Nicholas Springer: I Pledge Allegiance (52 Ancestors #27)

I haven’t done much research on my Revolutionary War ancestors.  Most of the ancestors I’ve been researching lived in the nineteenth century.  My grandparents had told me that Nicholas Springer fought in the Revolutionary War and that he was my sixth great-grandfather.

One day, as I was helping a patron research at the library, I happened upon Nicholas Springer in one of our DAR books.  It yielded the following information.  Nicholas Springer was born on August 5, 1743 in New Castle County, Delaware.  He married Elizabeth McIlvaine in January of 1772.  He was a recognized patriot, having signed the Oath of Allegiance on June 9, 1778.  His children were Mary (1772), Robert (1774), Samuel (1776), Hannah, George (1779), Nicholas (1782), Stephen (1785), and Elizabeth (1789).  He died on March 30, 1792 in New Castle County, Delaware.1,2,3,4,5,6

This all seemed right, according to what information I already had, but I wanted to know who his parents were and I wanted to know more about his military history.  So I began a search and turned up a few things, though for primary sources, I think a trip to Delaware is in my future.

In addition to the above information, I learned that Nicholas (or Niclas) was the son of James Springer and Mary Bishop.2,3,5  He was christened on August 8, 1743 at Holy Trinity or Old Swedes Church in Wilimington, Delaware, which is the church that his grandfather, Carl Springer, helped start.5  He was buried in White Clay Creek Church Cemetery in New Castle County, Delaware.2,6

Tombstone of Nicholas Springer,, courtesy of Richard Morrison, 16 November 2007.

Tombstone of Nicholas Springer,, courtesy of Richard Morrison, 16 November 2007.

Oath of Allegiance

I, Nicholas Springer, do solemnly declare and affirm that I do not hold myself bound to yield any allegiance or obedience to the King of Great Brittain, his heirs or successors and that I will be true and faithful to the Delaware State, and will support and maintain the freedom and independence and constitution thereof against all open and traitorous conspiracies, and will disclose and make known to the Commander-in-chief for the time being, or to some Judge or Justice of the Peace for this State all treasons or traitorous conspiracies, attempts or combinations against the same, or the government thereof, which shall come to my knowledge.

(Signed)  Nicholas Springer.

June 9, 17783


1.  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.

2.  Morrison, Richard. “Find A Grave – Millions of Cemetery Records.” Find A Grave – Millions of Cemetery Records. Jim Tipton, n.d. Web. 07 July 2015. ( Find A Grave Memorial# 22945430.

3. U.S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.  Accessed 07 July 2015.

4.  Yates Publishing. U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2004.  Accessed 07 July 2015.

5.  “Delaware Births and Christenings, 1710-1896,” database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 7 July 2015), Niclas Springer, 08 Aug 1743; citing ; FHL microfilm 908,217.

6.  “Delaware Vital Records, 1680-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 7 July 2015), Nicholas Springer, 1792.

Carl Springer: The Power of Perseverance and Prayer (52 Ancestors #10)

Carl Springer (also Karl or Charles) was born in 1658 in Stockholm Sweden to parents Christopher and Beata (Salina) Springer.1,2,3  Beata was the daughter of the court physician to King Karl X of Sweden and Christopher was a court musician and member of the treasurer’s secretariat.  Carl, therefore, had a comfortable upbringing.  He had been sent to study in Riga and was well educated.  After he turned eighteen, Carl went to London to study English and mathematics.  He stayed with Johan Leyonberg, the Swedish Ambassador.  After he had received his education, before going back home to Sweden, he was kidnapped in 1678.1,2,3,4  The story of his captivity is best told in his own words.  The following is from a letter to his mother dated June 1, 1693, from “Pennsellvania on the Delaware River.”

When I was in London, and was of a mind to journey home to Sweden… having learned the English speech and writing and reading….. I was kidnapped and against my will taken on board an English ship, carried to Virginia, and sold off like a farm animal…. 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 the forest and making it ready for planting Tobacco and the Indian grain 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 Pennsellvania…. and…. 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.1,2

About a year and a half after his arrival, Carl married Maria Hindrichsdotter (Hendricksdotter/Hendrickson) on December 27, 1685.2,3  He bought two plantations and had crops and livestock.  Carl served his community by writing out wills, deeds and other legal documents in English.  He served his church congregation as a reader, churchwarden and record keeper.  Carl was naturalized in Philadelphia in 1701 and was appointed one of the justices of New Castle County Courts in 1703.2,3

Carl and Maria had eleven children:  Anna Elisabeth, born circa 1687; Rebecca, born circa 1689; Maria, born circa 1691; Charles, born 1693; Christopher, born 1696; John, born circa 1698; Anders, born circa 1700; Jacob, born 1703; Israel, born circa 1705; Magdalena, born circa 1707; and Joseph, born 1709.  Maria died in March of 1727 and was buried in Holy Trinity churchyard.1,2

Carl married Annika Walraven in June of 1727.  Carl and Annika had no children together.1,2  Carl died on May 26, 1738 of a stroke while crossing the Delaware River in a boat.  He was on his way home from testifying the validity of a deed in court.1,2,3  Carl Springer was buried near the South wall of Holy Trinity.  In 1762, a portico was added and was built over Carl’s resting place.1,3  “He was buried in the church that he loved.”2

Holy Trinity (Old Swedes) Church, Wilmington, Delaware

Holy Trinity (Old Swedes) Church, Wilmington, Delaware

Historical Plaque, Holy Trinity Church, Wilmington, Delaware, The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Delaware

Historical Plaque, Holy Trinity Church, Wilmington, Delaware, The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Delaware

Photographs from smilla4blogs.


1.  Springer, Jessie Evelyn. Charles Springer of Cranehook-on-the-Delaware His Descendants and Allied Families. Edwardsville, IL: Publisher Not Identified, 1959. Print.

2.  Craig, Dr. Peter S. “Forefathers: Charles Springer and His Family.” Swedish Colonial News 1, No. 19 (Spring 1999): 2. Print.

3.  Montgomery, Elizabeth. Reminiscences of Wilmington: In Familiar Village Tales, Ancient and New. Philadelphia: T.K. Collins, Jr., 1851. Print.

4.  Vandervelde, Kate Annelia Cross. Cross-Howell, Glover-Stoddert and Related Families Records. Emporia, Kan.: K. Vandervelde, 1959. Print.