The Years Before: 1505 - 1788

Before one can fully appreciate the roles played by Henry, Ambrose, and Teter Huffman in the early settlement of Kentucky, as well as that of their descendants, one must first understand something about their origins in Germany and their subsequent immigration to Virginia in the New World. As it turns out we descendants are fortunate in the fact that our direct ancestors were among the first German settlers to arrive in Virginia, and consequently much has been written and documented about their early life. In this introductory section we will review their historical background, both in Germany and in Virginia leading up to their westward migration into Kentucky and elsewhere. Most of the information in this section was taken from the following three sources: The Ancestry and Descendants of the Nassau-Siegen Immigrants to Virginia, 1714 – 1750, by B. C. Holtzclaw; John Hoffman, the 1714 German Colonist, published by the Memorial Foundation of the Germanna Colonies in Virginia, Inc. 1963; and Germanna, Outpost of Adventure, 1714 – 1956, by John W. Wayland. For those readers who wish to learn more about this early period of our Huffman history, we recommend these books, which can be purchased from the Memorial Foundation of the Germanna Colonies. The address is listed at the end of Appendix IV in this book.

The Family Name in Germany

One problem that quickly becomes evident when researching the Huffman family history is the numerous spellings of the family name. Among the varieties found in researching our particular line of Huffmans are the following: Hofmann, Hoffman, Hoofman, and Huffman. In general, the spelling in Germany was Hofmann but was changed to Hoffman when our ancestors immigrated to Virginia, where it remained that way until after the Revolutionary War. By 1800, around the time when the three brothers moved to Kentucky, they were using the anglicized spelling of Huffman, and it has remained that way until the present day. Of course, census records as well as other official records often show a variety of spellings of the Huffman name, and when that was discovered during our research, no corrections were made by the authors.

The first occurrence of the family name in our direct line appears as Hofmann (Hobmann) about 1505 in Eisern, Germany when the name Henrich Hofmann enters the records. He was born about 1505/10 and died after 1567 and may be considered the original ancestor of our family. For Germany this represents a very early occurrence of the use of a surname because surnames only came into existence there in the latter part of the fifteenth century. Evidently, prior to this time people were called only by a given name. Surname usage in England had occurred at a much earlier date.

Henrich’s son was Tillmann Hofmann, who is shown in the special tax lists of 1566 and 1567 as residing with his wife at Eisern with considerable property. Tillmann had at least one son, Heilmann, who was born about 1560 and died between 1590 and 1599 at Eisern. He was the only Hofmann to pay taxes at Eisern in 1583. Records indicate that Heilmann had a daughter and five sons.

One of the five sons of Heilmann was named Tillmann, (to avoid confusion, Tillmann ll) who was born in 1590 and died after 1655 at Eisern. Tillmann Hofmann ll was involved in the iron industry and in 1628/29 was admitted to the Guild of Smelterers and Hammersmiths. Treasury Accounts show that in 1624 and 1626 he was Heimberger, or chief administrative officer, of Eisern. He also belonged to a watch of the militia as a cavalryman. On November 27, 1655, he was appointed an associate justice of the Hain Court.

Dietrich Hofmann, son of Tillmann Hofmann ll, was born in 1615 at Eisern and also died there in 1660. He was also a member of the militia at Eisern in 1636 and 1637, and on May 10, 1647 he was admitted as a smelterer to the Guild of Smelterers and Hammersmiths. Dietrich had at least one son, Tillmann Hofmann lll.

Tillmann Hofmann lll, son of Dietrich, was born about 1638 in Eisern and also died there about 1676 while still a fairly young man. Upon inheriting his father’s property, Dietrich was admitted to the Guild as a smelterer in 1661, and like his grandfather before him, he was an Associate Justice of the Court of the Hain. Before he died at the age of 38, Tillmann Hofmann lll had six children, five sons and one daughter. One of these sons was Johannes, who was born in July 1663 at Eisern.

Johannes Hofmann married Gertrud Reichmann in 1690 and became a citizen of Siegen that same year, though he lived most of his life at Eisern later on. He was a Fuhrmann, or traveling dealer in iron products. He died at Eisern in 1737, and his wife died there in 1728. Johannes and Gertrud Hofmann had nine children, five sons and four daughters. Of primary interest to us are the following two sons: Johannes Hofmann ll, the 1714 immigrant recruited by Lt. Gov. Spotswood to come to Virginia and assist in the startup of an ironwork enterprise; and his younger brother, Johannes Henrich Hofmann, our direct ancestor, who immigrated to Virginia around 1743 and settled on lands near his brother in what is now Culpeper County.

