Leap Cousin Quest

Hello to all Leap/Leep cousins, kith, and kin…

Being a descendant of John Wesley Leap, who was born on 08 July 1733 in Mannheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany near the Rhine River, and first wife Margaret Crow of Virginia, I would like to fill out the family tree as much as possible. Just having the direct lineage from JWL to my maternal grandmother, Edith Mae Leap Kratz, is not enough for me. There are too many aunts, uncles, siblings, and half-siblings of almost every ancestor to ignore and all of us are related through one or another.

Since 2010:
*I have heard from Eric Matthew Newman, descendant via JWL/Sarah DeLeow‘s son David Leap with Mary Woollen and grandson Edward Caleb Leap with Harriet I. Johnson;
*I met with Larry Leap, descendant of Isaac Channcey Leap and Perrilla Todd, in Fayette, IN;
*I have exchanged emails with Kelli Leap, descendant via son Gabriel Leap and Jane Courtney and grandson Samuel Wesley Leap with Margaret McCalley, several times and received great information;
*I have been contacted by Christine Rene Bennett, descendant of Polly Leap and Emsley G. Shadday (they had 12 children), and received more lineage information;
*and most recently, a Texas descendant via Gabriel’s son William Bodley Leep, contacted me about the Leep DNA Project.

John Wesley Leap (son of Johannes John Leab) had ten children by two wives and lived in Virgina, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. His descendants are all over the country and I would be happy to hear from them. Some of the earlier information I have received is conflicting, but that is probably due to the accuracy of records before the Civil War. For example, JWL’s American Revolutionary Soldier monument shows 1735-1845.


Also, his first wife is listed as Margaret B. Crowe, as well as Margaret E. Crow. Plus, several other descendants do not have birth or death dates; a few just list names with no dates. It would be interesting, as well, to have a concrete explanation for the change in name from Leap to Leep.

Children by Margaret Crow (1749-1799), who married JWL in 1768 in Virginia:
1. Gabriel Leap (1778-1877), who married Jane Courtney (1784 – ?);
2. Katherine (Kattie) Leap (1784-1860), who married Waitman Furbee (1783-1863);
3. John W. Leap (1786- ?), who married Mahala Wise;
4. Samuel W. Leap (1795-1884) had three wives: Henrietta Guile (1798-1846); Elizabeth Stearns (1794-1877; and Nancy Cohill (1826 – ?).

Children by Sarah Barbara DeLeow (1781-1848), who married JWL in 1800 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania:
5. Polly Leap (1808-1884), who married Emsley Shadday (1803-1881);
6. David Leap (1809 – ?) had three wives: Polly (or Mary?) Woollen, Martha Jane Griffith, and Lydia C. Shirley;
7. Isaac Channcey Leap (1810-1888) had three wives: Perrilla Todd, Nancy Jane McCalester, and Eliza Smith Ray (1822-1894);
8. Jerusha Leap (1811-1891), who married Wm. Allen Neal (1804-1879);
9. Sarah Leap (1812-1899), who married Edward Woollen (1809 – ?); and
10. Andrew Jackson Leap (1814-1891), who married Sarah Ann Neal.

Gabriel and Jane had eight children:
1. Robert Clark Leap (1807-1886) married Nancy Ann McCloud (1811-1898);
2. John Leap (1810-1875) married Esther Long (1817-1909);
3. Wm. Bodley Leep (1811-1887) married Ammy Leap (1812-1855);
4. Thomas Courtney Leap (1813-1898) married Catharine Harvey (1813-1898);
5. Samuel Wesley Leap (1815-1887) married three times: Margaret McCalley, Mary Percilla Postum, and Mary Gordon Clark;
6. Mary Ann Leap (? – ?) married Wm Lancaster;
7. Elizabeth Leap (? – ?) married Isaac Yohoe; and
8. Evaline Leap (1827-1890) married John Robinson (? – 1900).

It would be almost miraculous to hear from JWL’s descendants living in Germany, as we don’t have the names of his mother and possible 15 siblings. We know he was going to be a priest and had to leave the country when he decided not to become one. He settled in Virginia after landing in Baltimore in 1757 at age 24.

After Margaret died, he moved to Pennsylvania and remarried, but we do not know what motivated him to leave Pennsylvania and move with Sarah and children to Boone County, Indiana. The older four children by Margaret stayed in Virginia and Pennsylvania; however, Gabriel died in West Virginia…

My original post, a-growing-family-tree, did not yield any responses from a Nicholson, Tull, Koons, Courtney, Postum, Handy, Schwartz, Crow, Petter, Vaughn, Wallace, Sewell, or Merrill. Hopefully, this one will hit the jackpot!


