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The Hazleton Hoffsommers...illustrated by those left behind at Vine St Cemetery.

HOME PAGE---- GEDCOM---- SURNAMES--- -LINKS- ----ECARD H.--- -E-MAIL--- -1951 HISTORY--- -WEH.-GRAMPS-----CASPER H, ILL -- -KATRINA H. KNIES- --MITTERODE LIST-- -MITTERODE PHOTOS- -HAZLETON CEMETERY- PhotoPages: ATTICPHOTOS--CONRAD HOFFSOMMER, ----FRED WOOD, ----POSEY GROUP,--- -RACHEL PECK POSEY- ---New Info:POSEY FILE, ..-THOMAS (KERR) CARE,--- -MAGDALENA STOBER (M. PETER GERHART)

An ode to the true joys of cemetery searching or, as some would call it "spudfarming" since the best parts are underground...

As you'll see a trip has been made to Vine Street Cemetery in Hazleton (finally). The findings have been gratifying and due, in no small part, to John Probert, the head of the Hazleton Cemetery Association, who assisted us in finding all the graves.

Background:

Quick oversight indicates that the Kansas "ff" branch began their journeys in the U.S. at Hazleton, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania before re-immigrating in 1879.

In review, George Hofsommer came with 5 of his 6 children in 1857. The oldest followed. George was 52 at the time (born in 1805). The family had been proceeded by cousins in WilkesBarre some ten years previously. The oldest of the group who immigrated, John George Hoffsommer, took his 10 child family to Kansas in 1879 after George died in December of 1878.

The rest of the 6 stayed behind to raise their families.

The Vine Street Cemetery and nearby Hazleton Courthouse have provided additional data as to what all happened to "the rest" of the crew. And, while it is incomplete, it answers questions and asks others.

Data: Vine Street Cemetery is about 12 acres large (one city block in Hazleton) and contains over 20,000 graves.

New Data Gathered.

Location and groupings. There are three plots of Hoffsommers in the cemetery.

George has the largest stone, marble and weathering badly, in lot 687. It is in German, and, because of the weathering, should be rubbed to preserve as much as possible. See below for an imaginary listing of attendees to George's burial.

To the right of George's stone (as you face the graves) is the grave of Anna C. Dietrich. Anna was the oldest and immigrated as a widow with her boys 9 years after her father & siblings in 1866. Two of the boys share the plot, as it turns out. The new data observed was her date of death, August 15, 1909.

To the right of Anna's grave is a stone sold by "John Hoffsommer" in 1914 to a family named Mensinger. The occasion apparently was the death of their daughter Ethel in 1914. The price paid was $20. It is unknown whether Mensingers had a family connection or were merely close friends.

To the right of the Mensinger stone lies "Anna E., wife of Jacob Dietrich, 1854-1902" and a child of 2,
"Adam C. 1889-1891". New Data here includes the presence of the child, since data on the family had been previously been gathered from Census information.

To the right of Anna's stone is that of her husband, Jacob. "Jacob Dietrich, Jan 15,1851-Sep 26, 1933" His stone is marked "Father" over the top, similar to the "Mother" which is engraved over Anna's stone.

At the foot of the five graves above were three more Dietrichs. "Mother", M. Eliz. Dietrich, 1858-1930, "Father", Henry Dietrich, 1854-1932, and "Daughter", Margaret Dietrich, 1892-1983. It is known Anna Dietrich had a son Henry who immigrated with her and his brothers in 1866. The birth year estimated from the age given in the ship's manifest differs by 3 years but, based on the positioning of the grave, we're 'adopting' this group as dead relatives, unless they complain too loudly.

THE SECOND grouping is that of Adam Hoffsommer's family. I found it fascinating.

Adam immigrated with his father & siblings in 1857. He appeared serendipitously in the 1870 Federal Census living next to his big brother John George (who was being researched). From then on he stayed put and was easy to locate in all the subsequent censuses through 1920. We've secured his death certificate information. He is the next older brother to Katrina Hofsommer.