German Background

Our Hofmann ancestors came from the Nassau-Siegen area of Germany, which lies about 50 miles east of Cologne. The area is about the size of a small county in Kentucky, and one of its principal towns was Siegen, which today is a good-sized city of close to 100,000 inhabitants. At the time our ancestors lived there, its boundaries were confined to what is now referred to as the “old city,” and it contained not more than 3000-4000 inhabitants. The River Sieg, which once flowed just below the “old city”, now flows right through the middle of the present city. The “old city” of Siegen was surrounded by a medieval wall and was situated on a hill, or small mountain, which now lies in the middle of the present city. The medieval wall is still preserved today. The small town of Eisern, where our Huffman ancestors lived when they immigrated to Virginia, is located just a few miles south of Siegen in the southern part of Nassau-Siegen.

The Nassau-Siegen area is an extremely beautiful, hilly and mountainous country and has always been rich in iron ore deposits, which are frequently found near the surface. Numerous archeological finds dot the countryside showing that the production of iron was important here as far back as 500 B.C. By the 13th century the iron industry was revolutionized in Nassau-Siegen with the discovery that water power could be used to operate the smelters and drive the hammers that worked the iron. Although initially under the control of the nobility, these new types of ironworks were soon passed into the hands of worker-owners. These were then banded together in the Guild of Smelterers and Hammersmiths, of which the members mostly lived in the countryside near their plants. The ironworks, due to the lack of water power in the dry seasons, could not run all year long, and were restricted to certain seasons of activity during the year. Thus the ironwork owners nearly always engaged in farming in addition to their work in the iron industry, and the farmers frequently became part owners of the ironworks, through intermarriage. There existed then a rather balanced economy between farming and iron production, and from the 14th to the 19th century, Nassau-Siegen was on the whole a prosperous country. The area became noted for its iron products, which were exported all over Germany during this period, in the form of stoves, cannon, and many other small articles.

During the time of our ancestors, Germany was anything but the unified country we find today. At that time it was divided into many small principalities ruled by feudal lords. Bitter struggles existed, both religious and political, culminating in The Thirty Years War (1618-1648) between Catholics and Protestants. After 1648 there was comparative peace for a while, but by the beginning of the 18th century conditions grew worse once again. Disputes between king, nobility, and church in the various principalities for control of the church and attendant taxation resulted in almost continuous conflict.

The Hofmanns of Eisern were staunch Protestants and were dedicated members of the German Reformed Church. Unfortunately they lived in an area of Nassau-Siegen that was under Catholic rule, and apparently the Catholic hierarchy used their powers against the Reformed people. These “overlords” expected Protestants to perform certain services such as mowing, making hay, hauling wood from the forest, hunting, and military service. Quartering of soldiers was a burden that fell almost exclusively upon the Reformed Church members. Fines were levied for many different causes. For example, the Reformed members were required to pay a fine because they had been spinning on Catholic feast days. Catholic rulers were also against the Reformed members holding school on feast days. (Note: An interesting written account describing the trials and tribulations of living in Eisern in the 18th century can be found in the “Diary and Account Book of Johannes Wilhelm Hoffman”, dated in 1732 and available from L.D.S. Microfilm No. 0193014. Johannes Wilhelm Hoffman, a younger brother to our direct ancestor, Johannes Henrich Hofmann, immigrated to Philadelphia in 1741 instead of joining his brothers in Virginia.)

Immigration to Virginia

Alexander Spotswood (1676-1740) served as Lt. Governor of the Virginia Colony from 1710 to 1722 under Governor George Hamilton in England, who refused to go to Virginia to govern. He was an active administrator, and among other things was responsible for eliminating taxation for new settlers. He also introduced the writ of Habeaus Corpus to the Virginia Colony. At some point he learned of iron ore deposits in the northern part of the state and decided that this offered a means to further his fortune. In 1710, he received permission from the Council of Trade in England to develop these deposits.

The iron industry in America at this time was very primitive so he enlisted the aid of Baron deGraffenreid to go to Nassau-Siegen, the famous iron district of Germany, as his agent to recruit experienced workers for his plan. He was able to recruit twelve men to come to the colonies with their families to start this venture. One of these men was Johannes Hofmann ll (1692-1772), the older brother of our direct ancestor. They departed Germany in December of 1713, stopping in London to await passage, and arrived in the British Colonies in April of 1714. The name of their ship that sailed from England to America is not known. They arrived in Virginia at the mouth of the Rappahannock River and proceeded upstream to a site prepared for them by Spotswood called “Germanna.”

