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Springer Hoax

The Hoax has been around sent the 1800’s. Every once it a while it pops up again and again. Many genealogists old and new have fallen under its spell. I hope by printing what I have found on the Springer Hoax it well help others in the search for the truth. This Hoax has nothing to do with the Charles ( Carl) Christopher Springer being the son of Christopher Springer b 1592 in Lamstedt, Hanover Province, Germany and Lady Beatea Jacobine Henrickson b abt 1634 in Sweden. It has to do with land in Wilmington, Delaware and the Springer Heirs Incorporated claims on land, money and jewels in Stockholm, Sweden and also with a book by M. C. Springer. I have found information about both stories and list them below.

1870s

The Springer Dupont connection has nothing to do with a wedding between the two families. It had to do with Carl Springer leasing land to people on a long-term lease that expired when the Springer Heir’s Corp. was first stated in the 1870’s. The Springer Heir’s Corp. was a stock company where you paid about $1.50 a share. They intended to get Heir’s rights on Springer estates from all over the world. The largest claim was against the city of Wilmington, and Dupont Chemical, who supposed had possession of lands that had been leased by Carl. They did manage to get many smaller unclaimed estates,, but courts ruled against them in the case of the Carl Springer lease. The lease supposedly was in the sage of a law firm and disappeared just before it was to be taken into court, in a burglary.

The best research seems to indicate that the land in question belonged to the OLD SWEDE’S CHURCH and the Carl was the trustee.

The old law suit over some of the land on which Wilmington stands brought forth Bogus descendants of CHARLES (CARL) CHRISTOPHER SPRINGER complete with bogus lineage lines. Theses bogus lineage lines have caused many problems for genealogy researchers.

THE RULE IS NO DOCUMENTATION, NO PROOF AND NO VALID LINEAGE.

William F O’Dell published his family tree in 1981 Through Gateway Press Inc. of Baltimore. I was sent this information from one the Springer cousins who got the information from William O’Dell.

Mr. O’Dell got information from the Wilmington’s Chamber of Commerce in a letter that was sent to Mr. O’Dell grandmother on 23 June 1924. This is quote from the letter.

“There never has appeared in any of our newspaper nor has there issued from our courts any such an announcement, for the reason that there is no such estate in existence in Delaware as their much-discussed Springer estate. It is an absolute fake from beginning to end.

Our settled conviction is that somebody is busily engaged in keeping this ancient hoax alive for the purpose of exploiting for money descendants of the original Springer family, and we should urge that you follow the same advice we have given to everybody making similar inquires, and that is to spend no money on it, as it would simply have the effect of enriching certain individuals without any possible chance of return to yourself. We are frank to say that in every case this advice has been ignored and unfortunate people continue to send their hard-earned cash on wild goose chase.

It was learned that this hoax had been promulgated since the 1850’s or even earlier. It is true that lawyers, back in the middle 1800s did discover that Church property was deeded to Charles Christopher Springer during his lifetime” as trustee” for the OLD SWEDES CHURCH, but the property was never actually owned by him. Lawyers seized upon this technicality and had been bilking hundreds of “ Springer Heirs” for dozens and dozens of years”

Also in the book” Crane Hook on the Delaware” by Jeannette Eckman Copyright 1986, she writes a very similar description on page 137. You can get this book from the Holy Trinity (Old Swedes) Church Foundation, Inc. The Hendrickson House, 606 Church St. Wilmington, De. 19801 or go to the Hendrickson House at Hendrickson house

Again in 1 Feb 1909.

“RAMBLIN ROUND ‘When “Springer Heirs” Claimed untold Millions” by Joe Martin in Philadelphia newspaper.

