Koffroth Family History

Koffroth Family History. By Willis Adrian Koffroth. Hardbound, 2000; 494 pp., indexed, $35.00, plus $5.00 for postage and handling. Order from the author: 1721 2nd Street, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266.

Willis A. Koffroth began his genealogical search 30 years ago with no clues about the European origin of his German-speaking ancestors. His search ended years later not only tracing his ancestry to 1630, but with a visit to the tiny village in Germany called Kaffroth, which his ancestors chose for their surname. His research is in print in an attractive, well-illustrated volume simply called Koffroth Family History. Author Koffroth cites 778 sources and in his introduction, and he acknowledges research by two noted German professional genealogists, G. Alexander Fulling and Henning Schroder.

The earliest known ancestor was one Matthias Puschied, of the village of Puschied, who moved across a meadow to Kaffroth, where he died in 1684. His son, Wilhelm, changed his surname to that of his wife, Anna Veronica Heckenhahn, when they married in 1701. Their son, Gerhart (1707—1796), who was the author’s ancestor, changed his surname to Koffroth and left Germany for America in 1731. He married Maria Barbara Beck, also a German native, and they raised eleven children in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania: Henry, who married Margaret Shirk; Elizabeth, who married Peter Meyer; Johannes; Maria Barbara, who married Adam Hoffmer; Matthias; Christian; Catherine, who married John Ernst; Dorothy, who married John Michael Uhland; Jacob, who married (1) Elizabeth Gerber and (2) Susanna Ream; George; and Christina.

Koffroth Family History‘s focus is the descendants of immigrant Gerhart Koffroth, but the author includes a brief chapter on the family of Gerhart’s younger brother, Peter Wilhelm Koffroth, who came to America in 1748. Yet another section gives lengthy information on the variant Coffroth. “With few exceptions,” writes the author, “all who bear the Coffroth name today descend from Ernst Wilhelm Coffroth,” who arrived in Philadelphia from Germany in 1753. However, his relationship (if any) to Gerhart Koffroth is unknown.

Still other surname variants of Koffroth are Kofroth, Kauffroth, Kauffroath and Coffroad. Descendants settled in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, Indiana, Nebraska, Missouri, Colorado, Arizona, and California, producing farmers, doctors, lawyers, judges, scientists, educators, nurses, builders, politicians, ministers, Gold Rush 49ers, and as the author admits, “a few rascals.”

Koffroth Family History is also available on Amazon (affiliate link).

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