The site for Germanna was located in the northeastern part of what in now called Orange County, Virginia. The settlement, itself, was made on a heavily wooded peninsula on the south side of the Rapidan River formed by a large loop, almost a horseshoe bend, where the river makes a curve in its sweep to join the Rappahannock River. Here a clearing was made, and a five-sided log fort was built. Germanna was the first German colony established in Virginia, and was comprised of twelve families and forty-two individuals. The colonists quickly organized what would become the first congregation of the German Reformed Church in America. Here, too, the first iron furnace in America was built and the first pig iron produced. Another motive of Gov. Spotswood in locating Germanna in this area was to place settlements further into the interior to act as a defense buffer between the Indians and the more settled areas along the coastal plain.

The German colonists were indentured to Spotswood for their passage to the New World, and so they remained at Germanna until 1721, completing their obligation. By that time they were very likely disillusioned with the Governor’s promises of what he would and wouldn’t do, and perhaps too they felt crowded by the large groups of immigrants that continued to settle around them. At any rate they moved northward about 20 miles into what is now Fauquier County and settled on a tract of 1805 acres lying on both sides of the Licking River. This tract was divided into twelve equal portions, one for each of the twelve original families. Appropriately, this new settlement was called “Germantown.” A few years later, in the late 1720’s, Johannes Hofmann ll, whom we shall now call by his anglicized name, John Hoffman, moved to the Robinson River community, located in what is now Culpeper County, and purchased land adjacent to his second wife’s mother. Over the years John Hoffman had sixteen children by his two wives, and many of his children would remain living in the Virginia area. During his lifetime he was able to extend his holdings to more than 3500 acres, which upon his death was divided among his children. John Hoffman died on July 3, 1772 at the age of 80 years old.

The Family of Henry Huffman

As stated earlier, John Hoffman, the 1714 immigrant, had a younger brother from Eisern named Johannes Henrich Hofmann, whom we shall now refer to as Henry Huffman. It is not known exactly when he changed the spelling of his name from Hofmann to Huffman, or even if he used the interim spelling of Hoffman, but certainly by the late 1700’s his sons were using the current spelling of Huffman. He was born in 1708 in Eisern and was christened at Roedgen on March 11 of that year. On January 24, 1735 he married Elizabeth Catherina Schuster in Eisern, and by June of 1739, they had three daughters, all christened at Roedgen. Henry, like all of his family, was a member of the Reformed Church.

In 1743, approximately four years after the birth of his third child, Henry Huffman and his family left Germany and immigrated to Virginia, settling in the same part of Culpeper County as his brother, John. His name first appears in the Virginia records when he was deeded land on August 24, 1746, a 125 acre tract on the north side of the Robinson River, adjoining property belonging to his brother. While in Germany, Henry had been a full member of the Carpenter’s Guild, and it is probable that in addition to farming, he practiced his trade in America. Like his brother, Henry became a member of the Hebron Church, which practiced the Reformed faith. After their arrival in Virginia, Henry and Catherine Huffman had an additional six children, including three sons, Henry Huffman, Jr., Ambrose Huffman, and Teter (i.e., Dietrich) Huffman, who are the principal subjects of this book, and all of whom eventually settled in Barren County, Kentucky. Teter was the first to leave Virginia in 1788 and lived in Mercer County, Kentucky for several years before he finally moved to Barren County in 1804. Ambrose left Virginia in 1797 to claim his land grant located in Green County south of the Green River (now Barren County). The last to leave was Henry Huffman, Jr., who sold his lands in Virginia in 1803 and moved directly to Barren County the same year. Their father, the immigrant Henry Huffman, died in Culpeper County, Virginia in 1765.

Descendants of Henrich Hofmann

Generation No. 1

  1. HENRICH1 HOFMANN was born 1505 in Germany, and died 1567 in Germany. Child of HENRICH HOFMANN is:
  2. i. TILLMANN2 HOFMANN, b. 1535, Germany; d. 1583, Germany.

Generation No. 2

  1. TILLMANN2 HOFMANN (HENRICH1) was born 1535 in Germany, and died 1583 in Germany. Child of TILLMANN HOFMANN is:
  2. i. HEILMANN3 HOFMANN, b. 1561, Germany; d. 1599, Germany.

