Show ContentsLefever History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Lefever is derived from the Old French word "fevre," which meant "a blacksmith," therefore it was originally an occupational name for a smith or a metal worker. While the patronymic and metronymic surnames, those derived from the name of the father and mother respectively, were the most common form of a hereditary surname in France, occupational surnames also emerged during the late Middle Ages.

Early Origins of the Lefever family

The surname Lefever was first found in Savoy (French: Savoie) in the Rhône-Alpes region of the French Alps, where this noble family held a family seat since ancient times.

Throughout the centuries, families of this surname or one of its spelling variations could be found in many regions of France, including Vaud, Genève, Bresse, Lyonnais, Savoie, Dauphiné, Guillaume, and Echallens. Pierre of the Favre family of Lyon was a Consul in Lyon in 1382 and of his descendants, five were Magistrates of Lyon during the 16th century.

In Savoie, Gaspard was the secretary to the Duke in 1470 and one of the Senators of Savoie, as well as the President of the Senate. Guillaume, of Echallens from the county of Vaud, became a burgess, or businessman, in 1508 and his son, François, was one of the founders of the "Independence of Geneva" in 1534. Distinctive among his descendants were State Consuls of Geneva, Officers of State, General Treasurers, and the Lords of Dardagny, Russin, Malval, Confignon, and Châteauvieux, amongst others.

Pierre Lefebvre, born in 1642, son of Olivier and Michelle (née Renou), settled in Quebec in the 17th century. He married Marie-Madeleine Trudel, daughter of Jean and Marguerite (née Thomas), in 1674. The remained together until Pierre passed away at Charlesbourg on 21st November 1727. Pierre's brother, Robert Lefebvre, born in 1633, married Denise Gautier in Quebec on 7th February 1667. They remained together until Denise's death on 7th February 1695. Robert passed away on 3rd February 1703. 1

Early History of the Lefever family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Lefever research. Another 139 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1525, 1552, 1569, 1574, 1576, 1578, 1585, 1600, 1615, 1624, 1626, 1650, 1652, 1667, 1672, 1700, 1706 and 1716 are included under the topic Early Lefever History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Lefever Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Lefebvre, Lefebvres, Lefevres, Favre, Favres, Fevre, Febvre, Febvres, Favers, Lefabre, Lefabvres, Fabvres, Lefever and many more.

Early Notables of the Lefever family

Notable in the family name at this time was Antoine Favre (d. 1626), Professor at the University of Valence; Jean Le Fèvre (1652-1706), a French astronomer and physicist; Tanneguy Lefebvre (1615-1672), French classical scholar; Etienne Favre was a Counsel at the Appeals Tribunal of Bresse where he had his noble status confirmed...
Another 51 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Lefever Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Lefever Ranking

In the United States, the name Lefever is the 12,797th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 2

United States Lefever migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Lefever Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Hippolite Lefever, who landed in New Jersey in 1674-1675 3
Lefever Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Alexander Joseph Lefever, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1791 3

New Zealand Lefever migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Lefever Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richard Lefever, British settler arriving as Detachment of the Royal New Zealand Fencibles travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Sir George Symour" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 26th November 1847 4
  • Mrs. Hannah Lefever née Reading, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Sir George Symour" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 26th November 1847 4

Contemporary Notables of the name Lefever (post 1700) +

  • Jacob Le Fever (1830-1905), American politician, U.S. Representative from New York (1893-1897)
  • Ernest Warren Lefever (1919-2009), American political theorist and foreign affairs expert
  • Lee LeFever (b. 1973), American two-time Webby nominated video producer, author and co-founder of Common Craft, an instructional video company
  • Daniel Myron Lefever (1835-1906), American gun maker and founder of the Lefever Arms Company, active 1883 to 1916, he patented the first automatic hammerless shotgun in 1883
  • Joseph Lefever (1760-1826), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania (1811-1813)
  • Kenneth Ernest Lefever CB (1915-2006), British civil servant, Commissioner of Customs and Excise (1972-1975)

  1. Olivier, Reginald L. Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties. Logan: The Everton Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 368, 1972. Print
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from on Facebook