re:mixed race people were once banned from memphis

I have been searching and searching for more information on this.  I can’t find anything!  I’ve also been looking for information and photographs of the Mary Loiselle.  Again, nothing.  On I found another account of Marcus Winchester’s life that does not mention the ban on persons of mixed-race and questions the “accusation” that his wife was indeed a Negro. 

He married Mary Loiselle of New Orleans somewhere around 1823.  Mary was said to be a woman of color, but in this context it is hard to say what that meant.  Many slaves by this time looked white.  In any case the idea that she was a Negro hurt Winchester’s reputation and contributed to a number of business reversals that were to follow him to his grave.

Marcus acted as an agent for the proprietors and opened the first store. He was one of the first five members of the Quarterly Court and was elected register in 1820. When Memphis was incorporated in 1826, Winchester became the first mayor. He operated a ferry and served as postmaster until 1849, although his loyalty to the Jacksonians came under question when he supported Davy Crockett for Congress.

Because of his marriage and the deep rifts occurring along race lines leading up to the Civil War, Winchester’s career declined. A whispering campaign by members of the Murrell Clan alienated Winchester from the community.  Ultimately Winchester moved his family to a home a few miles outside the city.  

The idea that she was a Negro… That says a lot.

I searched through the guide to the Winchester family papers on  I find it “interesting” that in all of the correspondence listed for Marcus, there is no mention of a wedding or a wife or children.  One can glean that he was in New Orleans around the time he is said to have married.  There is also a later request for a deed for a “lot south of town of Memphis” which gives credence to the town’s ban of mixed race people.

I am so curious about this.



111 thoughts on “re:mixed race people were once banned from memphis

  1. Wow, an “accusation” that she was negro.

    Didn’t know that was a crime. I am grateful for that time and place i live in.(South Florida).

    It interesting though. We cant forget what people were like and had to go through.

  2. Marcus Winchester and Marie Louise Amarante Regis Loiselle are my great grandparents 4 times back. My Grandmother (Dorothy Richards) always told me that her father (Charles Richards) told her that Marie was part Osage or Blackfoot Indian. This is the story in the family. It sure would be nice to find out if Mary was part black or part American Indian. Guess we will never know.

  3. I would love to meet any “estranged” relatives. There are many of us out here…sad to say separated by divorce and abandoned. My line comes down from Marcus and Mary’s daughter Valeria m. to a Richards, and and their daughter Jesse m. to a Gryder, their son Joe m. a Brogdan (my grandmother Aileen) They had two daughters before divorcing: my mom Margaret Oswalt and aunt name changed from Barbara Jean to Bonnie by adoptive parents…she m. a Dohme. A lot of us live in the Memphis area I’ve been told by a first cousin to my mom (one of the Gryders) the blood is black. I have a photo of an older Jesse Richards Gryder and family that does show some influence. We are proud to be part of the line.

  4. I also have a photo of an older Jesse Richards Gryder. What do you think she “shows some influence” of?? When I was a kid we use to peak at her through a window and think she was a “witch” because of her long hair. Not very nice but kids can be that way. Like I posted earlier, Dorothy Louise Richards, my Grandmother told us that her father, Charles L Richards, was 1/16 Osage or Blackfoot. If that is true, who knows. It was said he was “ashamed” to be part indian. Maybe he was “ashamed” to be part black and made up the story. It would be interesting to know the truth.

  5. Anita,

    I actually have quite a few photos of the Jesse Richards Gryder clan. None are of a young Jesse. She looks darker than everyone else except for her stunningly handsome son Otis. He appears darkly tanned in some photos. The reason I believed we have a bit of black blood is due to info from one of my mom’s first cousins, Carroll Gryder. Jesse is his grandmother, too. The story of Marie Loiselle being beautiful and well educated is believable because of ties with New Orleans. We learned in college U.S. history that many well to do mixed race young people were sent away for an education in France. Do you follow Marie’s father’s lineage as Baribeau? He comes from a long line of French Canadian fur trappers back to an immigrant coming in as a Jesuit, which he renounced later. I also have been told that a good deal of the family remained Catholic. I can scan and send photos if you wish.

