Thomasson family’s Springs ancestry is of Dutch origin

Published 2:00 am Saturday, August 19, 2017

In last week’s column, the matriarch in the Thomasson family outlined was Sarah Roach Thomasson who was the daughter of Major Thomas Roach and Abbagail Garrison. Major Roach was the son of Samuel Roach and Eleanor Springs of York County, S.C. Sarah Roach Thomasson was the descendant of the Springsteen/Springs family to migrate to Covington County, Ala., in 1856.

Sarah’s Springsteen/Springs immigrant ancestor was a courageous widow, Gertrude Springsteen, whose husband, Casper Springsteen, died in 1650. The family was residing in the Province of Groeningen, Holland, at that time. During the same year, the Hollanders revolted against ruling Spain for the second time within the year. Those trying times influenced the widow, Gertrude Springsteen, to immigrate to America in 1652.

Gertrude Springsteen brought her four children with her—Barbara, Johannes, Melchoir and Casper. She brought her household furnishings, and the sons brought their farming implements and seeds with anticipation of becoming established in their new land. They arrived at the capitol of New Amsterdam, which later became New York City. New Netherland was a thriving community under the guidance of Governor Peter Stuyvesant.

The family’s first land grant from the Dutch Crown was for property lying in what is now Brooklyn or Queens, New York. They also purchased land on Long Island from the Indians. In 1661, they had land holdings up the Hudson River Valley at Schenectady and Albany, N.Y. Every acre they owned had to be cleared and developed to a condition suitable for agriculture.

Gertrude or Geertie Jans was married in Holland to Casper Springsteen (1623-1650). They had the following four children before his death and her immigration to America: Joast Casparse b. 1638, d 1695, m. (1) 1663 Catherine (Lothie) Praa (2) 1679 Magdalena Janse; Johannes Casparese, b. 1640, d. 1696, m. 1660 Maria Johannes Theunis; Melchoir, b. 1643, m. Gertrude Bartells; and Barbara, b. 1650, m. 1675 Staels de Groot. Obviously, they, in general, married into other Dutch families. Their mother, Gertrude, was married again in 1652 to Jan Jansen Van Groenengen with whom she had at least one son, Casper Van Groenemgem.

The oldest son, Joast Casparse Springsteen, was married in 1663 in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Mrs. Catherine (Lothie) Praa, widow of Pieter Praa, a native of France. They were the parents of the following children: Casper Joosten, b. 1664, d. 1729, m. (1) 1683 Maria Storm (2) 1693 Wyntie Juex (3) 1695 Jannetje Jacobe Schermerhorn; Joannes, baptized 1679; Catherine, b. 1680, m. 1700 Johannes Texsel; Jannetje, baptized 1684; Catherine II, baptized 1681, d. 1784; and Abraham, d. 1715.

The second son, Johannes Casparese Springsteen, was married in 1660 to Maria Johannes Theunis. They were the parents of the following children: Barbara; Jannetje Johannes, baptized 1667, m. (1) Jacob Colve (2) 1695 Paulus Van der Beek; Anna Maria, baptized 1673, m. 1695 Jacques Cossart Jr.; Catriana, d.1707, m. Johannes Jansen Van Vlerkon; Theunis, baptized 1674, d. 1694; and Casper, m. Maria Foos.

Joast Casparse Springsteen’s oldest son, Casper Joosten Springsteen, was married in 1863 to Maria Storm (1663-1739), daughter of Dirck Goriss Storm and Marietje ieters Van Montfoort. Dirck Storm was a native of the district around Bots-le-Duc in Brabant, Netherlands. Joast and Maria were the parents of the following children: Joast Casper “Joris,” b. 1863, m. Maria Colve; Derick, b. 1686, m. 1710 Geesje “Gertrude” Remsen; David, b. 1690, m. Antie Mary Alburtus; Gertrude “Gertry,” b. 1692, m. 1704 William Miller (Mullenar); and Abraham Frederick, baptized 1695, m. Abigail Betts.

The second oldest son, Derick Springsteen, was married in New York in 1710 to Geesie “Gertrude” Remsen. Their families were subscribers of the First Reformed Dutch Church of Jamaica, Long Island. They were the parents of the following three children: John, b. 1715, d. 1790, m. Sophia Gassaway; Maria, baptized 1720; and Abram, baptized 1723.

