Steinweiler is a municipality in the district of Germersheim, in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.
It was in the Mayorality of Bittingheim.
Landau in der Pfalz, Germany is an autonomous city in the Rhineland-Palatinate. It was part of France from 1680 to 1815.
. . .By virtue of the Edict of Nantes, Henry IV of France, known as Henry of Navarre, declared that the Protestants of his Kingdom might, without let or hindrance, exercise freely their religion, and this decree was confirmed by Louis XIII, his successor. In the forepart of the reign of Louis XIV, no change was made in this law, but on October 13, 1685, the King repealed the Edict, and, as a consequence, many Protestants were obliged to and did leave their native country.
Among these were Mary or Maria Fiere or Verre, her husband, Daniel Fiere, their son, Daniel, then about nine years old, their daughter, Katharine, born March 26, 1679, and perhaps three other children, namely, Mary, Jane and John, for it is not entirely clear whether these children were born in France or Germany. They were accompanied by Isaac Lefever, also a refugee for the same cause, who was, according to the emigration record, born in 1775.
These people had been living in France, possibly in Alsace, or Lorraine, or one of the upper Provinces, not far from the River Rhine, for they were called Walloons. Daniel Fiere was by trade a silkweaver.
They first fled to Landau, a town located in the Rhenish Palatinate, Bavaria, on the River Quiech, eighteen miles northwest of Karlsruhe. Rupp gives the name of this town as Lindau, "near the River Rhine," but this is evidently a mistake, for the Town of Lindau is situated along Lake Constance, in an entirely different part of Bavaria, while Landau is not far from the Rhine and is in the vicinity of all other towns mentioned in this narrative.
Subsequently, they removed to Steinweiler, which was an adjacent village. Here, their son, Philip Fiere, in 1687, was born, and here, Daniel Fiere, the father died. Here, also, Daniel Fiere, the son, was married to Anna Maria Leininger. Whether she was of French or German parentage is not known, but she was German, presumably, from her name. They remained in Steinweiler until 1708.
After her husband's death, Mary or Maria Fiere was known, according to old French custom, by the name of Maria Warenbuer, which was her maiden name.
These, then, were the conditions which confronted the French Huguenots, even in their adopted home in the Palatinate. Is it to be wondered that the widow Fiere and her children were anxious to escape from the scenes and perils which there surrounded them? Henry Baird, in his Huguenot Emigration to America, says:
There were no emigrants whom William Penn desired more ardently for his plantations on the Delaware and Susquehannab than the persecuted Huguenots, and many of them, even before reaching England, had heard of the advantages possessed by Pennsylvania through the statements which his agents circulated in all Europe.
De la Warrembere is also spelled Warnbaner, Warrembur, Warembur and Warrembere.
The Huguenots were 16th and 17th century French protestants. About 500,000 Huguenots fled France because of religious persecution. They relocated to Protestant nations.
After the Thirty Years War, from 1618-1648, Bavaria [Bayern] was devastated. The depopulated countryside slowly filled with people from other areas including many who left their homes for religious reasons. Bavaria took in Exulanten who were, protestant religious refugees from Catholic, Austria. Church records included the notation "aus dem Ländlein ob der Enns" which meant they were from Austria.
The rod or perch or pole is a surveyor's tool equal to 5 1⁄2 yards.
The Edict of Nantes (1598) granted the Huguenots substantial rights in Catholic France. The revocation in 1685 led to a Protestant exodus from France.
. . .With knowledge, no doubt, thus acquired, it excites no surprise that Madam Fiere and her brood viewed with hope William Penn's Province.
It, therefore, was determined by them that they would emigrate. The party consisted of Mary Fiere and her six children,—three sons and three daughters,—and Isaac Lefever.
Daniel, her oldest son, who had, as I have already stated, married Anna Maria Leininger, had two children:
Andrew, who was born in 1701, and was baptized in the church at Steinweiler on September 28, 1701,
and John, who was born in 1703, and was baptized in the church of Rhorbac on February 2, 1703.
Katharine, her oldest daughter, had, in 1703, married Isaac Lefever,—he who had come with the family from France. She then had one child, born April 9, 1706, named Abraham.
A passport was obtained from the civil authorities to facilitate their departure, and this read:
Whereas, Maria, Daniel Fuehre's widow, and her son, Daniel Fuehre, with his wife, and other six single children, in view of improving their condition and in furtherance of their prosperity, purpose to emigrate from Steinweiler, in the Mayoralty of Billigheim, High Bailwick Germersheim, via Holland and England, to the Island of Pennsylvania, to reside there; they have requested an accridited certificate that they have left the Town of Steinweiler with the knowledge of the proper authorities, and have deported themselves peaceably and without cause for censure, and are indebted to no one, and not subject to vassalage.
Being duly solicited, it has been thought proper to grant their petition, declaring that the above-mentioned persons are not moving away clandestinely; that during the time their father, the widow and the children resided in this place, they behaved themselves piously and honestly; that it would have been highly gratifying to us to see them remain among us; that they are not subject to bodily bondage, the Mayoralty not being subject to vassalage. They have also paid for their permission to emigrate. Mr. Fisher, the Mayor of Steinweiler, being expressly interrogated, it has been ascertained that they are not liable for any debts.
In witness whereof, I have, in the absence of the Counsellor of the Palatinate, etc., signed these presents. Gave the same to the persons who intend to emigrate.
Dated Billigheim, March 10th, 1708.
J. P. Dietrich, Court Clerk.
The six children included in the passport were evidently Mary, Jane, John and Philip Fiere, children of Mary Fiere, and Andrew and John Fiere, minor children of her son, Daniel Fiere. I suppose that Isaac Lefever secured for himself and his wife and child another similar passport.
