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           Jean LINCOLN FISH's
LEVERING/FRANKLIN Forebears


This information was found in a database at WorldConnectRootsWeb.com1, entitled "Levering History". It is stated that the data is transcribed from an 1897 book, Levering Family History, by Col. John Levering plus a 1971 supplement by Alice Levering Harker. Some of the things spoken of as if current, such as the date stone of Jacob Levering's house being still preserved, are probably as of Col. Levering's book and therefore more that a hundred years out of date.2

Ancestors' names are in teal.

ROSIER LEVERING (born about 1615)

Rosier Levering was born in Leiden, in the Zuid Holland (South Holland) province of the Netherlands. He married Elizabeth van de Walle (born 1626) of Wesel, Westphalia (in today's Nordrhein-Westfalen state in Germany), daughter of Jacobus van de Walle. The marriage took place about 1647 in Wesel. The birth of their seven children is recorded in nearby Gemen, Westphalia. Wesel and Gemen are near the Dutch border, though not close to Leiden. Your ancestor, known as Wigard Levering, was the firstborn.

It is believed that Rosier's ancestors were "of ancient English or Anglo-Saxon parentage; exiled, because of persecution for their religious principles". In Germany they were said to be Mennonites. I wonder which period of persecution in England caused their departure. Levering is indeed an English name, associated with the village of Leverington ("place of Leofhere's people") in Cambridgeshire3.

JOHN WIGARD LEVERING (1648–1745)

Wigard Levering was born at Gemen, Westphalia. His occupations are given as weaver, yeoman (an independent freeholding farmer) and joyner (a cabinetmaker or carpenter). In 1674 he married Magdalena Bökrs (1650–1717), daughter of William Bökrs and Sidone Braviers. Like John's father, Magdalena was from Leiden, the Netherlands, but she and John were married in Germany. They were of the Mennonite faith.

They lived in Gemen until after the death of their first child, who was born and died in 1675. They then moved about 30 miles south, to Mülheim an der Ruhr (near Essen), in the Duchy of Berg, where they remained until they emigrated to America in 1685, bringing their four (out of six) surviving children. They settled first in Germantown, PA, but in 1691 moved a short distance west to what was then the rural area called Roxborough Township, where they bought from Thomas Hill a tract of five hundred acres lying between and bordering on the Schuylkill River and Wissahickon Creek. There they had seven more children. Your ancestor Jacob Levering was the tenth child and third and last son of thirteen children, at least six of whom survived to have descendants.

John Wigard Levering died and was buried on his farm. His gravesite was later included in the churchyard of a Baptist Church that was organized in 1789. This became part of Philadelphia's Fairmount Park. The cemetery was afterward enlarged and became known as the Leverington Cemetery "under a special charter from the state of Pennsylvania".

JACOB LEVERING (1693–1753)

Jacob was born on his father's farm in Roxborough Township, just outside Philadelphia. (Today it is part of the city.) In 1717, when he was 24 and she was 25, he married Alice ("Aeltje") Tunes (born 1692). She was the daughter of Abraham Tunes (or Tunis or Teunisen), 1659–1710, and Beatrix or Bathsheba ("Bötzen") Luykens, born 1664. The names of Abraham's family members suggest that they were Dutch. Abraham came from Crevelt in the County of Mörs, now part of Germany, but then ruled by the Dutch Prince, William of Orange. He and Bötzen were married in Crevelt. They were among the first German settlers in Pennsylvania, who founded Germantown in 1683.

Jacob and Aeltje Levering had one daughter and seven sons. The last son was your ancestor Septimus Levering.

Shortly after their wedding Jacob's father Wigard Levering gave Jacob and Aeltje 85 acres on the Schuylkill. Today this area is in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia, between Washington and Levering Streets. Jacob and his family are believed to have occupied a log house in a meadow on the southeast side of Green Lane. In 1736 he built a stone house across the street. The date stone bearing his initials is still preserved. Leverings lived in the dwelling for a number of generations. Jacob's great grandson Peregrine Wharton Levering, enlarged the structure, but after his death in 1888, his unmarried daughter Eliza had the old mansion demolished and in 1890 a new house built on the site.

