The MOORE HOFF farm, 2 Mi. SW of Manassas, Prince Wuilliam Co., VA may have been the likely birth location of POWELL HOFF in Prince William Co., VA (13 Aug 1801), as well as the probable burial location of his father, The Reverend DANIEL HOFF, who died there sometime in 1802, as well as Daniel's first wife, LAURA TITUS. MOORE HOFF had a 146 acre farm and resided 2 mi. SW of Manassas, VA, just across the SE border of site of the present-day Manassas Regional Airport, on the eastern bank of Broad Run. There was a 1997 archaeological "dig" of this location, which was abandoned shortly after the death of MOORE HOFF in 1838. Over 13,000 artifacts were located and well documented in this operation organized by the Virginia Dept. of Transportation, and a 313 page report was issued. Fifteen unmarked graves were found on the farm of MOORE HOFF. It seems likely that these may have been the burial location of these NJ Hoff Family members.
It seems probable that MOORE HOFF & DANIEL HOFF were related, in that their names are found together on several legal documents, like census data, one right after the other, as were the signatures of MOORE HOFF & a "JOHN HOFF" on a document dated 1792. The father of DANIEL HOFF was reportedly a "JOHN HOFF" (1720 NJ - ?). Up to now, his date of death and place of death following his NJ origins have been unknown. The origins of MOORE HOFF was reportedly "NJ". So, all of this seems to be too much to be just a coincidence. I suspect, but can't yet prove, that DANIEL HOFF and MOORE HOFF were likely brothers, and JOHN HOFF was their mutual father. DANIEL HOFF was believed to have moved to VA from NJ around ~1770. Moore probably proceeded him in the move from NJ and established himself in rural Virginia. DANIEL HOFF may have come there with his first wife and sons to help his brother work the small farm and resided in one of the "out buildings" co-located on the property. I found evidence that DANIEL HOFF paid personal porperty taxes and was definately located there in Prince William County between ~1770-1802, but apparently owned no property - so here did he live (and die)? His name next to that of MOORE HOFF on the surviving U.S. census data would indicate that their were either living next door, or on the same property. Likewise, I found a 1792 Marriage Bond bearing the witness signaturs of "JOHN HOFF & MOORE HOFF" on the same document. So apparently, if JOHN HOFF is the father of MOORE and DANIEL HOFF, he, too migrated down from NJ to VA at about the same time and died there sometime after 1792. There is no other apparent explanation as to exactly "WHO" this "John Hoff" was, and his relationship to MOORE HOFF or why their signatures would appear on the same legal document.
There were no established chruch buildings in that very rural and primative part of VA at that time. So, I find it likely that when DANIEL died in ~1802, and assuming he was living on the farm of MOORE HOFF, he was simply buried in the side yard of the farm of MOORE HOFF, long with JOHN HOFF, the presumed father to both, who would have died sometime after 1792. There were no organized churches or organized public burial plots in this area at the time. If DANIEL HOFF & his first wife, LAURA TITUS, who may have died there shortly after their arrival in ~1770 from NJ, hers could have been one in one of the 15 unidentified burial plots. DANIEL remarried a SUSAN SOPHIA HOFF, his second wife, and they could have lived on a small cabin there on the MOORE HOFF property (numerous out-buildings were identified in the "dig"). No date or place has been established for the death of LAURA, nor the marriage of DANIEL to SUSAN SOPHIA MOFFETT. Perhaps she continued to reside there on the MOORE HOFF farm as a widow between 1802-05, living off the "largess" or generousity of her former brother-in-law MOORE HOFF, until the mass move of her and her children to Washington Co., OH in 1805. If she didn't own any property, perhaps she felt (or was made to feel) unwelcome, or desired to get away from the memories, or wanted to move in order to remain close to her 2 married daughters, both of whom had married 1/2 Dye brothers and were moving to newly-opened Ohio and the Northwest Territories. Perhaps she felt she needed their support after the death of her husband. It is equally possible that things had grown "uncomfortable" with MOORE HOFF (or more likely, his wife), having the former sister-in-law living on the property.