This John Springsteen is the ancestor who changed his name to Springs. He was married circa 1740 to Sophia Gassaway (1723-1793), a descendant of Colonel Nicholas Gassaway and Hester Besson, prominent families of Maryland. The couple was residing in Delaware when their first children were born from 1743 to 1754 at least. At some point, they migrated to Mecklenburg County, N.C. where they both died. They were the parents of the following children who used the Springs name: Eleanor, b. 1743, d. 1816, m. (1) ca 1764 Samuel Roach (2) ca 1781 George Dodds (3) 1784 Nathaniel Henderson; John Jr., b. 1751, d. 1818, m. 1776 Sarah Shelby Alexander (1762-1842); Richard, b. 1754, d. 1833, m. (1) 1781 Jean Baxter (1761-1804) (2) 1806 Mrs. Mary (Ball ) McBride Craig Clark (1777-1808) (3) ?; Hannah, m. Mr. Dempsey; Sophia Gassaway, b. 1760, d. 1830, m. 1776 Thomas Osborn Black (1755-1830); and Mary, b. 1761, d. 1823.

The oldest daughter, Eleanor Springs, was married to her first husband, Samuel Roach (1737-1781), circa 1764 in Delaware, which was her family’s home. Circa 1766, they moved along with the Springs family to Mecklenburg County, N.C. The Garrison family also settled near the Springs and Roaches. In 1772, John Jack sold 100 acres of land on both sides of Sugar Creek to Samuel Roach. On the same day, Samuel Jack, conveyed 88 acres to Roach. In 1778, Samuel Roach purchased from Ezekiel Polk 200 acres, also located on the waters of Sugar Creek.

Eleanor and Samuel Roach were the parents of the following children: Abraham, b. 1765, d. 1814, m. Mary Erwin; Nathaniel, b. 1768, d. 1799, m. Ann A. ?; Thomas M. or W., b. ca 1770, d. 1822, m. Ann Abbagail Garrison; and Sarah, b. ca 1780, m. Capt. Andrew Herron. After Samuel’s death, Eleanor married George Dodds and had two additional Dodds children: John D., b. 1782, d. 1834, m. 1807 Jane Sturgis; and Elizabeth Davis, b. 1783, m. 1803 William Wilson Polk.

The third son, Thomas Roach, was about 11 years old when his father died. He did not get along with his second step-father’s sons, so he lived with the Dodds family for a few years and with others including his brother, Abraham Roach, who lived in Charleston, S.C. After Nathaniel Henderson died, he returned to his home in York, S.C., where he soon met and married Ann Abbagail Garrison. He built their fine home in York just prior to the beginning of the War of 1812. When it commenced, Thomas Roach was commissioned a Major in Lieutenant Colonel Hugh Means’s Regiment of Infantry, South Carolina Militia. The company was stationed at Haddrell’s Point near Charleston. Major Roach’s military service is dated from October 1, 1814, to March 1, 1815.

Major Roach and his wife, Abbagail, became the parents of the following children: Nathaniel, b. 1797, m. (1) Martha “Patsy” Garrison (2) Bethany ?; Arthur Garrison, b. ca 1798, d. after 1830; Dolly Ann, b. 1800, d. 1880, m. 1819 Thomas D. Harris; Thomas Jr., b. ca 1805, m. (1) Sarah E. Workman (2) Mrs. Mary M. (Faulkner) Thompson Gillespie (3) Mary Bradshaw; John S.; Sarah, b. ca 1805, d. 1858, m. 1823 Thomas Randolph Thomasson; Elizabeth, b. 1808, d. 1848, m. Thomas Thomasson; son, d. 1844, m. Lucy ?; George Ross, b. 1813, d. 1842; m. Martha Jane Workman; and Samuel Madison, b. 1811, d. 1907, m. 1834 Mary Louisa Workman.

Major Thomas Roach’s daughter, Sarah, became the ancestor and matriarch of the Thomasson family in Covington County, Ala. When she married Thomas R. Thomasson in 1823, she moved from her family’s stately, two-story home in Rock Hill, S.C. She and Thomas later migrated to Madison, Morgan County, Ga., where they lived for about nine years. They then moved on to Pike County, Ala., in 1838. The area where they lived, Thomasville or Inverness and Post Oak, later became a part of the new Bullock County. In 1856 when land in Covington County was available at bargain prices, they made the move and settled in the Red Level community for a few years before moving to the Rose Hill/Burnout community where they lived out their lives. Their children and families were outlined in last week’s column.

The sources for this story included the family records of this writer, research done by a descendant, Sue Cowger, and the family’s history, Thomasson Traces. Anyone who has a question may contact Curtis Thomasson at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: