image_pdfimage_print

Sentimental Sunday: Four Generations of Springsteens

Four Generations of Springsteens: Jefferson Springsteen, seated, with his great-grandson William Helbling. Standing on left is Jefferson's daughter Anna Missouri (Springsteen) Beerbower, and her daughter, Anna May (Beerbower) Helbling, mother of little William.
Four Generations of Springsteens: Jefferson Springsteen, seated, with his great-grandson William Francis Helbling. Standing on left is Jefferson’s daughter Anna Missouri (Springsteen) Beerbower, and her daughter, Anna May (Beerbower) Helbling, mother of little William. Taken November, 1906.

Helbling Family, Springsteen Family (Click for Family Tree)

Jefferson Springsteen (1820-1909), married Anna Connor (1824-1887).

Anna Missouri Springsteen (1854-1939) married Edgar Peter Beerbower (1849-1916).

Anna May Beerbower (1881-1954) married William Gerard Helbling (1882-1971).

William Francis Helbling (1906-1907) died at age 15 and one-half months.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Family treasure chest of photos, provided by a dear cousin- thank you!

 

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 2013-2016 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.

Thriller Thursday: Abram F. Springsteen and His Civil War Drum, Part 3

Drum of Abram F. Springsteen, youngest Civil War soldier. Posted with permission of family.
Drum of Abram F. Springsteen, youngest Civil War soldier. Posted with permission of family.

Helbling Family, Springsteen Family (Click for Family Tree)

We left our story with the Springsteen family chasing after their son Abram who was running off to war…

But Jefferson Springsteen (1820-1909) must have remembered his own headstrong, daredevil nature at the same age, and he and his wife Anna (Connor) Springsteen (1824-1887) finally relented. They allowed Abram to muster into Company I, 63rd Indiana Volunteers on 29 July 1862. He had turned 12 years old only 24 days earlier.

Anna- and Jeff and the whole family- must have been terribly distraught- they had just lost their youngest son, Joseph Springsteen, at only 22 months old. Now another son was leaving them, and the risk of him not coming back was high.

Abram had quite the adventure as a drummer boy in the Civil War, but he saw horrors as well.  Regiments tried to keep their drummer boys protected, as their drum rolls were one of the few ways to communicate in the chaos and noise of battle. In May of 1864, Abram was ordered off the field at the Battle of Resaca, Georgia by his commanding officer, General Mahlon Manson. Abram lingered, carrying his drum, wanting to be in the thick of it all. An enemy shell knocked Gen. Manson off his horse, and Abram ran to his side, being the first to reach him. Abram probably felt very smug at the service he was able to do after technically disobeying an order.

Battle of Resaca- Union cavalry moving through a gap to attack Confederate infantry. Kurz & Allison, c1889, Library of Congress via Wikipedia. Public domain.
Battle of Resaca- Union cavalry moving through a gap to attack Confederate infantry. Kurz & Allison, c1889, Library of Congress via Wikipedia. Public domain.

Other times, the small size of the drummer boys could be an advantage. Abram told the story that he was to carry dispatches to a forward skirmish line, which was in a very dangerous position. Abrams crawled through a field of cotton, on his hands and knees. The enemy noticed him, and began firing. He jumped up and ran as fast as he could- thankfully the enemy soldiers were not good shots. He was able to safely deliver the important missives and help the Union in their battle with the Rebs.

 

To be continued…

 

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. “Hoosier Youngest Civil War Soldier,” by Louis Ludlow, in The Evansville Courier and Press, Evansville, IN, page 4, columns 1-3, via GenealogyBank.com.
  2. “Diary of Abram F. Springsteen” transcription, done by family members. Thank you for sharing!

 

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.

Workday Wednesday: Abram Springsteen and his Civil War Drum, Part 2

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Abram Springsteen and his Civil War Drum
Drum of Abram F. Springsteen, youngest Civil War soldier. Posted with permission of family.

Helbling Family, Springsteen Family (Click for Family Tree)

Yes, his parents must have truly regretted the day they bought Abram Furman Springsteen a drum.

Jefferson Springsteen, his father, was probably the one who went to get Abram from the Army office where he was ‘drumming up’ recruits for the Union, and dragged him back to school, where a ten year-old boy belonged.

But Abram persevered with his drumming to recruit soldiers. And Jeff went back to get him again, and took him back to school.

