Searching In Acadiana For the Descendants of the "Other" Speyrers

by Lloyd E. Speyrer

My father, Daniel P. Speyrer, told me that he had understood that there were four brothers who had come from Germany but was not sure of their names except for Conrad. However, he does have a good recollection of the family and the ties to other familes. He is eighty-three.

In a search for information about our family, I did discover in Fr. Hebert's books records of four Speyrers who date to the same period. They are Conrad, Louis P. Michel (Michael), and Jean (John). Of course, we are all familiar with Conrad.

According to the records found in Fr. Hebert's books, I also discovered these interesting facts. Michel (Michael) of Germany married Elizabeth Leuber of Germany on August 1, 1843, recorded in the St Martin Parish courthouse marriage records (Vol B, p 51). Louis P. Speyrer married Elizabeth Croop (no dates or records given (and had two children; Amelia, born April 9, 1847 (Opelousas Ch, V4, p294) and Louisiana, born January 8, 1846 (Opel Ch, V4, p294 but died October 20, 1856 at age 10 (Grand Coteau Ch, V1, p112). This is all the information that I have on these two Speyrers.

However, I have considerably more on Jean (John) Speyrer. He married Clara George, the daughter of Horten George and Roseline Fabor on July 23, 1840 (Opelousas courthouse marriage records #58)(Opel ch, V2, p188). Again, citing my father, they lived in Grand Coteau, La. He recalls cousins, from them, visiting his father. To this couple were born seven children:

  1. Jean born September 7, 1841 (Opel ch, V4, p261)
  2. Louis born September 4, 1942 (Opel ch, V4, p261)
  3. Josephine born July 5, 1944 (Opel Ch, V4, p283)
  4. Elizabeth (Alisa)(Celisa) born April 6, 1846 (Opelou Ch, V2, p334)
  5. Zelina born February 12, 1848 (Opel Ch V4, p328)
  6. Sydalise born July 10, 1851 (Opelousas Ch, V4, p393)
  7. Emile born September 4, 1894 (Opelou Ch, V4, p396)

The following are speculations based on dates and locations:

  1. There was a John Speyrer who died at Ville Platte, July 13, 1863 at age 20. There is a discrepancy in age, however. I believe this to be the son of John Speyrer and Clarta George due to the proximity of Grand Prairie to Ville Platte. The record of his death is at the Opelousas church (V2, p167). I searched the cemetery here, Ville Platte and Grand Prairie but found no grave.

  2. Again, because of dates (primarily of birth) I believed Louis Speyrer, who married both Celanie Stelly and Azelia Mayer, was the son of John Speyrer and Clara George. The only other Louis Speyrer who would have been old enough to marry at that time was my greatgrandfather, Louis Conrad Speyrer (B), who married Felicia Carriere.

The following information was obtained from the succession of John Speyrer and Clara George and Fr. Hebert's books:

  1. Elizabeth (Alisa)(Celisa) married Aristile Ortego on May 22, 1864. Opel ch, V2 p334).

  2. Zelina married Hildebert H. Deshotel.

  3. Syldalise (Cydalise) married John Evans January 18, 1870 and Elie Ardoin on April 21, 1874.

After two days of searching two cemeteries in Grand Prairie and two cemeteries in Ville Platte, in the hot September sun, the graves of Zelina Speyrer and Hildevert H. Deshotel were found. They are buried in the church cemetery in Ville Platte. The following is inscribed on their tombs:

Zelina Speyrer, Wife of H. H. Deshotel, Born Feb 12, 1848, Died Dec 22, 1927, Age 48 yrs. 5 mos, 10 days

Hildebert H. Deshotel, Born May 17, 1848, Died Nov 6, 1897, Age 48 years, 5 mos, 19 days

My father told me that sons of H. H. Deshotel and Zelina Speyrer moved to Abbeville and became prominent businessmen there.

I hope that this information might be helpful to Bill Richardson and, also, in piecing together the original immigrant family (Conrad and his brothers) together.

Lloyd Speyrer
1308 W. Myrtle St
Opelousas, La 70570

 P. S. Please consider inviting all Speyrers and descendants of Speyrers
in the U.S.A. to the 1996 Speyrer Family Reunion.

Editor's Note: What a large amount of information you've provided Lloyd! Thank you for sharing it with us.

The information you furnished about the four Speyrer brothers immigrating to this area agrees with Fr. Jules C. Speyrer's The Origins of the Speyrer Family in America. He wrote ''...soon other members of his family joined him in America. Four of his brothers came over almost immediately. Louis, John and Michael found their way to Port Barre and to their brother's house.'' However, it seems that you've found three additional children of John Speyrer, Lloyd!

And yes, of course, ALL Speyrers and descendants of Speyrers anywhere are invited to our reunion in 1996. Thanks for correcting this oversight on my part, Lloyd.

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