Monday, December 19, 2011

The Dunfee Family :: Eliza and Aquilla Hoff

Eliza is presumed to be the daughter of James and Sophia (Hazlett) Dunfee. The primary link is the fact that Eliza was living with Jonathan Haslett in Mifflin Twp, Ashland County, Ohio in 1850. We're making the assumption that Jonathan is probably the father of Sophia. Bottom line is that I really don't have any “proof” that Eliza is the daughter of James and Sophia.

Census records put the year of birth for Eliza Dunfee at 1811, 1813, or 1815 and place of birth in Maryland or Pennsylvania. In 1850, she is 39 years old and born in Maryland. In 1860 she is 47 and born in Pennsylvania. And in 1870 she is 55 and born in Pennsylvania. Chances are, her age in 1850 is probably closer to the truth ;-) since she seems to lose a few years with each census.

Eliza married Aquilla Hoff on September 4, 1851 in Ashland County, Ohio as recorded in volume 2, page 70 (license 1134) of Ashland County Marriage Records.


The image above is from the FamilySearch online database of Ohio County Marriages. There seems to be some “confusion” on the part of the clerk that recorded the marriage or the “authority” who performed the ceremony. Under “Names of Parties” it shows that the record is for Aquilla Hoff and Eliza Dunfee. In the far right column, it states that R. D. Emerson is certifying that “on the 4th day of September Eighteen hundred and fifty one I joined in Marriage Mr. George W. Brown and Miss Eliza Dunfee.”

In actuality, it was Eliza Dunfee who married Aquilla Hoff. When the property of Jonathan Hazlett was sold on October 25, 1853, the majority of the items were sold to Aquila Hoff.


Sale Bill from the estate file (#190) of Jonathan Hazlett. Ashland County, Ohio.


The last entry in the above image (a portion of page 299 of the Ashland County Tract Book) shows that Luke Selby, administrator of the estate of Jonathan Hazlett sold in March 1854 the land that had been owned by Jonathan to Aquilla Hoff. The transaction is also recorded in Ashland County Deed Book 10 page 206.

Aquilla Hoff and his wife Eliza, sold that land to Christian Vesper on March 27, 1857 (Ashland County Deed Book 15 pages 162-163).

That was, essentially, all the information I had on Aquilla and Eliza. Until in November 2010, when I received an email in response to an 11 year old query I had posted on the Hoff Family Genealogy Forum. My correspondent passed along the information that Aquilla and Eliza had moved to LaGrange County, Indiana where she had found them in the 1860 census.

I'm guessing that they probably moved to LaGrange County in the spring of 1857 after they sold the land that had belonged to Jonathan Hazlett. They are listed in the 1860 and 1870 census in Bloomfield Township, LaGrange County, Indiana.

Aquilla Hoff is 45 years old in 1860. He is a farmer with real estate valued at $3000 and a personal estate of $342. He was born in Maryland. Listed in his household was Eliza, age 47 and born in Pennsylvania; Jonathan, age 6 and born in Ohio. Also included was Lucetta Dumbar, 12 years old and born in Indiana.

In 1870, Aqula Hoff is 54 years old. He is still a farmer but has real estate valued at $5000 and a personal estate of $1000. He was born in Maryland. Included in his household were Eliza, now 55 but still stating she was born in Pennsylvania; and Jonathon, who is 16 years old and born in Ohio.

Eliza (Dunfee) Hoff died on August 6, 1876 and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Lagrange County, Indiana. There is a memorial for her on Find A Grave. Looking closely at the photo of her gravestone it appears that the word “AGED” is written below the date of death. If so, it might pinpoint her year of birth a little better than the census records.

In the 1880 census, Aquilla Hoff was found in Drum Creek Township, Montgomery County, Kansas. He was 65 years old, retired and born in Maryland. Listed with Aquilla was his son, Jonathan H. Hoff, who was 26 years old, a farmer, and born in Ohio. He gave his father's place of birth as Maryland and that of his mother as Pennsylvania.

According to my correspondent, Aquilla Hoff was born February 15, 1815 in Washington County, Maryland and died June 27, 1883 in LaGrange County, Indiana. However, I suspected that he died in Kansas since that was where he was living in 1880. Turns out, Aquilla really did die in LaGrange County. There is an entry for him in the book “Indiana Deaths, 1882-1920” that was compiled by the W.P.A. (Works Progress Administration). It shows that he died in Newbury Township and was 68 years old.

What happened to their son Jonathan H. Hoff? Jonathan does not appear to be in the census records after 1880 (ancestry online index).

I did find a John H. Hoff in Kansas census records, 1900 through 1930, that I think is a likely candidate to be Jonathan H. Hoff, son of Aquilla and Eliza. However, there is a six year discrepancy in their ages.

But, this John H. Hoff has a daughter, his first born child, named Eliza... and his middle name is Hazelet!

See The Dunfee Family :: Are Jonathan H. Hoff and John H. Hoff the same man?

See the Index for previous posts on the Dunfee family.

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