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Settlers XXXI: Descendants of Jacob Hoffa

This history tells the story of a prominent early settler family from nineteenth century in Sullivan County. This presentation focuses much attention on the historical lineage of the Yonkin family that married into the Hoffa line. As you look through the family links and connections listed below, you will find a bright PICTURES!!! label next to links where there are historical photos. Just click on each such link and find the posted story with associated photographs. We are especially grateful to Derek Davis for scanning the pictorial materials.

Jacob Hoffa (1799-1862) and Mary Magdalena Fraunfelder Suber
His Second Wife
Picture Taken Before 1862 and in Bad Condition

Photo scanned by Derek Davis from Journal of the Johannes Schwalm Historical Association, 1979, Volume 1, No. 3

The Hoffa family history leads in many directions as the children of the emigrant founder married and propagated once again. The original emigrant family was Johann Melchior Hafa and his wife, Maria Hesler. The entire history is accessible at Descendants of Johann Melchior Hafa. We will add more links to the story as they are developed by our contributors, and those links will be highlighted in CRIMSON color. You will then be able to skip down to any indiviudal unit by looking for the crimson headings. The units in hierarchical order are as follow:

JACOB HOFFA born May 10, 1799 in Exeter Township, Berks County, Pa. He was the son of Abraham and Elizabeth VanderSluiss Hoffa. Died June 7, 1862 in Sullivan County, Pa. He is buried in Thrasher's Cemetery in Dushore, Pa. You can find Abraham listed with his siblings in the Hafa history mentioned above at the Third Generation.

Married 1st CATHERINE SCHWALM She was the daughter of Johannes & Otila M. Bobb Schwalm and was born September 27, 1800, died April 14, 1843.

Married 2nd MAGDALENA FRAUNFELDER SUBER on April 28, 1844. She died April 29,1865.

Children of Jacob & Catherine Schwalm Hoffa:

1. ELIZABETH HOFFA 1819-1886

2. MATILDA HOFFA 1821-1870

3. CATHERINE HOFFA 1824-1895

4. CAROLINE HOFFA 1827-1899

5. DANIEL M. HOFFA 1829-1898

6. JACOB HOFFA 1832-1903

7. MARIA HOFFA 1834-1917

8. JOHN HENRY HOFFA 1840-1907

1. ELIZABETH HOFFA (Jacob Hoffa) born April 10, 1819; died November 11, 1886, buried in Thrasher's Cemetery, Dushore, Pa.

Married John Dieffenbach on January 1, 1835.  He was born March 29, 1813; son of Jacob and Christina Gardner Dieffenbach, died August 22, 1903. You can learn more about the origins of this family at Descendants of Conrad Dieffenbacher.

The Sullivan Review
August 27, 1903

John Dieffenbach, a former well known resident of Sullivan County, died at the residence of his daughter, Mrs. Julius Vogel, in Sayre, Saturday evening, August 22, aged 90 years, four months and 23 days. Deceased was the grandson of Conrad Dieffenbacher (as the name was then spelled) who was born in Baden, Germany, in 1743, and emigrated to America in 1764, and settled at Faulkner Swamp, in the southern part of Pennsylvania. Among the sons of this sturdy German emigrant was Jacob Dieffenbach who settled in Columbia Co., and where the subject of this sketch was born, March 29, 1813. In 1829 Jacob Dieffenbach came with his family to Cherry Township, Sullivan County, and became one of the prominent citizens and successful farmers of this section. It was here, within the limits of what is now Dushore borough, and in Cherry township, that John Dieffenbach grew to manhood, and here he married Elizabeth Hoffa *, and to them were born nine children, as follows: Hannah, who married John H. Lawrence, and is now deceased; Jacob, who died in infancy; Daniel Emanuel, now a resident of Dushore; John S., who became First Lieutenant of Company D, One Hundred and Forty-first Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, and died on the field in 1862; Henry S., who was also a soldier, and who died shortly after the close of the Civil War; Catharine A., now the wife of Julius Vogel, of Sayre; Clinton A., a prominent resident and farmer of Cherry Township; George F, who resides at Millville, Columbia county, and Elizabeth, wife of George Heverly, of Sayre.
From his youth up John Dieffenbach took a prominent part in the affairs of his town and county and held various offices of trust and honor. He was twice elected county commissioner, and for many years was the captain of the Cherry township militia, being the last man to command the military forces of eastern Sullivan under the old militia system which expired with the beginning of the war of the rebellion.

