LeFEVRE HISTORICAL SPOTS
1. Mary Ferree, with her six children, a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law Isaac LeFevre, and three grandchildren, came to America during the winter of 1708-09. We understand they sailed on two different ships. The two married couples with their children came first. They were on the water 2 1/2 months and docked in New York harbor December 31st. After the others arrived they proceeded northward to New Paltz, N.Y. where two of Isaac's uncles had settled shortly after 1677.
Then during the summer of 1712 they all traveled to Philadelphia where arrangements were made for them to take up a 2000 acre tract which had been "laid out" for them by Wm. Penn's Agents. The purchase price was 140 pounds plus 10 pounds interest. A later survey revealed that this tract contained 2300 acres. On October 29, 1734, the original deed was surrendered, and for an additional 21 pounds, a new one was issued. This old Episcopal Cemetery in Paradise is located in the north-west central part of the tract. The large monument erected in 1932 by Mrs. Jessie Landis is in memory of her ancestors, the Ferrees.
2. On this side of the monument are the names of Mary Ferree, her husband, her six children and their marriage partners. But since her husband had passed away in the Old Country, Mary now uses her maiden name. Of interest to us is Isaac LeFevre (6-004). On the other three sides are listed the names of Ferree descendants and several LeFevres who later married back into the Ferree family.
3. We are now standing on a bridge which crosses the Pequea (peck-way) Creek about a half mile northeast of Paradise which lies to the right of the distant trees. Just beyond the trees to the right there used to be a spring of water. According to tradition, it was at this spring where the family camped for the night, and where they were met by the friendly local Indians. (See bottom of page 6 in our book)
4. Now we turn around and look down the creek from the other side of the bridge. The low lying area on both sides of the bridge is known as Pequea Flats. The Indians would have lived here and we understand they provided shelter for the family until some log cabins could be built.
5. This marker stands along Route 30 at the eastern end of Paradise. It states that Daniel LeFevre (7-003), born March 1713, was the first white child born in this settlement and that he was born within sight of this marker --that is down in the meadow where we just came from. Abraham, the oldest son of Isaac and Catherine, was born while they were still in Germany. Philip, their second son, was born up in New York State. Daniel and Samuel were both born here in Paradise.
6. A close-up of the Daniel LeFevre marker which you can read.
7. This is the Belmont Road south of Route 30, the approximate eastern boundary of the 2300 acre tract. We are looking westward over that land which is now dotted with productive farms and well kept buildings.
8. This scene is on the south side of Quarry Road about a mile south of Route 30. It is on that part of the 2300 acres which became the property of Mary's oldest son Daniel. We understand Daniel Ferree lived at the location of the white buildings you see in the distance and some writers feel that Mary lived there with them. But people refer to a log house which stood on the other side of this little stream. One man said he and his brother used to play in it. Another said he lived in it as a boy. And still another told me he helped to tear it away. These people understood that Mary Ferree lived here. And the Amish farmer who owns this land now (1990) said he dug into a pavement while excavating some top soil in front of the big walnut tree. Quite likely she also died here. She passed away in 1716, less than 4 years after making a home in the New World for all her children. The inventory of her estate is listed as 1 cow, 1 Bible, 1 pot, 1 chest and 1 kettle -- total value of 7 pounds and 9 shillings.
9. Just a short distance northwest of the last picture along the Black Horse Road is the Ferree Cemetery but which is commonly known as Carpenters. Here the road lies in a "cut" and we must climb these steps to enter the cemetery.
10. The Ferree Cemetery. It is the oldest cemetery in the area. Many Ferrees and LeFevres and their descendants are buried here. The large bright stone along the wall near the right side marks the grave of Mary Ferree.
11. The Strasburg Railroad crosses almost the entire width of the Ferree-LeFevre tract. It extends from the town of Strasburg to Leaman Place, a little village at the east end of Paradise, a distance of 4 1/2 miles. It was founded in 1832 when Andrew Jackson was President. The purpose of the road was to transport passengers to and from the main line of The Pennsylvania Railroad at Leaman Place, and to bring coal, lumber and feed to the town of Strasburg. It is now a tourist attraction hauling thousands of joy-seeking people with old steam engines. The train narrators calls attention to the cemetery where Mary Ferree is buried. It is called, "The Road to Paradise." Here we see a train on its return trip about to pass on the south side of the cemetery.
12. This marker was placed here around 1950 in memory of Mary Ferree. The little stone in the back has been there for almost a hundred years. Also notice the little field stone in the lower left hand corner.