  6. Hi Debra & Anita,

    This is Julie (Anita’s cousin) and I would be thrilled to find out any information on Marie’s family as I have been unable to uncover anything on them.

  7. To all who want info,

    Are we allowed to give out email and phone numbers? I have some good contacts if they are still living. Mr. Bill Boyd is in Memphis/Cordova and might be a big help. There are many others who may or may not wish to be contacted. Do not forget the Tennessee Genealogy Society in Germantown. The biggest thing most of us want is a picture of Mary Winchester! What if sometime we could have a get together and bring what we have along with a printer.

  8. I don’t know about leaving phone number on this site but I would certainly be willing to get together with all the stuff all of us have collected over the year and share it. It would be fun to see exactly what we do have and don’t have. We could just email each other privately and see what we could come up with.

  9. Debra,
    Jesse Richards Gryder is Jesse Beulah- everyone called her Beulah. She had 7 children. Otis was married to Beulah’s daughter Mary Margaret. (my grandparents) I believe the “Otis” you referred to is actually Carroll, as he was the darkest of all the brothers. The children of Beulah & Jessie Virgil Gryder were Gladys b. 1897, Virgil b. 1889, Carroll b. 1904, Norma b. 1905? Mary Margaret b. 1907, Joseph b. 1910, William Virgil b. 1913 – middle name after older brother Virgil who drowned.

  10. I came to this site out of curiosity re: Amarante Loiselle after reading “David Crockett, the Lion of the West” by Michael Wallis. He mentions the friendship with Marcus Winchester, and the marriage in 1823 to A.L. “brilliant & educated in France, & reputed to be one of most beautiful women in the South. She was 1/16th black, which is why the wedding took place in her hometown of New Orleans, where mixed-race marriages were legal. Amarante Winchester was ostracized by Memphis society, & Winchester’s career declined. Eventually city aldermen passed an ordinace forbidding anyone of mixed race from owning property or living within the city limits. This caused the Winchesters to move to a farm outside of Memphis. They remained married until her death in 1840” . Hope this is helpful.

  11. They had a son named loiselle Winchester and he is buried in Elmwood cemetery. I would like to see photos of Mary as well

  12. DEAR SIR OR TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN. ihave a 29 page booklet. with an article titled outcast for love the story of marcus b. winchester and wife marie louise amarante loisel covering about 12 pages if interested

  13. Right Susan Auble.. She moved to an area called Neshoba. This area is off :Poplar Ave, down from SaddleCreek.

  14. My paternal grandmother, Margaret Richards, was from Memphis. Marcus and Marie Winchester are my 3x great grandparents. My grandmother told me her husband (surname Clark) would tease her about having to use the back door in summertime, when her skin was dark from the sun. I have seen a photo from 1907 of her, dark with big beautiful eyes and Asiatic features, surrounded by her pale cousins with long thin faces.
    I would love to get in touch with Anita and Jesse!

  15. HI, I too have done a lot of searching on Maria Louise Amarante Regis Loiselle, born in 1806 in St. Louis , MO.; died Aug 19th 1839 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was my Greatgrandmother 4’s back. My Great grandmother was Valerie Winchester. My great grandfather was Charles Richards, and my Grandmother was Dorothy Louise Richards, Woods, Moore, Nemes. I have never found a picture of Maria either. Guess none survived or were not painted of her. My Grandmother always told me that we were part Osage Indian from Maria’s side of the family. I have done research on Maria Loiselle and have found her parents, etc. for 4 generations. I find no reference of “black” blood. But some clues as to indian blood. I think the only way to really find out would be a DNA test.

