Joseph Hoffman (Hoffmann) was born 1816 in Hofheim, Unterfranken in the Kingdom of Bavaria. He arrived in New York 1836 with his father Michael, mother Margaretha Volk, three brothers Michael, John, Caspar and sister Magdalena. He settled on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in an area known as Kleindeutschland (Little Germany) and worked as a butcher. Joseph married Maria Genoveva Staubach 1839 and they had three daughters Elisabetha, Wilhelmina and Barbara. Genoveva died circa 1848 and Joseph married Carolina Geiger from Württemberg circa 1850. Joseph and Carolina had three children in Manhattan, Maria Genoveva, John and Magdalena.
In 1854, Joseph purchased a farm in Fosters Meadow that was located diagonally across Fosters Meadow (Elmont) Road from the site of the present day St. Boniface Church. Joseph and Carolina had significant ties to St Boniface Parish since Mass was said in the parlor of their farmhouse until the first church building was built. Joseph and Carolina had four additional children, Jacob, Louisa, Maria Carolina, and Mathilda. Of Joseph’s ten children, only four remained in the Fosters Meadow area upon adulthood, the others returning to the cities of Brooklyn and New York. Magdalena married Charles Goeller, a wagon maker, and lived on the west side of Elmont Road. Mathilda married a Valley Stream farmer George Hummel. Jacob married Katharina Schroeher and became a Franklin Square merchant. Only John remained in Elmont as a farmer.
John married Elisabetha Lang in 1878, the daughter of Joseph Lang whose farm is part of present day Belmont Race track. She died in childbirth the following year and John married that year Eva Kreischer of Franklin Square who bore him seventeen more children. John eventually owned two farms: the first was on the east side of Elmont Road located between present day St. Boniface Church and St Paul’s Presbyterian Church. The farmhouse was located where present day Argo Lanes is situated. The other farm was on the west side of Elmont road a little further north.
Of John’s eighteen children, only seven survived to adulthood. Of those seven, five never married. Of the two who did, only one had children. Jacob (Jake) married Mary March (März) and they had five children. Jake’s farm was the one his parents owned on the east side of Elmont Road. It was sold to developers circa 1947. Nicholas (Nick) married Irene Schmidt of Queens Village and farmed the property on the west side of Elmont Road. Nick’s farm was developed a few years after Jake’s.
Submitted by Paul Hoffman