Daniel Fierre also secured for himself and his immediate family a certificate from the French Reformed Church at Pelican, as follows:
Certificate for Daniel Firre and his family.
We, the Pastors, Elders and Deacons of the Reformed Walloon Church at Pelican, in the Lower Palatinate, having been requested by the Honorable Daniel Firre, his wife, Anne Maria Leininger, and their children, Andrew and John Firre, to grant them a testimonial of their life and religion, do certify and attest that they have always made profession of the pure Reformed religion, frequented our sacred assemblies and have partaken of the Supper of the Lord with the other members of the faith; in addition to which they have always conducted themselves uprightly, without having given cause for scandal that has come to our knowledge. Being now on their departure to settle elsewhere, we commend them to the protection of God and to the kindness of all our brethren in the Lord Christ.
In witness of which we have signed this present testimenial with our signatures and usual marks. Done at Pelican, in our Consistory, the 10th of May, 1708.
J. Roman, Pastor.
James Bailleaux, Deacon.
John Baptiste LaPlace, Deacon.
It is not known whether or not the family remained any time in Holland. Some of them, at least, must have merely passed through that country on their way to England, for it is certain that Daniel Fiere and Isaac Lefever, with their families, were in London during the summer of 1708.
Tradition says that Mary Fiere in that city met William Penn, and was introduced by him to Queen Anne; but, while this is likely true, there is no way by which the claim can be verified. William Penn had been, in his youth, for two years, at the College of Samur. He knew many Huguenots intimately, and he was most favorably inclined towards them.
On August 25, 1708, Isaac Lefever and his wife and son, and Daniel Fiere and his wife and two sons, with a number of other persons, obtained from the Queen Letters of Denization for the British Colonies, and this paper was subsequently entered in the Office of the Secretary of the Province of New York on August 10, 1709.
It recited, among other things, that these persons had been "reduced to extreme poverty by the frequent French incursions into the Palatinate," and lately have fled for refuge to this, our Kingdom of Great Britain, and further have gone to live in our Province of New York, in America." It was obtained through the Rev. Mr. Joshua de Kocherthal, and fifty-three names were included therein, exclusive of his own. An exact reproduction of it will be found in the admirable treatise of our President, entitled "The German Exodus to England in 1709," at pages 6 and 7.
Queen Anne ruled England and Great Britain from
March 8, 1702 to August 1, 1714.
LeFevre is also spelled Ferber, LaFevre, LaFever, Lefebre, LeFever,and LeFevere. It is from the original Northern French surname Lefebvre or Lefèvre. It means smith.
Mister ( Mr.) was derived from master and Mrs. and Miss were derived from mistress. They indicated people of superior social status in colonial America.
William Penn (1644-1718) was a Quaker philosopher and real estate developer. He was the founder of the Province of Pennsylvania.
The Palatinate is a region in south-western Germany. Many thousands of Palatine immigrants were driven out of Germany by war, famine, despotic rule and disease. They were attracted to Pennsylvania by the first settlers who sent back favorable reports.
It has been claimed that the whole family sailed from London on board the transport Globe for the North River (New York), during the summer or fall of 1708, and that they arrived at that place on December 31, 1708. This broad statement needs revision. The Journals of the Board of Trade of London show that, in April, 1708, a petition was presented to it by Mr. Kocherthal, who was an Evangelical minister,
in behalf of himself and several Poor Lutherans come out of Germany, praying to be transported and settled in some of the Plantations.
The minister attending, and being asked several questions,
said that there were ten men, ten women and twenty-one children, making together forty-one, of which men one is a joyner, another a smith, the others all versed in Gardening, Husbandry, Planting and Tillage, and the women were versed in and understood the same business.
On April, 26, 1708, Mr. Kocherthal, with three Lutheran ministers, who were settled in London, attended a meeting of the Board, and said
that they had read the testimonials giving a good character of the said Minister and the others, and that they had no reason to doubt but the accounts of the behavior of these people in the places they had lived were true; that fifteen of them were Lutherans and twenty-six Calvinists.
Then Mr. Kocherthal
presented to their Lordships a paper with the names and ages of the said persons, which was read.
On May 21, 1708, a letter from Mr. Lowndes was presented to the Board, desiring
an estimate to be made of how much money is necessary to be furnished towards the transportation of the Evangelical Minister and other Poor Lutherans into His Majesty's Province of New York, as also for furnishing them with Tools for Agriculture, etc.
The amount afterwards allowed for tools, utensils and clothes, etc., was £655.
On May 28, 1708, Mr. Kocherthal presented a list of the names, ages and qualifications of fourteen persons lately arrived from Germany, viz.: Twelve out of the Palatinate and two from Holstein.
On June 28, 1708, Mr. Kocherthal attended a meeting of the Board,
with several of the Poor Palatinates lately come from the Palatinate and Holstein, with one of the Lutheran Ministers, settled in town,
and he presented a list of the names and trades of the forty-one Lutherans lately arrived from Germany, as also a list of twelve others before mentioned, and being asked if there were not fourteen of them, as mentioned in Mr. Secretary Boyle's letter read at the last meeting, he said that two of the fourteen of them had entered themselves into the service of Lord Lovelace to go with him to New York.
Then they produced to their Lordship several testimonials of their having been ruined by the incursions of the French and Germans and of their having lived well in the places from which they came. Then the said Kocherthal being asked if he had made any agreement in relation to himself with those that are to go with him to New York, said that
he had, and that they had promised to clear six acres of land for him the first year, to enable him to make a settlement.
The list of the fifty-three persons referred to above who came with Mr. Kocherthal is to be found among the Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New York, Vol. 5, at page 52, and contains the following:
28th June, 1708.
