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Below is a family biography included in Biographical Record of Oakland County, Michigan published by Biographical Publishing Company in 1903.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Conrad Ambrose Hoffman, who has been known to the citizens of Pontiac, Michigan, for many years as a professional musician, was born in 1839 in Orleans county, New York, and is a son of the late Ambrose and Lydia (Stewart) Hoffman, the former of whom was born in Dundas, Canada, and the latter in Saratoga, New York.

Ambrose Hoffman came to Michigan when his son was an infant and bought from the government large tracts of land located in Oakland, Macomb and Lenawee counties. He resided mainly at Pontiac and followed the trade of mechanic. In politics he supported the Democratic party, but was no seeker after political honors. His death occurred at Pontiac, in 1883, at the age of 80 years, his widow surviving some five years longer. Our subject has two sisters, Theresa, who resides on Florence avenue, Pontiac, and Mrs. Aaron Perry. The family is all musical, inheriting the talent from the mother, who possessed a rare voice. Miss Theresa Hoffman possesses great musical ability and for some years was a very successful instructor of the piano.

Conrad Ambrose Hoffman was reared in Oakland County from infancy, and in youth his musical talent was so marked that no difficulty arose as to his choice of a life profession. As a lad he secured instruction from J. K. Goodall, of London, England, then in this country, who was concert master of the Royal Opera of London. Mr. Goodall had been a pupil of Mori, who had been a pupil of Viotti, the founder of the modern school of violin playing. Mr. Hoffman was so encouraged by this master that he devoted all his energies to securing a fine musical education. In 1880 he went to Dresden and was there for a considerable period under the careful instruction of Eckhold and Lauterbach, with the result that to-day there are few superior masters of the violin in this country. While skilled in all that pertains to music and the master of many instruments, Mr. Hoffman has devoted particular attention to the violin and as a performer on this instrument and as a teacher of the same, he has long been prominent in Pontiac. His activity in this direction has only ceased during the past five years. He can look with pardonable pride over a long list of successful violinists who have learned the management of this delightful musical instrument under his faithful teaching.

Mr. Hoffman married a daughter of Charles H. Palmer, the latter a pioneer of Michigan, who was largely identified with the development of the educational, mining and railroad interests of the State.

Politically Mr. Hoffman is a Democrat, but takes no active interest in party matters. Fraternally he is a member of the Masonic bodies of Pontiac.

Mr. Hoffman spent 18 months in the army during the Civil War, serving as bandmaster of a band he organized in Michigan. This was connected with one of General Stoneman’s brigades and served both in the Army of the Potomac and in the Army of the Cumberland.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Record of Oakland County, Michigan published in 1903. 

View additional Oakland County, Michigan family biographies here: Oakland County, Michigan Biographies

View a map of 1911 Oakland County, Michigan here: Oakland County Michigan Map

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