Dear Cuz Larry: Wednesday, 21 July 2010
Thanks for this supplemental info.
Speaking of the REV. DANIEL HOFF: I assume that you have a copy of his marriage certificate (available from the NJ State Archives). If you have it, and I assume that you do, did you note the name of the witness “CORNELIUS HOFF”? I have been trying to “run him down” and determine the nature of the relationship between the two men. I believe that CORNELIUS was the town clerk there in Somerset, NJ, and he wasn’t so much of a “witness” as he was the official that “certified” the marriage certificate. CORNELIUS was a bit older, as well, and may have been DANIEL’s uncle (I forget, as all of the material is at home now, and I’m at work). But you will recall that DANIEL named one of his first three male offspring (via W#1 LAURA TITUS) as “CORNELIUS HOFF”, and I have tried (on and off) to track this second, “name-sake” CORNELIUS (the 2nd) to determine what the heck ever happened to him and his “down-stream” HOFF off-spring, as they all share our same DNA. There was another much older CORNELIUS HOFF (the 1st) - (for whom the younger one living in Somerset (the 2nd) may have been a “name-sake”). I recall that I read that the 1st CORNELIUS “took off” to So. Carolina - to avoid payment of a large personal debt. This elder CORNELIUS (the 1st) appears to have “founded” an arm or the “Southern Branch” of the Hoff family, migrating inland eventually to York Co., and his offspring into the Appalachia’s. The 2nd “CORNELIUS” who signed the marriage certificate of DANIEL appears to himself have been another “name-sake” of the older CORNELIUS (the 1st), copying this common Dutch name possessed by other, older Hoffs. The still younger CORNELIUS HOFF (3rd), who was offspring of DANIEL & LAURA TITUS (W#1), was listed as being a full brother of the controversial sibling, AMOS HOFF (1775-1855).
AMOS HOFF then simply “disappears” after birth, which everyone presumes to have been in “Northern Virginia in 1775”. He then only “reappears” 80 years later - at the time of his death in May of 1855, very shortly after the family’s migration from Peoria and their arrival in the DSM/Dallas Co. area. If AMOS’s mother was LAURA TITUS, and she presumably died very shortly after (or as a result of) his ostensible listed birth date listed as being “1775”, then who raised AMOS after his mother died? Was he “shipped off” to HOFF or TITUS family relatives in NJ to be raised by them; or, was he “taken in” by the brand-new new step-mother SUSAN SOPHIA MOFFETT (W#2 of DANIEL) to raise along with their own newly-arrived children (1/2 brothers), including JOHN F./JONATHAN HOFF, who was listed as having been born to SUSAN SOPHIA MOFFETT HOFF also in 1775? 1775 must have been a very busy year for ol’ DANIEL HOFF!!!, with the birth of two sons, the death of one wife, and the hasty remarriage to a second wife who appears to have given birth to that second son all in the same year. Did AMOS reside in Pr. William Co. from 1775 until his emancipation (age 18-21 in ~1793-96), or until the death of DANIEL himself (thought to have been in ~1797) in Prince William County, VA? Was he raised in NJ by other collateral family members, and if so when and how did he come to live in Northern VA where his two sons were presumably born in 1801 and 1807, respectively? Did he join the family in the move to the Marietta area around ~1805 from his location in either NJ or VA, or did he come later? If JOHN HARVEY was truly born, as listed, in “1807 in Northern VA” (per later Census data), then AMOS couldn’t have made the move together with the rest of the family to Ohio in ~1805, as he couldn’t be in to geographically disparate places at the same time. I have found several AMOS’s in Ohio (one in Athens Co.), but I can’t be sure if this/these are the same guy(s) (or not). The AMOS HOFFs I found in nearby Athens CO., Ohio had listed in the Census form a spouse and several children (but no names are listed in these older census forms). Somehow POWELL got himself from Northern VA to Marietta, as he married wife MARTHA BRESTER there in 1824 (his age being then 23), and 6 years later, the 1830 Census shows him living in Fearing Twp, Washington Co., coincidently the exact location where JOHN F./JONATHAN resided until his death in 1812. It doesn’t appear that AMOS ever resided in this immediate area. I find no evidence of POWELL residing in Athens Co., OH, either. Had he been the son of AMOS, I would have expected this, as opposed to POWELL being in the location of AMOS’s ½ brother, JOHN F./JONATHAN HOFF, who died in Fearing Twp. in 1812 - and where JOHN F.’s widow, ELIZABETH “BETSY” DUNCAN HOFF (1785-1829/39) resided until her own death in either ~1829. And, the brother of “BETSY” DUNCAN, a HOWELL L.L. DUNCAN, was listed as residing with JOHN HARVEY HOFF in the 1850 Ohio Census. If POWELL & JOHN HARVEY HOFF had no connection with JOHN F. HOFF and wife “BETSY”, why then was her brother, HOWELL residing with JOHN HARVEY (his presumed nephew), if AMOS HOFF, was the true father of the two boys?
I’d like to “track” the offspring of both AMOS & full brother CORNULIUS HOFF, because if my direct ancestor (my 2XG Grandfather), POWELL HOFF(1801- 1870) is, in fact, the son of AMOS HOFF(1775-1855) (as is strongly felt and advocated by some of my cousins), as opposed to JOHN F. / JONATHAN HOFF (as maintained by the late Arnold Hovey), then these other yet undiscovered and unnamed offspring/individuals of the AMOS HOFF I found listed would also (of necessity) have been full siblings of POWELL and his brother JOHN HARVEY HOFF (1807-1874). Yet only POWELL and his brother JOHN HARVEY are listed as being an offspring of “this” or “our” AMOS HOFF, and the other unidentified siblings simply “disappear” (and I know nothing of them). I can’t find AMOS (and presumed wife PRUDENCE POWELL HOFF) residing in the Peoria area in 1855, or prior thereto, (with any of their other children) where POWELL & wife MATHA resided from about 1842-1855 - immediately before the move to Iowa. It seems that AMOS must have been in the Peoria area, and he made the cross-country trek with POWELL & family, as he died immediately upon arrival (or on the road), and was buried in a corner of the newly acquired land of POWELL in Dallas Co. There is no question in my mind that there was a very close connection between POWELL and this AMOS HOFF, but what exactly was it?
Alternatively, if the true father of brothers POWELL & JOHN HARVEY (Sr.) was JOHN F./JONATHAN HOFF (1775-1812), it would make sense that POWELL & his brother JOHN HARVEY were never listed as a member of the household of AMOS because they simply weren’t the sons of AMOS and never resided with him, and neither would they be siblings of the offspring of AMOS HOFF. POWELL’s connection to Fearing Twp nearby to Marietta would make sense, too. So, I’d like to continue to try to “track” AMOS and his wife (and children) to help shed any light on the true nature of his relationship of AMOS HOFF to brothers JOHN HARVEY & POWELL HOFF.
I know that this line is collateral to your direct HUFF/HOFF lines, but knowing your research skills, I thought that perhaps you might be able to unearth something on either CORNELIUS HOFF (the 3rd) and/or brother AMOS HOFF (sons of DANIEL HOFF & LAURA TITUS), and their earlier NJ “connections” (including the earlier CORNELIUS (the 2nd ), who was present at the marriage of DANIEL HOFF & LAURA TITUS.
Cheers, CUZ JOHN
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