Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Chapter 6 - The Ferree Family

Marie Warenbuer Ferree, my great (x8) grandmother, was a remarkable woman. She rose above her personal hardships of losing her home, religious persecution, and the death of her husband, to lead her children from religious persecution in her French homeland, to Germany, to Holland, to England, and ultimately to America. Her story is one of courage and determination. Historians, referring to Marie Ferree as Madame Ferree, tell us that her name is still remembered and venerated in the neighborhood of Paradise, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

When Marie Warenbuer was born in 1653, France was in a religious turmoil. The country was unofficially ruled by the Catholic Church; however the Protestant Reformation begun by Martin Luther about 1517 had spread rapidly in France. The followers of this new “reformed religion”, later to be called French Huguenots, included many of the French nobility and wealthy merchants including the Ferree family. This frightened the Catholic Church hierarchy and the French government and soon they were accusing the new Protestants of heresy. In 1536 a General Edict was issued urging the extermination of the Huguenots. This ignited what is called the War of Religions in France and serious persecution of the Huguenots followed. It is estimated that over 8,000 Huguenots were murdered during this period. Sadly, the attempt to exterminate the Huguenots had the full blessing of the Pope in Rome. Finally Henry IV, King of France, signed the Edict of Nantes in 1598 which brought an end to The Wars of Religion. Unfortunately, King Henry IV was murdered in 1610 and the persecution resumed in even greater earnest. In 1685, King Louis XIV, Henry’s successor, made it official by revoking the Edict of Nantes which had granted a degree of religious tolerance of the Huguenots.

Our Marie Warenbuer was born in Picardy, France in 1653. At the age of 22 in the year 1675 she married Daniel Ferree and together they moved into his home along the Rhine River in Lindau in Bavaria, now part of West Germany, but then part of France. Daniel Ferree was descended from a Huguenot (Protestant) family of French nobility. The founder of the Ferree family was one Robert Ferre des Ferris who in 1265 was confirmed to a huge estate in Lower Normandy, therein gaining him nobility status. Daniel, born in 1647, like his fathers before him, was to become a prosperous silk manufacturer. Their first child, Daniel Jr., was born in 1676. Five additional children were born to the family over the next ten years. During most of this period which followed the original Edict of Nantes, this French Protestant family lived in relative peace with their Catholic neighbors, despite being in a minority position in a predominately Catholic country. As previously stated, in 1685 Louis XIV, King of France, revoked the Edict of Nantes, which had previously granted religious freedom. The Ferree family now faced a major change in their lives.

Louis XIV immediately ordered soldiers to all French towns and villages to kill the Protestants and confiscate their property. Fearing for their lives Daniel and Marie Ferree and their children escaped to Strasbourg, Germany and later to Steinweiler in the German Palatine. Unfortunately, Daniel died a few years later (maybe as late as 1707), leaving Marie and her six children though reasonable well-off, alone to fend for themselves. Although they were allowed to live in the Palatinate, there was always the danger of invasion by the armies of France and the possibility of being put to death for their religious beliefs.

In 1707, Queen Anne of England issued a proclamation inviting the suffering Huguenots to come to England for colonization in America. In early 1708, Madame Ferree with her now married son, Daniel, and her other single children, immigrated to England via Holland. Upon their arrival in London, Madame Ferree, now somewhat well known for her outspoken beliefs, visited William Penn, to whom she made known her situation. William Penn was well-known at the time as being a member of the Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, and for his efforts to found a new colony in America. He had chartered the colony with new liberties such as the guaranteed right to a free and fair trial by jury, freedom of religion, freedom from unjust imprisonment, and free elections. These were rather novel ideas at the time, however they were ideas that later greatly influenced our founding fathers when they wrote the Constitution. William Penn became deeply interested in the sad story of Marie Warenbuer’s misfortunes, and the next day he introduced her to Queen Anne, Sovereign of England. Queen Anne, herself a strong independent woman, was intrigued by Madame Ferree’s strong willed determination and granted her, her family and fellow Huguenots, English citizenship, permission to colonize in America, and a promise of substantial aid. Subsequently, William Penn granted her 2,300 acres of land which she was to obtain upon her settlement in Pennsylvania. Madam Ferree with her family, set sail to America on October 15, 1708 on the ship “The Globe” and arrived in New York on December 31, 1708. [Some sources have her following her family on a later ship]. Madame Ferree and her family initially waited in a Huguenot colony at Esopus (now Kingston), up the Hudson River from New York while her property in Pennsylvania was being surveyed. Then in 1710, word came that the survey had been completed and the family traveled to Philadelphia. In mid-summer of 1712 they traveled west out of Philadelphia to the Pequea Valley in what is now Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. When they arrived in the valley, they were no other white people in the area. Fortunately, the Paquaw Indians, who lived in the area and had sold their land to William Penn, proved to be friendly. There the Ferree family settled, divided the land among the family, and lived in general prosperity as farmers on fertile land for many generations.

