INTRODUCTION TO LEFEVRE
To every right-minded person the honorable
lives of his ancestors is an incentive to emulate their noble deeds. Macauley,
the great English historian, said: "Those who have no pride in the deeds
of a remote ancestry will hardly be likely to accomplish anything worthy
to be remembered by a remote posterity."
Nobility of descent should always be followed
by the nobility of ascent. Nobility of character, especially Christian
character, is within the reach of all. LeFevres can look back to ancestors
of the highest type of nobility. Of Andrew LeFevre of 1604 is recorded
by his Huguenot pastor: "They (Andrew LeFevre and his wife) were the best
people among us." Another person wrote of them: "Having walked before God
in Christian simplicity and performed their duty, they both died at a good
old age." Andrew's son Isaac, of 1648, suffered severe persecution by the
Roman Catholics for seventeen years, because of his loyalty to Christ his
Saviour. He died in a dungeon in a fort in 1702. Abraham LeFevre, of 1632,
another son and a faithful Huguenot, with his wife and three sons and three
daughters were killed by the Roman Catholics in 1685, after the revoking
of the Edict of Nantes, because of the nobility of their character.
Abraham's son, Isaac LeFevre of 1669, our
American ancestor, at the age of sixteen, alone escaped "with difficulty"
as he himself stated, from being killed along with the rest of the family.
All that 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 eighty-third year, when his body was laid to rest. It
is now in the library of the Lancaster County Historical Society, Lancaster,
A boy of sixteen 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, by at least writing their name correctly as they wrote it, in
accordance with linguistic rules, the only way family names can be preserved
uniform through many generations.
Our noble Christian ancestors did not live
in vain. They did not deem it their duty to write history, but they made
history. In this wilderness they won homes for us all, and have made Lancaster
County famous. These records will help us to keep them in remembrance.
Now, in my ninety-fourth year, I recall that
when a boy of fifteen, as I heard the names of my ancestors and relatives
mentioned, I wrote them down. By the time I was eighteen I had made a small
chart, or as they were called, "Family Tree," of about one hundred and
twenty names of LeFevres, descendants of Isaac LeFevre of 1669. Now I have
over forty-five hundred names from almost every State in the Union and
about sixteen thousand records. I include the consorts, but not the collaterals,
as this is strictly a LeFevre record. An Index of the LeFevres and also
another of their consorts has been prepared.
I have secured records that now could not
be obtained. I have talked with a LeFevre who lived before the Revolutionary
War, less than twenty-five years from the death of Isaac LeFevre of 1669.
I have secured records from old Bibles that later were destroyed in buildings
that were burned. Records on old grave-stones I secured that now are obliterated.
Many of the sixteen thousand records now in this book would have been lost
in oblivion if I had not secured them.
The descendants of Isaac LeFevre of 1669 seem
to be well distributed all over the United States, except the New England
and the Southern States. I tried to get them all, and it has cost much
time, labor and expense to gather them together. My only reward has been
my success with such an exceptionally complete Family Record.
If anyone is disappointed in not finding their
name here, or if perchance your name is mis-spelled or your dates incorrect,
I trust you will pardon me. I have called on or written to some one in
every family group whose address I could get, often enclosing a printed
form easy to fill out and a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply.
I have called on many persons by auto. On one trip just after LeFevres,
I traveled over two thousand miles in seven states.
It has been a great pleasure and satisfaction
to have the cooperation of many who were formerly strangers, who now are
cherished friends. I would like here to thank all by name for your assistance.
But if I name one, I should name all. So to each one, as you recall your
prompt response to my requests for names and dates of yourselves and relatives,
I extend my sincere thanks.
GEORGE NEWTON LEFEVRE.
A FURTHER WORD, FROM THE CO-COMPILER
This record came into my hands several years
after the death of the compiler. He had spent many long hard years of labor
compiling the records of the earlier generations, but those of the present
living generations were still quite incomplete. Besides traveling a good
deal through the eastern and eastern central states, at the age of eighty
he visited the country of France, where he gathered much information regarding
our French ancestry. At one time he had contacted some LeFevres in the
West but could not attach them to any one in his record. After a period
of seven years he finally located someone who gave him the connecting link,
and these Western folk turned out to be the descendents of his grandfather's
After receiving the record, I immediately
began to contact by telephone the one hundred LeFevres listed in our local
city directory. This took about five months, and to my surprise I discovered
that I was related to all the LeFevres in Lancaster city and county except
one. Then I began to reach out. After another year I had written approximately
1400 letters, and had located relatives in Arizona, Arkansas, California,
Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana,
Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota,
Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina,
North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas,
Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.
C. Outside the States, I found them to be living in Alaska, Panama, Chile,
Brazil, Turkey, and China.
These contacts have enabled me to add to that
which George Newton LeFevre had, the names of 500 LeFevres, 525 LeFevre
Consorts, and 2400 dates. The record now contains the names of 3477 LeFevres
and 2142 LeFevre consorts. I have endeavored to record the information
given me just as accurately as possible. However, I trust you will excuse
any errors which may have occurred, as I was often working on a hundred
or more families at the same time.
This has been a thrilling, never-to-be forgotten
experience. I have made acquaintance either by telephone, letter or in
person with more than 1000 of my cousins. To many of you, it seems as if
we have been friends for many years. Your kind and prompt response to my
inquiries has been very much appreciated, for without your help I could
never have completed your family record. And so to each one of you who
have so graciously helped me, I want again to say, "Thank you."
FRANKLIN D. LEFEVRE
|"'Tis news I have for you, my lad,
News to make your heart feel glad,
News to make you dance with glee;
It's all about your ancestry."
(Submitted by John J. LeFevre, New York City.)
On the opposite page is a picture of the Bible
which belonged to Abraham LeFevre born 1632. According to a notation written
with pen and ink near the top of page 1, it was printed in Geneva in 1608.
The size of this Bible is approximately nine and a quarter inches from
top to bottom, six and a quarter across, and four and a quarter thick.
When Abraham and his family were martyred
in 1685 the Bible was saved from destruction by his son Isaac, the only
On this page is written with pen and ink the
names and birth-dates of Isaac's six children.