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JOHANNES (JOHN) LE FEVRE

                                      ABOUT 1700 TO 1779

 

From VAN EATON & Allied Families, by Steven Earl Coulter, 1974:

Johannes "John" Lefevre, son of Abraham & Mary Lefevre; b. about 1708-1710,

probably in Pennsylvania; d. late 1778 or early 1779 in Hereford Twp., Berks

Co., Pa. One of 25 taxpayers in Worcester Twp.,.Philadelphia Co., Pa., in 1734.

On Apr 8, 1743, when his property was resurveyed, he owned a tract of 567^

acres, most of which he sold.

When the Delaware Indians were driven out of the Forks of the Delaware

River in 1742, that area (now Forks Twp., Northampton Co., Pa.) was settled by

former Worcester Township residents. One of these settlers was John Lefevre,

who, in August 1743 secured title from William Alien to 368 acres just north of

the present town of Tatamy, and including part of the present borough of Stock-

ertown. In consideration of the sum of 5 shillings and the annual quit rent of

one shilling for each hundred acres, the Proprietaries issued a confirmatory

patent which was dated June 5, 1745. Some time between 1743 and 1745, John Le-

fevre built his new home, a log cabin, not far from the banks of the stream

known as Tatamy's Creek, a short distance above the point where it joins

Lehicton Creek. Lehicton Creek is now called Bushkill Creek. The east branch

of this creek, then called Tatamy's Creek, was renamed Lefevre's Creek soon

after John Lefevre settled on its banks; it is now called Little Bushkill.

John Lefevre's home was on the path between the Scotch-Irish settlements

of Lower Mt. Bethel and Alien Townships. He was called an innholder as early

as 1752. On June 19, 1753, he petitioned the Justices of the Court of Quarter

Sessions of Northampton County to recommend him to the Governor for a license

to keep a Public House or Tavern at his dwelling house. The petition states

that he had "heretofore been licensed to keep a house of Public Entertainment."

The tavern which John Lefevre and his German wife kept must have been well

above the average frontier tavern of its time. Most of these early taverns or

public houses furnished food, drink, and shelter for man and beast. With a

clientele not overly particular, and accustomed only to the bare necessities of

life. William Parsons, founder & foremost citizen of Easton, the county seat,

five miles south of Lefevre's tavern, often spent several days at a time at the

inn, and sometimes entertained his friends there. A suit on behalf of John Le-

fevre was entered at the December term of court, 1758, against the executor of

the estate of William Parsons for 80 pounds, which William Parsons had contracted

during his lifetime for "Meat, Drink, Washing, Lodging, and Hospitality for him-

self and Servants and divers other persons and for pasturage and fodder for his

and their Horses and Geldings." John Lefevre's son Isaac was constable for Forks

Township, and the return he submitted for 1755 shows that his father was the

only person in the township licensed to sell liquor that year. The location of

John Lefevre's tavern is shown on the map on page 6.

In 1755 began the Indian uprisings which culminated in the French & Indian

War. A chain of forts had been constructed along the Blue Mountains from the

Delaware River to the Susquehanna River, and thence continuing to the Maryland

line. In the course of duty, it often became necessary for the commanders of

these forts to go to Easton to report and receive orders from William Parsons,

who had been appointed major in command of the forces of the county. Lefevre's

Tavern was on the road leading from many of these forts to Easton. Many men

stopped at the tavern for food and drink, and were served by the six attractive

daughters of the landlord. One of these commanders. Captain John Van Etten,

later married one of the daughters, Margaret Lefevre.

An enumeration of horses and wagons in 1758 listed John Lefevre with one

wagon and three draught horses. His son Abraham had one wagon and two draught

horses; and his son Isaac had 1 pack horse.

In the late 1750s, a steady procession of settlers fleeing from the Indian

depredations passed Lefevre's Tavern. The frontier, which had been extended

well beyond the Blue Mountains, was receding. Sometime after 1761, John Lefevre

joined the refugees, and again became a resident of the home of his youth in

Worcester Twp., Philadelphia Co., Pa. In 1760 he sold about 105 acres of his

368-acre tract in Forks Twp. On May 21, 1764, for 500 pounds, he sold the rest

of the tract to his son-in-law, John Van Etten.

John Lefevre married Christina Wentz. She may have been a daughter of Peter

Wentz, who in 1743 owned property adjacent to John Lefevre's in Worcester Twp.

