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Military Monday: Henry Horn & the Battle of Trenton

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series Henrich Horn: Military Career
Battle of Trenton by Charles McBarron, via Wikimedia; public domain.
Battle of Trenton by Charles McBarron, via Wikimedia; public domain. (Click to enlarge.)

McMurray Family, Horn Family (Click for Family Tree)

Two hundred thirty-nine years ago, in 1776, our McMurray ancestor Henry Horn was not having a good Christmas holiday.

The holiday had started out all right, comparatively- he and his fellow soldiers were warm and dry despite the raw, frigid, and stormy weather, with some of the men comfortably billeted in the homes of the locals in Trenton, New Jersey. Although far from home, the excitement of war was likely high in the young men- Henry was just 16 or 18- and a merry time was had by all. Christmas Eve was especially joyous- Germans celebrated Christmas Eve rather than the actual day. Our young Henry was really named Heinrich Horn and German, so likely celebrated in the same ways as his fellow soldiers.

If you are a follower of the blog, you may have read previous posts about Heinrich that reveal he was actually a Hessian soldier, not an American patriot in his early military years. Well-trained and very competent mercenaries, the Hessians were feared and loathed by the Americans, both military and civilian alike.

Battle of Trenton and Vicinity, 26 December 1776, via Wikipedia, public domain.
Battle of Trenton and Vicinity, 26 December 1776, via Wikipedia, public domain. (Click to enlarge.)

Heinrich Horn was a private in the 5th Company of the von Knyphausen Fusilier (light infantry) Regiment, which had been formed on 11 January 1776 in Ziegenhain, Germany. Technically they were, “German Auxiliaries” rather than “mercenaries,” as their ruler had sold their services as whole regiments to the British Crown.

After crossing the ocean and participating in many battles against the American rebels, Henrich had arrived in the small New Jersey town of Trenton on December 14 with 2 other regiments. Trenton was to be the winter quarters of about 1,500 Hessians, 50 Hessian chasseurs (also known as Jägers, a rifle-armed light infantry similar to Army Rangers; Jäger means “hunter” in German, as does “chasseur” in French, the predominant language of the educated of the day) and a contingent of about 20 British Dragoons (infantry mounted on horses). Although the town of about 100 homes was not fortified, the Hessian brigade commander Colonel Johann Rall did not think it would be necessary- traditionally, troops did not move in such terrible winter weather, and he felt his forces so superior to those of the colonists that he denied many requests for fortification. Rall had been more interested in drinking and gathering spoils of war than military strategy. He was also was blinded by the contempt he had for the rebels, with their lack of organization and equipment, and their continued losses; Rall thought the War would be finished soon and easily.

Hessian sketch of the Battle of Trenton, 1776. Click to enlarge, and note the Knyphausen Regiment's quarters to the east of Trenton. Map via Wikimedia, public domain.
Hessian sketch of the Battle of Trenton, 1776. Click to enlarge, and note the von Knyphausen Regiment’s quarters separate from the other two regiments. Map via Wikimedia, public domain.

The Americans had been attacking and harassing the Hessians for days. The Hessians and British in Trenton were exhausted from constant patrols and skirmishes at Trenton, and especially after coming off larger battles like White Plains and Ft. Washington. Many were sick or recovering from wounds. They slept in their uniforms with all their equipment. Each night, one regiment was on duty, ready to respond at a moment’s notice to any attack.

While the Hessian soldiers tried to get some rest in their ‘alert sleep’ in Trenton, George Washington and his ragtag group of Continentals- truly ‘ragtag’ as some had only rags for shoes or clothing- were crossing the Delaware to surprise the Hessians on December 25th. The men and artillery were across the Delaware by about 4 am on December 26th; they then had to march nine miles to Trenton in a driving nor’easter. The cold and exhausted American troops could be tracked by the blood in the snow from their bleeding feet and broken shoes, according to one contemporary account. But march they did.

