Friday, July 26, 2019

52 Ancestors - Week 288: #496 Frederick Zafrin/Sovereign (1714-1805) of New Jersey and Upper Canada

Frederick Zavering (1714-1805) is #496 on my Ahnentafel List, my 6th great-grandfather, who married  #497 Anna Waldruff (1715-1767) in about 1750, probably in Alsace, France.

I am descended through:

*  their son, #248 Jacob Sovereign (1759-1851) who married #249 Elizabeth Pickel (1764-1864) in 1781.
*  their son, #124 Frederick Sovereign (1786-1875) who married #125 Mary Jane Hutchison (1792-1868) in 1810.
*  their son, #62 Alexander Sovereen (1814-1907) who married #63 Elizabeth Putman (1818-1895) in 1840.
*  their daughter, #31 Mary Jane Sovereen (1840-1874), married  #30 James Abraham Kemp (1831-1902) in 1861.
*  their daughter #15 Georgianna Kemp (1868-1952)  married  #14 Charles Auble (1849-1916) in 1898.
*  their daughter #7 Emily Kemp Auble (1899-1977), married #6 Lyle Lawrence Carringer (1891-1976) in 1918.
*  their daughter #3 Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002) who married #2 Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983) in 1942.
*  their son #1 Randall Jeffrey Seaver (1943-living)


1)  PERSON (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Name:                            Frederick Zafrin[1]
*  Alternate Name:            Frederick Saverine[1]
*  Alternate Name:            Frederick Sovereen[2-3,5–6]
*  Alternate Name:            Frederick Sovereign[4]
*  Alternate Name:            Fredreich   Sofrin[6]
*  Sex:                               Male  

2)  INDIVIDUAL EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Birth:                             about 1714, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany[1]    

*  Immigration:                  about 1750 (about age 36), to Morris, New Jersey, United States[1]    

*  Deed:                             10 May 1768 (about age 54), bought 240 acres of land for 125 pounds, German Valley, Morris, New Jersey, United States [6]

*  Immigration:                  about 1799 (about age 85), to Townsend, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada[1]    

*  Deeds:                           1801–1804 (about age 87–about 90), Townsend, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada[3]

*  Death:                           25 October 1805 (about age 91), Delhi, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada[4–5]    
*  Burial:                          after 25 October 1805 (after about age 91), near Waterford, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada[4]    

*  Probate:                       after 25 October 1805 (after about age 91), London District, Norfolk, Ontario,Canada[5]  

3)  SHARED EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Spouse 1:                     Anna Waldruff (1715-1767)    
*  Marriage 1:                  before 1750 (before about age 36), probably North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany[1]    

*  Child 1:                       David Sovereign (1757-1845)    
*  Child 2:                       Jacob Sovereign (1759-1851)    
*  Child 3:                       Leonard Sovereign (1763-1823)    
*  Child 4:                       Frederick Sovereign (1764-1851)    
*  Child 5:                       Anna Sovereign (1765-1853)    
*  Child 6:                       Elizabeth Sovereign (1766-1823)    

*  Spouse 2:                    Levina Culver (1740-1817)    
*  Marriage 2:                 10 May 1768 (about age 54), Probably Morris, New Jersey, United States[6]    
*  Child 7:                       Henry Sovereign (1769-1806)    
*  Child 8:                       John Sovereign (1773-1835)    
*  Child 9:                       Morris Sovereign (1775-1835)    
*  Child 10:                     Catherine "Caty" Sovereign (1776-1851)    
*  Child 11:                     Philip Sovereign (1778-1833)    
*  Child 12:                     George Sovereign (1780-    )    
*  Child 13:                     Effie "Eva" Sovereign (1782-1851)  

4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):  

Frederick Zafrin/Zofrin/Zaverin/Zabering/Saverin/Saverine/Soffrens/Sovereen/Sovereign was born  in about 1714, in Germany[1].  The old German is probably Zofrin or Zafrin, which was Anglicized during his life.  I will use Sovereign throughout this sketch unless a record is quoted.

His parents names are not known, although there are family stories about service in the 30 Years War from the 1640s[2].  

The best summary of Frederick's life in the literature is by Ronald Cox on his RootsWeb WorldConnect sketch[1].  He has found additional source material that he references, which this sketch will also parenthetically reference.

