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Samuel Ferree

Samuel Ferree remains the most mysterious of my sixteen great, great grandparents. He only lived a short life of twenty nine years. Records that exist for Samuel contain contradictions. Samuel Ferree is the only great, great grandparent that I have not discovered a final resting place. Several years ago, I wrote an article on the wife of Samuel Ferree; a detailed understanding of Catherine (Hively) Ferree after she was widowed and remarried solved some mysteries-unfortunately new inconsistencies were also introduced. In writing this article on Samuel Ferree, I had the pleasure of discovering some mislabeled information that had been "lost" in my files since 1991 - it helped to further clarify the birth year of Samuel Ferree. I wish that I would get such a pleasant discovery each time that I write an article on one of my ancestors! Stephen H. Smith

Quick Facts
  • Birth: 1826
  • Death: 1855
  • Parents: Jacob Ferree & Catharine Wagner
  • Second oldest of sixteen children
  • Married Catherine Hively 1850
  • Three lineages to Madame Ferree

Samuel Ferree as a Young Man

Samuel Ferree was a child in a large family - his parents, Jacob and Catherine (Wagner) Ferree had sixteen children. The 31 December 1824 issue of the York German Gazette newspaper reported the 21 December 1824 marriage of Jacob Ferree of Spring Garden Township, York County, PA to Miss Catharina Wagner, daughter of John Wagner, of Windsor Township, York County, PA. An extensive list containing many children of Jacob and Catharine Ferree occurred in their 1850 census record in Lower Windsor Township, York County, PA where eleven of their children are listed with their ages. The remaining five children were either old enough to move away from the family farm, had died young, or were not yet born.

During the 1850 census, Samuel Ferree was one child who had moved away from the family farm - he was listed as a laborer in the household of Samuel Hively in Wrightsville Boro in York County, PA. Samuel Hively is listed as a twenty six year old cordwinder who was born in Maryland. Also in his household are: Elizabeth Hively (his wife, age 21, born in PA), Walter Hively (his son, age 7/12, born in PA), John McCabe (cordwinder, age 35, born in Ireland), and Samuel Ferree (laborer, age 25, born in PA). During the 1860 census, Samuel Ferree (Ferry) and family are listed in Lower Windsor Township, York County, PA. Here, Samuel's age is reported as 36. How can this be? This article started by indicating Samuel Ferree died in 1855 - I will get into this inconsistency later in the article. Based on his age of 25 in the 1850 census, the initial conclusion was that Samuel Ferree was most likely born in 1825 as the oldest child in the family (remember his parents were married on 21 December 1824).

In my very beginnings of having an interest in family history, my Aunt Marian (Smith) Parks was supplying my dad and myself with some family history notes written by her dad, Luther Samuel Smith (1877-1956), throughout his adult life. Luther S. Smith's notes were almost exclusively related to the Smith family - a few memories that he recorded and chronological lists, such as the birthdays of his grandfather and grandmother Smith and their eleven children. One of Luther S. Smith's notes indicated, "visited great aunt, Barbara Smith, in East Prospect; her mother had sixteen children: Joseph, Samuel, Andrew, Elizabeth, John, Catharine, Jacob, Barbara, Henry, Susan, David, Caroline, Sarah, Daniel, Melinda, Mary." Aunt Marian and my dad did not know how this notation fit into the Smith family, and after only a cursory examination by myself, it has been buried in my Smith family files since 1991. The last several years I have been revisiting my Smith family research, I happened to come across this notation from Luther S. Smith's great aunt, Barbara Smith, not too long before I started this article on Samuel Ferree. As soon as I saw the 1850 census record with eleven of Jacob and Catharine Ferree's children, the light came on - Luther S. Smith's great aunt was Barbara (Ferree) Smith. These were Ferree children and not Smith children!

Knowing about Luther S. Smith's perchance to order his lists in chronological order, I decided to test his list versus the 1850 census list and later information found on the birth dates of the sixteen children. The ages of these eleven children agree with the order in the Luther S. Smith list. The 1850 census contains ages for several of the remaining children that were old enough to move away from the family farm. Catharine shows up as a 19 year old two times in the 1850 census. The first time is on her parent's farm in Lower Windsor Township, York County, PA; then shows up the second time in the household of her brother-in-law, Daniel Hinkle, and sister, Elizabeth, in Harrisburg, Dauphin County, PA. The children Joseph and Susan possibly died prior to 1850 since they were not discovered in the 1850 census. Mary was likely born soon after 1850, however, she was not found in the 1860 census or 1870 census. In census records of 1860, 1870, and 1880, Elizabeth is reported to be 32, 43, and 52 years old respectively - a 1900 census record was not found. Therefore Elizabeth was likely born during 1827 or 1828. Looking at the 9 December 1827 birth date of Andrew, Elizabeth would have to be born either very early 1827 or late 1828 - assuming the Luther S. Smith list was ordered from oldest to youngest, Elizabeth's birth late in 1828 makes sense.

