THE GREEN BOOK
(Page numbers in the 1888 edition noted in [square brackets])
NARRATIVE OF JUDGE ABRAHAM SHRIVER.
SHRIVER, SR., OR CONEWAGO.
narrative, by judge Shriver, is based upon information derived by him
Andrew Shriver was a native of Alsenborn, in the
Electorate Palatine, Oberamt Lautern, Germany. His parents were Andrew
Shriver, i e. Schreiber, and his wife, Anna Margareta, who had
been the widow of John Young. He was born September 6th, 1712, and
baptized in the church of Alsenborn, by John Miller, i.e. Mueller,
the Reformed preacher of that place. He came to America in the fall of
the year 1721, with his parents, who paid the passage of the whole
family, and landed at Philadelphia, after which they moved to the
neighborhood of Goshenhoppen, near the Trappe, on the Schuylkill,
where his father soon died. After his death his widow married John
Steiger, or Huger, who lived in the same place. Andrew then learned
the trade of tanner and shoemaker. Having attained his freedom in the
year 1732, he worked one year after, in which time he had eighteen
pounds in hand.
In the spring of 1733 he married Anna Maria Keiser, and in June
following he removed to Conewago, where, after paying for sundry
articles with which to begin the world, he had ten shillings left.
Anna Maria Keiser, his wife, was a daughter of Ulerich Keiser
and Veronica, his wife. Both were natives of the Pfalz, Germany.
Veronica's father was a tanner who lived five hours from
Heidelberg, in a small village called Reuche. Her father and mother
came with her to America in the fall of the year 1731. They arrived at
Philadelphia and moved to the neighborhood where Andrew Shriver lived,
and where her father, also, soon died, and she married Andrew Shriver.
In moving to Conewago, Andrew Shriver's step-brother, David
Young, came with them and helped to clear three acres of land, which
they planted in corn, and Young then returned home. During this
clearing-about three weeks-they lived under Young's wagon cover, after
which Andrew Shriver peeled elm bark and made temporary huts to keep
off the weather, and by fall prepared a cabin. The wagon that brought
him to this place passed through what is now known by the name of
"Wills' Bottom," and in the grass, which was as high as the
wagon, left marks of its passage which were visible for several years.
There was no opportunity of obtaining necessary supplies, for the
first year, short of Streamer's Mill, adjoining Lancaster. One hundred
acres of land, where he lived, were the first he bought, which cost
him one hundred pairs of negro shoes, being the price agreed upon with
Mr. Digges, the owner, of whom he shortly after bought more land,
which was paid for in money.
At the time of his settlement in Conewago, the nearest neighbor
of Andrew Shriver was a family of the name of Forney, living where the
town of Hanover is now located. It is worthy of remark that these
families were in after years united by marriage. For a long time the
public road from the South came by Andrew Shriver's house, and, at the
time of his settlement, Indians lived near him in every direction.
About this time, and for several years after, the Delaware and Catawba
Indians were at war, and each spring many warriors passed by, after
stopping at Andrew Shriver's spring, which was a large flush limestone
one. At this time they would display in triumph the scalps, painted
and suspended from a pole, which they had been able to obtain from the
enemy, and received the accommodation of free quarters as demanded.
The consequence was they were very social, and smoked around the pipe
of friendship freely, without any attempt at wanton injury.
His brother, Ludwig Shriver, David Young, Middlekauf, the
Wills, and others followed in a few years and made settlements. Ludwig
Shriver's settlement must have been early, as he burnt coal out of
hickory wood, and made the knife with which Andrew
curried his leather, which was tanned in large troughs cut out
of logs. Andrew Shriver's wife occasionally helped her husband in the
tanyard, dressing deer skins by night. David, their son, wore deer
skins, dressed, as clothing, shirts excepted, until fifteen years of
Having but little cleared ground at this time, the stock were
left to run at large in the woods. Such as were wanted, David, being
the oldest child, had to collect every morning, much to his
discomfort, the pea vines and grass being nearly as high as himself,
and covered with dew, soon made his deer skin dress so wet as to
render it like unto his skin, adhesive to his body. Deer, and other
game, were so abundant, and so destructive to grain fields, as to
render hunting necessary for their protection.
