The Speyrer/Quebedeaux Connection

by William G. Richardson



So far the emphasis in this newsletter has been on the SPEYRER paternal line, as well it should be. But, remembering one's maternal heritage is equally important. So I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the ancestry of Conrad Speyrer's wife Josephine QUEBEDEAUX, a descendant of one of the early families of Louisiana.

Josephine Quebedeaux was the daughter of Francois Quebedeaux and Celestine LAGRANGE. She was born Nov. 8, 1825 and was baptised at St. Charles Church in Grand Coteau. Francois was the son of Charles Quebedeaux and Marie Catherine RECURON and is considered to be the progenitor of all the Quebedeaux descendants. According to Robert West the Quebedeaux name is unique to our part of the country as it cannot be found in Canada or France. Truly so, for the name is a French version of a common Spanish name - QUEVEDO.

The original Quebedeaux was a Spainard, who is first found in records in the Illinois country, where in a census of January 1, 1732 there is listed a Quevedo, dit l'espanol (the spaniard) with 5 legitimate children. He is working at the concession or mine of M. Renault. There is no mention of his wife, Marianne Beau in this census. The Renault mine was probably a lead/silver mine of which there were several in this area. Bishop Jude Speyrer recalls an family tradition of a Quebedeaux ancestor who worked in a mine.

The name next appears in the records of Fort Chartres, in Illinois, when on 1 Mar 1745 his daughter Marie Joseph marries. Here he is referred to as Joseph Le Quebedeaux. The name appears with variant spellings throughout the records of this French outpost on the Mississippi River. On 22 Nov 1741 Joseph filed a peition requesting a small parcel of land ``so that he can build a house there,'' This petition, the original of which still exists in archives in Illinois, was translated from the French by Winston Deville. In the accompanying article Mr. Deville speculates on Joseph's origins, saying that he may have arrived with Iberville at Mobile. He states that at least one Spaniard was known to have sailed with Iberville when he left France in 1699. Deville further speculates that Joseph may have come from Mexico or directly from Spain. His origins may probably never be known. I have not found when or where he and his wife died.

Joseph and his wife, Marianne Beau (of Paris, France) had at least five children, three daughters and two sons. His youngest was probably Charles, Josephine's grandfather. The only evidence I have found that he was a son of Joseph is in Charles' marriage record in 1776 in Pointe Coupee. West speculates that Charles migrated down to Louisiana with an older sister, Marie Francoise and her husband Nicolas Prevost. They probably did this around 1763, as that is when many French settlers in the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys left those areas either for Canada or Louisiana.

By the Treaty of Paris of 1763, which ended the French and Indian War, France ceded all her territory east of the Mississippi River, except New Orleans, to the British. As a result the French settlers in that region left for places where they would be more welcome. In any event, the first mention of Charles that I have found is his marriage record to Marie Catherine RECURON, daughter of a French soldier, in Pointe Coupee. The baptismal records of the family indicated that they remained in the Pointe Coupee area until around 1794 when they moved to the Attakapas district (St. Martinville area) where the youngest, child, Zenon, was baptised. No record of Charles' birth or death have been found. He apparently was alive at the time of the marriages of his children until 1817. He and Marie Catherine had at least 9 children. Francois, Josephine's father, was the fourth oldest, born on 28 Sept 1784 and baptized at St Francis Church in Pointe Coupee on 12 Dec 1784.

In about 1810 Francois married Celestine Lagrange, probably the daughter of Henri Lagrange and Catherine Moreau, of Pointe Coupee. They were probably married in Pointe Coupee. I have not found any record of their marriage. After their marriage they were living either in the Pointe Coupee or St. Martinville area, as Francois does not appear in the 1810 census for St. Landry Parish. In 1820 he appears in the census, living in the Grand Coteau area.

The above information is all that I have been able to derive from the limited resources at Clayton Library in Houston. There are a lot of gaps and missing information which I hope to fill in one of these days.

Conrad's and Josephine's marriage was the first of several marriages between these two families. Other marriages include: Antoine Speyrer (EE) m. Emilie Quebedeaux (grandniece of Josephine Quebedeaux); Wesley Speyrer (BEA) m. Alma Quebedeaux; Hazel Lavergne (EAC) m. (unknown) Quebedeaux and Joseph Ovide Sepyrer (CJ) m. Malanie Quebedeaux. I do not have any information on the ancestry of the last three Quebedeauxs.


Sources:

Hebert, Donald J., Rev., Southwest Louisiana Records, vols 1-4.
West, Robert C. , An Atlas of Louisiana Surnames of French and Spanish Origin, (Baton Rouge, 1986)
Diocese of Baton Rouge Catholic Church Records, Vol. 1.
Belting, Natalia M., Kaskaskia Under the French Regime, (New Orleans, 1975).
DeVille, Winston, A Quebedo Land Grant in Early Illinois, Louisiana Genealogical Register, March 1983, pp 49-50.


May 2, 1994

William G. Richardson
127 Carlang
Channelview, Tx 77530

Author's Note: Although I'm not a Speyrer descendant, I am married to a descendant of John Speyrer, brother of Conrad, who supposedly emigrated to Louisiana at the same time as Conrad. My grandmother was Eva Quebedeaux, born near Arnaudville. So, therefore, I have a double interest in both of the families. Would appreciate any corrections or additional information on the information I have submitted.



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