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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: German, Jewish

Where did the German Hoffman family come from? What is the German Hoffman family crest and coat of arms? When did the Hoffman family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Hoffman family history?

The German state of Silesia is the glorious birthplace of the distinguished surname Hoffman. This name is derived from the German word "hof" meaning "settlement" or "farm" and "mann" meaning "man." The name may have originally been born by someone who owned their land as opposed to working someone else's land, or perhaps by the manager, or steward of such an estate.


Spelling variations of this family name include: Hoffmann, Hofmann, Hoffman, Hofman, Hoeffmann, Hoefmann, Hoeffman, Hoefman, Hofemann, Hofeman, Hovemann, Hoveman and many more.

First found in Silesia, where the family became noted for its many branches within the region. Ancient chronicles first mention Otten Buzwoys Hoveman of Liegnitz, Silesia (1383,) Hans Kosche Hoffman of Liegnitz (1558,) and Nickel Hofeman the belt-maker of Goerlitz (1425).


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hoffman research. Another 745 words(53 lines of text) covering the years 1712, 1540, 1627, 1778, 1845, 1827, 1803, 1789, 1616, 1679, 1640, 1692, 1653, 1719, 1683, 1750, 1685, 1715, 1669 and 1716 are included under the topic Early Hoffman History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 155 words(11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hoffman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Hoffman Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Henr Hoffman, who arrived in America in 1709-1711
  • Henrig Hoffman, who arrived in New York in 1709
  • Anna Catharina Hoffman, who landed in America in 1726
  • Henerick Hoffman, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1727
  • David Hoffman, aged 8, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1733

Hoffman Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Cornelius Hoffman, aged 49, arrived in New York in 1801
  • Franz Hoffman, aged 45, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1804
  • Christopher Hoffman, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1834
  • George Hoffman, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1839
  • Gustav Hoffman, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1840

Hoffman Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • Gotfried Hoffman, aged 8, arrived in America in 1901
  • Daniel Hoffman, aged 16, landed in America in 1901
  • Emma Hoffman, aged 3, arrived in New York, NY in 1901
  • Fred Ernest Hoffman, who landed in Wisconsin in 1918


  • Dustin Lee Hoffman (b. 1937), American two-time Academy Award winning, six-time Golden Globe Award winning, four-time BAFTA Award and Emmy Award winning film star
  • Abbie Hoffman (1936-1989), American social activist of prominence in the 1960s and 1970s
  • Charles Fenno Hoffman (1806-1884), American author and poet
  • Edward J. Hoffman (1942-2004), professor and co-inventor of the PET scanner
  • Jeffrey A. Hoffman PH.D. (b. 1944), American former NASA Astronaut with over 1,211 hours in space
  • Michael A. Hoffman (1944-1990), American archaeologist
  • Paul Gray Hoffman (1891-1974), American recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967-2014), American Golden Globe and Academy Award winning actor, best known for his starring role in Capote (2005)
  • Major-General Hugh French Thomason Hoffman (1896-1951), American Chief of Staff, 4th Army (1949-1950)
  • Trevor William Hoffman (b. 1967), American former baseball relief pitcher who played from 1993 to 2010



  • The Hoffman-Schnell Families; Being a History and Genealogy of the Families of Jacob Hoffman (1808-1869), Michael Schemel, Sr. (1812-1882), and Related Families by Larry Hoehn.
  • Hoffmans in America in the 18th and 19th Centuries: A Source Book About People Bearing the Name of Hoffman, Huffman, Hofmann, etc., with Emphasis on Those Who Resided in Virginia, West Virginia, Indiana, and Ohio by Ruth Vernette McKee.

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  1. Bahlow, Hans (Edda Gentry trns). Dictionary of German Names . Madison, Wisconsin: Max Kade Institute, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-924119-35-7).
  2. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  4. Steed, Henry Wickham . The Hapsburg Monarchy. London: Constable and Company, 1919. Print.
  5. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  6. Rupp, Daniel L. A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and Other Immigrants to Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2000. Print. (ISBN 978-0806303024).
  7. Gottschald, Max. Deutsche Namenkunde unsere Familiennamen nach ihrer Entstehung und Bedeutung. München: J.F. Lehmanns Verlag, 1932. Print.
  8. Schenk, Trudy. Wuerttemberg Emigration Index Volume I-VIII. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Inc., 1986. Print.
  9. Hildenbrand, A.M. Wappenfibel. Handbuch der Heraldik. Neustadt an der Aisch: 1970. Print.
  10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  11. ...

The Hoffman Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Hoffman Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 27 August 2014 at 06:50.

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