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Treasure Chest Thursday: G.W. Helbling and Anna May Beerbower Art

Drawings done by Gerard William “G.W.” Helbling as frames for pictures of himself and the love of his life, Anna May (Beerbower) Helbling.

Helbling Family, Beerbower Family (Click for Family Tree)

This has been a challenging year and sadly the blog has been one of the (many) things pushed to the bottom of the list- so sorry. Hopefully now there will be some time for writing and posting, as there are so many stories and wonderful artifacts to share!

The above images are on dark gray cardstock, likely ink and paint for the backgrounds and the images cut from photographs. Gerard William, or “G.W.” Helbling, was an accomplished artist, silk screen sign painter, and even an undertaker (that takes artistic and esthetic skills).

G.W. was born in 1882 in St. Louis, Missouri, most likely, and Ann May Beerbower, the love of his life, was born in 1881 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Since we do not have the 1890 census, it is more challenging to determine when GW and May might have met. Anna’s mother (Anna Missouri (Springsteen) Beerbower) was listed in the 1897 Indianapolis City Directory with her sons Edgar and Robert, and possibly daughter Anna May lived there as well- she likely would not have been listed, as she was only 16 at the time. Anna Missouri was listed as a widow, however she was actually divorced from her husband Edgar Peter Beerbower. (They would later remarry.) By 1900 Anna (Missouri) was living in St. Louis, where she was enumerated as living with her 23 year-old son Edgar S., and 18 year-old daughter “May.”

G.W. Helbling was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and his parents resided there between 1890-1900 per city directories and censuses. It is likely that the two met in St. Louis, after Anna moved there sometime between 1897 and 1900. They married on 24 November 1904, when Anna was 23, G.W. 22.

Their daughter, Mary Theresa (Helbling) McMurray, thought that he had created this art sometime in their early years together. Using pictures from when they were young teens- or maybe younger?- he painted the backgrounds first, then cut out the photos and glued them on. He was the “wild man” and she his “queen.”

The couple had almost fifty years together of their love story, but Anna died on November 9, 1954; their 50th anniversary would have been on the 24th. Their love story lives on in the sweet artifacts they left behind, and in the legacy of their children.

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Family treasure chest of photos and artifacts.
  2. City directories and censuses.

 

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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 2013-2017 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.
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Wedding Wednesday: Anna M. Beerbower and Edgar Peter Beerbower in the Springsteen Family Bible

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series The Springsteen Family Bible
"Memoranda," page 6 of the Springsteen Family Bible record pages. (Click to enlarge.)
“Memoranda,” page 6 of the Springsteen Family Bible record pages. (Click to enlarge.)

Helbling Family, Beerbower Family, Springsteen Family (Click for Family Tree)

We complete our series on the Springsteen Family Bible records with a sad and sweet piece of “Memoranda.”

Transcription:

Inds 9-12-1891

Anna M. Beerbower

Divorced from E. P. Beerbower

Sept. 12-1891 by Judge Harks

================================

Anna M. Beerbower & E. P. Beerbower

Remarried Dec. 26-1908, St. Charles, Mo.

 

These entries reference Anna Missouri (Springsteen) Beerbower, daughter of Jefferson and Anna (Conner) Springsteen, and her husband Edgar Peter Beerbower.

The family story is that “E.P.” Beerbower worked for the railroad, and would be gone for long stretches of time because of his job on the train. The story is that he also came home frequently without a paycheck- possibly due to a drinking or gambling problem or ?? per their granddaughter, Mary Theresa (Helbling) McMurray. Anna would have been left alone frequently, and would have needed to find a way to feed her 3 children. (Anna had 2 other children, one who only lived one day after birth, the other only about two months.) She had family nearby when they were living in Indiana, but after they moved to Illinois- they were in Urbana, Champaign, Illinois before November of 1885, and Cairo, Alexander, Illinois by 17 April 1887- she would have had to care for the family herself.

Less than three years after the death of their last son on the day after his birth, Anna was granted a divorce on 12 September 1891 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Son Robert W. was about 17, Edgar S. about 15, and Anna May just 10 years old. Anna Missouri moved to Indianapolis- probably to be near family- and was living with her sons Robert Warson Beerbower and Edgar Springsteen Beerbower in 1897, when she was listed as a widow in the Indianapolis City Directory. (Anna May was probably there too, but daughters would not have been listed i the city directory.)

