| In the northeastern part of France
was situated the beautiful Province of Alsace, with its magnificent city
of Strasburg, founded by the Romans near the beginning of the Christian
Era. The neighboring Province of Lorraine was formally ceded to France
by the Treaty of Bonn in 921, and became a part of Alsace. It was
the home of Mengen LeFevre, of 1510. It was subsequently held by
many kings and dukes until 1477 when Charles of Burgundy, who then held
it, lost his life at the battle of Nancy, Jan. 4, 1477. After this,
Lorraine merged more and more into the stream of French history.
At the death of Rene II (1508), his eldest son Anthony, who had been educated
in the court of France, inherited Lorraine with its dependencies.
He became known as the "Good Duke of Lorraine," and was the one who granted
the Coat-of-Arms to Mengen LeFevre, of 1510. In 1525 the country
was invaded by German insurgents, and Lutheranism began to spread in the
towns. At this time the LeFevres may have become Protestants.
The Coat-of-Arms of Mengen LeFevre of 1510, granted by the Royal Duke Antoine, the "Good Duke of Lorraine," was registered in 1543. The following is the official description, as translated from the French: Blue field, Three Crosses, re-crossed, of Gold, so constructed as to permit being driven, -- Stag head of Silver. (It was traced by R. G. LeFevre, of Cleveland, Ohio.)
In 1552, just after the LeFevre Coat-of-Arms was registered, war broke out by the Elector of Saxony and some German princes against the German Emperor Charles V, and Lorraine was overrun by the Emperor's troops. Then the LeFevres may have fled to the French province of Nivernois, southwest of Strasburg, and over one hundred miles from Lorraine. Here in the shelter of the Vosges mountains where they meet the ridge running southeast from Paris, in the valley of the river Yonne, near Chateau-Chinon, the LeFevres made their home until 1685. By Geo. N. LeFevre.
About the middle of the sixteenth century the
French Protestants were nicknamed Huguenots by the Roman Catholics.
In 1562 a struggle began between the Huguenots and the government, for
religious freedom. This was the beginning of the eight religious
wars which covered more than thirty years.
In 1666 a new set of Regulations, comprising
Fifty-nine Articles, was issued, the provisions of which so invaded all
the rights of humanity that they evoked a remonstrance from several Protestant
Sovereigns in whose continued friendship Louis XIV was interested.
This had some effect, and in 1669 several of the most inhuman Articles
were revoked and others were modified. (Stapleton, p.15.)
Another Huguenot family known as LeFerree,
Ferree, Ferrie, Fuehre, Fierre, Firre, Ferie, were of the nobility of France,
and originally seated at Forchamps, in Lower Normandy. The founder
of the family was Robert Ferree, who in A.D. 1265 was confirmed to an extensive
estate. (See "Nobility of Normandy," Vol. 11, p.357.
Stapleton, p. 10O-108.)
"Whereas Marie, Daniel Ferree's widow, and her son Daniel Ferree with his wife, and other single children, in view of improving their condition and in furtherance of their prosperity, propose to emigrate from Steinweiler in the Mayoralty of Bittingheim, High Bailiwick, Gersheim, via Holland and England, to the island of Pennsylvania to reside there, they have requested an accredited certificate that they left the town of Steinweiler with the knowledge of the proper authorities and have deported themselves peaceably and without cause for censure, and are indebted to no one, and not subject to vassalage, being duly solicited, it has been thought proper to grant their petition declaring that the above named persons are not moving away clandestinely, that during the time their father, the widow and children resided in this place, they behaved themselves piously and honestly, that it would have been highly gratifying to us to see them remain among us, that they are not subject to bodily bondage, the mayoralty not being subject to vassalage--they have also paid for their permission to emigrate; Mr. Fischer, the Mayor of Steinweiler being expressly interrogated, it has been ascertained that they are not liable for any debts.(From an old record belonging to Mrs. Minnie F. Foulk of Gap, Pa., a descendant of the above Philip Ferree. See also "Memorials of the Huguenots" by A. Stapleton, and "Rupp's History.")
After leaving the town of Steinweiler, the
Daniel Ferree and Isaac LeFevre families went on to London. We assume
Madame Ferree and her four single children remained in Holland at this
time. Daniel and Isaac joined a group of refugees led by the Rev.
Joshua Kocherthal whose expenses were paid by Queen Anne. According
to the Reformed Church Messenger
dated March 13, 1872, they set
sail October 15, 1708, on the transport "Globe."
The parchment Deed transferring ownership of 300 acres of land from William Penn to Isaac LeFevre.
| On Sept. 10, 1712, William Penn's
granted and confirmed to Daniel Ferree and Isaac LeFevre 2000 acres of
land for 140 pounds, in what was then Chester County, Pa. (Lancaster
County was not organized until the year of 1729.)--Rupp's History.
According to the above record the land was deeded to Daniel and Isaac, and not to Madame Ferree.
They arrived at their destination late in the fall of 1712. After all their trials and travels, it looked so good to them that they called the place "Paradise," and so the town and the township remains to this day.
From an unknown early writer we have the following:
"It was on the evening of an autumn day when the Huguenots reached the verge of a hill commanding the view of the valley of the Pequea. It was a woodland scene, a forest inhabited by wild beasts, for no indication of civilized life was very near. Scattered along the Pequea among the dark green hazel inhabited by wild beast could be discerned the Indian wigwams, and the smoke coming therefrom.
"Suddenly a number of Indians darted from the woods. The females shrieked when an Indian advanced and in broken English said to Madame Ferree, 'Indian no harm white; white good to Indian; go to our Chief; come to Beaver.' Few were the words of the Indian. They went with him to Beaver Cabin, and Beaver, with the humanity which distinguishes the Indian of that period, gave to the emigrants his wigwam.
"The next day Beaver introduced them to Tawana, who lived on the great flats of Pequea and was a chief of a band of Conestoga Indians who at that time occupied this region."--Stapleton.
The above mentioned Tawana was one of the Chiefs
who signed the famous treaty made by William Penn at Shackamaxon on Nov.
4, 1682. His remains rest in the burying ground used by the Episcopal
Church in Paradise, Pa.
LEFEVRES OF DISTINCTION IN OUR FAMILY
A few of our family who have achieved distinction
in life are the following:
OTHER LEFEVRES IN EUROPE
Here are listed the names of several LeFevres
of historical interest in the early centuries, but whose names do not appear
in the Record. This is due to the fact that no additional information
was available regarding their family connections.
OTHER LEFEVRES IN AMERICA
According to Ralph LeFevre, the New York State
LeFevre Historian, there were six different LeFevre families who settled
in America, as follows:
Chart showing eight generations of LeFevres covering a period of two hundred and sixty years.