Ned Spangler’s Real First Name
Baptismal record, First Reformed Church, York, Pa.
I have been heavily researching “Ned” Spangler for my next York Sunday News column. Spangler was one of the defendants in the Lincoln conspiracy trial. He drew the lightest sentence, six years of hard labor, instead of the death or life imprisonment sentences of the others. Testimony apparently convinced the military commission that he did not conspire in the assassination, but the commission believed that he was guilty of aiding and abetting John Wilkes Booth’s escape.
There has been a lot of confusion as to Ned’s proper first name. Accounts over the years have referred to him as Edman, Edmon, Edmund and Edmond. The trial transcripts by Pitman used Edward, as do some references in the press. He seems to have consistently signed himself Edman.
Curiosity drove me to the original microfilm of First Reformed Church at York County Heritage Trust Library Archives. The records were translated from the original German script over seventy years ago, and those translations are usually used for family history research. I was apprehensive because sometimes the records had faded and didn’t film well; sometimes the ink had bled through the pages, resulting in confusing blobs and sometimes the pastor just had bad handwriting.
Luckily, the Spengler/Spangler entry was quite legible. [Spengler is the German spelling of Spangler, used by the first several generations here.] See below for the transcription:
William Spengler & Anamaria
Edman born 10 August 1825, baptized 9 December
Sponsors: the parents
The Surratt Society and Dr. Mudd Society got it right when they dedicated his gravestone in 1986. So Ned’s life started and ended with his proper name: Edman Spangler.
Click the links below for John Wilkes Booth brief student days in York.
The Sherwood School or Bland’s academy.
More on the Sherwood School.
Probable location of the Sherwood School.