Conway native publishes Luyet family history book

Carol Rolf/Contributing Writer Published October 31, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
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Carol Rolf/Contributing Photographer

Robert Hoyt presents a copy of his latest book, Jean Baptiste Marie Luyet and Marie Victoire Gobelet Family History and Genealogy, to Lynita Langley-Ware, director of the Faulkner County Museum. Books can be purchased for $16 at the museum, which also has reference copies of several of Hoyt’s earlier works.

CONWAY — Robert Hoyt of Bowling Green, Ky., formerly of Conway, has just published his fourth family history and genealogy book. This time, the subject is his wife Theresa’s maternal ancestry, the Luyet family.

Hoyt notes in the preface of the book, Jean Baptiste Marie Luyet and Marie Victoire Gobelet Family History and Genealogy, that he is the “editor” and not the “author,” as many family members contributed information for the book. He credits Andrew Lachowsky, Mary Hiegel, Alphonse Hiegel, Raymond Luyet and Beatrice Luyet Lock for “review and consultation.”

The book traces the family history of Jean Baptiste Marie Luyet and Marie Victoire Gobelet back to Ormone, a village in the canton (county) of Saviese in Switzerland. In 1882, they immigrated to the United States with their two older sons, Jean Charles and Francois Joseph, and their families. They settled in Conway and became part of the St. Joseph Catholic Church parish. Theresa is the great-great-granddaughter of Jean Baptiste and Marie.

“I actually began the book back in the mid-1980s,” said Hoyt, who grew up in Conway, the son of the late Gerald and Johanna Hoyt. “Theresa’s mom gave me eight pages of family history. It would be 2012 before I got back to it.”

Theresa is the daughter of the late Eugenia George and Alfred H. Lachowsky Sr. of Conway. Theresa’s mother, Eugenia George, was the daughter of Mary Agnes Luyet and Peter George, who were both born in Switzerland. Mary Agnes Luyet George was the daughter of Jean Charles Luyet and Marie Veronic Coupe, who came to the United States in 1882, along with Jean Charles’ parents, Jean Baptiste Marie Luyet and Marie Victoire Gobelet.

“They came straight to Conway,” Hoyt said. “They arrived the last week of December in 1882. The first deed that was recorded was on Jan. 1, 1883. They all lived together for seven years.”

Theresa’s ancestors are buried at the St. Joseph Cemetery.

Hoyt’s book, which he dedicates to his wife, states that Jean Baptiste Luyet’s family can be traced to the Saviese region of Switzerland from the 18th to the 21st centuries. Jean Baptiste made a living raising goats.

The Luyet’s oldest son, Jean “John” Charles Luyet, served in the Swiss military, then was a farmer. It was John who encouraged his parents and brother, Francois “Frank” Joseph Luyet, to come to the United States. Their point of departure was Le Harve, France, on the ship Labrador.

Hoyt said that first deed recorded in 1883 was for the purchase of a house and 80 acres by Francois. The land was on Lower Ridge Road. Hoyt said it was “likely” that Jean Charles, or “JC” as he was later called, and his family lived with Francois on this land, where they farmed. Seven years later, JC and Marie purchased 80 acres on the same road.

Hoyt’s earlier history books trace his genealogy through his parents’ families, the Hoyts and the Enderlins. Hoyt has also authored several books relating to his fields of study — biology, vertebrate zoology and ichthyology — during his 37-year career as a professor of biology at Western Kentucky University.

Like Hoyt’s previous book on his wife’s paternal ancestry, the Johan Lachowsky family, this book on the Luyet ancestry is an 8 ½- by 11-inch spiral-bound paperback containing 259 pages, numerous photographs, early family property deeds and an extensive index. The book also includes how-to instructions for reading genealogical tags and determining the degree of relationships and easy-to-read charts showing the genealogy of many families.

The book may be purchased for $16 at the Faulkner County Museum. For mail-order information, contact Robert Hoyt at (270) 842-0529.

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