Gillian Hoffman, Somerset County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

Introduction: Gillian Hoffman is known as gunsmith at Jenner's Crossroads, Somerset County, Pennsylvania from an 1861 publication. One of the many children of the early Quemahoning and Jenner Township settler Jacob Hoffman, Gillian Hoffman lived much of his life in Somerset County, moved to Johnstown (Cambria County) late in life, and died there in 1885.

1783-1784: The following excerpt from the 1906 book "History of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania" shows Jacob Hoffman (Gillian Hoffman's father) living in Quemahoning Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania in the 1783 to 1784 timeframe. Part of Quemahoning Township became Jenner Township in 1811.

1796: The following excerpt from the 1884 book "History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania" shows Jacob Hoffman (Gillian Hoffman's father) living in Quemahoning Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania in 1796.

Circa 1797: Calculating from the information on his tombstone, Gillian Hoffman was born circa 1797. Adam J. Barrone's "Hoffman Genealogy Page indicates that Gillian Hoffman was one of the many children of Jacob & Christena (Beam) Hoffman of Jenner Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, and has a photo of Gillian and Rachel (Shaffer) Hoffman.

1811: The following excerpt from the 1906 book "History of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania" indicates that Jenner Township was formed from Quemahoning Township in 1811, and indicates that Jacob Hoffman was one of the early settlers of Jenner Township.

1814: The following excerpt from the 1906 book "History of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania" identifies Jacob Hoffman as a charter member of the Hoffman Lutheran Church. Click here to read more about the Hoffman Church from the 1918 book "History of the Alleghany Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Pennsylvania".

1821: According to the following death certificate, Pennsylvania born Gillian Hoffman and Rachel Shaffer had a daughter named Eva on October 26, 1821 in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. She is buried at the Grandview Cemetery in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, where her tombstone inscription states, "Eva Hoffman Oct. 26, 1821. Oct. 14, 1916."

1826: A tombstone at the Saint James Lutheran Church Cemetery in Somerset County, Pennsylvania is inscribed, Isaac Hoffman born May 1, 1826. Died Nov. 25, 1911. A website indicates that this individual was a son of Gillian Hoffman and Rachel Shaffer.

1827: The Whiskers' 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" putts Gilian/Kilian Hoffman in Quemahoning Township of Somerset County in 1827.

1830: A Killan Hoffman household appears in the 1830 census of Conemaugh Township, Cambria County with one male in the 30 to 40 age group, one female in the 20 to 30 age group, one male in the 15 to 20 age group, one male and one female in the 5 to 10 age group, and one male and two females in the up to five age group. I did not find a Gillian Hoffman in a transcript of the 1830 census of Somerset County, Pennsylvania. In a transcript of the 1830 census of Jenner Township, the Jacob Huffman, Sr. household has one male and one female in the 60 to 70 age group.

1830: At the Saint James Lutheran Church Cemetery where Gillian and Rachel Hoffman are buried, an individual named Magdalena Horner is also buried. A website indicates she was born on March 23, 1830, died on May 3, 1903, and is a daughter of Gillian and Rachel Hoffman.

1833: The 1850 census suggests that Gillian and Rachel Hoffman had a son named Allen who was born circa 1833. At the Saint James Lutheran Church Cemetery where Gillian and Rachel Hoffman are buried, an individual named Allen Hoffman is also buried. A website indicates he was born on May 13, 1833, died on November 23, 1907, and was a son of Gillian Hoffman and Rachel Schaffer.

1835: The 1850 census suggests that Gillian and Rachel Hoffman had a son named William who was born circa 1835. A tombstone at the Evergreen Cemetery in Van Buren County, Michigan is inscribed, "William S. Hoffman 1835-1915. Gone home". A website indicates this individual was a son of Gillian Hoffman and Rachel Schaffer.

Circa 1839: The 1850 census suggests that Gillian and Rachel Hoffman had a daughter named Elizabeth who was born circa 1839.