To many persons, reference to the one time “Springer heirs” organization may have been somewhat mystifying but to thousands of persons who for more than 50 years had glittering visions of untold millions coming to them, from their supposed ownership of 850 acres of the heart of Wilmington as heirs of Charles Christopher Springer, the references recalled a great swindle

So persistent were the claims that on Feb 1,1909, a statement was prepared and published by the then mayor of Wilmington, Horace Wilson: “For many years the claim has been made that the descendents of Charles Christopher Springer were entitled to an interest in certain real estate situated in or about the city of Wilmington, Delaware. Just how this claim originated, nobody seems to know. The matter of the ‘Springer Claim’ has been investigated thoroughly by many lawyers at the New Castle County Bar, and no one has ever been able to find any basis for such a claim

Many attorneys and representatives of alleged Springer heirs have come to Wilmington from time to time, examined the county records and made inquires from other sources, but as far as we can learn, none of these parties have been able to find any ground upon which to base a claim”

To this statement were appended several other documents, including and article by Judge William G Whitely, which appeared in the Delaware Gazette, a Wilmington newspaper (which afterwards was incorporated with the Every Evening one of the components of the Journal Every Evening) of Jan 3, 1884

Only part of Judge Whiteley”s article can be given as follows: “Every year or two in the last 20 years, we Wilmingtonians have heard what an immense estate-stacks of millions-- we were enjoying unlawfully, having in some way diverted these small sums from the rightful heirs to-wit, the heirs of one Charles Christopher Springer. We heard that following the great crowds of heirs-apparent to English fortunes, there were meetings being called by”the Springer heirs’ agents being appointed to look after their interests, both here and in Stockholm, and money collected from these credulous heirs to pay those agents etc.”

In last Sunday’s Philadelphia and New York papers there appeared a history fo one of these expectant millionaires. Also his victims it is said to the tune of $6,000.00. (I will not name this person for hurting the families is of his is not what I want to do sign Janet)

The Springer Heirs Corp Story

There were at least 3 different incarnations of the Springer Heir, that operated from the 1870’s until the 1940’s. They all collected information from Springer about their genealogy and sold shares. They all promised to publish books about the Springer genealogy and failed to do so.

The Springer Heirs Hoax was live and well in 1923. There were several pamphlets and newspaper articles. The following is copies of three of the articles that a lady by name Joanne posted on the internet.

A Mrs. Mary McHahon was referred to in the newspaper as the organizer and has spent her life in tracing the sources of her own father’s mysterious income- -“etc. according to the Chicago Herald Examiner, dated 10 May 1923. “ A king’s ransom pales before the claims of the Springer Heirs, Incorporated. Kings’ crowns and jewels, heirlooms from 420 A>D>, land and money in Stockholm, Sweden, and an item of some $ 500,000,000 in Wilmington, De. are the riches that the 2,000 Springer Heirs hope to divide among themselves.” A sub headline reads:” Descendants Hold Convention Here Preparatory to Filling Action in Wilmington. Del.

Another newspaper article says Mrs. Mary Springer McMahin of Cedar Rapids, IA. Was the Mary O Springer who ran an article in the Chicago papers scouting out heirs?

Other ‘heirs’ in the Chicago area were listed as Dr Joseph Springer, coroner’s physician, Mrs. Cecil Ada Smith, Tucker Springer, Mrs.J.P Smith and Mrs. Helen Grace Woodward.

Still another newspaper article proclaims that five members of the Springer Heirs Inc. were residents of Los Angeles, and engaged Attorney James H Mitchell to file individual “law suits”against Wilmington, Del. Seeking the restoration of 800 acres of land on which Wilmington is built and which, was twice leased on 99 year contracts since the death of CHARLES SPRINGER, the original owner.”

“ Los Angeles descendants of the Springer family are: Mrs. Dora Vale Small, wife of De. David M Small; Fred Russell Blake; Walter Russell Blake; Winfield Scott Blake. William S Blake of Neb.; Harry W. Blake and A. M, Blake of Mo., have also engaged Attorney Mitchell”

This article continues: “Mr. Mitchell said he heard that the city of Wilmington recently made an offer to the Springers Heirs Inc., to settle the suit out of court for $ 5000,000,000. There are more than 2000 known Springer heirs, and through their attorneys they have decided to contest the suit”

Of course this Springers Heirs Inc. scheme demanded stiff membership fees to join the end result was that they were run out of town. ( The last remark on them being run out town is just opinion no prove on this.)

