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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company; Elwood Roberts, Editor.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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JONATHAN CLEAVER. The Cleavers of Montgomery county are the descendants of Peter Klever, an early German settler of Germantown. Peter Klever was naturalized in Germantown in 1691, and died in Bristol township, in Philadelphia county, in 1727. In the direct line of descent from Peter Klever (the surname being afterward changed into Cleaver) was Jonathan, great-grandfather, who had a son, among others, named William (grandfather), who located in Upper Merion township, between Bridgeport and King of Prussia. He donated the land on which was erected the Union school, since better known as Stewart Fund Hall, because of the bequest of William Stewart to the school in 1808. In his will Stewart says, in designating the school that is to benefit by his estate: “At the school house erected on a lot of ground conveyed by William Cleaver to certain persons in trust for the use of a school,” etc. In 1831 William Cleaver was one of the “contributors” to the school. William Cleaver had a son Jonathan who married Anna Jane Wood, the families on both sides being members of the Society of Friends.

Jonathan Cleaver, the subject of this sketch, was born at King-of-Prussia, in Upper Merion township, February 24, 1854. He was educated at the schools of the vicinity, and on leaving school took a position in the rolling mill of J. Wood & Brothers, at Conshohocken, who were relatives on his mother’s side, remaining there several years. He subsequently learned the trade of plumbing in Manayunk, and was employed as plumber and gas-fitter at the Albion Print works in Conshohocken. In April, 1886, he started in business for himself in Conshohocken, and he has been engaged in it very successfully ever since. He does a large business, not only in Conshohocken, but in the surrounding country.

Jonathan Cleaver (father) was born in Chester county, Pennsylvania, September 21, 1825. He was educated in the schools of the vicinity and in West Chester Academy. He engaged in farming after leaving school, and afterwards purchased a farm in Plymouth township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. It contained one hundred acres, and was located near Conshohocken. Having sold the farm he returned to Chester Valley, remaining there until 1857, when he removed, first to New Centreville, Chester county, and later to Valley Forge. He died there in 1862, and his remains were interred in Valley Friends’ burying ground. He had six children- three sons and three daughters, as follows: Anna W., wife of Jonas Everhardt; William, Jonathan, subject of this sketch; Mary (deceased) who married John DeHaven; B. Harry, who died at the age of eight years; and Jennie, wife of J. Ellwood Lee, the well-known head of the J. Ellwood Lee Company, surgical instrument makers, of Conshohocken.

Mr. Cleaver is an active Republican in politics. He is a member of Washington Camp, No. 121, Patriotic Order Sons of America, of Conshohocken; of Fritz Lodge, No. 420, Free and Accepted Masons, and of other organizations.

Mr. Cleaver married, October 25, 1883, Kate, daughter of Linford L. and Emily Shepherd, of Whitpain township. Mrs. Cleaver’s father was an extensive dealer in cattle, and was widely known in business of this kind. He was a son of Levi Shepherd, of near Montgomery Square, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. Linford L. Shepherd died March 15, 1894, at the age of seventy-three years. His widow who is the daughter of Amos Jones, who resided near West Point, in Gwynedd township, and had a large family of children, most of whom are now deceased, resides with her sons and daughters in Conshohocken. Her children are six in number: Lizzie, Kate (Mrs. Cleaver); Hester, Eugene, Eulalie, and Linford. (For further particulars of the Shepherd family, see the sketch of William Shepherd, elsewhere in this work).

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Cleaver: Francis and Emily, both deceased; William, Jonathan, Jr., Holstein DeHaven and Chester Shepherd.

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This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

View additional Montgomery County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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