Generation No. 3

  1. HEILMANN3 HOFMANN (TILLMANN2, HENRICH1) was born 1561 in Germany, and died 1599 in Germany. Child of HEILMANN HOFMANN is:
  2. i. TILLMANN HOFMANN4 II, b. Abt. 1590, Germany; d. Aft. 1655, Germany.

Generation No. 4

4. TILLMANN HOFMANN4 II (HEILMANN3 HOFMANN, TILLMANN2, HENRICH1) was born Abt. 1590 in Germany, and died Aft. 1655 in Germany.


Tillmann Hofmann II, of Eisern, son of Heilmann Hofmann, was born abt. 1590 and died after 1655.

"Tillmann possessed ironworks property and was admitted to the Guild of Smelterers and Hammersmiths in 1628/29. The Treasury Accounts show that in 1624 and 1626 he was Heimberger, or chief administrative officer, of Eisern. He paid the defense tax in 1629, not because he was over 50 years of age, but probably because of illness in that year, for on March, 1637, he belonged to a watch of the militia as a cavalryman. On November 27, 1655, he was appointed as Associate Justice of the Hain Court and died sometime after this date." (Germanna Record No. 5)


5. i. DIETRICH5 HOFMANN, b. Abt. 1615; d. 1660, Eisern, Germany.

Generation No. 5

5. DIETRICH5 HOFMANN (TILLMANN HOFMANN4 ll, HEILMANN3 HOFMANN, TILLMANN2, HENRICH1) was born Abt. 1615, and died 1660 in Eisern, Germany.


Dietrick Hofmann of Eisern, the son of Tillmann Hofmann II," was a member of the militia at Eisern, Germany in 1636 and 1637 and on May 10, 1647, was admitted as a smelterer to the Guild of Smelterers and Hammersmiths, thus showing that he owned at least 6 "Days" or shares in some ironworks, probably the Eisern ironworks. In addition to his son, Tillmann, he had at least one daughter, Elsbeth..." (Germanna Record No. 5).

Children of DIETRICH HOFMANN are:

6. i. TILLMANN HOFMANN6 III, b. Abt. 1638, Eisern, Germany; d. 1676, Eisern, Germany.


Generation No. 6

6. TILLMANN HOFMANN6 III (DIETRICH5 HOFMANN, TILLMANN HOFMANN4 LL, HEILMANN3 HOFMANN, TILLMANN2, HENRICH1) was born Abt. 1638 in Eisern, Germany, and died 1676 in Eisern, Germany. He married CATHERINA HERMAN July 09, 1661 in Roedgen Church, near Eisern, Germany, daughter of TILMANN HERMANN. She was born in Germany, and died 1705 in Eisern, Germany.


Tillmann Hofmann III of Eisern, son of Dietrich Hofmann, "...upon inheriting his father's property, was admitted to the Guild as a smelterer in 1661/62. On July 9, 1661, he married Catharina Hermann at Roedgen, the parish church to which Eisern belonged. She was the daughter of Tilmann Hermann of Eisern. Tillmann was an Associate Justice of the Court of the Hain (the Siegen district court) and died about 1676 when still a fairly young man." (Germanna Record No. 5).


i. TILLMANN7 HOFMANN, b. July 1662; d. July 21, 1662.

7. ii. JOHANNES HOFMANN, b. July 17, 1663, Eisern, Germany; d. March 10, 1736/37, Eisern, Germany.

iii. UNKNOWN HOFMANN, b. February 01, 1664/65.

HENRICK HOFMANN, b. April 11, 1666.

vi. MICHAEL HOFMANN, b. April 22, 1669.

Generation No. 7

7. JOHANNES7 HOFMANN (TILLMANN HOFMANN6 III, DIETRICH5 HOFMANN, TILLMANN HOFMANN4 II, HEILMANN3 HOFMANN, TILLMANN2, HENRICH1) was born July 17, 1663 in Eisern, Germany, and died March 10, 1736/37 in Eisern, Germany. He married GURTRUDE REICHMAN May 24, 1690 in Seigen, Germany, daughter of JOHANNES REICHMANN. She was born 1666 in Germany, and died November 20, 1728 in Eisern, Germany.