At first, at the age of ten, Abram likely thought he could do his part for the war effort by his drumming. By the time he turned eleven on 5 July 1861, though, ideas were probably constantly swirling through his mind of the glory of battle and the brotherhood of soldiers forged only by fire. By October, the desire to become a soldier was so strong that once again Abram ran away, but this time he acted on the plan he had made- he enlisted in the 35th Indiana Volunteers, Company A, as a private.

And again, Jeff and Anna Springsteen went to take their child from the military and back to home and school where he belonged. They probably knew he would run away again- his father’s genes for adventure had surely been passed to young Abram. The 35th was to be a Home Guard to protect Indianapolis, so Abram’s parents finally agreed to allow him to stay.

Civil War Regimental Fife and Drum Corps, via Wikimedia Commons. Public domain. (Click to enlarge.)
Civil War Regimental Fife and Drum Corps. We don’t know if Abram is in this picture or not, but he probably was much shorter than the men in this photo. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons. (Click to enlarge.)

We don’t know if Abram took his own drum, or was more likely issued a federal drum that he could use as he marched at the front of the column of Indiana Volunteers. He learned the various drum rolls that were used as commands on the march and on the battlefield, and would have practiced with the men as they drilled in ranks; he may have even helped stand watches or run errands for the officers. Abram’s life continued in this vein for two months, until the end of the year. On 31 December 1861, the inevitable happened- his regiment was ordered to be transported to the frontlines. Upon learning of this, Abram’s parents, Jefferson Springsteen (1820-1909) and Anna (Connor) Springsteen (1824-1887) requested his discharge. The Army was not about to lose a warm body, however, no matter how short or how young, and they refused to muster him out. Abram did not want to go back home anyway.

The family was distraught, including his six siblings. (We know that Anna Missouri (Springsteen) Beerbower was especially worried, as they were close.) The federal government continued to prohibit Abram from mustering out because he was underage, arguing that his parents had signed with permission at his enlistment. Their reply that they thought the enlistment was just for the Home Guard fell on deaf ears.

Desperate measures were required.

Abram’s law-abiding parents kidnapped him.

They locked him inside the house.

Do you remember anything about Jefferson Springsteen from previous posts, and his jobs in Indianapolis? They include being the first Chief of Police in Indianapolis, a Detective, etc. through the years. So kidnapping his son and going against federal law must have been a tough thing for him to do. But it was his son, and Abram was just too young to go off to war.

What a handful Abram was- he continued to run away, be caught, be locked in the house again; and repeat. What was a parent to do?

To be continued…

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. “Hoosier Youngest Civil War Soldier,” by Louis Ludlow, in The Evansville Courier and Press, Evansville, IN, page 4, columns 1-3, via GenealogyBank.com.
  2. “Diary of Abram F. Springsteen” transcription, done by family members. Thank you for sharing!

 

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.

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.
 
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.

Matrilineal Monday: The Springsteen Family Origins

Springsteen Word Cloud

Springsteen Family, Beerbower Family (Click for Family Trees)

The Springsteen surname is one you may have heard all your life, but it has not really been used for least 3 generations in our line because it was a matrilineal name. Abram Springsteen, “the youngest drummer boy in the Civil War,” was famous in our family. (Actually, there were quite a few drummer boys just barely into the double digits of age, and you can read more about Abram in our many previous posts- just put “Springsteen” into the search box.) The name “Anna Missouri Springsteen” (1854-1939) was quite a favorite- she likely was named for her paternal aunt, Missouri E. (Springsteen) Scotten, and was the sister of our young drummer boy. Anna M. married Edgar Peter Beerbower (1849-1916) in 1873, ending the name in our line (though they did name their son “Edgar Springsteen Beerbower”). They finally moved to Missouri too- wonder if that had been a dream, thus they used the name ‘Missouri” for daughters? I am so lucky to have one of Anna M.’s rings to wear everyday, and honor her memory.

According to the Dictionary of American Family Names, the surname Springsteen comes from the Dutch or North German language. It is what is considered to be a ‘topographic’ name, which is a name based on a place or a landscape object, such as the surname, “Hill.”

