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Isaac LeFevre

Birthplace: Strasbourg, Departement du Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France
Death: September 25, 1751 (82)
Strasburg Township, Lancaster, Pennsylvania (82)
Place of Burial: Strasburg, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Immediate Family:

Son of Abraham LeFevre and Antoinette LeFevre
Husband of Catharine (Catarina) LeFevre
Father of Abraham LeFevre; Philip G. LeFevre; Daniel Lefevre; Mary Deshler; Esther Harmon and 2 others
Brother of Madeline le Fevre; Judith Lefevre; Philip Lefevre; Jacob Lefevre; Mary Lefevre and 2 others

Occupation: Farmer, America on Globe NY 12/31/1708
Managed by: Gene Daniell
Last Updated:

About Isaac LeFevre

Born near Chateau-Chinon in the valley of the river Yonne, France.

A Protestant, French Huegenot, which the Catholic Church persecuted severely. His father, mother, 3 brothers and 3 sisters were martyred in France. All he saved out of his wrecked home was his father's Bible, published in Geneva in 1608. This he cherished and preserved through all his flights from France, through Bavaria, Holland, and England, until he made his home in Strasburg Township, Lancaster County, PA., in 1712. He had it by his side until in his 83rd year, when his body was laid to rest. It is now in the library of the Lancaster County Historical Society, Lancaster, PA.

A boy of 16 who prized his father's Bible above everything else to save from his wrecked home, LeFevres are not ashamed of. And he was not ashamed of his ancestral name, which he wrote correctly, LeFevre, as did his sons and grandsons. We should honor such Christian ancestors.

An article which appeared in the Philadelphia Reformed Church Messenger, dated March 13, 1872, states: "The ship Isaac came to America on set sail October 15, 1708, being transport 'Globe,' and arrived in New York December 31, 1708. He and his wife Catherine and his son, Abraham, who was two years old". Isaac and Catherine inherited 350 acres of the original 2,000 acre tract granted to Catherine's mother at the time of her death. It is bounded on the south by the present borough of Strasburg, Pa., and the land of Christian Herr... Isaac prospered in his new home, and at the time of his death in 1751, owned about 1500 acres of land. A statement made by John LeFevre, his grandson, who knew him for 20 years, said that Isaac LeFevre was "lively, active, and took a great deal of exercise, even in his old age, and was very temperate." He died at the age of 83 years.

Philips LeFevre's Cemetery Land History :

This cemetery is not very far from Rt. 222, at the corner of Gypsy Hill Road (across fromthe old Lancaster County landmark, the "Big Spring".

Philip LeFevre's land was not part of the original 2,000 acres granted to Isaac LeFever and Daniel Ferree from William Penn through Kendig, but was separately purchased 11/23/1714 form Penn by Isaac LeFevre, the immigrant, and on which he later placed his son, Philip LeFevre, who became a renowned gunsmith there. At Isaac's death, the land was transferred to son, Philip.

French Huguenot that lived near Strasbourg, France. Escaped to Bavaria before coming to America in 1708. In Esopus, NY for 3 years. 1712 came to Strasburg araea.

Early History of LeFevre and Ferree Families:

As one becomes more deeply involved in his family's genealogy, the cold records can become living guideposts to be assembled into a contemporary concept of who those earlier people really were. Inasmuch as the LeFevre family in France were killed because of their Protestant Christian beliefs, that faith of our early LeFevres must have been very real, bringing forth many new facets to their lives. .

One should stop to reaIize what 16 year old Isaac LeFevre experienced in the blood bath he saw with has own eyes when his parents and brothers and sisters were slaughtered in 1685 in their home by the soldiers from the Roman Catholic state. His religious convictions must have registered heavily enough upon him so that he gathered up his family Bible. He took it with him as a momento or symbol of his beloved family as he hastily fled his native and familiar country to be traded for a foreign land. That was the Bible printed in 1608 in the French language in Calvin's Geneva. Just possessing such a Bible could bring instant death in France at that time.