Some of Trenton’s outermost Hessian guards had sheltered in a small guard house due to the severe weather and how quiet it was that night, with no American troops seen during any of the night’s patrols. The 24 Hessians inside tried to get a bit of rest, as they felt there would not be an attack in a frigid, blinding snowstorm. Once they relaxed their patrols, however, the Americans just happened to arrive near the outpost and attacked. Although they put up a good fight, the Americans were much more than just a raiding party, and the Hessians retreated to town, giving the alarm, “Der Feind!” (“The Enemy!”) The American forces attacked from the north and west, and large artillery began firing into the town from the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River.

The alarm was sounded and Hessian drums awakened the men and sent the German regiments flying to form up and hold their ground. Col. Rall was still in bed, but his under officer was afraid to wake him. After sending men to support the pickets, the adjutant returned to headquarters, where his commander was hanging out his window, asking, “What’s the matter?” He was still “in his cups” from drinking the night before, and had not even heard the guns. (Legend has that all the German troops were sleeping off their celebration, but that is not true, since they had celebrated on the eve of the 24th and would have been sober by the morning of the 26th.) Col. Rall, an experienced military man, however, seemed disoriented and had difficulty forming a plan of defense. The Hessians mistakenly thought they were surrounded on both the left and right, but at that point, the Hessians actually still held the Assunpink Creek bridge, and could have escaped in that direction. (That likely would have changed American history.)

Heinrich’s Knyphausen Regiment formed up at the lower end of Queen Street, and prepared to meet the enemy. They were to be reserves as Rall’s Regiment and the von Lossberg Regiment marched up Queen (now Greene) Street. The American heavy artillery, however, along with rebel fire from houses along the street (and some fire by townspeople, including a woman who shot a Hessian captain), stopped Rall’s advance and killed half of the Hessians firing their own cannons, which were then taken by the Continentals.  Col. Rall regrouped with his regiment and the von Lossberg Regiment in an apple orchard, and attempted to take the American artillery at the top of the hill north of town. George Washington, atop the hill, saw the advance, however, and was able to ward it off by swift troop movements.

Rall received more bad news- the guns of his own regiment had been taken in town. He turned his men toward the center of town to retake the guns and regain the all-important honor of his regiment. They bravely marched up King (now Warren) Street and were able to retake their cannon despite fire from all sides. The Americans then rushed to the guns with unbelievable determination,  but Capt. William Washington (the cousin of George Washington) and Lt. James Monroe (our future U.S. President) of the Virginia Infantry were severely wounded. One of the sergeants took command of the Continentals and charged forward, and the last of the Hessians ran from their guns. The Americans then used the Hessian artillery to fire on the Hessian troops. In addition to the point-blank firing of cannon within the town, close-fighting had broken out throughout; civilians too were firing at the Hessians but also dying in the melee. Even seasoned military men commented afterward that it was one of the worst scenes of carnage they had ever seen.

The Hessians began to retreat, as the Americans had targeted and killed a number of their commanding officers, and they were confused as to tactics but knew the battle was all but lost. Additionally, the Hessian muskets were not firing due to the driving snow and sleet- some scholars estimate only 1 in 20 German guns fired on that fateful day. Many Hessians took refuge in a church or basement of houses in the town. The remainder retreated east to the orchard, with the Americans following. The Continental German regiment members called out to the Hessians in their native language to stack their arms and surrender, and one of Washington’s men rode up and offered them terms of surrender. The two Hessian regiments, those of Rall and von Lossberg, then lowered their colors and surrendered.

Heinrich Horn’s unit, the von Knyphausen Regiment, meanwhile, was still armed. They had marched to join up with Rall and his regiment at the beginning of the battle, but apparently in the chaos, an order was misunderstood: they marched southeast instead. Many of the weapons of Heinrich and his regiment would not fire either- it must have been a terrifying moment, even for such seasoned troops. Once they became aware of the poor prospects for the other two Hessian regiments, they moved toward the bridge at Assunpink Creek to escape to alarm British troops in nearby towns. There were 300 men and 2 guns in the regiment, but as they neared the bridge that had been held by the Hessians for most of the fight, they realized it was then in the hands of the Americans. The Americans had also surrounded the southern end of the town from that point.