A number of years after the death of his first wife John Dieffenbach married Mrs. Caroline Hoffa Suber, a sister of his first wife. She died a number of years ago, and since then he has lived with his daughter, Mrs. Vogel, and removed with them from Mildred to Sayre, in April of this year.

The remains of the aged patriarch were brought to Dushore and funeral services were held in the German Reformed church on Tuesday, the interment taking place in Old Zion's (Thrasher's) cemetery.

The funeral was very largely attended by the numerous relatives and friends. With his death and burial one more of the old landmarks is gone, and almost the last link in the chain connecting the early history of the county with the twentieth century is severed.

* Editor's Note: See John and Elizabeth Hoffa Dieffenbacher Bible for details of this family.

Children of Elizabeth and John Dieffenbach:

1. Hannah Dieffenbach 1836-1874

2. Jacob Dieffenbach 1837-1840

3. Daniel Emanuel Dieffenbach 1839-1919; you can learn more about this family at The Descendants of Daniel Dieffenbach.

4. John S. Dieffenbach 1841-1862

5. Henry Dieffenbach 1843-1871

6. Catherine Angela Dieffenbach 1846-1918

7. Clinton Dieffenbach 1850-1933

8. George Franklin Dieffenbach 1857-1928

9. Elizabeth L. Dieffenbach 1864-1942

2. MATILDA HOFFA (Jacob Hoffa) born August 11, 1821; died June 22, 1870; buried in Thrasher's Cemetery, Dushore, Pa.

Married JOSEPH YONKIN born November 19, 1812; died February 24,1878

The Dushore Review
February 28, 1878

On Sunday 24th, at his residence in this Borough, Mr. Joseph Yonkin Sr., aged 66 years, 3 months and 12 days.  Mr. Yonkin came to this place in 1823, and has always been known as one of the prominent good men of the county. 

He leaves a large circle of relatives and friends to mourn his loss.

His remains were followed to their last resting place at Thrasher’s Church on Wednesday forenoon by a very large number of acquaintances.

Children of Matilda & Joseph Yonkin:

1. Jacob H. Yonkin 1840-1921

2. Elizabeth Yonkin 1842-1915

3. CATHERINE HOFFA (Jacob Hoffa) born October 6, 1824; died January 1, 1895; buried in Thrasher's Cemetery, Dushore, Pa.

Married John Thomas Messersmith He was born March 8, 1818; died February 9, 1890

Children of Catherine & John Thomas Messersmith:

1. John Jacob Messersmith 1846-1930

2. Abram Messersmith 1848-1930

3. Thomas Jefferson Messersmith 1851-1938

4. George Newton Messersmith 1855-1901

5. Adam Daniel Messersmith 1859-1897

6. Henry William Messersmith 1863-1904

7. Elizabeth Catherine Messersmith 1868-

4. CAROLINE HOFFA (Jacob Hoffa) born April 18, 1927; died September 19, 1899; buried in Thrasher's Cemetery, Dushore, Pa.

Married 1st Benjamin Suber on September 9, 1844.  He was born August 7, 1820; died January 12, 1887; buried in Thrasher's Cemetery, Dushore, Pa.

Daughters of Benjamin Suber and Caroline Hoffa
Catherine, Mary, Hannah and Elizabeth
Original Photo Taken Before 1893

Contributed by Tina Pastusic
Scanned by Derek Davis from Journal of the Johannes Schwalm Historical Association, 1979, Volume 1, No. 3

Married 2nd John Dieffenbach on May 10, 1888. 

The Sullivan Review
May 17, 1888


On Thursday, May 10, the friends of Rev. C.L. Earle, of Colley, paid him a surprise visit, it being the occasion of his 83rd birthday.
By ten o'clock over sixty had assembled, each carrying a well-filled basket. A splendid dinner was set forth and the self invited guests were just about to set down, when, walking with the elasticity of renewed youth and vigor, Mr. John Dieffenbach and Mrs. Caroline Suber, stepped to the center of the floor and requested the white haired shepherd to pronounce the words which should forever cause their loving hearts to beat as one. Rev. Earle was equal to the occasion, and after satisfying himself that both bride and groom were of the proper age he tied the mystic tie.

Dinner followed, and after dinner a serenade by a hastily organized band. The groom responded in a good natured and humorous speech and the hungry musicians were in their turn feasted. A gentleman who was present said he never laughed so much in his life as at this surprise birth-day-wedding feast.

May the Rev. Earle live to enjoy many such occasions, and the bride and groom pass down the hill of life 'mid sunset's ruddiest glow' is the wish of the Review.