Note: Until now there was some question as to the spelling of the name. With the exception of the patriarch, all Hoffsommers in the cemetery have 2 f's in the name.

Adam had 10 children, as had his older brother John George. Five of them are buried in his plot. Plot nr is 884. Adam shares a stone with his wife Susan. "Mother, Susan, 1842-1932" and "Father, Adam, 1841-1930" are engraved under "Hoffsommer". To the left of the stone as you face it is that of son August - "Aug. Hoffsommer, 1878-1909".

To the right of Adam & Susan's stone are three identically shapped & sized stones - "Henry Hoffsommer, 1873-1910", "Fred Hoffsommer, 1867-1905", and "Jacob Hoffsommer, 1875-1905".

At the foot of these graves, and facing to the left, is that of "Harvey Hoffsommer, Pvt 7 CAV, May 21, 1883-Nov 7, 1910"

First note: Adam had died in Philadelphia at the age of 85+.

Second: The most remarkable story of this grouping is not only are 5 boys buried in the same plot, but that they died within 5 years of each other, 1905-1910. The records in the nearby courthouse indicate the exact dates and cause for Jacob and Fred. Both died of "Phthisis". Of the 5 boys only Frederick left a family. Records in the courthouse show his marriage to Mary Smith, the birth of their daughter Esther Vialo (identified as Beatrice in the Census) in 1898, and the death of another daughter unnamed in March of 1901. Records do not indicate where the child (appears died at birth) was buried.

Thirdly. The position and style of Harvey's grave. It's positioning seems almost an afterthought. His stone faces left you face his father's stone. and he lies directly across the feet of his parents and brother August. The stone itself, with the inscription Pvt 7 CAV, leads to obvious questions. Did he die in the military? he was 29 years old at death. The U.S. was not at war at the time.

THIRD GROUPING is that of John Hoffsommer, his wife and daughter. The location is lot 2016 and, as such, is some distance removed from the other two. John, as it turns out, is the first born to Adam and Susan Hoffsommer. He may be the John Hoffsommer who sold the one plot in his grandfather Hofsommer's plot to the Menningers. He is buried with his wife Mary and one of his two known daughters, Sylvia J.

John was, according to John Probert, who accompanied us on our tour, both a Mason and an Odd Fellow. and, as his father before him, died at the august age of 92. The three are buried under one stone - "Hoffsommer - John, 1863-1955, Mary S. 1865-1943, and Sylvia J. 1901-1954". Sylvia J. was known previously, census and death certificate, as Joyce. Her birth data was found earlier in the courthouse records and her death certificate indicated she died of polio in 1954, after taking care of her father following her mother's death some 11 years previously. The other daughter, Hazel, signed her father's death certificate as Hazel Koenig. There are Koenig graves at the cemetery, but we did not investigate.


It might be useful at this point in the development of this web page to run short descendant chart of George's descendant lines as it impacts the 1857 immigration and the status of the research so far.

DESCENDANTS OF: Johannes Georg Hofsommer

* Johannes Georg Hofsommer b. 30 MAR 1805 d. 21 DEC 1878 m. 10 AUG 1828 Anna Elisabeth Bomhard b. 13 AUG 1801 d. 7 FEB 1852

. * Anna Catharina Hofsommer b. 16 APR 1826 d. 15 AUG 1909 m. 6 SEP 1840 Johannes Heinrich Fey b. 10 JUL 1820 d. Abt. 1864 . . m. _____ Dietrich d. Abt. 1865

This is the Dietrich line. Thus far, Adam and William are unaccounted for.

  1. . . * Jacob Fey Dietrich b. 15 JAN 1851 d. 26 SEP 1933 m. Annie E. (Dietrich) b. 1854 d. 1902
  2. . . * Henry Fey Dietrich b. c. 1857 d. 1932 m. M. Elizabeth (Dietrich) b. 1858 d. 1930
  3. . . * Adam Fey Dietrich b. c. 1858
  4. . . * William Fey Dietrich b. c. 1865
  5. . . * Conrad Dietrich b. 1866 d. 1866

. * John George Hoffsommer b. 16 MAR 1829 d. 16 AUG 1911 m. Bef. 1850 Maria Herrmann b. 7 DEC 1826 d. 1 FEB 1890 . . m. 23 DEC 1891 Dianna Sipe b. 22 JAN 1837

This is the Kansas crew.