The names, trades, etc., of the German Protestants to be settled at New York
It is, therefore, certain that Issac Lefever and his family and Daniel Fiere and his family sailed with Mr. Kocherthal, and from a letter of Melchoir Gilles, "One of the Poor Lutherans," dated October 27, 1708, it would seem that they sailed shortly before that time. It would also seem reasonably certain that they came in the Globe, for, accompanying as they did Mr. Kocherthal, they must have come in the fleet with Lord Lovelace, the new Governor of New York, who then took up his residence in his Province.
The Governor, writing from New York to the Lord Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, on December 18, 1708, said:
My Lords: I do myself the honor to acquaint your Lords'ps that I very happily arrived here this morning, having been nine weeks out and odd days in my passage. The Kingsale in which I came being separated from the Fleet. . .I do not yet hear of the arrival of any other ship of our Fleet, except the Unity, which struck on the banks at Sandy Hook. She was left by all her Seamen, but has since got off and is gone to sea again. We have not since heard of her, but hope she is safe, having two good Pilots from hence on board.
Our winter sets in very hard. The Ports and Rivers are full of Ice. I am in pain for the Germans and Recruits on board the Globe, they wanting Water and the Weather not permitting us to assist them. This Coast is so terrible in the Winter, I think no Ship ought to be sent hither from England after August at farthest. Our poor Seamen were so benumbed with Cold that at last we had but twenty-five men fit to do Duty, and had not the Soldiers, which we had on board, assisted, the Ship had been in great danger. . .
Most faithful humble Serv't,
In addition Secretary Boyle, of the Board of Trade, writing to Lord Lovelace, said:
My Lord: The Queen being graciously pleased to send fifty-two German Protestants to New York and to settle 'em there at Her own Expenses; Her Majesty, as a farther act of charity, is willing to provide also for the subsistence of Joshua de Kocherthal, their minister, and it is Her please that you pass a grant to him of a reasonable portion of land for a Glebe, not exceeding five hundred acres with liberty to sell a suitable portion thereof for his better maintenance till he shall be in a condition to live by the produce of the remainder.
I am my Lord,
Your L'ds'ps most faithful humble servant, H. Boyle
They were eleven weeks at sea, and, as the weather was tempestuous, they suffered greatly. They landed on January 1, 1709, and not on December 31, 1708. . .
On August 29, 1709, Mr. Kocherthal, in a letter dated 15th February, 1708-9, returned his "thanks to their Lords'ps for their favors and good offices done to him and the said Lutherans."
Lutherans are Protestants who follow Martin Luther's religious teachings, especially the doctrine of justification by faith alone.
Tools were an important legacy because they were essential part of daily life.
From about 1660, there had been at Esopus, now Kingston, along the Hudson River, in the State of New York, a Huguenot colony. Here, Hugo Freer, the Dubois, some of the Lefevers and Deyos, and others of the same kindred, had located themselves. Therefore, those of the Fleres who came, when they came, immediately wended their way thither.
They must have been in straightened circumstances, for, in O'Callaghan's Documentary History of the State of New York (Vol. 3, p. 550), published at Albany in 1850, the following entry, made before the Council of the Province, appears:
A list of those Germans, who by a common division have taken into their possession all the Tools which by Her Majesty's bounty were given to Mechol (Michael) Gulch, Palatine Joyner: . . . Isaac Feber,
1 Broad Axe,
1 Little Hatchet,
1 Smooding [smoothing] File,
besides several pieces more. Daniel Fiere,
1 Broad Axe,
1 Tenant Saw,
1 Joynter, besides several pieces more.
Read April 29, 1710.
However, Esopus to them was intended as a temporary location, for they only remained there until 1712, and perhaps not that long. It is certain that they were at that place in 1710, because the birth records show that Philip Lefever, son of Isaac Lefever, was born there in that year. It has been said that they lived in the city of Philadelphia for a time; but there is no proof that they acquired in that city a permanent habitation. Finally, having taken up their land, they established themselves on the Pequea Flats.
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.
The question as to when Mary Fiere crossed the Atlantic with her four single children can no longer be considered a mooted one. The evidence is conclusive that she [Mary] and these children did not come in 1708 with her son, Daniel, and Isaac Lefever.
Whether they landed at New York and went to Esopus when they did arrive, or whether they landed elsewhere and then joined the first party, must at present be left to conjecture. . . .the following entry, copied from the Records of the Board of Trade, London (see Miscellaneous Vol. 2, D. 57):
A list of all the poor Germans lately come over from the Palatinate into this Kingdom, taken in St. Katharine's,
the Sixth May 1709.
Name Warambour, Mary
St. Katharine's was a precinct or liberty just east of the Tower of London, on the River Thames. It was where the Germans of the Great Migration of 1709 were landed. It was called St. Katharine's by the Tower. At that time, there was there a royal hospital college, or free chapel, founded in 1148. . .
Now, it is clear, from the above passport, that the whole family left Steinweiler together in 1708, but there is no evidence that they all journeyed together to London. The paper conferring the right of citizenship in the British Colonies only included Daniel Fiere and his family and Isaac Lefever and his family, and the other Kocherthal emigrants, and the list furnished to the Board of Trade at London on June 28, 1708, did not contain the names of Mary Fiere and her other children.
Then, too, if Daniel Fiere and Isaac Lefever arrived at New York on January 1, 1709, in the Globe, it follows that she did not come to America with them, for, according to the above record, she only reached St. Katharine's, London, on May 6, 1709, or more than four months later than the time fixed for their arrival in New York. She evidently remained with her single children in Holland until 1709, and then crossed to England and from thence she likely came to this country in the exodus of that year, or in 1710.
