The LeFevre Family Bible

About the LeFevre Family Bible

The LeFevre Family Bible is one of the most requested items in the LancasterHistory collections. It belonged to the family of Isaac LeFevre, a French Protestant who escaped religious persecution in France at sixteen years old in 1685, following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Isaac met the Ferree family in Strasbourg and traveled with them from France to Bavaria, Holland, England, New York, and eventually to Pennsylvania. Isaac married Catherine Ferree in Bavaria around 1704, and they settled with their family in Strasburg Township in 1712.

The LeFevre Family Bible was printed in Geneva in 1608, which we know from a handwritten note in the beginning of the book. Another note states that the title page was “torn out by accident,” though this removal may have been made intentionally to protect the printer during Isaac’s flight from France. It was printed using a letterpress, on paper made of cotton or linen, and bound with leather over wooden boards. The LeFevre Bible became a part of LancasterHistory’s collection in the mid-twentieth century. In 1997, it underwent conservation at the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts in Philadelphia with funding from the Lefevre Cemetery and Historical Association. The biblical text is in French. In the margins and open spaces of the Bible are handwritten genealogical records and recipes in both French and English. Family records cover the five generations after Isaac LeFevre’s arrival in 1712 and trace the book’s ownership throughout the family.

Digital Exhibition

For additional information about the LeFevre Family Bible, including photos and transcriptions, please see the virtual exhibit on Google Arts and Culture below.

This digital exhibition is part of Allison Schmitt’s individual project on the LeFevre and Eby Family Bibles for LancasterHistory’s 2020 NEH Summer Internship Program. She is thrilled to share her research on the Eby Family Bible and make this book accessible to the public.