Lucy Warns Spemann was born in Aleipata (shown in image) in 1888, the daughter of Julius Warns, from Eppendorf, near Hamburg, and Lucy Barry (or Luise Bell-Schwenke). Julius was one of the early German pioneers in Samoa and is mentioned by Harry Moors, in his book, “Some Recollections of Early Samoa,” as one of the exclusive club of pre-1880 settlers. The Warns family reportedly raised seven children in Aleipata, including three boys. Despite this fair representation of males the Warns name faded out in Samoa in the 20th century through predominantly female offspring and emigration. The family’s copra plantation was at Satitoa, and comprised a large area of land directly behind the Catholic Church on the coast. The only connection with Apia was by boat or track. This photo shows a large Aleipata copra plantation taken in the colonial period.
After Lucy Warns and Adolf Spemann married they developed a 110-acre cocoa plantation at Aleisa and between 1906 and 1911 had five children. Then misfortune entered the family narrative.
Credit: Hufnagel-Betham Family Collection, photographer Kurt Hufnagel-Betham.
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