Springer Family

1756 - 1898

Springer is mostly an English name for someone who lived by a fountain or spring. It was also German or Dutch for a lively person or traveling entertainer from the Middle High German “springen” or Middle Dutch “springhen”. The vast majority of Springer immigrants coming into the United States were German and most settled in the northeast, specifically Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, and Maine.

Our Springer line begins with Peter Springer, born in 1787 in Pennsylvania. His mother’s name was Ann (b. abt. 1756 in Pennsylvania) but his father is unknown, some say it was Mathias Springer born in Pennsylvania but others say he was Joseph Springer from Maryland. Peter married a woman named Catharine (b. abt. 1788 in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania) and they had three known children together:

  1. John (b. 1817)
  2. Jacob (b. October 1818)
  3. Mary (b. abt. 1822)

John was born in Berks County, Pennsylvania, probably in or near Reading since that’s where he enlisted in the army on February 17, 1838 when he was twenty years old. He served a standard three years in the 3rd Infantry D as a private and on the day of his discharge at Fort Gibson in Muskogee County, Oklahoma, he reenlisted for another five years. He was recorded as being five foot seven and a half inches tall with grey eyes, brown hair, and a ruddy complexion.

Sometime between 1822 and 1830, Peter moved his family to Center Township, Columbiana County, Ohio where he was a farmer. By 1850, at the age of 63, it looks as though Peter had retired but still owned $4,890 worth of property which was probably maintained by his son John, who was living in a separate house but most likely on Peter’s property since John did not own any land of his own. This may have been due to the fact that up until 1845, John was a soldier and probably frequently away from home.

Peter died sometime between 1850 and 1860, which would have made him between about 63 and 73 years old. After his death, John probably took over the farm in name, as we can see in the 1860 census that he now owns property worth $3,000 while his mother Catharine and sister Mary live in a separate house but probably on the same property. For some reason, Mary seemingly never married. She and her mother lived together until Catharine’s death on November 15, 1881 when she was 93 years old. It’s unknown where Mary lived after her mother’s death or when she herself died but by this point, she would have been about 60 years old and so probably didn’t marry after her mother’s death.

John had married a woman named Elizabeth Hoffman (b. 1820 in Lebanon, New Jersey) sometime before 1843 when the first child, Emma, was born. They had another three children:

  1. Catherine A. (b. 1846), probably named after her grandmother
  2. Mary Louise (b. February 10, 1849), possibly named after her aunt
  3. Frank (b. 1859)

With such a large gap between Mary Louise and Frank, it’s possible Elizabeth had some miscarriages or there were some infant deaths.

John was a farmer and owned a 79.5 acre plot of land just outside Lisbon, Ohio. Lincoln Highway now runs through the very top of what was his property. His brother Jacob owned the plot next to his of the exact same size and shape which suggests they were once a single 159 acre plot, probably owned by their father Peter.

On October 19, 1885, John died at the age of 68. After his death, his wife Elizabeth moved to Bucks Township in Columbiana County, possibly to live with the family of one of her children. She died there on January 24, 1898.

On March 19, 1867, 15 year old Mary Louise was married to 21 year old Robert Thomas Pike. To read more about their life together after marriage, see the Pike Family Chapter.

© Robin Bauer 2010-2013

Sources:

Springer Photos and Documents

An 1870 land ownership map overlaid onto Google Maps with John (red) and Jacob (blue) Springer properties highlighted. Their father Peter possibly owned both lots.