Friday, June 15, 2012

Cousins Connecting, Contributing, Collaborating

Three months ago (March 2012) I began a series of posts on my Hoffman-Huffman Family of Columbiana County, Ohio and Berks County, Pennsylvania, which is one of my Maternal Grandfather's Lines: Becky Wiseman >>> Virginia Phend Wiseman >>> Rolland Victor "Vic" Phend >>> Susie Lula Yarian >>> Lovina Berlin >>> Susannah Huffman >>> John Hoffman >>> Dietrich Hoffman >>> Michael Hoffman.

In August 2011, prior to the publication of those posts, I had been contacted by Nick Hoffman, a descendant of Dietrich's son, Michael. At that time I hadn't really done any research on the Hoffman line - most of the information I had was from two other researchers and had been received several years ago. Then I went to Salt Lake City for a couple of months, concentrating on researching the lines for whom I had little information, one of which was the Hoffman family. That series of posts in March was the result of the information that had been found in Salt Lake City.

I contacted Nick to let him know about the blog posts. In the meantime, he had made contact with Mike Lies, a descendant of Barbara Hoffman Lies - sister of Dietrich. It was Nick who had sent the information on the 1750 marriage of a Michael Hoffman and Engel Schedlerin, which lead us to reconsider the "known" information regarding Michael's wife. (I wrote about that in Questioning the Status Quo :: Oh, Maria!)

As a result of the Hoffman-Huffman posts in March, I was contacted by Bob Hoffman, a descendant of Jacob Hoffman who is another son of Dietrich. Bob wasn't able to provide any additional information on Dietrich or Michael but did send along a nice report on Jacob's descendants.

Yesterday I got a very nice (to say the least!) email from Bob. Nice enough to that I let out a shout causing my friend Cindy (working in another room) to ask if I was okay ;-)

Bob and his brother, Tom, spent the day at the Columbiana Archives (Columbiana County Archives and Research Center). I know from personal experience that the two ladies working there - volunteers - are very nice and extremely helpful. While Bob and Tom were perusing the shelves, the ladies were on the computer doing some look-ups.

What the ladies found were two articles on Hoffman family reunions at Washingtonville, published in the Mahoning Dispatch - one on August 15, 1913 and the other on August 14, 1914 - both on the Chronicling America website.

The articles are a treasure trove of information that provide leads for further research. I'll be transcribing the articles and posting them here in the near future - primarily for 'cousin bait' since there are a lot of names given, but also just because the articles are interesting and give a little more insight into a different era, of the life and times of people of a hundred years ago.

One of the paragraphs really got my heart pounding:
"Some of these talks were for the benefit of the family historian who is preparing a book of some 800 pages and dates the family tree to Germany in the 17th century, when Adam Hoffman and his brothers Michael and Robert sailed for America, locating in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania."
There was a book published on 'MY' Hoffman family? Where? When? By Whom? I want it! And then there is that "Three Brothers" myth again. Oh, my!

But Bob had even more good news. He and his brother had found the grave markers for Dietrich and for "my" John and Catherine in the Washingtonville Cemetery. Bob says the stones are in terrible condition, broken and illegible but he's going to send me photos! (I hadn't been able to find the stones on my visit there last year.) Oh, and that first reunion article? It gives transcriptions of their stones! I had that from "The Henry R. Baldwin Genealogical Records" but it is confirmation of the inscription from yet another source.

Bob's email was definitely worthy of the 'happy dance' don't you think? And to those naysayers who think blogging about your genealogy is a waste of time - don't you believe them! I've lost track of how many times I've been contacted by other researchers as a result of blog posts. Most are inquiries and not 'exciting' but I appreciate each and every contact. You just never know what you'll find when you open your email! Yes, folks, blogging works!

Published under a Creative Commons License.
Becky Wiseman, "Cousins Connecting, Contributing, Collaborating," Kinexxions, posted June 15, 2012 ( : accessed [access date])


Denise Barrett Olson said...

WOW! I am so delighted for you - and more than a tad bit jealous.

Carol said...

So happy for you, your hard work IS paying off! Congrats!

Michelle Goodrum said...

Woohoo! You hit the jackpot. Congratulations!