Lydia Slaymaker: Will the Real Lydia Please Stand Up? (52 Ancestors #49)

The name Slaymaker always makes me think of winter.  It conjures images in my head of a person building a sleigh, even though the spelling is different.  Of course, Schleiermacher, the original spelling, means “veil maker.”  Nevertheless, this auditory association has prompted me to write about Lydia Slaymaker.

In truth, I know almost nothing about her.  However, I hope that what little I do know is enough to straighten out some confusion that seems to be spreading across the internet.  There were two Lydia Slaymakers born in the same century and both lived in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  Both also died young.  I have been trying to find Lydia Slaymaker who married Nicholas Springer, but often the wrong Lydia is attached to the family trees that I come across.

Lydia Slaymaker was born in 1782, the seventh child of John and Mary (Peck) Slaymaker.1,2,4  She married Nicholas Springer, the son of Nicholas and Elizabeth (McIlvaine) Springer.2,3  They had two children:  John Slaymaker Springer (born circa 1810) and Elizabeth Springer.2,5  Lydia died on December 22, 1818 and was buried in Old Leacock Presbyterian Church cemetery.1,4

There was another Lydia Slaymaker who was born in 1769 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.2,6  She died on September 20, 1794 and was also buried in Old Leacock Presbyterian Church cemetery.6  She is often listed as the wife of Nicholas Springer and the mother of John and Elizabeth on family trees.  This is not possible.

First, Lydia was the seventh child of John and Mary Slaymaker.  The third child, Mathias, was born in 1774, so there is no way Lydia could have been born before him.2

Second, Lydia married Nicholas Springer.  Why would she be buried under the name Lydia Slaymaker?  This a good indication that Lydia Slaymaker (1769-1794) is not the correct one, and Lydia Slaymaker Springer (1782-1818) is the correct one.

Third, and last, Lydia’s son, John, was born sometime between 1800 and 1810.  It just isn’t possible for Lydia to have died in 1794 and then given birth to two children.

We all make mistakes.  This research has been a reminder to me that I need to be very careful when I’m fitting pieces together.  I need to check and re-check my dates.  With winter upon us, I’m sure there will be a number of snow days.  I can’t think of a better use for them than verifying my data.


  1. Egle, William Henry. “Leacock Presbyterian Church.” Notes and Queries: Historical, Biographical and Genealogical, Relating Chiefly to Interior Pennsylvania. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Harrisburg, 1898. 79. Google Books. Pennsylvania State Library, 15 July 2006. Web. 08 Dec. 2015.
  2. Slaymaker, Henry Cochran. “Part III. Descendants of Mathias Slaymaker, Second.” History of the Descendants of Mathias Slaymaker Who Emigrated from Germany and Settled in the Eastern Part of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, about 1710. Lancaster, Pennsylvania: n.p., 1909. 115-21. Google Books. University of Wisconsin-Madison, 29 Nov. 2007. Web. 08 Dec. 2015.
  3. Daughters of the American Revolution. “Springer, Nicholas.” A Roster of Revolutionary Ancestors of the Indiana Daughters of the American Revolution: Commemoration of the United States of America Bicentennial, July 4, 1976. Vol. 1. Evansville, IN: Unigraphic, 1976. 601.HeritageQuest Online [ProQuest]. Web. 27 Mar. 2011.
  4. C&P LaPlante Files. “Lydia Springer (1782 – 1818).” Find A Grave. N.p., 26 July 2007. Web. 20 Nov. 2015. Find A Grave Memorial# 20647591.
  5. 1840 United States Federal Census., 2009. Web. 27 Dec. 2014. Orange, Indiana. p.95. Line 18.
  6. C&P LaPlante Files. “Lydia Slaymaker (1769 – 1794).” Find A Grave. N.p., 14 Mar. 2006. Web. 08 Dec. 2015. Find A Grave Memorial# 13617389.


8 thoughts on “Lydia Slaymaker: Will the Real Lydia Please Stand Up? (52 Ancestors #49)

  1. I found a man supposedly the father of a son who was born over 110 years after the supposed father’s death (a time LONG before artificial insemination), the supposed father also was not married ever and that one keeps popping up too. It seems that people just can’t seem to understand that just because a surname is the same those people are related and then when they pull stuff like attributing someone dead long before a child could be conceived is crazy. I suppose some of them are just trying for a way to attaching royal ancestors to their tree, but it sure makes it difficult for the rest of us trying to have some kind of accuracy and truth in the lineages.

    • I know exactly what you mean about people trying to connect to royalty. I’ve seen that happen a few times. I always tell my students, and myself, if you’re looking at a family tree, you need to find the sources and verify them before you add the information to your own. I find I often get excited and add things only to have to remove them later. Because of this, I’ve started discussing it with a co-worker, who can be much more objective than I can, before I add anything I have doubts about.

      • I keep two trees when working on a family line. One is with all the hints, whether sourced or not then the second with the correct information. I found that makes it much easier when looking for a clue and that when I do find sources that verify info I note it in the hint tree. Strangely enough, my spouse does indeed have royal connections which when I first located the info I disregarded, finding the verification was something of a surpirse. I did find that keeping a hints tree increased my search for the sources and verification just to be certain that what I had found was correct.

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