attended Seminary in Indiana and became a Methodist minister.”
From this information it sounds like they don't know anything about the parents of John H. Hoff. Darn. I was really hoping they would have more information on them. I haven't yet, but will be sending a “member connect message” to the owners of “The Van Sickler Family Tree” (with the above story) and “Coghlin / Griffitts Family” tree (which has his father as Emil Hoff but also mentions La Grange, Indiana).  I'm not saying I'm right, but I am interested in hearing what they think of my "theory" that Jonathan and John are the same person even though their ages are different. The daughter named Eliza and his middle name lends credence to this theory, I think. What do you, Dear Readers, think?

I wanted to get this post and the previous one with information on Aquilla and Eliza (Dunfee) Hoff published first so I could send those contributors the links rather than trying to explain everything in a message. Hopefully, I will get a response (maybe after the holidays). If not, I'll try the owners of the other trees.

See the Index for previous posts on the Dunfee family.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Dunfee Family :: Eliza and Aquilla Hoff

Eliza is presumed to be the daughter of James and Sophia (Hazlett) Dunfee. The primary link is the fact that Eliza was living with Jonathan Haslett in Mifflin Twp, Ashland County, Ohio in 1850. We're making the assumption that Jonathan is probably the father of Sophia. Bottom line is that I really don't have any “proof” that Eliza is the daughter of James and Sophia.

Census records put the year of birth for Eliza Dunfee at 1811, 1813, or 1815 and place of birth in Maryland or Pennsylvania. In 1850, she is 39 years old and born in Maryland. In 1860 she is 47 and born in Pennsylvania. And in 1870 she is 55 and born in Pennsylvania. Chances are, her age in 1850 is probably closer to the truth ;-) since she seems to lose a few years with each census.

Eliza married Aquilla Hoff on September 4, 1851 in Ashland County, Ohio as recorded in volume 2, page 70 (license 1134) of Ashland County Marriage Records.

The image above is from the FamilySearch online database of Ohio County Marriages. There seems to be some “confusion” on the part of the clerk that recorded the marriage or the “authority” who performed the ceremony. Under “Names of Parties” it shows that the record is for Aquilla Hoff and Eliza Dunfee. In the far right column, it states that R. D. Emerson is certifying that “on the 4th day of September Eighteen hundred and fifty one I joined in Marriage Mr. George W. Brown and Miss Eliza Dunfee.”

In actuality, it was Eliza Dunfee who married Aquilla Hoff. When the property of Jonathan Hazlett was sold on October 25, 1853, the majority of the items were sold to Aquila Hoff.

Sale Bill from the estate file (#190) of Jonathan Hazlett. Ashland County, Ohio.

The last entry in the above image (a portion of page 299 of the Ashland County Tract Book) shows that Luke Selby, administrator of the estate of Jonathan Hazlett sold in March 1854 the land that had been owned by Jonathan to Aquilla Hoff. The transaction is also recorded in Ashland County Deed Book 10 page 206.

Aquilla Hoff and his wife Eliza, sold that land to Christian Vesper on March 27, 1857 (Ashland County Deed Book 15 pages 162-163).

That was, essentially, all the information I had on Aquilla and Eliza. Until in November 2010, when I received an email in response to an 11 year old query I had posted on the Hoff Family Genealogy Forum. My correspondent passed along the information that Aquilla and Eliza had moved to LaGrange County, Indiana where she had found them in the 1860 census.

I'm guessing that they probably moved to LaGrange County in the spring of 1857 after they sold the land that had belonged to Jonathan Hazlett. They are listed in the 1860 and 1870 census in Bloomfield Township, LaGrange County, Indiana.

Aquilla Hoff is 45 years old in 1860. He is a farmer with real estate valued at $3000 and a personal estate of $342. He was born in Maryland. Listed in his household was Eliza, age 47 and born in Pennsylvania; Jonathan, age 6 and born in Ohio. Also included was Lucetta Dumbar, 12 years old and born in Indiana.

In 1870, Aqula Hoff is 54 years old. He is still a farmer but has real estate valued at $5000 and a personal estate of $1000. He was born in Maryland. Included in his household were Eliza, now 55 but still stating she was born in Pennsylvania; and Jonathon, who is 16 years old and born in Ohio.

Eliza (Dunfee) Hoff died on August 6, 1876 and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Lagrange County, Indiana. There is a memorial for her on Find A Grave. Looking closely at the photo of her gravestone it appears that the word “AGED” is written below the date of death. If so, it might pinpoint her year of birth a little better than the census records.

In the 1880 census, Aquilla Hoff was found in Drum Creek Township, Montgomery County, Kansas. He was 65 years old, retired and born in Maryland. Listed with Aquilla was his son, Jonathan H. Hoff, who was 26 years old, a farmer, and born in Ohio. He gave his father's place of birth as Maryland and that of his mother as Pennsylvania.

According to my correspondent, Aquilla Hoff was born February 15, 1815 in Washington County, Maryland and died June 27, 1883 in LaGrange County, Indiana. However, I suspected that he died in Kansas since that was where he was living in 1880. Turns out, Aquilla really did die in LaGrange County. There is an entry for him in the book “Indiana Deaths, 1882-1920” that was compiled by the W.P.A. (Works Progress Administration). It shows that he died in Newbury Township and was 68 years old.

What happened to their son Jonathan H. Hoff? Jonathan does not appear to be in the census records after 1880 (ancestry online index).

I did find a John H. Hoff in Kansas census records, 1900 through 1930, that I think is a likely candidate to be Jonathan H. Hoff, son of Aquilla and Eliza. However, there is a six year discrepancy in their ages.

But, this John H. Hoff has a daughter, his first born child, named Eliza... and his middle name is Hazelet!

