The LeFevre Bible


The LeFevre Bible is one of the most requested items from our collections. The Bible belonged to the French Huguenot family of Isaac LeFevre. Isaac survived the massacre after the Edict of Nantes was revoked in 1685 and was able to smuggle the Bible out of France as he escaped with the Ferree family.

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Family Records in the LeFevre Bible

The first page (image below) contains a handwritten note that the “title page was torn out by accident.” It is possible that the page, which would have shown the printer’s name and seal, was torn out to protect the printer in the event the Bible was found by authorities. It is also noted that the book was printed in Geneva in 1608.

First page of the LeFevre Bible. Handwritten text says the title page was "torn out by accident."

Several pages contain genealogy of the family from the 1600s to the 1800s.

Several pages contain genealogy of the LeFevre family from the 1600s to the 1800s, including the birth dates of Isaac LeFevre and his siblings.

Birth dates of Isaac and his siblings. (Image above.)

Transcription and translation of the above page. (Image below.)

Birth dates of Isaac LeFevre and his siblings transcribed and translated.

Birth dates of Isaac and Catharine’s children. (Image below.)

Birth dates of Isaac and Catharine LeFevre's children.

Transcription and translation of the above page. (Image below.)

Birth dates of Isaac and Catharine LeFevre's children transcribed and translated.

As the Bible was passed down through the family, information was recorded in English instead of French and the spelling of the surname changed from LeFevre to Lefever.

Samuel and Ledy and their children. (Image below.)

Samuel and Ledy LeFevre and their children.

Joseph and family. He married three times and had children with his first two wives, Salome and Lydia. It is interesting that they recorded the time of day each child was born. (Image below.)

Joseph LeFevre and his family.

Joseph’s dates of marriage. (Image below.)

Joseph LeFevre's dates of marriage. He was married three times.

John and Elizabeth and their children. (Image below.)

John and Elizabeth LeFevre and their children.

Additional Information in Bible

Other important information was also recorded in the Bible. One page, in French, has yet to be translated. However, we believe part of the page is the recipe for cough medicine that is pasted onto the back endpaper.

Possibly a recipe written in French. If you are able to translate this page, please send us a copy! (Image below.)

Possibly a recipe written in French within the LeFevre Bible.

Recipe for cough medicine. A local gentleman made a batch and shared it with us. It tastes a bit like a steak marinade. I have been told by descendants that it really does work. (Image below)

Recipe for cough medicine within the LeFevre Bible.

Take a 1/2 pint of honey, 1/2 pint of wine vinigar, 2 Table spoons full of Ginger, & 3 worth of Alicompain [Elecampane or Wild Sunflower] Mix the above articles together, and put the composition in a Bottle, cork it tight Inclose the bottle with the stuff in a loaf of bread, put it in the oven & let it remain in 3 hours — — Take a Tea Spoon full in the morning & Noon & Eveng A Receipt for Curing a bad Cough & stoppage on the Breast


For more information about the family and the Bible, please see websites for the Pennsylvania LeFevres and the Ferree Family Descendants.

If you are interested in visiting LancasterHistory.org to see the Bible, please make an appointment at least two weeks in advance by contacting Heather Tennies, Director of Archival Services, at heather.tennies@lancasterhistory.org or (717) 392-4633 x.115.

Posted in Archives Blog