Christian Hoffarth and
- by Alice
was born in Schwaigern, Germany. He arrived at the Port
of Philadelphia on September 15, 1729, having crossed the
Atlantic Ocean on the Ship Allen. He arrived with his
parents, Hans Jorick HOFFART (b. 1674) and Anna
Margaretha MOST (b. 1675).
In Germany, his family's ties had been to the Lutheran
Church in Schwaigern. His family became associated with
the Brethren, an Anabaptist group. The Anabaptists were
"encouraged" to leave Germany, and Christian
and his family traveled across the Atlantic on the ship
that carried Alexander MACK, the man who had founded the
Church of the Brethren in Schwaigern, Germany, in 1708.
Christian was 13 years old when he arrived in
Pennsylvania. Before he was 30, he was married to
Elizabeth KEIM, daughter of Johannes KEIM. Elizabeth had
been born in Berks County, Pennsylvania, and was about 22
when she married Christian.
The 18-year marriage of Christian Hoffarth (1716-1788)
and Elizabeth Keim (1723-1764) produced seven children.
Elizabeth's year of death is presumed from the fact that
she gave birth to a son in August 1762, and Christian's
second wife gave birth to a daughter in 1764. Elizabeth
vanished from the records after her seventh child was
For many years, some had claimed that all seventeen of
Christian's children had the same mother, a woman named
Anna Catharine who was Christian's wife when he died in
1788. The evidence clearly proves that is not so: One
clue is found in the confirmation records for Christian's
children. For the oldest seven children, under
"parent," the pastor recorded only Christian's
name. However, for children after the first seven, when
they were confirmed, the record noted both Christian and
his second wife, Anna Catharine.
The definitive proof that Christian had a first marriage
is found in a quit claim deed on Elizabeth's late
father's property. In it she is named as the wife of
Christian Hoffart. Dated 29-Apr-1762, titled
"Release John Kihm [Keim] to George Kihm
[Keim]." It is a quit-claim deed for the 200-acre
plantation in Oley Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania,
formerly owned by Elizabeth's father Johannes KEIM. The
opening clause of the deed follows:
|This indenture, made the 29th
day of April, 1762, between John Kihm, Stephen
Kihm, Nicholas Kihm, John Henry Schneider and
Catherine his wife (late Catherine Kihm),
Christian Hoffart and Elisabeth his wife (late
Elisabeth Kihm), Jacob Kihm, Conrad Kihm, Jacob
Yoder and Maria his wife (late Maria Kihm),
Michael Witman and Barbara his wife (late Barbara
Kihm) and Frederick Hung and Susannah his wife
(late Susannah Kihm), hiers and representatives
of John Kihm, late of Oley, in the County of
Berks and Province of Penna., deceased of the one
part and George Kihm, of Oley aforesaid Yeoman,
of the other part.
Elizabeth's first child's birth and christening are
recorded in the Lutheran Church book of New Hanover,
Montgomery Co., Pennsylvania. Their last child was born
in Frederick Co., Maryland.
By 4-Nov-1762, the family was established in Frederick
Co., Maryland, where Christian signed a 21-year lease on
a ten-acre parcel of land, small enough that it was
likely the place to live and not the land to farm. Ten
acres is large enough for children to play, large enough
for some household fruits and vegetables to grow, large
enough for chickens and a few butchering hogs, but ten
acres is not enough land to farm to produce crops to feed
a large family.
The owner of the ten acres that Christian leased was the
English royal Lord Baltimore. The land was managed by a
governor appointed by the English lord. Since the land in
Monocacy Manor was not available for purchase, farmers
signed long-term leases on plots of land.
By 1764, Elizabeth was dead, and Christian was left with
seven children. Their ages were about 1, 5, 7, 9, 13, 14,
and 17. Because there is a lag of four years between
child #6 and child #7, it is possible there was a child
between those two children, who either already had died,
or who was alive when Christian was widowed but who died
before leaving any record.
Soon after Elizabeth died, Christian married again. The
first of ten children born to his second wife was born in
1764. The last of those ten children was born in 1780.
After the Revolutionary War, the Maryland General
Assembly took possession of the land that Christian had
long-term leased because the land had been owned by the
British Lord, who obviously had sided with the British in
the war. The long-term leases were voided, and the land
was divided and sold.
In addition to the ten acres Christian leased in November
1762, he had a long-term lease on 193 acres. On
10-Oct-1781, that long-term lease was sold to one Maj.
Davidson for 1,300 pounds. The major paid with Army pay
certificates that he had been granted as a soldier of the
From Poverty in a Land of Plenty, Tenancy in
Eighteenth Century Maryland, by Gregory A.
