Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: John and Kunigunda Hoffman

John Hoffman, born in Maur, Canton Zurich, was the youngest of the Hoffman siblings. He came to the U.S. with his mother, brother Christian, and niece Rosina in 1864. 1 Arriving during the Civil War, he enlisted in the Union Army in 1865 shortly after his brother Henry and along with his cousin Jacob Homberger. I’ll tell their army stories in later posts.

After the war John married Kunigunda Schneider, a German immigrant, in Jo Daviess County and was naturalized in Carroll County, Illinois. He first lived on a Derinda Township farm, then had a billiard hall and grocery in Elizabeth, moving on to run a hotel in Hanover, all in Jo Daviess County. He finally settled in Savanna, a town on the Mississippi River in Carroll County. There he had a hotel and among many activities belonged to the R.M.A. Hawk Post 406 of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). (Read more about the GAR in Illinois.)

Kunigunda died in 1909 and John remarried in 1914 to a second German immigrant, Margaret (Kupfer) Toepfer. John passed away in 1922 at the age of eighty-one. He was buried with his first wife in the Savanna City Cemetery. Most of his adult children have also been buried in that cemetery. There is one large marker for both John and Kunigunda and two small stones, one for each of them (photographed from the opposite side of the main photo). John’s has his GAR marker with it. The main stone correctly reads

DEC. 16, 1840 – MAY 9, 1922
FEB. 6, 1849 – JAN. 27, 1909

Photographed 19 June 2002

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Genealogist Wrote About Digital Scrapbooking

I was delighted today to find that a genealogy blog that I like had an article on Digital Scrapbooking. You can read it here.

In honor of the occasion, here is one of my pages for the Hoffman Family.
This is Dick's grandfather, Henry Hoffman (1873 - 1947).

Tombstone Tuesday: Elisabeth Hoffman (1824 - 1892), wife of Jacob

Also in the Fehler Cemetery (or Albrecht/Albright), like last week's tombstone of Caspar Hoffman, is the gravestone for the wife of the oldest of the Hoffman siblings, Elisabeth (Zollinger) Hoffmann. The listing stone was very hard to read, but we could make out her name and dates:
wife of Jacob Hoffmann
born 14 Oct. 1824
died 29 Dec. 1892

We don't know if Jacob was buried here as well. We have never found his death information. He was still alive at the time of the 1900 census so he should have had a county death record, but he did not. His wife is recorded in a book of funeral home records, but again, Jacob does not appear there. Transcriptions from the cemetery are online HERE.

Their daughter was buried nearby. In 1999 her gravestone was leaning over, face toward the ground making it very hard to read. When we returned in 2002, it was lying on the ground face up. Hers reads (all in German):
Geb. Hoffmann
GEST. 17 JAN. 1875
Im Aller von
23 J. 2 M. 14 T.

Photos taken 18 June 2002

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Rosina Hoffman Eiler in 1900

The Rosina Hoffman who married John Eiler in 1872 in Stephenson County, Illinois, appeared to be Rosa, wife of John "Iler," in the 1880 U.S. census in Keokuk County, Iowa. A 1900 U.S. census looks even more like it has to be our Rosina Hoffman.

Her name is listed as Rosina H. Eiler, perhaps with the H. standing for Hoffman. Her birth is stated to be in Switzerland in Jan. 1854. The baptism record of our Rosina Hoffmann in Oetwil am See, Canton Zurich, Switzerland, gave her birth date as 8 January 1854.1 Immigration information is also on this census stating that Rosina H. Eiler arrived in the U.S. in 1864. Our Rosina appears on the passenger list of 25 June 1864 at New York City, New York, on ship Goeschen from Havre in company with her grandmother and uncles Christian and John.2 She and John Eiler had been married for 27 years according to the census which matches the marriage record from Illinois.

With such an exact match for what already appeared to be the right person, I believed when I found this one that we definitely had our Rosina. She and John lived in Red Oak, the county seat of Montgomery County, Iowa. It is in the southwestern part of the state not far from Council Bluffs. He was an engineer for the CB&Q Railroad (Chicago, Burlington & Quincy). They had ten children, all living. John is listed at the bottom of one page, Rosina and seven of the children on the next page.3 Be sure to click on the page images to see them larger.

Next I'll add information from Iowa state census records, one of which has someone else special on it.