Children of Jacob Ferree & Catharine (Wagner) Ferree
Joseph Ferree
Henry Ferree
Samuel Ferree
Susan Ferree
Andrew Ferree
  David Ferree 1842-1937
Elizabeth Ferree
  Caroline Ferree 1844-1930
John Ferree 1829-1896   Sarah Ferree 1845-1920
Catharine Ferree 1831   Daniel Ferree 1847-1925
Jacob Ferree 1832   Melinda Ferree 1848-Aft. 1930
Barbara Ferree 1835-1926   Mary Ferree 1851

Again assuming the Luther S. Smith list was properly ordered from oldest to youngest, the two oldest childen, Joseph and Samuel, logically would be born between about late 1825 and very early 1827. The best guess is that Joseph Ferree was born about 1825 and that Samuel Ferree was born during 1826 (but certainly not 1825). Having Susan Ferree born about 1839 may be an explanation why the 1850 census given ages for the younger children tend to be shifted approximately by one child. Maybe when the children's ages were reported to the census taker, Jacob and Catharine recalling ages separately, and mistakenly included Susan's age as if she were still living. Whatever the case, Samuel Ferree's mother gave birth to sixteen children in a span of approximately twenty six years. Catharine Ferree was between 17 and 43 years old during this time span.

Samuel Ferree's Lineages to Madame Marie Warenbuer Ferree

Samuel Ferree has definitely two and possibly three different lineages back to Madame. In 1712, Madame Marie Warenbuer Ferree and her family left New Paltz, New York, and traveled to Philadelphia where a land grant was confirmed on September 10, 1712, and issued in the names of Daniel Ferree, Jr. and Isaac Lefevre. The group then traveled to the area now known as Paradise and established the first settlement among the Pequea Indians. The following spring, on March 29, 1713, Daniel Lefevre is born. He was the third child of Catherine Ferree and Isaac Lefevre and the first white child born in the Pequea area. Samuel Ferree (1826-1855) most likely descends from this Daniel Lefevre but he also definitely descends from two different sons of Daniel Ferree, Jr. The most direct lineage from Daniel and Marie Warenbuer Ferree is through their son Daniel Ferree, Jr. and his son, Andrew C. Ferree. The other lineage is through John Ferree, the second son of Daniel Ferree, Jr. The Lefevre lineage occurs when the grandson of Daniel Ferree, Jr., David G. Ferree, married his second cousin, Mary Kerr Lefevre. Lineage through the Lefevre branch is currently thought valid - primarily as the result of lineage history being passed on from one generation to the next. Speculation has existed on occasion that this branch is invalid, however no positive proof has ever been provided to disprove this.

Primary Lineage
Daniel Ferree & Marie Warenbuer
Daniel Ferree & Anna Maria Leininger

Andrew C. Ferree & Mary Reed

David G. Ferree & Mary Lefevre
Andrew Ferree, Sr. & Mary Ferree
Jacob Ferree & Catharine Wagner
Samuel Ferree & Catherine Hively
2rd Lineage
3rd Lineage
Daniel Ferree & Marie Warenbuer
Daniel Ferree & Marie Warenbuer
Daniel Ferree & Anna Maria Leininger
Catherine Ferree & Isaac Lefevre
John Ferree & Barbara Stautzenberger
Daniel Lefevre & Mary Kerr
Peter Ferree & Rachel Schertz
Mary Lefevre & David G. Ferree
Mary Ferree & Andrew Ferree, Sr.
Andrew Ferree, Sr. & Mary Ferree
Jacob Ferree & Catharine Wagner
Jacob Ferree & Catharine Wagner
Samuel Ferree & Catherine Hively
Samuel Ferree & Catherine Hively

Samuel Ferree Marries Catherine Hively

During 1850, Samuel Ferree was living as a laborer in the household of Samuel Hively in Wrightsville Boro in York County, PA. Also during 1850, a younger sister of Samuel Hively is living nearby in the household of Lenard Barns in Wrightsville. The 1850 census shows the inhabitants of this household include: Lenard Barns (age 50, laborer), Susan Barns (age 24), Henry Koch (age 33, house painter), Mary Koch (age 22), George Koch (age 16, laborer), Joseph Koch (age 13), William Hively (age 2), and Catherine Hively (age 21). Initially, one may assume Catherine Hively had William out of wedlock, however, a closer examination of Hively family records suggests that Catherine was looking after a son of her brother, Samuel Hively.

Katie Hively Ferree Abt. 1890

Catherine (Katie) Hively was born during 1825, the third of ten children to Jacob and Elizabeth Hively. The year 1825 is in conflict with the 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 and 1900 census listings where Katie's age results in a 1829, 1831, 1828, 1829 or 1827 birth year, respectively. The 1899-1904 Register of Deaths for York County, PA records Catherine's death on November 19, 1901, at the age of 75, which results in a birth year of 1826. However, Catherine's headstone at Prospect Hill Cemetery lists 1825, which agrees more closely with the age of 8 years and 5 months given in the 1834 "poor children" record for Hellam Township, York County, PA. The 1850 census indicates that Catherine was born in Maryland, yet the 1860 through 1900 census listings have her birthplace as Pennsylvania. The York County Register of Deaths lists Catherine's place of birth as Frederick, MD - this is probably Frederick County, although it could be the city of Frederick, MD. Either way, Maryland is likely the correct state for Catherine's birth, since Jacob and Elizabeth Hively's first child, Samuel, was born August 12, 1823, near Manchester, MD per a family bible record documenting that branch of the family. Quite a few Ferree genealogists refer to Catherine as Katie - this may be the name by which she preferred to be called. Kate is the name by which she is listed in the 1880 census.