Johannes Hofmann's father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all lived at Eisern, Germany and were admitted as smelterers to the Guild of Smelterers and Hammersmiths at various times. "Johannes married Gertrude Reichman at Siegen on May 24, 1690 and became a citizen of Siegen that same year, though he lived most of his life at Eisern later on. He was a Fuhrmann, or traveling dealer, an exporter of iron-goods from Nassau-Siegen to other parts of Germany, who returned from those areas bringing imports with him." (Germanna Record No.3).

More About JOHANNES HOFMANN: Burial: March 11, 1736/37


i. CATHERINE8 HOFMANN, b. 1691, Germany.

8. ii. JOHANNES HOFMANN LL, b. May 08, 1692, Siegen, Germany; d. July 03, 1772, Culpeper County, Virginia.

iii. MARIA CATHERINA HOFMANN, b. January 09, 1694/95, Germany; m. JOHANN HENRICH NOELL, April 16, 1719, Germany.

ELSA CATHERINA HOFMANN, b. August 30, 1699, Germany; m. JOHANNES PITHAN, April 08, 1736, Germany.
HERMANN HOFMANN, b. January 05, 1701/02.

vi. ANNA MARGARETHA HOFMANN, b. October 19, 1704.

9. vii. JOHANNES HENRICH HOFMANN, b. May 11, 1708, Eisern, Germany; d. August 14, 1765, Culpeper County, Virginia.

viii. JOHANN WILHELM HOFMANN, b. May 03, 1711.

Generation No. 8

8. JOHANNES HOFMANN8 II (JOHANNES7 HOFMANN, TILLMANN HOFMANN6 lll, DIETRICH5 HOFMANN, TILLMANN HOFMANN4 ll, HEILMANN3 HOFMANN, TILLMANN2, HENRICH1) was born May 08, 1692 in Siegen, Germany, and died July 03, 1772 in Culpeper County, Virginia. He married (1) ANNA CATHERINE HAEGER November 07, 1721, daughter of HENRY HAEGER and ANNA FRIESENHAGEN. She was born May 15, 1702 in Siegen, Germany, and died February 09, 1728/29 in Fauquier County, Virginia. He married (2) MARIA SABINA FOLG July 13, 1729, daughter of JOHN MICHAEL FOLG. She was born March 29, 1710 in Wagenbach, Germany, and died 1782 in Culpeper County, Virginia.


Johannes Hofmann II, (or John Hoffman), the 1714 immigrant, was born and christened in Siegen, Germany in May 1692, although he lived with his family in Eisern, located some 3 miles away. At this time Siegen, which is located about 50 miles east of Cologne, had a population of approximately 3000-4000 persons and was still contained within the boundaries of the old city walls. The Thirty Years War (16181648), which was a protracted struggle between Catholic and Protestant powers, had devastated the Siegen area as well as many other parts of Germany, and for several years thereafter religious rivalries continued to disturb the area. The Hofmanns were staunch Protestants, being members of the Reformed Church. However, the area of Nassau-Siegen where they lived was controlled by the Catholic hierarchy, which resulted in abuses of power against the Reformed people. This conflict no doubt played some role in John Hoffman's decision to emigrate from his home.

The 1714 Germanna Colony

In the early 1700's, Lt. Gov. Alexander Spotswood (overseer of the Virginia colony for England) was responsible for starting a community of German immigrants, located in what is today known as Orange County, Virginia. He wanted people experienced in mining and smeltering iron ore because of mineral deposits that existed in the area. As a result, he sent a delegate to recruit families from the Nassau-Siegen area of Germany, an area of the world that was famous for its ironworks and iron products.

The first German colony that came to Virginia during Spotswood's administation consisted of 12 families numbering 42 persons. Among these first settlers was a 21 year old bachelor, John Hoffman, the eldest son of Johannes Hofmann of Eisern. An order of the Virginia Council, passed on April 28, 1714, provided that "a fort should be built for them, that two cannon and some ammunition should be furnished, and a road cleared to the settlement." They were the first actual settlers in what is now called Orange County, and this was the beginning of the colony called Germanna. All of these colonists belonged to the German Reform Church (Protestant) and were natives of Nassau-Siegen. At Germanna they organized the first congregation of the German Reform Church in North America with Rev. Haeger as their pastor.

