About bethesdaalice

Born in 1950, I have been doing genealogical research since before 1990. If DNA or documents say that we share ancestors, I will help you as you work your own ancestral puzzle.

DNA test to see if you’re a HUFFORD

Autosomal DNA has become something of a “drug” for me, and my favorite DNA company these days is ancestry[dot]com.

For those who believe they are HUFFORD descendants, an autosomal DNA test at ancestry[dot]com  can be a quick way to confirm what you believe, or to have you scratch your head and do some rethinking.

When I search my DNA matches at ancestry to find others who have a HUFFORD in their trees, 72 matches pop. Of those 72, I know how all but six fit as descendants of Christian HOFFART b. 1716. Each of the six unknowns has a different story, and it may be that not all descend from Christian. There are other HUFFORD lines in the USA, and my ancestral connection with some may be other than HUFFORD; my DNA shares with the unknowns are quite small.

But a neat thing about ancestry’s service (if you are a subscriber in addition to just a DNA test taker) is the service they call “ThruLines.” Ancestry’s computer brain compares my DNA to my DNA matches. Then, it looks for matches in trees. Not only does the computer brain look for matches in the public trees displayed by my matches, the computer brain also looks for matches found using private trees. If a match is found, the computer brain will offer up what it finds. For me, the computer brain found 55 DNA matches such that the computer brain was willing to ID us as, for example, 2nd cousins once-removed, or 4th cousins twice-removed, and so forth.

Sometimes ThruLines will show names for the entire line. Sometimes ThruLines will show only male or female. Usually, even when no names are shown, I know and can figure out HUFFORD lines of descent well enough to determine the line and verify it with records.

If you believe that you are a HUFFORD descendant, an autosomal DNA test with ancestry[dot]com can quickly give you verification. If you have questions, give me a shout, and I’ll help as I’m able.

Hufford Y-DNA

R-L44 and R-L48

Those are the two paternal haplogroups that I’ve seen.

Every man got his paternal haplogroup (his Y-haplogroup) from his father, who got it from his father, who got it from his father, who got it from his father, and so on. Over many generations, there can be small, modest mutations/variations, but all straight-line male descendants of a man are going to have the same Y-haplogroup — or something pretty darned close to the same.

Folks who do autosomal DNA testing with the company 23andMe get a bonus: They learn their paternal and maternal haplogroups. Whoopie! Only a few days ago did I realize that fact means there is more data to mine. 🙂 I found Y-DNA information for three men who are known paper-trail descendants of Casper Hoffert (1762-1825), son of the immigrant Christian (1716-1788):
One descends from Andrew Hufford (1827-1881), grandson of Casper: R-L44
One descends from Emanual Hufford (1831-1913), grandson of Casper: R-L48
One descends from Henry Hufford (1836-1908), grandson of Casper: R-L48

A fourth man carries the HUFFORD surname and shares plenty of autosomal DNA with those three men and with other identified Hufford descendants; however, I do not know who he is, and he does not respond to my queries. But the fact that he shares autosomal DNA with known Hufford descendants and carries the Hufford surname makes clear that he’s a Hufford descendant. His Y-haplogroup: R-L44

Because of that R-L44 Y-haplogroup, three days ago I sent an email to a man with a last name very different from HUFFORD: “I don’t know who your biologicial father is, but I can tell that your biological paternal grandfather was Clarence Hufford.”

The man was carrying that Hufford Y-DNA, and he shared enough autosomal DNA with two known grandchildren of Clarence Hufford that it was clear he was their first-cousin. That meant that Clarence had to be his grandfather also, and that he had to be the son of one of Clarence’s sons. Within 12 hours, the man had enough information to know which of those sons of Clarence was his biological father. Because there are living people involved, I’ll share no more, other than to say that the newly found Hufford descendant is one to be proud of: Served as a U.S. Marine, and has been a fireman for 25 years. He descends from Casper’s son Michael William Hufford, Sr. (1804-1875).

Thus, we have four known descendants of Casper. Two are R-L44; two are R-L48. And we have another obvious Hufford descendant who is R-L44, but I do not know his descent.

If any straight-line male Hufford descendant has done a Y-DNA test, I’d love to hear from you.