By 1900 Anna and her three children had moved to St. Louis, Missouri. Could the move have been to be closer to E.P.? We do not know, and know of no other family in St. Louis but it was a railroad hub. As per the entry above, the two were remarried in 1908. A marriage record has possibly been found for the couple, although it is a hard to read. A marriage record for 28 December 1908 (2 days later than the bible entry) with the husband as “E P Beerbower” and the wife’s name “Mrs. Mae Clore” is in Ancestry’s Missouri Marriage Records 1805-2002 database. Interestingly, the record states that EP Beerbower was from Indianapolis, and “Mrs. Mae Clore” from St. Louis. The wife’s name on this record my have been copied incorrectly, as their granddaughter, who was very close to her grandmother who lived with them, did state that they had remarried, and lived together until EP’s death in 1916.

Don’t you just love happy endings?

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Family treasure chest.
  2. Missouri Marriage Record for EP Beerbowere and Mrs. Mae Clore: http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&db=MOmarriages&h=100516

 

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 or use of our blog material.

Sorting Saturday: Memoranda from the Springsteen Family Bible

This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series The Springsteen Family Bible
Paper clipped to "Memoranda," page 6 of the Springsteen Family Bible record pages.
Paper clipped to “Memoranda,” page 6 of the Springsteen Family Bible record pages.

Helbling Family, Springsteen Family (Click for Family Tree)

We continue our posts of the Springsteen Family Bible with the small piece of paper clipped to the “Memoranda” page:

It reads:

Baby Born 2/26/06

”      Baptized 4/22/06

Mary My then died 4/15/06

Jefferson Springsteen died 4/14/05

John           ”    died 5/2/06

Ed married 10/19/05

Mother           4/2/07

Baby died      6/12/07

The dear “Baby” who has a birth, baptism, and death listed was the first child of Anna May (Beerbower) Helbling (1881-1954) and William Gerard Helbling (1882-1971). Anna May was the daughter of Anna Missouri (Springsteen) Beerbower (1854-1939), probably the original owner of the bible. The baby’s name was William Francis Helbling. Anna Missouri had two of her own five children die young- one just a day old, the other only nine weeks- so she surely understood the pain that her daughter felt at losing a child. It was probably doubly painful to Anna Missouri because she had lost her first grandson (she did have a granddaughter at that date), but also to see her own baby in pain from losing a baby must have been almost unbearable.

If memory serves, Mary T. (Helbling) McMurray said that the handwriting was that of her grandmother, Anna Missouri, but the last 3 entries on this scrap were written by her own mother, Anna May.

Mary Mythen is Mary G. (Springsteen) Mythen (or Mithen), married to John Mythen. See next week’s “Mystery Monday: Mary G. (Springsteen) Mythen” for the little bit we know about Mary and John.

The Jefferson Springsteen who died 4/14/05 would be the younger family member, known as Thomas Jefferson Springsteen, born in 1848. He was the brother of Anna Missouri (Springsteen) Beerbower, the bible owner, thus son of Jefferson Springsteen (1820-1909) and Anna M. (Conner) Springsteen (1824-1887).

Anna Missouri’s other brother John William Springsteen is listed on the scrap with his death date. The rest of her siblings died in the 1930s, except baby Joseph Springsteen who only lived not quite two years, and Mary Elizabeth (Springsteen) Beckwith, who died in 1928.

The Ed who married in 1905 was Edgar Springsteen Beerbower (1876-1940, Anna May’s brother. His wife was Rosabel K. Hoppe (1885-1976), but sadly their marriage did not last, and they divorced sometime between 1920 and 1930.

The next entry for “Mother” likely means that Anna May’s mother married on 4/2/1907. Anna Missouri (Springsteen) Beerbower had divorced her husband years before, but had, as was common, been listed as ‘widowed’ on the census and even in an 1897 Indianapolis, Indiana city directory. This marriage entry is curious, as Anna Missouri was living in St. Louis in 1900, and she and Edgar Peter Beerbower (1849-1916) did remarry. A marriage record has been found for her husband dated either 26 or 28 December 1908- a very different date than what is in the bible. The marriage record is  for E. P. Beerbower (Edgar did use his initials) and a “Mrs. Mae Clore.”

Marriage record of E.P. Beerbower and "Mrs. Mae Clore," 26 December 1908, via Ancestry.com.
Marriage record of E.P. Beerbower and “Mrs. Mae Clore,” 26 December 1908, via Ancestry.com.

This does not make sense with anything we know of the family, as in 1910 Anna Missouri and Edgar P. Beerbower were living together in Indianapolis. No re-marriage certificate has been found for them in Indiana (their 1873 first marriage is a record available on Ancestry.com), and none with Anna Missouri’s name on it. Clerical error, perhaps, with the marriage register? Anyone have other ideas?

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Family treasure chest.

 

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 or use of our blog material.

