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POFF, Peter & Charlotte Young

The POFFs of Westmeath Township were descendants of Palatine Germans who like so many from that area, became war refugees traveling out of Germany, into the Netherlands, then to the UK and Ireland before their journey to find a new life in Canada.

Thank you to Charlotte Spafford Loggie for generously submitting this background work on the ancestry of the Poffs: POFF FAMILY OF WESTMEATH_STAFFORD TOWNSHIPS. This entry will draw heavily on her excellent work.

We will begin with the arrival of the Poffs to the New World. These were early “immigrant ancestors” coming into the Westmeath & Stafford Township areas in 1832 and 1834, when it was still labeled as part of the Bathurst District and when surveyors were still completing their surveys of the townships.  They would have come by water, up the Ottawa River from Montreal where land agents were meeting the incoming ships and telling newcomers where to get free land in the District.

John William Poff (b. 1775-1880) married Sarah Corwin (b. 1784 d. 1849) from the Tralee area, another descendant of an early Palatine refugee family.  Records show John and Sarah (Mick) POFF at Ballymacelligott in County Kerry for the period 1818 to 1827, during which time the baptisms of their 5 youngest children were recorded in the early church records which began in 1817.


John William Poff and Sarah Corwin (Mick) Poff went on to have 10 children, all born in Ireland. They were:

  1. Peter POFF (1808-1894)  born about 1808, died 24 NOV 1894. Married 26 Feb. 1835 to Charlotte YOUNG (1811-1903).  Charlotte was the daughter of Andrew YOUNG and Mary LOWE(S) from Ballingrane County, near Adare,Co., Limerick,Ireland.

Peter is the son who made the trip across the Atlantic in 1832, bravely finding out about the land in Canada West. He must have been successful because in 1834, the rest of the Poffs, with parents John and Sarah, arrived.

Peter and his brothers Henry and George are on the 1851 Census for Renfrew County, Stafford Twp. as owning land on Concession 1, Lot 1, 2 and 3, 100 acres.

Stafford and Westmeath Townships are adjacent to one another.   The Snake River Road is the boundary between the two Townships and family members lived on both sides of the town line.

In 1861 Peter & Charlotte were enumerated in Westmeath Twp. They are buried in the Methodist (United Church) cemetery which is adjacent to St Patrick’s Anglican Church, Stafford Township.

The three brothers of this family (William Henry, Wesley Samuel and John Wallace) all farmed together on three farms in Stafford Township that were located near Snake River. This is likely the land that was originally owned by their ancestor Peter and his brothers Henry and George (Listed on 1851 census: Concession 1, Lots 1,2 and 3, 100 acres). The road leading up to Snake River  Road from Highway 17 (The Trans Canada Highway) is now called “Poff Road”.

The children 0f Peter and Charlotte.

1861 Census Westmeath Township – Poff Household

1891 Census Stafford Township – Poff Household

Poff-Robinson Stone, Stafford United Cemetery

i. John POFF (1843 – 1892) married Francis “Fanny” Robinson (1846-1923).

Their children as listed in 1891 Census Stafford Twp – Poff Household:

   a) Jacob Poff (1869-

   b)  William Poff (1871-

    c) Margaret Poff (1875-

    d)  George David Poff   (1877-1954) m. Charlotte “Lottie” Ida Smith (1886-1983).  See SMITH entry.  The young couple went west to homestead in Saskatchewan. To encourage settlement in Western Canada, the Dominion Government offered a grant for a free homestead of 160 acres (also known as a quarter section) for a $10 registration fee to those individuals and families who were prepared to live on and cultivate the land during a qualifying period of time.  Millions of people from around the world flocked to the Canadian prairies to take advantage of these land grants.

For the Poff’s, this move to the West proved tragic. Son Herbert was 18 months and Lottie’s second child was due. A terrible tornado torn through their area in June 1908, destroying their prairie house, and killing little Herbert. Lottie went into labour and baby Delmar was born the next day.  Lottie said she couldn’t live in such a place and the family left to return to Ontario.

George and Charlotte Poff with son Herbert Poff, who was tragically killed in Saskatchewan. Photo from their Granddaughter Gail Hamilton,

They had four children:

i. Herbert Smith Poff, (1906-1908) – killed in the tornado.

ii. Delmar Poff born June 28, 1908

iii. Doris Aileen Poff, born Dec. 11, 1911 – July, 2007,  married Kenneth Erskine Hamilton in 1935. 1935 Doris & Kenneth Marriage. Doris Hamilton Obituary published in the Kingston-Whig Standard July 2007.

iv. Gareth Poff born Sept 26, 1924, died August 2017.

1921 Census Pembroke, Poff Household on Maple Ave. George was a carpenter and the lodger William Green was a Messenger.

Lottie in retirement kept boarders in her red-brick  house on Maple Street in Pembroke. She was the longest lived of all her family dying at age 97.

George & Lottie stone, Pembroke

     e) Sharlotte Jane Poff (1881-

      f)  Samuel Poff (1883-

      g)  Henry Herbert Poff (1895- )

      h)  Francis Poff (1887-

               i)   Sophia Poff (1890-   ) m. Willard Edwards  1911 Sophia and Willard Edwards Marriage.

ii. Jacob POFF (1845-  ) married Mary Ann Mason 1897 Jacob & Mary Ann Mason Marriage

iii. Samuel POFF , 13 July, 1850, d. May 16,1912. Married in 1880 to Charlotte Childerhose (b. May 6,1862, d. March 31,1930)  1880 Samuel & Charlotte Marriage .   Charlotte is the daughter of Sarah Poff and Thomas Childerhose so Charlotte and Samuel were double first cousins.