See The Dunfee Family :: Are Jonathan H. Hoff and John H. Hoff the same man?

See the Index for previous posts on the Dunfee family.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Padre Island :: Sunset

Another one of my favorite places in Texas – Padre Island National Seashore. Photo taken December 13, 2011 - a delightful 75 degrees! Oh, yeah....

But things are not always what they seem. Apparently the “Red Tide” had invaded the Gulf waters. According to the Texas Parks & Wildlife website it “is a naturally-occurring, higher-than-normal concentration of the microscopic algae Karenia brevis. This organism produces a toxin that affects the central nervous system of fish so that they are paralyzed and cannot breathe. As a result, red tide blooms often result in dead fish washing up on Gulf beaches. When red tide algae reproduce in dense concentrations or "blooms," they are visible as discolored patches of ocean water, often reddish in color.”

I didn't see the Red Tide, but I did see the results.... Along the upper edge where the tide reaches its highest level, the beach was lined with dead fish. Trust me. It was not a pretty site. And the smell? Well, lets just say that it left something to be desired. It really wasn't too bad once you got past the line of dead fish – which included several varieties of Jelly Fish.

According to a pamphlet handed out at the entrance station, Red tide can cause problems with breathing, coughing, sneezing, and teary eyes – especially with windy weather conditions and rough surf – the exact conditions when I arrived and spent a couple hours walking along the beach!

That night I developed a cough and was sneezing quite a bit. I hadn't yet read the pamphlet so just thought it was the cool, damp night air. But it continued to get worse the next day and when I read the material provided at the entrance station I realized what it was. When I left for several hours and went into Corpus Christi, the symptoms abated somewhat. I had already paid for the second night so decided to stay.

The campground (using the term loosely – it was basically a paved parking lot) was just a few feet from the beach somewhat protected by a ridge of dunes. The smell of decaying fish was negligible once you were off of the beach. I enjoyed the sound of the surf hitting the shore and was lulled to sleep with it each night. There is something that can't be explained about that sound. It's primeval. Coupled with watching the waves coming onto the beach, moving in and out... well, it is mesmerizing.

I had planned on staying here at least five days, but with the symptoms I was experiencing, I reluctantly decided to cut my visit short. I'm happy to report that within a few hours (8-10) of leaving Padre Island, the coughing and sneezing stopped ;-)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Walk Along the River :: San Antonio

After leaving Davis Mountains State Park (on December 10th), I spent the day driving to San Antonio. The fog wasn't too bad once I left the mountains and got onto the Interstate Highway and I didn't get into any significant rain until about an hour from the city.

I spent three nights in San Antonio with my friend Diana. She is also a Joslin cousin (3rd cousin once removed). Her great grandfather, Luther Joslin, was a brother to my great-great grandmother, Malissa Mariah Joslin Brubaker Bower. Our families made contact for the first time in 1968, lost contact a few years later, then were reunited in 1999 through the wonders of the internet! The folks I'll be staying with in Louisiana for the holidays are also descendants of Luther. Don't you love it when distant family members become friends too?

One evening we ventured down to the Riverwalk for a stroll and supper. All types of Cafes and Restaurants line both sides of the river for a considerable distance. And, of course, the area was all decked out with lights for the holidays.

Trees were wrapped with lights on every branch and all the way to the top!

It was a rather cool evening but not uncomfortable – if you could stay out of the wind!

I hesitated to include this photo since it is out of focus, but I think it provides more of the ambiance of the evening. I actually kind of like it! Just consider it an “impressionistic” rendition of the Riverwalk...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Caroling We Shall Go :: We Three Kings

footnoteMaven is continuing her tradition of Christmas Caroling around the Genea-Blogosphere and I thought I'd join the festivities this year.

Actually, I have many “favorites” when it comes to Christmas Carols. This year I've selected “We Three Kings” with lyrics and music written by the Reverend John Henry Hopkins, Jr. and a somewhat non-traditional, but beautiful, rendition by The Beach Boys.

We three kings of Orient are;
Bearing gifts we traverse afar,
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.

O star of wonder, star of light,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.

Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain
Gold I bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never,
Over us all to reign.

O star of wonder, star of light,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.

Frankincense to offer have I;
Incense owns a Deity nigh;
Prayer and praising, voices raising,
Worshipping God on high.

O star of wonder, star of light,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.

Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom;
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
Sealed in the stone cold tomb.

O star of wonder, star of light,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.

Glorious now behold Him arise;
King and God and sacrifice;
Alleluia, Alleluia,
Sounds through the earth and skies.

O star of wonder, star of light,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.

Greetings from Texas :: Albeit Somewhat Belatedly

On December 7th I left Arizona, drove through the southwest corner of New Mexico and entered the great state of Texas! Yes, I've been here a week already... I stopped off for a few days at one of my favorite spots in Texas – Davis Mountains State Park – way down in the southwest corner of the state a few miles from Fort Davis.

Mother Nature was still throwing a hissy fit as far as the weather was concerned with colder than normal temperatures. However, there was one very nice day while I was at Davis Mountains – the thermometer actually reached 62 degrees! And there was sunshine and blue skies. It was quite nice, to say the least. Then the clouds and cold temps rolled back in that night... I left Davis Mountains on the morning of December 10th with the area enshrouded in fog and temperatures in the low 30s. The fog and low temps followed me eastward all day long...

Photos taken on December 8, 2011 from the top of Skyline Drive, Davis Mountains State Park. Overlooking the valley below. The campground is nestled between the hills on the left side of the photo.

This past spring and into early summer, parts of western Texas were ablaze with wildfires. Davis Mountains suffered some damage - most of the shrub trees in the upper areas of the park were blackened by fire and there was more extensive damage in the isolated areas.