13. This is the little stone in the back. It reads, MARY FERREE D 1716.
14. This is the little field stone which has now been raised. With the aid of a little chalk we can see the clearly cut letters of I.L. Do they stand for Isaac LeFevre?? It is reasonable to believe that Isaac and Catherine would have been buried beside her mother, but we cannot say for sure.
15. This is the Cherry Hill Road, the approximate western boundary of the 2300 acre tract. Here we are looking eastward over the rich farming land which is now Paradise Township. According to the 1864 Lancaster County Atlas, John C. LeFevre (9-088) lived at the location of the buildings seen in this picture.
16. Isaac provided a tract of land for each of his four boys. The one for his oldest son Abraham (7-001) was located 2 miles west of the original tract and less than a mile north of Strasburg. It contained 318 acres and is represented by this parchment deed dated, "in the fourth year of the reign of King George over Great Britain" -- November 16, 1717. On the back of the deed is a note saying it was recorded in Philadelphia December 23, 1717. Patent Book A, Vol. 5, Page 263. The price paid for this tract was 30 English pounds.
17. Abraham (7-001) died in 1735 at the age of 29. Shown here on the back of the above deed is the record of Isaac transferring the 318 acres to Abraham's two sons - John (8-001) and Peter (8-002). John received the southern half and Peter got the northern half. This is dated the 29th day of March, 1743, and gives us a good sample of Isaac's signature. Notice in the body of the transfer LeFevre is written with two small f's whereas Isaac wrote it with two capital F's.
18. This large brick house stands on the south side of North Star Road, on John's half of the 318 acre tract. It was built in 1836 by John's youngest son George (9-007). (See top of page 14 in our book) It later became the home of his grandson, George Newton LeFevre (11-075), the original compiler of the LeFevre Records.
19. This is the back side of the house. Notice it does not have a peaked roof - it has a flat roof. And this resulted in the water marks you saw on the old 1717 deed. (See picture No. 16) The house contains 27 rooms and I well remember the first time George took me through it - I was completely lost.
20. This house stands on Peter's half of the tract just a half mile north of George Newton LeFevre's home. The far end was built in 1797 by Peter (8-002) as is seen by the date stone on the back wall which gives both his and his wife's initials. The brick part at this end was built in 1821 by Peter Jr. (9-011). The date stone on this part gives the names of both Peter and his wife Mary. Looking closely through the little porch you can see the different materials.
21. Peter LeFevre Jr. (9-011) was a doctor. This little stone building which stood behind the brick part of the house was his office. It was torn away in 1970 to make room for another building.
22. This is the Abraham LeFevre Cemetery located on the George Newton farm along the North Star Road. Before George passed away he formed what is known as The LeFevre Cemetery and Historical Association. Although the farm has been sold, this plot is deeded to the Association and will remain in the LeFevre name. We believe that both Abraham (7-001) and his son John (8-001) are buried here but there are no stones to prove it. Back in those days it was customary to bury on one's own land. If this is correct, then there are six generations of LeFevre's buried here. On the far right side there are four little stones which bear the name of "Book" but no one seems to know why they are here - all the others are LeFevres. Now note the two monument son the left side.
23. This is the plate on the east side of the large monument. Read it.
24. This is the smaller one. Both were placed here by George Newton LeFevre. This one is in memory of his oldest son, Lincoln (12-117).
25. This grave stone for Peter LeFevre (8-002) who died in 1799 is on the right side of the cemetery. He served in the Revolutionary War as a private in the Lancaster County Militia.
26. This tomb stone marks the resting place of Dr. Peter LeFevre (9-011).
27. This stone is for George Newton LeFevre and his wife Laura. He was the Original Compiler of our family history and his number is (11-075). His parents (10-020) and also his grandparents (9-007) are buried here.
28. The 350 acre tract which Isaac purchased for his second son Philip (7-002) is located about 3 1/2 miles northwest of Strasburg and 1 1/2 miles northeast of Willow Street. This old stone house which still stands along Hans Herr Drive in West Lampeter Township is less than a mile southwest of Philip's tract. It was built in 1719 by Christian Herr, Philip LeFevre's father-in-law. (See under 7-002) If you happen to be on the Philip line, then you also descend from the man who built this house. It served as a dwelling, a Mennonite Meeting House, and also a shelter for the local Indians in severe winter storms. It is now owned by the Mennonite Historical Society and operated as a tourist attraction.
29. This is the Philip LeFevre cemetery on the Furry Frey farm located north of Bib Springs in West Lampeter Township. It is in a field just off the northeastern corner of Route 222 and Gypsy Hill Road. This was Philip's tract and without a doubt he is buried here but his grave is not marked.