  16. I had my DNA done, but female side follows back to mother, and to her mom’s mother, and her mom’s mother’s mother so on. My descent is going to cross over to Joseph S. Gryder (one of Jesse Beluah Richard’s sons)who was married to Aileen Brogdon before a marriage to Nell Edmonds. So my test does not show what we are looking for. It would be nice to find a close male relative to test. I have a family tree chart labeled “Chart II”, with some references to a “Chart I”. I see several Charles, several Margarets, Clarks, a Dorothy, and more. This “tree” was sent to me by one of the Gryders. Does anyone have something like this that was shared by family members?

  17. Hi, Anita!
    It is cited in history of Memphis/Memphians books that Marie was (part) black. I believe “quadroon” means one-fourth.
    We have Richards (my paternal grandmother) and Winchesters in the family tree. In fact, my younger brother’s name is Louis Winchester Clark. My parents have visited an old family home (plantation?) in Tennessee called Craig House or Craig-something. Craighead.

  18. I know the history books call Marie quadroon but I also read that the politics of the times was out to destroy Marcus B Winchester. I don’t believe all history books as they have been proven wrong so many times. Having my DNA done would certainly prove the black one way or another. I have also been to Cragfont, the plantation that James Winchester finished in 1802. It is a very interesting place to visit. They allowed us to take pictures which I love looking at. Did you know that our family is related to the McCormick that invented the reaper? That is a very interesting side of the family too.

  19. TN GEN in Germantown is having a featured guest from a TV genealogy program to do a seminar on Nov. 7th. I signed up and all of you can too…even if you are not a member, $45??? Seats go fast. Hope you all will check on this. Part of the seminar will be on the 1800’s period where records are not so good.

  20. Anita,
    Girl! You gotta get your DNA tested! Then we can finally know whether it’s American Indian or Black running down from Marie. I too was told by grandparents & great Aunts that it was Indian blood. The times were so nuts; I have to wonder if it was “better” to carry Indian than Black blood or if they were equally as “undesirable” to Marcus & his immediate descendants.
    For me personally, I just think it’s so cool to be related to such an enigma (Marie)

    I want mom to have her DNA done too. Having both of you do it, would be awesome! Let me know if you decide to do it 🙂

  21. Yes, I think it is really cool to be have Marie as a direct descendant too. It is too bad there isn’t a painting of her somewhere. I would love to see what she looked like. OK, in the near future I will have my DNA tested. I think I will us 23 and Me for the company.

  22. Since very few African Americans have Native American blood despite family lore, (Henry Gates Jr. researched this) it is unlikely that Marie was Native American, too. It is funny that NA blood is used in family histories to explain both light skin in African Americans and dark skin in European Americans. The vast majority of interracial relations, especially in the South, were between African and European Americans. Have you seen any reference to her being Creole? Wasn’t she native to New Orleans? Also, my father, who has researched the Winchesters, spoke of Jamaican ancestry on Marie’s side.

  23. I really feel it will be African blood. I would really be surprised if it was native american. What did your father find out about the Jamaican ancestry? Well I sent for my 23 and Me kit so it will take a while to send it back to them and then get the results. I will share on here what the results are when I get them. Of course, I have other relatives that could have surprising blood in them also. I don’t know how that is going to work; I will just have to wait and see.

  24. Hi all, I’ve had my DNA tested by 23 and me. I am related to Amerante through the maternal line only, through her daughter Frances, her daughter Agnes, then Edna, Iola and Edna again. That makes her my greatX4 I believe. My “maternal haplogroup” is L3e2a, which means hers would have been also, and it traces back to Africa pretty directly, without detours to Europe or wherever else. I am still trying to figure out exactly what this means! If anyone else is on 23andme who is related to her, please contact me here.

  25. Please share whatever you can with the rest of us. So hard to know very much about Marie, No portrait? Really? I am related back to Marie and Marcus through their daughter Valeria, Valeria”s daughter Jesse Beulah Richards Gryder, Jesse’s son Joe Gryder (divorced from my grandmother Alliene Brogdon), their daughter Margaret Gryder Oswalt, and I am Debra Oswalt Sellmansberger. All of us are from Memphis. I have only done DNA through Ancestry .com. Heard that 123 was better. Ancestry gives percentages, pie graph, and trace percentages. I believe there is someone on this message board who has recently done a 123 and hope she shares. Good luck and thank you so much for sending in DNA. I may try 123 also.