The children of Samuel and Charlotte Poff are:

a). Sarah Jane POFF (Sadie) b. Sept. 14, 1881, d. 1958. m. October 5, 1910 to William Thrasher (b. 1884 d. 1935). See THRASHER entry.

b). William Henry POFF b. 12 October, 1883 m. Annie Graham June 27, 1917, d. 1962 (Parents of Inez Poff Oattes 1919-2012). 1967 Annie’s Death.

c)Wesley Samuel POFF b. 1886, d. 1961 m. Margaret (Stuart) (b. 1891 d 1959) October 27, 1923 (Parents of Shirley Poff Morris)

d.) Charlotte Anne POFF  b. July 5, 1888 m. June 22, 1910, d. April 30, 1927.

e.) Mary Elizabeth POFF May 17, 1890 d. Feb. 27,1955 m. June 16, 1909 to John Middleton Thrasher (b.May 16, 1886-d. March 21,1959).

f). John Wallace POFF b. September 20, 1893 married (December 28, 1921) to Ruth Burton (John d. 26 June, 1962) (Ruth d. 1964).

g. ) William POFF b. 1840-1915

h.)  Nancy POFF, b. 1836, d. 1857, m. William McCormack

i.) Annie POFF   m.  William Black

2. Catherine POFF (1812-1898) born Co. Kerry Died 12 MAY 1898 married 26 Feb 1835 in Lanark Co to William YOUNG 1809 – 18 NOV 1851 (son of Andrew and Mary, and brother of Charlotte above) buried St Patrick’s Stafford Twp. They had nine children.

3. John POFF (1814-1906)  b. Co. Kerry 14DEC1814 – died 10DEC 1906 in Monteagle Twp Hastings Co., Ont married 11APR 1843 Nancy HOOVER(1821-8Jan 1886). They are buried in Emanuel Cemetery Maynooth, Hastings Co., Ontario. They were enumerated in Bromley Twp, Renfrew Co in 1861, then in Hastings in 1871/81/91 & they had 10 children.

4. Samuel POFF (1816-1848) born circa 1816. He was killed in the bush 27 NOV 1848, when they were getting logs out for the house of his brother-in-law William YOUNG. Incidentally, this same stick of lumber later killed William Young.

Shortly before his death Samuel POFF had married Ann McINTYRE (daughter of James McINTYRE and Jane HILL.) Seven years later Ann MCINTYRE married Richard GRAHAM. Samuel POFF had no children. Ann McINTYRE and Richard GRAHAM are buried in Bethel Cemetery, Westmeath and they had five children.  See GRAHAM Entry.

5. Mary POFF (1817-1903) circa 1817 died 28OCT1903. Mary was blind and lived with her sister Sarah. She died in Pembroke, at the home of her nephew Samuel CHILDERHOSE, where she was enumerated in 1901.

6. Frances (Fanny) POFF (1818-18966) baptized 25JAN1818, married 21JUN1844 to Benjamin HOOVER born circa 1820 Drummond Twp., Lanark Co., died 28NOV1896 Radcliffe & Raglan, Renfrew Co., Ont. They had ten children.

7. Sarah POFF (1822-1894) born 30MAR 1822 baptized 14APR 1822. Died 15NOV1894 at Stafford married 24FEB1847 to Thomas CHILDERHOSE (son of Robt. CHILDERHOSE & Charlotte McDONNELL) b. 9JUN1818, Co Limerick, Ireland died 5SEP1902 at Stafford. They had (some accounts say 7, some 9, some 11).

8. Thomas POFF (1825-1907) baptized 6FEB1825 in Kerry, Ireland, died 6Feb1907 in Westmeath Twp., Renfrew Co.    1907 Thomas Poff death    Married Dec 4 1849 Isabella (Bell) McDONALD Feb 1836-22OCT 1902. 1848 Thomas & Isabella Marriage     They are buried at Beachburg Union Cemetery. In 1861 they were enumerated in Stafford Twp.  In 1881 they were residing in Westmeath and Henry, Alice and Ida were still living with their parents.  They had 15 children.

Poff-McDonald stone at Beachburg Cemetery.

1851 Agricultural Census- Stafford Township. Three Poff landowners –  brothers Henry, George and Thomas with each having 30 acres under cultivation of their 100 acres farms. Neighbours: Young & Childerhose had large land holdings – often purchased for the lumber rather than to cultivate.

9. Henry POFF (1827-1912) was baptized 4APR1827 married Mary Ann DOBSON c 1833 Died 29MAY1912. Mary Ann, born in Ontario was the daughter of William DOBSON and Dinah SWITZER who were both born in England. Henry and Mary Ann were enumerated in Stafford Twp in 1861/71/81 and in Pembroke town in 1891 and They had 4 children.

10. George POFF (1829-1910) was baptized 15NOV1829. He married Elizabeth McCORMICK b@1831 and died 8FEB1910 in Bancroft. She was the daughter of Thomas McCORMICK and Ann CAVANAGH. In 1861 George and Elizabeth were enumerated in Stafford and in Hastings County in 1871, 1891 & 1901. They had six or seven children.

i. Sarah Ann Poff (1858–1939)

ii. Richard Poff(1862–1929)

iii.Thomas Poff(1866–)

iv. Mary Poff (1868–)

v.William George Poff(1873–1900)