Sometime during the last half of 1850, Samuel Ferree and Catherine Hively were married; most likely in Wrightsville Boro, York County, PA. The 1850 census records indicate that Samuel and Catherine were not married as of June 1, 1850, yet their first child, Mary Ann Ferree, was born December 12, 1850; so Catherine was likely with child when she was married. Samuel and Catherine had two known children: Mary Ann Ferree and Samuel Winfield Ferree. There is the possibility of additional Ferree children who would have died very young, before the 1860 census, because Catherine's 1900 census record indicates she had six children. Samuel and Catherine Ferree had six grandchildren, nineteen great grandchildren, and thirty seven great, great grandschildren.

maryann jacob
Mary Ann Ferree Smith
Jacob Henry Smith

Mary Ann Ferree, daughter of Samuel and Katie was born December 12, 1850, in Wrightsville, York County, PA. On October 5, 1871, at age 20, she married Jacob Henry Smith, son of Jacob Smith and Rebecca Schnell in York County. Jacob was involved in the carpentry trade in East Prospect and the contractor of several buildings in that area. Mary Ann Ferree Smith died on April 17, 1890, at age 39, and was buried in East Prospect Cemetery, Lower Windsor Township, York County. Jacob remarried on October 1, 1891, to Amelia E. Young. He died on December 24, 1898, age 52, and was also buried in the East Prospect Cemetery. Mary Ann Ferree and Jacob Smith had six children.

Children of Mary Ann (Ferree) & Jacob Henry Smith
Adella May Smith
Annie Rebecca Smith
m: Franklin James Zarfoss
Luther Samuel Smith
m: Iva Mae Gilbert
Infant Son (died at birth)
Lizzie Catherine Smith
m: Harry A. Williams
Abbie Theresa Smith
adella lizzie
Annie Rebecca Smith
Adella Smith & Lizzie Schenberger
Lizzie Catherine Smith
luther lutheriva iva
Luther Samuel Smith
Luther & Iva 50th Anniversary
Iva Mae Gilbert

Samuel Winfield Ferree, son of Samuel and Katie Ferree was born on July 14, 1854, in Wrightsville, York County, PA. He died on October 23, 1872, at the age of 18. Samuel W. Ferree is buried in East Prospect Cemetery, Lower Windsor Township, York County, PA, in the plot adjacent to Jacob H. Smith.

Deed records show Samuel and Catherine Ferree owned property in Wrightsville Boro, York County, PA, and Wrightsville yearly tax records provide additional information on Samuel. Prior to 1850, Samuel Ferree is not listed in the Wrightsville tax records. During 1850, Samuel Ferry is first listed as a laborer. During 1851, Samuel Ferry is listed as an engineer. This listing as an engineer is still not completely understood, since all other listings indicate he was a laborer. During 1852, Samuel Ferree was listed as owning a house and lot. During 1853, he was listed as a laborer with a house and lot. In 1854 he was again listed as owning a house and lot. The 1855 records show Widdow Ferry (of Saml.) owning a house and lot. Thus Samuel Ferree died sometime during 1854 or 1855. A York County deed was witnessed in 1855 with Samuel and Catherine Ferree present. It was signed February 9, 1855. So based on the combination of tax records and this deed, Samuel Ferree died in 1855, after February 9th. His burial location has yet to be discovered.

Catherine Hively Ferree's second marriage was to Samuel Schenberger. This likely occurred sometime before the birth of their only child, Lizzie S. Schenberger, on June 29, 1866. Catherine died on November 19, 1901, in York, PA. Her wishes were to be buried in Prospect Cemetery, located at East Prospect, York County, PA, which is the cemetery where her son, Samuel Winfield Ferree, and daughter, Mary Ann Ferree Smith, were previously buried. Her wishes were not observed and she was instead buried in Prospect Hill Cemetery in the city of York, PA. Catherine's grave site is marked with a large monument with the Lindemuth surname (the married name of her daughter) and surrounded by six Lindemuth graves in addition to the one small stone marking the final resting place of Catherine Schenberger (1825-1901).

Primary sources include: Smith Family Bible; Luther Samuel Smith's Family Notes & Records; Articles and Passages from books on Ferree Family History; Hively Family Newsletters; Historical Society of York County, PA Family Files; York City and County Records; Shearer's Map of York County, PA; Will of Catherine Shenberger; Census Records, County Deeds, and Local Tax Records noted in article.