The Germanna settlement was made on a heavily wooded peninsula on the south side of the Rapidan River formed by a large loop, almost a horseshoe bend, and comprising an area of 2 square miles (1200 acres). A clearing had to be made, and a five-sided log fort enclosed the settlement. The danger from Indian attacks was still a grave concern since Germanna represented the most westerly outpost in Virginia at the time. Part of Gov. Spotswood's plan was to use the immigrant settlement to help provide a "buffer zone" between hostile Indians and the Virginia inhabitants farther east along the coastal plain. Within the fort walls were nine log cabins, and in the very center was a block-house, made with five sides, each side facing the five sides of the fort walls. The block-house was intended as a final retreat for the inhabitants, in case they were unable to defend the outer walls from attack, although fortunately that never happened. The colonists were responsible for their own subsistence by farming and hunting, and many had to work off the cost of their passage, which had been paid by Gov. Spotswood.

In 1717, an additional twenty-odd German families comprised of between 70 and 80 people arrived and settled about 3 miles west of Germanna. This group is known today as the Second Colony, but they were entirely distinct form the first. They came mostly from southwestern Germany and their religion was Lutheran. After these first two colonies, and continuing up until the start of the Revolutionary War, many more Germans continued to come to the area, numbering perhaps up to a hundred additional families. This area of Virginia today is comprised of the counties of Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison and Orange.

Germanna to Germantown

After six or seven years, in about 1720/21, the original Germanna colonists, led by Pastor Haeger, moved northward about 19 miles into what is now Fauquier County, Virginia, and settled on a tract of 1805 acres lying on both sides of Licking Run. This tract was divided into equal portions for each family, although the families continued to live in cabins built close to each other for safety. The new village was called Germantown. It was here, in 1721, when he was 28, that John Hoffman married Anna Catherine Haeger, daughter of Pastor Haeger. Their first child was a daughter, Agnes, followed by three more children, but in 1729, their fifth child, a son, was stillborn, and Anna Catherine died the same day. Later that year John married his second wife, Maria Sabina Folg, who had immigrated with her family as part of the Second Colony in 1717. He moved away from Germantown and bought lands adjacent to his second wife's parents. John and Maria went on to have nine sons and three daughters, and before his death in 1772 in Culpeper County, Virginia, he was able to extend his holdings to 3500 acres.

The Will of John Hoffman, dated December 30, 1762, was probated in Culpeper County on August 17, 1772. It names his wife, Mary, and fourteen children, ten sons and four daughters. As was the German custom, he parceled his land holdings out among all his sons and daughters. To each of his sons he left 292 acres of land, except to the son George, who was left 297 acres. He left 150 acres to each of the daughters. In addition to his large estate, he willed his two bibles to his ten sons, "the two eldest to take them the first year, and then deliver them to the two next until they have had them around, and beginning again with the eldest and so continue as long as the bibles shall last." The children were Frederick, John, Nicholas, Michael, Jacob, Paul, William, George, Henry, Dilman, Margaret, Catherine, Elizabeth, and Mary. (Genealogical and Historical Notes on Culpeper County, Virginia, compiled by Raleigh Travers Green, 1964)

NOTE: An extensive account of the life of John Hoffman can be found in "John Hoffman, The 1714 Germanna Colonist," published by the Memorial Foundation of the Germanna Colonies in Virginia, Record No. 3, 1963. The history of the settlement of Germanna and Germantown, as well as a discussion on many of the early German settler families, including John Hoffman, can be found in "Ancestry and Descendants of the Nassau-Siegen Immigrants to Virginia," by Holtsclaw, and in "Germanna, Outpost of Adventure," by John W. Wayland. Both books are also published by the Memorial Foundation of Germanna.

Children of JOHANNES II and ANNA HAEGER are:

i. AGNES9 HOFFMAN, b. November 25, 1722.

ii. JOHN HENRY HOFFMAN, b. January 18, 1723/24.

iii. ANNA CATHERINE HOFFMAN, b. June 07, 1725, State of Virginia; d. State of North Carolina; m. HARMAN SPILMAN; b. 1720; d. Rowan County, North Carolina.

iv. JOHN HOFFMAN, b. May 06, 1727, State of Virginia; d. March 04, 1813, Madison County, Virginia; m. ALICE FISHBACK.

Children of JOHANNES II and MARIA FOLG are:

v. NICHOLAS9 HOFFMAN, b. February 02, 1731/32, Virginia; d. 1803, Madison County, Virginia; m. ELIZABETH HOFFMAN.

vi. MICHAEL HOFFMAN, b. March 26, 1732; d. March 1807, Madison County, Virginia.

vii. JACOB HOFFMAN, b. December 03, 1733, Spotsylvania County, Virginia; d. 1815, Madison County, Virginia; m. BARBARA SOUTHER.

viii. BALTZ HOFFMAN, b. May 13, 1735, Virginia; d. 1803, Madison County, Virginia.