My knowledge of Y-DNA haplogroups is limited. There is information of interest here:
2019 Haplogroup R Tree
That is found at ISOGG’s page on the Y-DNA haplogroup treeic Genealogy. (ISOGG is International Society of Genetic Genealogy.)

This graphic is a screen shot from that page, showing the differences between R-L44 and R-L48:

DNA proof of Hufford descendant born into slavery


The 1909 HUFFORD FAMILY HISTORY tracks descendants of Christian HOFFART who was born in 1716 in (or very near) Schwaigern, Germany. He arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on September 15, 1729, with his parents – Hans Jorick Hoffart and Anna Margaretha Most – and with his younger sister Anna Margaretha Hoffart. The 1909 book briefly mentions his parents and sister on page 8, but it badly garbles the information, even incorrectly stating the German city of origin.

Additionally, the book makes no mention of Christian’s older sister, Anna Christina Hoffart, who did not travel with her parents and siblings in 1729 because she was newly married and pregnant with her first child.  Anna Christina had married Johann Casper CREAGER on August 17, 1728, in the Lutheran church in Schwaigern, Germany. When her family sailed in 1729, Anna Christina was pregnant. Her child was born September 5, 1729, in Schwaigern, ten days before her parents arrived in Philadelphia. Anna Christina, her husband, and their infant son arrived in Philadelphia in 1730.

Already I had tracked some descendants of Christian’s sister Anna Christina because Christian’s daughter Christina HOFFART (b. 1749) married Anna Christina’s son Adam CREAGER (b. 1737) – a marriage of first cousins.

In about 2010 while tracking descendants of Christian’s son Daniel (b. abt 1755), I bumped into a descendant of Christian’s sister Anna Christina:  Susan S. HUFFORD was born in about 1816 in Kentucky; she was the daughter of David Hufford (1781-1831), who was the son of Daniel Hoffart (Christian’s son). Sometime before 1850, Susan married her 3rd-cousin Enoch LINK. Susan was the great-granddaughter of Christian Hoffart and his 1st wife (Elizabeth Keim); Enoch was the great-grandson of Anna Christina Hoffart — Christian’s sister. Both Susan and her husband Enoch were the two-greats grandchildren of that German couple who had arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1729 — Hans Jorick Hoffart and Anna Margaretha Most. A 3rd-cousin marriage is of no surprise, and my interest at that point was tracking Susan, since she was the Christian Hoffart descendant.

Susan shows on the 1850 census of Scott Co., KY, as “Susan Link.” Her age as listed likely is not correct:  29. She is with her husband Enoch, her dead grandfather’s widow (Barbara), a half-uncle (Eli), a spinster half-aunt (Mary), and a widowed half-aunt (Delila). Her husband was farming, and value of his real estate was $3,000; in today’s money, that would be over $95,000. The $3,000 value of real estate was about average for the land-owning farmers in that time and place. In 1850, the population of Scott County was just under 15,000. Size of the county: 285 square miles, meaning over 180,000 acres.


Christian’s son Daniel

Christian’s son Daniel (b. abt 1755) got short shrift in the book. Daniel had a total of 15 children by two wives. However, the book has traces of only two of Daniel’s children: Information about Daniel’s son William David is at page 258 of the 1909 HUFFORD FAMILY HISTORY. Information about Daniel’s grandson Joel (son of Daniel’s son David) is at page 252 of the book.

Thanks to Jim Hufferd (descendant of Christian’s son Daniel) and to Barry Wood (descendant Christian’s son Christian II), we have been able to piece together the basics of the life of Christian’s son Daniel. We have no photograph of Daniel, but we have his signature:

Daniel was born in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania in about 1755. When Daniel was about five years old, his father moved the family to Frederick County, Maryland. On August 23, 1779, Daniel married Elizabeth CASSELL in Frederick County, MD. Daniel was about 24; his wife likely was a year or two younger.

Daniel and Elizabeth spent the early years of their marriage in Maryland, with Daniel developing a trade. Land transfers and purchases found in the Maryland Archives show that Daniel was involved in leatherwork. A transaction from 1779 lists him as a “cordwainer,” someone who makes shoes from cordovan leather.

