Photos From the Speyrer Family Reunion Introduction and Album 1


This collection of photos tells a part of the story of the international reunion of the Speyrer family. Intended as a homecoming for the children of German immigrants from Doerrenbach in the Rheinpfatz, the event was designed to honor those pioneers who in the first half of the nineteenth century emigrated from the Old World to the New.

To this day most of their descendants reside in St. Landry Parish where the first Speyrers settled. The center of concentration is in the peaceful town of Leonvifle which lies along the winding Bayou Teche, that same stream over which weary immigrants once traveled on their journey's last leg by steamboat from New Orleans. Like the Teche, however, other generations in time also meandered and only some special event had the power to gather them in. And it would take their ancestral village thousands of miles away to supply the catalyst.

This came in 1992 when word of Doerrenbach 1000-year Jubilee reached America. Thereupon, a handful of Speyrer family members under the leadership of Father Jules Speyrer, (pastor of St. Augustine parish of Basile, La) traveled to Germany in July of that year for the town's ten-day celebration. They returned with a copy of Doerrenbach: 992-1992, Walter Schlicher's 687 page history of the hamlet which also contained information on the origins of the Speyrer family in that area. From its pages we learned for the first time that it was one Balthasar Speyrer, born in 1546 who originally carried the name from Wertheim-am-Tauber to Doerrenbach. The then approaching 450th anniversary of his birth sparked the idea of a family reunion in 1996. That event is now history. It took place in Basile, Louisiana, on Saturday, October 12, 1996.

Bishop Jude Speyrer
Lake Charles, Louisiana

Doerrenbach, a village of 1000 inhabitants, lies at the bottom of a narrow valley. Flanked on the south by Staffel mountain, which is 1600 feet high and on the north by Kolmer mountain, which rises to a height of 1500 feet. The Rhine river is 15 miles to the east and the French border is 3 miles to the south. The French city of Strasbourg is 40 miles to the south.

- Photo by Norbert and Crystal Speyrer - Text by Gene Speyrer

The new tombstone on the grave of Conrad Speyrer was a project of the Speyrer Family Association and was a suggestion of D. J. Speyrer.

For those who wish to visit Conrad Speyrer's gravesite in the Grand Coteau cemetery, I will quote the following from Fr.Jules C. Speyrer's The Origins of the Speyrer Family in America

"Since he was not a Catholic he was buried in unconsecrated ground at the edge of the cemetery. The cemetery has since expanded and Conrad Speyrers tomb is presently in a portion of the main cemetery. Today, this location can be easily found. it is sixteen feet to the north of the left-hand side of the concrete-poled-double-piped enclosed cemetery of the Jesuit Fathers which is located at the rear of the cemetery-"

At the reception for Ernst Lammering at the Leonville Church Hall on August 29, 1993. From left to right. Judge Joseph LaHaye, Anna Courvile, Ernst Lammering, Cynthia Speyrer, Rev. Jules Conrad Speyrer and Rand Speyrer.

Processional before Mass at St Leo's Church in Leonville, La. on August 29, 1993 on the occasion of the first Speyrer Family Reunion.

From right to left, Bishop Jude Speyrer, Fr. Jules C. Speyrer, Fr Tom Finley and Father Dan Schexnayder, pastor of St. Leo's.

Return to Speyrer Family Home Page