Blogging Prompts, Census Sunday, Hoffmann, Hoffmann Line, Schmidt

Census Sunday – Jacob Hoffmann in Illinois

Jacob Hoffmann, 1900 Census
Jacob Hoffmann, 1910 Census

Our Hoffmann emigrant ancestor, Jacob, appears in only two U.S. census records, having come to this country in 1883 and died in 1914. In 1900 Jacob appears in Fountain Creek Township, Iroquois County, Illinois. He had lived in this location for nine years, having purchased 160 acres 1/4 mile east and 1/4 mile north of Fountain Creek proper. This original farmhouse still stands; Jacob’s two youngest children, Samuel J. (born September 9, 1891) and Lucy (born July 1893) were born here.

June 2, 1900 Fountain Creek Twp., Livingston, Illinois 
23 23 Hoffman Jacob Head W M Sept 1836 63 M 25 France France France 1883 17 Farmer
—Christine Wife W F Mar 1850 50 M 25 7 6 France France France 1883 17
—Paul Son W M May 1878 22 S France France France 1883 17 No Farm Laborer 
—Andrew son W M May 1884 16 S Illinois France France Farm Laborer
—Maggie Daughter W F Sept 1888 11 S Illinois France France at School
—Sammie Son W M Sept 1891 6 S Illinois France France at School
—Louisa Daughter W F July 1893 6 S Illinois France France at School

This census lists Lucy as “Louisa,” though Louise was in fact an older daughter who died in 1884. Louise accounts for the fact that Jacob’s wife Christine is listed as having given birth to seven children, six of whom are still living. His first wife, Annette, had given birth to a further ten.

On September 16, 1908, Christine Schmidt Hoffmann herself died:

Mrs. Jacob Huffman of near East Lynn, died Wednesday night after a lingering illness of several months.  She will be buried this afternoon at the Amish cemetery. 

Jacob then rented the Fountain Creek farm to his son Andy. Two years later, the 1910 census finds the widowed Jacob living with Lucy on 4th Street in Fairbury, Illinois:

April 21 1910 Fairbury City, Indian Grove Twp., Livingston, Illinois
4th St
18 18 Hoffman Jacob Head M W 74 Wd Ger German Ger German Ger German 1880 na English own income
—Lucy Daughter F W 16 S Illinois Ger German Ger German English none

Some four years later, on January 20, 1914, Jacob died and was buried in Graceland Cemetery in Fairbury. It would be interesting to know how many of Fairbury’s current residents can claim a connection with Jacob.

Blogging Prompts, Census, Montgomery Line, Research, Roberg, Thriller Thursday, Wilson

Thriller Thursday – The Disappearance of Sena Roberg

One of the stories that sparked my early interest in genealogy and family history is that of Sena Roberg. Born June 2, 1884 in Boone County, Nebraska to Anders and Agnette Roberg, she was the younger sister of my great-grandmother Sophie (Roberg) Wilson. My grandma, in relating to me the history of her family, stated simply that Sena had “disappeared” and that no one ever knew what became of her.

She appears in the 1900 census with her parents and brothers, apparently nicknamed “Sadie.”  Three years later she married Charles A. Johnson, born about 1873. On August 9, 1906 their daughter Esther was born. As has been detailed before, in October 1908 Charles traveled to enter a homestead drawing but never returned, having been run over by a train at the Oakdale (Nebraska) Railroad Yards. Sena was apparently expecting another child at this time.

In the 1910 census, Sena is again living with her parents and two daughters: Esther, age 3, and Clara, age 1. Research by cousin David Johnson reveals a history of legal disputes over Sena’s inheritance from her husband, guardianship of her daughters, and compensation demanded as a result of Charles Johnson’s death.

Sena married at least twice more – once to H. E. Fisher around 1911, then to a Mr. Evans (a traveling salesman) before 1915. I have yet to find her in any other census records. According to stories told by her sister Sophie, she later moved to Omaha, came home for a visit, then returned to Omaha to have minor surgery, and was never heard from again, in spite of newspaper advertisements attempting to locate her.

Her daughters on April 6, 1915 had been placed under the guardianship of their grandfather Anders, though they may have continued to live with a family named Bruland. I’m unsure what became of Clara, but Esther would marry John Bowen and remain in touch with her cousin, my grandmother, over the years.  Esther died February 23, 1997 in Nebraska.