An American Family History

Rebecca LaFevre Swope

Chester County was one of the three original Pennsylvania counties created in 1682.

Most Americans were farmers in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

Rebecca L. LeFevre Swope was born October 10, 1805 in Chester County, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of Jacob LeFever and Rebecca Bachtell.

She married Thomas Swope on December 31. 1827 in Fairfield County, Ohio. Thomas was born in Huntington, Pennsylvania, on February 19, 1800. He was the son of David Swope and Mary Cole.

David Swope (1828),
Margaret A. Swope (1830), 
Jacob Swope (1831),                    
Rebecca Swope (1834),
Thomas Jefferson Swope (1835),
Mary Elizabeth Swope Sturgeon (1837, married Robert Sturgeon),
Tilitha Jane Swope Ingman (1838, married James Ingman),
Louisa Swope Ashbrook (1839, married B. F. Ashbrook),
Abner R. Swope (1840),
Samuel Swope (1844),
Felix Swope (1845, married Alice Kraft), and
Emma J. Swope Peters (1849, married Robert Peters).

They cleared the land in Amanda Township that David inherited from his father and built a two story brick house and a large frame barn. Thomas also hauled produce from the surrounding country to Baltimore, Maryland and would return with supplies for merchants of the towns near home.

In 1837 David fell from a loaded wagon and was found underneath the wagon by father. 

Fairfield County, Ohio
Children of Jacob LeFevre and
Rebecca Bachtell
  • David LeFevre
  • Samuel LeFevre
  • Isaac LeFevre (died young)
  • Jacob LeFevre
  • Margaret LeFevre Kelsey
  • Mary LeFevre
  • Rebecca L. LeFevre Swope
  • John LeFevre
  • Elizabeth LeFevre
  • William LeFevre
  • Sarah Ann LeFevre

  • Ohio 1840
    From an Ohio newspaper in 1840.

    In 1880 Thomas and Rebecca Swope were still living in Amanda Township, Fairfield County, Ohio. The household consisted of Thomas age 80, Rebecca age 74, Margaret age 50, Rebecca age 11, Alice age 8, Eliza Long (Rebecca's sister), servant Miranda Walters age 20 and farmhand H. J. Higens age 23.

    Thomas died on August 13, 1883. Rebecca died on August 15, 1887.


    Fairfield County is in central Ohio. The county seat is Lancaster.



    American pioneers migrated west to settle areas not previously inhabited by European Americans.

    From History of Fairfield County, Ohio and Representative Citizens edited and  compiled by Charles C. Miller, Ph.D,

    Thomas Swope, grandfather of S. B. Swope, was born in Huntingdon County, PA.,  Feb. 19, 1800, and was the youngest son of David and Mary (Cole) Swope. . .

    Thomas Swope walled in a lot on the home place where his father, a brother and sister, a niece and the oldest and the youngest of his own  children were buried. In 1909 the last two named were removed to the family burying  ground in Amanda Township Cemetery.

    Soon after his marriage, Thomas Swope took possession of his farm which he cleared  and on which he built a two-story, brick house, a large frame barn and other buildings  needed in successful operation of his farm. In the early days he carred on the business  of freighting by means of a four or six-horse team and wagon, and hauled produce from  the surrounding country to Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, USA., and would there load far the return trip with  supplied for the merchants of the towns near home. These trips were often attended  with great difficulties and dangers, and sometimes were without financial rewards. Upon one occasion, having slaughtered some seventy-five hogs and cured the meat,  he conveyed it to Baltimore, where is was disposed of to merchants, who failed before  paying him. In 1819, with a man named Hooker, he built a raft and loaded it with produce  for New Orleans. The trip down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers was easy, but the return  was most difficult, and many miles of it were walked along the river banks. He died August 13, 1884.

    Thomas Swope was married to Rebecca Le Fever, who was born October 10, 1805, and  died August 15, 1887. She was a daughter of Jacob and Rebecca (Bechtel) Le Fever. Her father was born March 1766, and died November 18, 1844, and her mother was  born December 4, 1770, and died February 3, 1829.

