This blog is an ongoing project. As I research and retrieve more tidbits, I will add them to the blog. “Follow” the blog (by clicking the follow button) and you will receive an email when I post an update. If you have anything to contribute — notes, memories, photos or documents, questions, insights — please leave a comment. I’ll be notified when you do. It’s my hope to provide a family forum, of sorts, where we can all share what we know and preserve it for future generations. This story is brought to you by the generosity and encouragement of Robert Lawton Speik. Thank you, Bob!
Click on the names to the left, to read each individual’s story.
— Diane Farr Golling, whose uncle, John Lynden, married Madeleine Lawton Speik
This is a truly American story: German immigrants of modest means who came here for a better life, and quickly found it. The central figure is Frederick Adolph Speik, son of immigrant cigar makers, who became a star athlete, married into Mayflower-descended American aristocracy, and ended as a wealthy physician who treated Hollywood stars like John Barrymore.
Here is the latest (incomplete and hard to view!) download of the family tree from Ancestry.com: family tree 5 5 2018
If you have access to Ancestry.com, you can view it there with many more details, including photographs, census records, letters, and fascinating newspaper snippets: Speik Thompson Family Tree
What the Name Means
“Speik” or “Speick,” also known as celtic baldrian, is a mountain wildflower commonly found in the alpine region of Germany and Austria. Its aromatic roots are used in soap and fragrances. A family story hints at a possible origin for the Speik family name: a royal patent issued in the distant past that gave rights to Speik ancestors to harvest and utilize the speik plant — either exclusively, or on behalf of the royal family. Speick is also called Alpine Valerian and Valerian Spikenard.
Click here to begin: The Speicks Come to America … and change their name to Speik