Daniel’s first three children – David, Joseph, and Daniel Jr. — were born in Maryland; the third was baptized at the Pipe Creek Brethren Church, in an area that is in Carroll County, MD, in modern times.

Daniel was in Harrison County, Kentucky, by 1789 when his fourth child (John) was born. He and his wife Elizabeth lived near Berry, KY, on Raven Creek, and had four more children: Rachel, Deborah, Jacob, and William David. (Yes, he had a son “David” and also a son “William David.”)

Sometime after January 25, 1800, and before May 4, 1801, Elizabeth died, leaving Daniel with four children under ten years old.

On May 27, 1801, in Bourbon County, KY, Daniel married Barbara DAVID, daughter of William Henry DAVID and Mary Ann SIMMONS. Daniel was about 46 years old; Barbara was about 26. Barbara’s father was 15 years older than Daniel, and her father and Daniel were friends. (Barbara was named in her father’s will as “Barbary HUFFORD.” That will was recorded October 13, 1819, in Will Book F, Page 313; Bourbon Co., KY.)

Daniel and Barbara had seven children, born over a span of about 14 years: Daniel, Susannah, Catharine, Benjamin, Mary Ann, Delila, and Eli.

Daniel died sometime in 1817, and on January 8, 1818, his property was sold at an estate sale. When Daniel died, he had 12 children living: from his first marriage, David, John, Rachel, Deborah, Jacob, and William David; from his second marriage, Daniel, Susannah, Benjamin, Mary Ann, Deliah, and Eli. His son Joseph (from his first marriage) had died before February 1813, leaving one son.

Researching Daniel’s descendants provided a shock for me: I descend from Christian’s son Casper, and Casper and his brood were heavily into the German Baptist Brethren Church. Like Mennonites and Quakers, Brethren are Anabaptists and pacifists. Also like Mennonites and Quakers, the Brethren Church strongly opposed slavery. Brethren were barred from holding people as slaves. In Maryland, African Americans joined the church, and in 1835 the church affirmed that membership should be the same for people regardless of the color of their skin.

What is below is from the Church of the Brethren web site. It explains the Brethren response to slavery:

What did the Dunkers believe concerning slavery, at the official denominational level? Since the Dunkers or Brethren had migrated from Pennsylvania into a few southern States (Maryland, Virginia) with significant slave populations, the issue of slavery would inevitably confront them denominationally at their Annual Conference. The earliest record of an official mention was in their Annual Conference minutes for 1797, held at Blackwater, Virginia: “It was considered good, and also concluded unanimously, that no brother or sister should have negroes as slaves; and in case a brother or sister had such he or she was to set them free.” This had the effect of barring members from Communion and even disfellowshipping those who persisted in retaining slaves. Again the issue was similarly reflected in the minutes of the 1813 Conference held at Coventry, Pennsylvania.

But how did the Dunkers feel about having slaves or negroes in full membership status? The first mention is found in the 1835 Conference minutes from Cumberland County, Pennsylvania: “It is considered, that inasmuch as the gospel is to be preached to all nations and races, and if they come as repentant sinners, believing in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and apply for baptism, we could not confidently refuse them.

Should members “hire” slaves from slaveholders, thus evading any ruling concerning ownership while still enjoying the benefits of their labor? It was a very common practice in slave States for people to hire slaves from their masters under a contractual agreement: so many slaves, for so much work, for such a period of time. Questions regarding slavery or related matters repeatedly came to the Dunker or Brethren Annual Conference for consideration, but one of the more definitive pronouncements is found in the minutes of the 1855 Conference held at Linville Creek, Virginia: “We, the Brethren of Augusta, Upper and Lower Rockingham, Shenandoah, and Hardy counties having in general council meeting assembled at the church on Linville Creek; and having under consideration the following questions concerning those Brethren holding slaves at this time and who have not complied with the requisition of Annual Meeting of 1854, conclude: That they make speedy preparation to liberate them either by emancipation or by will, that this evil may be banished from among us, as we look upon slavery as dangerous to be tolerated in the church; it is tending to create disunion in the Brotherhood, and is a great injury to the cause of Christ and the progress of the church. So unitedly we exhort our brethren humbly, yet earnestly and lovingly, to clear themselves of slavery, and that they may not fail and come short of the glory of God, at the great and notable day of the Lord. Furthermore, concerning Brethren who hire a slave or slaves, and paying wages to their owners, we do not approve of it. The same is attended with evil which is combined with slavery. It is taking hold of the same evil which we cannot encourage, and should be banished and put from among us, and cannot be tolerated in the church.