  26. Hi Debra. I am also related to Marie through Marcus, through their daughter Valeria. Then Charles Richards and Dorothy Richards, my grandmother. I think we have talked on this site before or possibly another site. I had my Genome done on 23andMe. This is what I got. It was only my maternal side. I am haplogroup H18; 97.2% European, 1.3% West African, 1.1% Native American. I feel this might provide the info. we needed about all the mystery around Marcus B Winchesters wife, Maria Loisel. The history books state she was “woman of color”. If I have some African in my genome that must prove Maria did too. But the story my grandmother, Dorothy Richards Woods, Moore, Nemes said was we had Indian blood in us; Which my genome says I have also. So I think Maria Louise Amarante Regis Loiselle Winchester was part black and part native American and all the other things my genome shows. I too would love to see a painting of her; I don’t think they had cameras during her time. You would think there would be some painting of her somewhere. If you had your DNA done by 23andMe we could share genomes and see how related we are (well we know that); but it would be interesting about the rest of it. Anita Jessop

  27. I am interested in more testing and would choose 123, thinking they are highly recommended. A friend who seems knowledgeable told me even Ancestry gives more info than just your maternal line. So you would be getting a bigger picture than thought. There is a name for that: autosomal.

  28. @Caroline Anita and other Family Members of the Winchesters, it was very common in the south to claim native american heritage rather than black. The discrimination against black people caused this. It is unfortunate that today, many people think they are “blackfoot” indian or some other tribe but they are black. This pressures of a racist system often pushed families apart, tore children light enough to pass, from their parents and elevated “mulattos”, “quadroon” and others for marrying white to eliminate the evidence of black blood. This was also common in my family on my father’s side. His father was dark skinned with strong native american features and straight hair. My father inheritaed many of the same traits. He was encouraged by his family to pass for Arab.

  29. My grandmother, Margeret Josephine Richards, always said it was “the French”.

  30. However, our French relatives, who immigrated in the 1800s, were Alsatian. Alsace borders Germany, and is very Germanic culturally.

  31. So far I am aware if Pilgrim an ancestry, Black Irish, Scotch Irish, Alsation (northeast France), and African. My kids can add Ashkenazy Jewish to the list. 🤗

  32. Came across this thread accidentally. I did a little research on the Winchesters after I communicated with the late Jesse Winchester on a New Orleans newspaper forum after Katrina. He was a noted performer in the 70s who moved to Canada to avoid the draft. One of his many tunes is “Down Around Biloxi.” In any event, he confirmed that he was descended from the founding Winchesters. i don’t know if he had siblings or if his widow can help you with information or pictures, but I thought I’d tell you. By the way, I do believe Marcus’ first wife was Creole. If she was descended from freed slaves, that lineage would not have passed through Europe, as you can imagine. Good luck and give my love to Memphis, my hometown.

  33. Exciting. I love New Orleans & lived there; 1998-2005. It would be chilling – in a good way! – if my great 6x grandmother were from there. My dad has said she was Jamaican. But since she spoke French, New Orleans and maybe Haiti before make more sense. However, I read her parents were from Canada.
    I do have a Haitian trivet passed down from my grandmother on that side.

  34. I was thinking Haitian–free people of color. It fits. My grandmother was from New Orleans. Her sister lived in Treme after she married. In any event, I really think someone should try to contact Jesse Winchester’s surviving relatives. Suppose his widow is still in Charlottesville. THINK he had an ex and children still in Canada. THINK he was the first one to flee to Canada rather than serve. I remember Joan Baez talking about him. Jesse went to CBHS, which is why Allen Toussaint (yes) contacted him cause AT knew I was from Memphis and my significant other graduated from CBHS. You may also know there are quite a few records of the gens in New Orleans. I’m pretty sure baptismal records exist. . .Last night, I had a horrible thought: That Mrs. Winchester had to return to New Orleans for treatment in a hospital. But that is only speculation.

