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.


Mathias Slaymaker: A Giant in the Woods (52 Ancestors #38)

I recently began researching Mathias Slaymaker at my dad’s request.  A preliminary search turned up a few historical books.  That is usually the case when I research an ancestor who lived in early Pennsylvania, which is why I love researching in Pennsylvania.  So much of it can be done online.  I can only imagine what I might turn up if I can ever make the trip.  The story of Mathias is as follows.

Mathias Schleiermacher was born in 1670 in Hesse-Kassel, Germany.4,5,8 He married Catharine Sciebel.1,4,8 While in Germany, Mathias and Catharine had two children, Lawrence and Margaret.3,4,5,6,7

The family came to America from Strasburg, Germany in about 1710.3,4,5,6 The family name was changed from Schleiermacher to Slaymaker.1,3,4,6 Mathias purchased one thousand acres of land from the Pennsylvania land office of the London Company. This acreage was called the “London Lands” and was located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Mathias named this area Strasburg Township (now Paradise Township).2,3,4,5,6,7

Mathias built a log cabin near a clear spring and cleared the land for farming.3,6,7 Here, he and Catharine had five more children, Barbara, Matthias, John, Henry, and Daniel.3,4,5,6,7

Mathias was remarkable for his almost gigantic stature and great strength.3,6 Also, “his honesty and kindness in dealing with the Indians won for him their respect and friendship.”6 These qualities, along with his excellent German education, made him an asset to the people of Lancaster County, especially since the county was mostly wooded and filled with Indians.3

Mathias loved Lancaster County and contributed greatly to its improvement. Among many other contributions, he cleared lands, built school houses, and encouraged religious movements.3,6

Image from History of Lancaster County by I. Daniel Rupp, 1844.

Image from History of Lancaster County by I. Daniel Rupp, 1844.

Mathias Slaymaker lived a long and purposeful life. He died in Lancaster County on November 25, 1762.1,7


  1. C&P LaPlante Files. “Mathias Schleiermacher Slaymaker (1670 – 1761).” N.p., 14 Mar. 2006. Web. 12 Sept. 2015. Memorial# 13617411.
  2. Egle, William Henry, ed. Pennsylvania Archives: Third Series. Vol. 17. Harrisburg: Wm. Stanley Ray, State Printer, 1897. Web. 22 Aug. 2015.
  3. Harris, Alexander. “Slaymaker Family.” A Biographical History of Lancaster County … Being a History of Early Settlers and Eminent Men of the County; as Also Much Other Unpublished Historical Information, Chiefly of a Local Character. Lancaster, PA: Elias Barr, 1872. 536-38. Print.
  4. “Murdoch Kendrick.” Colonial and Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania: Genealogical and Personal Memoirs. Ed. John W. Jordan. Vol. 1. New York: Lewis, 1911. 626-27. Print.
  5. Rupp, I. Daniel. History of Lancaster County: To Which Is Prefixed a Brief Sketch of the Early History of Pennsylvania. Lancaster, Penn.: Gilbert Hills, 1844. Web. 22 Aug. 2015. p.127.
  6. “Slaymaker.” Biographical Annals of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Containing Biographical and Genealogical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens and Many of the Early Settlers. N.p.: J.H. Beers, 1903. 50-51. Web. 22 Aug. 2015.
  7. Slaymaker, Henry Cochran. “Will of Mathias Slaymaker.” History of the Descendants of Mathias Slaymaker Who Emigrated from Germany and Settled in the Eastern Part of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, about 1710. Lancaster, PA: Publisher Not Identified, 1909. 38-39. Web. 22 Aug. 2015.
  8. Yates Publishing. U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 [database On-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.  Accessed 12 September 2015.