[From an account of the Springstead family history written 4 Aug 1921 by H. A. Seaver]
According to Bergen’s History of Kings County, the Springstead family first came to this country when Guse Jans, a widow, arrived at New Amsterdam in 1652 with her two sons, Joost Caesperse Springstead and Johannes. Later in 1660 they joined the settlement at Bushwick. This was in the present New York City locality.
Joost Caesperse married (1) Catherine, 10 Jun 1663, daughter of Abraham Lothie and widow of Peter Praa; (2) Madeline Jansen. Their children and their descendants lived around New York City and Long Island and generally worked their way up into Westchester, Orange and Dutchess Counties.
The other brother, Johannes Springstead, married Marie Theunis. Their children lived near their cousins except one son, Casper Springstead who married (1) Wyntje Jurez, 3 Jan 1694; (2) Jannetje Schermerhorn, 28 Jul 1695. They came to Schenectady as early as 1707 where he ran the first mill. I shall refer to this Schenectady miller later.
It is exceedingly difficult to get much information concerning the early Springstead family. In the early days spelling was inaccurate, often each person having his own rules. I am of the opinion that in the Colonial records, and later, Springstead, Springsted, Springsteel and Springsteen refer to the one family. There are known Springsteen and Springsteel records which ought to have been Springstead.
On page 74 of the Van Voorhees Genealogy, reference is made to the mortgage of a large tract of land in Rombout Precinct, Dutchess County by Roger Brett under date of 10 Jan 1709. Here it is mentioned other people having land near in the patent, which were as follows: John Terboss, John Buys, Casper Prine, Peter De Boys and Yereb Springstead (spelled that way). This is the earliest mention spelled that way which I have thus far found. The Bretts built the first grist mill of the section, which brought people from many miles around, especially from the present Orange County. Later we find Springsteads living in Orange, Dutchess, Ulster and Albany Counties.
Revolutionary records show that Casparis, Abraham and Harmannus Springstead served from Dutchess County; Harman, George, Isaac and John served from Orange County; James from Ulster County; and Joseph and Jeremiah Springstead from Albany County. The Springsteads in Albany County were patriotic and did their part in the War for Independence.
The 1790 Census gives no Springsteads in Albany County, but County land records there show Joseph, Jeremiah and John Springsteel and Jacob Springstead all living in the town of Coeymans. I am positive that these were all Springsteads and that they were brothers. These brothers had at least one sister mentioned in the 1790 Census. She was Rachel, born 5 Apr 1759 who married, about 1775, Abraham Hagaman and lived in the town of Coeymans until her death, 29 Jan 1839. The farm where she lived is still in the possession of the family, being now owned by her Great Granddaughter, Miss E. A. Hagaman. The land records indicate that there ought to have been another mentioned in this Census, as David Springstead bought 200 acres of land in the Coeymans Patent 9 Apr 1789.
Other early Albany Springstead records are as follows:
- Jeremiah Springstead bought land from Salmon Skiller 1 May 1790, 225 acres, Coeymans Patent;
- Jacob Springstead and Lydia, his wife, 9 Apr 1789, 225 acres, Coeymans Patent;
- John Springstead bought land form Jeremiah Springstead 2 Jul 1791;
- Stephen Springstead, son of Jeremiah, bought land from Jacob Springstead and wife Bathsheba, his land in Coeymans 9 Feb 1815. (This was just prior to Jacob going to Canada to live.)
The land transactions do not show the relationships as do some of the wills, of which I will speak later.
Let us consider each of these brothers separately, beginning with Jeremiah who was at Coeymans as early as 1776 and served in the Revolutionary War. He died and was interred in the family plot on the farm, but his body has since been moved to the Coeymans cemetery. His tombstone inscription shows that he was born in 1739 and died in 1815. (This is our family direct descendant.) His wife Lydia was born in 1749 and died in 1832. His will, made 9 Nov 1812 and recorded 15 Apr 1815, mentioned his wife Lydia, son Stephen and daughter Hannah, the wife of Isaac Sill. His brother Jacob Springstead was named as one of the Executors. It was witnessed by David Springstead (his bachelor brother), Phineas Lewis and David Springstead, Jr. (a son of his brother Jacob).
Stephen, Jeremiah’s son, was born in 1792 and died in 1837 leaving the following family all under 20 years of age: Jeremiah, Lydia, Oliver (Uriah), Henry, John, Jane Elizabeth, Mary and Stephen. His wife was Abigail Terry, belonging to the old Rhode Island family, died 11 Apr 1870.
Sons of the descendants of Jeremiah still live in Albany County.
Jacob, a brother of Jeremiah, was early in Albany County as shown by land records. His wife was Bathsheba Marsh. In 1815 they sold their land in Coeymans to Stephen Springstead, Jeremiah’s son. One of Jacob’s sons was William, born 20 Jun 1775 and died 1860. From him descend the late Dr. David Springstead, who is buried in the Albany Rural Cemetery, and Dr. W. E. Milbands, a prominent physician of Albany.