In 1762, John Lefevre Sr. and his wife Christina gave an acre of ground in

Worcester Twp. to the Wentz Reformed Church. Another acre was given by Jacob

Wentz and his wife Elizabeth. On these two parcels of land a new church was

built.

In the 1770s, John Lefevre Sr. owned 100 acres of land in Worcester Twp.,

plus a tract of land in Loudon Co., Virginia. Of the latter tract, he bequeathed

125 acres to his son John, and 150 acres to his son Henry. On October 28, 1778,

John LaFebre of Hereford Twp., Berks Co., Pa., yeoman, made his last will; it

was proved Feb 3, 1779, and is supposed to be filed in Philadelphia, though it

could not be found there in 1973. His wife is not mentioned, so she must have

preceded him in death. (A search in Berks Co., Pa., also failed to find his will.)

John Lefevre & Christina Wentz had 11 children:

1. Margaret Lefevre, m. Capt. John Van Etten (see p. 13)

2. Susanna Lefevre, m. Gabriel Frey

3. Catherina Lefevre, m. Jacob Best; settled in Moore Twp., Northampton Co., Pa.

4. Anna Mary Lefevre, m. Peter Mellig

5. Christina Lefevre, m. John, brother of Peter Mellig

6. Elizabeth Lefevre, m. Leonard Gressemer

7. John Lefevre Jr.

8. Isaac Lefevre

9. Abraham Lefevre, purchased 200 acres in Norriton Twp., Philadelphia Co.,

Pa. in 1761; he and his wife Elizabeth sold half this land in 1766.

10. Nicholas Lefevre

11. Henry Lefevre

Lefevre references: "A Frontier Village—Pre-Revolutionary Easton," by A.D.

Chidsey Jr., vol III in the publications of the Northampton County Historical

& Genealogical Society, 1940. John LeFevre, Tavern Keeper, is the subject of

chapter four. The map from this book is shown on p. 6. Reprints of "A Frontier

Village" are available for $7 from the Northampton Co. Historical & Genealogi-

cal Society, 101 South 4th St., Easton, PA 18042. Other Lefevre references:

"History of New Paltz," 1909, p. 407. "The Pennsylvania Lefevres" by George

Lefevre, 1952, p. 10. Letter from Kenneth Hasbrouck of New Paltz, N.Y., Feb 9,

1973.

 

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Family Group Record FamilySearch™ Ancestral File v4.19
Download GEDCOM

Husband's Name
John LEFEVRE (AFN:1H74-S5H) Pedigree
Born:  Abt 1700 Place:  <Hereford Twnshp, Berks Co, Pa>
Died:  //1779 Place:  Hereford Twnshp, Berks Co, Pa
Buried:  Wentz's Ch Place:  Berks Co, Pa
Married:  Abt 1718 Place: 
Father:  Abraham LEFEVRE (AFN:1H74-S33) Family
Mother:  Mary (AFN:1H74-S49)

Wife's Name
Anna Christina WENTZ (AFN:1H74-S84) Pedigree
Born:  Abt 1703 Place:  <Pa>
Died:  Bef 1779 Place:  Pa
Married:  Abt 1718 Place: 
Father:  Peter WENTZ (AFN:1H74-S6P) Family
Mother:  <Unknown> (AFN:1H74-S7W)

