Info to send me if you want genealogical help

I’m more than happy to help other genealogists working HUFFORDS, even beginning genealogists.

However, PLEASE send full information when you send a query. A query like this won’t get you anywhere: “Are you related to my Aunt Rosemary who married John Hufford?” Seriously, I get some like that.

If you contact me seeking Hufford genealogical information, please include at least an approximate year and a place. Include as much information as possible so that I can pinpoint your Hufford among the several thousand in my database.

And, generally, I will not give information on the living, even if I have the information. The exception is with adoption. If you can prove to me that you descend from a Hufford, but you do not have the courage to make “that call,” I’ll do it for you. I have reunited adoptees with birth parents in a few instances. Sometimes it’s a good situation; sometimes it’s not. But my opinion is that someone has the right to be in contact with his/her own mother or father if that’s his/her choice.

But, please, no, “Are you related to my Aunt Rosemary who married John Hufford?”

Well, yes, through Adam and Eve. ūüėČ

HUFFORD gedcom file

The exchange of genealogical information used to be fueled by family group sheets. A family group sheet is a piece of paper with the names of a couple (in olden days, we knew that meant one man and one woman) and with the names of all children born to that union. In addition, the family group sheet would name the parents of the husband and the parents of the wife. (Yes, such old-fashioned terms.) And, the group sheet would give the names of the all spouses of the children. “Spouse” included someone with whom a child had been produced, even if there had been no legal marriage.

The sheet had the basics on the father, the mother, and each child: date & place born, date & place died, date & place married. A new group sheet was created for each child-producing union.

Then, we would arrange the family group sheets in manila folders and organize the folders in a way that we found useful.

In the 1980s, the LDS Church (Mormons, Latter-day Saints) introduced a DOS program called “Personal Ancestral File” that was “gedcom compatible.” And we began talking about “PAF” and “gedcoms.” With that advancement, the ability of genealogists to store, manipulate, and share genealogical data changed dramatically.

It so revolutionized the way genealogists store and share data that Amish genealogists now rent corners in offices to use computers to work with their data. My database contains over 40,000 names. It would not be possible for me to handle that amount of information with old-fashioned family group sheets and manila folders.

PAF has “grown up” and is now in a Windows format. (Don’t laugh, but I still use the old-fashioned DOS version that I began using in about 1994.)

You may download a free gedcom file of the descendants of Christian Hufford’s two-greats grandfather, Hans HOFFART who was born in about 1554 in Schwaigern, Germany. The file tracks eleven generations. CLICK HERE.

In order to read the gedcom file, you’ll need genealogy software, and you’ll need to know how to import a gedcom file. A gedcom file is a text file, and you’ll need gedcom compatible software to make sense of the gedcom file.

Periodically, I will upload updated versions of that file.

The long-term goal here

Christian Hufford (b. 1716 in Schwaigern) had at least 102 grandchildren. The long-term goal in this ‚ÄúHufford Genealogy: Volume II of The Hufford Family History‚ÄĚ will be to track the descendants of the grandchildren. Generally, I will track one generation beyond the loss of the HUFFORD name (by whatever spelling). However, I‚Äôll try to include all who are in the original book, and there will be some instances where I‚Äôll go beyond the guideline of one generation beyond the loss of the HUFFORD name.

Additionally, each post about an individual will have up to a three-name tag line. The tag line will show the descent from Christian. For example, the tag line ‚ÄúChristian > Casper > Michael‚ÄĚ means that the person being written about descends from Christian‚Äôs son Casper‚Äôs son Michael.

Of Christian’s 102 grandchildren, only 24 are mentioned in the book:
1 from son Christian
3 from son Philip (Three are named; there is information on only one.)
2 from son Daniel (One is an indirect inclusion as an ‚Äúunknown link.‚ÄĚ)
1 from son John
13 from son Casper
4 from son George (Four are named; there is information on only three.)

Christian’s 102 known grandchildren are on a descendants list HERE.

Black & white, 1860, Woodford Co., Kentucky

There’s a story behind an entry on the 1860 census, but I don’t have it figured out: Jacob BOSTON (Christian Hufford’s grandson through his daughter Barbara) was 48 and living in Versailles, Woodford Co., Kentucky, with his wife Catharine (33) and young children William (5) and Mary (4 months). Also in the household was Salem WATERS (41), a widowed father, with his children: Eliza (17), Joseph (16), Anna (15), and Elizabeth (12). All were born in Kentucky. Jacob and Salem were blacksmiths, as was Salem’s 16-year-old son Joseph.

None of that is surprising: Two blacksmiths join forces. One is widowed and has a daughter old enough to help with the child care of the other’s young children, and the teenaged male works with his father.

What is surprising is that the Waters all were coded “B” for “black.” In other words, it was an interracial household in 1860 in Woodford Co., Kentucky. None of the Waters were listed as “slaves.”