WILLIAM HOFFMAN, b. December 08, 1737, Virginia; d. 1811, Madison County, Virginia.
GEORGE HOFFMAN, b. April 10, 1739; d. 1810, Shenandoah County, Virginia.

xi. FREDERICK HOFFMAN, b. February 07, 1739/40, Orange County, Virginia; d. 1810, Madison County, Virginia.

xii. HENRY HOFFMAN, b. May 25, 1742, Orange County, Virginia; m. ELIZABETH BLANKENBAKER, 1767.

xiii. TILMAN HOFFMAN, b. June 01, 1744.

xiv. ELIZABETH HOFFMAN, b. July 13, 1746; m. HENRY BACK.

xv. ANNA MARGARET HOFFMAN, b. November 27, 1748; m. JOHN BACK.

xvi. MARY HOFFMAN, b. August 04, 1751; m. JOHN HANBACK.

9. JOHANNES HENRICH8 HOFMANN (JOHANNES7, TILLMANN HOFMANN6 III, DIETRICH5 HOFMANN, TILLMANN HOFMANN4 II, HEILMANN3 HOFMANN, TILLMANN2, HENRICH1) was born May 11, 1708 in Eisern, Germany, and died August 14, 1765 in Culpeper County, Virginia. He married ELIZABETH CATHERINA SCHUSTER January 24, 1734/35 in Siegen, Germany, daughter of TILLMANN SCHUSTER and ANNA ?. She was born June 20, 1717 in Eisern, Germany, and died 1762 in Culpeper County, Virginia.


Almost twenty years after John Hoffman II left his home and family in Eisern, Germany and immigrated to Virginia, he was followed by his younger brother, Henry. Johannes Henrich Hoffman (1708-1765) came across the Atlantic with his wife Elizabeth Schuster and their three children in 1743 and settled on lands next to John in Culpeper County, Virginia. At that time Henry would have been about 35 years old, 16 years younger than his brother. He had been only 6 years old when John had left home in 1714.

Johannes Henrich Hofmann, son of Johannes Hofmann of Eisern, was born in March of 1708 and christened at Roedgen on March 11. On January 24, 1735, he married Elisabeth Catherina Schuster of Eisern. Johannes Henrich Hofmann and his wife had three daughters christened at Roedgen, the last being Elisabeth on June 14, 1739.

The following is excerpted from an article by Ryan Stansifer found in Beyond Germanna, Volume 10, Number 5, page 583:

We now know that 1743 was the year that Henry Hoffman and his family immigrated to Virginia. An old handwritten document translated from the German and now located in the city archive in Siegen, Germany provides that information. Johannes Steinseifer, still residing in Germany, received a letter from Johannes Henrich Hoffman asking him to collect a debt and to bring the money with him when he immigrated to America. Johannes did as requested, and the transaction is found in court proceedings recorded in Protocolhum Judiciale Amts (Siegen) Vorm Hain 1747-1749. A partial translation is as follows:

On the 10th of May 1749 appears Johannes Steinseiffer of Eisern (who has the intention of

moving to America) and produces a letter written by Johann Henrich Hoffman who moved to

America in 1743, dated Doppel Dab [Double Top?], Orange County, [Virginia] the 20th of

September 1747. [Johannes Steinseiffer] makes known that the aforementioned Hoffmann

has requested that he, Johannes Steinseiffer, bring with him to America the remainder of

the proceeds of the sale of goods to Heinrich Jung of Eisern, and wishes that Henrich Jung

be directed to make payment.....

After being consigned the remainder of the selling price due Henry, Johannes Steinseiffer left Germany shortly after this time for he arrived September 19, 1749 at Philadelphia on the ship Patience, Hugh Smith, Captain, from Rotterdam, last from Cowes.

Henry Hoffman first appears in the Virginia records in 1746, when he was deeded land in Orange County, indicating that he came to America sometime about 1740-1745. He does not appear on the Orange County list of tithables for the years 1739-1740. On August 24, 1746 Henry was deeded by John Sutton and Elizabeth his wife 125 acres on the north side of the Robinson River adjoining the lands of his brother, John. (Orange County Deed Book 10, p325) Again, on July 1, 1748 he was deeded 120 acres on the branches of Deep Run of Robinson River. (Orange County Deed Book 11, p76) The Culpeper County Rent Roll of 1764 shows him with 200 acres of land.

