7The Springer Family – Applegate Ancestors
Charles Christopher Springer (born in Sweden, 1658; died in 1738 in Delaware)
Maria Hendricksdotter (born in Delaware, 1662; died in 1727 in Delaware)
Parents of 5th Great-grandfather:
Charles Christopher Springer, Jr. (born in Delaware, 1693; died in 1759 in Delaware)
Margareta Robinson (born in Delaware, 1703; died in 1798, likely in Delaware)
Parents of 4th Great-grandmother:
Elizabeth Springer (born in Delaware, 1748; died in 1823 in PA)
Samuel Walker (born in Ireland, 1743; died in 1825 in PA)
Parents of 3rd Great-grandmother:
Mary Polly Walker (born in PA, 1774; died in 1858 in Harrison County, IN)
William Applegate II (born in PA, 1766; died in 1844 in Harrison County, IN)
The “Charles Springer and His Family” article originally appeared at a link which is now defunct: http://www.colonialswedes.org/Forefathers/Springer.html
Charles Springer and his Family
by Dr. Peter Stebbins Craig;
Fellow, American Society of Genealogists;
Fellow, Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania;
Historian, Swedish Colonial Society.
Originally published in Swedish Colonial News,
Volume 1, Number 19 (Spring 1999)
The dedication of Holy Trinity (Old Swedes) Church in 1699 was a milestone in the remarkable success story for one of its members, Charles Christophersson Springer, who came from Sweden some 22 years after the Dutch seizure of New Sweden. It was he who wrote the 1693 letter asking for new Swedish ministers on the Delaware. It was he who lent his tireless assistance to pastor Eric Björk in the negotiations necessary to accomplish their goal of constructing the new church. And it was he who Björk singled out as the most important reason for the success of this venture.
Unlike his countrymen in America, Charles Springer came from an upper class household. His father was Christopher Springer, who died in Stockholm in 1669 after 40 years of government service. His mother was Beata Salina, Christopher Springer’s third wife, who survived her husband for almost 25 years, serving as royal housekeeper for the dowager queen Hedwig Eleonora, widow of King Charles X.
Charles Springer was born in Stockholm in 1658 and seemed destined to follow in his parent’s footsteps as a leader in Swedish society. He was sent as a young man to study in Riga, Latvia (then a province of Sweden). Following this he was sent to London to study English and mathematics. About to return home, Charles Springer, then 21, was kidnapped and carried aboard an English vessel bound for Virginia, where in his own words, “I was sold like a farm animal” and held in “very slavery” for five years. Upon his release as a supposed “indentured servant,” he walked 400 miles to the Delaware, where he had heard other Swedes lived.
His initial residence, from 1684 to 1690, was in an area known as “New Stockholm,” located on the north side of Raccoon Creek in Gloucester County. On 27 December 1685 he married Maria Hendricksdotter, daughter of Hendrick Jacobsson and his wife Gertrude. Around 1690, Charles Springer and his family moved to Oak Hill, located on the east side of Red Clay Creek in New Castle County. This was his home until his death in 1738.
As one of the few Swedes able to read and write the English language, Charles Springer was frequently called upon to draft wills, deeds and other legal documents for his Swedish compatriots. (The courts wouldn’t accept such documents in a foreign language.) His reputation was such that he served as a justice on the New Castle court for 35 years (1703-1738) in addition to his manifold duties for Holy Trinity Church as warden, vestryman and trustee. Earlier, prior to the arrival of Björk in 1697, Springer also had served as reader at the Swedes’ church at Crane Hook.
Charles Springer’s last official act was to travel to Gloucester County to prove in court on 24 May 1738 a deed he had witnessed on 9 May 1685, conveying land in “New Stockholm” to Mårten Mårtensson, Sr., and John Archer, two Swedes of Ammansland in Ridley Township. While crossing the Delaware on his return trip, 26 May 1738, Charles Springer died of a stroke. He was then eighty years old. He was buried in the church that he loved.
Maria Hendricksdotter, the first wife of Charles Springer, had been buried at Holy Trinity Church on 15 March 1727. Three months later Springer married Annika, daughter of Johan and Brita Gustafsson and widow of both Matthias Martensson and Jonas Walraven. Charles Springer had eleven known children, all born by his first wife, Maria Hendricksdotter.
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Letter (obtained from Ancestry) from Charles/Carl Christoffersson Springer, dated 1 June 1693, from Delaware to his mother Beata Balzarsdotter Salina in Stockholm — English Translation. Translation by Courtland and Ruth Springer from the manuscript presently in Svenska ecklesiastika handlingar 1684-1694, R 1100 #185, Riksarkivet (National Archives of Sweden), Stockholm as published in Eckman, 106-08.
My highly esteemed, dear Mother:
I cannot not permit this opportunity which, thank God, I now have, to go by without making known to you distinctly, dear Mother, my present condition and life.
First of all, I find it wholly deplorable to be so far away from my dear mother, brothers, family, and relatives, and in a land so distant from you, and not able to receive any communication from you, for all that I have written to you many times, without getting any answer except for one letter in England.
