Show ContentsHofer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Nestled between the Rhine and Wesser rivers is the ancient German region of Westphalia. Westphalia, the home of the name Hofer. In the German provinces, hereditary surnames were adopted after the 12th century, and names that were derived from localities became increasingly widespread. Local surnames originally denoted the proprietorship of the village or estate. When coupled with the German preposition von, which means from or of, local names can indicate that the initial bearer of the name was an aristocrat. However, in modern times, the preposition is frequently dropped from surnames of this type. The Hofer family originally lived on a farmstead. The name Hofer is derived from the Old German and German word hof, which means settlement, farm or court.

Early Origins of the Hofer family

The surname Hofer was 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."

Early History of the Hofer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hofer research. Another 359 words (26 lines of text) covering the years 1378, 1440, 1629, 1662, 1684, 1773 and 1829 are included under the topic Early Hofer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hofer Spelling Variations

One can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames: in early times, spelling in general, and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized; and later, spellings would change with branching and movement of families. Variations of the name Hofer include Hof, Hoff, Hoffe, Hofer, Hoefer, Hoeffer, Hoffer, Hofle, Hoefe, Hofler, Hoefler, Hofner and many more.

Early Notables of the Hofer family

Notables of the period with the name Hofer were

  • Andreas Hofer (ca.1629-1684), a German composer

Hofer Ranking

In the United States, the name Hofer is the 6,316th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [1]

United States Hofer migration to the United States +

Many Germans emigrated across the Atlantic to seek better lives in North America. This great migration began in the middle of the 17th century and continued into the 20th century. Resettlement was particularly attractive to those from Westphalia as a means of escape from poverty and religious persecution. For many Westphalian farmers, the chance to own one's own land was also a major incentive. The process of the widespread colonization of the United States began in 1650, when many immigrants from Germany settled in pockets in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. In Canada, German settlements centered around Ontario and the Prairie provinces. Among them:

Hofer Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Jane Hofer, who landed in Virginia in 1665 [2]
Hofer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Simon Hofer, who arrived in New York in 1709 [2]
  • Miss Anna Hofer, (1708-1735), who arrived in Georgia in 1734 aboard the ship "Purysburg" [2]
  • Matthias Hofer, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1774 [2]
  • Mathias Hofer, who sailed to Pennsylvania in 1774
  • Ferdinand Friedr Hofer, who landed in America in 1778 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Hofer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Henry Hofer, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1819 [2]
  • Remmont Hofer, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1839 [2]
  • Wilhelmine Hofer, who landed in America in 1846 [2]
  • Elisabet Margareta Hofer, who arrived in America in 1852 [2]
  • John Gotlieb Hofer, aged 32, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1853 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Hofer (post 1700) +

  • Paul Hofer (b. 1952), former professional American football player
  • Helmut Hermann W. Hofer (b. 1956), German-born, American mathematician, one of the founders of the area of symplectic topology
  • Ralph K. Hofer, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Army Air Forces, during World War II, credited with 15 aerial victories
  • Karl Christian Ludwig Hofer (1878-1955), German expressionist painter
  • Ernst Hofer (1971-2023), Austrian judoka
  • Andreas Hofer (1767-1810), Tyrolean innkeeper and drover, who in 1809 became the leader of the Tyrolean Rebellion against the French and Bavarian occupation forces during the War of the Fifth Coalition
  • Othmar Hofer, Austrian gold and bronze medalist luger in the 1970s
  • Bertha Hofer Hegner (1862-1937), American educator and promoter of the Kindergarten Movement in Chicago, Illinois
  • Herman Hofer Hegner (1902-1973), American educator in Chicago, joint President of the Pestalozzi Froebel Teachers College and Columbia College of Expression in Chicago

Suggested Readings for the name Hofer +

  • Hofer-Donaldson History and Families by Marriage, 1700s-1979 by Fred Hoofer.

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8) on Facebook