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Beaver Family History


Beaver Family History – I. M. Beaver – Published 1936


“We are among those who believe that any who care not about their earthly origin, care little as to anything higher.” – Harbaugh


            Two hundred years ago our American fore parents together with their wives and children were sailing the high seas on their way from Germany to America.

            In some cases the husband came first and the wife and family came later. In other cases the father and oldest son came first and in come instances the sons came first and the rest if the family later.

            They left their homes in Alsace, some from Hirschland and other parts of Germany. In the small sail boats in which they came, all were huddle together, numbering from one hundred to sometimes four hundred persons. Their trials and experiences in many cases were hard and pathetic. Some were not able to stand the hardships and died on the way and were buried at sea.

            Most of our ancestors arrived at the port of Philadelphia, Pa. Some were four months buffeting the high seas in their slow and tedious voyage. They first settled in Chester, Berks, and Northampton counties, Penna. The reader will note that the original German spelling of the name was Bieber; those who moved into English communities changed the spelling to Beaver, Bever, Beeber, etc. From the original homesteads in Chester, Berks and Northampton counties, Penna, the descendants of the pioneers have migrated t to ever State in the union, some to Canada and the Hawaiian Islands. The Bieber-Beaver family has been prominent in America for more that ten generations. Many of its members have been specially gifted with brilliant intellects, which have been used to the finest and most distinctive advantage, not only to themselves, but to their fellow-workers and fellow-citizens as well.

            We are the descendants and inheritors of the hardships of our pioneer ancestors and at the same time we have entered into the blessings bequeathed by them who cleared the forests, built their log cabins, established their Christian homes, erected their log churches and under God has [sic. have] perpetuated the Christian Church, and today we are enjoying a most glorious heritage for they have given to us the freest, finest riches and most liberally governed country in the world. It is to these noble fathers and mothers that we dedicate this volume.

            This volume is the outgrowth of an extensive research covering more than twenty years by the compiler, searching court house and graveyard records and hundreds of historical works. Few people realize the magnitude and amount of work involved in collecting material, except those two have had the actual experience. It has necessitated the writing of more than seven thousand letters. One of the discouraging features one has to contend with is the failure of those who should be interested to answer letters seeking information. As a result this information has to be obtained form some other source and this increases the possibility of errors. Some may be disappointed because their family record is not more complete or because of errors in it; but in such cases they can only blame themselves for their failure to answer our letters of inquiry. On the other hand we want to thank the host of persons who have been interested and assisted the compiler ingathering this material and preserving it in a lasting form for the present and future generations, before the destroying hand of time has rendered such a record impossible. In the connection, I want to mention in particular our worthy Historian, James Keller Bieber, Lyon Station, Berks Co. Pa., who is 86 years young. He has greatly assisted me in searching court house, church, graveyard and other records. Others who have assisted are John G. Beaver, 1458 Highpoint Street, Los Angeles, Calif.; Frederick P. Beaver, Dayton, Ohio; William S Stull, Waynesboro, Pa.; David H. Zarger, Chambersburg, Pa.; Mrs. Cora Beaver Horne, Washington D. C.  It is also hoped that he many kind friends who have so actively assisted in furnishing family material may fell amply repaid through the possession of the completer volume. It is hoped that it may be actually worth the large expenditures of time, labor, strength, and money spent upon its preparation. We now send the book forth believing that it may prove a lasting monument to the departed, a living incentive to greater undertaking and success by the living and that future generations will appreciate this rich heritage. – I. M. Beaver – Reading Pa., August 1, 1939


Ship Record of our Immigrant Ancestors

            Minors and women were not required to register. Names according to different spellings, viz. Beiber, Beaver, Biever, Bever, Beeber. The following lists were taken from Pennsylvania Archives, Second Series, Vol. 17. Compared with Rupp’s 30,000 Immigrants and Ralph Beaver Strassberger, LL. D. Pennsylvania German pioneers. The dates given are dates of arrival and the time when the oaths were signed.

1732, Oct 17. Ship Pink John and William, Capt Tymperton, from Rotterdam via Dover from the Palatinate, Christian Bever, Dorothy Bever and Jacob Bever - Rupp says that Dorothy and Jacob were under 16 yrs of age. In Penna. Archives Jacob is listed as among the women showing that he was lass than 16 yrs of age. Strassberger has the same spelling. The father of this family evidently died on passage to American.

1739, Sept 3. Ship Robert and Alice, Capt. Walter Goodman, from Rotterdam via. Dover, from Palatinate, Peter Biever – Rupp gives Peter Biever and Lorentz Biever. Strassberger gives Peter Bueber (Bever). Lawrenz Beeber.

1741, Sept 29 Ship Lydia, James Allen, Master, from Rotterdam last from Deal, from Palatinate – Hans Geo. Beaver, age 21, Dieble Beaver age 43, Hans Jacob Beaver, age 19,  Dieble Beaver, age 16 – Rupp don’t [sic. doesn’t] give this list. Strassberger gives the same names with one addition, Peter (X) Beaver. Peter signed with an “X.”