  35. How about that the Canadian was the man and a Haitian was the woman? It makes sense to me. She has the name of the Canadians. And you know the history of some of the octoroons, quadroons, and the rest.

  36. Marcus Winchester and Maria Amarante Loiselle reportedly went to New Orleans to marry, where it was legal to marry outside your race.

  37. If you look at the geni info on Marcus’ father, the general, you’ll see the family had ties to New Orleans and Biloxi and that Mrs. Winchester died there.

  38. A Debra Oswalt Selmansberger comments on here. I wish she would see my question. If you search for Marcus on line, you can see the geni info on his family. Also, there’s another photo of him on the graveyard site.

  39. I don’t understand all the speculation on this site about Maria Loiselle Winchester and Marcus Winchester. I have had my DNA tested. I have 1.5 % African and 1.2% Native American in me. Marie was my great grandmother 5 X’s back and Marcus was my great grandfather 5X’s back. My DNA was tested on my maternal side because my biological father is dead and so is my brother. So that info comes from my mothers side of the family which is the Winchesters and Loisel’s. Marie’s mother (Victorie Loiselle 1774-1828) was born in St. Louis, MO. and Pierre Baribeau 1761-1831(Maria Louise Amarante Regis Loiselle father) was in born in Canada and died in St. Louis, MO.
    The question I am trying to answer is who was Maria Loiselles mother? I think she was part African and American Indian. In the archives of New Orleans you find legal documents where Pierre Baribeau was testifying for people who were claiming to be part indian instead of part black. I think legally this gave those people more freedom. And…there is mention of part of his family being on a Blackfoot reservation. Boy, would I love to solve all of this. Anyways, just putting my 2 cents into the conversation. What does anyone else think? Anita Jessop

  40. Howdy,
    I commented in August 2015, but don’t remember how to log in that way again. So, I am Anita’s distant cousin on 23andMe, and am following her around on the internet, apparently!

    Marie Amarante Loiselle was my greatX5 grandmother. I’m a maternal-line descendant, so have her haplogroup, L3e2a, which is typical of a current Nigerian, which means I have African ancestry on the maternal line.

    Also, here’s how 23andme further explains my percentages of autosomal DNA, which show 0.4% each of West African and Native American:
    You most likely had a fourth great-grandparent, fifth great-grandparent, sixth great-grandparent, or seventh great (or greater) grandparent who was 100% West African. This person was likely born between 1690 and 1780.
    You most likely had a fourth great-grandparent, fifth great-grandparent, sixth great-grandparent, or seventh great (or greater) grandparent who was 100% Native American. This person was likely born between 1690 and 1780.

  41. Which could, if accurate, mean that one of Marie’s parents was the child of a 100% West African person and a 100% Native American person. Marie was born in 1809. I too am trying to find out more about her parents and grandparents.

    I grew up in Memphis, and what I hear from my extended family is that, in the 50s and 60s and before, everybody wanted to suppress the fact that there was an African-American in our ancestry.

  42. I have fallen away from research, but seriously hope others continue. If you have your DNA tested, please be aware your 50% from each parent can vary from what your full blood brothers and sisters inherited. Those of you living in the Memphis area maybe interested in the Tennessee Genealogical Society in Germantown and taking this to a new level.

  43. Yes, my grandmother, from Memphis, contributed her dark skin to our French immigrant ancestry. However, they were not from south France but from L’Alsace, which is adjacent to Germany.

  44. Who has been to Marcus Winchester’s grave site? At the gas station?
    Where is Marie buried?

  45. I believe Marie is in St. Louis Cemetery No. 2 in New Orleans. No tours are given of that cemetery. My family went before Katrina and we got robbed:(. Be careful going there. My understanding about Marcus is he is somewhere under the St. Jude parking lot. Used to have a historical marker….???? You can go to Cragfont in Castilian Springs TN and visit General and Mrs. James Winchesters’ graves.

