Friday, November 05, 2010

It was a long time coming...

Nearly eleven years ago (on November 19, 1999) I posted a query on the Hoff Family Genealogy Forum. It was a short query “Aquilla HOFF married Eliza DUNFEE September 4, 1851 Ashland Co., Ohio. Eliza was sole heir to the estate of her grandfather, Jonathan HAZLETT, when he died in Ashland County September 16, 1853. In March 1857, Aquilla and Eliza sold the land she had inherited. Where did they go? What happened to them? Do they have any descendants? Any information on them would be greatly appreciated.”

Time passes. I researched other people, other families and pretty much forgot about Aquilla and Eliza. Then, on Saturday, October 30th, I received an email from the wife of a descendant of Aquilla Hoff's brother! I was astounded to receive a response from an 11 year old query!

Since her husband is a Hoff descendant she had no additional information on the Dunfee family. However, she told me where Aquilla and Eliza had lived, when and where they were born, and that they did have a son, Jonathan, born about 1854 in Ohio.

Aquilla and Eliza moved to La Grange County, Indiana before 1860 – they are listed in Newbury Township that year and in 1870. Aquilla was residing in Drum Creek, Montgomery County, Kansas in 1880 with his son Jonathan H. Hoff – Aquilla's marital status was widowed.

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 suspect that he died in Kansas since that is where he was living in 1880 although it is possible that he returned to Indiana. Additional research needs to be done... I haven't yet looked for the son Jonathan.

Eliza (Dunfee) Hoff died on August 6, 1876 and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Lagrange County, Indiana. Census records indicate that Eliza was born about 1811-1813 in Pennsylvania. There is a memorial for her on Find A Grave.

Eliza Dunfee is my 3rd Great-Grandaunt and is the daughter of James and Sophia (Hazlett) Dunfee who lived in Cumberland Township, York County, Pennsylvania in 1790. That township became a part of Adams County in 1800. They were living in Adams County 1800-1820. In 1830 they resided in Plain Township, Wayne County, Ohio. I haven't looked lately but a few years ago I didn't find them in the 1840 census. In 1850 they were in Washington Township, Holmes County, Ohio. And, in 1860 they were in Jefferson Township, Whitley County, Indiana.

A note in my grandmother's papers stated that James and Sophia Dunfee were the parents of 13 children. I have found information on 10 although for several of them I have no “proof” that they are children of James and Sophia. More research needs to be done in that arena. Eventually I'd like to find living descendants in the hopes that someone will have more information on them and their children.

A letter dated March 16, 1849 from James and Sophia E. Dunfee to William H. Dunfee and Catharine B. Dunfee (my 4th great grandparents) provides clues to some of the children. Future posts will document the information I have on the (presumed) children.

See the follow-up post The Dunfee Family :: Eliza and Aquilla Hoff

Also see the Index for previous posts on the Dunfee family.


Carol said...

11 years?? that is AMAZING, guess that really proves the old adage - - never give up!


Greta Koehl said...

This is fabulous! And, it gives me hope - through a Google search today I found a 9-year-old post about a family that I am currently researching. I plan on responding and hope to hear back from some of the original posters - wish me luck!

Barbara Poole said...

That's pretty amazing. The little lessons learned here, are to keep your same email address and never give up hope. I wonder if your Hoff is from an old NY line.