1744, Nov. 2, Ship Friendship, Capt. John Matson, from Rotterdam, via Cowes, from the Palatinate – Johnannes Bieber, Georg Bieber, Diswald Beaber – Rupp gives the same names. Strassberger gives this spelling. Jerg. Biewer, Johann Bieber, Dewald (X) Beaber. 

1749, Sept 15, Ship Edinburg, Capt, Jas. Russell, from Rotterdam, but last port Portsmouth, England – Jacob Bieber, Andreas Bieber – Rupp give the same. Strassberger gives the same showing each signed with an “X” mark.

1749, Sept 15, Ship Phoenix, Capt John Mason, from Rotterdam, from Palatinate, Zweybrech, Nassau, and Wertemburgh – Jacob Beiber, Anton Bieber, Hans Michael Bieber – Rupp gives the spelling Jacob Bieber, Antoni Bieber, Hans Nichel Bieber. Strassberger gives this spelling Anthoni Biber, Jacob Bieber, hans Nikel Bieber.

1750, Aug 21, Ship Anderson, Capt. Hugh Campbell from Rotterdam via, Cowes, England from the Palatinate – Jacob Bieber – Rupp, Jacob Beaver, Strassberger gives this spelling Jacob (B) Bearrer.

1751, Sept 16, Ship Brothers, Capt. William Muir from Rotterdam via Cowes, from the Palatinate – Johannes Bieber, Michael Bieber, Henrich Bieber – Rupp, the same – Strassberger gives the same.

1752, Nov 3, Ship Queen of Denmark, from Hamburg via Cowes, Johannes Biber – Rupp, Johannes Bibe – Strassberger, Johannes Bibr

1764, Nov 5, Ship Jennefer, Capt. Geo. Kerr from Rotterdam via Cowes, from the Palatinate – Ulirch Bieber – Rupp says the same. Strassberger gives Ulrich (X) Bieber.

1768, Oct 26, Ship Betsey, Capt. S. Hawk, from Rotterdam via Portsmouth, from the Palatinate – Michael Bieber, Valentine Bieber, Jacob Bieber – Rupp gives the same spellings. Strassberger gives these spellings, Nicol Bieber, Feldon Bieber, Jacob (X) Bieber.

1770, Oct 1, Ship Minerva, The archives give Adam Leiber, Rupp gives Adam Bieber. Strassberger gives Adam Lieber.

            Note--- The compiler has carefully examined Col. II, Pennsylvania German Pioneers, by Ralph Strassberger, LL.D., in which are shown the ship list, facsimiles of the names of those who could writs their own names, the names being written in German, some poorly written and very hard to decipher. Those who could not write signed with an “X” mark.


Captain’s Agreement with Passengers

The distribution of food to be made daily among the passengers to wit, to one full passage (a half passenger in proportion and for children, nothing)


Sunday, a pound of beef with barley

Monday, A pound of flour, and a pound of butter good for the whole week

Tuesday, A half pound of bacon, cooked with peas

Wednesday, A pound of flour

Thursday, A pound of beef with potatoes

Friday, one-half pound of rice

Saturday, Peas, a pound of cheese, six pounds of bread for the whole week and one-half pound of bacon

A quart of beer and a quart of water per day. Since beer sours during the voyage, only enough beer for part of the voyage will be taken along and when this is gone a double portion of water will be given. Half of the water will be supplied for cooking. Each morning a small glass of Holland gin and each week now and them some vinegar.

            The agents, who worked up the immigrations parties for the ship owner, urged each family to take such food as dried beef, peas, oatmeal and butter along.

            When one was without money his only resource was to sell himself for a term of 3 to 8 years or more to serve as slaves. These were known as “Redemptioners.” Nothing but a poor suit of clothes was received when his time had expired. Families endured a great trial when they saw father purchased by one master, the mother by another and each of the children by another - All this for the money that they owed the captain for bringing them over. And yet they were only too glad that after waiting long, they at last found some one willing to buy them.

            The ships used in the trans-Atlantic travel were small sail boats, about one hundred tone burden. The accommodations were crude often overcrowded; the sailing uncertain and of long duration, some tines taking as long as twenty-five or thirty weeks. But our immigrant ancestors were willing to bear all this in order to escape the tyranny of French rule.

            Let us remember that Alsace Loraine, from which some of our immigrant ancestors came, was originally part of the German empire, but from 1681 to 1871, it was in the possession of France. When Alsace Loraine came under French rule those of the Protestant faith who would not accept Catholicism were gradually forced to leave their all and were driven out by the French --- Through Belgium and Switzerland, some going to Holland and England, others coming to America to find new homes where they and their children might worship according to their religious beliefs without interference.