THE FERREE FAMILY BRANCH.
account of the ancestors of the Ferree Family, and, of course, of
Rebecca Ferree, the daughter of Abraham Ferree, furnished by Joel
Lightner, son of Leah Lightner, as given to him by John Ferree, aged
84 years; Joseph Lefevre, and Leah Lightner, aged about 63 years at
the time, about the 16th of September, 1823, and from some of the
original title papers of land purchased by them of William Penn,
proprietor of the Province of Pennsylvania.
In 1685, the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, just granted by
Henry IV., and confirmed by Louis XIII., deprived Protestants of the
exercise of their religion. About this time, John Ferree or Verree,
resided in the town of Landau, not far from the Rhine, in the kingdom
of France. His family consisted of himself, wife and six
children-three sons, and three daughters. The names of the sons were
Daniel, Phillip and John, and the daughters Catharine, Mary and Jane.
John Ferree, the father, was a silk weaver by trade, and his religion
Calvinistic; consequently he became one of the sufferers by the
revoking decree. They had no other resource than to change their
residence. They went to Germany, not far from Strasburg,
they resided two years. On their leaving France, they were accompanied
by a young man named Lefevre. He continued as one of the family until
he arrived in America, and then married Catharine Ferree, from whom,
as far as is known, all of the Lefevres in this country have sprung.
During their residence in Germany, John Ferree, the father,
died, and it is singular that Mary Ferree, his widow, after she came
to America, was not pleased to be called by any other name than Mary
Varrenburse,* that being
her maiden name. [*Record
preserved by a descendant gives the name Maria Warenbuer. -- S.S.S.]
While residing at Strasburg, hearing of a fair province called
Pennsylvania, in North America, and that the proprietor, William Penn,
resided in London, she determined to set out for that place, and if
she received sufficient encouragement from Penn, would try to get to
America. She accordingly set out for London with her family, and when
she arrived employed a person to conduct her to Penn's residence.
While on their way their guide pointed out to her Penn's carriage
which was approaching them. She being of a determined and persevering
disposition, called to Penn, who immediately stopped his carriage, he
being well acquainted with the French language, which was very
pleasing to her, as she could not speak nor understand the English
language. Penn, understanding her business, invited her into his
carriage, as he was then on his way home, where he would be more
particularly attentive to anything she had to say. Penn told her he
had an agent in Pennsylvania, to whom he would give her a
recommendation, so that her business, he hoped, would be done to her
satisfaction. Penn treated her very kindly while she was at his house.
They remained in London about six months, when a vessel was about to
sail for North River, New York, in which they took passage. On their
arrival at that place, they moved up the river to a place called
Esopus, where they remained two years, then removed to Philadelphia,
and, thence, to Pequea settlement, previous to which they had taken up
three thousand acres of land. Before they left London, a variety of
implements of husbandry were presented to them by Queen Anne, which
they found of great use to them in cultivating their lands.
Phillip, the eldest son, was now about twenty-one years old,
and had a desire to earn something for himself. Having formed acquaintance
with several families at Esopus, he pushed for that place, where he
lived one year with a respectable farmer called Abram Dubois, and
while in his family formed an attachment for Dubois' daughter Leah,
whom he married at the expiration of a year, and brought to his family
in Pequea settlement.
He commenced improving lands on the north side of Pequea Creek,
that had been previously taken up by his mother and family. Some of
their first labors were to cut grass in the woods for the purpose of
making hay, no land having been cleared on the part allotted them.
They placed timbers in the ground forked at the top, laid poles
across them, and built their hay upon the top of that, and under this
they lived. During their stay in this shelter their first son was
born. They lived to have eight children-five boys and three girls. The
names of the sons were Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Philip and Joel. The
daughters were Lena, who intermarried with William Buffington, Leah
with Peter Baker, and Elizabeth with Isaac Ferree. Abraham was married
eighty or eighty-five years since to a woman of the name of Eltenge,
or Eltinge. She was of Esopus, and her parents Low-Dutch. He lived on
a part of the land taken up by his grandmother and her children. They
had several children. He was buried in a place called Carpenter's
Graveyard, about a mile from where he was born, it being a burial
ground pointed out by his grandmother Mary. His widow married a man by
the name of Sergus. They moved up the Susquehanna river and it is not
known what became of them.
