An American Family History

John Ferree 1688

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists."
― Franklin D. Roosevelt
Variations of Ferree: Fara, Ferie, Ferree, Ferrez, Ferrie, Fiere, Firre, Fierre, Fuchre, Fuehre, LeFerre, and Verree.

The Society of Friends (Quakers) began in England in the 1650s, when they broke away from the Puritans. Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn, as a safe place for Friends to live and practice their faith.

The Huguenots were 16th and 17th century French protestants. About 500,000 Huguenots fled France because of religious persecution. They relocated to Protestant nations.

John Ferree was born about 1688 in Steinweiler, Germany. His Huguenot parents were Daniel Ferree and Marie (Mary) Warrembere.

He came to America with his family about 1709.

John became a Quaker. He was listed among members of the Western Monthly Meeting.

He married Mary Musgrave about 1719 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Mary was the daughter of John Musgrave.

John and Mary's children included:
Elizabeth Ferree (1720),
Philip Ferree (1722, married Sarah Evans),
Martha Ferree Myer (1722, married Valentine Myer),
Sarah Ferree Myer (1724, married Peter Myer),
Daniel Ferree (1724),
Esther Ferree White (1726, married Andrew White),
Moses Ferree (1728), and
Solomon Ferree (1730).

In 1720 John Ferree was listed the Pequea district. His property was valued at 40£.

Mary passed away between 1730 when Solomon was born and before 1736 when John remarried.

He married Ruth Buffington on April 16, 1736. She was the daughter of Thomas Buffington and Ruth Cope.

Ruth and John's children included:
Ruth Ferree Black (1737, married William Black)
John Ferree (1739, married Elizabeth Bailey)
Susanna Ferree Truman (1741, married William Truman).

When Ruth's father died in 1739, she received five shillings.

When original Ferree land grant was divided, John received about 385 acres. He held 191 5/6 acres on the northeast corner and the same number of acres on the southeast corner, and, in addition, held the 334 acres of the Jane Davis tract on the southwest corner.

Abel C. Thomas described the elderly John in his autobiography.

John Ferree sat at "the head of the meeting." He was far advanced in life, and mostly sat with his eyes closed. How we boys, on the back bench by the south window, watched to ascertain whether he was asleep! How we waited for his movement to dissolve the assembly.

John died about 1769.
Steinweiler is a municipality in the district of Germersheim, in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It was in the Mayorality of Bittingheim.
First printed in Boston 1745
Children of Daniel Ferree and
Marie (Mary) Warrembere:
  • Daniel Ferree, Jr.
  • Marie Catherine (Mary) Ferree Lefevre
  • Jane Ferree Davis
  • Marie (Mary) Ferree Faulkner
  • Philip Ferree
  • John Ferree
  • The area of present day Ulster County, New York was called Esopus by Dutch settlers and was part of the New Netherland Colony. The village of New Paltz was founded in 1678 by French Huguenots. In 1683, the Duke of York created Ulster County.

    Europeans began to settle in the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania area about 1710. It was part of Chester County until May 10, 1729.
    Europeans who made the voyage to America faced a difficult journey of several months.



    Memorials of the Huguenots in America

    John Ferree, son of Madame Marie Warembaur became a Quaker shortly after obtaining adulthood in Pennsylvania.  Most of his descendants remained in the Quaker faith.


    from "Madame Mary Ferree and the Huguenots of Lancaster County"

    John Ferree, her second son, died about September, 1769. Letters of administration on his estate were granted to his second wife, Ruth Buffington.

    His first wife's name was Mary Musgrave, the daughter of John Musgrave, an old settler. John Ferree and Caleb Coope. became the sureties on her bond, in the sum of £500. This second John Ferree and Caleb Coope (Cope) I think resided in Lancaster.

    American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.

    Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
    September 4, 1770

    Ruth Ferree, widow and Administratix of all and singular goods and chattels rights and credits which were of John Ferree deceased...

    appears a balance in her hands of £36..1..5 which the court approves of. After deducting one pound and seven shillings the expences of this court, the remainder amounting to £34..14..5. Said Ruth Ferree representing to the court and showing that the said John Ferree was in his life time Adminstrator to the estate of Thomas Weiley deceased and the that there still remained in his hands one fifth part of the estate of the said Wiley with the interest since the year 1744.