The Sullivan Review
Sept. 21, 1899

BURNED TO DEATH- Mrs. John Dieffenbach, an aged lady living about a mile south of Dushore was burned to death Monday, September 18, by her clothing catching fire while she was getting breakfast. Her husband had lighted the fire and again went to sleep, lying on a cot in the kitchen, and was startled by a cry of pain, and awakened to find his wife lying on the floor, with her clothing all ablaze. He extinguished the flames and summoned help, but her injuries were too serious to permit of her recovery and she lingered in great pain until about midnight. She recovered sufficiently to explain how it happened, saying that her apron caught while she was at work around the stove, and her whole clothing was quickly ablaze. The funeral and interment was at Old Zion's Lutheran church, Wednesday, September 20, 1899. Mrs. Dieffenbach's maiden name was Caroline Hoffa, and she was born and lived all her life in Cherry Township. Her first husband was Benjamin Suber, who died about 15 years ago. About eleven years ago she became the wife of John Dieffenbach, and the two old people have lived very happily and comfortable together since. She was 72 years, five months and one day old, and besides her aged husband leaves a number of sons and daughters by her first husband to mourn her sad and untimely death.

Children of Caroline & Benjamin Suber:

1. Mary Magdalena Suber 1845-1893

2. Jacob John Suber 1847-1927

3. Catherine Suber 1850-1892  

4. Hannah Sarah Suber 1852-1922

5. Elizabeth Lucrecia Suber 1854-1928

6. George Franklin Suber 1856-1926

7. Adam Emanuel Suber born September 1, 1858; died March 20, 1863

8. Infant Daughter born January 5, 1861 and died the same day.

9. Benjamin Lincoln Suber born January 10, 1862; died March 16, 1862

10. Daniel Rhaenhard Suber 1865-1926

5. DANIEL HOFFA (Jacob Hoffa) born November 24, 1829; died November 3, 1898

Married RHODA HARRIS she was born August 6, 1833, died September 24, 1906

Lycoming Gazette & Bulletin
Williamsport, PA
November 5, 1898

D.M. Hoffa, a well known carpenter of Montoursville, died at his late home on Mulberry Street, that borough (Montoursville), Thursday night.

On last Monday he was suddenly stricken with paralysis while at work. He was aged 68 years and leaves a wife and four children, Mrs. Walter (Elizabeth) Green, Mrs. Charles (Mary Evaline) Leavy, of Fairfield Center; Charles and Maggie, of Montoursville, the latter being at home and unmarried. The funeral will be held from the family residence tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock. Interment will be made in Sand Hill cemetery

Children of Daniel and Rhoda Harris Hoffa:

1. Jacob Henry Hoffa 1852-

2. Frank S. Hoffa 1854-

3. Ida Augustine Hoffa 1859-

4. Mary Evaline Hoffa 1864-1952

5. Elizabeth Teresa Hoffa 1867-

6. Charles Bruce Hoffa 1869-

7. Hanna Margaret Hoffa 1875-

6. JACOB HOFFA (Jacob Hoffa) born July 17, 1832; died 1903

Married 1st ELIZABETH MADER **born February 9,1835; died May 8, 1875

Zion Church Record

Elizabeth, wife of Jacob Hoffa, daughter of Conrad and 
Anna Marten, born Feb. 9th 1835, died May 8th 1875, 
Buried May 10th 1875, aged 40 years, 2 Months & 29 Days

** Editor's Note: See the extensive commentary on the Mader family, anglicized to "Martin", at the bottom of the Peace Church Records site.

Married 2nd DORA SCHRADER born 1834; died December 19, 1916

The Sullivan Review
August 6, 1903

Jacob Hoffa died at his home in Cherry Township on Friday last, aged 71 years.

Funeral services were held at the Lutheran church Sunday morning, and were very largely attended.

Interment took place at Thrasher’s cemetery.

Deceased was for many years a resident of Cherry Township, and was well and favorably known to a great many people. His children are Mrs. Geo. Mosier, Mrs. W.P. Mosier, Mrs. Joseph Ambs, Mrs. Will Farrell, all of Cherry township, Daniel Hoffa, of Bernice, and Katie, Charles and Harry at home.

John J. Hoffa, of this place, is a brother of the deceased.