The sunset wasn't the prettiest I've seen. But it wasn't bad either ;-)

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Hazlett-Dunfee Connection :: On to Pennsylvania

In this previous post we saw that the families of Jonathan Hazlet and James Dunfee arrived in Wayne County, Ohio prior to 1830 when they were found in the census for that county in Plain Township.

In 1820 Jonathan Hezlet and James Dumphy are on page 17 and George Dumphy is on page 16 in Liberty Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania (see census details below). So this brings the families together in Pennsylvania.

Since it makes a little more sense to work from the past to the present the timeline below will show what I know of these families starting from the earliest date through 1820.


1755 – or before - George Dumphy was born. He was over the age of 45 in the 1800 census.

1756/1765 - Mary, wife of George Dumphy was born. She was age 26-45 in the 1800 census and over 45 in 1810.

1762 – Elizabeth, future wife of Jonathan Hazlett, was born.

1771 – August 15th - Jonathan Hazlett was born, possibly in Maryland [date of birth calculated from gravestone, place of birth from census record of 1850]

1788 – James Dunfee was born in Pennsylvania.

1790 – George Dunfee is enumerated in Berwick, Cumberland Township, York County, Pennsylvania (p440) with one male over 16 [born before 1774... George], one male under 16 [born 1774-1790... James Dunfee, presumed to be a son, was born about 1788], and one female [Mary?, wife of George]

1794 – May 10th – Sophia Elzabeth Hazlett was born in Pennsylvania (one record says she was born in Maryland, all others say Pennsylvania).

1799 - George Dunphy, weaver, was listed as one of the original tax payers of Adams County, Pennsylvania with assessed value of property of $127. (History of Cumberland and Adams Counties, Pennsylvania; Beers, 1886 p242)

1800 – ?? - There is a Jonathan Haslet enumerated in Emmitsburg District 4, Frederick County, Maryland (p177) with one male under 10 [born 1791-1800], two males 16-25 [born 1775-1784], one female under 10 [born 1791-1800], one female 16-25 [born 1775-1784]. However, the Jonathan we are looking for was born in 1771, thus would have been about 29 years old in 1800. I don't think this is “my” Jonathan, but I could be wrong.

1800 – January 22 – Parts of York County, including Cumberland Township, became part of newly formed Adams County

1800 – George Dumphy is listed in Cumberland Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania (p473) with one male under 10 [born 1790-1800... unknown], one male age 10-16 [born 1784-1790... James, presumed son, was born about 1788], one male over 45 [born before 1755... George], one female under 10 [born 1790-1800... Catharine, probable daughter, was born in 1793], one female age 26-45 [born 1755-1774... wife, Mary ?]

1801 – July 2 – George Dumfey purchased land from James Cox for 150 pounds in Cumberland, Adams County, Pennsylvania. [Book A p442 - I neglected to view this record while in Salt Lake City... my notes from 1986 left out crucial information.]

1810 – March 31 – George Dumphey purchased 163 acres in Liberty Township for 980 pounds 11 shillings from John Spear and Sarah his wife. Recorded October 3, 1812. (Deed Book F p98-99)

1810 – George Dumphy is enumerated in Straban Town, Adams County, Pennsylvania (p44) with two males 16-26 [born 1784-1794... James 1788, the other unknown male was under 10 in 1800], one male over 45 [born before 1765... George], one female 16-26 [born 1784-1794... Catharine born 1793], one female over 45 [born before 1765... wife, Mary?].

1810 – There is a Jonathan Hayzlet listed in Straban Town, Adams County, Pennsylvania (p45) with one male under 10 [born 1800-1810], one male 26-45 [born 1765-1784...Jonathan born 1771], one female 10-16 [born 1794-1800...Sophia born 1794], one female 26-45 [born 1765-1784 wife of Jonathan].

1810–1812 approximate date – Sophia Hazlett was married to James Dunfee. No marriage record has been found, yet. Their first (presumed) child, Eliza, was born between 1811-1815. Another (presumed) child, George, was born in 1814.

1813 – October 15 – George Dumphey and Mary his wife, for 154 pounds, sold a tract of land lying in Liberty Township containing 14 acres and 15 perches to William Grayson. Recorded November 1, 1813. (Deed Book F p313-315)

1817 – April 17 – George Dumphey and wife sold sold 90 acres of land in Liberty Township to George Patterson. Recorded September 10, 1907 (From General Index to Deeds, citing Deed Book 63 p279. I did not get a copy of the record on my visit to Adams County in 1984. The microfilm for Book 63 is not at the Family History Library.)

1820 – George Dumphy is listed in Liberty Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania (p16) with one male 10-16 [born 1804-1810... unknown], one male 26-45 [born 1775-1794... unknown, he could be the male under 10 in 1800 and 16-26 in 1810], one male over 45 [born before 1775... George], one female 26-45 [born 1775-1794... Catharine born in 1793], one female over 45 [born before 1775... Mary].

1820 - James Dumphy, presumed son of George, is also enumerated in Liberty Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania (p17) with two males under 10 [born 1810-1820], one male 26-45 [born 1775-1794… James], three females under 10 [born 1810-1820], and one female 26-45 [born 1775-1794… Sophia]

1820 – Jonathan Hezlet is enumerated in Liberty Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania (p17) with one male under 10 [born 1810-1820], one male over 45 [born before 1775... Jonathan born in 1771], one female under 10 [born 1810-1820], one female 16-26 [born 1794-1804], one female over 45 [born before 1775... wife] and one person engaged in manufactures. [Note: There appears to be a young woman with two children living with Jonathan and his wife.]

I did not find a record in the General Index of Deeds for the sale of the remaining 59 acres of land in Liberty Township owned by George Dunfee. (163 acres were purchased in 1810; 14 acres sold in 1813; and 90 acres sold in 1819 though not recorded until 1907).