Marie Warenbuer Ferree and her family were among the first 5000 of 150,000 Huguenots to immigrate to America and she is credited with being the founder of the Pequea Valley, Pennsylvania Huguenot colony in 1712. She died only a few years later at the age of sixty-three in 1716, and she is buried in a cemetery on property that she had donated in what was later to be known as Ferree Graveyard and is now referred to as Carpenter’s Graveyard. This cemetery is located about one half mile south of the Village of Paradise in Lancaster County. It is believed that all Ferree descendants in America are descended from Marie Ferree. Clearly, had not been for Madame Ferree’s determination and the attention that she drew to her family’s plight, she would not have met with William Penn, she would not have had an audience with the Queen of England, she would not have been granted thousands of acres of fertile farm land in Pennsylvania, immigrated to America, and she would not have become the matriarch of the Ferree family in this country. She was a special person in our family’s history.

Daniel Ferree, the son of Marie and Daniel Ferree, was born in 1677 in France and in 1701 he married Anna Maria Leininger in Germany. Their son Andrew, our great (x6) grandfather, was born in Bavaria, Germany in 1701 and immigrated to America with his grandmother and parents in 1708. His son David was born in 1725 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and married Mary LeFevre, who herself was a great granddaughter of Marie and Daniel Ferree. Their child, David, our great (x4) grandfather was born in 1772 in Lancaster County and married Mary Baker (no known relationship to other Baker family tree). Their son, Dillen Baker Ferree, was born in 1796 and married Elizabeth Dewees in 1819. Their son, David Dewees Ferree (in photograph), our great (x2) grandfather, was born in 1826, also in Lancaster County. He married Mary Rebecca Hutchinson (in photograph) and on March 17, 1866 she gave birth to her second son, my great grandfather, Eugene Hutchinson Ferree, in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

David Dewees Ferree died sometime before 1880, for in the 1880 U.S. Census, his 14 year old son Eugene was listed as living with his older brother and his mother, Mary Rebecca Hutchinson, in the Village of Cayuga, New York located on the east shore at the north end of Cayuga Lake in Central New York State. David Dewees Ferree was not listed as living with his family in the 1880 Census nor is he buried with his family in the family plot in this small village. I assume that he must have died young, perhaps in his mid-40s, and his wife and children following his death moved to the Village of Cayuga so that she and her children could be close to her parents. [In November 2008, I was sent a photograph of the gravestone of David Dewees Ferree that states the date of his death as May 20, 1869. His grave and the graves of his parents and other Ferree relatives is located behind the St John's Episcopal Church in the town of Compass, in West Caln Township, Lancaster County, PA. The photograph of his grave was sent courtesy of Deb Martin-Plugh.] Mary Rebecca was the daughter of Mosely Hutchinson (1795-1861), a prominent area public figure and large landowner in Cayuga, and Elizabeth Boardman Hall (1801-1877). Both of her parents trace their ancestry back to the early 1600s in this country. The Ferrees per the 1880 Census were living in the Hutchinson home which even today is referred to as the “Hutchinson Homestead” and noted with an historic landmark.

My great grandfather, Eugene Hutchinson Ferree (in photograph), attended Cornell University from 1886-1887. Cornell is located in Ithaca, New York at the southern tip of Cayuga Lake about 30 miles south of his Village of Cayuga home. In 1890, Eugene married Marian Coapman in St. Luke’s Episcopal Church located only a few blocks from his mother’s home. Unfortunately, we know very little about Marian Coapman, where she lived, her parents, and so forth. There are a number of Coapmans buried in Cayuga although none of them appear to be Marian’s parents. Most likely her parents lived in a village not far from Cayuga and it is possible that Eugene met Marian while he attended Cornell University. [Since I wrote this chapter in 2006, I have done extensive research on the Coapman family and their story is covered in Chapter 19 of this family tree blog.] Eugene and Marian had three children while living in Cayuga. Their youngest child was born in December 1895. Marian died in 1896 possible due to complications from the childbirth. She is buried in Cayuga, New York alongside her husband who outlived her by 56 years. He never remarried. My mother, Marian Coapman Patterson, was named after her grandmother.

Sometime later, probably after his mother’s death in 1901, Eugene moved his family to Lockport, New York. In the 1930 U.S. Census, great grandfather Ferree is listed as living with his youngest daughter, Marian Ferree, in Lockport. His two other daughters had married before 1930. Eugene became a prominent business man in Lockport, owning and operating a leather goods factory that bore his name, E.H. Ferree Co. He died in 1952 at the age of 86. His daughter, Florence Ferree, married my grandfather, Douglas Patterson. Eugene Ferree, Florence Ferree, and Douglas Patterson are covered in other family history chapters, specifically the chapter titled “Mother” and the chapter titled “The Patterson Family’.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

While your ancester is Daniel Ferree and Anna Lininger Ferree , mine is his brother Philip Ferree who married Leah Corlea DuBois Ferree. I am collecting photos and info for my complete family tree. Thank you for all your info.