Among the papers of Joel Ferree, grandfather of Joel Lightner,
is found a copy of a will of Abraham Dubois, from which it appears
that a person of the name of Elting, as it is spelled in that instrument,
is recognized as a son-in-law by marriage to his daughter Leah, and
the name of Philip Ferree is spelled Feire, and by a release given to
Philip Ferree and Leah, his wife, by Abraham Dubois, Roeloff Eltinge,
and Sarah his wife, the name is spelled Eltinge by Roeloff himself, as
appears in the release. JOEL
OF A BRANCH OF THE ELTINGE FAMILY.
This extract was compiled by judge Shriver in 1826.
Elizabeth Eltinge intermarried with Abraham Ferree; both are long
since deceased. It appears by a certain deed of partition, on record in
Frederick county, made by sundry persons as devisors of Isaac Eltinge,
dated 18th of April, 1771, that he was a resident of Frederick county,
now Montgomery, in the State of Maryland, anterior to the 13th of March,
1756, the date of his last will and testament; and that he died without
issue, in which case he disposed of his estate in fee simple to his
sister E. Ferree, and the children of his sister Yacomintye Thomas, to
be divided into three separate parts, one of which was to descend to his
first married sister, and the other two-thirds to the children of the
married sisters, viz.: William Thompson, Cornelius Thompson, and Anna
As relates to the descendants of Elizabeth Ferree, she had two
sons and four daughters -- Israel, Cornelius, Rebecca, Rachel, Elizabeth
and Mary. Israel married and had one son; both have died without
descendants. Cornelius is living with a second wife (the first having
died), and a numerous family who, with himself, have emigrated to the
western country. Rachel was married to David Muskimmins, and resided
near Bath, Virginia. Elizabeth married William Miller, who is dead. Mary
married a Mr. Graff, who died, and then Griffith Willet, who is believed
to be dead, and Rebecca married David Shriver.
David Shriver, son of Andrew Shriver, and Anna Maria, his wife,
was born in York County, Pennsylvania, at a place called Conewago, south
of Hanover about six miles. His parents had been but a few years from
Germany, and recently married, when they settled at Conewago, in the
woods, surrounded by Indians. David Shriver, the first born, grew up
with scarcely any education, the opportunity and means being both
wanting. The time of his minority was, of course, occupied in rendering
his father assistance in the business in which
 he was engaged. On arriving at age, he attracted the
attention of Andrew Steiger, residing in Baltimore, who was an
enterprising man engaged in extensive business. Steiger employed him as
store, keeper in a country store, which he located not far from the
residence of David's father. The want of an education being immediately
experienced, he so applied himself to attain what his business required,
that, in a short time he acquired a very good knowledge of figures, as
well as wrote a fair hand, and otherwise improved himself in knowledge
At this time Lancaster had become a considerable town, and it was
a custom, which had been continued to the present period, to hold
semi-annual Fairs, which drew together vast numbers of people. At one of
these fairs David Shriver first met Rebecca Ferree, who had been placed
at school in Lancaster to acquire a knowledge of ornamental needle work.
He accompanied her home, and was received with becoming respect by her
father, but with much displeasure and indignity by her mother, she
having imbibed high notions in consequence of the opulence and
distinction enjoyed by her family in New York. Standing well, however,
with the daughter and father, he persevered and succeeded in his object.
Previous to this he had settled on a tract of land provided for him by
his father, at Little Pipe Creek, Frederick County, Maryland, where he
had erected some buildings and cleared lands. To this place he brought
his wife, and thereupon built a mill, which, though of little value in
after time, was, nevertheless, of considerable importance to himself,
and neighbors, at that period, the settlement being in its infancy.
Having experienced the want of an education, he sought, at an
early period, to have his children taught; and for this purpose sent his
eldest son abroad for some time, there being no school within reach of
them. His efforts were unceasing to promote education in his
neighborhood, and he so far succeeded as to obtain for his children a
good English education; indeed, the neighborhood was much indebted to
him for exertions in this respect; and many persons are in the enjoyment
of useful knowledge which, but for him, they would not have acquired.
