Origins of LeFever name

 

It is likely that the original family name that I am researching was le Fevre or le Fevere which seems to be the old French way of spelling the name and its meaning is smith.

The modern variants of this surname seem to be LeFever, LeFevre, LeFebure, LeFebvre, LeFeaver, LeFevere. I have found that my ancestors seem to use some or all of the spelling variants throughout their lives which makes tracking them down interesting at times.

From the research that I have done to date the name seems predominant in northern France and Belgium. The persecution of the protestant Huguenot’s in France in 1685 by Louis XIV caused many to leave France and Belgium and head across the channel to England and then migrate to other countries around the globe. The initial settlement of many of the first migrants was in Southampton, London’s East End and Lincolnshire.

UK

US

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Current European surname distribution

Looking at just the Lefever spelling in the 1881 UK census there were 160 people recorded with the surname, by 2002 the count dropped to 119. From my research to date it seems as though the surname is slowly dying out in England and this is borne out my my perception that more female children were born with the surname than males in the late 1800’s early 1900’s. In the USA census for 2000 there were a total of 3331 individuals recorded with the Lefever spelling.