Frederick brought his wife and two sons by her first marriage to America, and in about 1750 they settled near the Paulinskill in Newton, Sussex County [from "Loyalist of Sussex County, New Jersey." The Ontario Register, v2, p. 40. This is turn references Edward Mariot Chadwick, Ontarian Families (Toronto, 1898), v2, pp. 90-93 or 90-95].  The latter describes George Kieffer, who died 24 Dec. 1778, while a soldier in the New Jersey Volunteers and who left a widow in Newton Township in Sussex County, New Jersey.  George Kieffer was born 1739 in Germany a son of Samuel Kieffer by his wife Anna Waldruff, and that there was one other son, Jacob.  Samuel Kieffer died, apparently in Germany before 1750,  while the sons George and Jacob were young and his wife married (2) Frederick Saverine after Samuel's death[1]

Frederick Sovereen and his brother came from Germany around the middle of the 18th century, coming to Morris County, Washington Township in the German Valley, Schooley Mountain area[1]

"Frederick Zaverin was a customer of NS before 1763. NS is the John Nitzer store in German Valley, and Friederich Zabering signed the constitution of the CLC in 1767. CLC is The Combined Lutheran Churches of Pluckemin and S. New Germantown." (from Hubert G. Schmidt, "The Germans of Colonial New Jersey," The New Jersey Genesis, April 1958, p. 179)[1]

Frederick and Anna (Waldruff) (Kieffer) Sovereign had six children, all probably born in or near German Valley, Morris County, New Jersey[1-2,6]:

*  David Sovereign (1757-1845), married 1782, Anna Rarick (1760-????)
*  Jacob Sovereign (1758-1851, married 1781 Elizabeth Pickel (1764-1849).
*  Leonard Sovereign (1763-1823), married 1788 Rhuhama "Amy" Culver (1766-1828).
*  Frederick Sovereign (1764-1851), married 1790 Patience Brown (1769-1852).
*  Anna Sovereign (1765-1853), married 1795 John Heath (1763-1847).
*  Elizabeth Sovereign (1766-1823), married 1785 Leonard Clouse (1762-1823).

Anna (Waldruff) Kieffer) Sovereign must have died in or near German Valley, New Jersey in the 1767 or 1768 time period[1].  

Anna's death left Frederick with six children under age 10, and he married (2) Levinah Culver (1740-1817), daughter of Robert Culver, on 10 May 1768 probably in German Valley in Morris County, New Jersey[1-2,6].

Frederick and Levinah (Culver) Sovereign had seven children, all probably born in or near German Valley in Morris County, New Jersey[1-2.6]:

*  Henry Sovereign (1769-1806), married 1787 Mary Stephens (1766-1807).
*  John Sovereign (1773-1835), married 1799 Mary Lawrence (1770-1839).
*  Morris Sovereign (1775-1835), married 1799 Lydia Lawrence (1780-1837).
*  Catherine Sovereign (1776-1851), married 1802 Henry Beemer (1780-1848).
*  Philip Sovereign (1778-1833), married 1798 Nancy "Phoebe" Culver (1779-1843).
*  George Sovereign (1780-????), married 1800 Agnes Windsor (1780-????)
*  Effie "Eva" Sovereign (1782-1851), married 1800 Ephraim Searls (1778-1853).

Frederick Sovereign bought 240 acres of the Ebenezer Large survey on Schooley's Mountain, Warren County, New Jersey for 125 pounds from the Large family heirs on 10 May 1768[6].  The old Sovereen house there was built there.  When the Revolutionary War broke out, Frederick apparently espoused the Loyalist cause.  Traces of the old Sovereign home on Schooley's Mountain, New Jersey, still exist. Here the ancestral parents spent about 45 years of their married lives; and during this time thirteen children were born to them, and all had grown up and married[1].

Frederick and Levina Sovereign sold the Large survey property to Garret Lake on 21 May 1801 for $2,400.  His  name is signed on the deed as Friedrich Zofrin[1,6].  

In June of 1799, Frederick with his wife, children and grandchildren immigrated to Upper Canada, settling in Norfolk County Frederick was probably in his late 80's.  The party consisted of 12 families from the Schooley Mountain area of Morris County, which included the Heaths, Clouse, Culver, Searles and other families. They settled in Windham & Townsend Townships bringing with them 20 wagons, 40 yoke of oxen, 300 sheep and a large number of horses, cows etc.[1]

The history of Frederick Sovereign's settlement in Norfolk County is briefly described in the History of Long Point Settlement on page 490 and following, including[2]:

 "In the closing years of the 18th century the Sovereigns migrated to Upper Canada, settling in Norfolk County. The party consisted of twelve families, including the Henry Beemer, Clouse, Heath and Searls families. Frederick Sovereign and his wife were well advanced in years, and pioneer life for them was of short duration. In 1802 the old man was at the pioneer home of his son Frederick, in Charlotteville, where he rendered some assistance in laying up a rail fence around a turnip patch."