Possessing an inquisitive and discriminating
 mind, he added
rapidly to his stock of information. As a self-taught mathematician, he
made considerable advance, and was instructor to his sons in the art of
surveying -- the compass, and other instruments used, being of his own
manufacture. His mechanical talents were no less remarkable. He was
carpenter, farmer, joiner, cooper, blacksmith, silversmith, combmaker,
wheelwright; in short, everything that was wanting, as well as maker of
the tools the occasion called for. He was, moreover, the umpire of the
neighborhood, in the settlement of controversies. Having a great
aversion to law suits and litigation, he did much to preserve peace and
harmony. His house was the resort of much company, and the place where
travelers regularly sought shelter and repose; they were always received
with kindness and liberality, and treated without reward.
The disputes between the colonies and mother country early
attracted his attention, and he became as early an active Whig. So warm
was he in the support of the rights of his country that his friends were
alarmed for his safety, and his clergyman emphatically warned him to
beware; that the powers placed over him were of God; that he would be
hung for treason and his family made beggars. He treated the admonition
with marked contempt, and persevered, taking an active part in
committees of vigilance and public safety, and urging his countrymen to
vindicate their rights. He was, in consequence, elected member of the
convention of 1776 to frame a Constitution for Maryland, and was
afterwards continued, with the exception of a year or two, a member of
the other branches of the Legislature for thirty years, and until the
infirmities of age admonished him of the propriety of retirement. He
ever abhorred debt as a restraint upon his independence and freedom of
action. Of course, his advancement to wealth was slow, but certain; and
at his death, without one cent of debt, he was worth seventy thousand
At the time of his marriage, his wife's parents gave him a negro
girl, yet living, from whom sprung a progeny of more than forty in
number, thirty of whom remained in his possession at the time of his
death. These he liberated by will, and in the same instrument divided
his estate equally among his children, and provided for the
of a burial ground, where his remains, and those of his wife and some of
his children repose.
David Shriver had two brothers and four sisters who all married,
and are now dead. The names of the brothers were Andrew and Jacob. The
former continued to reside on the home plantation, and raised a large
family. The latter moved to Littlestown, had one son, who died young and
his father shortly after. The names of the sisters are not distinctly
known. One married Henry Koontz, another George Koontz, the third John
Kilzmiller and the fourth Jacob Will. They all lived to an old age, and
within a few miles of their father. They all raised large families,
except the wife of George Koontz, who had but three or four children and
died early in life. Although their father began the world in humble
circumstances, he succeeded so well in the acquisition of property as to
be able to render his children considerable assistance.
The character of Rebecca Shriver was almost entirely domestic. At
an early period her mind became imbued with piety, and the duties of
religion were at no time neglected or disregarded by her. On the
contrary, she delighted in devotion; she habitually spoke of the hour of
her dissolution with complacency, and while yet afar off prepared to
meet it as a matter rather to be desired than avoided. Death, indeed,
had no terror for her. In her religion there was nothing, however, of
gloom or austerity. She freely took part in the rational enjoyments of
life, and was highly social and benevolent, ever happy to receive all
who called upon her, whether relative, friend or stranger. The best
refreshments from her table were always presented to them by her own
hands, and their wants liberally supplied.
But it was in the character of mother she was truly affectionate,
ever sympathizing in the afflictions, and ministering to the welfare of
her children with a tenderness that could not be surpassed. Her husband
having occasion to be much from home, the management of the family,
which was large, devolved mainly upon her, which she met without a
murmur, and discharged with the utmost propriety.
She was the oldest of the family, and had two brothers, Israel
and Cornelius, and three sisters, Rachel, Elizabeth and Mary.
It may be observed, it being omitted elsewhere, that Abraham
Ferree, the father of Rebecca Shriver, was of a kind and benevolent
disposition, and confessedly upright and exemplary in all his dealings
Rebecca Shriver died 24th of November, 1812, aged seventy years,
ten months and three days.
David Shriver died the 29th of January, 1826, in the 91st year of
his age. He was the oldest of his brothers and sisters and survived all
The remains of David Shriver and his wife were interred in the
family burial ground, Little Pipe Creek.
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