The Sullivan Review
January 3, 1917

Mrs. Dora Hoffa, wife of the late Jacob Hoffa, died December 19, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. William Farrell, in Elkland, aged 82 years. She is survived by two sons and three daughters, as follows: Charles and Harry Hoffa of Elkland, Mrs. William Farrell of Elkland, Mrs. Alfred Furman of Canton and Mrs. Emma Mosier of Dushore. The remains were taken to the home of her son-in-law, Alfred Furman, at Canton, where the funeral and interment were held Saturday.

Children of Jacob & Elizabeth Mader Hoffa:

1. Elizabeth L. Hoffa 1855-1914

2. George William Hoffa 1856-1897

3. John  Hoffa 1859-

4. Mary C. Hoffa 1861-Oct. 12, 1865 aged 4 years 1months & 7 days.

5. Hannah M. Hoffa 1864-1933

6. Daniel McClellan Hoffa 1868-1911

7. Emma Caroline Hoffa 1870-1955

8. Twins died in infancy 1875-1875

Children of Jacob Hoffa & Dora Schrader:

1. Jennie Linda Hoffa 1878-1947

2. Tilla May Hoffa 1881-died April 6, 1883 aged 2 years.

3. Dorie Hoffa 1883-died July 10, 1883 aged 17 days.

4. Katharine Hoffa 1884-1965

5. Cora Hoffa 1885-1889

6. Charles Raymond Hoffa 1889-1966

7. Harry C. Hoffa 1892-1969

7. MARIA HOFFA (Jacob Hoffa) born June 18, 1834; died June 1917

Married John Meyer he was born November 10, 1831; died July 8, 1896

The Sullivan Review
June 27, 1917

Mrs. Mary Meyer, wife of the late John Meyer of Cherry Township, died Wednesday at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Cora Heverly, of this place.

Mrs. Meyer was born in Cherry Township in 1863 on the farm now owned by J.S. Hoffa. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Hoffa and lived all her life on a farm in this section and at Mildred. She is survived by two daughters, Mrs. C.T. Lilley of Sayre and Mrs. Cora Heverly of this place, and two sons, Frank of Mildred and Henry of New Berlin, Pa.

Funeral services were held Friday morning in Zion's Lutheran Church. Interment at Thrasher's cemetery, Rev. W.H. Fehr officiating

Children of Maria & John Meyer:

1. Jacob Francis Meyer 1856-

2. Matilda Meyer 1859-1933

3. Henry Meyer 1861-19

4. Infant son died October 18, 1867

5. Daniel Meyer 1869-died May 4, 1869; 18 days old

6. Cora Meyer 1871-1955

8. JOHN HENRY HOFFA (Jacob Hoffa) born October 8, 1840; died March 25, 1907

Married Margaret Umholtz on August 7, 1864.  She was born November 26, 1837; died April 5, 1915.

The Sullivan Review
March 28, 1907

John J. Hoffa died at his residence on Carpenter Street about four o’clock Monday morning, March 25, aged 66 years, eight months and 15 days.

Funeral services were held at the Lutheran church Wednesday evening and this (Thursday) morning the remains were taken to Pittston for interment.

He is survived by his wife and a number of children, all grown.

When the war broke out in 1861 John Hoffa was among the first to offer his services to his country, and marched away with the Fifty-eight Regiment to the defense of the capital. At the close of the war, it was Lieutenant John Hoffa that came home. Soon after the close of the ware he removed from this place to the Wyoming Valley, and for many years was engaged in mining and in business at Pittston, and other places.

Steadily failing health compelled him to relinquish business about four years ago, and he returned to Dushore to spend the remainder of his life.

The Sullivan Review
July 7, 1915

Mrs. Margaret Hoffa died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Daisy Lamberson, on Monday, July 5th at the age of 75 years. Funeral services will be held Thursday at the house at 2 o'clock and the body will be taken to Pittston where interment will be made.

Deceased is survived by five sons and two daughters, Chas. and Arthur of Maryland, Maurice of W. Va., James of Pine Hill, Harry of Altoona, Mrs. Amos Creamer of New York and Mrs. Lamberson of this place

Children of John & Margaret Umholtz Hoffa:

1. Charles William-1865-

2. Howard Hanson Hoffa 1867-1882

3. Maurice Elmore Hoffa 1868-

4. Mary Florence Hoffa 1870-1919

5. Katie E. Hoffa 1872-died July 24, 1874 aged 2 years 1 month & 14 days.

6. Augustus Frank Hoffa 1874-

7.  John Richard Hoffa

8. Jennie Caroline Hoffa 1875-1876

9. Margaret Alice Hoffa 1879-

10. Arthur Philip Hoffa 1880-1968

11. James Hoffa 1883-

12. Harry Hoffa

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