    Thomas and Rebecca Swope were  parents of the following children, of whom the oldest and youngest died during the  lives of the parents.
    David, the eldest, in 1837, fell from a loaded wagon and was crushed  beneath the wheels.
    Jacob died at Wellsville, MO., in 1906.
    Margaret A. died in April 1911, on the home farm.
    Mary E. is the wife of Robert Sturgeon and lives in Kansas. 
    Rebecca died in 1906.
    Thomas J. lives at Reynoldsburg, O.
    Tilitha Jane, now  deceased, was the wife of James Ingman and lives at Barnes, Washington, Kansas, USA.
    Abner R. lives  at Bloomingburn, Fayette County, O.
    Louisa is the wife a B. F. Ashbrook and lives at Milo, O.
    Samuel lives at Toledo, O.
    Felix is a resident of Lancaster, O.
    Emma J. was  the wife of Robert Peters and died in 1872.

    Felix Swope engaged in Farming in Amanda Township until 1908, since which time he has  been a resident of Lancaster. He has been a stock dealer all his life and still operates along  that line. He was married July 20, 1872 to Alice Kraft, who was born in Circleville, O.,  February 3, 1853, and died July 19, 1906, being buried in Amanda Township Cemetery. She was the daughter of George H. and Caroline (Wilson) Kraft. Her father was two years  old when he came to this part of Ohio, with his parents. He came later to Fairfield County,  where for nine years he lived in Amanda Township. He then moved to Berne Township,  in March 1872, living there until 1888, when he moved to Ashville, O., where he died  April 22, 1905.

    Settlers often built log cabins as their first homes.

    The first European settlements in Maryland were made in 1634 when English settlers created a permanent colony.

    Memoir of David Swope and Descendents
    written by his granddaughter Margaret Swope
    A.D. 1909 taken from Miller Family Reunion website 

     Thomas Swope married Rebecca LeFever in December 1827 and soon took possession of his farm, which he cleared and on which he built a two story brick house, a large frame barn, besides other buildings needed in the successful operation of a farm. 

    Father also carried on the business of freighting by means of a four or six horse team and wagon. He hauled produce from the surrounding country to Baltimore, Maryland and would load there for the return trip with supplies for merchants of the towns near home...  One time father could not get a loan from Baltimore, started home empty. At Zanesville he got a load and not waiting to visit home immediately took the road for Baltimore again and mother must be content and bid the time for the trip with no consolation but a letter. The trip was made and in due time father arrived home where he was, you may know, anxiously awaited and joyfully received....

    In 1835 or 1836 father went north to move some Indians. When he returned we found a little dress, blue and barred; also a small pewter basin. I remember putting it into the oven to warm some gravy and later found it melted. One winter father slaughtered seventy-five hogs and after curing the meat loaded his wagon for Baltimore, sold to merchants who went broke and father lost all. 

    It was the custom of wagon men in those days to carry their own bed; a room at the taverns along the route was furnished to them. In 1819 Father and a man named Hooker built a raft and loaded it with produce for New Orleans. The trip down was rapid and east but the return was not so. They took frequent strolls on the river bank. One day they heard a woman screaming. Hooker said he would go and see what the trouble was.  He found a man whipping his wife, when he expostulated with the man for his ill treatment of his wife he was chagrinned to hear the woman telling him that it was none of his business and that if her husband wanted to whip her he could do it. He returned to the raft if not sadder certainly a wiser man.

    Father, with his daughter Maggie, visited the Centennial Exposition held at Philadelphia in 1876 and while returning stopped at Mapleton, Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, visiting the home his parents had left in 1801. He found some cousins, the older generation having all passed away. After visiting the City of the Silent Dead and reading the monumental inscriptions that marked the resting place of the departed he closed his visit and returned home. 

    Children, that you may know Father and Mother began their married life at the bottom of the ladder, Father made a little square table, this with three splint bottomed chairs and a chest.  Mother, by her industry at the spinning wheel and the loom, furnished linen, linsey, a bedstead, a stand and a side saddle, upon which her six daughters learned to ride. Somewhat different from what young Americans present manner of riding is. 

    Father walled in a lot to serve as a burying ground, in which his father, a brother and sister, a niece and the oldest and youngest of his own family were buried. The last two have within the present year, 1909, been removed to the Amanda Township Cemetery and placed beside Father and Mother.

    In 1837 sorrow came to Father and Mother by the sudden death of brother David, who fell from a loaded wagon and when found by father was underneath the wheel with the life gone out.  Emma J. was the next to leave us in 1872, caused by pneumonia, leaving her two helpless children to our care. Thus in Father and Mother’s lives their oldest and youngest were taken from them. I would not fail to note the sympathy and love they showed to Joseph and Lizzie Hazwell, who being left motherless were given a home for several years. Since Father and Mother’s death two more of the family have gone from us.  Rebecca and Jacob died in 1906.

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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