  46. Hello. If you believe Mary is buried in New Orleans, an index of burials is housed at 400 Esplanade, by the French Market. Also, I recall getting records of my Catholic ancestors from the diocese in Baton Rouge. I need to find details in a box in my basement.

  47. Well I’m the Jamaican side! Lol. Still trying to figure it out. I see a Margaret Richards married to a Charles Allen in Mandeville. I also see some Winchester also. I did the test on 23andme and i recognize many of you as DNA relations. The parish to research is Manchester, St Catherine.

  48. Marie’s parents were Victor Loiselle and (I think) Cezarie Loiselle. They moved to St. Louis before the Louisiana Purchase.

  49. Don’t forget to upload your DNA to gedmatch for free!!!
    Note. During the Haitian revolution, many Whites, Creole ( Mulatto and Mestizo) and Mulattoes who were sdlave holders and privileged fled the country to Jamaica, Cuba and New Orleans. If you look at or lds.orgfamilysearch you will see many French there, especially in Saint Andrew, Saint Mary, Port Royal what I know. Also many Jamaican Whites have migrated over the years and some White Americans migrated there also in 1700s to 1800s andc before.

  50. Marcus B. Winchester’s grave is under a gas station in Memphis. Mariie died in New Orleans. If she is buried in in New Orleans that would be awesome, since I lived there for 9 years!!!

  51. My grandmother Margeret Richards married Ovid Barnes Clark. They lived in Little Rock, moved to Louisiana & settled in Little Rock.

  52. Correction. Her parents were Victoire Loiselle Baribeau (mother) and Pierre Baribeau of St. Louis. Their families were from Quebec. Ile d’Orleans.

  53. Susan Johnson, she is my 4x great grandmother. I found the family tree for the French side on Wiki Tree. They came from Paris, Brettagne, and inbetween.

  54. I started a tree on
    It isnt all filled in, but I’ll keep working on it. It seems her family was mixed French-Canadians and moved to St. Louis well before the Louisiana Purchase. Marie Amarante Loiselle Winchester’s death certificate can be viewed on

  55. Margaret Josephine Richards was my sweet Aunt Margaret and her brother Charles O. Richards my grandfather. Charles O., Jr. my father. I’ve been working on Ancestry since 2008 and can tell you this: Marie Louise Amarante Regis Loiselle’s (or Loisel) mother Victorie Loisel was from St. Louis which is where Marie was born. She was adopted by Pierre Baribeau and is named in his probate papers receiving a portion of his estate out of “affection for her” (as opposed to her being his natural child). Marie was indeed mixed race (my DNA shows both native american and black from the Mali region) which likely means her natural father was as well. Marie met Marcus Winchester and they went to New Orleans to marry as it was illegal in Tennessee. They then lived openly in Memphis for some years until pressure became so great that he moved the whole family to property he owned east of town referred to as “Muscogee Camp” (this generates a whole other conversation for another time), but with that said, it was as far east as about where the Memphis Zoo is now. I have the address somewhere, but not at hand. There are death records of an Amarante Loiselle from 19 Aug 1839 in New Orleans with burial in St. Louis Cemetery #1 that I have requested a copy of and who lived at 147 Royal (no longer exists), but, she didn’t go by Amarante, she went by Marie or Mary. I do not have a high confidence that this is her. She was likely buried at Muscogee Camp. Marcus’ second wife Lucy Leonora Ferguson McLain also died there and was likely buried next to Marcus at Winchester Cemetery, though Marie may have been too. His grave is now paved over. Most all of the graves were moved to Elmwood, but not all of them and there is action being taken by St. Jude to appropriate the land which will entail removing all remaining graves. Once I receive the death certificate back from New Orleans I will gladly share any information it might hold.