    Court orders and directs that the said Ruth Ferree retain in her hands the said fifth part of the said Thomas Wileys estate amounting to £12..9..5 and interest from the year 1744 amounting to £12..0..0 the whole amounting to £24..9..5 until the lande be properly called for by the proper representatives of the said Thomas Wiley deceased which will reduce the said balance to £10..5..0 which is to be distributed in the following matter --

    To the said Ruth Ferree for her third part £3..8..4
    To Solomon Ferree, the eldest son of the deceased 1..4..5½
    To the children of Mary Smith, late Mary Ferree, one of the daughters of the deceased 0..12..2 ¾
    To Elizabeth Taylor, late Elizabeth Ferree 0..12..2.3/4
    To Sarah Myer, wife of Peter Myer (same as above)
    To the sone of Esther White, late Esther Ferree (same as above)
    To Moses Ferree (same)
    To Martha Myer, wife of Valentine Myer (same)
    To Ruth Black, wife of William Black (same)
    To John Ferree (same)
    To Susanna Ferree (same)

    Pennsylvania is one of the 13 original states and was originally founded in 1681 as a result of a royal land grant to William Penn, the son of the state's namesake.


    William Penn (1644-1718) was a Quaker philosopher and real estate developer. He was the founder of the Province of Pennsylvania.

    from A Record of the Cope Family by Gilbert Cope

    Oliver Cope's daughter Ruth, married Thomas Buffington, at what time is not known, but in 1710, Thomas Buffington and Ruth his wife, signed an indenture conveying to James Whitacre two hundred and sixty acres of land. This was part of a tract of five hundred and twenty-two acres, which Edward Shippen and others, William Penn's land commissioners, patented to Thomas Buffington, of the township of Bradford, and was situated in the forks of Brandywine creek.

    Thomas' father Richard came from England some years earlier than William Penn, and settled near where the town of Chester now stands, in Delaware county, Pennsylvania. It is stated in a history of Pennsylvania, that Richard's son Richard, was the first child born of English parents in the province of Pennsylvania, being born in 1679.

    The time of Ruth's death, I have been unable to ascertain. She left a daughter Ruth who is said to have lived with her uncle John Cope until her marriage.

    Thomas Buffington married a second wife, and died in East Cain township, Chester county, in the month of December, 1739.

    His children"s names, as mentioned in his will, are these: Richard, William, Rebecca Atherton, Ruth Ferree, Betty, Susanna, Rachel James, Anne Morgan, and Thomas Buffington.

    The name of the second wife was Ann, and she afterwards married a Moses Gilpin, but how many of the above children were hers, is at present unknown. It is only from tradition that Ruth is supposed to be a child of the first wife, however it is so generally understood thus by her descendants as hardly to admit of any doubt as to the fact.

    She was married fourth month, 10th, 1736, to John Ferree of Lancaster county, at which time her father was living in East Bradford township, Chester county. John Ferree, I am informed, was one of a family of several brothers, and one sister, who, with their widowed mother emigrated from France, in the reign of Louis XIV., during the persecution of the Protestants, and settled in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. John had several children by a former marriage, and by his last wife Ruth, a son and two daughters. Some account of Ruth's descendants will be given in the latter part of this book.


    from Early Wills of Chester, Pennsylvania

    Buffington, Thomas. E. Caln, yeoman.
    November 30, 1739. December 22, 1739. B. 52.
    Provides for wife not named.
    To sons Richard and William 5 shillings each.
    To daughters Rebecca Atherton and Ruth Ferree 5 shillings each.
    To daughters Betty and Susanna Buffington 5 shillings each.
    To daughters Rachel James and Anne Morgan 5 shillings each.
    Remainder real and personal to be sold and at disposal of wife for bringing up children.
    Executors: wife and Samuel James.
    Letters to wife.
    James renouncing.
    Witnesses: Peter Whitacre, John Henderson, James Cunningham.
    He also mentions son Thomas.


    from Immigration of the Irish Quakers Into Pennsylvania by Albert Cook Myers

    John Musgrave, born about 1669, came over from Belfast, with his master, Valentine Hollingsworth, in 1682, and served his time for four years in New Castle County.

    John Musgrove later moved to Sadsbury, Lancaster County, and on June 4, 1735, then aged about sixty-six, made a deposition in connection with boundary dispute between Pennsylvania and Maryland.

    He was an active participant in the local affairs of his neighborhood, and in 1730 and 1731, he represented Lancaster County in the Provincial Assembly.

    John Musgrave, of Lancaster County, made his will in 1745. He mentions children: John, James, Thomas, Abraham, Esther (wife of John Griffith), Martha (wife of Benjamin Miller), Sarah (wife of Theophilus Owen), and two other daughters who married John Ferree and Thomas Powell.