Jacob Boston had no real estate, but $2,000 in personal property (cash, tools). Salem Walters had $350 of real estate and $100 in personal estate. That suggests that Salem owned a small bit of real estate (all that would be needed for a blacksmith shop), and Jacob had some tools and money.

In 1850, Salem was living with his wife (Rebecca, 28) and his children: Eliza (7), Joseph (6), Anna B. (5), Henry H. (4), and Mary E. (2). (Mary would have been “Mary Elizabeth.” Henry was gone by 1860, presumably dead.) Salem was a blacksmith. Listed next to Salem was another WATERS family, headed by 33-year-old Elizabeth, and with Harriet (18) and Samuel (14). Salem himself was listed as a slave owner on the 1850 U.S. Slave Schedule for Woodford Co., Kentucky: one slave, a 35-year-old black male.

Salem survived the Civil War:

In June 1870, William J. Steele announced himself a Republican Party candidate for county judge in Woodford Coumty. Steele was a prominent farmer and attorney from Versailles and declared himself to be “a Union man from the very start.” As a Republican candidate in the post-Fifteenth Amendment era, Steele sought support from Woodford County’s sizable African American community. He spoke to a black audience at Versailles’s “Colored Baptist Church” in March, before ratification of the amendment. Prominent black leaders in Versailles — including a blacksmith, Salem Waters; a carpenter, Aaron Searcy; a plasterer, Andrew Jackson; and the Reverend William Turpin — all spoke in favor of Steele’s candidacy. Each of these relatively wealthy members of the town’s African American community eagerly anticipated voting for Steele after the Fifteenth Amendment’s final ratification …

That’s from “Rebels on the Border: Civil War, Emancipation, and the Reconstruction of Kentucky and Missouri,” by Aaron Astor, 2012. (15th Amendment, of course said that the right of U.S. citizens could not be denied based on race, color, or previous servitude.)

By 1870 Salem had married again, to Jane. He was still in Versailles, working as a blacksmith, with $4,000 in real estate and $500 in personal property. He died before 1880 when Jane was listed as a widow, with one of Salem’s grandchildren living in her home. Salem’s son Joseph was working as a blacksmith in 1880, living in Clover Bottom, Woodford Co.

Was there any connection between Salem Waters and Jacob Boston other than two blacksmiths living together and working together in 1860? I can’t tell from the records that I’m finding. What I find interesting is that Christian Hufford’s grandson, a white man, was living and working side-by-side with a black man in 1860, in Kentucky.

A thank you to findagrave photo volunteers

Such nice words came in an email today:

I do not travel without checking your photo requests; when I am near one of yours, I get it.  I do not put forth the effort for just anyone.  Your effort on the Huffords is important work in my mind, and I hope to see it completed.

Those words came from a findagrave photo volunteer.  I hope I live up to his opinion. allows two groups to come together to dance, even though we never meet one another. One group enjoys photographing gravestones in cemeteries; the other group is into genealogy.

Because of findagrave photo volunteers whom I’ve never met, I’ve been able to verify information and open up several HUFFORD lines, all over the USA. ¬†There have been findagrave volunteers many states away who have done more than photograph gravestones: ¬†One in California has frequently checked records in a local courthouse. ¬†Another in California checked old newspapers from the 1800s to find what happened to a Hufford woman.

On findagrave, people often use pseudonyms.  Here are some of the volunteers who have extended themselves and helped with this study of the descendants of Christian Hufford born 1716 in Schwaigern: Barbara Nicholson, Bev Poling, Bob Brown, Cameron-Ashley Heath, Cami, Cindy Baldogo, Deb, dscott, Erich, Gravehunter1963, Jean Fremion McKibben, Jen Snoots, J.Sullivan, jsf1, Kevin & Georgetta, kimboyd-ellis, Larry A. Smith, Lavidaloca, Law-Miller Roots, Linda Huffman Powell, Linda Lacy, Lulabell, LV BRMNS, Michele, mutchmj, Nynaeve, rakjr, Rick France, ROB HUGHES, Sandra Bessent, Steve McCray, svh77, The Guardian, tut.

And there have been others, whose names have slipped through the cracks.

These people are complete volunteers, only a few are also Hufford descendants:  They have donated their time, the use of their cars, their gas, use of their cameras, use of their computers and internet access.  They have put out a good chunk of change, time, and work to do field work that I could not possibly have done.

At least one man did this volunteer work at a time when he was unemployed and could not find work during the economic collapse that began in 2008. ¬†Genealogists owe a deep debt to the WPA researchers and scribes of the “Great Depression” of the 1930s. ¬†In the future, genealogists will owe a deep debt to countless unnamed findagrave volunteers.

Christian Hufford’s descendants through his great-grandchildren are listed HERE, with links to findagrave entries when burial site is known.