The Springer Hoax in book form.

Mr. M. C. Springer wrote a book on the Springer family. The original book was published in 1870’s. The Springers heirs were a stocks company you could buy for $1.25 each. This was supposed to defray cost of legal fees to get rightful inheritances of Springers…their primary focus was a group of land in and near Wilmington De. that supposedly belonged to Carl Springer.

Scribner published an undated version of the book in 1917 that supposedly corrected errors… THE MAIN PROBLEM WITH THESE BOOKS: IS THAT THE PEOPLE IN THE BOOK DID NOT EXIST. AS FAR AS ANYONE CAN PROVE, THAT THE TIE ROYAL GENEALOGIES TOGETHER TO FORM A MISH-MASH TAT SUPPOSEDLY GOES BACK THROUGTH CHARLEMANE TO THE EARLY BABARIAN KINGS OF SOUTHERN FRANCE IN THE 4TH CENTURY.

It is hard to go backward past Carl Springer’s father with any documentation of proof. The Swedish archives provide some records from Christopher Springer from about 1630.

Moses Springer’s book supposedly take the Springr’s back to 400 A. D. but scholars can’t authenticated it back past about 1592. There are a lot of Articles written about the problems in his book and Scribner tried to correct some of the obvious problems before he published revised edition in 1917.

The American Genealogist published 1941(also found in Springer pages on this WebPages)

What were the sources from which Mr. M. C. Springer and his successors derived their data for their claims? It should be stated emphatically that no authorities were quoted, and absolutely no documentation appeared in any part of the volume, with the exception of the afore-mentioned probate records relating to Christopher Springer’s estate. At the beginning of the Springer genealogy is the following list of “references’:Histories of France and Germany; Sheehan’s Genealogical, Chronological and Historical Atlas; Collins’ Peerage; Sharp’s Peerage; Life of Martin Luther; History of the Reformation; History of the Thirty Years War; Genealogical works and family memoranda; Church records in Germany under seal of pastors and superintendents ‘for much of which I am under many ocligntions to Dr Theodore Mund Lauff, of London, England: Records of Upsala, Sweden.

THE LAST TWO ITEMS ONLY ARE OF REAL GENELOGICAL VALUE.

Inasmuch as the church registers in Catholic Germany seldom go father than 1550 and many of the registers of Protestant Germany only go to 1650, it is doubtful if the published Springer pedigree can be verified much beyond the Christopher Springer who is said to have gone from Germany to Sweden, and to have become, in time, the father of the American immigrants. The book contains the genealogies of a number of German Springer families from the 17th century to the present, and it is presumed that the parish registers alluded to above pertain to those branches and not to the family from which the Swedish American Springers are allegedly descended.

A careful enumeration of the records now extant at Upsala would also have been desirable. The inclusion in the Springer bibliography of general histories of France, Germany, Martin Luther, the Reformation, the Thirty Years’ War etc., makes the work practically worthless.

This the lie that Mr. Moses C Springer publish in his two books. PLEASE READ THIS CAREFULY AND REMEMBER SOME OF THESE PEOPLE MIGHT HAVE LIVED BUT NOT IN THE ORDER OR THE FAMILIES THAT MR SPRINGER SAID THAT DID. This how the families above were lead to believe that they should get money or land or both from Wilmington, Delaware towns people. Mr. Moses C. Springer’s Springer said lineages lines were:

Louis II the Springer b 1042 d 1128 m 1087 Adelaide of Nordmark children:

Herman I b 1088 d 1115; Christoph Louis b 1091 d 1120 md 1110 Countess Adelgunda of Weiha

