According to my great-grandfather, John Schoff (b.1863 in White Pidgeon, Iowa) his great-grandfather Philip Schoff "drifted into New York harbor as a stow-away". Apparantly, around the late 1780's this 8 year old Philip Schoff was playing with a friend on the shore in Amsterdam. The two climbed onto a ship which ended up setting sail for America with the two stowed away on board. They were discovered after about two days into the voyage. When they arrived in New York the frightened 8 year old was unable to answer any questions and noone was able to understand anything he said beyond his name which was shortened for him to SCHOFF. He was subsequently sold into indentured slavery to a farmer. Five years later he escaped and made his way to Pennsylvania to a Dutch settlement where he lived and worked on a farm. He married early and had a very large family. Among his children was a son named John who married an Irish woman named Mitchell. John and his wife migrated to Coshocton, Ohio where he was killed in a log rolling accident at age 35. They had 3 children one of whom was named Philip who also used to raft logs down the Ohio river but later he became a carpenter. This Philip also had his pioneering adventures. I am wondering if this story has any link to the book I have heard of "The Ancestors and Descendants of Philip Schoff, a Pioneer Settler of Ohio by Fanny Ramsey Wilder Winchester. Anyone heard of this book?
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