[Last updated: 2 March 2015]

Johan Friederich Stembel (Grandfather)

Frederick Stembel (Father)

Mary Margaret Stembel

MARY MARGARET STEMBEL Hoffman (1793? - after 1850)

Mary is a bit of a mystery. I surmise she was born in the early 1790s, but I have not found a record of her birth. This is odd, because the Middletown church records seem very complete for this period, and we know that her parents, Frederick and Esther, were well established in Middletown by this time. We know of her existence because she appears in her father's will listed as one of his offspring. In the 1850 census, her age was given as 57 which would mean she was born about 1793, in which case her mother was about 43 years old at her birth.

Records show she married Jacob Hoffman on February 27, 1816. Jacob's father was well known in the community and Jacob was quite active as well. He was Treasurer of the Middletown Reformed Church from 1819-21 and 1824-25.(1) He was Middletown's postmaster in 1825, and was also reportedly Middletown's first Burgess after its incorporation as a town in 1834 (this has yet to be confirmed).

Dr. McLean's research (McLean was an early Stembel family researcher) was able to identify four children born to Mary and Jacob: two boys and two girls (Ann Elizabeth, Jacob, Mary Jane, and Henry). However, the federal census of 1830 shows six children under the age of 16 living in their household.

The last census in which the Hoffmans were recorded in Frederick County was the 1840 census. After Mary's father died in 1840, she inherited a rather large sum of money. It appears the money was used to buy a farm in Indiana, for in the 1850 census they are found living in Warren County, Indiana, near the town of Williamsport. The census also yielded the names of three more children, for a total of seven.

In the 1860 census Jacob was still living in Warren County, but Mary wasn't present. Ten years later neither Mary nor Jacob were found in Warren County, although one of their adult children were still living in the county. I assume Mary died between 1850 and 1860 and Jacob died between 1860 and 1870, both dying in Warren County. However, I have not found their tombstones in any of the Warren County cemeteries.

Mary and Jacob Hoffman's children:

A. William Frederick (1818-after 1910). William was born February 13, 1818, and baptized in Middletown's Christ Reformed Church on April 10th of the same year. On May 9, 1840, he married Mary Catherine Uhler in Attica (Fountain County), Indiana. They had at least six children, all born in Indiana. Between 1880 and 1900 they moved to Douglas County, Nebraska. Mary died in Douglas County in 1904, and soon after, William moved to Los Angeles, California, to live with his son, Frank. William was recorded in the 1910 census living with his son in Los Angeles. He was 92. He died sometime after the 1910 census, for he didn't appear in the 1920 census.

William and Mary Catherine Hoffman's children:

    1. Elizabeth (c1844- ?). The only record I have of Elizabeth is her appearance in the 1850 census when she was 6 years old, so she was born around 1844. She did not appear in the 1860 census (she would have been 16) or any subsequent censuses.
    2. Anna J. (c1847- ?). Anna was born in December of 1847. She remained single all her life and lived with her parents as they moved to Nebraska, and eventually followed her siblings to Los Angeles. She never had an occupation that was recorded in the censuses. She last appeared in the 1920 census (age 72).
    3. Frank Y. (c1851- ?). Frank was born about 1851 in Indiana. By the 1870 census, at the age of 18 he reported a personal estate valued at $1,200, an impressive sum for someone so young. About 1875 he married Caroline (last name unknown). They had two children, Anna and Ethel. Sometime before 1880 Frank moved his family to Ambia (Benton County) Indiana, where he was a carpenter. I have not found a census record for him in 1900 so I don't know if he accompanied his parents to Nebraska or not, but by the 1910 census he had moved to Los Angeles where his carpenter skills were no doubt in high demand. He was still living in Los Angeles in the 1920 and 1930 censuses, however his name was recorded as Francis. In 1930, his marital status was listed as WD, widower, so Caroline died between 1920 and 1930. In 1930, 79 year-old Frank was recorded living with his daughter, Ethel, who was a 52 year-old single school teacher.
    4. Charles N. (c1854- ?). Charles was born about 1854 in Indiana. On May 20, 1877, he married Ella Hamk in Warren County, Indiana. Three years later, in the 1880 census, he and Ella (recorded as Ellena in the census) were recorded next to his parents in Rainsville (Warren County). His occupation was physician. No children were present in the household. Strangely, this is the last record we have of Charles, as he didn't show up in any subsequent censuses. I assume he died between 1880 and 1900 (the 1890 census having been destroyed in a fire).
    5. Arthur W. (c1858- ?). Arthur is elusive. He was born about 1858 in Indiana. In the 1880 census he is living with his parents in Rainsville (Warren County) as a single 22 year old school teacher. I could not find a census record of him for 1900, but in the 1910 census he was recoded living in Humboldt (Yavapai County), Arizona, working as a house carpenter. He is married, his wife's name is Alice and they have a 14 year-old son, William. That is the last census record of him that I could find. However, in the 1930 census, his son William, a veteran of WW I, was a patient in a veterans hospital in Arizona. He's been married for nine years, but I'm not sure where his wife was living or if they had any children.
    6. Edward E. (1860- ?). Edward was born in February of 1860, in Indiana. He was enumerated twice in the 1880 census, once in his childhood home of Rainsville (Warren County), where his occupation was carpenter, and a second time in nearby Ambia (Benton County), where his occupation was school teacher. I assume that at the time of the census, Edward was in the middle of moving to Ambia where he had just taken a position as a teacher in the local school. Sometime about 1885 he married Susan (last name unknown) and had two daughters, Beatrice and Louise. Evidently he moved with his parents to Nebraska sometime before 1900 where he remained until sometime before 1920 when he appears in the census living in Los Angeles working for the post office. He and his wife were still living in Los Angeles in the 1930 census.