Henrich’s commander, Major Friedrich von Dechow, turned the regiment and headed up the creek, looking for a place that was more narrow and could be forded more easily. Unfortunately the guns got bogged down in soft ground, and the troops lost time trying to free them. Americans followed closely behind and fired, and the Hessians were fired upon from the opposite bank of the creek.

Henrich and his comrades continued to march up the creek, looking for another place to ford. American soldiers jumped into the creek and attacked them, and American troops ran out of the town and attacked the regiment from the rear and both sides. Once they realized they were about to be surrounded, some of the Hessians jumped into the bitterly cold and icy creek to try to escape, but many were shot. About 50 Hessians of Heinrich’s regiment escaped via the creek and made it to Princeton, New Jersey, a distance of about 13 miles that took them 10 hours in icy temperatures with wet clothes, but our Heinrich Horn was not one of them. Major von Dechow was mortally wounded, plus was still suffering from wounds received in a previous battle. He recommended surrender, and was carried off the field. Although his officers did not want to surrender, when the Continental Army had them completely surrounded, there was no choice.

All hope was lost for a Hessian victory, and the von Knyphausen Fussiliers were the last Of Col. Rall’s Brigade to stack their arms as they were captured by the American rebels.

Our Heinrich Horn became an American POW on 26 December 1776.

The battle had only lasted about 45 minutes.

"The Capture of the Hessians at Trenton" by John Turnbull, via Wikipedia, public domain.
“The Capture of the Hessians at Trenton” by John Turnbull, via Wikipedia, public domain.

Heinrich and the other Germans were transported across the Delaware River by noon of that same day, and marched on to Philadelphia in the cold, snow, and ice. There were even German women and children, wives, children, and camp followers, who were captured by the Continental Army, although some had escaped early in the attack.

The Continental Army and militias did not have enough food or supplies for themselves, what’s less the large number of POWs they had captured. Our Heinrich Horn, like others of his regiment, must have been very cold, very tired, and very hungry, as well as despondent as to his situation. The Hessians had a reputation for treating their prisoners of war better than the British, but how would the Americans treat Heinrich and his companions? The once-merry Christmas holiday had become a nightmare for the almost 1000 Hessians troops captured that day.

As some of von Knyphausen’s Regiment had escaped earlier to the south, the Continentals pursued and captured 200 more men and their arms, ammunition, plus all of the victuals (food), clothing, bedding, and horses. These supplies were much needed by our armies, and may have made Heinrich’s capture a bit more tolerable if they were shared.

The Battle of Trenton was a turning point in the Revolutionary War. Until December 26, 1776, the rebels had not been very successful against the well-trained and well-equipped British and Hessian forces. Although Trenton was a small battle that strategically was not terribly significant, the fact that the Americans could defeat such an Army gave new life to the hope of freedom for the American colonies.

More to come about the life of Heinrich Horn.

[Editor’s Note: This post was edited 2 January 2016 with more detailed information.]

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Washington’s Crossing by David Hackett, 2004. Winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for History, this tells the story of the crossing of the Delaware and the Battle of Trenton, mostly from the American point of view. This is an excellent book, and very well-written.
  2. The Hessians and the other German Auxiliaries of Great Britain in the Revolutionary War by Edward J. Lowell. Harper and Brothers Publishers, New York, 1884.
  3. AmericanRevolution.org: “The Hessians,” chapter VIII, an excellent read- http://www.americanrevolution.org/hessians/hess8.php
  4. Journal of the Fusilier Regiment v. Knyphausen From 1776 to 1783, possibly by Lt. Ritter? See http://freepages.military.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~amrevhessians/journal1.htm#navbar
  5. Henrich Horn http://freepages.military.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~amrevhessians/oh/hwardhorn.htm
  6. Hessians Remaining in America: http://freepages.military.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~amrevhessians/a/amhessians10.htm#navbar
  7. Wikipedia articles:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Trenton https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_battle_of_the_Battle_of_Trenton https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_von_Knyphausen