Chrisoph Bernardt b 1111, d 1121;

Christoph Louis b 1112 d 1119;

Louis Udo b 1114 d 1119; Gorrlob Herman b 1118; d 1193;

Winfried I b 1120 m 1141 Frederica of Werme

Winfried II b 1142 d 1221 m 1164 Lucie of Wehrendorf

Winfried III b 1165

Gottlieb Herman b 1166 m 1188 Catherine of Wende

Gottlieb Herman II b 1189 d 1198

Christoph Gottlieb b 1191 d 1249 m 1215 Frieda of Wessenburg

Christoph Gottleib II b 1217 d 1249 m 1238 Augusta of Hermanstein

Christoph Gottleib III b 1240 d 1296 m 1266 Amalia of Wermburg

Christoph Gottleib Iv d at age of 4

Engle Bert d age 7

Gottfried b ca 1274 m 1296 Elizabeth of Romburg

Gottfried II b 1298 d 1340 md 1322 Johanna Kollinsky

Gottfried III b 13232 d 1374 m unknown and m Tekla Meyer

Johan Gottfried Springer b 1348 m Josephine Hallen

Ewald Reinhardt Springer b 1372

Lorenz Wenzel Springer b 1374

Martin Baldwin Springer b 1375

Moritz Gerhardt Springer b 1377

Alexander William Springer b 1378

August Frederick Springer b 1379

Christoph Chrislieb Springer b 1381

Christoph Christian Springer b 1383

Johan Jacob Springer b 1385 m 1415 Dorothea Fischer

Martin Daniel Springer b 1415

Noritz Carl Springer b 1418

Meinhart Robert Springer b 1420

Lorentz Richard Springer b 1422

August Christian Springer b 1424

Jacob Christian Springer b 1426

Johan Jacob Springer b 1428

Johan Christian Springer b 1430

Daniel William Springer b 1432 d 1943 m 1460 Matilda Struebing

Dedo William Springer b 1461

August Gottlieb Springer b 1462

Gotthold Herman Springer b 1463

Matilda Marie Springer b 1464

Christianne Lotte Springer b 1465

Emil Gottfried Springer b 1466

Louis Herman Springer b 1467

Frangott Lebrecht Springer b 1468 d 1519 m Elizabeth Helen Peressler

Johan Jacob Springer b 1496 d 1531 m 1517 Elizabeth Hirtenfels

Mathias Martin Springer b 1517

Geferial Moritz Springer b 1518

Edward William Springer b 1519

Johan Christian Springer b 1520 m 1542 Rosa Heller

August Christine Christian Springer b 1546

Caesar August Springer b 1548

Christophe Christlieb Christian Springer b 1550 m 1588 Elsie Wehran

Christopher Springer b 1592 Lamstedt, Hanover (Germany) d 1699 Stockholm,Sweden m 1645 Alma Dorotha Javcobie in Wismar, Germany and m 1649 Beatea Salinius (Beatea Jacobine Hendrickson) in Stockholm, Sweden

Lorentz Springer b 1646 Wismar d Rhode Island (Lie)

Christiana Springer b 1650 Berlin d in Russia

Elizabeth Springer b 1655 Stockholm, Sweden

Charles (Carl) Springer b 1658, Stockholm, Sweden d Wilmington, Delaware

Christopher Springer b 1661 Stockholm d Germany

Baltzar Springer b 1664 d Switzerland or Sweden

Jacob Springer b 1668 Stockholm, Sweden d 1731 Long Island, NY or Eastern NY (LIE)

I Janet say “That it all makes nice story but without documents to proof it. It is JUST wishful thinking.” When greed walks in front door common senses runs out the back door. A good talking person can talk any one into buying the Brooklyn Bridge.

I Janet say “That it all makes nice story but without documents to proof it. It is just wishful thinking.”

Email me

Janet at monkey1946@centurylink.net