30. This stone marks the grave of Philip's son Adam (8-007) who remained here on this tract. The other boys in the family moved westward. And at least six of Adam's children have been identified --- No.'s 9-026, 9-029, 9-031, 9-034, 9-036 and 9-038. Also three of his grandchildren, No.'s 10-036, 10-130 and a son of 9-026.
31. The tract Isaac purchased for Daniel (7-003) lay directly north of Abraham's tract - toward Route 30 and eat of the Hartman Bridge Road. And it was the same size as Abraham's - 300 acres plus 6% for roads. This house standing on the south side of Bachmantown Road is on Daniel's tract. It is built of stone, but as you can see, it has been covered with weather-boarding. The walls vary in thickness from 24 inches in the cellar to 18 inches near the peak. And up in attic you can see that many of the rafters were hand cut with an adz. But since this picture was taken, the weather-boarding has been removed. A stone on the back wall gives this information ---- D.LF 1757. That is Daniel LeFevre, the third son of Isaac.
32. This little family burial plot along Bachmantown Road is just a half mile west of Daniel's house. We feel sure that Daniel would be buried here, but there is no stone to prove it.
33. The tomb stone is for Daniel LeFevre Jr. (8-018). His wife lies to the right. There are also stones for two of his children, Sarah and Daniel, and one for a son-in-law, Jacob Hartman (9-073).
34. Samuel LeFevre (7-006), the fourth son of Isaac and Catherine, fell heir to the 383 acres in Paradise which was his father's share of the original 2300 acres. Samuel was a miller. We believe he built this mill and lived in the old part of the house behind the mill. After his death in 1789, the property was sold to Jacob Eshleman who likely up-dated the inside. It stands along London Vale Road a half-mile northeast of Leaman Place. We have a copy of an old map designating this road as "Road of the Year 1748." The mill appears on the map with this caption, "Mill formerly Sam LeFevre's - now Jacob Eshleman's."
35. This is Samuel's grave stone in the Ferree Cemetery along the Black Horse Road. His grave is the only one of Isaac's four sons that is definitely marked. Samuel's oldest daughter, Catherine married William Reynolds and they became the grandparents of Major General John F. Reynolds who was killed in the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1, 1863.
36. This house was built in 1796 by Samuel LeFevre Jr. (8-021). It stands on the north side of Route 30 in Paradise. It is an old inn and lays claim to being one of the oldest continuously run establishments in this area. Rumor has it that even prohibition failed to close the doors completely. I was told by a former operator that up on the third floor there are large iron rings bolted into the floor joists where they apparently tied down slaves (or maybe drunks). It is still a bar known as The Paradise Village Inn.
37. This old mill is located on South Ronk Road midway between Strasburg and Paradise. It was built in 1802 by a John Herr. Between the hears of 1905 and 1925, it was operated by Lincoln LeFevre (12-117), George Newton LeFevere's oldest son. He was the last miller to make flour in this building. It is now a tourist attraction known as the Mill-Bridge Museum. Among the numerous items on display, are a few things which belonged to George Newton, but which are now the property of the LeFevere Cemetery and Historical Association. The only item of special interest to us in an old waffle iron which originally belonged to John LeFevre born 1730. His number is 8-001. It has a real long handle and was made to be used over an open fire place.
38. Outside the mill, here is Joanne Rohrer (left) and her sister Nancy Rohrer Wissler. These two ladies are granddaughters of No. 13-042. They are showing you the old waffle iron. The John LeFevre who originally owned this iron was their 5th great grandfather.
39. This is "YOURS TRULY" -- Franklin D. Lefever (13-126) holding the old French LeFevre Bible printed 1608 in Geneva, Switzerland. It belonged to Abraham LeFevre (5-001). A teenage son named Isaac (6-004) rescued the Bible and fled with it shortly after 1685 when all the others in the family were martyred. This picture was taken at the Lancaster County Historical Society, 230 North President Avenue in the city of Lancaster. They are taking extra good care of it. It is kept in a temperature controlled vault and as you can see, I had to wear white gloves for this occasion. I was not allowed to touch it with my bare hands.
40. Here we have opened the Bible at page 456. It is the last page of the Old Testament. In the empty spaces at the bottom of the page we can read the name's and birthdates of Isaac LeFevre's sis children. Apparently the first four, Abraham 1796, Philip 1710, Daniel 1713, and Mary 1715, were recorded at the same time. It is the same handwriting and the same colored ink. Then came Esther 1717, entered above Daniel with a different colored ink. The last one to arrive was Samuel born 1719. His name was entered above all the others and with a different pen. Also note that the name LeFevre is written with one f and ends with re.
I trust you have all enjoyed this little trip back to the Land of your Ancestors. We have a good heritage. God has been very good to us and we have so much to be thankful for. It has been a great pleasure for me to have been your guide and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask them.