Long before cannons sounded in Charleston harbor, the Dunkers repeatedly gave clear and unambiguous official statements regarding their beliefs over the issue of slavery. It was an “evil” that could not be “tolerated in the church” because the “gospel of Jesus Christ was to be preached in all nations to all races.”

That’s what I knew about my Huffords, and I had assumed that all of Casper’s siblings were Brethren and had lived similar lives. I was wrong. While working on the story of Christian’s son Daniel, I learned that some of Daniel’s descendants held slaves:

  • The 1850 Slave Schedule shows Daniel’s widow Barbara in Scott Co., KY, with three slaves: a 40-year-old man, a 14-year-old girl, and a 10-year-old boy. All slaves described as black.
  • The 1850 Slave Schedule of Woodford Co., KY, shows the widow of Daniel’s grandson Joseph with two slaves: a 58-year-old man and a 14-year-old girl; both described as black.
  • The 1850 Slave Schedule of Harrison Co., KY, shows Daniel’s son John with five slaves: a 50-year-old woman, a 20-year-old man, a 15-year-old girl, a 14-year-old girl, and an 11-year-old boy; all described as black.
  • The 1860 Slave Schedule of Pike Co., Missouri, shows Daniel’s grandson James with 11 slaves: a 52-year-old woman, a 38-year-old man, a 36-year-old man, a 22-year-old man, a 22-year-old woman, a 19-year-old man, a 10-year-old girl, a 6-year-old boy, a 4-year-old boy, a 3-year-old girl, and a one-year-old girl. All were described as black.
  • The 1850 Slave Schedule of Scott Co., KY, shows Daniel’s grandson John Harvey Hufford with one slave: a 12-year-old girl.
  • The 1860 Slave Schedule of Woodford Co., KY, shows Daniel’s granddaughter Catherine STONE (Mrs. PAYNE) as holding one slave, a 40-year-old woman, described as black.

That was all shocking to learn, but it is not something that I’ll gloss over or pretend was not so.

Below is a list of Daniel’s descendants, through his grandchildren. It is presented in graphic form rather than text format because the software for this blog does not allow for proper indenting for a descendancy chart:descend-1

PAGE NOTE: Daniel Hoffart’s son William David is listed on page 258 of the 1909 HUFFORD FAMILY HISTORY.

The Hufford descendant bear hunter

The recent work in proving where a HUFFORD descendant fits on the tree (she descends from the couple on page 81 of the 1909 HUFFORD FAMILY HISTORY) got me researching the 7th born child and 4th son of Elizabeth HUFFORD (b. 1851).  Elizabeth and her husband moved from Carroll County, Indiana, to Rolette County, North Dakota, for a few years around 1900. They took with them their five sons, who worked with their dad on the railroad. Those five sons never moved back to Indiana. They were men of a different breed, lots tougher than the Indiana corn belt.

One (George) settled in rural Saskatchewan and built a large, successful farm. One (William) farmed successfully in Minnesota, North Dakota, and finally in Washington state. One (Ted) was a railroad engineer, working out of North Dakota. One (Challence) became manager of the Great Northern Pacific Railroad, from Chicago west to the Pacific Ocean. And one, James Burton Hooker, became a big game guide and outfitter, while living in Dome Creek, British Columbia. He would attract wealthy, educated city folks to his remote corner of the world and take them bear hunting, and moose hunting, and hunting for any other big game animals in the area.

After years of hunting bears, he knew a few things, and he wrote about them in 1941, in an article published in the October 1941 issue of OUTDOOR LIFE magazine. Here’s what the bear hunter had to say, a full quote of his 1941 essay:

by J. B. Hooker

What will a grizzly do if he suddenly meets up with a man on his own stamping grounds? You can get plenty of opinions on that, most of them different, from men who have had some experience hunting the big beast. Some years ago I read a magazine article in which the writer claimed he could chase all the animals in North America with a buggy whip and a tin whistle.

