I will eventually get around to including a character from our German Family Tree to today’s story. In fact, that German Lutheran will be today’s birthday boy. However, before I get to him, I want to tell the story of his wife’s family….the Hoffman’s. I have told stories on this blog about Hoffmann’s in the past, but those were spelled with two “n’s” at the end. The Hoffman’s in today’s story had just one “n”. Also, the folks in this Hoffman family were members of the York Methodist Chapel near Longtown, Missouri. Here is a photo of what York Chapel looks like today.
Like the Bollinger family that I wrote about a few days ago, this Hoffman family came to America a long time ago, and they also spent some time in North Carolina. I will start by looking at the Hoffman family coming to America in the 1700’s prior to the American Revolution. I found some family history of the Hoffman’s that I will display here. Here is the first entry. It starts with Jacob Hoffman, but he will not be the only Jacob Hoffman we will discuss.
The next Hoffman in this line was Jacob Hoffman, Jr. It was during his lifetime that the family moved to what is now Lincoln County, North Carolina.
That Jacob Hoffman had a son by the name of John Hoffman. According to some family history, in order to distinguish him from some other “John’s” in the family, he was called “Laughing John” Hoffman. We find him in the next entry of the Hoffman history.
It was Laughing John that moved his family to Perry County in the 1830’s. However, before I move on, let me point out that his wife, Elizabeth Rhyne was part of a rather large Rhyne clan that lived in the area around Lincoln County, North Carolina. There was a prominent man named Daniel Efird Rhyne who was instrumental in establishing Lenoir-Rhyne College, an ELCA institution located in Hickory, North Carolina. He was not in the direct line with Elizabeth Rhyne, but they were related.
It was the last child to John and Elizabeth in this list above that will get us to today’s character. Another Jacob Hoffman’s second wife was Sarah Sides. They were married in Cape Girardeau on October 25, 1831, eight years before the arrival of the German Lutherans in 1839. Here is the marriage record.
I found a photo of Sarah (Sides) Hoffman.
I confess that I cannot help but giggle when I think that this woman managed to marry a son of “Laughing John” Hoffman.
Before I move on to one of Jacob and Sarah’s son, let me point out that Jacob is buried in the York Chapel Cemetery. I found two photos of his gravestone. Apparently this stone broke somewhere along the line and an attempt was made to repair it.
In a booklet produced by the Perry County Historical Society about York Chapel, we find a whole page of photographs of Hoffman gravestones found in that cemetery.
The next Hoffman in this line was George Jacob Hoffman, who would marry Sophronia Clifton on April 24, 1873. Here is that marriage record from Perry County.
That finally leads us to a girl that was born into this family by the name of Bertha Hoffman. She was born on February 25, 1882. Bertha would not show up in a census until 1900 when she was 18 years old. You can see in this census that George Hoffman’s parents were born in North Carolina.
On September 7, 1902, Bertha Hoffman married Charles Bodenschatz at Zion Lutheran Church in Longtown. That was a relatively new Lutheran church in 1902. It may have been the case that neither Charles nor Bertha were members of that congregation when they were married. Here is their marriage license.
Charles Bodenschatz is today’s birthday boy. He was born on November 27, 1878. At least that is what our German Family Tree states. Several other documents list his birthday as November 24th. I am not in Altenburg today to look at his baptism record to verify his birthday. Charles was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. Charles can be found in the 1880 census and the 1900 census before he was married.
Here is the census for 1900. Charles was 21 years old at the time.
I am guessing that around the time of Charles’s wedding, the Bodenschatz family had this photograph taken. Charles is in the back row standing on the right.
Back in August, I wrote a post about Charles’s brother, Henry, titled, Constable Henry.
Charles had a World War I draft registration completed in 1918. This is one of those documents that lists his birthday as November 24th.
All of the census records for this couple have them living in Apple Creek Township in north Cape Girardeau County. That township was located just across the Apple Creek from Uniontown. I am skipping to the 1920 census for this couple.
In 1939, a photo was taken of the church officers of Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. Charles can be seen sitting in the front row second from the right.
Next, we will take a look at the 1940 census.
Despite his age, Charles had to fill out a World War II draft card in 1942. It’s another document with a November 24th birthday.
Charles died in 1954 at the age of 75. We have his death certificate. It is one more example of a November 24th day of birth.
Bertha died in 1978 at the age of 96. Both Charles and Bertha are buried in the Grace Lutheran Cemetery in Uniontown.
North Carolina is a place where plenty of folks living in Perry County over the years had their origins. Many of the members who formed the Brazeau Presbyterian Church 200 years ago came from North Carolina. The Bollinger family that was discussed a few days ago made their way through North Carolina. And we see another family today with a history in North Carolina. I know there are many more of these stories out there, and many of these folks from North Carolina arrived on the scene in Perry County before the Lutherans.