I have no further record of George and Mary Dunfee. James Dunfee and Jonathan Hazlett moved to Plain Township, Wayne County, Ohio prior to 1830.

The deed records found for George Dumphy where he was selling land list his wife's name as Mary. This coincides with the Whitley County, Indiana tombstone inscription of “Catherine dau of G. & M. Dunfee” who died July 27, 1851 aged 57y 9m. This bit of information is the only thing that I have that links to George and Mary Dumphy as being the parents of James Dunfee. And the fact that Jonathan Hazlett lived in the same localities as the Dunfee/Dumphy families is the only link between him and Sophia Elizabeth Hazlett.

Obviously, more research is required, but George & Mary Dunfee and Jonathan Hazlett are the only candidates I have at this time for parents of James Dunfee and Sophia Hazlett. I have not ventured into Maryland records other than census records and that basically just to see if there were Hazlett and Dunfee families there. Results were inconclusive since more information is needed and research into other records is required. I'm not sure that they would shed any light into the relationships between Sophia and Jonathan Hazlett or James and George Dunfee/Dumphy. Perhaps church records would provide the answer if I only knew what religion they professed. Were the Hazlett and Dunfee/Dumphy families Scotch-Irish as the biographies of some of their children indicated?

If anyone has any information that would shed more light on these families, it would be appreciated if you would contact me at kinexxions “at” gmail “dot” com!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Hazlett-Dunfee Connection :: Back to Ohio

Continuing from this previous post on the Hazlett-Dunfee connection and working our way back in time...


James Dunfee, age 71, was listed in the 1860 census in Jefferson Twp, Whitley County, Indiana. He was a farmer, born in Pennsylvania, had Real Estate valued at $50, and a Personal Estate valued at $175. In his household were Elisabeth, 66, born Pennsylvania; Lucy, 25, and Sarah, 20, both born in Ohio. This confirms Sophia's middle name. In most records she was found as Sophia E.

On March 15, 1855 James Dunfee had purchased two acres of land from James H. Dunfee and his wife Elisabeth in Section 5 of Columbia Township, Whitley County. James H. owned additional land in Section 5 as well as in neighboring Section 4. William H. Dunfee also owned land in Section 4. This land was sold by Wm H. and Catharine B. Dunfee on January 30, 1864 for $100 to George Ream. This was 2 months before the death of Sophia (Hazlett) Dunfee and two months shy of 3 years after the death of James Dunfee.

From this land record we can infer that James and Sophia probably came to Whitley County, Indiana in the spring of 1855, or before. However, it seems likely that they came shortly after the census of 1850 – according to Evergreen Cemetery transcriptions, Catherine Dunfee (possible sister of James) died July 27, 1851. Only the portion of the tombstone bearing her name and “Dau. of G. & M. Dunfee” was in existence in November 1985. It seems unlikely that Catherine would have come to Indiana by herself.


Searching the 1850 census for any Dunfee or Hazlett families in Ohio I found James Dunfee in Washington Twp, Holmes County, Ohio (p287): James was 60 years old, a laborer and born in Pennsylvania. Listed with him were Sophia, age 56, born in Pennsylvania; Lucy, 16; and Sarah, 11, both born in Ohio.

Also found was Jonathan Haslett in Mifflin Township, Ashland County, Ohio (p293/147). He was 78 years old, a farmer, and born in Maryland. Residing with him were Eliza Dunfee, aged 39, born in Maryland and Eliza A. Haslett, aged 13, born in Ohio. [I made the assumption, whether true or not that Eliza Dunfee was probably the daughter of Sophia Hazlett & James Dunfee.]

Additional research showed that Eliza A. Haslett was the daughter of David Hazlett. Relationship of David to Jonathan is not known at this time. A future post will detail what I found on David. At this point, I'll just say that he was born about 1805 and died in May 1844 leaving behind seven children. Eliza Dunfee was married in Ashland County, Ohio on September 4, 1851 to Aquilla Hoff. Jonathan Hazlett, died September 16, 1853 and the proceeds from his estate went to Eliza and Aquilla Hoff. A little over a year ago I wrote about a response I received on an 11 year old query posted on Eliza and Aquilla.

On November 17, 1849 Jonathan Hazlet sold four acres of land in the SE ¼ S12 T22 R17 in Ashland County, Ohio to Christian Vesper. This was part of the land he had purchased in 1831, which at that time was in Richland County. It should be noted that Ashland County was formed on February 24, 1846 from parts of Richland, Huron, Lorain, and Wayne Counties. This included Mifflin Township.

Elizabeth Hazlett, wife of Jonathan, died March 5, 1848 at age 86. She is buried beside him in Strickland/Twin Cemetery, Vermillion Twp, Ashland County, Ohio.

In 1840 Jonathan Hazlett is enumerated in the census in Mifflin Township, Richland County, Ohio (p87) with one male under 4, one male 20-30, one male 60-70, two females 20-30, one female 70-80. It appears that another family was residing with Jonathan and his wife.

I found no record of any land transactions for James Dunfee in Holmes County, Ohio. I also have not found him or David Hazlett in the 1840 census records (online indexes).

On November 12, 1831 Jonathan Hazlett purchased 80 acres of land in Richland County, Ohio from William Maxwell and his wife Elizabeth (N ½ of the SE ¼ S12 T22 R 17). Jonathan sold 4 acres of this land in 1849. The remaining land was sold by Aquilla and Eliza Hoff after Jonathan's death in 1853.

The Hazlett and Dunfee families were found in Plain Township, Wayne County, Ohio in the 1830 census. Jonathan Hazlet is on page 33 (3rd line from the bottom) with one male 50-60 and one female 50-60. James Dunfe is also listed on the same page (4th line from the bottom) with the ages of the members of the household corresponding to what is known regarding their children. David Hazlett and family is listed on page 32.

