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ENOCH HOFF (1773-1812)
Posted by: JOHN HOFF (ID *****4640) Date: September 11, 2010 at 23:13:30
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ENOCH HOFF (1773-1812) "bad boy" (slave catcher) was a son of the Rev. DANIEL HOFF (1746 NJ - 1802 VA). His spouse (from Fluvanna Co., VA and the Duncan family there) was NANCY DUNCAN, and her line is fairly well documented. His "brother", JOHN F./JONATHAN HOFF appears to have also come to Fluvanna Co., VA from the Manassas area and took a bride, as well from the Duncan family (either a sister or cousin of NANCY DUNCAN HOFF) named ELIZABETH DUNCAN. Someone on-line attributed TWO SINS to ENOCH HOFF & NANCY DUNCAN HOFF:
2.       JAMES P.HOFF, (1804 VA - ) W: ELIZABETH SANDERS (b: Dec 1806 VA - d: 13 July 1876 Canada. They, in turn, had 10 children who were born in Wytheville, Wythe Co., VA, Fluvanna Co., or Washington Co., OH. The Children attributed to them were:
a.       EMILY HOFF       (b: 1829, Wytheville, Wythe Co. VA - ) H: JOHN F. Cumberland
b.       JESSE S. HOFF (22 June 1831, Wytheville, Wythe Co., VA - 27 Oct 1898 Paris, IA); Dtr: IDA HOFF (11 Jun 1875 - )
c.       ENOCH HOFF, Jr. (06 Sept 1834 - Fluvanna Co., VA - 20 Mar 1899, ? ); W; Catherine Davis
d.       MARY JANE HOFF (24 Aug 1835, Wytheville, Wythe Co., VA - )
e.       NANCY HOFF (01 Sep 1836 " - )
f.       REBECCA HOFF (24 Oct 1839, " - )
g.       JAMES LEVI HOFF (28 Dec 1842, " - 04 Feb 1909, Harrison, WV )
h.       ELIZABETH HOFF (25 Sep 1844, " - ); W; Alice C. Sanders (4 Apr 1861 Harrison WV - 18 May 1895 Lumberport, Harrison Co., WV)
i.       ROBERT W. HOFF ( 1845, Washington Co., OH - )
j.       MARK HOFF        (Feb 1849, Wash'g Co., OH - 1919, Linn Co., IA); W#1 SARAH J. Hogland; W32 DURANCY SNODGRASS - 7 children

ENOCH didn't get to Wash'g Co., OH before 1805, and he died in 1812, leaving him to "ply his trade" there along the Ohio River and into Ohio for only a brief 7 year period before "checking out" from a "fever" the same year as JOHN F./JONATHAN HOFF (d:" 1812 Fearing Twp., Wash'g Co., OH). ENOCH's eldest son must NOT have been part of the "family business" of slave catching, as it doesn't appear that he brought his family to Washington co., OH until 1844-45, based on the location of his children's birth, which was well after the death of his father in 1812.

The following obituary for Enoch Hoff was found in the "Western Spectator" for 15 May 1812. For info: the Western Spectator is on Microfilm and held by the Ohio Historical Society Archives Library, Columbus, Ohio. (Thanks to the diligent work of the Hoff Family Historian, the late Arnold Hovey):

"it is a general rule that death is accompanied by grief and perhaps to his mother this might be true. But last Thursday at Cow Run Enoch Hoff died of fever and it would take a strange man indeed to mourne his passing. Although his mother is a gentle and kind woman, this was not passed on to her son who made his living through the miseries of other human beings. Catching run- away slaves and selling them back to their owners was how he spent his time to a point where he was known throughout the Cow Run region as a - - catcher. He also caused throuble in other ways and only the high regards for his mother prevents us from exposing them here.
It must prove that a man does not get his life's tendencies from his parents and other close relations since even through dying in Prince Williams County, Virginia, about a decade ago, his sire was Reverend Daniel Hoff, a farmer and a man of God in that region as well as his native New Jersey. There, according to his wife, Sophia, Hoff's father was John Hoff, also a Christian man who lived in a rural area near a village of the Family The violence of the war near this region caused Reverend Hoff and his family to move to northern Virginia. Also the late Enoch's other grandfather, William Moffit, was a Christian miniswter who followed the Hoffs group to Ohio along with other residents including the well-known Dye family.

Thus, God moves in mysterious ways and the 39 years of Hoff"s life does nothing but substantiate this. He will not be missed by his neighbors who have had the strength of character to tolerate his nefarious activities. Our only sympathies go to his family who deserve more".

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