  1. . . * Conrad Hoffsommer b. 7 DEC 1850 d. 23 AUG 1918 m. 6 APR 1873 Mary Melinda Wohlfarth b. 16 JAN 1850 d. 2 FEB 1929
  2. . . * Katharine Hoffsommer b. 22 JAN 1858 d. 25 SEP 1881
  3. . . * Adam Hoffsommer b. 19 SEP 1859 d. 14 DEC 1936 m. 23 FEB 1888 Mary Elisabeth Manshardt b. 1868 d. 5 MAR 1958
  4. . . * Anna Elizabeth Hoffsommer b. 4 MAR 1861 d. 23 JUL 1949 m. 13 MAY 1880 Charles F. Erffmeyer d. 25 JUN 1940
  5. . . * Mary Hoffsommer b. 5 SEP 1862 d. 4 JUN 1898 m. 27 JAN 1881 John H. Wettengel d. 4 JUN 1898
  6. . . * John Adam Hoffsommer b. 5 JUN 1864 d. 1 FEB 1940 m. 21 OCT 1892 Rose I. Manshardt d. 12 DEC 1909
  7. . . * William Herrman Hoffsommer b. 8 OCT 1866 d. 18 FEB 1892
  8. . . * John George Hoffsommer b. 7 APR 1869 d. AUG 1963 m. 29 AUG 1893 Ida Dorothy Johnson d. 13 SEP 1945
  9. . . * Jacob Charles Hoffsommer b. 28 JUN 1872 m. 4 AUG 1913 Elsie May Brooking b. 17 APR 1884 d. MAY 1973
  10. . . * Ida Savilla Hoffsommer b. 12 FEB 1874 d. 10 JAN 1931 m. 8 DEC 1896 Martin Snyder b. MAR 1862 d. 30 APR 1919

. * Anna Elisabeth Hofsommer b. 19 NOV 1830

So far, Anna Elisabeth's life has not been sketched out through marriage, birth or death data.

. * Johannes Adam Hofsommer b. 12 AUG 1833 d. 1917 m. Polly (Hofsommer) b. abt. 1842 . . m. Martha (Hofsommer) Range b. 1850 d. 1931

This family apparently moved up around Scranton and eventually settled in and around Archibald, Pa.

  1. . . * George E. Hofsommer b. JAN 1865 m. Catherine (Hofsommer) b. APR 1868
  2. . . * Emma Hofsommer b. abt. 1870
  3. . . * Albert Hofsommer b. abt. 1875
  4. . . * Kathryn Hofsommer b. 1875 d. 1958
  5. . . * John Hofsommer b. Abt. 1878 m. Lillie (Hofsommer) b. Abt. 1884
  6. . . * Gertrude Hofsommer b. 1879 d. 1966
  7. . . * Meta Hofsommer b. Abt. 1885
  8. . . * Lillian Hofsommer b. Abt. 1887
  9. . . * Henry Hofsommer b. Abt. 1890

. * Adam Hoffsommer b. 23 AUG 1842 d. 24 JAN 1928 m. Susan Sonn b. MAR 1843 d. JAN 1934

This, of course, is the brother who stayed by the homestead. The girls, Hanna, Carrie, and Minnie have not been traced.