A ‘springsteen’ is a specific type of stone that is used as a stepping stone between houses or on unpaved roads. That seems somewhat foreign to us today- why were such things common? For a moment, time travel and put yourself into the context of older times: muddy, unpaved and rutted roads; no lawn services to provide a lush lawn; horses both with riders and pulling wagons, herded animals coming to market through town, dogs and cats running free through town and the farm, and all those critters leaving their mark on the road in piles that get run over and splashed- yucch. Let’s add in human critters spitting tobacco and etc. everywhere. (They were generally of the male species but there were some interesting female ones doing this as well.) Don’t forget that chamber pots were often just dumped outside, slop buckets of leftover food thrown out for the rummaging dogs and pigs, and wash stand water thrown out the window as well and into the street. Children and even adults may have had chronic vomiting or diarrhea due to parasites, infections, etc., with no antibiotics to make their life easier and reduce the filth being put outside the house. Now pretend you are a genteel lady with a long skirt that drags in the dirt- heavens, you would be a hussy if you showed your ankles, even with laced up shoes- and there is no such thing as an electric washing machine…

Yes, easy to see how they needed those ‘springsteens’ to keep out of the filthy muck.

Not sure that I like the idea of our family being compared to a rock, but maybe it was because the members of our family were useful and tough?

Our oldest Springsteen ancestor documented thus far is John Springsteen, the father of Jefferson and thus grandfather of our Anna Missouri (Springsteen) Beerbower; she was the mother of Anna May (Beerbower) Helbling who was born in 1881 and died in 1954. (Click on the family tree link at the beginning of this post for more details.) We believe John was born about 1782 in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, New York, but do not know his wife Mary’s maiden name nor the names of either of their parents. New York is a tough state to research, so it has been hard to trace John and Mary. The family did migrate to to the new frontier called Ohio, and then to the newer frontier, Indiana, where their son Jefferson and his brother Abraham were living by about 1839.

Springsteen families in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1896. R. L. Polk & Co., via Ancestry.com.
Springsteen families in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1896. R. L. Polk & Co. Indianapolis, Indiana City Directory, via Ancestry.com. Note that siblings spell the name differently: John W. has changed the last ‘e’ to an ‘i’ and thus his son Harry spells his name the same way.

There are stories that Jeff had returned to New York (which he did) but also visited in New Jersey where possibly his grandfather lived. There are quite a lot of Springsteens in New Jersey and New York, so more research will need to be done to sort them out and find the ancestors of our Springsteen line.

Looking at early immigration records, there are very many Springsteens who came to New Netherlands, which was Dutch New York. The first and middle names definitely look to be Dutch, such as “Joost Casparse Springsteen” or “Geertje Jans Springsteen.” Later arrivals who could possibly be John Springsteen’s parents immigrated to Long Island, New York, or possibly Orange or Albany. Jefferson did live in Brooklyn, New York, for a time, where he married his wife Anna Connor, so they may have had family there- have not found any information yet, but NYC is a good place to start researching again.

Ancestry.com has an interesting page on the website where one can research a family name. Using census data, they state 10-18 Springsteen families in 1840 lived in New York, and 4-9 in New Jersey, but this surely does not take into account all the spelling variations of the name. (Springsteen, Springsted, Springston, etc.)

By the 1880 US Federal Census, Ancestry.com shows 85-167 Springsteens in New York state, 29-84 in New Jersey and Michigan, 1-28 in various other states including Indiana. In 1920, Ancestry.com lists just 36-69 Springsteen families in New York, 13-35 in New Jersey and Michigan, and 1-12 in Indiana, Ohio, and 21 other states.

Ancestry.com also looked at the 1880 US Federal Census for Springsteen occupations, and compared the percentage to that of the general public. Slightly over one-third of Springsteens were farmers in 1880, similar to the general population. Springsteen’s also had a similar number of laborers (9%), 1% less farm laborers at 2%, 1% more working as blacksmiths, at 2% of Springsteens, and 5% working as painters when the general public was just 1%. (Both Jefferson, his brother Abraham, and his father John worked as painters at various times in their lives.)

Keeping house (6%) as an occupation was the same as in the general public, but this makes me wonder how these statistics were generated- they are probably only counting ‘head of household’ Springsteens, as theoretically there would be about the same number of wives named Springsteen as husbands.

Ancestry.com has 54 Civil War service records for Springsteens, and all fought on the Union side. (Not really a surprise since all lived in northern states.)

The inevitable question? Are we related to Bruce Springsteen? Possibly, since there is that New Jersey connection, but no link found as yet. We’ll keep you posted.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Ancestry.com

 

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.