Searching for Photo of WWI Veteran George B. Hoffman for submission to U.S.S. President Lincoln memorial site
The earliest inscriptions within the Veterans Memorial Gold Star Healing and Peace Garden memorialize the 195 York County Veterans that were Killed in Action during World War I. The names of these veterans appear in the first six columns, plus about one-half of the seventh column; as shown in the photo. A close-up of the memorial inscription for George B. Hoffman, Sailor, follows the general view photo of the WWI section.
Sally Hoffman commented to my post The President Lincoln Torpedoed on Return Trip; York sailor KIA. Sally volunteered to help with locating a photograph of George B. Hoffman for submission to U.S.S. President Lincoln memorial site. Sally asked if I would provide some more details on the family of George Hoffman, to help in the search for his photograph.
After I e-mailed Sally the additional details last week, she informed me that her Hoffman and Billet relations are not those of George B. Hoffman. With this post, I’m turning loose the information to my readers, to see how good you are at being History Mystery Detectives, to locate a photo of George B. Hoffman for submission to U.S.S. President Lincoln memorial site.
The prior post contained some family connections for George B. Hoffman; within the article in the June 4, 1918 issue of the York Daily. I used those connections to find the relevant 1880, 1900, 1910 and 1920 U. S. Census Records at Ancestry.com.
The 1880 U.S. Census record is for the Nathaniel Billet family residing on Arch Street in York, PA. This census record contains the names of all three of George Hoffman’s stepbrothers. Using this census record as a starting point, other records revealed Nathaniel Billet was born in York, PA on Oct. 26, 1855 and died in York, PA on Jan. 15, 1908. He was married to Mary Long and he worked as a Blacksmith. Thus Mary Billet was widowed in York during 1908.
The 1900 U.S. Census record is for the Michael B. Hoffman family residing at 16 14th Street in Harrisburg, PA. This census record contains the names of George Hoffman’s parents, Michael & Rosie Hoffman, and siblings Elizabeth M. Hoffman & Charles J. Hoffman. It was reported that George B. Hoffman was born during May 1897. Note: U.S. Census ages are not always reported or recorded correctly.
The 1910 U.S. Census record is for the Michael B. Hoffman family residing at 1415 North State Street in Harrisburg, PA. This census record contains the name of George Hoffman’s other sister Naomi R. Hoffman and his sister Elizabeth is now going by her middle name Melissa [Molica per Census taker spelling]. The age of George B. Hoffman was given as 9-years old, i.e. born in 1901. In my family history research, I have seen the death of a young child occasionally result in naming the next child with the same name; is that the case with George B., born 1897 and George B., born 1901? This census record also notes that Michael Hoffman is a widower in 1910.
The 1920 U.S. Census record is for the Michael Hoffman family residing in Ridley Township, Delaware County, PA. Michael is now married to Mary Billet and his widowed stepson Jacob Billet and children are living in the household. Death Certificate indicates Mary Long Billet Hoffman was born Nov. 8, 1854 and died Mar. 15, 1928. Michael B. Hoffman outlived his second wife, therefore any photo of George B. Hoffman possibly was passed down to his children: Melissa E., married to Walter W. Matchett and living in Harrisburg; Charles J. Hoffman, residing in Ridley Park, PA; and Ruth Naomi Hoffman, residing in Ridley Park, PA.
Another possible source of a photo of George B. Hoffman is through his stepbrother Alfred Harman Billet, who resided in York, PA and was a long time wallpaper printer; initially at York Wall Paper in York and then at J. C. Eisenhart in Hanover. Alfred died in 1940; survivors were his wife Nancy A. Billet of Hanover, and two brothers, Luther of Norristown and Jacob of 223 North Richland Ave., York. Alfred’s widow Nancy died in 1952; no survivors were listed in her obituary although her pallbearers were John Billet, George H. Billet, Norman E. Billet and Israel J. Billet.
I located the reason why George B. Hoffman ended up in York, PA. The clue was in locating an article on the marriage of his widowed father Michael Hoffman (from Harrisburg) to the widow Mary Long Billet (from York). Quoting the December 3, 1910 issue of the York Daily:
Michael Hoffman and Mrs. Mary Billet were married at noon Thursday, the ceremony being performed by the Rev. Harry Daniels, pastor of the West Street Methodist Episcopal church at the residence of the bride, 483 West Philadelphia Street.
The employees of the boiler shop at the York Manufacturing Company received boxes of perfectos from the bridegroom in honor of the event. Mr. Hoffman was formerly of Harrisburg, but is now employed at that plant.
In the evening at 6 o’clock Mr. & Mrs. Hoffman gave a wedding supper. This was followed by a reception, which was attended by the following persons: Mr. and Mrs. John Herbert, Mr. and Mrs. Luther Getz, Mr. and Mrs. William Williams, Mrs. Lila Pfeffer, Gettysburg; Mrs. Hannah Forsyth, Harrisburg; Mrs. William Heiser; Miss Helen Pfeffer, Gettysburg; Miss Mary Hoffman, Harrisburg; Miss Anna Geiselman, Harrisburg; Miss Anna Williams, Miss Naomi Hoffman, Harrisburg; Misses Emma and Florence Lingler and Henrietta Lang, John Luther Getz, Frederick Pfeffer, Gettysburg; Charles Keppel, Philadelphia; Thomas Slade, Charles Hoffman, George Hoffman.
Therefore George B. Hoffman moved to York with his father Michael, during the last half of 1910, when his father got a job at the York Manufacturing Company. George likely started his job at the plant of the American Chain Company prior to his father and stepmother, Mr. And Mrs. Michael Hoffman, moving Ridley Park, Delaware County; possibly in 1916 or early 1917. George B. Hoffman decided to keep his job at American Chain, and stay in York, living with his stepbrother, Albert Billet.
Related posts include:
- Yorker George B. Hoffman killed with sinking of U.S.S. President Lincoln
- The President Lincoln Torpedoed on Return Trip; York sailor KIA
- Local WWI Veterans buried in Europe
- Susquehanna Trail WWI Memorial Sycamores
- ROAD OF REMEMBRANCE Memorial in Paradise Township, York County
- Veterans Memorial Gold Star Healing and Peace Garden
- York-Lancaster Inter-County Bridge at dusk with Original Lights
- German Submarine Mailed Letter at Newport then Sank 6 Ships