Wayne County, Ohio Marriage Records Volume 2 (1819-1825) page 38 show that “David Hazlet of Armstrong County State of Pennsylvania and Jane Maxwell of the county of Wayne and State of Ohio” were married on August 29, 1822. So it appears that David Hazlet arrived in Wayne County, Ohio prior to his marriage on August 29, 1822 and that the families of Jonathan Hazlet and James Dunfe came before 1830. I found no land records for any of these families in Wayne County. In fact, I haven't found any land records for James Dunfee in Wayne, Holmes, or Ashland counties.

When did they leave Pennsylvania?

To be continued...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Children of Sophia Hazlett and James Dunfee

I thought that before going further back in time, I'd provide a brief synopsis of what is known of the (presumed) children of James and Sophia (Hazlett) Dunfee. If you are a descendant and you see this, you will contact me, won't you? Please leave a comment or send me an email at kinexxions “at” gmail “dot” com. Especially if you can provide additional clues on the parents of James Dunfee and Sophia Hazlett. Future posts will provide details on these families.

This chart, created by my grandmother in the 1960s, shows what she knew of the family of James and Sophia (Hazlett) Dunfee and was the starting point for my research.

In the 1882 biography of Jonathan S. Dunfee it stated that he was one of 13 children. I am fairly confident that the 10 listed below are the children of James and Sophia (Hazlett) Dunfee though I have found no substantiating “proof” for several of them. I am "missing" 3 children. If anyone knows who they are or where they lived, I'd appreciate hearing from you ;-)

A letter, written in 1849 by Sophia (Hazlett) Dunfee to William and Catherine Dunfee mentions six family members, presumed to be their children: George, Mary, Jonathan, Henry, Lucy, and Sarah. And of course, the letter confirms that William is their son, giving us the names of seven probable children. The letter also states that William's baby was their 21st grandchild. I have found 16 of those 21 grandchildren who were born by the time the letter was written. In all, I have found 58 grandchildren of James and Sophia, born 1837-1879!
  • Eliza Dunfee. Census records put her year of birth at 1811, 1813, or 1815 and place of birth in Maryland or Pennsylvania. Eliza married Aquilla Hoff on September 4, 1851 in Ashland County, Ohio. They were the parents of one son. A little over a year ago I wrote about a response I received on an 11 year old query posted on Eliza and Aquilla. In the 1850 census of Ashland County, Eliza Dunfee was residing in the household of Jonathan Hazlett. Eliza Hoff died on August 6, 1876 in Lagrange County, Indiana. I have no “proof” that Eliza is a daughter of James and Sophia. The fact that she was living with Jonathan Hazlett in 1850 is really the only connection.
  • George Dunfee was born November 22, 1814 in Pennsylvania and died November 3, 1871 probably in Dekalb County, Indiana. He is buried in Corunna Cemetery, Fairfield Township, Dekalb County, Indiana. His wife's name was Nancy and they were the parents of five children. On February 21, 1848, Jonathan S. Dunfee of the county of Holmes, State of Ohio, sold 160 acres of land in Dekalb county, Indiana to George Dunfee of the county of Ashland, State of Ohio for $600. (NW 1/4 S24 T35N R12E). This land was not far from that of David and Sophia Dunfee McNabb.
  • Mary Dunfee was born March 19, 1816 in Adams County, Pennsylvania. She was first married to Isaac Bonnet on March 25, 1836 in Wayne County, Ohio. He died on February 2, 1846. Two years later she was married to James Hanson Lovett. Mary Dunfee Bonnet Lovett died on March 25, 1900. She is buried in the Pioneer/Old Sixteen Cemetery in Lake Township, Ashland County, Ohio next to her first husband. Mary was the mother of eight children, five with Isaac Bonnett and three with James Lovett.
  • Catharine Jane Dunfee (known as Kitte Jane according to my grandmother's notes) was born April 13, 1818 in Pennsylvania. She married Moses Tryon on December 29, 1836 in Wayne County, Ohio. She died January 5, 1893 in Noble County, Indiana and is buried next to her husband in Allen Chapel Cemetery in Allen Township, Noble County, Indiana. They were the parents of ten children.
  • William Hamilton Dunfee was born April 10, 1822 in Adams County, Pennsylvania. He was married to Catherine B. Jones on March 5, 1848 in Whitley County, Indiana. He died May 29, 1888 in Columbia Township, Whitley County, Indiana. William and Catherine are my 3rd great grandparents. They were the parents of seven children of whom only three survived to adulthood. Their second child was Sophia Elizabeth Dunfee (named after her grandmother, Sophia Elizabeth Hazlett). Sophia Dunfee married William Pythagrus Wise. They are my 2nd great grandparents. They named their fourth and last child Hazlette, turning a surname into a first name - and, my grandmother was also named Hazlette.
  • Sophia Dunfee was born August 13, 1824 in Adams County, Pennsylvania. She married David McNabb on October 18, 1842 somewhere in Ohio (no record has been found in the areas where the family lived). They moved to Dekalb County, Indiana prior to 1850 and were the parents of eight children. Sophia died on December 31, 1905. She and David are buried there in Corunna Cemetery in Fairfield Township. The 1885 biography of David McNabb (History of Dekalb County, Indiana Vol 2, Interstate, p577-578) states that she is “a daughter of James and Sophie (Hazlett) Dunfee who moved from Adams County, Pa., to Ohio in 1833.” In addition, the WPA publication of Dekalb County Death Records 1899-1920, p214 gives her father as James Dunfee, born Pennsylvania, and her mother as Sophia Hazellet, born Pennsylvania.
  • Jonathan Smith Dunfee was born June 9, 1826 in Adams County, Pennsylvania. He was married on October 19, 1848 in Holmes County, Ohio to Mary Ann Quick. They moved to Whitley County, Indiana prior to 1860 where they raised their family of seven children. Jonathan died on April 22, 1900 and he and Mary Ann are buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Jefferson Township. The 1882 biography of Jonathan (Counties of Whitley and Noble, Indiana; Goodspeed, 1882 p394-395) states that he “is a son of James and Sophie (Hazlett) Dunfee.” His death record lists his parents as Jas. Dunfee and Sophia Hazelot.
  • James Henry Dunfee (aka Henry or J. Henry) was born about 1828, probably in Adams County, Pennsylvania. He was married on June 25, 1854 to Elizabeth Moores (Moor in the marriage record) in Ashland County, Ohio. They moved to Whitley County, Indiana shortly after their marriage but at some point moved to Aboite Township, Allen County, Indiana where he died on July 3, 1872. James Henry and Elizabeth are buried in the Masonic Cemetery in Columbia City, Whitley County, Indiana. They were the parents of eight children. A land transaction links James Henry to James and Sophia but does not conclusively prove that he is their son: James H. Dunfee and his wife Elisabeth sold two acres to James Dunfee for $10 on March 15, 1855.
  • Lucy Dunfee was born September 17, 1834 in Ohio. She came with her parents to Whitley County, Indiana about 1855. She died there on December 28, 1870 and is buried near her parents in Evergreen Cemetery, Jefferson Township, Whitley County, Indiana.
  • Sarah Ann Dunfee was born August 27, 1839 in Ohio and also came with her parents to Whitley County, Indiana about 1855. Sarah was married to Charles Henry Gillespie on August 7, 1862 in Whitley County and they had one child. It is not known what happened to Mr. Gillespie but on June 8, 1873 Sarah was married to John Robinette in Whitley County. They were the parents of three children. Sarah died on August 8, 1914 and is buried next to husband John in the Sandbank-Jefferson Chapel Cemetery in Jefferson Township, Whitley County, Indiana. The transcribed Whitley County, Indiana Death Records for Sarah Robinette gives her father as James Denfen and her mother as Sofia Hasht. I viewed the record book but was unable to obtain a copy of the record. The names looked to me like James Dunfee and Sofia Haslet.