I have reason to doubt that statement — not because it may be difficult, in this automobile age, to obtain a good buggy whip — but because I’ve spent practically 365 days a year in grizzly country for the last twenty-seven years. And I know of several occasions when the best buggy whips would have been a poor line of defense.

Take the case of Tom Meanie. In the late winter of 1925, Tom was working his trapline about twenty miles north of my place in British Columbia. He shot a moose for meat and then left it for a week. Later, he and a helper returned to spring the traps, and Tom sent his friend down a side line to pick up traps while he went over to the carcass to get meat. Never expecting a bear to be out that early, he took only an ax to chop off the frozen flesh.

From what we could reconstruct from his tracks later, he got within thirty-five yards of the moose carcass when a large grizzly ran out to meet him. That’s the place where Tom’s body was found. The bear had struck him and driven him down through the snowshoe trail to his knees; then he had fallen backward. The first blow seemed to have taken off half his skull and practically all his face; the second savage swipe removed the rest of the scalp.

The bear ran away and never returned directly to the body, although it came back and circled it several times before the police came in a week later.

I and my son Edward have had meet ups with grizzlies, when tin whistles would have been pretty poor weapons. Back in 1933 Edward, also working a trapline, was on his way home for Christmas, when about a mile and a half from the house he saw an animal moving in the twilight. At first he thought it was a wolverine, but when he came within 150 yards, he discovered it was a young grizzly. He started to whistle to scare it away, but the whistle had no terrors for the bear. Getting his scent, it started for him on the jump. Ed hollered and banged on a tree with a stick he carried to knock snow from his snowshoes, but the little battler came on with increased speed.

Ed decided it was time to clear the decks for action, so he unslung his .30/30, and when the bear was twelve feet away, he fired. The bullet struck the grizzly in the chest, passed through its heart, and killed it instantly.

From these incidents you might come to the conclusion that grizzlies will invariably charge a man. That wouldn’t be correct either. The truth is, or so I’ve found it, you never can tell just what the big bears will do. They seem to be very temperamental, to act on the spur of the moment. If they decide to run, then the whistle gets credit; but if one makes up his mind to charge, you’d better be ready with a rifle.

Years ago I was trapping beaver and had just finished springing traps before setting out for home. Loading my boat, I heard some walruses howl south of the cabin, so I paddled quickly across the river and started out to see if I could get a shot. Just entering the timber I got a whiff of decayed flesh, as I turned to face the wind, and there about thirty feet away I saw the head of a large bear over the alders and small spruce. I swung my .300 and fired, then moved out into the open. I soon found the bear, down and bleeding from the ears — finished. The bullet had struck him squarely in the mouth and blown up in the base of the brain. What might have happened, had I missed, no one knows, but from the look I got as he towered over the low growth I suspect it wouldn’t have been pleasant.

I took Herb Rondall of Minot, ND, out for bear in the spring of 1925. Well on the way, our boat got into trouble and filled. Most of the duffel was lost or ruined, so I had to go back afoot for replacements. Since Herb was going to use my gun in shooting, we only had that one along — and I left it with him for protection. Well, about two miles downriver I came on a large silvertip feeding on the remains of a cow moose and two calves which had been walrus killed some time during the preceding winter.

The bodies were in a little clump of spruce, so I didn’t see the bear until I was less than twenty yards away from him. He was chewing on a strip of skin that he’d torn from a moose leg. All I had was a hunting knife — no buggy whip or whistle — so I stood still and watched Mr. Grizzly. He chewed away on his moose skin, came out about five yards to look me over, walked off to the side for ten yards for a second onceover, and then ambled away, never looking back.

I beat it on downriver, decided that I’d been born to be hanged.

In the fall of 1931, James Butler and Charles Husler of Saskatoon, Sask., went out with me for their fourth consecutive hunt. Each of them carried a rifle, while I toted a fishing pole, and a pack sack with grub. I was in the lead, following a game trail back a little way from the river, when we came into a little meadow. There I saw a large pile of earth and grass, a grizzly cache, and beside it the grizzle himself. He sniffed, got our scent, and raised up on his hind legs.