 

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Church Record Sunday: Essex County, Massachusetts Court Records for 1642

"The Life of Faith in Three Parts," 1670 by Richard Baxter(1615-1691) via https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Puritans#/media/File:The_life_of_faith_-_in_three_parts_(1670)_(14780420531).jpg
The Life of Faith in Three Parts,” 1670 by Richard Baxter(1615-1691) via
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Puritans#/media/File:The_life_of_faith_-_in_three_parts_(1670)_(14780420531).jpg

McMurray Family, Burnell Family (Click for Family Tree)

Still perusing the transcribed court records in the Essex Antiquarian from 1642-3 (see our first post, “Amanuensis Monday: Essex County, Massachusetts Court Records for 1642” at http://heritageramblings.net/2015/11/09/amanuensis-monday-essex-county-massachusetts-court-records-for-1642/), today we focus on religion. Although technically not ‘church records,’ at this time in the New England colonies, the church and state were inexorably linked, although not as deeply as they had been in England.

The English Anglican Church had continued the Catholic sacrament of baptism to remove original sin; it was required for salvation. The Puritans, however, believed that a pious life was more important than this sacrament, and wished to have less church hierarchy involved in daily life; infant baptism thus fell out of favor. Apparently, however, Essex, Massachusetts gained a new minister who reverted to requiring infant baptism for salvation, and this change was a problem for many.

Lady Deborah Moody was to appear in court for “not believing in infant baptism.” Lady Moody did not appear in court but it was said that she was “in a way of conviction before the elders.” Apparently the church elders were going to work with her to change her beliefs, but quite a number of residents were cited for similar “mis”-convictions:

“Mr. Cobbett taught things against his [the defendant, William Winter’s] own conscience, and for speaking against the ordinance of infant baptism… He is willing to see the light from speech of our elder Mr. Norris. To acknowledge his fault next lecture and ask Mr. Cobbet’s forgiveness.”

“Thomas Patience by a common fame, and upon vehement suspicion, not only of holding, but also of fomenting ye error that baptism of infants is no ordinance of God, and hindering his child from baptism.”

Not only was holding thoughts against infant baptism bad, but “argument in public” or “speaking contemptuously of it” were also prosecuted.

Religious services went long into the Sabbath, and the crowded churches were probably warm on humid summer days, and cold in the winter. The droning words of the sermon likely had a soporific effect, especially after six days of hard labor, but acting on those sleepy impulses was not acceptable:

Jeffrey Esty/Estie was “admonished for much sleeping on the Lord’s days in time of exercise.”

‘Exercise’ in this case is a religious observance or service, not ‘working out’ as we know it.

Roger Scott of Lynn was brought to court for “common sleeping at public exercise on Lord’s day, and for striking him who waked him.” (!!)

The Sabbath had restrictions on what could be done that day- absolutely no work:

The servant John Colever was presented to the court for “carrying a burden on the Lord’s day.” He did not appear, as he was out of the country.

During that same session, Joshua Downing was called for “carrying a burden upon an ass on ye Lord’s day about two years ago.” (No statute of limitations?) Richard Norman was “fined for slighting ordinances and carrying burden on Lord’s day.”

“Ordinances” were part of the church ritual in this case, not just the town laws. One William Robinson not only slighted, but was absent from ordinances, and was cited as well for “carrying a fowling piece on Lord’s day.” As a ‘fowling piece’ was a gun used to shoot birds, hopefully he had leftovers available for dinner.

The old village stocks in Chapeltown, Lancashire, England, via Wikimedia, CC by 2.5 license, author Austen Redman.
The old village stocks in Chapeltown, Lancashire, England, via Wikimedia, CC by 2.5 license, author Austen Redman.

We take our free speech for granted, and grew up learning that the colonists came to this country in order to find the freedom of speech and religion they did not have in England. That freedom apparently only went so far. One William Goult of Salem, was cited “for reproachful and unseemly speeches against the rule of ye church.”