Frederick and his family settled in Townsend Township, Norfolk County, Upper Canada west of the town of Waterford along the east side of present Highway 24. He bought 600 acres of land then divided it among three of his sons and his son-in-law Ephraim Serles.  The land purchases and sales were[3]:

*  On 30 Nov 1803, Frederick purchased from Benjamin Willcocks, 200 acres in Lot 2, Concession 6, Townsend Twp.

*  On 30 Nov 1803, he purchased from Levi Lewis 200 acres in Lot 1, Concession 7, Townsend Twp.

*  On 9 Dec 1803, he purchased from John Walker 200 acres in Lot 2, Concession 8, Townsend Twp.

*  On 21 Apr 1804, he sold the south half of Lot 1, Concession 7 to David Sovereen.

*  On 21 April 1804, he sold the north half of Lot 1, Concession 7 to George Sovereen.

*  On 3 Aug 1804, he sold the south half of Lot 2, Concession 8 to Frederick Sovereen, Jr.

*  On 7 Aug 1804, he sold the north half of Lot 2, Concession 6 to Ephraim Serles.

Frederick Soveriegn died 25 October in Townsend Township, Norfolk County, Upper Canada[5].  He and Levina (Culver) Sovereign are buried near a large stone house (which was originally owned by his granddaughter) on Sovereign St. in Waterford, Norfolk Co., Ontario. Another account states that the Elder was buried 30 feet north of the Dr. Bowlby residence in Waterford.  [from "Sovereen Genealogy Notebook," at Norfolk Historical Society, Simcoe, Ont.][1].  In the early 1900's, little children were taken by their parents to view two mounds which marked the spot where he and his aged wife were buried.

A probate record for Frederick Sovereen is abstracted in the "Wills of the London District 1800-1839, London District Surrogate Registry" held by the Ontario Genealogical Society.  The abstract says[1]:

"Frederick Sovereen the Elder, Townsend: Died 25 Oct 1805 at Townsend, intestate. Petition of 5 Nov 1805 by David Sovereen, yeoman, & Jacob Sovereen, weaver, and note re Levinah Sovereen, 'the Widow of the within named Frederick Sovereen Deceased, being aged and infirm.' Inventory consists of 'Notes against' Ephrem Serrels, Morris Sovereen, George Sovereen, John Sovereen, David Sovereen, Leonard Clous, Jacob Sovereen & Frederick Sovereen."

The town of Fredericksburg, Norfolk County, Ontario, was named for Frederick Sovereign.  Fredericksburg is now called  Delhi, a village in Norfolk County, Ontario[1].

1. Ronald Cox, "Ronald Cox's Ancestors, Cousins and their allied families," webpage, RootsWeb WorldConnect Project ( : updated 29 May 2013), Frederick Sovereign sketch (

2. E.A. Owen, Pioneer Sketches of Long Point Settlement (Toronto, Ont. :  William Briggs, 1898), pages 490-495, Frederick Sovereign family sketches.

3. R. Robert Mutrie, "Chronology of the Long Point Settlement," webpage, The Long Point Settlers (, Frederick Sovereen deeds.

4. Find A Grave, indexed database and digital image,  (, unknown burial place, Frederick Sovereign memorial #156340527.

5. "Wills of the London District 1800-1839 London District Surrogate Registry," 1805 probate abstract of Frederick Sovereen, Kent Branch Library Collection, no file number provided, not seen by researcher, The Ontario Genealogical Society, Chatham, Kent, Ontario, Canada.

6. Theodore Frelinghuysen Chambers, The Early Germans of New Jersey: their history, churches, and genealogies (Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1982), page 504-505, Frederick Sovereen family sketch.


NOTE:  In 2014, Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors" in her blog post  52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog.  I have extended this theme in 2019 to 312 Ancestors in 312 Weeks.

Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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Unknown said...

I am a descendent of Frederick Sovereen born 1690 in Germany. I enjoyed reading about my ancestors, I am working on a family tree for my family. Thank you for sharing this information. Mary Hartsock.

Unknown said...

Frederick Zafrin/Sovereign is my (not sure how many) great grandfather, I enjoyed reading about him and his families. Thank you for sharing. from: Mary Hartsock

Unknown said...

Frederick Zafrin/Sovereign is my (not sure how many) great grandfather, I enjoyed reading about him and his families. Thank you for sharing. from: Mary Hartsock