1870 German Densities
admin Sat, 11/22/2008 - 12:27
As I mentioned in my last post I purchased a digital copy of the 1876 Baskin and Forster Indiana State Atlas. The atlas covers Indiana, and has maps of the counties and Cities that were in the state at the time. In addition to the maps that are specific to the state, there are some maps that are of general interest. These general interest maps include a world map, a railroad map etc.
One of the general interest maps that I found interesting was a map of the German Population living in the United States. The map was based of the 1870 US census, but none the less it gives you a good idea about where people of German descent tended to gather. The map to the left is a view of the entire United States, with German Population's marked in red (click on it to see it larger). The darker the red the higher the concentration of German's. As you can see the German population stayed in a pretty tight area, and did not really seem to venture south. Of note are some of the "Big" German population centers, New Jersey, New York City, Erie PA, Buffalo NY, Chicago, Cincinnatti.
Who cares? To me this map is another piece of the puzzle that is the Hoffman's. (The Hoffman's are a Branch of my family that is of German origin) So far as I have determined the Hoffman's appear in Decatur County, Indiana in the 1860 US Census, but I have no idea where they came from (other than Germany...). I know when they came to the United States, but I am not sure how they made their way to Indiana. Mary Hoffman's Obit gives some clues, and one of those indicates that they (Fredrick and Mary) may have spent some time in Cincinnatti, Ohio.
Based on the map that I found in the atlas, it is fairly obvious that Cincinnatti would be a likely place for Fredrick and Mary Hoffman to have lived in. Putting the clues together I am starting to think that Fredrick and Mary met each other and then married in Cincinnatti. I have more work to do to prove this, but it is beginning to look like that. If you take a look at the map on the right (which is a close up of the map above) you can see the very high concentration of German's in the Cincinnati area in 1870. I know that the Hoffman's are already in Decatur County, Indiana by that time, but the map adds a little more weight to the idea that they came to Decatur County from Ohio, specifically Cincinnati.