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 ancestry.com 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.


Charlie Purvis said...

HOFF, John H. married 15 Mar 1892 in Decatur County, Kansas a bride named Mary T. Wilson. 2,645,569
Here’s why you should check the source file (free), then search Archives and PeopleSmart for John H. HOFF.
Decatur County Kansas, Marriage Records and Index, 1881-1912 and 1917-1926
Hoff John H. Wilson Mary T. March 15, 1892

Wilson Mary F. Jno. Hoff Jennings, Kans. 25 Indiana James N. & Permelia (Salyer) Wilson Jennings Twp., KS 3-15-1892
Hoff Jno. H. Miss Mary F. Wilson Oberlin, Kans. Minister 33 Ohio Olen & Eliza & Durfee ?) Hoff Jennings Twp., KS 3-15-1892

This page shows John H HOFF parents as Olen & Eliza Durfee Hoff
Jennings Twp, Ks

Anonymous said...

I would order a copy of the marriage licensee from Kansas and see what is recorded as parents names.


Anonymous said...

Earlier John H. Hoff in Butler County, Ohio

Hoff, Cornelius Wallace, Elizabeth 1816 Jun. 13 H. Weaver, JP
Hoff, John H. Teitsort, Sarah 1816 Dec. 29 H. Weaver, JP

Becky Wiseman said...

Thank you very much, Anonymous Charlie! I will definitely follow up on the marriage record... sure looks promising!