Other children of Jacob were:
- David Springstead, who married a Joralemon;
- Jeremiah Springstead, who married Nellie Bartlett;
- Jacob, Jr., a clergyman who married Rachel Van Deusen;
- Levinia Springstead, married Hallenbeck Ten Eyck;
- Polly Springstead, married Peter Spawn;
- Phebe, nothing known of her;
- Hannah, nothing known of her; and
- Peter, born in 1792, married 1821 at Bethlehem to Elizabeth Jones.
Several of these children went with their father when he moved to Canada. Mr. V. H. Springstead of Schenectady is a descendant of this line.
David (one of the early Albany County brothers), according to Miss Lucas, never married. “He disliked the ladies very much — did not even treat them with courtesy. No doubt he had a love affair which did not turn out well.”
John, another of the early brothers, was recorded in the 1790 Census as “John Springsteel,” married with a son under 16 years and three daughters. According to Miss Lucas, this son was Simon John, called John. He married a lady by the name of Bartlett.
Uriah (Ryer) Springstead, the ancestor of the Schoharie branch, was, according to his pension declaration, born in 1788. It does not state where, but he enlisted for service in the 1812 War from Coeymans, Albany County. Mrs. Eleanor Turner, a descendant of Stephen and Abigail Terry Springstead, supplied more information on Uriah (Ryer) Springstead in 1984. The Bethlehem Reformed Church records show our Ryer was married to Anna Terry, a sister of Abigail Terry, on 11 Mar 1810, daughters of Phillip and Elizabeth Mason Terry.
To continue with Mr. Seaver’s account … you have a family tradition that Uriah’s father’s name was Uriah, that the father died when his son was very small. This, I think, is true. There was no Uriah mentioned in the 1790 Census. Your Uriah, according to U.S. pension records, was born in 1788. In 1790 he was a boy of two years old probably living with his Mother as members of some other family branch.
The Schermerhorn genealogy says Captain Daniel Schermerhorn, baptized 23 Mar 1745 at Kinderhook, N. Y. married Marie Vanderpool 4 Mar 1766 and that their daughter Polly married Ryer Springstead. The same genealogy page 223 says that the Dutch name “Ryer” is the same as “Uriah.” There was no Ryer Springstead in the 1790 Census. I know there was a Ryer in Coeymans before 1790. Hence, it would seem that it is safe to infer that this Polly Schermerhorn and Ryer, or Uriah, Springstead were the parents of your Uriah.
In the New York State early wills is recorded 25 Aug 1772 an administration of the estate of Casparis Springsteen in favor of his son Ryer of Albany County, Volume 31, page 472. This Casparis lived at Schodack Landing across the river from Coeymans in the new Rensselaer County which was then part of Albany County. This Casparis was born 1 Aug 1736 and died 25 Aug 1772. He was the eldest child of Ryer Springsteen … note the name “Uriah” again … who married Mary Turner 21 Nov 1735.
This Ryer was probably the son of Casper Springsteen, who was the first miller of Schenectady, arriving there as early as 1707. He had previously married Jannetje Schermerhorn in New York 28 Jul 1695. The name “Ryer” came into the Springstead family from the Schermerhorn family. Jannetje’s brother Ryer was a very important man in the early Schenectady colony.
From Schenectady, I believe the Schermerhorns and the Springsteads followed the Mohawk down to the Hudson and then down the Hudson settling in Schodack Landing and finally some of them crossed the river and lived in Coeymans. This seems the probable ancestry of your Uriah, but I have not sufficient proof of it to be absolutely certain. Uriah (Ryer) married Anna Terry, a sister of Abigail Terry who married Stephen Springstead. They were daughters of Phillip Terry, who married Elizabeth Mason. They lived in Swanzy, R. I. but about 1794 moved to Coeymans, Albany County.
I understand Ryer and Anna had six sons and one daughter: John, William, Uriah, Mason (named after grandmother Elizabeth Mason), Benjamin, Ira and Jane. John, William, Mason and Uriah came with the family from Coeymans to Schoharie County.
The following is what the U.S. pension records give concerning Ryer Springstead: Uriah Springstead was a very patriotic citizen. Not only did he volunteer his services when his country needed it in 1812, but he also paid his own expenses. His descendants may well feel proud of him.
Signed: H. A. Seaver
[He served under Captain Van Antwerp, marched to Black Rock and Sackets Harbor - Summer 1812]
Mrs. Eleanor Turner, a member of the DAR, has been researching the Springstead family history and has added some interesting facts. From what she has added, I would think that Stephen and Uriah were brothers, each serving in the War of 1812, Ryer being about two years older.
Mrs. Turner is related to the Springsteads by her ancestor John Coonly, who married Stephen’s daughter Lydia. It is said that Coonly purchased a beautiful pair of horses and carriage to keep up with the Springsteads, who were very well-to-do. Not being able to pay for the horses and carriage, Mr. Coonly hid in his well when they came for payment. His uncle was so disappointed in him that he relocated him on another farm which belonged to the uncle.