  1. . . * John Hoffsommer b. 14 JUN 1862 d. 11 JUN 1955 m. 14 JUL 1889 Mary Savilla Snyder b. 9 OCT 1864 d. 26 JAN 1943
  2. . . * Hannah Hoffsommer b. 1867
  3. . . * Frederick J. Hoffsommer b. 23 FEB 1869 d. 14 SEP 1905 m. 7 DEC 1895 Mary Y Smith b. JUL 1873
  4. . . * Carrie Hoffsommer b. abt. 1871
  5. . . * J. Henry Hoffsommer b. SEP 1873 d. 1910 m. Anna D. Probst b. 1875
  6. . . * Jacob Hoffsommer b. DEC 1875 d. 21 MAR 1905
  7. . . * August Hoffsommer b. MAR 1878 d. 1909
  8. . . * William Hoffsommer b. MAY 1880
  9. . . * Harvey Hoffsommer b. 21 MAY 1883 d. 7 NOV 1910
  10. . . * Minnie Hoffsommer b. MAY 1887

. * Catharine Hofsommer b. 11 DEC 1845 d. 10 NOV 1888 m. William August Knies b. 24 DEC 1839 d. 14 JUN 1909

Thanks to the internet, this is Katrina's line.

  1. . . * William Knies b. 3 MAR 1867 m. Rebekah Wagner
  2. . . * George Knies b. 6 OCT 1875 m. 10 MAY 1906 Maude Elvina Dufty b. 17 JUN 1882
  3. . . * Lydia Esther Knies b. 25 MAY 1878 m. 25 MAY 1905 Norman Franklin Klinger b. 18 JUN 1878 d. AUG 1967
  4. . . * Edward William Knies b. 15 OCT 1884 m. Mayme Knies


With the above list showing George's family (children & grandchildren) we thought it would be neat to determine who would have been alive, possibly in attendance, at his funeral and burial in Hazleton.

Anna Catherine Hofsommer Fey Dietrich - 52 years old - daughter

Jacob Fey Dietrich - 27 years old - probably living in Hazleton - grandson

Henry Fey Dietrich - 24 years old - probably living in Hazleton - grandson

Adam Fey Dietrich - 20 years old - may be still alive - grandson

William Dietrich - 12 years old - may be still alive - grandson

John George Hoffsommer - 49 years old - son

(son Conrad in Kansas preceeding spring with wife, son Alfred, and sister Mary)

Katherine - 20 years old - granddaughter

Adam - 19 years old - grandson

Anna Elizabeth - 17 years old - granddaughter

John Adam - 14 years old - grandson

William Herrman - 12 years old - grandson

John George - 9 years old - grandson

Jacob Charles - 6 years old - grandson

Ida Savilla - 4 years old - granddaughter

Anna Elizabeth - 48 years old - daughter - possible, no evidence of marriage, she is NOT in census under Hofsommer in 1870.

John Adam - 43 years old - son, may have traveled intro Hazleton for funeral with family, believed living in Archbald by that time.

George E. - 13 years - grandson, perhaps in attendance

Emma - 8 years - granddaughter, perhaps in attendance

Albert - 3 years - grandson, alive, perhaps in attendance

Kathryn - 3 years - granddaughter, alive, perhaps in attendance

----------John Adam fathered 5 more children after his father's death

Adam - 36 years old - son

John - 16 years old, grandson

Hanna - 11 years old, granddaughter

Frederick - 9 years old, grandson

Carrie - 7 years old, granddaughter

Henry - 5 years old, grandson

August - 9 months old, grandson

...........Adam fathered 3 more children after his father's death

Katrina Hofsommer Knies, 33 - daughter

William Knies - 11 years old, grandson

George Knies - 3 years old, grandson

Lydia Knies - 7 months old, granddaughter

totals? - 6 children, 28 of 30 grandchildren born by then may have been attendance

HHOME PAGE---- GEDCOM---- SURNAMES--- -LINKS- ----ECARD H.--- -E-MAIL--- -1951 HISTORY--- -WEH.-GRAMPS-----CASPER H, ILL -- -KATRINA H. KNIES- --MITTERODE LIST-- -MITTERODE PHOTOS- -HAZLETON CEMETERY- PhotoPages: ATTICPHOTOS--CONRAD HOFFSOMMER, ----FRED WOOD, ----POSEY GROUP,--- -RACHEL PECK POSEY- ---New Info:POSEY FILE, ..-THOMAS (KERR) CARE,--- -MAGDALENA STOBER (M. PETER GERHART)