Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Huffman-Hoffman Kinexxion :: Michael

Even though I wasn't sure if Dietrich Hoffman was the father of “my” John Hoffman, since I had the resources available, I decided to see what I could find on Michael Hoffman who was reported to be the father of Dietrich. The information that I had received from Maggie Evans in April 2000 was in the form of a family group sheet prepared by a 2nd cousin of her father. It showed that Johann Dietrich Hoffman was born June 22, 1751 in New Hanover, Pennsylvania and that his parents were Michael and Maria (Engle) Hoffman.

Update April 10, 2012: Please see Questioning the Status Quo :: Oh, Maria! for my theory regarding the maiden name of Maria Hoffman.

In a previous post, I mentioned the baptisms of four children of Dietrich Hoffman in the Zion-Spiess Church records in Upper Alsace Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania. What I didn't mention in that post was that the sponsors were included in the version created by William J. Hinke in July 1921.
  • Henry b. Dec. 14, 1777, bapt. Febr. 20, 1778 – sponsor was Henry Alter
  • John b. June 22, (1778) – sponsor was John Papp
  • John Michael b. Mar. 10, 1782 – sponsor was Valentine Hartman
  • Samuel b. Apr. 6, 1785 bapt. May 29, 1785 – sponsors were Frederick Lies & wf. Maria Engel
I also erred in the post mentioned above in stating that the mother of the children was not listed. The parents for Samuel were given as “Dietrich Hoffman, Susanna”. Susanna's maiden name is reportedly Alder, which could also be Alter, so I'm wondering if Henry Alter is her father or in some other way related. I have found one online tree that gives her parents as Georg Henrich “Henry” Alter (1715 – 1784) and Mary Magdalena (1727-) with no source information.

Also, you might have noticed that the sponsors of Samuel Hoffman were Frederick Lies & wf. Maria Engel. I did a double-take when I saw her name... perhaps putting the cart before the horse here, but Michael Hoffman's estate entered into probate on February 4, 1777. So, unless there was another Maria Engel in the area it looks like Michael's widow married Frederick Lies.

I need to spend more time reviewing the baptism records for Spiess Church, but it should be noted that Frederick Lies & wf Maria were sponsors for at least three other baptisms. This information certainly opens up some avenues for research into the Alder/Alter line as well as the Engel/Engle line.

In addition, two baptisms for children of Michael & Maria (Engel) Hoffman were found in the book “Trinity Lutheran Church - Reading, Pennsylvania; An alphabetized compilation of baptisms, marriages, and deaths from 1751-1904” prepared by Jacqueline B. Nein & Gail H. Hesser, 1988.
  • Anna Barbara, born 10/22/1765, baptized 11/27/1765, sponsors Georg & Anna Barbara Schmarz
  • Johannes, born 05/03/1770, baptized 06/03/1770, sponsors Johannes & Eva Koch
As stated above, Michael Hoffman's estate entered into probate on February 4, 1777. He did not have a will and his wife Mary Engel Hoffman was made administratrix of his estate.

Estate of Michael Hoffman, 1777
Berks County, Pennsylvania Probate Files
Family History Microfilm 1653590 Accessed February 11, 2012
Know all Men by these Presents, That We Mary Engel Hoffman Widow and Relict of Michael Hoffman late of the Township of Alsace in the County of Berks in the Province of Pennsylvania Carpenter deceased, John Koch of the Township of Exeter in the said County Yeoman and John Myers of the same place Mason are held and firmly bound unto Benjamin Chew Esqr... for the Sum of Three hundred Pounds... Dated the fourth Day of February in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy seven.
I find it fascinating that, apparently, Mary's maiden name was usually included in records giving her name, at least that is the case with some of the baptism records and with Michael's estate. I'm going to take a wild guess here and say that there were probably other women by the name of Mary Hoffman in Berks County at the same time and her maiden name was used to distinguish her from the others. That assumption will be investigated further...

Since Michael did not leave a will, the next most important document for genealogists is one that names the lawful heirs. I've found several online trees on the family of Michael and Maria but most of them include only one or two children, while several have 10 or 11 children, some include Dietrich and some don't. There are several documents in Michael's estate file that list his children but apparently there was an issue with the number of children...

To be continued... see The Huffman-Hoffman Kinexxion :: Heirs of Michael

Published under a Creative Commons License.
Becky Wiseman, "The Huffman-Hoffman Kinexxion :: Michael," Kinexxions, posted March 14, 2012 ( : accessed [access date])

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