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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: German, Jewish

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

Hoffer is a local name from the German region of Westphalia. Local names came to Germany with other types of hereditary surnames after the 12th century. They were derived from the name of the place where the original bearer of the name lived. Sometimes local names bear the prefix "von", meaning "of" or "from". It was an indication of land-ownership, and was sometimes taken as a mark of aristocracy. The family originally lived on a farmstead. The name Hoffer is derived from the Old German and German word hof, which means settlement, farm or court.


Many cultural groups lived in the German states in medieval times. Each had its own dialect and traditions, and unique variations of popular names. Low German, which is similar to contemporary Dutch, was spoken in Westphalia. German names are characterized by additions such as regional suffixes and phrases that tell something about the origin or background of its original bearer. Further contributing to the variation in German names was the fact that there were no spelling rules in medieval times: scribes recorded names according to their sound. The recorded spelling variations of Hoffer include Hof, Hoff, Hoffe, Hofer, Hoefer, Hoeffer, Hoffer, Hofle, Hoefe, Hofler, Hoefler, Hofner and many more.

First found in Westphalia, where the family contributed greatly to the development of an emerging nation.The name probably stems from the German word "Hof" meaning "court."


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hoffer research. Another 717 words (51 lines of text) covering the years 1440, 1829, 1378, 1662, 1773, 1629 and 1684 are included under the topic Early Hoffer History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hoffer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


After 1650, thousands of German settlers came to North America to escape the religious persecution and poverty that wracked Europe and to make the most of the opportunity to own their own land in a new country. They settled across the United States in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California, and in Canada in Ontario and on the fertile plains of the prairie provinces. Among them:

Hoffer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Gideon Hoffer sailed to Pennsylvania in 1732
  • Gideon Hoffer, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1732
  • Jacob Hoffer, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1734
  • Kattarina Dorte Hoffer, aged 42, landed in Pennsylvania in 1738
  • Rosina Dorte Hoffer, aged 10, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1738

Hoffer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Henry Hoffer, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1809
  • John Rudolph Hoffer, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1814
  • Phennena Adelheid Hoffer, who arrived in America in 1846
  • Theodor Herm Hoffer, who arrived in America in 1847
  • Wilhelm Hoffer, aged 9, landed in New York, NY in 1850



  • The History of the Daniel and Sarah (Heberling) Hoffer Family by Giles Hoffer.
  • The Hoffer Families From Hoffer Hill, Rarden, Ohio, Scioto County by Relva O. (Spears) Brown.

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  1. Oswald, G. Lexicon der Heraldik. Leipzig: 1984. Print.
  2. Zoder, Rudolf. Familiennamen in Ostfalen. Hildesheim: Geog Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1968. Print.
  3. Schenk, Trudy. Wuerttemberg Emigration Index Volume I-VIII. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Inc., 1986. Print.
  4. Haverkamp, Alfred. Medieval Germany 1056-1273 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print.
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  6. Bahlow, Hans (Edda Gentry trns). Dictionary of German Names . Madison, Wisconsin: Max Kade Institute, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-924119-35-7).
  7. Hildenbrand, A.M. Wappenfibel. Handbuch der Heraldik. Neustadt an der Aisch: 1970. Print.
  8. Garland, Mary and Henry Garland Editions. Oxford Companion To German Literature 3rd Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. Print. (ISBN 0198158963).
  9. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  10. Fogleman, Aaron Spencer. Hopeful Journeys German Immigration, Settlement, and Political Culture in Colonial America 1717-1775. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986. Print. (ISBN 978-0812215489).
  11. ...

The Hoffer Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Hoffer 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 24 November 2013 at 22:32.

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