. . .Tradition says that Mary's son, Philip, worked for Abraham Dubois, in Esopus, for a year, and if this be so, then Mary and her younger children were likely for a time located there.
American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (orli) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.
Settlers often built log cabins as their first homes.
It has been asserted that Mary Fiere built her log house at a spring near the township bridge crossing the stream on the road to Intercourse. . .This claim is not sustained by proof, but, like many other things, is established by family tradition. Nearby,, the first white child, Daniel Lefever, the son of Isaac and Katharine Lefever, was born in 1713.
The minutes of the Land Commissioners of the Province of Pennsylvania state:
That the late Commissioners, having granted ten thousand acres of land to the Palatines by their warrant dated 8 ber (October) 1710, in pursuance thereof, there was laid out to Martin Kindig (besides the 2,000 acres already confirmed to him and paid for) the like quantity of 2,000 acres towards Susquehannah, of which Surveyor General has made a return. The said Martin, now appearing, desires the said land may be granted to Maria Warenbuer, widow, for whom the same was taken up or intended, and is to pay the consideration for it.
All of the parties must have been present at Philadelphia before the Land Commissioners at this time-that is, Martin Kindig, Mary Fiere, Daniel Fiere, her son, and Isaac Lefever, her son-in-law—for the record continues:
But, upon further consideration of the matter, it is agreed among themselves that the said land shall be confirmed to Daniel Fiere and Isaac Lefever, two of the said widow's sons, and the consideration money, viz't £140, at £7 p. hund'd, by agreement, having been for some time due, but is now to be paid down in one sum, 'tis agreed that they shall pay only ten pounds for interest, that is £150, in the whole.
These entries were made on September 10, 1712. The records, however, now in the Office of the Secretary of Internal Affairs, show the following to be the exact situation:
On October 10, 1710, John Rudolph Bundley, Martin Kindig and other Germans made application for 10,000 acres to be laid out to them twenty miles easterly of Conestogoe, near the head of Pequea Creek.
The following order was then issued:
Philadelphia, Oct. 10, 1710.
By a warrant from the Commissioners of Property, dated the Eighth day of October, One thousand seven hundred and ten, you are authorized and required to survey and lay out to John Rudolph Bundley and Company ten thousand acres of land, with reasonable allowance for roads and highways, on the northwesterly side of a hill about twenty miles east from Conestogoe and near the head of Pequin Creek, and make return thereof to my office.
To Isaac Taylor, Surveyor of the County of Chester.
On the same day a warrant was secured by Martin Kindig for 2,0000 (sic) acres and six per cent - for roads and highways. I present to you for publication a copy of the original draft accompanying this Kindig warrant. Martin Kindig then transferred his warrant to Daniel Fierre and Isaac Lefever, and on September 10, 1712, a patent for the land was issued to them. The following is a copy of this patent. It ran east and west 422 perches or about one and a-third miles, and northwest by southwest 820 perches, or almost three miles.
Daniel Fiere, &c., pd. for 2,000 A. Patent Book A, Vol. 4, p. 303
.. . .warrant bearing date ye Tenth day of ye Eighth Month in ye year One Thousand Seven Hundred & Tenn, granted unto John Rudolph Bundley and Martin Kindig & divers other Germans, late inhabitants in-or near ye Palatinate of ye Rhine, Tenn thousand acres of land to be laid out to them on ye north side of a hill about twenty miles easterly of Conestogoe, near ye head of Pecque Creek, in this Province, by virtue of which warrant there was survey'd & subdivided at ye instance of ye sd Martin Kindig for ye use of Daniel Fierre & Isaac Lefevre, late of Steinweilter, in ye Palatinate of ye Rhine, a certain tract, situate & bounded as follows,
viz.: Beginning at a corner tree of another tract belonging to ye same grant, running by ye same south by east eight hundred & twenty perches to a corner markt tree, thence east by a line of markt trees four hundred & twenty-two perches to a corner tree in a certain tract of land, surveyed by Thomas Story, thence by ye sd Story's land and vacant land north by west eight hundred & twenty perches to a post, thence west by a line of markt trees four hundred & twenty perches to ye beginning,
containing two thousand acres with allowance made for Roads & Highways, which ye sd Daniel Fierre & Isaac Lefevre requesting me to confirm to them by Patent.
Know ye that for & in consideration of ye sum of One Hundred & Forty Pounds of money of this Province, together with Tenn Pounds for interest of ye same paid by ye sd Daniel Fierre & Isaac Lefevre to my use or ye use of ye trustees hereinafter named,
ye receipt of which sd one hundred & fifty pounds is hereby acknowledged, ye sd Daniel Fierre & Isaac Lefevre, their & either of their heirs, execut'rs or administ'rs . & every of them are hereby forever discharged from ye same, & for ye further consideration of ye quitrents hereinafter reserved, I have given, granted, rel'ased & confirmed, and by these p'sents for me, my heirs & successors, doe give, grant, release and confirm unto ye said Daniel Fierre & Isaac Lefevre, their heirs & assigns, all that tract of land containing Two Thousand Acres, as ye same is now set forth, bounded & limitted as afores'd, with all mines, mineralls, quarries, meadows, marshes, savannahs, swamps, cripples, woods, underwoods, timber & trees, ways, waters, watercourses, liberties, profits, commodities, advantages, hereditam'ts & appurtenances whatsoever, to ye sd two thousand acres of land belonging or in any wise appertaining and lying within ye bounds & limits afores'd (three full & clear fifth parts of all Royal mines free from all deductions & reprisals for digging & refining ye same only excepted & hereby reserved) & also free leave, right & liberty to & for ye sd Daniel Feirre & Isaac Lefevre, their heirs & assigns, to hawk, hunt, fish & fowell in & upon ye hereby granted land & p'mises, or upon any part thereof. To have and to hold ye sd two thousand acres of land & p'mises hereby granted (except before excepted), with their appurtenances, to ye sd Daniel Fierre & Isaac Lefevre, their heirs & assigns, to the only proper use & behoof of ye sd Daniel Fierre & Isaac Lefevre, their heirs & assigns forever. To be holden of me, my heirs, successors, Proprietaries of Pennsylvania, as of our Manor or reputed Mannor of Springetsbury, in the County of Philadelphia, in free & common soccage by fealty only in lieu of other services. Yielding and paying therefor yearly to me, my heirs & successors, at Philada City, at or upon ye First day of March in every year, from ye first survey thereof, in coin current, to such person or p'sons as shall from time to be appointed to receive ye same.
