POWELL HOFF and wife MARTHA BREWSTER HOFF lived for a time in central Illinois, near Springfield, Sagamon Co., IL.Their 12th (and last) child, CHARLES P. HOFF, was ostensibly born in "Rochester, Sagamon Co., IL, in 1846".Their 11th child was reportedly born in Peoria in 1844, so their arrival in Rochester would have been between 1844-1846.But by 1855 it appears that the family had moved on, yet again, to Walnut Twp., Dallas Co., IA.
I was recently in Springfield, IL on business, and when done, I drove the ~10 miles SE of Springfield on Hwy 29 to visit the small town of Rochester (with a population of about 2,900 inhabitants). I went to the newly built, small local public library, wich is now co-located with the Village Hall and Police Station on Hwy 29, at the SE edge of town.They had a Genealogy/History shelf of early local history and genealogical data on their Rochester/Sagamon Co. pioneer residents, and they were very helpful.However, after an extensive search of their documentation, including the 1840 and 1850 census, the marriage and birth register of the town and the county, record of U.S. land purchases, etc., we could find NO nexus whatsoever with a "POWELL HOFF" (there was a "Walter HOFF", who had no apparent or known relation to "my" Hoff line) there in, Sangamon Co., but that was the only "Hoff" there.The librarian thought that perhaps the Springfield Municipal Lincoln Library might have more complete records on the County.However, on Ancestry.com, I found a land sale record to POWELL HOFF in 1854 in which he purchased 4,000 acres (for $125!) in Illinois, but it appears from the surveyor's data that this was in an adjoining county to the south of Sangamon Co., and fairly far from Rochester. So, I am unsure what happened to all this land between the time of its acquisition in 1854, and the arrival of the extended Hoff family in dallas Co., IA about the same time.
So, it is possible that MARTHA BREWSTER HOFF and husband POWELL HOFF may have briefly resided in Rochester as non property owners for long enough to at least give birth to their final child, CHARLES P. HOFF (who went on to die in Bozeman, MT in the early 1900s following the family's move to Iowa in the mid 1850s).So, despite the family recordation and apparent birth of this one child in Rochester (which I can not document), I could not establish a firm residential or farming nexus there in Rochester, Sagamon Co., IL, with the family of POWELL HOFF and MARTHA BREWSTER HOFF.They are not on the 1850 Census in that county.
Any insight from others?JOHN S. HOFF (312) 346-8111 in Chicago, or E/M