1. Kirchenbuch, 1644-1875 (Oetwil am See); microfilm no. 996,487 (Salt Lake City, Utah: FHL (Zürich Staatsarchiv)), 1836-1875, p. 123, baptism register for 1854, no. 2. Also Kirchenbuch, 1600-1920 (Oberglatt, Zürich); microfilm no. 996,482 (Salt Lake City, Utah: Staatsarchiv, FHL), Book 4, p. 14.
2. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, NY, 1820-1897, microfilm publication M237 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives, ), roll 242; Goeshen, 25 June 1864, Rosena Hofmann, list 598, line 103. Also Staatsarchiv des Kantons Zürich (State Archives of Canton Zurich), Passerteilungen in Zürich nach Amerika und Australien 1848-1870 (Passports Issued in Zurich to America and Australia), downloadable publication online ( : accessed 16 April 2007).
3. 1900 U.S. census, Montgomery County, Iowa, population schedule, Red Oak City, Enumeration District (ED) 112, sheet 5A&B, dwelling 104, family 105, John Eiler household, digital image, Ancestry.com ( : accessed 11 March 2009), citing National Archives microfilm publication T623, roll 450.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Caspar Hoffman (1837 - 1877)

Caspar Hoffman was one of the younger siblings of the immigrant Swiss family. He was born 7 January 1837 in Maur, Canton Zurich. He was baptized there as Kaspar Hoffmann, his father Johannes a citizen of Oberglatt, Canton Zurich. The witnesses were Kaspar Sennhauser and (Mrs.) Barbara Hofmann.

He arrived in the U.S. and Illinois in 1867 with his wife Louisa Schmid and two children. Louisa died and he married Wilhelmine (Minnie) Sievert in 1872. He had a farm in Carroll County but died there 19 June 1877 leaving a widow and four minor children of his first marriage. His brother Henry Hoffman administered the estate. The land had to be sold to meet the debts but still fell short. He had taken a number of loans, some from his brothers and brother-in-law John Hagie, or co-signed by them. The children were scattered among relatives and associates.

With no money left over, I'm sure he had no gravestone at the time. His widow remarried and had this slightly cryptic marker erected in the Albrecht (or Albright or Fehler) Cemetery. Where it says "Minnie His Wife," it really means wife of both men. I have no idea where Caspar is actually buried, but this cemetery is likely as other family members and friends are buried there. In rural Derinda Township, Jo Daviess County, Illinois, it was once with a church, but even the building is long gone.

photos taken 18 June 2002

Monday, January 11, 2010

Henry Hoffman's in-laws arrived in U.S. in 1880

Henry Hoffman married his second wife, Eva Barbara Eberhardt, in 1872. She had come to the U.S. from Oberlauringen, Bavaria, in 1870. Her parents and four unmarried adult siblings followed in 1880. I've just put together images from the passenger list and a photo of the ship in a digital scrapbook page. You will have to click on the image to see it large enough to read. You can also view it HERE as posted at Deco-Pages, my digital scrapbooking "home."

Eva B. sailed from Hamburg and we found her on an emigrant list from that port. Her residence was listed as Lauringen rather than Oberlauringen. She traveled with a small group from the town to Jo Daviess County, Illinois. I've corresponded with a descendant of one of them, Heinrich Klopf.

From FHL Microfilm, roll 472,901, Hamburg Emigrant Direct List for 1870, page 330, ship (shiffe) Allemannia, to New York. The top page with header, ship and captain's names and the label "Zwitchen = Deck" which is equivalent to steerage precedes a few pages with some passengers in first and second class then continuing with steerage passengers on page 344 where #589, [Eve] Barbara Eberhardt is to be found traveling with the Wiegand family.

The list is from May 4, presumably the date of departure. The Allemannia arrived in New York on May 20, 1870.

Occupations are given for men such as "Arbeiter" (laborer) for Mr. Wiegand, but women are "frau" (wife) or "ledig" (single) for Miss Eberhardt.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: St. John's Lutheran Cemetery, Massbach, IL

Henry Hoffman did not agree with the local Lutheran Church but apparently attended a German language church that may have been a Methodist offshoot. His second wife and mother of his children was Eva Barbara Eberhardt. She was a devout German Lutheran and attended the St. John's Lutheran Church of Massbach, Illinois. It was close to their home. She and their daughter, Wilhelmine, were both buried at the cemetery of that church while Henry and three of their sons were buried elsewhere as shown last week.

Eva B. Eberhardt Hoffman
Feb. 5, 1850 - Dec. 9, 1927
Her Daughter
Minnie Hoffman
Apr. 29, 1877 - Apr. 13, 1943

Monday, January 4, 2010

Rosina Hoffman Eiler in 1880

When I found what appeared to be the marriage of Margaret's daughter Rosina Hoffman in 1872 (see Rosina married John Eiler) I looked for the couple in the 1880 census. I found a John "Iler" with wife Rosa. He was born in Hessia Darm[stadt] and she was born in Switzerland. He was a farmer and they were listed with two sons, Frederick and George. The location was Clear Creek Township in Keokuk County, Iowa.1 They were in eastern Iowa not very far from the Illinois locations of other Hoffman family members. Here is the census page (remember to click on the image to see it larger) with a detail of the "Iler" family. Note that the census taker spelled John's name as it sounded just like the Stephenson County Clerk in the marriage record. It should be written as Eiler. I'll continue with the census records in the next post on Rosina.

1. 1880 U.S. census, Keokuk County, Iowa, population schedule, Clear Creek Township, Enumeration District (ED) 159, sheet 185D, dwelling/family 61, John Iler household, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 March 2009), citing National Archives microfilm publication T9, roll 349.