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When researching old land records I occasionally come across a jewel buried among the "down 8 rods to a pile of rocks then east 27 perches to a stump." This was the case with the entry recorded in Deed Book M page 247 at the Lancaster County Court House Archives, Lancaster, PA. This 1767 entry is a list of items that Daniel Lefever is giving to his wife Mary Catherine. Neither a deed nor a will, it is an inventory of her dower. That he took the time and expense to write this down and have it recorded speaks of the love and concern he had for her.

Daniel Lefever's family was the earliest European family to settle in what is now known as Lancaster County, PA. They were of French Huegonot origin, fled France because of religious prosecution, and with the aid of William Penn the founder of Pennsylvania, found a good life in a new land. Daniel is said to be the first white child born in Lancaster County. He wrote his will 1781.

In the following I have transcribed what was recorded. Punctuation, spacing and anything in parentheses are my additions to facilitate clarity.




To All to whom these presents shall come, know ye that I Daniel Lefever of the towhship of Lampiter county of Lancaster and province of Pennsylvania, yeoman (land owning farmer) doth grant and transfer unto my loving wife Mary Catherine Lefever at my decease all the within written mentioned articles for and in consideration of my Natural love and affection that I beareth unto her, and other good causes my said wife Mary Catherine Lefever, which is to be in full of her dower of the real and personal estate that I am now siezed of, or may be at the my decease is as vizt. (that is) I give unto her

one hundred pounds to be paid to her out of the estate that I now am seized of by my heirs executors adminstrators or assignees to be paid to her one year after my deceased and she is to have the following articles at my decease vizt.

one case of drawers and all her wearing apparel, and also I give her the choice of one of my horse creatures, her saddle and bridle, her choice of one of my cows; and two feather beds for the bottom and the other for the top, with three pair of coverings of her choice with bolsters and pillows; a pair of bedsteads with curtains, vallans
(valance) and head cloth, four pair of sheets 2 of flax and 2 of hemp;

also one clothes press that stands by my stove in my new house below two pewter dishes one big and the other little; and fourteen plates, two pewter beasons
(basins) and one little one, two pewter porringers, a pewter teapot, pewter cream pot, one dozen pewter spoons, one pewter quart, one pewter tankard marked MKLF (presumably Maria Katherina LeFever), half a dozen tea spoons, and one dozen delf plates, two small delf bowls, one big five small drinking glasses flowered, one flowered glass bottle, one half gallon glass bottle with two quart bottles, two stone jugs holding three gallons each one, one brass cattle (kettle), three iron pots, three iron ladles, one flesh fork, four erthen (earthen, pottery) pots, four erthen dishes, two tubs, two pails, two buckets; those last mentioned since the brass cattle is to be all of her choice as such shall be in the house at my decease; also a large englis (English) bible, duch (German) bible, and ten duch books, on big wheel (spinning) and the choice of one of my little wheels; also my looking glass that hangs in my new house, and one flowered popular (poplar) chest marked as before (MKLF) and the date of 1755 thereon, with a black walnut trunk having the picture of two birds on it, and two walnut boxes and seven small flowered boxes; two flat irons, one box iron and two heaters of her choice, one fruing pann, a gallon iron pann with three feet, one brass ladle, two iron candlesticks with brass nobs, one dough trough, cabbage tub, a ten gallon cag (cask) well hoopt, a tub with two handles holding five gallons well hoopt, the choice of my tea cattles (kettles), all the tea cups and saucers, also one black walnut table with a drawer in it, a black walnut armed chair, and four rush bottomed chairs, three cyder (cider) barrels well hoopt of her choice, eight hand towels, eight table cloths of her choice, a spade, hoe, sickle, dungfork and hook, one dozen of knives and forks, and four bags of her choice, and one new churn and iron mold for cakes; the following articles is to be only during her widow hood if she survives me is as follows vizt. I give to her at my decease that small lot of ground with all the building and improvements thereon it being now the place where Harmon Bush is on, and the same to be kept in good repair by my heirs executors adminstrators or assignees; the garden dunged (manured) and plowd yearly in season, as also one acre more of tillable land, the meadows upon said place cut and the grass cured and drawn (hauled) and put into her barn, eight cord of fire wood cut drawn and laid convenient to her door, one hundred and fifty weight of good pork and fifty weight of beef, fifteen bushels of merchantable wheat, three bushels of malt, fifteen pounds of heckled hemp or flax, and six pound of good wool provided to her yearly at the expence of my estate, and her choice of eight good apple trees which is to be on the place where I now live; which articles above mentioned and specified shall be taken and deemed and contured (?) to be in full of her dower or thirds according to the laws or customs of England or elsewhere, in testimony whereof the said parties have to these present set their hands and seals interchangeably set as witness my hand and seal this thirteenth day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty seven.

Daniel Lefever

witnessed by John Smith and Jas. Gibbons

Source: Introduction and transcript by by Stephanie Landis

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