Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Together in San Francisco: Children of Caspar Hoffman

Caspar Hoffman’s four children appear to have been in California together in 1892. That was not clear before but newly available California voter registrations, 1866–1898, at add a piece to the puzzle. Thanks to Randy Seaver for his Genea-Musings blog entry on these records!

Caspar had four children, all with his first wife Louisa Schmid. The children were:
  1. Susanna (Suzie, Suzetta), born 5 September 1863 in Canton Thurgau, Switzerland
  2. Heinrich (Henry H.), born 25 December 1865 in Canton Thurgau, Switzerland
  3. Albert, born 26 October 1868 in Carroll County, Illinois
  4. Louise, born 12 March 1870 in Carroll County, Illinois.

After Caspar’s death in 1877 with an insolvent estate, the children lived with various relatives or connections. Henry worked at the Hanover, Illinois, hotel of his uncle John Hoffman in 1880. He and Albert may have become experienced waiters working for their uncle as that was their later occupation.

In 1881 Suzie married Ohio native Jerry D. Thompson (or Jeremiah) in Carroll County, Illinois. Their daughter Maybelle Alice was born there in 1882. The first California record lists Jerry in the 1889 San Francisco city directory as a plasterer living at 1523 Mission. Henry H. Hoffman was still in Carroll County, Illinois, where he was naturalized on 14 March 1890.

Jerry moved to 534 Ivy Avenue by 1892 when his San Francisco city directory entry lists him as a painter. He is the only resident of that address listed in the directory. In 1895 both he and Henry Hoffman are listed there. A Henry Hoffman is listed in 1892 at 404 Broadway as a waiter, and is probably Henry H. Hoffman.

Louise Hoffman married John B. D. Kelly in Seattle, Washington, 2 November 1892. Her residence on the license is San Francisco. The mystery remains of how she met this Canadian immigrant who homesteaded land north of Seattle, but the marriage license shows she came from San Francisco.

The missing sibling at that time was Albert Hoffman. He married an Irish girl, Katie Nevins, in New York City 1 November 1897. He was a waiter in Manhattan but went to San Francisco with his young daughter after the death of his wife around 1903.

Albert was in San Francisco in 1892! 

Both he and Jerry D. Thompson registered to vote 19 October 1892. They both resided at 534 Ivy Avenue despite Albert's absence from the city directory. Jerry’s occupation was painter and Albert’s was waiter. Albert was twenty-three, born in Illinois. His height was 5’ 5 ¼”. He had a fair complexion, brown eyes and dark hair. Jerry was forty, six foot tall, a painter and had a fair complexion, green eyes and dark hair. Assuming Suzie and Maybelle lived with Jerry, all four of Caspar Hoffman’s children lived in San Francisco at some point in 1892. (Click on the image to see it at a readable size. Albert's line is highlighted in yellow.)

 Henry H. Hoffman registered to vote in 1896 and 1898 but apparently not in 1892. His occupation was waiter; he was 5’ 7” tall and had a dark complexion, dark or black eyes and hair. He was born in Switzerland and naturalized in the county court in Carroll County, Illinois, on 18 March 1890. (That is four days different from the document I’ve seen, but possibly it took effect then.) In 1896 he lived at 78 Ninth, 2nd floor, moving to 247 Oak, first floor, by 1898.

Though all of the family lived in San Francisco at one time, questions remain. Not only is Louise’s connection to John Kelly a mystery, but also why Albert moved completely across the country and married in New York.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Jean,

    Saw your comment on Randy Seaver's blog post. Glad you listed your blog address, I will have to do that in my future comments. What a great resource...the CA Voter Registrations 1866-1898. Hopefully, I will post my finds today at

    How did you capture image from Ancestor and imbed in your post...just curious?

    Regards, Terri Fraser