Punishment for his freely spoken words was “to sit in stocks an hour and be severely whipped next lecture day.” Part of the public humiliation included that the feet protruding from the stocks were to be bare (how scandalous!), and the weather did not matter- these court cases occurred in winter, so that one hour of public indignity was probably pretty miserable. Assuredly the whipping on the next lecture day would have been worse. Both of these punishments are found in the bible.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

    1. The Essex Antiquarian. Salem, MA: The Essex Antiquarian, 13 vols. 1897-1909. (Online database: AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2006.) Volume 4, pages 123-126.

 

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Wedding Wednesday: Mary Parsons and Ebenezer Bridgman

Title page of the first edition of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, 1597. Wikimedia, public domain in USA.(Click to enlarge.)
Title page of the first edition of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, 1597. Wikimedia, public domain in USA.(Click to enlarge.)

McMurray Family, Burnell Family (Click for Family Tree)

The Romeo & Juliet story has been passed down through the centuries in various forms, and has been lived in real life by many. Think back, if you will, to four previous posts detailing the bitter feud between the families of Mary (Bliss) Parsons and Sarah (Lyman) Bridgman. Sarah accused Mary of being a witch as far back as the 1650s. The feud had gone on even before that time, but could there be two people in the future who would mend those fences, as Romeo and Juliet did for the Montagues and Capulets??

One of the children of Mary (Bliss) Parsons- the accused witch- and her husband Cornet Joseph Parsons was John Parsons (1650-1728). He married Sarah Clarke (1659-1728) and a daughter was born in Northampton, Massachusetts on 5 July 1681 that they named after her paternal grandmother. Although she probably did not remember her grandfather Joseph, who died in 1683, young Mary probably would have known her grandmother well as she was 31 years old in 1712 when Mary (Bliss) Parsons passed away while living in Springfield.

Family Tree of Mary Parsons. (Click to enlarge.)
Family Tree of Mary Parsons. (Click to enlarge.)

Meanwhile, Sarah (Lyman) Bridgman- the witch accuser- and her husband, James Bridgman, had only one son (and three daughters), out of eight children born to them who survived into adulthood. (This was part of the jealousy between Sarah and Mary (Bliss) Parsons- Mary had 9 children survive out of the 13 she had, 5 of them sons.) Their son John Bridgman chose Mary Sheldon (1654-1728) as his wife, and they had at least 11 children, possibly 14 per some sources; of these, Ebenezer Bridgman (1685-1760) is of interest to our story today.

Family Tree of Ebenezer Bridgman. (Click to enlarge.)
Family Tree of Ebenezer Bridgman. (Click to enlarge.)

Ebenezer Bridgman was born in Northampton too, still a very small hamlet on the frontier in February 1685. He likely saw young Mary Parsons on the street, in the fields, and in the meeting house. All the witch stories would probably have been heard by every family member, young or old. It would be so interesting to have a glimpse of their thoughts, and how they reconciled their business within the town, with neighbors, and possibly with members of the feuding family!

What parts did young Mary Parsons and Ebenezer Bridgman play in the local gossip that swirled through Northampton in 1702, when Mary (Bliss) Parsons was again called a witch? Young Peletiah Glover, another of Mary’s grandchildren, was told that his mother was half a witch and his grandmother a full witch who had killed several people. Did young Mary rush to protect her cousin? Did Ebenezer stay out of it, or try to shield Peletiah and the Parsons family from the mean words of some of the townspeople? There is no way to know the details of what happened 213 years ago, unfortunately.

One day in 1709, however, the feud came to an end as the walls between families tumbled down:

14 June 1709- Ebenezer Bridgman and Mary Parson, Marriages, Massachusetts Town & Vital Records, Northampton, page 110.
14 June 1709- Ebenezer Bridgman and Mary Parson, Marriages, Massachusetts Town & Vital Records, Northampton, page 110. (Note second line; click to enlarge.)

Had the families known there was flirting going on instead of feuding?

Was there a big row when the young people stated their intentions?

