Dutch-Colonies-L ArchivesArchiver > Dutch-Colonies > 2007-08 > 1187132813
From: Constance Britten <>
Subject: Re: [DUTCH-COLONIES] Looking for the parents of the HOFF sisters ofMonmouth Co., New Jersey
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2007 16:06:53 -0700
Pam, thank you so much for your post. I'm very grateful to have the
benefit of your insights into this business of the HOFF sisters!
I do have some further questions about these possible fathers and
grandfathers of the HOFF sisters (I have not found these addressed in
Does it seem likely that William Jr. (and perhaps even William Sr.) may
have become Baptist? Stillwell, in Vol. II, Page 264 of his Historical
and Genealogical Miscellany, quotes from James MOTT's "Book Relating to
Church Dissiplin" of the Middletown (Monmouth Co.) Baptist Church:
"December 2 = 1750 At a Publick Meeting In MiddleTown Jacub truax John
and William huf Ware Excommunicated and difoned By the Church Truax and
drinking to Exces And Neglect of the Worfhip of God. And huf for his
Profane and lufe life
and neglect of the Worfhip of God."
Entries immediately preceding and subsequent to William huf's
excommunication are disciplinary matters relating to Gershom Walling:
"1 of December 1750 at a Church Meeting at MiddelTown Complaints Came
Gerfhum Wolling for drinking to Exces; and Neglecting the Public Worfhip
of God on the
furft day of the Weak: And Keeping at home In Bad Compiny and leting
them haue drink
to Exces: Was By the Church Suspended til further hearing."
[insert the above excommunication entry here]
"5 of January 1750 at a Church Meeting at Middletowne Gerfhum Walling
Charge of drinking to Excefs Being laid Before him he Confesed Gilty
With Some Sines of
Repentance apearing Yet Not So fully as to Sattiffy the ChuRch his
Sufpenfhon Was Continued."
(There must have been a fine party at Gershom's house at the end of
So anyway -- IF this "huf" character is indeed William Jr. -- and note
that William Sr. had already passed away some 8 years prior, and as
you've noted the names of James MOTT and Gershom WALLING do both appear
as witnesses to William Sr.'s will -- and IF the four sisters were
indeed William Jr.'s daughters, then they may very well have been
christened in the Middletown Baptist Church, as William Jr.'s
excommunication comes after the four sisters were (most likely) born.
However, Stillwell states that the records of that church between 1735
and 1785 are non-existent (a long blank space has apparently been left
in the church record book between entries on those dates) and so
Stillwell concludes that "it would appear that former church clerks kept
their records loosely, and often as personal, rather than church
property, with intent to insert them [into the official church record
book] at convenient time, and such has recently been proven the case by
the discovery of Elder Mott's Journal."
Unfortunately MOTT's Journal does not list marriages, christenings or
baptisms but rather seems entirely dedicated to "disciplinary" matters.
I would be very interested to learn of any further finds w.r.t. the
records of the Middletown Baptist Church. I personally am not familiar
at all with the workings of a Baptist church, either modern or
18th-century -- do they generally have a single minister/pastor, and/or
can the deacons or Elders christen infants and/or perform marriage
ceremonies? If the records are being kept the the people performing
these duties (such as MOTT's "discipline" journal), might it be possible
to identify who (all) may have recorded christenings and/or marriages
during that time period?
Pamela J. Sears wrote:
> Hi Constance,
> Looks like you have an interesting puzzle on your hands, but you've
> already found some good results by identifying the four sisters.
> I do not have a positive response to your query, but there is an
> intriguing possibilty you may wish to pursue. First let me say that I am
> not at all comfortable with Esther Clark Wright's statements about the
> four Hoff or Van Der Hoff brothers from Amsterdam who were shipwrecked
> off Sandy Hook.
> Rather, I would suggest you consider this William Hoff and his wife
> Elizabeth (unidentified), who made his will (abstract) as follows: [Note
> the appearance of the witness, Garshom Walling.] This William Hoff may
> be the father of the William Hoff who married Abigail Walling, who is
> said to be the daughter of Gershom Walling.
>> Calendar of New Jersey Wills, Vol. II 1730-1750, Lib. D, p. 435.
>> Page: 239, William Hoff, 30 Oct 1742, Middletown Township, Monmouth Co.
>> yeoman; will of. Wife, Elizabeth, executrix. Son, William. Daughter, Catherine Dorset, and "three youngest children." Witnesses--James Mott, Jarratt Wall, Garsham Walling. Proved Nov. 20, 1746.
>> 1746, Dec. 11. Inventory of the estate, £386.04.0, includes 2 guns and negro man. Made by James Mott and Gisbert Vanbrackel.
> The above William Hoff (of the will abstract) was baptized at the
> Reformed Dutch Church of Brooklyn, Kings Co., NY on 20 Apr 1685, the son
> of Derrick Pauliszen (Hoff) and his 2nd wife Sara Willems (Yates/Jeats).
> Derrick Pauliszen (Hoff) and his extended family removed to Hunterdon
> County, New Jersey, where he made his will (abstract):
>> Calendar of New Jersey Wills, Vol. II 1730-1750, Lib. 3, p. 108.
>> Page: 239, Derrick Hoff, 19 Nov 1722, Maidenhead, Hunterdon Co.
