Springer DNA Project
This is the fun part.
Somewhere during my research, I came across a woman who suggested I check out the Springer DNA Project. More about that in a minute.
First, though, let me explain how far I got with David, my last definitively-known ancestor. Circumstantial evidence suggests that David's parents were Dennis and Mary Springer:
- Baptismal records exist for three of Dennis and Mary's six children: Abigail, Dennis, and Benjamin (the other three are Mary, Deborah, and David).
- Benjamin and David married sisters, Hendrikje and Margaret Oliver, respectively.
- Benjamin stood as a baptismal sponsor for David and Margaret's son, Daniel (b. 1762).
- David was a baptismal sponsor for Benjamin and Hendrikje's daughter, Maria (b. 1770).
- David's son, Daniel, and his wife, Margaret, were baptismal sponsors for Benjamin and Hendrikje's son, David (b. 1784).
- Benjamin and Hendrikje were baptismal sponsors for David and Margaret's grandson, David (b. 1790, son of their daughter, Martha).
That's a LOT of circumstantial evidence! Still, I had the cloud of Charles Christopher Springer hanging over my head and the question: who were David's parents?
So, I checked out the Springer DNA Project. Its goal is to classify--based on DNA test results--families with the surname "Springer." The DNA test the project uses identifies unique genetic markers passed down directly from fathers to sons, which meant that I was ineligible to participate. Fortunately, one of my brothers agreed and...and...bingo! His DNA is a match for other known male descendants of David Springer.
Significantly, the administrators of the project located and had tested documented male descendants and relatives of Charles Christopher Springer. Of the 67 genetic markers tested, it turns out that my brother shares only 26 markers in common with those Springers. To give you an idea of how significant that difference is, my brother has more genetic markers in common with my husband--who also had his DNA tested for his own genealogical research--than he does with Charles Christopher Springer.
But, the question remained: who were David Springer's parents? Finally, a known descendant of Benjamin Springer--David's supposed brother (see above)--agreed to be tested and...he's a match with the other Springers in the David Springer DNA group! Benjamin is a documented son of Dennis and Mary Springer, so...the next challenge for me is to find out more about them.