Sprinz/Spring is a little-known, yet interesting branch from the Miranda-Fimbres line that we continue to learn more about. There are several different iterations of the last name we have seen in our research: Sprinz, Spring, Springs, and Sprintz. In our line, Rudolph Sprinz is a paternal 3rd Great-Grandfather and was the first of his line to settle permanently in the United States. Rudolph was born in Bromberg, Posen, Prussia (present-day Bydgoszcz, Poland) in February 1857 to David Sprinz and Karolina Landsberg.
One of the only direct documented references linking Rudolph to our family is on his daughter Anna Lucero’s death certificate, which lists his name as the father and notes that he was from Germany. He is also listed as the father on the death record of his son Louis Lucero. There is some oral tradition in the family referring to a German Jewish ancestor, which we now know is a reference to Rudolph. There are also a few secondary references to Rudolph. One is the name of one of his sons: Rodolfo, the Spanish equivalent of Rudolph. A second is documented – the birth certificate for the child of his presumed son Rodolfo lists Rodolfo’s race as 1/2 Mexican, 1/2 German, with the half German part assumed to be a reference to Rudolph. Rudolph is not listed as the father in any of his presumed children’s baptismal or civil birth records, which we believed can be explained by two facts: 1) he was never married to Bersabe, the mother of the presumed children and 2) he was Jewish, and therefore would not be present at, or mentioned in, the baptismal records.
There is a record of a 17-year-old Rudolph Spring that arrived from Hamburg, Germany to New York in February 1874, on the passenger ship Pommerania. The arrival date and age (based on a birth year of approximately 1857) are consistent with information we have on “our Rudolph.” According to this ship record, Rudolph was a merchant from Santomischel, Posen, Prussia (present-day Zaniemysl, Poznan, Poland). At right is a translation of the original passenger detail in German for the passenger Rudolph Spring.
On September 23 1883, Rudolph married Sarah Kamak in Manhattan, New York. The record notes his parents as David Sprinz and Karoline Landsberg.
Rudolph was one of the earliest Jewish settlers of Texas and also one of the early settlers of El Paso, Texas. He is listed in the El Paso Tax Rolls as early as 1882 and in the El Paso City Directory in 1885 (although he may have lived in El Paso as early as the mid 1870s) and likely lived there until at least about 1905. According to the directories, he held a variety of different jobs, from clerk for the Mexican International Banking Company to accountant and bookkeeper for Krakauer, Zork, and Moye. Our family theory is that Rudolph had an unofficial (unmarried) relationship with Bersabe Lucero beginning in the mid 1880s. From the records we have seen, they had five children together:
Luis, born June 20, 1886 in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico;
Anna, born April 16, 1888 in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, married Francisco Miranda and later Rodolfo Palacios;
Jose, born December 14, 1890 in Ciudad Juarez;
Maria Concepcion, born October 29, 1892 in Ciudad Juarez;
Rodolfo, born May 1, 1895 in Ciudad Juarez, married Maria Luisa Serrano.
As noted above, Rudolph was one of a pioneer group of Jewish settlers in late 19th century Texas. He was one of the founding members of El Paso’s first Jewish Synagogue, the Temple Mt. Sinai. From a Texas Historical Marker located on 100 E. Yandell Street, “On October 10, 1898, in the El Paso County Court house, the first meeting of the Temple Mt. Sinai congregation was held, and officers and trustees for the first term, which ended 1 April 1899, were elected. Those present were: Mr. E. Fatman, A. Blumen- thal, E. Adler, William Fatman, Solomon Schutz, S. Aronstein, S. Blumenthal, I. Blum, B. Blumenthal, H. Eichwald, R. Krakauer, G. Newman, L. N. Heil, A. Stoloroff, A. Kline, J. Calisher, A. Solomon, R. Sprintz, F. Kierski, E. Kohlberg and A. J. Schutz. The first Jewish house of worship in El Paso was erected on this site with the cornerstone being dedicated on 20 June 1899.”
Rudolph must have also spent some time away from El Paso, perhaps living part-time in Los Angeles, California. In an 1888 voter registration list for Los Angeles, there is an R. Sprinz listed working as a bookkeeper and living at the Calumet Hotel. The registration list notes that Rudolph was originally from Germany and naturalized as a U.S. citizen in September 1884 in the El Paso, Texas district. The similarities in details (a bookkeeper originally from Germany having naturalized in El Paso) make it quite certain that this is the same Rudolph.
The 1900 U.S. Census notes that Rudolph and Sarah had a son named Harry together. The Census notes that Rudolph and Sarah had been married since about 1883 and that Rudolph was from Germany and was born October 1854 (within a few years of the year of birth in the Pomerania record). In this same year, according to a June 30, 1900 article in the El Paso Herald, Sarah died at her residence on 711 N. Oregon Street. Sarah was interred at the Mount Sinai cemetery in El Paso.
In the El Paso, Texas town archives, there is a record of an “R. Spring” marrying a Manuela Martinez in El Paso on March 11, 1903. It appears that shortly after his marriage, he and Manuela moved to Los Angeles. Rudolph is first listed in the city directory for Los Angeles in 1906 and appears from thereon in city directories as well as in the 1910, 1920, and 1930 U.S. Census. In each city directory he is listed as a bookkeeper for either private individuals, a grocery store, and later as an accountant for the federal Internal Revenue Service. The 1910 U.S. Census for Los Angeles, lists a Rudolph Sprinz married to Manuela and notes that Rudolph was a bookkeeper at a grocery store. In both the 1920 and 1930 U.S. Census, Rudolph and Manuela continued to live in Los Angeles, where Rudolph working as a an official accountant for the government. The 1930 Census specifically notes that Rudolph arrived in the US in 1874 (consistent with the Pomerania record) and that he and Manuela were both naturalized U.S. citizens.
According to Rudolph’s civil death record for the state of California, he died in Los Angeles on June 24, 1934 from Myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle. The record notes that he was married to Maluelas Sprinz, which is almost certainly a misspelling of the first name Manuela. It notes his date of birth as February 12, 1857 and his erroneously lists his place of birth as Berlin, Germany. Rudolph was buried at the Mount Carmel Cemetery – a Jewish Cemetery in Los Angeles. Manuela died on August 24, 1960, also in Los Angeles.