Friday’s Faces from the Past: The Springsteen Family Bible- Family Portraits

This entry is part 2 of 8 in the series The Springsteen Family Bible
Page 7 of Springsteen Bible Family Records- Photographs.
Page 7 of Springsteen Bible Family Records- Photographs.

Springsteen Family (Click for Family Tree)

The Springsteen Family Bible contains three pages that had photos in them, but many had been removed by the time these pages were copied. (Yes, copied- these images of the bible were done before scanners!) So, with apologies for the quality of the images and the paper-punched holes in the side, on this Friday let’s take a look at these ‘Faces from the Past.’

First of all, none of these images have any identification to them, and what was on the back of each image was not documented well. Some of the images were taken out and then replaced for the copies.

Please note: The comments below are just educated guesses- NONE of the identifications can be documented at this point. Of course, if you have an image like one of these, please contact us! We may be able to better determine who the person **might** be by knowing who ended up with the photo- or, a family historian’s dreams could come true and your images might be labeled!

◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊

The image above indicates a sleeping baby, or, more probably, a babe who has passed away. Taking portraits of dead persons was one way to remember a beloved one who may have died suddenly, or very young. The BBC has an excellent article on such portraits- see Notes for link. Our image has an angel-like, floating-in-the-clouds feel to it, strengthening the belief that it is a post-mortem image.

Because the bible belonged, we think, to Anna Missouri Springsteen, the dead baby may be Mary Emma Beerbower, the daughter born 22 April 1880 in Brightwood (a suburb of Indianapolis), Marion, Indiana, who lived just until 29 June 1880. Anna Missouri and Edgar Peter Beerbower also had another child, little Willie Beerbower, who was born on 14 February 1889 and died the next day in Cairo, Alexander, Illinois. Finding these pictures and learning what might be on the reverse, such as the name of a photographer’s studio, would help to determine which, if either of these children, is in the portrait.

The little boy in the bottom photo might be Edgar Springsteen Beerbower (1876-1940). He was the second son of Anna Missouri and E.P. Beerbower. Edgar married a bit later than usual in life and then divorced, and no children of his have been documented. So there may have been no one who was interested in the photo in later years, thus it remained in the album- just an idea.

Or, could it be Anna Missouri’s littlest brother Joseph Springsteen, born in 1860 but died in 1862, before his second birthday? Much information in the bible is about her siblings.

Or, could it be someone else??

Page 8 of Springsteen Bible Family Records- Photographs.
Page 8 of Springsteen Bible Family Records- Photographs.

This appears to be a more clear image of the above baby. The reverse image at bottom right is believed to be from the portrait of the young woman below. J. M. Strode was the most prominent photographer in Kokomo, Indiana, for over 25 years, and working in the 1870s. Kokomo is about 60 miles from Indy. Wonder if this image is actually Anna Missouri Springsteen as a young woman? She married Edgar in 1873, and they may have traveled there for their honeymoon or just a visit. (No known family in Kokomo.)

Page 9a of Springsteen Bible Family Records- Photographs.
Page 9a of Springsteen Bible Family Records- Photographs.

Here is a picture of Anna Missouri when she was young…

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? (age 18, when she married?)

And a bit older- do you see any resemblance?

Anna Missouri (Springsteen) Beerbower
Anna Missouri (Springsteen) Beerbower

We probably need to do more research on her dress and hairstyle, as that can tell us much about the time period. It would be wonderful if it was an early portrait of Anna (Conner) Springsteen (1824-1887), seen here in later years:

Anna (Conner)Springsteen, cropped from family portrait c1863.
Anna (Conner)Springsteen, cropped from family portrait c1863.

Her eyes are more wide open than her daughter Anna Missouri’s, so there might be a possibility… More research is needed.

We definitely know that the young drummer boy in the upper right is Abram Furman Springsteen (1850-1930), supposedly the youngest drummer boy in the Civil War. That was the legend (not just with family, but in Indiana) though it is probably not true.

Page 9b of Springsteen Bible Family Records- Photographs.
Page 9b of Springsteen Bible Family Records- Photographs. (Click to enlarge.)

We don’t know the little baby in the bottom right photo, either. She or he could be any of the folks mentioned above, or even a cousin or family friend. It too looks like a post-mortem photo- notice the wide belt to hold up the baby? The eyes may have been added in, too. Sometimes someone would get behind the baby or child to hold them in place, and that may be the case here too.

So what are your thoughts on these images?

Please do let us know if you have these same photos, and especially if you can identify them!

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1.  Family treasure chest.
  2. An interesting article shows some of Victorian death pictures: “Taken from life: The unsettling art of death photography” bhttp://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-36389581

 

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 or use 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.