It appears that Henry Hoffman was a skilled carpenter, having entered the carpenter's guild in his youth in Germany. Dr. Oren Beatty of Louisville, Kentucky, a descendent, had in his possession an heirloom that seems to have come down from Henry Hoffman. It is a very old bottle, on one side of which are impressed outlines of various articles connected with carpentry and tools of woodcarving, and on the other side, above a floral design, the inscription: "Vivat dass Lehrbarhandwerch der Zimmerleuth" (i.e., "Long live the skilled handicraft of the carpenters"). Just beneath the inscription is the date, 1735, probably the time when Henry Huffman became a full member of the Guild. Dr. Beatty is now deceased, but his family still has the bottle in their possession.

Henry and Elizabeth had a total of nine children, five daughters and four sons. After leaving their homeland in Germany, they lived and died in what is today Culpeper County, Virginia. Three of their sons, Henry, Jr., Ambrose, and Teter (i.e., Dietrich), were born and married wives in Culpeper County, but would eventually leave Virginia and make their way west through the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky. By 1804, all three were living near each other in southeastern Barren County, Kentucky.

Henry Hoffman's Will was probated in Culpeper County, Virginia on August 14, 1765. Translated from the German, it mentions his recent return from Germany; states that his wife Catherine is to live on the plantation; leaves to the three eldest children 5 pounds each out of the estate, the remainder to be divided among all the children; directs that if his wife dies, the eldest children are to take care of "the helpless ones"; and leaves the right of the land to the boys, and they are not to sell it except to one another."

1. The old commemorative bottle, dated 1735, brought to this country by Henry Huffman in 1743. A translation from the German reads “Long live the skilled handicraft of the carpenters.”

Note: A third brother of the Virginia immigrants, John and Henry Hoffman, was Johannes Wilhelm Hofmann, or William Hoffman (1711- ? ), who also immigrated from Eisern, Germany but settled in Pennsylvania instead. William was three years younger than Henry and nineteen years younger than John. He left a diary in which he recorded many observations pertaining to life in Eisern and in Pennsylvania, for which a microfilm exists in the Library of Congress. However, there is no record that he ever saw his brothers in Virginia. ("Diary and Account Book of Johannes Wilhelm" based on a translation by Charles T. Zahn found in Beyond Germanna, Volume 9, Number 3, page 507.)

More About ELIZABETH CATHERINA SCHUSTER: Burial: Culpeper County, Virginia


i. ANNA MARIE9 HOFFMAN, b. Eisern, Germany; m. GEORGE COOK.

ii. LEWIS HOFFMAN, b. Ambrose, Orange County, Virginia; d. 1803, Madison County, Virginia.

iii. MARIA ELIZABETH HOFFMAN, b. July 1736, Eisern, Germany; m. PETER WEAVER.

ANNA CATHERINE HOFFMAN, b. May 1738, Eisern, Germany.
ELIZABETH HOFFMAN, b. June 1739, Eisern, Germany.

vi. HENRY HUFFMAN, JR., b. Abt. 1748, Culpeper County, Virginia; d. 1835, Barren County, Kentucky; m. MARGARET HARNSBERGER, December 30, 1768, Culpeper County, Virginia; b. 1750, Orange County, Virginia; d. 1832, Barren County, Kentucky.


She was a granddaughter to John and Anna Purva Harnsberger of the Second Germanna Colony of 1717.

Burial: Barren County, Kentucky

vii. AMBROSE HUFFMAN, b. November 22, 1753, State of Virginia; d. June 24, 1849, Barren County, Kentucky; m.
MARY RAILSBACK, 1782, Culpeper County, Virginia; b. November 11, 1761, Culpeper County, Virginia; d. October
20, 1824, Barren County, Kentucky.
Burial: Huffman Cemetery, near what used to be the home of Ossie Miller, Nobob Section of Barren County,
Military service: Revolutionary War veteran, Pvt., Capt. Posey's 1st Va.
Occupation: Farmer
viii. DIETRICH "TETER" HUFFMAN, b. 1755, Orange County, Virginia; d. 1835, Barren County, Kentucky; m. JEMIMA
BARLER/BARLOW, 1775, Culpeper County, Virginia; b. 1756, Culpeper County, Virginia; d. 1842, Barren County,
Burial: Barren County, Kentucky
Occupation: Farmer
ix. CAROLINE HOFFMAN, b. 1757, Virginia; d. 1847, Barren County, Kentucky.