My wife’s paternal line goes back to George Hoffman, born in Germany in 1736. Her grandfather kept a journal every day he was in college, starting in 1912. It includes stories of how he met his wife, and train travel to New York state to get married. After college, he kept journal entries on a less often weekly, and later only monthly, basis. But in the back of the journal is a Hoffman family tree. He got the info from his aunt; we don’t know where she got her information. But most of the tree, so far, seems to be fairly accurate, even though it has no sources.
Other documents have verified much of what is in the Hoffman journal family tree. Found out George Hoffman was born Johann Georg Hoffman, German for John George Hoffman. He Americanized his name after coming to Pennsylvania. The names of his wife and children are confirmed in other documents, including his will, written in 1801 in Cumberland, Pennsylvania.
[Pennsylvania, Wills and Probate Records, 1683-1993; George Hoffman will of 1801; Pennsylvania County, District and Probate Courts, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Wills, Volume F, 1795-1803, pp. 294-300, images 506-509 of 542, images and database online, Ancestry.com : accessed 18 November 2018).]
Now, another user on Ancestry has made the claim that George Hoffman fought in the American Revolutionary War. They do not substantiate that claim with sources. I have sent an ancestry message to this person asking what sources they have, how can they prove their claim, and they have not responded. If George did fight in the American Revolutionary War, he is an American Patriot that would qualify my wife for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).
So, another thing on the Research To Do list is to answer the research question, did this George Hoffman actually fight in the American Revolutionary War? I am actively searching for information; if you have any tips, let me know. When I find an answer, I’ll post it here.
In my research, I have been lucky to have so many family trees written by other people. From there, I have two jobs; 1) prove the work they did with sources, and 2) expand on their work, finding earlier ancestors and filling out the family tree.
The Cross Family Tree, as written by Samuel B. Cross, is quite a work. But there are really no sources, so we don’t know where he got his information. Does not mean he is not accurate, just means it is not proven. I have proven much of it, but not all. The parents of Andrew Cross (my 3rd great grandfather), for example, are not considered proven by myself and several other family genealogists. He names the parents as Cornelius Allen Cross and Mary Stephens. And Mary Stephens’ parents were Leonardt and Elizabetha Stephens. But where did he get this information?
But I recently found two documents that help in this matter.
I recently found a will of Elizabeth Stevens in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. She was the grandmother of Andrew Cross. Her will states and proves the names and relationships; she says her deceased husband was Leonard Stevens, her daughter Mary Ann Stevens is the wife of Allen Cross. Allen Cross is sometimes called Cornelius Allen Cross and is the father of Andrew Cross.
I did contact the Clearfield County Historical Society, and they have the original Cross Family Bible, which names the parents of Andrew Cross as Allen Cross and Mary Cross, and I now have a photocopy of that Bible page.
The will was important, because I sometimes had the name spelled as either Stephens or even Stepheus. I think the Stepheus was a typo and the u is really an n. But the suggestion was their name was German, so Stepheus was a possibility. I now know their name, in America, was Stevens. Previously, possibly in Germany, there was an alternate spelling, but that is not examined yet.
Leonard and Elizabeth Stevens are the grandparents of Andrew Cross. His parents were Cornelius Allen Cross and Mary Ann Stevens.
So, it seems the work of Samuel Cross is accurate and parts of it are now proven with a few documents. We have the parents of the wife of Cornelius Allen Cross. Who are the parents of Cornelius Allen Cross? Is the next question to answer.
I have full source citations on my ancestry.com online tree. Go to my contact page and shoot me an email, and I can invite you to my tree.