(Although Puritans generally married at a slightly higher average age than the rest of the population, Mary was 27 and Ebenezer 24 at their nuptials- she was a bit older than usual, and was older than Ebenezer, too.)

Did everyone show up at the civil service for the marriage? Even Mary (Bliss) Parsons?

(Puritans did not believe in the church sanctifying a marriage- they felt it was a civil contract.)

Did the families pitch in together to help the newlyweds begin their new home?

All great questions to ponder, but sadly that is all we can do, as there has been nothing found to tell us more- no letters, diaries, etc. When telling the Mary (Bliss) Parsons witchcraft story, many historians do not even include the fact of a later unifying marriage between grandchildren of the feuding families.

Our ‘witch’ Mary would have bounced her grand-daughter Mary’s little babe Elizabeth Bridgman on her knee, and sung to the child the old lullabies Mary had heard as a child herself in England. Mary was in her mid-eighties by this time, and somewhat reduced in function and confused; her sons had needed to take over her financial affairs. Still, what thoughts might have gone through her mind, knowing that this precious great-granddaughter on her knee had the blood of the late Sarah (Lyman) Bridgman flowing through her rosy red cheeks? Were her thoughts of how the blood of the two families was now forever mixed, the family branches forever intertwined, after all the anguish of her own life? Did Mary think it was a sweet reconciliation, or did she gloat in the victory of her long life and so many children, grandchildren, and another great-grandchild to carry on her blood, while Sarah was already long gone, and had so few?

Elizabeth Bridgman was the first of four children to be born to Mary and Ebenezer Bridgman, but the only one who could have been held by her great-grandmother- Mary (Bliss) Parsons died in January of 1712. She would have been able to see her granddaughter big with a second child, however, as Joseph Bridgman was born two months later, in March. Mary (Parsons) Bridgman then carried on her own grandmother’s tradition of twins- Mary (Bliss) Parsons had at least one set of twins, likely two.  The Bridgman twins Ebenezer and Mary were born 10 July 1714. Little Ebenezer would only live four months; we have no further information as to whether or not his sister Mary survived to adulthood.

Maybe the feud had been mellowing for quite some time, and the Bridgman family had softened. After all was said and done (in court and out), the new Bridgman family named two of their children after Mary (Parsons) Bridgman’s grandparents, the founders of the Parsons line in America: Joseph and Mary.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. See our four previous posts about the Mary (Bliss) Parsons slander and witchcraft trials in Northampton, Springfield, and Boston, Massachusetts by starting with, “No Ghoulies, No Ghosties, But a Witch? Yep.”
    http://heritageramblings.net/2015/10/31/no-ghoulies-no-ghosties-but-a-witch-yep-part-1/
  2. Please see Part 3 of the above for the largest list of references for these posts.
  3. Mary (Bliss) Parsons- “The Witchcraft Trial-” http://ccbit.cs.umass.edu/parsons/hnmockup/witchcrafttrial.html
  4. Genealogy of the Bridgman family, descendants of James Bridgman,1636-1894, by Burt Nichols Bridgman and Joseph Clark Bridgman, 1894-  https://archive.org/stream/genealogyofbridg00brid#page/n0/mode/2up
  5. I doubt that Puritans frequently went to plays- not an industrious activity, although as time went on in the Americas, the younger generations of the faith were not as devout as their parents. Even if they had not seen the play Romeo & Juliet, they may have read or heard of it. Wonder if Mary Parsons and Ebenezer Bridgman felt the connection or parallels, but with hopefully better results in mind than in the play?

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2015 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
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Sibling Saturday: Anna Missouri Springsteen and Her Brother John William Springsteen

Anna Missouri Springsteen as a young woman, possibly circa 1873? (age 18, when she married?)
Anna Missouri Springsteen as a young woman, possibly circa 1873 at age 18, when she married?)

Springsteen Family (Click for Family Tree)

The Jefferson Springsteen- Anna (Connor) Springsteen family provided quite a few siblings for their daughter Anna Missouri Springsteen, who was the sixth-born of ten children. She was also one of just two girls, so she and her older sister Mary Elizabeth Springsteen would have been busy taking care of all those brothers!

