WELCOME TO A CELEBRATION OF THE VILLERE FAMILY’S 300th YEAR IN NEW ORLEANS
The 300th anniversary is only an official date, as the work of Sidney Villere identifies our family’s founder in New Orleans as Etienne Roy de Villeré, who participated in Iberville’s expeditions of the Gulf of Mexico between 1699 and 1706, but his exact date of arrival of Louisiana and his exact capacity here are unknown. He is listed among the soldiers in 1720, and seems to have been well established in the colony by 1723, according to the census of that year. Accordingly, it is clear his presence in Louisiana dates back to Iberville’s explorations, and it is safe to assume he was here prior to the official founding of the City of New Orleans by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville on May 7, 1718.
With the help of The Historic New Orleans Collection and the Special Collection of the Howard-Tilton Library at Tulane University, a Committee of Family Members of Villere descendants have undertaken a large research and aggregation effort which we hope to complete in the months to come, and which will reside here on this website for anyone to read. Our goal is to include copies of some of the most important Villere family papers of historical interest from both collections, as well as a digitized, issuu-type version of the late Sidney Villere’s scholarly work, “Jacques Philippe Villeré – First Native-Born Governor of Louisiana” which was published by The Historic New Orleans Collection in 1981. In addition, our most ambitious effort will be the creation of a family tree which we will commence, but may need years to complete. It will be a work-in-progress that will reside on this site in perpetuity.
In addition to the work on this website, the Committee of Family Members is working with the Historic New Orleans Collection to organize a lecture on the family history in connection with their own scheduled events celebrating the New Orleans Tricentennial next year. We also will organize a Grand Reunion, which will probably take place immediately after the HNOC lecture as referenced above.
We believe a well-researched and complete “family tree” is a cornerstone of this effort to document our family over the past 300 years. Quite a bit of work was conducted by Sidney Villere during his lifetime, and his work on the family tree has been brought as current as the late 1800s, we believe. Our plan is to hire a history major at Tulane University, graduate or undergraduate, who will undertake the research necessary to update the family tree, although we believe this effort could take well beyond 2018. If you have any information on your own branch of the family tree, we will be adding a Blog tab on this site which will allow anyone to add any information they may have on the family, and which we will continuously integrate into the family tree. Therefore, we need your help in identifying your branch of the family tree, and how you descended through the generations from Jacques Villere, if you happen to have that information.
Watch for updates to this site in the weeks and months to come, and feel free to contact me as per the below.
Pierre Guillaume Villere