For additional information see Dunfee Family :: Index to Posts

Friday, December 09, 2011

Chasing Elusive Ancestors :: The Hazlett-Dunfee Connection

Last month I posted photos of the gravestones for Jonathan and Elizabeth Hazlett in Ashland County, Ohio who may be my 5th great-grandparents. I say “may be” because all I have to go on is circumstantial evidence, and that is rather “iffy” to say the least.

According to her gravestone, Elizabeth was 86 years old when she died on March 3, 1848 which indicates that she was born about 1762. The date of birth of Jonathan, based on his age given on his gravestone, calculates to August 15, 1771. So, if this information is correct, then Elizabeth was about nine years older than Jonathan. Somewhat unusual, to be sure.

The gravestone of Sophia Elizabeth Hazlett Dunfee in Evergreen Cemetery, Whitley County, Indiana shows that she died March 13, 1864 aged 69y 10m 3d, which calculates to a date of birth of May 10, 1794. If Elizabeth, wife of Jonathan, is the mother of Sophia then Elizabeth would have been about 32 years old when Sophia was born, not unreasonable. Jonathan would have been not quite 23 years of age. Rather unusual to have that age difference. So, I have my doubts that Elizabeth is the natural/birth mother of Sophia. A more likely scenario is that Sophia's mother died and Jonathan later married Elizabeth.

And how do I know that Jonathan is her father? I don't know for sure that he is. But my “gut feeling” tells me it is so. This is what we do know:

Sophia Elizabeth Hazlett was the wife of James Dunfee, born about 1788. The 1850 and 1860 census records show that they were both born in Pennsylvania. The 1880 census records for five of their children living at the time also show that their parents were born in Pennsylvania. The one exception is the youngest daughter – the 1880 and 1900 census records for her both show that her father was born in Pennsylvania and her mother was born in Maryland.

Biographies of three children and two grandchildren were published in local county history books. These provided clues as to where James and Sophia were born, in most cases corroborating the information from the census records.
  • A biography of William H. Dunfee states that he was born in Adams County, Penn., April 10, 1822, and came with his parents to Ohio in 1831. (Counties of Whitley and Noble, Indiana Historical and Biographical; Goodspeed, 1882 p280) His date and place of birth is the same in his obituary.
  • In a biography of Jonathan S. Dunfee it states that he is a son of James and Sophie (Hazlett) Dunfee, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Kentucky. Jonathan was born in Adams County, Pennsylvania on June 9, 1826... being one of thirteen children... he was taken to Wayne County, Ohio when but five years of age. (Counties of Whitley and Noble, Indiana Historical and Biographical; Goodspeed, 1882 p394)
  • A biography of Frank E. Lovett states that his father, James Hanson “married Mary, daughter of James and Sophia (Hazelete) Dunnfee, who were of Scotch descent, and came from Pennsylvania to Ohio in 1830. Mary (Dunnfee) Lovett was born March 19, 1816 in Adams County, Penn., and came to Ohio with her parents. James Dunnfee was born in North Carolina in 1786, and died at the age of seventy-six years; his parents came from Ireland. Sophia (Hazelett) Dunnfee was born in Pennsylvania, her parents having been driven from Scotland during the religious persecutions.” (Commemorative Biographical Record of Wayne and Holmes Counties, Ohio; Beers, 1889, p641)
  • The biography of David McNabb states that he “was married Oct. 18, 1842 to Sophie Dunfee, a daughter of James and Sophie (Hazlett) Dunfee, who moved from Adams County, Pa., to Ohio in 1833.” (History of Dekalb County, Indiana Vol 2, Interstate, 1885, p577-578)
  • A biography of Warren McNabb, son of David and Sophia (Dunfee) McNabb, states that Sophia was “the daughter of James and Sophia (Hazlett) Dunfee, who removed from Adams county, Pennsylvania, to Ohio in 1833.” (History of Dekalb County, Indiana; Bowen, 1914, p422)
The biographies for the three children state that they were all born in Adams County, Pennsylvania and all of the biographies show that James and Sophia came from Adams County, Pennsylvania to Ohio, sometime between 1830 and 1833, with one providing the name of the county in Ohio – Wayne – and telling us that James and Sophia had 13 children.