"In witness whereof, I have, by virtue of my commission to my Proprietary Deputies hereinafter named, bearing date ye ninth day of November last past, caused my Great Seal of ye sd Province to be hereunto affixed by & with ye consent and approbation of Henry Gouldney & others, ye Trustees for raising a certain sum of money out of my sd Province. Witnessed by their power to my sd deputies bearing date ye 10th day of November last past.
"Witness Edward Shippen, Samuel Carpenter, Richard Hill, Isaac Norris & James Logan, my sd Deputies, or some three of them, at Philada, ye Tenth day of September, in ye Eleventh Year of ye Reign of our Sovereign Lady Ann, Queen of Great Britain, and Anno Dom'o One Thousand Seven Hundred & Twelve.
"Samuel Carpenter, Richard Hill, Isaac Norris, James Logan.
"Received this Eleventh day of September (1712) of ye within named Daniell Fierre & Isaac Lefevre, joyntly, ye full sum of One hundred & Forty Pounds, money of Pensivania, together with Ten Pounds interest, being ye full consideration money for ye within granted Two Thousand Acres of land. (Say received for ye use of ye within named Proprietor & Trustees & James Logan, Receiver.)
"Recorded ye 12th of ye Seventh Mo. 1712."
It is stated in the Patent that it is issued with the consent and approbation of Henry Gouldney and others. . .
A land patent is an exclusive land grant made by the government. The certificate that grants the land rights is also called first-title deed and final certificate. In the United States, all land can be traced back to the original land patent.
ye is an archaic spelling of "the."
Seals were used to authenticate documents and men were expected to have a personal die. Records in deed books are copies and signatures are usually in the clerk’s handwriting. The clerk drew a circle around the word “seal” to indicate that the original document was sealed.
Europeans began to settle in the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania area about 1710. It was part of Chester County until May 10, 1729.
Bucks County, Pennsylvania is one of three original Pennsylvania Counties and was formed in 1682. Originally it was a large territory that included all of what would later be Berks, Northampton, and Lehigh.
Historically an esquire (Esq. or Esqr.) was the title of a man who ranked below a knight in the English gentry. Later it designated a commoner with the status of gentleman and was used by attorneys.
While Mary Fiere is credited as taking up this land, and it has been generally known as the Mary Fiere tract, she, in fact, never owned any land in Lancaster county. It is, however, clear that it was intended for her, but, with her consent, was conveyed to her oldest son and her son-in-law. On November 7, 1712, she paid one year's quitrent on the same, as is shown by the following receipt:
Philadelphia, 11. 7. 1712. Received of Maria Warenbuer twenty shillings sterling for one year's quitrent of two thousand acres of land laid out to her at Strasburg, in this Province. "Jambs Logan, Receiver.
It also appears that this was all done under an agreement that Daniel Fiere and Isaac Lefever should not retain the whole of the tract, but should hold it
in behalf of themselves and others, their kindred and relations, who had advanced part of the purchase money for the same
By virtue of this arrangement, they, in consideration of £10 and natural love and effection, on May 6, 1718, deeded to Richard Davis and Jane Davis, their sister, a tract of 334 acres, part of the 2,000 acres, and her husband having died, Jane Davis, on November 7, 1730, deeded the same to her brother, John Ferree. Similar deeds must have passed to the other children, except Mary Fiere, the daughter, who did not receive any of this land.
No such deeds, however, appear upon our records. There is also a deed recorded in the Recorder's Office of Chester county from Daniel Fiere and wife and Isaac Lefever and wife to Thomas Faulkner, dated February 22, 1715, acknowledged March 28, 1726, and recorded January 17, 1727. The deed conveyed two tracts of 167 acres, one of which lay apparently at the southeast corner of the large tract and the other north of Isaac Lefever and east of Philip Fiere's land. Both are described as part of the 2,000-acre tract.
The first of these tracts was deeded by Thomas Faulkner to John Jones, on May 7, 1745, and by him was conveyed to John Fiere. The second was conveyed by Faulkner and wife to Philip Fiere, on June 20, 1746.