Something warned me he was going to charge and I told the boys to get ready, dropping to the ground as I did so as to give them a fair shot. Without a pause the silvertip started for us, like a big silver ball bouncing down the slope. Visions of Tom Meanie flashed through my mind; then one of the hunters fired. Not so good — a hit in the left front leg. But the grizzly turned and went for a clump of spruce. The other rifle blasted out, and I got up and ran out to see the result. The bear was heading for the timber and not wasting time. Later on we discovered that he came back every night after that to finish his moose carcass.

Later I took out a party made up of Dr. E. M. Stanton, of Schenectady, NY, and his son Don. Don and my son Ed went up to the mountains for caribou, and after they’d gone, the doctor got a moose about half a mile above the cabin. When we went back the day after, we found that the carcass had been covered up by a grizzly, so we fixed up a seat and waited.

About 6 PM the old boy came down for his feed, and the doctor got him, first shot. We straightened the bear out for skinning and returned to the cabin. Next morning we went back to do the skinning. Here’s what happened, quoting from the doctor’s diary:

“We reached the carcass about 8 AM. A casual glance showed that two bears, a large grizzly and a smaller one, had left the moose carcass only a few minutes before — their tracks still held muddy water. We proceeded to take several photos, the last one being of me seated on a log beside the bear. Just as it was snapped, I became aware that at the other end of the log — perhaps twenty-five feet away in the alders — there was a live bear.

“We paid little attention and got busy with the skinning. But in about twenty minutes we were startled by the crack of branch in the woods above us, and on looking up, saw two grizzlies — a large female and a cub about three quarters her size — coming down a moose trail not fifty yards away.

“Hooker told me, if I’d stand guard, he’d take their pictures. Now, wild bears seem to pay no attention to the human voice, although they are greatly interested in other noises — breaking twigs, footfalls, etc. These two now came within thirty yards of us, stood up side by side, sniffed a bit, and then retired into the undergrowth.

“Until 12:30 PM, when I started to boil up our tea, those bears kept revisiting us, at intervals of about half an hour. First they’d arrive from one angle, then from another. At one time, the old she-bear came within thirteen yards of where I stood — I paced it off afterward.

“Unfortunately there were only two unexposed negatives left in the camera when the bears came on the scene. When Hooker finally got a chance to photograph them, as I stood on the alert with my rifle, he seemed calm, but he hopelessly underexposed the shots.”

So I say — you can’t tell what a grizzly will do.

The next year I went out with Dr. G. Scott Towne, of Saratoga Springs, NY. The doctor, having killed a grizzly and two caribou, was waiting for a shot at another caribou, while I cut some dry poles and ran them up river to the spot where the caribou carcasses were lying, intending to build a crow’s nest in a tree.

At a spot about 150 yards from the caribou, I beached the boat and started inland. Passing the carcasses, I noticed they’d been covered up by a grizzly, so I turned around to go back for the doctor. There, ninety yards in front of me, was a nice big grizzly, just emerging from a bunch of alders.

Without any reason that I can discover, the bear rose up on his hind legs, let out a snort, and came for me — making about fifteen feet to the jump. I stood my ground until he was about twenty-five yards away, then decided it was time for action, so I cut loose and hit him in the chest. He let out a bellow and fell on his right side, but he got up again and headed away. I thought he was hard hit and I might as well finish him, so I fired again as he went through an opening. Down, with another bellow you could have heard for miles, then up and away.

I got Dr. Towne and we followed the blood trail for half a mile. The grizzly was bleeding badly — the doctor thought it was a lung shot and that he could not go far. But after he’d lain in a stream of cold water for a while, the bear’s bleeding apparently stopped, and we had to give up the chase as it was getting dark.

Wounded badly? The very next night he came back and had a feed! Personally, I think he’s alive and well today. Sometimes, thinking over my meetings with grizzlies, I wonder that I am too.


The photo above is from the 1930s, in Dome Creek, British Columbia. Pictured are some of J.B. Hooker’s family. Behind the people are four bear skins hanging to dry, some antlers, and some animal skulls. The small building behind the hanging skins may have been a work shed.

PAGE NOTE: James Burton Hooker is listed with his parents and siblings on page 81 of the 1909 HUFFORD FAMILY HISTORY.