Letters to the Speyrer Family Association Newsletters - Third Series

Third Series

August 5, 1995


I received all of the past issues of the Speyrer Family Association Newsletter which were sent to me courtesy of my mother (Ivy Speyrer Hollingsworth).

Thanks for the memories! I have read and digested all present copies which were sent. I enjoyed reading yours', Jules' and Jude's recollections and articles. Memories are precious treasures.

    Here's a few of my own from the many I have:

  • Leonville's four corners;
  • Trips to `Nonc John's woods with various cousins;
  • Walks with my sister Jo Ann to `Nonc John's store with a buffalo nickle each and coming back with a paper sack of candy plus `lagniappe;'
  • Gravels on the road and folks going to Mass on Sunday mornings in two wheel horse-drawn buggies;
  • Cigar treasure boxes;
  • Some sinful events per today's present standards!;
  • Skinny dipings in Bayou Teche with my cuzans;
  • The crazy nicknames which everyone had.
I appreciate your labor of love for the research work and hi- tech equipment needed to write the newsletter. I'm looking forward to the family gathering in Basile in 1996. I have a multitude of questions and other information from the descendants of Jean Speyrer. Many descendants are here in Port Arthur. Some were patients of mine (Editor's note: Jim is a physician).

As for myself, I married Jean Franger in Galveston on December 21, 1959. We have, with the grace of God, been blessed with love, good health and a fruitful life. We have five children, all educated above the high school level and employed. This includes other sons and daughters which some call in-laws (a name which I reject!) We also have eleven beautiful grandkids and some ain't even started on yet!

You would probably be surprised at the large number of immigrants from just Leonville alone who reside in Jefferson County. Many are possible relatives.

From the mosquito infested Cajan Capitol of Texas,

Jim Hollingsworth
Port Arthur, TX

December 9, 1995

Dear John Allan,

I am the granddaughter of Caris Speyrer (Editor's Note: Marie Caris Speyrer was the daughter of Jules Conrad Speyrer) and the daughter of Rosa Lavergne, fourth child of Caris and Saul Lavergne. My grandmother was very close to her ``baby brother'' John. I can remember, as a child, visiting his store in Leonville with her. During the time that Uncle John was in the First World War, he corresponded regularly with his "big sister.'' After her death in 1954, my aunt Hilda gave me all of these letters and pictures that he sent her. Some are early postcards showing scenes in France during the war. My aunt felt that I would enjoy these pieces of family history.

My cousin Joan told me of a recent conversation with you. She indicated that you might be interested in these artifacts. I hesitated to copy the writing because the paper is so yellow that it might not be readable. You may keep them if you wish.

I am subscribing to the Speyrer newsletter and hope to make the reunion in 1996. I am a teacher of English to foreign students in our school district here in Jasper, Texas. I travel between the middle school and high school each day for my classes. My husband is currently the Mayor of Jasper and is retired from his banking job because of a heart attack suffered some years ago. We have three grown children. Our daughter lives in Athens, Texas and our sons live in Beaumont. My mother, Rosa is ninety years old and lives here in Jasper. My aunt Rena, her younger sister, is currently in the nursing home here. They are the last of my grandmother's family.

I will look forward to meeting you at the Speyrer reunion.


Jean H. Lindsey
1000 Quail Ridge Dr
Jasper, Texas 75951

Editor's Note: Thank you for joining the Speyrer Family Association Jean, and also another big thank you for sending the correspondence between my father and your grandmother. These letters which date back to 1919 will always be treasured by our family.

18 December 1995

Dear John:

Enclosed is a check for $37.00 to cover the cost of 1996's dues plus copies of the first nine (9) issues of the Association's Newsletter. I have enjoyed this year's issue's immensely and have learned quite a bit about our family.

It seems that you and my wife are second cousins. She is the former Margaret H. Launey of Mamou; her mother is Angela Richard whose father was Albert Theophile Richard whose sister was Eulalie Richard. And you can go from there.

I haven't found my connection to the Speyrers yet, but I think there may be one through the Robins of Leonville. My mother was Alma L. LaSalle whose mother was Louise Mistric whose mother was Azema Robin whose father was Napoleon Robin. I have found some Robins among the Speyrer family, but I don't yet have enough information to trace the connections. Is there someone who has collected information on the Robins of Leonville?

I look forward to the next year's worth of Newsletters. You're doing a wonderful job as Editor.


Ronald J. White
Arlington, Virginia 22202

Editor's Note: Thank you for your kind words. I'm happy that you have been enjoying the 1995 issues, Ronald. I had not had any of my maternal's grandmother siblings entered into the records so I was happy to be able to add Albert Theophile Richard as a brother of my grandmother, Eulalie Richard. I have very few Robins entered into my records. If any readers can furnish information on the Robins of Leonville it will be appreciated by all concerned. I hope to see you in Basile, in 1996, Ronald!

January 29, 1996

Dear John Allan:

My grandmother, Marie Caris Speyrer Lavergne, was born on Oct. 15, 1877 and her birth and baptism were recorded in the Arnaudville Church according to the genealogy records compiled by Rev. Donald J. Hebert. My mother, Rosa Louise Lavergne, was her fourth child. I have recorded below a few remembrances about her mother.