Stiverson, pub. by Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1977, at
|The auction of
the Manor was held at Grost's Tavern in Frederick
Town on September 10, 1782, and the tenants who
assembled for the sale, many of whom were first
generation German immigrants who had worked hard
improving their leaseholds, must have been
appalled at the number of high-ranking army
officers and affluent storekeepers who had come
to bid against them for their land. Monocacy
tenants were among the most prosperous of any on
the proprietary manors, and yet few could hope to
compete with men who could pay for land with
certificates that had been acquired for only a
fraction of face value.
When Christian was dealt
that blow, he was 66 years old. He was also the father of
a two-year-old daughter. In another six years, Christian
was dead. His will was found at the courthouse in
Frederick County, Maryland, in Will Book GM #2, pp.
289-290. All seventeen children were named in the will. A
PDF copy of the will as recorded in the "Liber"
of wills at the courthouse in Frederick, Maryland is HERE; the actual original will is on file at the
Maryland Archives in Annapolis, Maryland. The original
(in the Maryland Archives) shows the erasure of son
George's name in "the 16th Line" of the
original will. Below is a transcription of the will:
|IN THE NAME OF
GOD AMEN. I Christian Huffert of Frederick County
and State of Maryland, Farmer, being weak in Body
but of sound disposing -- Mind and Memory Thanks
be Given unto God, calling unto mind the
Moratality of my Body and knowing that it is
appointed for all men once to die, do make and
ordain this my Last Will and Testament in manner
and form Following: that is to say, principally
and first of all, I give and Recommend my Soul
into the Hands of Almighty God that gave it, and
my Body I Recommend to the Earth, to be buried in
decent Christian Burial at the Discretion of my
Executors nothing doubting but at the General
Resurrection, I shall receive the same again by
the mighty Power of God. And as touching such
Worldly Estate wherewith it has pleased God to
Bless me in this life; I Give, demise and dispose
of the same in the following manner and form.
First, I desire that all my Just
debts be contented and paid within Convenient
Time after my decease.
Item: I Give and Bequeath to my Well Beloved Wife
Ann Huffert besides her thirds my bed with its
furniture whereon we now lie also a Cow and Calf
and her Spinning Wheel.
The rest of my Estate both Real and Personal I
leave to be Sold at publick Sale and the Moneys
arising therefrom to be (after my Wife's part is
deducted) divided among my Children in the
Item. I Give and Bequeath to my daughter Rebecca
Huffert, the Sum of ten pounds Current Money.
Item: I Give and Bequeath to my Daughter Barbara
Huffert the Sum of ten pounds Current Money, the
above Legacys I leave to be paid to my two
Children above named, as soon as the Estate is
Settled and the Children Shall come to age, by my
The Rest of my Estate, after my just debts and
Legacies are paid and my Wife's Third is
deducted; I leave to be equally divided among my
Seventeen Children. Namely: Christian,
Christiana, Philip, Margaret, Daniel, John,
Casper, Catharina, George [hard to read after
sealing of will], Elizabeth, Adam, Hannah, Jacob,
Susanna, Magdalene, Rebecca, and Barbara
And I Nominate and Appoint my Trusty and
Well Beloved Son in Law Adam Creigher my Executor
of this my Last Will and Testament hereby
Revolking all other Wills by me heretofore made,
ratifying and Confirming this and no other to be
my Last Will and Testament in Witness whereof I
have hereunto Set my Hand and Seal.
The burial sites of both
Christian and Elizabeth are lost to history.
Christian is a DAR established Patriot.
His DAR Ancestor Number is A-056231. He is listed in the
records of the Daughters of the American Revolution as
"Christian HOFFERT," and he is credited with
having furnished supplies in Frederick County, Maryland,
and with being an "Associator."
Six of Christian's 17 children have had
DAR members come in on their lines: Christina, Philip,
Daniel, John, Casper, and Barbara.
Christian's son Casper has had DAR
members come in under 5 of his 13 children: Solomon,
Abraham, Daniel, Jacob, and Rebecca.
Proof of Alice Marie Beard's line has
been accepted and verified by DAR genealogists.
Therefore, if you are closely related to AMB, you need
only prove back to the ancestor you share with AMB. AMB's
line goes through Elizabeth HUFFORD
(1851-1929), of Carroll County, Indiana.
Because giving credit
where credit is due is especially important among family,
it should be noted that credit is due to the late
Florence (Grove) Woods, to Shirley (Hufford) Hegeman
(retired legal secretary and genealogist for the DAR),
and to Barry Wood (attorney). The bulk of the research is
theirs. Any errors are mine.
Elizabeth's children, and Christian's children by his
second wife are listed at the site for Christian &
Elizabeth's son Casper:
For a list of Christian Hoffart's descendants:
For a list of Christian's ancestors:
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