1840: A Gilleon Hoffman household appears in the 1840 census of Richland Township, Cambria County with one male and one female in the 30 to 40 age group, one female in the 20 to 30 age group, one male and one female in the 15 to 20 age group, one male and one female in the 10 to 15 age group, one male in the 5 to 10 age group, and one male and one female in the up to 5 age group. One individual in the household was engaged in agriculture and one in manufacturing. I did not find Gillian Hoffman in a transcript of the 1840 censuses of Somerset or Bedford counties, Pennsylvania. I did find a Jacob Hoffman, Sr. and a Jacob Hoffman, Jr. in a transcript of the 1840 census of Jenner Township.

1841: The 1850 and 1860 censuses suggest that Gillian and Rachel Hoffman had a son named Jacob who was born circa 1841. An individual named Jacob Hoffman is buried at the Robinson Cemetery in Van Buren County, Michigan with a tombstone that is inscribed, "Father Jacob 1841-1922". A website indicates that this individual was a son of Gillian and Rachel Hoffman.

1842: The following excerpt from the November 1985 "Laurel Messenger" newsletter indicates that the estate of Christina Hoffman's deceased husband Jacob Hoffman was filed on January 12, 1842. Jacob Hoffman, Sr. and his wife are buried at the Hoffman Zion Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery. The tombstones are legible, but bear no dates.

1843: The 1850 census suggests that Gillian and Rachel Hoffman had a daughter named Catherine who was born circa 1843. According to the following death certificate, Catherina Maria Conser was a daughter of Gillian Hoffman and Rachel Shaffer, and was born on February 17, 1843 in Pennsylvania.

1844: The following excerpt from the 1896 book "Biographical And Portrait Cyclopedia of Cambria County, Pennsylvania" indicates that Killian Hoffman's daughter Eve Hoffman married her first cousin Joseph Hoffman on April 20, 1844.

Circa 1846: The 1850 and 1860 censuses suggest that Gillian and Rachel Hoffman had a son named Josiah who was born circa 1846.

1850: In the 1850 census of Jenner Township, Gillian Hoffman is enumerated as a 51-year-old farmer with a value of $3,000.00. Also living in his household are 49-year-old Rachel, 17-year-old Allen, 15-year-old William, 11-year-old Elizabeth, 9-year-old Jacob, 7-year-old Catherine, and 4-year-old Josiah, all Pennsylvania-born.

1854: Gillian and Rachel Hoffman's daughter Elizabeth reportedly married John H. Landers, son of Richard and Margery Landers, on October 5, 1854 in Jenner Township.

1860: The following excerpt is from the 1860 census of Jenner Township.

1861: According to Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle", Sillian (sic) Hoffman is somehow identified as a gunsmith at Jenner's Crossroads (Somerset County) in 1861. One other book I've seen gives the first name as "Gillian" which was a first name then in use in Somerset County for men. The Whiskers' 1983 booklet puts Gilian/Kilian Hoffman at Jenner's Crossroads in Somerset County in 1861, and mentions the 1861 edition of Boyd's Directory.

1866: Rachel Hoffman died on September 10, 1866 and is buried at the Saint James Lutheran Church Cemetery (40.19001182, -79.02322100), which is 3.7-miles (by road) northeast of Jennerstown.

1870: The following excerpt is from the 1870 census of Johnstown, in Cambria County, and puts Gillian Hoffman in the Fifth Ward.

The following excerpt from the 1867 map of Cambria County identifies the location of Johnstown's Fifth Ward.

The following notice from the June 20, 1890 issue of the "Johnstown Democrat" newspaper locates the property of the late Gillian Hoffman on the west side of Morris Street:

1878: The following item is from the November 26, 1879 issue of the "Somerset Herald" newspaper. The Gillian Hoffman who died in 1879 is buried at the Saint James Lutheran Church Cemetery. His tombstone indicates that he died at age 26, which means he cannot be the 1861 gunsmith.

1880: The following excerpt is from the 1880 census of Johnstown, in Cambria County. Gillian Hoffman is living with his son-in-law William Conser and his daughter Catherine Maria Conser.

1885: Gillian Hoffman died June 23, 1885 at age 88 is buried at the Saint James Lutheran Church Cemetery. One genealogy website indicates that this is the gunsmith, he was born on January 31, 1797, and married Rachel Schafer in 1820.

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