>> will of. Children--William, Sary Anderson, Richard, Thomas, Powel, John, Charles, Joseph, Benjamin, and Sarah. Residue to all children, except Mary Gary. Executors--sons Powel and John. Witnesses--John Albade, Rut Johnson and Hannah Johnson. Proved Dec. 22, 1730.
> Derrick Pauliszen (Hoff) was the son of Paulus Dirckszen (Hoff) and his
> first wife Geertje Willems, who had immigrated to New Netherland circa
> 1651. He married 2nd to Jannetje Jans, and died before 24 May 1692.
> Long Island Source Records
> Will of Paulus Dirckse and Jannetje Janse, his wife, at Bedford of
> Breucklyn in Kings County. Dated March 28, 1688. Revokes all former
> wills and codicils. To Dirck Paulus, eldest son, by former wife Geertie
> Williamse, one piece of eight. To Dirck Pauluson and also to children of
> Lysbeth Paylyssen 25 £. Executor not named. Witnesses: Thomas Lamberson,
> John Gertse Dorlandt. Proved May 24th, 1692. (Recorded in Liber. I of
> Conveyances, page 278).
> Because Gershom Walling was supposedly from Rhode Island, and probably
> English, the names of your proposed daughters of William Hoff and
> Abigail Walling would not strictly follow Dutch naming patterns.
> William Hoff of Monmouth County, NJ had siblings who lived in both
> Hunterdon and Somerset Counties, but their progeny have proved very
> difficult to trace and identify.
> You may wish to search the archives of this List, for I know the Hoff
> family has been discussed numerous times.
> I hope this information may prove helpful, and I wish you luck with your
> Pam Sears
>> I'm in the process of trying to track down the parents of my 4th-great
>> grandmother Abigail HOFF (b. ?), wife of Benjamin BRITTEN (b. 1740).
>> So far I've been able to identify three of Abigail's sisters: Meriam
>> HOFF (b. 1739), wife of John ZUTPHEN (b. 1733) , Elizabeth HOFF (b. ?),
>> wife of Andrew MAINS (b. ?), and Mary HOFF (b. 1745), wife of Alexander
>> CLARK (b. 1743).
>> In her book "Alexander Clark Loyalist", Esther Clark Wright states that
>> Mary HOFF was the daughter of William and Abigail HOFF, and that "The
>> Hoffs or van der Hoffs of New Jersey were descended from four brothers,
>> John, William, Leonard and Thomas van der Hoff, who came from Amsterdam
>> in the latter part of the 17th century or early part of the 18th
>> century, and suffered shipwreck off Sandy Hook." Does anyone have any
>> comments to make about either of these statements? So far I've been
>> unable to find any more information about these brothers or their shipwreck.
>> But ... the names of the sisters as well as the names of the children of
>> both Abigail and Mary HOFF do support the possibility that they may be
>> daughters of William HOFF (b. ?) and Abigail WALLING (b. ?, d. 1756), a
>> daughter of Gershom WALLING (b. 1689).
>> But I have not been able to find a birth date for Abigail WALLING nor
>> her marriage date to William HOFF. Stillwell, in Vol. II, Page 306 of
>> his Historical and Genealogical Miscellany, states that her tombstone
>> reads "Abigail, wife of Wm Hoff and daughter of Gershom and Mary
>> Walling, died, May 25,
>> 1756, aged .. 9 [?] years, 3 mos., 27 days" and that Abigail's tombstone
>> was "Fallen and broken and the years in doubt".
>> From a letter written by Meriam to her sister Mary on 26 Mar 1786 it
>> appears that the four sisters do indeed have a common father who was
>> still living at that time, but there is no reference to their mother(s),
>> living or otherwise.
>> Does anyone have any idea who the father of these HOFF sisters was, and
>> if so, who his parents were?
>> Does anyone have any idea who the mother(s) of these HOFF sisters were,
>> and if so, who were the parents of the mother(s)?
>> Did they have any other sisters or any brothers?
>> Someone knowledgeable about the HOFFs of Monmouth County may be able to
>> identify more clues about the family group via the people named in the
>> following abstract of Meriam's husband John's will:
>> NJ Archives Vol 37, Calendar of Wills #8, 1791-1795, p. 418:
>> 1794, Apr. 8. ZUTPHEN (SUTPHEN), John, of Middletown Twsp, Monmouth
>> Co.; will of. Wife, Mariam, use of residue of real and personal estate
>> while widow; should she marry, use of 1/2. To Moriah STRIKER (wife of
>> Adam STRIKER), one weaver's loom and dining table. To Catharine VAN
>> CLEAF (wife of William VAN CLEAF) one spinning wheel. Only daughter,
>> Jane VOORHEES (wife of Hendrick VOORHEES), use of 1/2 of estate should
>> wife remarry, and whole estate after wife's decease. Should daughter,
>> Jane, die without issue, estate to be divided between the children of
>> Moriah STRIKER and Catharine VAN CLEAF, 1/2 part to the children of each
>> sister. Executors - wife, Mariam, and Asher HOLMES. Witnesses - Joseph
>> VUNCK, William CRAWFORD, Miriam MAINS. Proved May 21, 1795.
>> Liber 33, p. 523.
>> 1795, May 26. Inventory, L326.6.9; made by John HOLMES and Samuel
>> HOLMES. File 7355-7362M.
>> Many thanks to all who have read this far! I would be very grateful for
>> any pointers to where I might be able to locate more information on the
>> HOFF sisters' parents and families.
>> Best regards,