Jean Himmel Lindsey
1000 Quail Ridge Dr
Jsper, Texas 75951

``I was born on May 19, 1905. I am now the only surviving member of the Speyrer family from the branch of Caris Speyrer. My life has really changed! I've lived through World Wars I and II, the Korean War, the Vietnam conflict and the Great Depression.

My mother, Caris, was born, I think, in Leonville. She went to school in Grand Coteau. There she was educated in English and French. She also knew a little German. She was courted by my father, Solomon Adam Lavergne, and they married when she was nineteen.

My parents moved several times. We moved to Port Arthur in 1915 right after the great flood of that period. My mother kept very busy with cooking, sewing and taking care of her six children. She was very religious and took great delight in attending Mass and other church activities. She had a wonderful sense of humor and enjoyed the simple pleasures of life. Her flowers were a great source of pride. Her neighbors were always anxious for some of her blooms. However, her Catholic faith was always at the center of her thoughts.

On one occasion, our family attended a family reunion in Leonville. This was during the time when we still lived in Louisiana. I was nine years old and had traveled there from Opelousas in a horse-drawn wagon. I decided to investigate the old barn of my grandparents (the family reunion was held on their property) and had a real surprise!

I saw an apparition of my grandmother gathering eggs in her apron inside this barn. She opened her arms and I hurriedly left to tell my older sister, Hilda, what I had seen. Then I told Mama. Now my grandmother had been dead for some time, so Mama first told me that I had imagined it --- but, then she told me to pray!!

To this day, I can still remember how Grandma looked!

My mother, Caris Speyrer Lavergne died in 1954. She was buried in Leonville in the church cemetery.''

Rosa Louise Lavergne Himmel

As the oldest grandchild, my aunt Hilda spent much time with her grandparents. She had stayed overnight with them the night before Eulalie died and had returned to her parents' home only a short while earlier. My mother's first reaction to her grandma's appearance was to go and tell Hilda.

Jean Himmel Lindsey

Editor's Note: Thank you, Jean, for sending in your mother's interesting remembrance of an unexplainable happening.

A list of the descendants of Caris Speyrer are included in this issue of the newsletter.

Some readers may not be able to place your grandmother, Eulalie Richard Speyrer, in proper context. She was the first wife of Jules Conrad Speyrer Her descendants were Antoine, Euchariste , Avina, Emea, Lelia, Theophile, Odrey, Hildevert and my father, Jean Batiste. The descendants of Jules Conad Speyrer and his second wife, Edna Guidry were Fr Jules C. Speyrer, Claude Speyrer, D. J. "Tesan" Speyrer and Eula Lee Philips Speyrer.

August 30, 1996

1704 N.W. 68 Terrace
Gainesville, FL 32606

Dear John Allan:

Enclosed is my $10.00 check for the Speyrer Newsletter. Talking about topics of interest . . . particularly for those who have never lived in Arnaudville area. I would like to know what that area was like when our ancestors came, homes they lived in, education available, where they went to school. What is the area like now? Is that information available?

About my mother. Celiman Savoie Speyrer, daughter of Adolph and Coliste D. Savoie of Cankton. Married to Camille Joseph Speyrer (son of Joseph Conrad Speyrer) died on April 15, 1996 in Baton Rouge. She was born December 12, 1902. She is survived by Marie Speyrer Hammer of Gainesville, Florida and Edna Speyrer of Baton Rouge. Son-in-law Dr. Richard Hammer and grandsons Jon Richard Hammer, Orlando, Florida and Thomas G. Hammer, Litchfield, NH. And their wives Lauren and Karen.

Marie Speyrer Hammer

Editor's Note: I received the following letter from Rita Potter of Dallas. It is a letter her husband, George, sent from Germany. He is on a motorcycle tour of Europe. Those of you who have met Ernst Lammering will enjoy this letter.

July 17, 1996

Dear Rita:

I'm still making good progress in my motorcycle tour of Europe. Today we drove down the winestrasse and went through Bad Bergzabem, Germany. I prevailed on the group to stop for a rest there and I called Ernst Lammering at the number you gave me. Although his English was much better than my German, I was unable to do more than tell him my name and that my wife was a Speyrer descendant.

Fortunately, our tour leader was handy and I had him pass my message on to Ernst. Ernst knew where I was calling from and said he could be there in three minutes. I introduced him to my travel companions and (through my interpreter) had an interesting conversation about the upcoming Speyrer Family Reunion.

Ernst invited my travel companions and me to visit in his home for a few minutes. We accepted and parked our seven BMW motorcycles in his driveway. I'm sure he had some explaining to do to his neighbors. Anyhow, Ernst gave my friends refreshments, and he and I went up to his study to see his photo album of his last visit to Louisiana and to study where you fit in the family tree. I found your name and he highlighted it on the chart. We exchanged business cards, and made plans to see each other at the family reunion in October.

As my friends and I left, Ernst presented us with a gift of wine from the region, which we all agreed was as f%me as any we had on our tour. I'm sure %Emst's neighbors wondered about us as we pulled away from his home.


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