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INTRODUCTION TO LEFEVRE RECORDS

     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, Pa.
     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 brother.
     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 survivor.
     On this page is written with pen and ink the names and birth-dates of Isaac's six children.


 
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