About Cyranette

I have been writing since I was 11 and am now a grandmother of 9. Aside from my family, I love writing, reading, movies, gardening, genealogy, and travel. I met my soulmate online and we've been married 19 years. I am a survivor of rape, abuse, and cancer. I believe in love, kindness, and common sense. I was born/raised in Indiana and have lived in Massachusetts, Texas, and California. I have visited: most of the United States, British Columbia, Germany, Austria, and Costa Rica. My husband and I would like to visit England, Europe, and New Zealand and to take a train ride along the Canadian/American border. I have written essays, articles, short stories, a romance novel, a self-help book, and several children's books.
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23 Responses to Leap Cousin Quest

  1. jmmcdowell says:

    110? That’s amazing if it’s accurate! Genealogy is a fascinating subject and good fodder for writing ideas.


    • Cyranette says:

      Have you checked out your McDowell ancestry? I have some information about that side, too, but haven’t delved deeply into it…One of my mom’s cousins paid more attention to their Leap lineage than to his family.


      • jmmcdowell says:

        I and others have reached a dead end at my 4G grandfather, John McDowell. Records from Kentucky in the late years of his life say he was born in 1759 and was in Amelia County, Virginia, before the Revolutionary War. I haven’t been able to prove this or find McDowells in Amelia County at that time. They are there earlier, but not when John said he was there. It’s as if he climbed out from under a rock after the War. Very frustrating. Especially when, thanks to the LDS microfilms, I can take my husband’s Belgian line back to the mid-1600s!


  2. Sondra Goddard Zackey says:

    Hi! I am also a descendent of John Wesley Leap and his first wife, Margaret Crowe! Their daughter, Catherine Leap is my 4th great grandmother. Catherine married Waitman Furbee in 1802, and they had seven children, John George Furbee (1807-??), Elizabeth Furbee, who was my third great grandmother, (1809-1890), Samuel Furbee (1811-1905), Sarah Furbee (1813-1900), Catherine Furbee (1820-??), Gabriel Furbee (1826-1897), and Mary Bell Furbee (1837-1911).


    • Cyranette says:

      Hi Sondra, Nice to hear from you. From the sporatic responses to this post, there aren’t many interested Leaps out there. The information I have shows Katherine with a K married Waitman Furbee and gave their daughter’s name of Catherine with a C. This is one of the folders I have with the least information. I would love to have you fill it out for me. I made one for each of the ten direct descendants of JWL. To your knowledge, was Katherine also called “Kattie?”All I have are the names of the seven children and some vitals on Samuel Furbee and Gabriel Furbee. I have no locations for any ofthese ancestors. Were they all in Boone County? Is that where they were born, married, and died? Another question: Are Elkiah, Jane, Edward, and Catherine “Flossie” Postlethwait related? They married, respectively, John George Furbee, Samuel Furbee,Catherine Furbee, and Gabriel Furbee. Where do you live, Sondra? Sorry to be so long in getting back to you, but since I stopped posting on my blog, I have been swamped with family stuff and catching up on reading, writing,and gardening. I just have not been diligent in checking my email and facebook accounts, but once I reply to someone I do check back to see any responses. I look forward to seeing yours. Monnalee “Monnie” Bess/Cyranette



    • Leslie levy says:

      Hi Sondra …Catherine Leap was my 5X Grandmother and Mary Bell Furbee was my 4G Grandmother.
      Leslie Levy


      • Kelly G. says:

        I’ll add to the Catherine Leap (her headstone shows “C” not “K”) – Waitman Furbee line…

        Their daughter, Mary Bell Furbee married Samuel Jones Long (1813-1895). One of his sons, Christopher Columbus Long (1849-1929) married Amelia Lee Biggs (1855-1935). Their daughter, Ruth Rosebud Long Shreve was my great grandmother.

        All these marriages occurred in West Virginia. Waitman and Catherine are both buried in Higgins Cemetery, Wetzel Co., WV.


      • Leslie Levy says:

        Hi Kelly,
        I do believe as my family history shows as well I have (C) correctly for Catherine Leap and I had written her name as such.
        Mary Bell Furbee ( Long ) who had a son as you mentioned Christopher Long also had a daughter Catherine Long later Catherine Cochran (married Jacob) and that’s where the tie is to my great grandmother Catherine Sturge later Catherine Foreman, who was her granddaughter.
        I was lucky enough to know my great grand mother for many, many years and hear lots of stories. She had 13 children and many of her children were named after names in our family, 1 is buried in The Cochran Family Cemetery up on the hill of what is now another’s farm.
        You had mentioned the marriages in West Virginia. I just want to put out there for all documents, any births, marriages, deaths prior to 1863 that occurred in the western part of of Virginia such as what is now known as Wetzel County, where our family resided and many are buried, though the internet may state West Virginia or the documents may be held in West Virginia, at the time of the actual event if prior to 1863, the State was actually Virginia, it had not split yet and West Virginia did not exist.
        Best Wishes …. Leslie


      • Kelly G. says:

        Yes! I am the first generation out of WV. Find a Grave (findagrave.com) is a wonderful resource as photos of the headstones are posted there. I never knew my greats but heard stories nonetheless. I hope you’ll keep in touch. Take care.


