Sorting Saturday: Springsteens in New York City, 1856

Springsteens in New York City, City Directory, 1856/7, page 780. Public domain.
Springsteens in New York City, City Directory, 1856/7, page 780. Public domain.

Helbling Family, Springsteen Family (Click for Family Tree)

The New York Public Library Digital Collections webpage is an unbelievable resource for those researching in New York City and beyond. They have so generously made a push to make their collections available freely on the internet, and they allow use of much of their collection without fees or even required citations. There is so much on the site, and they continually add to it- it will keep many a dedicated family historian from sleep tonight and long into the future.

We know that our Helbling ancestors, the Springsteens, lived in New York City at various times. Jefferson Springsteen (1820-1909), the great-grandfather of Mary Theresa (Helbling) McMurray, married the Irish immigrant Anna M. Connor (1824-1887) in Brooklyn in 1843, and they are found in the 1850 US Federal Census in Brooklyn with three of their children. By 1853 they had moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, but Jefferson’s father, John Springsteen (1782-1867), his grandfather, Abraham Springsteen (abt 1755-1844 or before), or his siblings, may have been in NYC in 1856, when the City Directory listed quite a number of Springsteens and associated names.

Springsteens in New York City, City Directory, 1856/7, page 781. Public domain.
Springsteens in New York City, City Directory, 1856/7, page 781. Public domain.

An upcoming project is to go through this directory’s listings above, and determine exactly who each of these persons are, and how they might be related. Thankfully this publication places these Springsteens between the 1850 and 1860 US Federal Censuses, so those enumerations may help to sort out family lines, as might the occupations and addresses listed in the city directory.


Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. New York City Directory for 1856–
  2. Thank you, New York Public Library, for your Digital Collections and making public information truly public and freely usable!


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