That he was finally taken in as an orphan by the Daniel Ferree family, also Huguenots and also fleeing their native land leaving behind all their own prized possessions, is a matter of historical record. We don't know exactly where they met, but it is believed to have been near Strasbourg. Isaac's family were most likely very modest, probably workers in agriculture and vine growers and dressers. That's what the English noted on Isaac's listing for instruments to be provided by England's Queen Anne for her first boat load of new settlers for her new country. He was listed as a vine dresser.

The Daniel Ferree family (Fiere, Fire, etc.) were more likely from a much wealthier background, for Daniel was described as a wealthy silk manufacturer. He and his family had come under the heel of the French government because he was a professing Huguenot, a despised Protestant in that Roman Catholic comitted country. Instead of merely killing them as the soldiers had done to the LeFevres, it is believed they dragooned the Ferrees, sending a large band of perhaps 20 soldiers to live in their home. Usually under such circumstances the homes were upset, furniture broken, women desecrated, food taken or destroyed -- all in an effort to force the Huguenots to give up their Protestant religion and return to the Roman Catholic church. The Ferrees chose not to obey the soldiers. Instead they departed under cover of night, leaving all their possessions behind, and fleeing for their lives to depart their native country. That near part of Germany at that time was under the control of Lutheran Protestants, having been sold to them by Mad Ludwig to try to pay for the exorbitant castles he built for himself. .

So together, the Ferrees and Isaac LeFevre fled to the small town of Steinweiler in the mayoralty of Bittingham very likely about 1686, or within a year or so of fleeing their homes in France. This town was on the west side of the Rhine River, southwest of Mannheim and Heidelberg yet northeast of Karlsruhe. To help set the dates, Daniel Ferree was born in France circa 1650, and died in Germany circa 1708 before his family left for America. Circa 1669 he married Maria Warembauer born in France 1653, and died in Pennsylvania 1716. .

Among the Ferree family keepsakes is a church letter giving permission for them to leave for America. It was written on behalf of the pastor and elders of the Reformed Walloon Church of Pelican in the Palatinate of Germany. It was dated 5/10/1708 and granted permission for Daniel Ferree (son) and wife Anne Marie Leininger and their family to leave with their church's blessings. Records for the childrens' baptisms were included. Andrew Ferree was baptised in the Steinweiler Church 9/28/1701, sponsors being Andrew Leininger and wife Margaret. John Ferree was baptised 2/8/1703 in the church at Rhorbac with sponsors Abraham Ptillian and Judith Miller, both of Steinweiller. Though no such record for Isaac LeFevre, wife Catherine Ferree and son Abraham is known to exist, it would seem logical to believe they, too, had a similar church letter. They were so closely related, and were surely together members of the same Protestant Reformed Church there.

The term Walloon in the Reformed Church in Germany referred largely to French people who had been heavily influenced by the Germans, especially in the so called low countries of Flanders, Luxembourg and Belgium. The language and custom might have been Germanic. It is known that the New York LeFevres were Walloons. They had helped settle New Paltz, New York with Louis DuBois, known as Louis the Walloon who established the Huguenot related Walloon Reformed Church in New Paltz. And the Daniel Ferree and Isaac LeFevre families came under that influence both in Germany and again in New York. However, it is this writer's conviction Isaac LeFevre wasn't thoroughly a Walloon. He preferred the French language, as evidenced by the fact his notes in the LeFevre Bible were in French, as well the notations of the birth of each of his children in French, even long after he had arrived in America. The French Huguenot influence seemed to have been dominant.


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Isaac LeFevre's Timeline

March 26, 1669
Strasbourg, Departement du Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France
April 9, 1706
Strasbourg, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France
March 16, 1710
Kingston, Ulster, New York, United States
March 29, 1713
Pequea Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States
August 24, 1715
Paradise, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States
May 3, 1717
June 28, 1719
December 15, 1721
Northampton, Northampton, Pennsylvania, United States
September 25, 1751
Age 82
Strasburg Township, Lancaster, Pennsylvania