Jacob also owned fifteen acres on the opposite side of the Schuylkill in what is now Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County. In his will he identifies himself as "Jacob Levering, of Roxborrow Township, in the county of Philad., Joyner" and bequeaths the land across the river to his son Anthony "together with the saw mill, buildings, and timber wheels thereunto belonging". It would seem that a joiner was more than simply a carpenter. This land remained in the family at least until 1878. He died in "Whitpaine, Pennsylvania". Whitpain is a township (formed in 1701) in Montgomery County between Norristown and Ambler. I don't know what he was doing there; perhaps he spent his old age with one of his children's families. At Jacob's death the inventory of his personal property alone amounted to nearly 600 pounds, a considerable estate in those days. Each child received a sum of money and/or land in Roxborough between "the Plymouth Road" (now Ridge Avenue) and the Schuylkill. Son William also got "my large Iron Kettle which I have long since also promised to him". In addition, there were "lands, ground rents, whatsomever, etc.," to be sold and divided among the heirs. It is apparent from Jacob's will that his wife Aeltje had preceded him in death.

His religion is listed as "Mennonite" and his estate inventory included "A large Bible in the German tongue", "a large Dutch Bible", and various other books.. Notwithstanding his religion, in his will he left two slaves—to his only daughter Magdalen "My Negro girl called Peg" and to his youngest son Septimus "My Negro boy called Kit". Your ancestor Septimus also received "All that tract of land whereon I live, together with all the improvements and buildings thereon erected" as well as sundry articles of personal property.

SEPTIMUS LEVERING, Sr (c1731–before 1794)

Septimus Levering Sr was born in his father's log house on Green Lane in Roxborough Township. He was his parents' seventh son, hence his name. He married Mary Thomas, (1739–1794). She was the daughter of Griffith Thomas and his wife Margaret. Septimus and Mary had three sons and two daughters. Your ancestor Griffith Levering was the firstborn. One of their children was Septimus Jr, who should have been named Secundus, since he was the second son (third child), not the seventh. Perhaps his parents' generation were forgetting their Latin. When Mary Thomas Levering died in 1794, her husband had preceded her. Both are buried in the Leverington Cemetery in Philadelphia.

GRIFFITH LEVERING/ (1753–1788)

Griffith Levering was born in Roxborough, PA, perhaps in the stone house built by his grandfather Jacob Levering, who died the year Griffith was born. He seems, however, to have been named for his other grandfather, Griffith Thomas. Griffith Levering married Hannah Griscom (1756–1836), a Quaker. Your ancestor Hannah Levering was the lastborn of their five daughters and two sons. She was born two months after her father's seemingly untimely death. Griffith Levering was a shipwright by trade. He died in Philadelphia in 1788 at the age of 35. Perhaps he had joined his wife's faith, for he was buried in the Free Quakers' Graveyard, on Fifth Street above Spruce, in Philadelphia. It is not known how Hannah managed to raise those seven children, but she outlived her husband by forty-eight years.

HANNAH LEVERING (1788–1842)

In 1808, when she was nineteen, Hannah Levering married Capt. Nathaniel Franklin (died 1850). I don't know whether he was a ship's captain or an army captain. They were married by "the eminent Baptist divine, Rev. William Staughton, D.D., of Philadelphia". Apparently she had left her mother's Quaker faith. Hanna and Nathaniel had two daughters and two sons. Your ancestor Thomas Levering Franklin was the youngest. Hannah died in Philadelphia and she and her husband are both buried in Trinity Churchyard on Catherine Street in Philadelphia.

REV. THOMAS LEVERING FRANKLIN (born 1820)

Rev. Franklin was a Protestant Episcopal Minister in Philadelphia. In 1844 he was married to Ellen Klapp (born 1820). Ellen died after the birth of their seventh child in 1854. In 1859 Thomas married Adelaide Marion Cooke and they had four children—three girls and one boy. Your ancestor Adelaide Cooke Franklin was the first of them.

ADELAIDE COOKE FRANKLIN (born 1861)

In 1885 Adelaide Franklin married George Jones Lincoln Jr (born 1857). They had three sons followed by two daughters; the second son was Alan Mawson Lincoln, Jean Lincoln Fish's father.

Notes

1 RootsWeb's WorldConnect Project has been combined with Ancestry.com's Ancestry World Tree to create what is by far the Web's largest pedigree database.

2 The WorldConnect database "David and James Phillips" was also consulted for corroboration on Adelaide Cooke Franklin.

3 Smith, Elsdon C. New Dictionary of American Family Names. Gramercy Publishing Company, New York; 1988.


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