Anonymous said...

I visited Marie's gravesite in Paradise. It was quite the detective adventure finding it but I did.
A tour guide at the Strasburg Railroad pointed out the location of the cemetery.

Anonymous said...

I am digging into my family history and it has led me back to Daniel as well. I am considering going to the reunion this year. I'm very excited to visit the Lower Normandy and Picardy regions to see the home land. Thank you for your info.

Ryan Ferree
Carlisle, Pa.

Anonymous said...

I am from your direct line..My fathers name is Eugene H. Ferree his father Harold V. Ferree mamed him after your gr grandfather..Here is my line starting with my father, Eugene H.Ferree,Harold V.Ferree,Howard G.Ferree,Thomas W.Ferree,Dillen B.Ferree,David jr,David Ferree,Andrew C..Ferree,Daniel Jr,Daniel Ferree. would love to exchange info!!

C.A. Baker said...

To the son or daughter of Eugene H. Ferree. If you enjoyed my chapter on our Ferree ancestors then you might also enjoy chapters 21, 25, and 31 which tells the story about other members of our common family tree.
Charlie Baker, seneca3904@aol.com

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your quick response. You have blessed my socks off! All the time and research you have done.I read things about the family that I was not sure of and you have confirmed it all. Have you written a book? I would love to purchase all your information on our family. Thank you, Kim

C.A. Baker said...

Kim,
In case you have not noticed, I responded to you with a message on Ancestry.com. Please check your family tree.
Charlie Baker

Anonymous said...

I've enjoyed reading about your family history. I am also a descendant of Daniel Ferree through his son Phillip (7th ggf) and Leah DuBois Ferree's children 1) Joel Ferree 1730 married Mary Copeland and 2) Leah Ferree married Peter Baker. Would you have any information on Leah Ferree who married Peter Baker?

Thank you, Beth Helmer

Anonymous said...

I've enjoyed reading about your family history. I am also a descendant of Daniel Ferree through his son Phillip (7th ggf) and Leah DuBois Ferree's children 1) Joel Ferree 1730 married Mary Copeland and 2) Leah Ferree married Peter Baker. Would you have any information on Leah Ferree who married Peter Baker?

Thank you, Beth Helmer

C.A. Baker Jr said...

To Beth Helmer: Other than brief research to determine where Leah Ferree and Peter Baker fall on my family tree, I am afraid that I can be of no help to uncover the mysteries of Leah Ferree. I can see why you are seeking some clarifications since on Ancestry.com and on many websites her birth dates are all over the place and the names of her children are confusing at best. Also, I am not related to Peter Baker despite our common surname. Glad to hear your have enjoyed stories on my blog.
Cousin Charlie Baker
PS. Sorry I did not get back to you sooner. My wife and I just finished spending three months in our travel trailer touring our wonderful country. Check out www.ouroregontrailtrip.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I have information on Peter Baker(Becker), Jr.(1735-1824), who was married to Leah Ferree about 1762 and to Christina Diller about 1766. I directly descend through Peter Baker, Jr. and his second wife Christina Diller, through their son Thomas Baker and his first wife, Mary Hoff. Peter Baker, Jr. and Leah Ferree had anywhere from 1-5 children before her death. Peter Baker, Jr. and Christina Diller had their first child in Earl Township, Lancaster Coutny, PA in 1767. Peter Baker, Jr. was the son of Peter Baker, Sr.(~1710-1785) and Peter Baker, Sr. was the son of Frederick Becker (~1680-1749), who came to New York in 1710 and was living near the Ferree Family by 1718 in Lancaster County, PA in the Pequea Settlement. Peter Baker, Sr. was a deacon in the Seltenreich Reformed Church in Earl Township. Peter Baker, Jr. served in the Revolutionary War from Lancaster County, PA. The Bakers/Beckers were of the Reformed Faith and were from Germany but seemed to have intermarried with multiple Huguenot Families. I would like to correspond with other researchers who descend from Peter Baker and Leah Ferree, especially Beth Helmer, who submits as anonymous. My email address is: ortho300@verizon.net. Thanks, Philip H. Scaglione, D.O.

Unknown said...

My descendants are Phillip and Leah Dubois Ferree. Do you have any pictures of that line of the Ferree's? Also, do you have a picture of Col. Jacob Ferree 1798 - 1863. He died in the Battle of Corydon, Harrison County, Indiana. Thank you for your time and any information you might have of the above.
My email address is donnabostock@gmail.com

Unknown said...
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