B. Ann Elizabeth (1820- ?). Ann was born on June 17, 1820, in Middletown (Frederick County), Maryland, and baptized in Middletown's Christ Reformed Church. On September 7, 1842, she married Joel W. R. Marsh in Frederick County. [UPDATE: Unfortunately, this is incorrect. Evidently there were two Ann Elizabeth Hoffmans living in Middletown in the 1840s, both about the same age. The Ann Elizabeth Hoffman who married Joel Marsh was not Mary Margerette and Jacob's daughter. Thus, I've removed the narrative about their family from the website]. At this time I have not been able to determine what happened to Ann Elizabeth. She does not appear under her maiden name in the 1850 census so she may have married, but I've found no record of her marriage.

C. George Franklin (c1822- ?). The only record I have of George as an adult is his appearance in the 1850 census, living near Rainsville (Warren County), Indiana. He is a single, 28 year old merchant whose real estate was valued at $1,400, and yet he was boarding with a family. I have found no other record of George as of this writing.

D. Jacob Francis (1826- ?). Jacob was born on September 2, 1826, in Middletown (Frederick County), Maryland. The 1850 census shows he had recently moved to Sacramento, California, where he was a 24 year-old, single clerk. Soon after the census he returned to his family home in Indiana where he married Susan (last name unknown) and had two daughters, Fannie and Elizabeth, both born in Indiana. In the 1860 census they are living in Warren County, Indiana. Ten years later the 1870 census reveals Jacob's wife and two daughters are living with an older woman, who might be Susan's mother, but no record of Jacob was found. I assume he died between 1860 and 1870.

E. Mary Jane (1829- ?). Mary was born on August 7, 1829, in Middletown (Frederick County), Maryland. Between 1840 and 1850 she moved with her family to Warren County, Indiana, where she married Clarkson Bateman on April 1, 1851. However, records show that Clarkson re-married in December 1857, in Fountain County, Indiana, so sometime between 1851 and 1857 they divorced or Mary died. I could not find a census entry for Mary as Mary Hoffman in the 1860 or 1870 censuses, but if she was still living, chances are she re-married before the 1860 census and took a new name.

F. Henry Fenton (1833-1833). Henry was born May 10, 1833, and baptized in the Middletown Reformed Church on August 8, 1833, but he died soon after, on September 9, 1833. He is buried in the Middletown Reformed Church cemetery.

G. John (c1834- ?). John was born about 1834 in Maryland. Between 1840 and 1850 he accompanied his family to their new home near Williamsport, in Warren County, Indiana. About 1859 John married Hester (last name unknown). A year later, in the 1860 census they were living with John's widowed father. They had three known children between 1861 and 1863, but in the 1870 census, John was not present, and Hester and their three children were living with what may have been Hester's mother, so it's likely that John died sometime after 1863. It's possible John served in the Civil War and was killed in action. Hester re-married in 1878.

John and Hester Hoffman's children:

    1. Laura (c1861- ?). Laura was born about 1861 in Indiana. In the 1870 census she was living with her (presumably) widowed mother near Rainsville (Warren County). She was a 19 year old single school teacher. I could not find her in the 1880 census so I assume she married and had a new last name.
    2. James H. (1862- ?). James was born in January 1862. He was a farmer all his life. Sometime around 1894 he married Lillie (last name unknown). They had a son and a daughter, Wilmer and Edna. Sometime between 1900 and 1910 they moved to a farm in Harper County, Oklahoma, where they continued to appear in the censuses through 1930.
    3. John C. (c1863- ?). The 1900 census asked what month and year each person was born. John gave his date of birth as March 1862, but we know his older brother was born in January 1862, so I assume John was really born a year later, in March, 1863. Evidently he never married for he continued to appear in the censuses through 1920 as a single male. He lived in Warren County all his life; his occupations ranged from landlord to farm worker to laborer. I could not find a record of him in the 1930 census. I assume he died between 1920 and 1930.


1. Maryland German Church Records, Vol. 2: Zion Lutheran Church, Middletown, Frederick County, 1781-1826. Translated by Rev. Frederick S. Weiser, Noodle-Doosey Press, Manchester, MD, 1987.

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