Upon an examination of the lines of the original Patent, it was ascertained that there was a considerable error in respect of the length and the quantity of land therein contained. Daniel Fiere and Isaac Lefevre, therefore, presented a request to John Penn, Thomas Penn and Richard Penn, the then Proprietaries, asking for a re-survey of the 2.000-acre tract. On January 24, 1733-4, the Surveyor General of the Province was ordered to make a re-survey, and the result, when done, according to the re-survey as entered in the office of the Surveyor General, by lines and bounds, was as follows:
Beginning at a white oak, being a corner of Philip Fiere's land, thence by vacant land east 458 perches to a post, thence south by east by vacant land and land of Thomas Story 868 perches to a black oak, thence by vacant land west 458 perches to a post, thence north by west by the said Philip Fiere's land 868 perches to the place of beginning. Containing 2,300 acres,
&c. They thereupon requested that the original patent might be surrendered and in consideration thereof and for the further sum of £21, a new patent might be granted, and this, on October 29, 1734, was done under the hands of John Penn and Thomas Penn and under the great seal of the Province, and thereby the tract of 2,300 acres, as contained in the re-survey, was granted to Daniel Fiere and Isaac Lefever. A copy of the new patent is as follows:
John Penn, Thomas Penn and Richard Penn, Esqrs., true and absolute Proprietaries and Governors in Chief of the Province of Pensilvania and the Counties of New Castle, Kent and Sussex, on Delaware,
To all unto whom these Presents shall come, Send Greeting:
Whereas, in and by a certain Patent from our late father, William Penn, Esqr., then Proprietary and Governour in Chief of our said Province, under the hands of his Commissioners of Property and the Great Seal of the Province aforesaid, bearing date the Tenth day of September, in the year of our Lord, 1712, there was granted and confirmed unto Daniel Fiere and Isaac Lefevre a certain tract of land situate in the Township of Strasburgh, then in the County of Chester, but since divided from the same and called the County of Lancaster, containing by the lines and bounds thereof as expressed in the said Patent the quantity of two thousand acres and the usual allowance for Roads and Highways. And, Whereas, upon examining the lines of the said tract, a considerable error was discovered in respect of their length and the quantity of land therein contained. Whereupon, at the request of the said Daniel Fierre and Isaac Lefevre, we granted our warrant under the lesser seal of our said Province, bearing date the twenty-fourth day of the month of January last past, therein requiring our Surveyor General to re-survey or cause to be re-surveyed the said tract of land, and to make return thereof unto our Secretary's Office, which being accordingly re-surveyed as in and by our said warrant was required, the lines and bounds are as follows, viz't: Beginning at a white oak, being a corner of Philip Fierre's land, thence by vacant land east four hundred and fifty-eight perches to a post, thence south by east by vacant land and by land of Thomas Story eight hundred and sixtyeight perches to a black oak, thence by vacant land west four hundred and fifty-eight perches to a post, thence north by west by the land of the said Philip Fierre eight hundred and sixty-eight perches to the place of beginning. Containing Two Thousand Three Hundred Acres and the allowances of six acres on every hundred for roads and highways, as in and by the re-survey of the same remaining in the Surveyor General's office may appear, by which re-survey it appears that within the lines and bounds thereof is contained three hundred acres of land more and above the quantity for which the same was first granted and confirmed. Whereupon the said Daniel Fierre and Isaac Lefevre having requested that we would be pleased to accept of a surrender and resignation of the Patent aforesaid and to grant them a confirmation according to the re-survey now made on the said tract of land, we favoring the request to us made by the said Daniel Fierre & Isaac Lefevre, and in consideration of the Patent unto them granted and now surrendered for the said Two Thousand Acres for which the purchase money was then paid, and for, Know Ye, that the further sum of Twenty-one Pounds, lawful money o£ Pensilvania, to our use now paid by the said Daniel Fierre and Isaac Lefevre, for the three hundred acres over and above the quantity first mentioned to be granted, the receipt whereof we hereby acknowledge and thereof do acquit and forever discharge the said Daniel Fierre and Isaac Lefevre, their heirs and assigns, by these presents, and also for the yearly quit-rent hereinafter mentioned and reserved, we have given, granted, released and confirmed, and by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, do give, grant, release and confirm unto the said Daniel Fierre and Isaac Lefevre, their heirs and assigns, the said two thousand three hundred acres of land, as the same is now set forth, bounded and limited as aforesaid; with all mines, minerals, quarries, meadows, marches, savannahs, swamps, criples, woods, underwoods, timber and trees, ways, waters, water-courses, liberties, profits, commodities, advantges, hereditaments and appurtenances whatsoever to the said two thousand three hundred acres of land belonging or in any wise appertaining and lying within the bounds and limits aforesaid (three full and clear fifth parts of all Royall mines, free from all deductions and reprisals for digging and refining the same only excepted and hereby reserved) and also free leave, right and liberty to and for the said Daniel Fierre and Isaac Lefevre, their heirs and assigns, to hawk, hunt, fish and fowl, in and upon the hereby granted land and premises or upon any part thereof; To have and to hold the said two thousand three hundred acres of land and premises hereby granted (except as before excepted) with their appurtenances unto the said Daniel Fierre and Isaac Lefevre, their heirs and assigns, to the only use ana behoof of the said Daniel Fierre and Isaac Lefevre, their heirs and assigns, forever. To be holden of us, our heirs and successors, Proprietaries of Pensilvania, as of our Manor or reputed Manor of Conestogoe, in the County of Lancaster aforesaid, in free and common soccage by fealty only, in lieu of all other services. Yielding and Paying therefor yearly to us, our heirs and successors, at the Town of Lancaster, at or upon the first. day of the first month in every year, from the first survey thereof, one English silver shilling for every hundred acres of the same or value thereof, in coin current according as the exchange shall then be between our said Province and the City of London, to such person or persons as shall from time to time be appointed to receive the same; and in case of non-payment within ninety days next after the same shall become due, that then it shall and may be lawful for us, our heirs and successors, our and their receiver or receivers, into and upon the hereby granted land & premises to re-enter and the same to hold and possess until the said quit-rent and all arrears thereof, together with the charges accruing by means of such non-payment and re-entry, aforesaid, be fully paid and discharged.
