Select Springer Surname Genealogy

Springer was at first a German name, originating from the German word springen meaning to “jump” or “leap.”  Its origin as a surname may have come from one who jumped; or it may simply have been a nickname for a lively person.

Springer can also be Jewish (the Yiddish shpringen has the same meaning) or Dutch, and there are variations of this name in Poland and in Slavic countries.  The Springer name has also appeared in England, although it may have come from a different source there

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Springer family history,starting from Thuringia in Germany in the 11th century, was first recounted in Moses Springer’s 1881 book A Genealogical Table and History of the Springer Family.

From an early American perspective, the key Springer line originated with Christopher Springer, resident of the German town of Weimar when it was occupied by Sweden.  He in fact moved to Stockholm sometime in the 1650’s and settled there.  His son Carl (later Charles) Springer was abducted in London and sent to Virginia as an indentured servant.  He eventually secured his release and made his way to the new Swedish settlement on the Delaware river.

The Springers number some 15,000 in Germany today.  The name may have had its origin in Thuringia in central Germany.  But it has spread north into Hanover and Hamburg.  Axel Springer, the owner of the Springer publishing empire, came from Hamburg.  

.  The Swedish Springers have been the most prominent Springers in America, but they were not the only ones.

The Swedish Springers
.  Charles Springer arrived in the Christiana Hundred, later Wilmington, in Delaware in 1681.  He and his wife Maria raised fourteen children there.  Some remained in Delaware.  Michael was the first of the family to settle in Fayette county, Pennsylvania where they remained into and through the 19th century.

There were the Springers of Uniontown and the Springers of Connellsville, Pennsylvania.   The Levi Springer House, built in 1817, was originally conceived as a stage hotel on the road to Uniontown.  It still stands. Other Springers ended up in NW Ohio.

One line from Delaware via John Springer led to Kentucky after the Revolutionary War.  He had two sons, Levi and Thomas, both of whom became Methodist ministers.  The Rev. Levi Springer moved first to Indiana and then to Illinois in 1833.  His bother Thomas meanwhile had been a pioneer settler in New Lebanon, Indiana in 1827.  He too later moved to Illinois.

Thomas’s son William became an Illinois congressman, influential through the Springer Amendment in opening up Indian lands for settlement.  William’s wife Rebecca wrote a famous Christian inspirational book that was entitled My Dream of Heaven.

Other Springers
.  There were some other early Springer lines:

  • Dennis and Mary Springer were married in New London, Connecticut in 1667.  It is believed that Dennis came there from Ireland.  His son Dennis moved to Elizabethtown, New Jersey; his grandson Dennis to Frederick county, Virginia.  The Indian fighter Nathaniel Springer is thought to have come from this family.
  • while Lawrence Springer arrived in Rhode Island from an English family in Barbados around the year 1684.
The largest number of Springers coming to America have been from Germany.  Johan Peter Springer arrived from the Alsace-Lorraine area of Germany in 1755 and eventually settled in Augusta county, Virginia.  George Springer, a shoemaker by profession, and his wife Mary came in the early 1830’s to Pennsylvania.  Some of his children moved out west to Kansas and did well in land and cattle.  Grandson Alvin became a lawyer in Manhattan, Kansas.

There are also a number of Jewish Springers in America, the most famous of them being the TV talk-show host Jerry Springer.  His great grandfather Abraham Springer had come from a small town in Poland, then part of Prussia.  His parents escaped Nazi tyranny, first to England and then to America.  Other Jewish Springers are to be found in Argentina.

The Swedish Springer line extended into Canada.  Benjamin Springer was a merchant in upstate New York who moved to Blenheim, Ontario in the early 1800’s.  He died in 1834 during the cholera epidemic. His son Moses, who grew up as an orphan, ran a German-language newspaper in Waterloo and was elected as the town’s first mayor.

  The Springer name in the Caribbean is probably of English origin.  John and Margaret Springer were early settlers in Barbados in the 1660’s.  Later Springers were plantation owners in St. Lucy.  Sir Hugh Springer, born in 1913, was a labor union organizer and later Governor of the country.  He was named as one of the ten national heroes of Barbados in 1998.  The Springer name also spread to Trinidad.

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If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

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Charles Springer was the forebear of the Swedish Springers in America.
Sir Hugh Springer
was the third native-born Governor of Barbados. 

Jerry Springer
has been the Mayor of Cleveland and a TV news anchor, but is best known as the host of the tabloid talk show The Jerry Springer Show which he has hosted since 1991.

Select Springers Today
  • 1,000 in the UK (most numerous in London)
  • 10,000 in America (most numerous in Texas) 
  • 2,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)

PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

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