Hoff Family Genealogy Forum
POWELL HOFF and wife MARTHA BREWSTER HOFF lived for a time in central Illinois, near Springfield, Sagamon Co., IL. Their 12th (and last) child, CHARLES P. HOFF, was ostensibly born in "Rochester, Sagamon co., IL, in 1846". Their 11th child was reportedly born in Peoria in 1844, but by 1854 it appears that the family had moved on, yet again, to Walnut Twp., Dallas Co., IA. I was recently in Springfield, IL on business, and when done, I drove the 15 miles SE of Springfield on Hwy 29 to visit the small town of Rochester (with a population of about 2,900 inhabitants). I went to the newly built, small local public library, wich is now co-located with the Village Hall and Police Station on Hwy 29, at the SE edge of town. They had a shelf of early local history and genealogical data on their pioneer residents, and they were very helpful. However, after an extensive search of their documentation, including the 1840 and 1850 census, the marriage register of the town and the county, record of U.S. land purchases, etc., we could find NO nexus whatsoever with a "POWELL HOFF" (there was a "HOFF", but no apparent relation to our line) there in Rochester, Sangamon Co. The librarian thought that perhaps the Springfield Municipal Lincoln Library might have more complete records on the County. However, on Ancestry.com, I found a land sale record to POWELL HOFF in 1854 in which (for $125) he purchased 4,000 acres in Illinois, but it appears from the surveyor's data that this was in an adjoining county to the south of Sangamon Co., and fairly far from Rochester.
So, it is possible that MARTHA BREWSTER HOFF and husband POWELL HOFF may have briefly resided in ROCHESTER as non property owners for long enough to at least give birth to their final child, CHARLES P. HOFF (who went on to die in Bozeman, MT in the early 1900s following the family's move to Iowa in the mid 1850s). So, despite the family recordation and apparent birth of this one child in Richmond (which I can not document), I could not establish a firm residential or farming nexus there in Rochester, Sagamon Co., IL, with the family of POWELL HOFF and MARTHA BREWSTER HOFF.
Any insight from others? JOHN S. HOFF (312) 346-8111 in chicago, or E/M <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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