The Springer Hoax

Janet Ariciu
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The Hoax has been around sent the 1800’s. Every once it a while it pops up again and again. Many genealogist 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 Wilmingtion, 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 Spinger Heir’s Corp. was a stock sompany where you paid about $1.50 a share. They intended to get Heirs’s rights on Spronger estates from all ver 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 suposedly wa 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 embroided lineages. Theses bogus lineages have caused many problems for genealogy reseachers.

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 cousin 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 announcment, for the reason that there is no such estate in existence in Delaware as their much-dicussed 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 orginal Springer family, and we sould 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 withour 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 1800’s 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

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:” Decendants Hold Convention Here Prepartory to Filling Action in Wimington. Del.

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

Other ‘heirs’ in the Chicago area were listed as Dr Jospeh 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 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 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 was a stocks company you could buy for $1.25 each. This was supposed to defray cost of legae 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 EXISTED. 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 suposedly take the Springr’s back to 400 A. D. but scholars can’t authenicated 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 pu

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Shirley Hojna My Grandmother, Alma Rose Springer wrote to me that her father, Charles William Springer,and two other Springers made a search and had genealogies printed, one for each. Our copy was burned.

Shirley Hojna at [contact link]
Jan 28, 2003 8:42 am · Reply

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