James and Mary (Rogers) Speer and their first four children: Elizabeth, Margaret, John, and James (William, Mary, and Charles were born later in Illinois) came from Ballybay, Ireland (County Monaghan) to Philadelphia in 1833. They eventually settled in Hanover, Illinois five years later. (My greatgrandfather, James, was the youngest during the ocean crossing at age 2.)
Robert and Jane (Stuart) Speer farmed just outside Gettysburg, Pennsylvania at the time of the Revolutionary War, and he served in the war. He had come from Ireland in 1760, returning in 1763 to bring his new bride. Their eight children (Alexander, Agnes, John, Robert Jr, James, William, Thomas, and Stuart) were all born in Gettysburg, and five of them moved to Ohio after the war.
May Speer and Robert James Speer met while attending nearby Monmouth College (she was a third cousin of its first president, David Wallace) and were married in her family home March 3, 1902, just before one of the worst blizzards the Midwest has ever experienced. Everyone in the wedding party, including the minister, was named Speer. The groom, father-of-the-bride, and step-brother of the bride were all named Robert Speer! Later, Robert and May chose not to name any of their sons Robert, but a granddaughter (my sister) is named Roberta!
If you have any Speer family information to share, please send copies only to: Gordon Speer, 3304 Woodlawn Road, Sterling, IL 61081-4144.