MOORE HOFF had a few slaves on his property to help him and his sons work the small farm, and it is possible that the unmarked graves might have been theirs, but it seems unlikely that at that time the family and the slaves would have been comingled and buried in an single, integrated family burial plot, but this is also a possibility. Given the proximity to the main house, it seems more likely that these were purely family graves. It is likely that the graves would have had wooden rather than masonry markers, so when the property was abandoned after 1838, these likely rotted away, fell over, and over time, disappeared. So, while it is speculation on my part, I believe that MOORE HOFF's farm just SW of Manassas, and the unmarked 15 graves beside the main farm house, was most likely the final resting place of JOHN/JONATHAN HOFF and his spouse, as well as that of The Rev. DANIEL HOFF when he died in 1802, and his first spouse, LAURA TITUS. The farm was also the likely birth place of POWELL HOFF (1801) and the rest of his younger 7 siblings.
Next, I wondered what denomination or religion was the "Rev." DANIEL HOFF; what seminary or theological institution he attended, and who ordained him or gave him that title. I determined that at that time the Commonwealth of Virginia had an official, established State Religion, with official, required tithing (a form of tax). There were no organized churches or church buildings at that time that were in the very rural areas far outside Alexandria. So, like-minded families would congregate on Sundays via horse or buggy within a 2-4 mile radius at the largest home or cabin, all the children would be thrown outside, and who ever could read (or read the best) would read the scripture, fill the room with fire and brimstone for that week, and these individuals would serve as "lay" ministers. They were selected by the "vestry" to serve in that capacity. They would be given the title of "Rev." as an honorarium by their fellow parishoners to reflect their status. The Rev. DANIEL HOFF's second wife, SUSAN SOPHIA MOFFETT's father, the "Rev." WILLIAM WILLIAM, was also reportedly a minister, and may have also served in that same capacity.
Because Prince William County's official records were all "burned" in the Civil War, and it is referred to as a "burned county", it is difficult to find records of land ownership, marriages, deaths and weddings. However, some collateral records have since come to light, like official U.S. census records and other documents "taken home" by certain officials, put in attiacs, behind walls, etc., and these have come forth over the insuing 150 years. However, unlike New England, the records are "spotty" or completely non-existant. So, the full truth of some of the above speculation may never be known with certainty as to what what some of these relationship actually were and the myster of who is buried in these 15 unmarked graves.
Also, in checking the 14 page census of 1810 of the entire Prince William County, where MOORE HOFF's name appears (on Page 3), DANIEL HOFF's name is absent because he died in 1802 and his widow and children had all moved to Ohio in 1805. However, on page 5 of the 1810 Census following page 3 where MOORE HOFF's name appears were the names "AMOS HOFF & CORNELIUS HOFF". These 2 names were listed as two of the 3 sons attributed to the Rev. DANIEL HOFF and his first wife, LAURA TITUS. This would make them the older, 1/2 brothers to POWELL HOFF. This leads me to further believe that LAURA TITUS made the overland treck to Pr. William Co. from NJ with her sons and her husband, DANIEL HOFF. These 2 sons appear to have stayed on for some tine there in Pr. William Co. after the death of their mother and their father, the Rev. DANIEL HOFF. They were both listed in the 1810 Census as married with young children, so they may have felt tied to the land there and chose to not make the journey to Ohio with their former step-mother, SUSAN SOPHIA MOFFETT HOFF and her children. However, it appears that both left the county later, as there is an AMOS HOFF who appears in Washington Co., OH later, and there is an AMOS HOFF who is buried in the same burial plot in Dallas County, IA as POWELL HOFF, whose headstone shows he was born in 1775 and died in 1855, just 2 years after the family arrived in Dallas Co., IA in 1853. AMOS would have been POWELL HOFF's 1/2 brother, and may have taken on a quasi "fatherly" status for POWELL, who never knew his real father (who died the year after is birth in 1801). CORNELIUS HOFF is believed to have ben the same individual who went on to be a minister in W. Virginia or So. Carolina.
There is a 313 page report that was produced on the findings of this "dig", and is available on CD-ROM from the Va. Dept of Transportation, Cultural Resource Program, for $16.59 on site 44PW600 (Tech'l Rept. #27). Hoff descendant, DAWN HUX of Annandale, VA has also done considerable work on the identity and lineage of MOORE HOFF.
Nothing concrete links MOORE HOFF with the other HOFF Family members from NJ - except what I have noted above. More research will be necessary to establish the exact link between the Rev. DANIEL HOFF and MOORE HOFF, if any, as well as that of JOHN HOFF, their reported father. Any one with any insight is welcome to contact me, JOHN SCOTT HOFF at (312) 346-8111 in Chicago, or via E/M at