In witness whereof, the said John Penn and Thomas Penn, in their own right and by authority of the said Richard Penn, hath caused the Great Seal of the Province to be hereunto affixed at Philadelphia, this twenty-ninth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and thirtyfour, the eighth year of the reign of King George the Second, over Great Britain, &c., and the seventeenth year of our Government.
(Recorded the 6th day of November, 1735.)
On March 2, 1743, Daniel Fiere and Anna Maria, his wife, and Isaac Lefever and Catharine, his wife (as Kathrina), conveyed unto Philip Fiere 383 2-3 acres of this tract; on April 4, 1743, Daniel Fiere conveyed to Isaac Lefever all his interest in 383 1-3 acres of the tract, and Isaac Lefever, on the same day, made a conveyance to Daniel Fiere, seemingly for a tract of larger size; and on June 9, 1747, these parties conveyed to John Fiere two tracts of 1915-6 acres each, or 383 2-3. When the above conveyances had all been made, the result was about as follows: Daniel had about 532 acres and 24 perches, Isaac Lefever had 383 1-3 acres, Philip had about 575 acres, and John had about 809 acres and 82 2-3 perches. There is probably some variation in the number of acres held by Daniel, Philip and John, by reason of the issuing of the new patent and the division of the extra 300 acres granted thereby.
. . . In the deed from Daniel Fiere and Isaac Lefever to Philip Fiere, it is shown that that tract began in Leacock township, at a marked white oak, and covered the northwestern portion of the large tract. This, therefore, fixes the northwest corner with definiteness. From thence it extended south by east, crossing Pequea Creek, 289 1-3 perches to a post, and thence along Isaac Lefever's land east 229 perches to a post, thence north by west by other land of Philip Fiere (Faulkner land) and land of John Fiere 289 1-3 perches to a post, and west along the north line of the whole tract 229 perches to the place of beginning. By a similar marking of the courses and distances, and, taking into account the various boundaries, it will be found that John Fiere 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. Isaac Lefever's land ran straight through the middle of the large tract and it extended from east to west 458 perches and from north to south 144 perches and 11 feet. Daniel Fiere owned the land on the south between the Jane Davis tract and the last-mentioned one of John Fiere, and the remaining place (the Faulkner tract conveyed to Philip Fiere), which lay on the northeast between Isaac Lefever and John Fiere's northeast tract made up the full number of acres embraced within the new patent. I think, from some of the descriptions, that the division of the land was a little different under the original patent. . .
I have stated that Daniel Fiere's tract lay on the south end of the patent. On December 28, 1745, he gave a deed for this land and also for some land obtained under another patent to his son, Daniel. This Daniel (the son) died in his father's lifetime, having made a will, dated August 10, 1750, which was proven September 4, 1750, whereby he gave this land to his son, Daniel, who was Daniel the third. The words of the devise are:
All that plantation, whereon I now dwell, containing about 500 acres of land, which said tract and plantation was granted to me by my father, Daniel Ferree.
Daniel, the second, had, besides his son, two daughters, who were named Salome and Mary. . .
None of this land ever belonged to Mary Fiere, the daughter of Mary Fiere. It has always been understood in that family that she died unmarried. I have, however, ascertained that, on October 26, 1754, Daniel Fiere took out letters of administration on the estate of his sister, Jane Davis. On December 3, 1760, he filed an account, showing a balance for distribution of £63 15s. 5d. A schedule of distribution is appended and thereby the balance is divided between Daniel Fiere, John Fiere, the children of Philip Fiere, the children of Catharine Fiere, and the children of Mary Fiere, each receiving £12 15s. 1d. This account is signed by Daniel Fiere, and if his sister, Mary, who evidently was then dead, had never married and had no children, he would surely have known it. Who they were is at present a mystery.
A yeoman was a man who owned and cultivated a small farm. He belonged to the class below the gentry or land owners. A husbandman was a free tenant farmer. The social status of a husbandman was below that of a yeoman.
The rod or perch or pole is a surveyor's tool equal to 51⁄2 yards.
Old Style Calendar
Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.
A surety bond is a promise to assume responsibility for the obligation of a borrower. The person who provides this promise, is known as a surety or security. Bondsmen were usually relatives or family friends.
Madame Mary Fiere died about January, 1716. At that time, she must have been about sixty-three years old. Letters of administration on her estate were granted by the Register of Wills of Chester county to her sons, Daniel Fiere, Philip Fiere and John Fiere. Michael Welfare and John Rutledge appraised her personal estate. The inventory was filed on May 22, 1717, and it stated that it was made by them on January 13, 1716. The bond of the administrators, in the sum of £200, was signed by Isaac Lefever and Richard Davis as sureties, and it was dated November 28, 1716.
Mary Fiere was evidently buried in the Ferree graveyard, which is located about the northwest corner of the Daniel Fiere tract. The late Redmond Conyngham stated that
Mary Ferie vested in trustees a piece of land near Paradise as a burial place for the use of the settlement.
It is evident that this statement is incorrect. In the first place, she had no land in her name to donate, and, as the patent was in the names of Daniel Fiere and Isaac Lefever, it follows that either they together, before the land was divided, or Daniel Fiere afterwards, made the donation. It is sure that, at a very early date, the graveyard was laid out and walled around. It was, however, for the use of the Fiere family and not for the use of the settlement generally.
In 1787, concern seems to have arisen in the minds of certain members of the family as to the future of this plot. A written conveyance was, therefore, made by John Carpenter and Abraham Carpenter, each of whom then held an undivided half in the land descending from Daniel Fiere on which it was located, to Samuel Lefever, Joel Ferree, Philip Ferree and David Witmer, all of whom were descendants of Mary Fiere. This paper reads as follows:
Record Book TT, p. 162.