You can see the whole family- well, all but one- in the picture posted a few days ago in the post Treasure Chest Thursday: The Springsteen Family. Today we will tell a bit about Anna’s oldest sibling, and follow up later this week/month with information about the others. Of course, Anna will get her own post on another day too, since she was the beloved grandmother of Mary Theresa (Helbling) McMurray.

We also have an upcoming series of posts of our Springsteen Family Bible, and all these folks will be mentioned in there. In addition, Anna is the one who kept the Beerbower Family Bible, which has already been posted, starting with “Beerbower Family Bible- Dec. 31st, 1873.” The Beerbower Bible was presented to Anna Missouri at the end of 1873, the year she married Edgar Peter Beerbower on 12 February. She was carrying their first child, so the family bible was a very fitting gift.

John William Springsteen of Indianapolis, Indiana, c1863? Cropped from family portrait.
John William Springsteen of Indianapolis, Indiana, c1863? Cropped from family portrait.

John William Springsteen was the first-born of the children of Jefferson and Anna Springsteen. Their marriage date is unknown, but John was born on 26 November 1844. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, where they had been married.

John William was just nine when the family moved to Indianapolis, Marion, Indiana, about 1853. His four younger siblings, who had been born in Brooklyn, made the trip as well. Their father was the town marshall in Indianapolis and involved in local politics. By the 1870 US Federal Census, John was 25 and still living with the family, as many did until they married. He was working as a painter, as were his two brothers (Thomas) Jefferson and Charles; their father was a painter and his brother Abram was a brick mason.

In December of 1870, John married Jennie Taylor in Indianapolis, the ceremony performed by Rev. Mr. Mendenhall. (The ’70’ in ‘1870’ is crossed out and ’69’ written above in the Springsteen Bible, but the 1870 census lists John as a single person living with his parents so, ??) Their son Harry Arthur Springsteen was born 5 April 1871 per his headstone, but he is listed as being 4/12 years old and born in January in the 1870 US Federal Census. Harry married Ina Johnson and lived in Texas; he died 1 June 1934.

Sadly Jennie died young, at age 36, on 4 June 1887.

She and John William are buried in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Jennie (Taylor) Springsteen- headstone in Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, IN. Used with kind permission of the Find a Grave photographer.
Jennie (Taylor) Springsteen- headstone in Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, IN. Used with kind permission of the Find a Grave photographer.
John William SPRINGSTEEN Headstone in Crown HIll Cemetery, Indianapolis, IN. Used with kind permission of the Find A Grave photographer.
John William SPRINGSTEEN Headstone in Crown HIll Cemetery, Indianapolis, IN. Used with kind permission of the Find A Grave photographer.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1.  “Treasure Chest Thursday: The Springsteen Family”- http://heritageramblings.net/2015/12/10/treasure-chest-thursday-the-springsteen-family/

 

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images. Click to enlarge images.

We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2015 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
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Treasure Chest Thursday: The Springsteen Family

Springsteen Family Portrait, circa 1863?
Springsteen Family Portrait, circa 1863. First row, seated, from left: Anna Missouri Springsteen, Jefferson Springsteen, Anna (Conner) Springsteen, Robert E. Springsteen, John William Springsteen. Standing in back, from left: Charles Springsteen or Thomas Jefferson Springsteen, Abram Furman Springsteen, Thomas Jefferson Springsteen or Charles Springsteen, Mary Elizabeth Springsteen.

Springsteen Family (Click for Family Tree)

Using the ages of the persons in this photograph, we estimate that it was taken about 1863-1864. It could also be after 21 June 1865, since that is when Abram came back from the Civil War. That date would make Robert 8 and Anna 11- what do you think?

You can check out previous Springsteen posts by entering the name in the search box.

More to come on this family…

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Family treasure chest of photos- thanks to some wonderful cousins!

 

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images. Click to enlarge images.

We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2015 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 
Please contact us if you have any questions about copyright of our blog material.