Another clue resided in the family coffers – the files of my grandmother Hazlette Brubaker Phend (named after her Aunt Hazlette who was named after her great-grandmother, Sophia Hazlett Dunfee) – in the form of a letter written on March 16th 1849. Although signed “James and Sophia E. Dunfee” it was clearly written by Sophia (in Lakeville, Holmes County, Ohio) to their son William H. Dunfee and his wife Catharine in Columbia City, Indiana. The letter gives a brief statement regarding the health and well-being of various members of the family. From that letter we learn that William's baby is the 21st grandchild of James and Sophia. Family members mentioned were Lucy, Sarah, father, George, Henry, Mary, Aunt, your father, Jonathan and Marye An, and Oliver Quick.

I think that “father” is Sophia's father (thus still living in 1849) and that “your father” is William's father James, thus Sophia's husband. Oliver Quick was a brother of Marye An who was the wife of Jonathan.

No where in all of this do we derive a clue as to the name of the parents of Sophia Hazlett or James Dunfee.

However, a tantalizing clue for James' parents comes from the gravestone of “Catherine Dau. of G. & M. Dunfee” found in a heap with other gravestones in Evergreen Cemetery – the same cemetery in which James and Sophia are buried in Whitley County, Indiana. Thankfully, a local researcher had transcribed the stones in the cemetery many years ago and from that publication we learn that Catherine Dunfee died July 27, 1851 aged 57y 9m and that she was buried in the same row, next to James and Sophia. Catherine's date of birth calculates to October 27, 1793. James Dunfee was born about 1788. Is Catherine a sister of James? And who are G. & M. Dunfee?

A pile of gravestones in Evergreen Cemetery, Whitley County, Indiana. The marker for Sophia Dunfee was intact and can be seen behind that of Catharine Dau. of G. & M. Dunfee. Photo taken in November 1985.

To be continued....

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Change of Venue

After leaving Picacho Peak State Park, I stopped in Tucson long enough to use the wifi and check weather reports. It really didn't look good anywhere. It seems that those winds that blew in from California and wreaked havoc in many places also changed weather patterns. There has been a cold spell in southern Arizona the past few days. I checked weather in southern New Mexico and it didn't look much better.

So, I headed toward a place where I've stayed several times. In hindsight it probably wasn't the best of decisions. But it is what it is.

On Saturday, December 3rd, I arrived at Kartchner Cavern State Park (south of Benson, about 10 miles from I-10) and decided to spend the weekend, knowing that the temperatures were going to be cool. At the time I just didn't realize how cold it was going to get! For the next three days the daytime temperature did not get much above 40 degrees and during the night it dropped into the mid 20s.

Actually, I was quite comfortable as long as I stayed in the van! Since being on the road for so long, I've learned a few things – like how to run a heavy-duty extension cord through the window so that no outside air enters... It's quite cozy in the van with a little heater on. So in spite of the cold weather I enjoyed my stay here. It's a great little park. I didn't take advantage of the nice trails but did take several short walks daily to help keep the blood circulating ;-)

This was the view from my campsite at about 8:15 on Monday morning when the temperature was about 28 degrees! I thought that the clouds might be clearing, but Mother Nature had other ideas.

Less than 15 minutes later the dark clouds rolled in. We even had snow flurries for a short time Monday afternoon.

Tuesday, December 6th - - I've left Kartchner Cavern State Park and am making my way further east. I'll be taking my time, and a meandering route, through New Mexico and Texas to northeast Louisiana to spend the Christmas and New Years Holidays with my friends (who are also distant Joslin cousins). It will be nice to spend the Holidays in the company of family and friends.

Below is the temperature map for the time this post was actually written... looks rather chilly everywhere in the U.S. except the southern-coastal areas!! Yuck.

One advantage of staying in one place for a few days is that I was able to get some genealogy posts written and scheduled. So for the next few days that is what you will see here at kinexxions...

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

You Don't have to Break the Bank to Stay in Salt Lake City

Several people have asked about where I stayed and the cost of my 7 ½ week stay in Salt Lake City. I responded directly to them but thought others might be interested also. If you've ever dreamed of spending more than a few days there, I can tell you that it doesn't have to break the bank!

I stayed at the Extended Stay America in West Valley City near the Maverick Center. It's about a 15 minute drive to the Library (on I-215 and I-80 then a few city blocks north) so if you have a car it is great. There is a Trax station a couple of blocks away, near the Maverick Center. If I didn't have the van I probably would have used Trax - except that the sidewalk isn't very well lit and it was usually after dark when I returned from the library. Trax is the public transportation system in Salt Lake City (both train and bus). There are other Extended Stay Motels in the Salt Lake City area.

I would recommend this place, especially if you have a car. It wasn't fancy but it was comfortable. It was clean, except the carpeting had some dark greasy looking areas. The room had a four-burner stove-top, microwave, refrigerator, table service for two, a skillet and a saucepan, television, great wifi (there was a one time charge of $5 for the wifi) and housekeeping once a week - all at a very reasonable price, especially if you stay for a month or more. You can check the rates on their website but it was about $40 per day for the first month then $35 per day after the first month (taxes are refunded after 30 days!). I asked for and got a “senior” discount of 5%. I do not know if the cost is higher for more than one person – check their website (search for Extended Stay America).

