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Re: PRUDENCE POWELL HOFF (~1775-1847 Rochester, Peoria Co., IL)
Posted by: JOHN HOFF (ID *****4640) Date: June 30, 2008 at 10:12:07
In Reply to: Re: PRUDENCE POWELL HOFF (~1775-1847 Rochester, Peoria Co., IL) by JOHN SCOTT HOFF of 886

Dear Jenie:

Yes, this information on PRUDENCE HOFF was extremely helpful (as I will explain below), and I sincerely thank you.

On this past Saturday 28 June 2008), I drove to the Peoria area, found “Rochester” (now renamed “Elmore”, I learned), and drove around the small settlement. I also located and walked the entire small Glendale Cemetery there in Elmore, in Millbrook Twp. and photographed its entrance. Unfortunately, I found no HOFF headstones there, and left a bit disappointed. However, like a lot of older cemeteries, the older limestone headstones were badly weathered and unreadable, or I could see that numerous of them were simply broken off or were missing altogether. So, I left thinking I had “come up empty”. Then came your missive confirming the presence of PRUCENCE (POWELL) HOFF there is an indication that I either missed her headstone, or there was none. PRUDENCE HOFF may rest in an early, presently unmarked grave site there in that small, but currently used cemetery. Given the paucity of stone masons in the area in this early time, or the families’ finances, her grave marker could also have been a simple wood marker (as many of the era were) that simply rotted away or was cleared away over the past 160 years, especially if there were no family members remaining in the area to attend to it.

The PRUDENCE HOFF you site buried in this Glendale Cemetery is believed to have been the wife of AMOS HOFF (1775-1855), and she is believed to have had a maiden name of “POWELL”. She was listed in some family records to have died in “Illinois in 1847”, and the family was known to have lived in the Peoria area. But thus far, nothing further was known. So, without much doubt, this is her! This also confirms that the Hoff Family had some physical presence there in Rochester (now Elmore) well before POWELL HOFF (strongly believed by some family members to have been the son of PRUDENCE & AMOS HOFF) purchased the 4,000 acres of land there (Sec. 11) on November 17, 1854. If PRUDENCE HOFF was, in fact, the mother of POWELL, and he was born in Northern Virginia near Manassas (in Prince William County., VA), she, too, was also likely from that area, and would have been born around 1775-1780 (estimating her being 20 when married, and age 21 or so when POWELL was born). POWELL was known to have had a brother, JOHN HOFF, also. POWELL identified him in his Will as being his “brother”, and these are the only two known siblings. I had wondered if the POWELL HOFF Family actually lived in the City of Peoria and POWELL had just purchased this available property in a remote part of the county (Section #11 of Millbrook Twp.) for land speculation purposes, and that the family never actually resided there. However, your information would seemingly confirm their physical presence and residence there in the Rochester/Elmore area in 1847.

If PRUDENCE HOFF, the known wife of AMOS HOFF is, in fact, the mother of POWELL HOFF (my 2XG Grandfather), then she would be my 3XG Grandmother! With the evidence you found, of her being the daughter of “E. & M.” (Presumably “POWELL”, as some family records indicate), your extremely helpful information will potentially help further identify her presently unknown parents and presumed Virginia lineage. To date, nothing is known of these parents, at least to me, but you’ve given me and other family members a great lead. POWELL & MARTHA HOFF (and presumably AMOS & PRUDENCE HOFF accompanying them) moved to the Peoria area in about 1842 from Chesterhill, Washington (later Morgan) Co., OH, following the family’s origins in the Manassas area, then in 1802 to the Marietta, Washington Co., OH area. POWELL HOFF married MARTHA BREWSTER in Marietta in 1824, and they subsequently moved to nearby Chesterhill, OH , where a son (my 1XG Grandfather), JOHN H. HOFF was born in 1830. And, it appears that AMOS & PRUDENCE POWELL HOFF most likely accompanied them. However, I can’t find them in any census data, and they may have been unlisted “household members” of POWELL & MARTHA HOFF. When the extended Hoff Family sold everything and left Peoria County in about 1854-55 they moved (along with elderly widower AMOS HOFF) initially to Des Moines (DSM), Polk Co. IA, they then purchased new “homestead” farm property from the U.S. Government west of DSM in Dallas County, IA. The husband of PRUDENCE HOFF, AMOS HOFF, died in 1855 there in Dallas Co., IA, (at age 80!), shortly after the arrival (and the doubtlessly exhausting and physically-demanding trip west), and he is interred in the Hoff-Prairie Cem., just west of Grimes, IA. Also buried there are POWELL HOFF (b: 1801 in Pr. William Co., VA) & MARTHA BREWSTER HOFF (b: 1802 Butternut Twp., Otsego Co., NY), his wife.

So, the apparently unmarked 1847 grave of PRUDENCE HOFF in the Glendale Cemetery there in Elmore, Millbrook Twp., in the far NW corner of Peoria Co., IL is CONFIRMATION of the Hoff Family’s presence there in Rochester in the very early pioneer period of Peoria County. I must have walked directly over her grave this weekend, but without your help, I would never have known nor fully appreciated the significance of that cemetery in our family’s history. So, I sincerely thank you for taking the time to write me. It looks like I will need to now take a second trip back there at some point, now KNOWING that PRUDENCE HOFF is for sure interred there. I know that your missive will be of great interest to other family members interested in tracing the genealogy of our Hoff Family.



John S. Hoff
Hoff & Collins
20 S. Clark Street
Suite 2210
Chicago, Illinois 60603
312 346-8111 - T

-----Original Message-----
From: JS []
Sent: Monday, June 30, 2008 10:06 AM
Subject: Hoff Family - Peoria Co, IL Genforum

John -
I have a hard copy of _Cemeteries - Millbrook Twp., Peoria County,
_published by Peoria County Genealogical Society.

There is a burial at Elmore (Glendale) Cemetery - Section 7 Millbrook Twp:

HOFF, Prudence - daughter of E.& M died July 9, 1847 age 19/1/26
That's the only Hoff burial I find in this volume - the cemetery was
inventoried 1973.

I hope this helps.

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