  3. randy leap says:

    JWL is my 5th great grandfather. I am from Switzerland county indiana. My parents still have a farm there. My grandfather Leon and his brother, his dad Casper, and cousis had connecting farms there. My lineage goes JWL, Samuel Leap, Andrew Jackson Leap, Flavious Joseph Leap, Casper Leap, Leon Leap, Randall Leap, Sr. then me. I too am interested in the name change from Leap to Leep. My grandmother said it was some sort of family fallout. I really dont stay in touch with the Leaps, but if you go to the Vevay cemetery in Switzerland county, you will see the whole place littered with Leaps. Most of which are military. My grandfather was stationed state side during wwii, his brother david was shot down twice and taken prisoner twice by the germans, his other brothers joe and abby served in Europe. And his other brother Gerald Leap died July 4, 1944 in Normandy France. He is still buried there and there is a photo of his grave ob the net. I’m very political and patriotic myself. So after reading JWL’s story, I feel it must be in my blood.


    • Cyranette says:

      I apologize for not replying to your message sooner. I have been online very, very little since my Dad died June 18, 2014. Caring for Mom has taken up a lot of my time, but now that my Tennessee sister and her husband are here for a couple weeks I can get caught up…Anyway, I’m very, very glad you responded to my post and gave me more information to add to my ancestry lists. Thank you. I hope to visit the Vevay cemetery, as well as the Switzerland County records department, in the next year or so. Bless you and your family for your patriotism and service. WWII was a devastating war for so many.


  4. Sarah Herr says:

    Hello, I am a descendent of JW Leap also, through the Sarah DeLeow marriage, and their son Isaac, then Isaac’s son William David Leap, then his daughter Melvina Leap (became Smith). We live in Indiana also and have visited the Leap cemetery. It is very interesting to see the large monument. My grandmother had some stories to tell of some of the family members (she just passed away in April). I wish we knew more about the DeLeow family! Some of the Smiths ended up in Wisconsin as they were farmers and traveled up there to farm. . . I agree about the politics – my family has always followed politics and the news closely.


  5. Leslie levy says:

    I am related by Katherine (Catherine) Lea, a djaughter with Margaret Crowe who married Whitman Furbee.


    • Leslie levy says:

      I apologize for the typos. It should have read I am related by Catherine Leap, daughter of JWL and Margaret Crowe who married Waitman Furbee. I live in Boston MA.


  6. Jlyne H. says:

    I am related to John Wesley Leap via the following:

    John Wesley Leap and Sarah DeLeow>Isaac Leap and Perilla Todd>James Leap and Harriet Gilbert>Emma Leap and Frank McKinney>Maude McKinney and Ralph Hubler>Joan Hubler and Earl Parks>

    Joan Hubler is my maternal grandmother.

    Jlyne H. 🙂


    • Cyranette says:

      So nice to hear from you, Jlyne. I’ll add these names to my genealogy list. I imagine there are more than enough Leap descendants to constitute our own town. 🙂 We would need a week long reunion to meet everyone, I would imagine.


  7. Susan Finley says:

    I am related to the Leap’s as well through Samuel Leap through Amos and Annis Leap through Orpha Leap Harvey through Rosanna Harvey Tudor. I am a Sheridan Indiana Leap. I have been doing genealogy since 1987. I would love to know what happened to all of John Wesley Leap’s siblings that he left behind in Germany. Does anyone know?

    Susan Finley


  8. Tia Leap says:

    I am a descendant of John Leib. Not sure if I can find this blog again. My email is tcleap@yahoo.com I would love to hear from you and other too if possible


  9. Richenda Bates says:

    My mom was Katie Leep(Davis)m Madison Berkley Davis, her dad was James William “jim” Leep Jr m. Flossie McFarland, his dad was James Silas Leep Sr m. Sarah Elizabeth “Lizzie” Sparks..then lost, think his dad was Lorenzo Leap who married Mary Ann Leap(Rush), His dad was John Wesley Leap m. Mahala Wise, his dad was John Wesley Leap m. Margaret Crow( Amer Rev. vet), his dad was John Wesley Leap, Sr (Lieb) m. ?, to his dad John Johanees Leap Leab. Then dead end.
    My name is Richenda Ann Davis Bates m. Thomas Brady Bates. children : Bethany Brooke Bates and Cassady Thomas Bates (Grellner) m. Josh Michael Grellner. Their child is Brady Paul Grellner.

    any where you can fill in or add too?


  10. Rebecca Leep Welker says:

    Hi 🙂 I am your cousin! Rebecca Leep (Welker). Our original surname is Leib. Manheim Germany.


  11. Steve Leap says:

    I am of the Issac Chauncey Leap line. You have mentioned that you met with Larry Leap who is my uncle. My name is Steven Kent Leap. Larry’s brother and my father was Robert Curtis Leap. I live in Naples, FL


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