Further, I shall also let you know about my coming here to this land. When I was in London, and was of a mind to journey home to Sweden, my native country, again, having gone to school there [London], learned there English speech and the writing and reading, and [having become] well versed in arithmetic, and, as I say, was about to journey home, I was kidnapped and, against my will, taken aboard an English ship. And against my will I was carried to America, in the West Indies, to Virginia. And when I got there I was sold off like a farm animal that is driven to market. Thus I was sold, to labor, and held in very slavery for five years together.
My work was unspeakable. In the summer it was Extra Ordinary hot during the day, and my work was mostly in the winter, clearing land and cutting down forest and making it ready for planting Tobacco and the Indian grain [corn] in the summer. I had a very hard master. But now – to God be praise, honor, and glory! – I have overcome it all.
When I had faithfully served out my time I heard, accidentally, that there were Swedes at Delaware River, in Pensellvenia, which formerly under the Swedish rule, was called Nya Swerige [New Sweden], and so, as I now will tell you, I made that difficult journey of about four hundred miles. And when I got there I beheld the Old Swedes, and they received me very kindly.
When I had been here about a year and a half, then it pleased God to send and vouchsafe me a most virtuous wife, by name Maria Hendrichsdotter, whom I married on 27 December 1685 and with whom it has pleased God to grant me three children, all three of them daughters, and she is even now with the fourth child. May God Allmighty give her a good delivery!
As for my activities, I am a reader here in one Swedish congregation, and serve it, because now we have no pastors in this land, for they are all dead. I serve the congregation in the church with the reading and expounding of God’s Word, for I have a Swedish postilla [book of family sermons], and the singing of hymns. It is now upon the fourth year that I have served the congregation in this way.
Moreover, I have two plantations that I have bought, and on one of them I live, and plough and plant sowing all kinds of seed during the year. I also have a livestock for the needs of my household, and so live, thank God, that I and mine suffer no want.
My highly esteemed Mother, dear, let also hear of you and my dear brothers, whether they are living, and how they fare. God has known my sadness at not being able to hear anything from you. That would make me truly glad of heart. My fondest longing has been that I might be permitted, before I die, to hear of your well-being.
We here in this land now have a godly enterprise, we who are Swedes. We have received a letter in our country here concerning our king in Sweden, that he will, upon our writing and representation, send us pastors and Swedish books, of which we have a great lack. They have no one among them to write for them but me, I have done it diligently.
I ask also, my beloved, dear Mother, that it may please you send me a Bible, here, and two manuals and hymnals, for I have no one of my own. And if you please, you could send them here to me thus, that is, first, send by some dear person to Gothenburg, to His Majesty’s faithful servant and postmaster, John Thelin, by name, who will surely send them to me by messenger at the first opportunity. Dear Mother, I am wholly at a loss for books.
I send greetings to my dear brothers, and my dear brother Lorentz Springer [half-brother] and his wife and children. Greet all good friends, relatives, and family, and all who know me and my name. My dear wife and children send all of you their greetings.
I remain always your ever most obedient son, unto death.
Dated at Pensellvenia in Delaware River the 1 June 1693
/s/ Karell Christoffeson Springer
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Samuel Walker and Elizabeth Springer – our 4th great-grandparents . Their daughter, Mary Polly Walker (1774-1858), married William Applegate II (1766-1844).
The Old and New Monongahela (extract about the Walker family)
By John Stoghill Van Voorhis
The Walker Family
In the year 1785 Samuel Walker, with his wife Elizabeth and a family of children, emigrated from Wilmington, Delaware to Virginia Court House, situate on the west side of the Monongahela river, at McFarland’s Ferry, about two miles above Elizabeth (PA). Court had been held at this place from 1777 to 1781, while this region was still under the jurisdiction of Virginia.
[p.177] Walker was of Irish extraction, but was born in Delaware, where he had served a number of terms in the Legislature before moving to the west. In 1768 he married Elizabeth Springer, the granddaughter of Carl Christopher Springer, a Swedish nobleman of prominence in the history of Wilmington, Delaware. In his new home Walker became a farmer and also operated the ferry at that place, where, in November, 1794, he ferried Gen. Morgan’s army, which had been sent to suppress the whiskey insurrection, across the river. Shortly after this date his son, Major John Walker, came to Elizabeth, which had been laid out in 1787, by Stephen Bayard, where he, John Walker, married in 1797, Diana, daughter of Robert and Mary (Davidson) Craighead, and engaged in boatbuilding, which was then in its infancy, but was destined in a few years to make the town famous. In 1801 Major John Walker, with a company of farmers, built the schooner “Monongahela Farmer,” a vessel of 200 tons. It was loaded with flour, whiskey, etc., and floated to New Orleans, where the vessel and cargo were sold. This was the first sea-going vessel built west of the Allegheny Mountains.
In 1802 the brig Ann Jane of 450 tons was built here for the Messrs. McFarlane, merchants. Major Walker loaded her with flour and whiskey and sailed her via New Orleans to New York where he disposed of both brig and cargo. The quadrant used by him on this voyage is still in the possession of the family at Elizabeth. In 1803 Major John Walker built the boats used in Lewis & Clark’s exploration of the Missouri river and the Northwestern part of the United States. He also kept the Mansion House, the only hotel in Elizabeth, where he entertained General La Fayette on the occasion of the latter’s visit to this region in 1825. He died in Elizabeth at the age of 86, having raised a family of eight children.