Children

1.  Sex  Name
M John LEFEVRE (AFN:1H74-K3V) Pedigree
Born:  Abt. 1719 Place:  <Pa>

2.  Sex  Name
M Isaac LEFEVRE (AFN:1H74-K43) Pedigree
Born:  Abt. 1721 Place:  <Pa>

3.  Sex  Name
M Abraham LEFEVRE (AFN:1H74-K59) Pedigree
Born:  Abt. 1723 Place:  <Pa>

4.  Sex  Name
F Margaret LEFEVRE (AFN:1H74-K7P) Pedigree
Born:  Abt. 1726 Place:  <Pa>

5.  Sex  Name
M Nicholas LEFEVRE (AFN:1H74-K8W) Pedigree
Born:  Abt. 1728 Place:  <Pa>

6.  Sex  Name
F Susanna LEFEVRE (AFN:1H74-K94) Pedigree
Born:  Abt. 1730 Place:  <Pa>

7.  Sex  Name
F Ann Mary LEFEVRE (AFN:1H74-KBB) Pedigree
Born:  Abt. 1732 Place:  <Pa>

8.  Sex  Name
M Henry LEFEVRE (AFN:1H74-KCJ) Pedigree
Born:  Abt. 1734 Place:  <Pa>

9.  Sex  Name
F Christina LEFEVRE (AFN:1H74-KDQ) Pedigree
Born:  Abt. 1736 Place:  <Pa>

10.  Sex  Name
F Elizabeth LEFEVRE (AFN:1H74-RHD) Pedigree
Born:  4 Oct 1739 Place:  Pa
Died:  14 Jan 1814 Place:  Pa

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 Will of John Lefever Will Bk R p. 229, Phila. Co. PA


In the name of God Amen, I John Lefever of Hereford Township in the County of Berks in the State of Penna Yeoman And far advanced in years, find myself weak in body but of perfect mind memory understanding, God be Thanked, do this eight twentieth (sic) day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy eight make and ordain this my last Will & Testament in manner following. First I recommend my soul into the hands of Creator, my body to the earth to be decently buried at the discretions of my executors & as for my worldly good and effects wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this life, I give and devise the same in manner following. First I will that all my just debts & funeral expenses with the probate thereof be duly satisfied and paid out nf my estate.


Item  I give and bequeath unto my son John Lefever all that piece or tract of land now belonging to me situate & lying in Loudon County in the State of Virginia adjoining to my son Henry’s land that hath been a part thereof containing one hundred and twenty five acres of land be it more or less with all and singular the appurtenances there unto belonging to hold to him and his heirs & assigns forever & which is to be in full of his part share and portion out of my whole estate Real & personal And where as I have given unto my youngest son Henry Lafever a certain piece or tract of land situate and lying in Loudon County in the State of Virginia adjoining to my son to my son Johnn’s land and hath been a part thereof containing one hundred and fifty acres of land be the same more or less with all & singular the appurtenances thereunto belong to hold to him his heirs & assigns forever which also shall be in full of his part share and portion out of my whole estate both real & personal.


Item  I give and devise unto my two daughters Margaretha now wife of Jno. Van Eaten tc Susanna now wife of Gabriel Frey the sum of five shillings to each of them money of Penna. which shall be in full of their shares & portions out of my whole estate as I have given to them in my lifetime sufficient for their part and share & which shall be paid unto them within twelve months after my decease.


Item  I give to my son Isaac Lefever my dutch bible in folio, first and foremost before he shares with the rest of my children.


And all the remainder & residue of my whole estate whatever I leave behind me at the time of my decease, I give to all my children here after named share and share alike named Abraham, Isaac, Nicholas, Catharina now wife of Jacob Best1 Anna Mary now wife of Peter Mellig, Christina late wife of John Mellig and Elizabeth now wife of Leonard Grisemer to be equally divided amongst them only share and share alike.


                                                                                                 Will of John Lefever p. 2


Lastly I nominate constitute and appoint my son Isaac Lefever and my son—in—law Leonard Griesemer to be my sole executors of this my last Will and testament and I will and decree that they will do and perform the same according to true intent and meaning thereof. And I do hereby disannull & make void all former Wills and Bequests by me theretofore made ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last Will & Testament. In witness whereof the said Jno. Lefever Gent have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year above written.


                                                                                                           John Lefever (seal)


Signed sealed published and declared by the said Jno. Lafever Gent as his last will Testatment to us in the presence of us the subscribers, Nicholas Marsh, James Krieble


Phila Feb 3, 1779. Personally appeared Nicholas Marsh and James Krieble the witnesses to the foregoing Will and on their soiemn oath did declare that they saw and heard John L.efever Gent the testator therein named sign seal and publish & declare the same for and as his Last Will and Testament & that at the doing thereof he was of sound disposing mind, memory and understanding to the best of their knowledge and belief.               David Morris Regst.


Be it remembered that on the 3rd day of Feb 1779 the last Will and testament of Jno. Lefever Gent in due form of law was proved and probate letters testamentary thereof granted to Isaac Lefever and Leonard Griesemer executors therein named they having first been duly qualified according to law well & truly to administer the said deceased’s estate to bring an invy (inventory) thereof into the Registers office on or before the 3rd of Feb 1780. Given under the seal of the said office
                                                                                          David Morris Regst.