Speer Ancestor Photographs
William Speer (1747-1830)
(Click here for a
chart demonstrating the Speer Migration Patterns)
any place or anything mentioned on this website
by using the Website Search Engine at the top of the Home
How common is the surname "Speer?" According to
the 1990 U.S. census figures, "Speer" is the 2,292nd most
popular name with approximately 12,500 U.S. citizens representing about .005% of
Ancestral Lineage: John William Speer (b. 1723)
> William Speer, Sr. (b. abt. 1747) > William Speer, Jr. (b. 1788) >
William Houston Speer (b. 1812) > Robert H. Speer (b. 1850) > Mary Francis
Speer Childress (b. 1875) > John F. Childress (b. 1918) > JPC (b. 1945)
Old Rocky River Presbyterian Cemetery
Calhoun Falls, South Carolina
One of our most notable family lines with respect to the
"pioneer heritage" was the Speer family. One of the best
documented early Speer ancestor was William Speer, Sr. (1747-1830), who was born in
Strebaul, County Antrim, Ireland. William's father was John William Speer
(1723-1771), also an Irishman by birth, but who died in Georgia prior to the
Revolutionary War. William, Sr. served several tours of duty in the War of
Independence and his life is well documented by his son, William Speer, Jr.
(1788-1877). See the Childress/Mathis Family Tree on Roots Web for notes on William Speer, Jr.
William Speer, Jr. and his family lived for most of their lives
around the Calhoun Falls, South Carolina area. There are at least seven
Speer interments in the "old" Rocky River Presbyterian Cemetery
outside Calhoun Falls. For anyone who really wants a scavenger hunt, one should try to
find this "old" Rocky River Cemetery!
This cemetery, begun in the 1770's, was abandoned by the Rocky River
Presbyterian Church when it moved to new quarters many decades ago. As of
April 2004, there has been a renewed effort to maintain it, as the fresh 6"
diameter tree stumps will attest.
The above seven tombstones stand at the heads of the graves of William
Speer, Sr. (b. 1747) and first wife Eleanor Norris (Little) Speer (b.
1749); William Speer, Jr. (b. 1788) and wife Mary Sue (Gill) Speer
(b. 1793); William Jr.'s son Elijah Hunt Speer (b. 1828) and wife Sarah
G. Speer (b. 1835); William Jr.'s son George Washington Speer (b.
The connection from this earlier Speer family living in South
Carolina to my contemporary family tree comes via South Carolina, then Alabama
and lastly to Texas. One of William Speer, Jr.'s sons, William Houston
Speer (1812-1878) lived in Coosa County, Alabama. One of his sons was Robert
H. Speer (1850-1913), my great grandfather, who migrated from Alabama down
to Texas before the turn of the century. One of Robert's two daughters was
my grandmother, Mary Frances
"Fannie" Speer (1875-1957), who married William Thomas
The first photograph below is of Velda Speer (1908-1999),
niece of Fannie (Speer) Childress, and Velda's husband, Calvin Johnson.
Velda and her Speer siblings Vorine (b. 1913) and Verlin
(1909-1995) went to live with their uncle and aunt William T. Childress and wife
Fannie Speer and their family after their
father, James Manual Frazier Speer (1877-1922) died at his own hands in 1922.
The second photograph is of Verlin, Velda and their parents, James M. Speer and Emma
(Putman) Speer (1874-1920). The next photograph is of Emma Putman
Speer, as identified and forwarded to this website by Vorine (Speer) Saxon,
via her son Robert Paul Saxon. The fourth photograph is of the same two
children, Verlin and Velda, and their maternal grandparents, William Howard
Putman (b. circa 1850) and wife Lucy Caroline Knight (unsure of
birth date; likely 16 years senior to William Howard Putnam).
The last photograph in the following row is of the Saxon clan
circa 1957, including as follows: Martha Sue (1944-1997), Gay
Nell (1942-1994), Earl Dean "Red" (1933-1986), Mattie
Vorine (Speer) Saxon (b. 1913), Mary Neil (b. 1935), J.M. (b. 1932), Dreeben
Case Saxon (1904-1960) and Robert Paul (b. 1955).
(Above two photos on right courtesy of Bob
Saxon, a direct descendent of James Speer and wife Emma Putman)
here to go to the Childress/Mathis Family Tree data on Roots Web for notes
on the above individuals.
For additions, corrections or comments, please send an e-mail to Patrick