Isaac LeFevre and Maria Freer

Isaac LeFevre and Maria Freer

Courage Isaac


Isaac LeFevre was born on August 5, 1683 in New Paltz, Ulster County New York, and was baptized on October 1, 1683, at the Huguenot church in New Paltz. His godparents were Isaac DuBois and Marie Hasbrouck.

Isaac LeFevre was able to write his name and as there had been a schoolmaster in New Paltz since the very early days of the settlement, it seems extremely likely that Isaac would have had at least some education.

In 1703, Isaac was one of the heirs of Christian Deyo and Simon and Andre LeFevre, who jointly recieved their lands in the Paltz Patent. This land, which had previously amounted to 1/6 of the massive patent, was divided in 1713. While it is hard to state the exact acreage (there is some dispute over the size of the patent, the most common estimate is that it was about 40,000 acres), Isaac's share probably amounted to over 1000 acres.

Isaac spent a fair amount of time in the local militia, as was the norm in those days. He was a Private in Captain Hoffman's company in 1717. By 1738, he had risen to the rank of Corporal.

Tradition holds that as a young man, Isaac had occaision to visit Albany, and while there, the story goes, he was in a foot race. Isaac was far behind until some of his friends who were also present began shouting "Courage Isaac!" in french, at which point Isaac pulled ahead to win the race.

In 1713, "Andrew Lefever & Company" appear on a New Paltz tax list and were assesed at 240 pounds. Isaac would have been included in the "& Company" along with all his siblings as there are no other LeFevres on the list. No doubt the children of Simon LeFevre were still living together at that point, several of them yet being minors. In any case, the assesment was a large one, indicating that the family was fairly well off. Also in 1713, Isaac and his siblings signed a release to their sister Mary for lots around the village of New Paltz,

"lying and being on the north side of the palls creek [now the Walkill River] on a certain piece of land called avienjer or piece of oates Between the lotts of Jean Hasbrouck and the said Daniel DuBois and also a certaine lott lying on the north side of the palls creek on a piece of land called pasture..."

and so on through a description of several other lots.

 

Maria Freer was born on May 5, 1696 at New Paltz, Ulster County New York. She was baptised there on May 31, with Abraham and Rachel Hasbrouk as godparents.

 

Isaac LeFevre and Maria Freer were married on May 16, 1718 at the Old Dutch Church in Kingston, Ulster County New York. Within a few years years of their marriage, the newlyweds moved about four miles north of New Paltz, to an area known as Bontecoe (Bonterckoe, Bontecou etc). This tract was included in the New Paltz patent of 1677 and was located in an area of several large bends in the Walkill River; the term is thought to mean "necks of good land" and the area was noted for its wheat production. Other New Paltz people lived their too. In the early years, at least, they had joint ownership of and cultivated in common the "necks of good land." Later, however, a quit claim is recorded from Isaac's two brothers and his sister in which they give up their interest in the property at Bontecoe in favor of him and his heirs.

Isaac and Maria built a stone house there, which had at least one outbuilding (a bee house). This house burned down in the winter of 1728 or thereabouts, but another was built in the same area. A third house, still standing as late as 1909, was built on the same site by Isaac's grandson of the same name.

In 1717, Isaac helped to build the first stone church in New Paltz, and he was assigned a seat in this same church in 1720. In 1728, he was recorded as a freeholder, and assesed at 31 pounds. In that same year, Issac was one of those who signed the document empowering the Duzine (the governing body of New Paltz; the word is a French holdover meaning "the 12 men") to administer and divide the lands in the Paltz Patent. He was a member of this same body from 1728 until at least 1729, and again in 1739 and 1751 and probably at other times as well.

In 1732, Maria and her siblings were named in a quit claim from their father, entitling them to his land.

In 1739, the Duzine divided some land in the New Paltz patent into 12 lots located along the western side of the Walkill. Lot number 10 was drawn by Isaac LeFevre "for the patentee's share of Simon or Andre LeFevre." Whether this land was his to keep, or whether it was divided among all the heirs of Simon and Andre, is unclear.

In 1741, Isaac, his brothers and his brother-in-law Daniel DuBois signed a document written in Dutch which probably pertained to the LeFevre/Deyo estate previously mentioned as having been divided in 1713.

In 1744, Isaac was recorded as one of the owners of the Paltz Patent in a document executed by them in which they pledged to defend the title to their land (the southeast boundary of the patent, identified in the original deed as Juffrous Hook, was long in dispute and their were a number of lawsuits over its exact location).

Issac LeFevre died on October 31, 1752 at the age of sixty-nine. He was buried in the Freer burrying ground, some two miles north of his home.

The fate of Mary is not known for certain. The last definite reference to her is in 1755, when she appears on a list of slaveholders as owning two slaves above the age of 14 years, one male and one female. In the bible of her son Petrus it is stated that a Mary LeFevre died in 1773. However, the record does not state whether this was the son's daughter Mary, of whom no records can be found other than her birth, or Mary Freer LeFevre, widow of Isaac. She is missing from a New Paltz tax list of 1765, but might perhaps have been lumped in with one of her sons, although there are a few other widows on the list. Several websites cite 1790 as the year of her death, but that seems a bit late.

[Homepage|LeFevre Homepage]