On the weekend of October 20-21, 2018, a Committee of Family Members of Villeré Descendants hosted a weekend of events, starting with a Symposium at The Historic New Orleans Collection to mark the 300th anniversary of the founding of the City of New Orleans, and the important role our Villeré ancestors played in its creation as the early French colony. But the Symposium was just the beginning in our minds; it occurred to us that the digital age of the past couple of decades would allow us to organize and launch a website that would be a permanent repository of Villeré family research, documents, mementos and memories, and we undertook that effort in early 2019. The first generation of that effort appears here.
The work of the late Sidney Villeré 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, our group has undertaken a large research and aggregation effort which begins with this website, and will be here for future generations of family descendants and history students to enjoy. We will be adding to this site over time, including more documents and important family papers, portraits and images of interest, and a Family Blog which anyone can contribute to. The site currently offers copies of some of the most important Villeré family papers of historical interest from both collections, and also offers a digitized flipbook of Sidney Villeré’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 was the creation of a Villeré Family Tree which you can access through a tab on this site. We now believe it is complete, but it offers the opportunity for further investigation and verification with respect to accuracy. If you are a family member, we welcome your input if there are any corrections that need to be made in your branch of the Family Tree, and you may reach us through the “Contact” button on this site.
This is our legacy to the family. We hope you and all your descendants will study and learn from the rich repository of family information we have assembled.