& David Witmer
For graveyard known as
Carpenter or Ferree Graveyard.
This indenture, made the twenty-eighth day of December, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, between John Carpenter and Abraham Carpenter, both of the Township of Strasburg, in the County of Lancaster & State of Pennsylvania, yeomen, of the one part, and Samuel Lefevre, Sen'r, Joel Ferree, Sen'r, Phillip Feree & David Witmer, all of the same place aforesaid,
Witnesseth: That the said John Carpenter and Abraham Carpenter, in consideration of the covenants hereinafter mentioned and the mutual agreements heretofore made by and between the said parties (as well as with Abraham Ferree, Isaac Ferree and Jacob Ferree, now deceased), and in consideration of the further sum of five shillings, lawfull money of Pennsylvania, to them,
the said John Carpenter and Abraham Carpenter, in hand paid, at and before the ensealing and delivery of these presents, hath granted, covenanted and released, and by these presents do, and each of them doth, grant, covenant, release & confirm to and with the said Samuel Lefevre, Joel Ferree, Phillip Ferree & David Witmer, their heirs, descendants and successors, and the heirs, descendants and successors of the said Abraham Ferree, Isaac Ferree and Jacob Ferree, deceased, the full, free and uninterrupted privilste and free access and recess of, in and to that certain graveyard and burying ground situate and being on the lands of the said John Carpenter and Abraham Carpenter, in the Township of Strasburg aforesaid, & being on the high ground near the line of lands late of the said Isaac Ferree, deceased, containing & being 108 ft. in length and 96 ft. in breadth, as the same is walled in now, from time to time and at all times hereafter to bury their dead human bodies, which shall or may happen to die in their and each of their families and the families of each of their heirs, descendants and successors, from the time being, without hindrance, obstruction or molestation of them, the said John Carpenter and Abraham Carpenter, their heirs, executors, administrators or assigns forever.
Provided always, nevertheless, and it is the true intent and meaning of these presents and the parties thereunto that the said parties to these presents and the heirs, descendants and successors of them, and also the heirs, successors and descendants of the said Abraham Ferree, Isaac Ferree and Jacob Ferree, deceased, shall and will, from time to time and at all times hereafter, bear and sustain their and each of their proportionate shares or purparts respectively of for & towards the repairing of the walling or fencing of the same occasionally, as towads the repairing of the walling or fencing of the same occasionally, as from time to time it shall be found necessary, and that the said John Carpenter and Abraham Carpenter, their heirs, descendants and successors, shall and may have and keep their and each of their indubitable and equal right and rights, privilege and privileges, with all or any of the parties aforesaid, and which are concerned in the said premises forever.
John Carpenter (seal).
Abraham Carpenter (seal).
Sam'l Lefever (seal).
Joel Ferree (seal).
I know of no member of the Ferree family, now living, who is conversant with this deed of grant, or at least it has not to my knowledge ever been mentioned in any reference made to this graveyard. It was duly executed and delivered, and, on February 21, 1795, was recorded in the Recorder's Office of this county. It is, therefore, not only interesting, but highly important in fixing the exact situation of the graveyard and the tenure under which it is held. It was not Carpenter's graveyard, but has always been the Ferree graveyard, though the Carpenters had and have the right, as any other of the descendants of the persons named, to bury in it.
. . . There are over one hundred stones in the graveyard with inscriptions thereon, but there are also many more that are not marked. On one, which is at the southwest corner of the graveyard, immediately alongside of Salome Lefever's grave, are inscribed the letters "I. L." These letters most probably stand for Isaac Lefever, for Salome Lefever was his granddaughter. It can scarcely be questioned that all the older Fieres and Lefevers and the collateral lines are buried in this spot.
The oldest marked stone is that of Philip Fiere, who died on May 19, 1753, and his wife, Leah Dubois, who died on September 12, 1758. Here also lie, among others, John Carpenter, who died in 1798; Abraham Carpenter, who died in 1815; and Dr. John S. Carpenter, who died in 1821. Here also are David Witmer, who died in 1835; the second David Witmer, who died in 1852; Jacob Ferree, who died in 1785; Joel Ferree, who died in 1801; William Reynolds, who died in 1801, and Catharine, his wife, who died in 1822; Samuel Lefever, who died in 1789, and Lydia, his wife, the daughter of Daniel Fiere, who died in 1778, ana J. Adam Lightner, who died in 1798. There are also some burials in the front part of the graveyard that do not seem to be of the Ferree family.
The inventory in the estate of Mary Fiere contained the following items:
One cow 3£ 15s
One Bible 1£ 14s
One chest 1£ 5s
One kettle 10s
One pot 5s
The Bible passed into the family of Daniel Fiere and from them to the Carpenters. It was taken to the West by some one of the Carpenter family. Abraham Carpenter, the great-grandson of John Carpenter, wrote some years ago that it had been destroyed in a fire which burned their home.
When Isaac Lefever left France he carried with him the family Bible of the Lefever family. He brought it with him to America. . .It is in French, and was printed in Geneva in 1608. The title page is gone, and the entries, which are made in French, are few, and relate chiefly to Isaac's brothers and sisters. There are some entries in English, made, perhaps, in recent years. It is bound in old English calf. This was, however, not its original binding, and no one can now tell when it was re-bound. It is said that it had first a leather binding, with a strap appended, by which it could be fastened to the bottom of a chair and thus concealed in case of sudden danger. . ..
Estate inventories give us a glance into the home life of Colonial Americans.
Cattle were vital to a household and an important legacy.
Unweaned cattle are calves.
Female cattle are heifers and cows (had a calf).
Male cattle are steers (castrated) and bulls.
Oxen are trained draft animals and are often castrated adult male cattle.