The weekly rate is somewhat higher but still very reasonable. There are several Extended Stay type of Motels in the Salt Lake City area. I chose this one because of the easy access to the Interstates and it was simple enough to remember the route to the Library! Even though it was (quite literally) right beside I-215 noise was not a factor, however, I did have a room that faced away from the highway. Very seldom did I hear anyone else in the rooms above or beside me. I was surprised at how quiet it was.

Of course, if you drive a vehicle to the Library, you have to pay for parking. The most convenient parking lot was just to the north of the library. It was $5 per day (winter rate – it is $6 per day from May-October, or thereabouts). There was another lot that I sometimes parked in – the rates varied depending upon whether there were “events” going on. Much of the time it was $3 per day - other days it was $5 or $6. It was free on Saturdays if there were no events happening. That lot is one block west of the Library. I didn't use it if I knew I'd be at the library after dark – the sidewalks in that area were not well lit as some of the street lights were out.

Yes, it would have been really convenient to have stayed at the Plaza (right next to the Library) or one of the many other areas within a few blocks. But I really could not justify the cost for those places for the length of time that I was planning to stay. Overall, my stay at Extended Stay America was pleasant and quiet. The staff was courteous, friendly and helpful at all times – this is my experience, it may be different for other people.

Disclaimer: I am not being compensated in any way by Extended Stay America. They do not know that I'm writing this post. In fact they don't even know who I am.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Greetings from Arizona!

Thursday, December 1st - - The drive through Las Vegas was mostly uneventful. There was some rain and considerable wind, with gusts up to 40 mph. I'm not a fan of Las Vegas so had no intentions of spending time there. I really just wanted to get south to where I thought it would be warmer. But you know Mother Nature! Always changing things... I spent the night at Cattail Cove State Park south of Lake Havasu City, Arizona. The winds had dropped considerably and the sun was trying to come out from behind the heavy layer of clouds. It was rather cool but at least it wasn't raining!

Friday, December 2nd - - It seems that the winds that came through on Wednesday night also brought cooler temperatures with them. Daytime highs hadn't made it into the 50s and the lows were well into the 30s. A check of the weather on the internet for several places indicated that it was about the same all over southern Arizona. So much for finding a warm place to stay!

I continued south and stopped at Picacho Peak State Park for the night. I had been there at least twice before in my travels through Arizona and knew that it was a nice spot. They had made improvements to the campgrounds and all sites now had electricity. I arrived just before sunset and the clouds had broken up a bit so I decided to go for a walk with camera in hand. And I'm glad that I did!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Through the Valley of Fire

Wednesday, November 30th - - The road led me south from Zion National Park. My destination for the night was the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada about 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

I arrived about an hour before sunset and the sun was casting a warming glow over the landscape. The park's website (link above) tells us that “The Valley of Fire derives its name from red sandstone formations, formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of dinosaurs, 150 million years ago. Complex uplifting and faulting of the region, followed by extensive erosion, have created the present landscape.”

As you drive around the park, numerous formations jut out above the desert floor.

The formations were piles of swirling rock. It was like Mother Nature had dipped her hand into a bowl of whipped cream and mixed it up to form these incredible rocks.

Wind and rain have added their “artistic touch” to the formations to produce a dazzling display.

Thursday, December 1st - - High winds and rain came through the valley last night. The van was buffeted around quite a bit and if there had been room in the campsite I would have turned the van so that it was facing into the wind. It wouldn't have been quite so bad then. But, from what I've heard, the winds through the Valley of Fire were not nearly as bad as those in California. I've been through a few other bad storms and this compares to some of the worst. I was glad to see the sun come out in the morning, but that didn't last long either.

Rather than stay and be miserable in the wind, rain, and cold air I continued on my drive south.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Zion National Park :: Revisited

Tuesday, November 29th - - Since there was quite a bit of snow at Bryce Canyon, I left there in early afternoon and drove the relatively short distance to Zion National Park. They had recently closed all of the campgrounds in the park except for one loop, which is normally for RVs only and has electrical hookups. There weren't a lot of campers when I arrived but by evening the loop was filling up.

Wednesday, November 30th - - As it turned out, I really didn't need heat during the night but it was nice to have it in the morning to take the chill out of the air. The road through Zion Canyon is normally closed to traffic during the summer season but I took advantage of the opportunity to drive through since the road was open.

Of course I had to get a photo of Angel's Landing. I still find it hard to believe that I actually made it to the top!

It was a short visit but very pleasant nevertheless. Though not much I've done could compare to my visit there last year.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

A Brief Visit to Bryce Canyon

Monday morning I left Salt Lake City and took the “scenic route” south out of Utah – US 89. I ended up spending the night at a little campground in the Escalante National Monument. It was a cool day and got even cooler overnight – frost covered the front and rear windows in the morning and the temperature was a brisk 26 degrees! It didn't take long to get ready and get on down the road that morning!

Tuesday, November 29th - - It was a pleasant drive to Bryce Canyon National Park and I was able to spend about four hours there. I drove through the park stopping at many of the viewpoints along the way. There were very few people around and traffic wasn't a problem at all – unlike in the summer time. There was some snow on the ground but the sun was shining and the 50 degree temperature felt much warmer.

This and the next three photos were taken at Sunset Point. Elevation 8,000 feet.

Taken from Bryce Point. A 1.3 mile trail winds its way through the canyon.

Another view of the trail into the canyon. It would have been neat to go down amongst the towering hoodoos, but I just wasn't up to that kind of challenge at that time.

Taken from Rainbow Point, elevation 9,115 feet.

Another shot from Rainbow Point.