  56. I am sad if Baribeau is not really part of the linage. Thought that was cool, but, truth is better. My connection back through Joe Gryder son of Beulah Jesse Richards Gryder has been denied by some and I just want to put it out there that indeed we found the AR marriage license, m. Evelyn Aileen Brogdon, dated about Nov. 1932 which was well before his marriage to second wife Nell Edmonds. This is wonderful history. Please post whatever you discover.

  57. Also, the Richards side were primarily French and had a darker complexion than those Irish/Scottish/English/Danish folks on the other sides!

  58. French, yes, but from L’Alsace, bordering Germany. My father has stayed in touch with our cousins there. I visited there nearly 25 years ago.

  59. Yes I am in Memphis, you too? I’ve got soooo much on Ancestry from our relatives in France. You should logon and check it out. I’d so love to go visit!

  60. When I got my first computer in 1998, the search was on for my estranged grandfather Joseph Shepherd Gryder. Found family easily and my mom’s first cousin Carroll Gryder was very nice. I was told that Joe Gryder was blind and being taken care of by another relative. Sent contact info and photos in case they would speak with me…guess they didn’t want to. In making contact with younger Gryders in Texas is where I think the denials came from. They never knew of a prior marriage.

  61. Ahh, I do love a challenge Debra! Let’s prove the connection one way or the other and let it be put to rest! I show Joe as Jessie Beulah’s son born in 1909 but will have to start a deep dive from there. I’ll be back to you!!

  62. Debra, I found him immediately. Send me a separate email and I’ll give you access to Ancestry.

  63. Ginger Richards,
    I’m from Little Rock. I went to Memphis with O-ma (my grandmother Margeret Richards Clark) only once, when I was 14.
    The St. Louis mixed race ancestors came from Isle d’Orleans, in Quebec. The French lines go back to Brettany, Paris, and points in between.

  64. Of course! Her leg. Houdi. I always thought Houdi was feminine. It was funny to know her leg was named after a male!

  65. Rather it was funny to LEARN that her leg was named after a man. I was probably around 9 when I asked why her leg was named Houdi.

  66. Yea, the first time she took it off and propped it against the dinner table I about passed out! She was a scream. Do you remember Buck?

  67. Ben Bell if you are still out there I’d love to see the pamphlet you have “outcast for love the story of marcus b. winchester and wife marie louise amarante loisel”, I cannot find it on line anywhere.

  68. I was sent a picture of the Winchester/Rawlings store from another source if anyone would like to see it

  69. I received the burial certificate from the New Orleans Archdiocese, Amarante Loiselle was buried in St. Louis Cemetery #1 and died at home at 147 Royal St. I wonder if this may have been where her parents lived since she died so young? I am waiting on her death cetificate as well and will let you all know if I find anything more. Ginger

  70. @Ginger Richards Hadley: I am so interested in what you’ve accumulated for your Ancestry tree. Can you send me an invitation to view it? I don’t have an account because I am too cheap! I have been building my tree on, which is free. I think I am the main person on that site adding info to Marie/Marcus and their children. Does anyone know how to send private emails? Oh well, here goes: my email is skj AT susankjohnson DOT com
    (I’m descended from their daughter Frances)

  71. On the way now, and I have a bunch to tell you about Frances’ namesake!

  72. Hey Cousins…I got the death certificate and it does look like Amarante Loiselle died and was buried in New Orleans and I haven’t been able to find any other family there. In re-reading the above someone talks about Pierre being in New Orleans and even testifying…I’d feel so less awful if I thought she was there seeing family rather than because she was so shunned by Memphis that she left her children. It’s just awful to believe.

    The land that they had outside of Memphis was in the 5th Civil District which at that time was Jackson Ave. out NE just a couple of miles. The lines weren’t re-drawn until 1869 which then made the 5th district by Shelby farms. So, turns out Marcus did own property near Shelby Farms and the Nashoba Community founded by Frances Wright (whom they named their daughter after). Her land was on both the North and South side of Wolf River where the AgriCenter fields are now. I haven’t found the exact location of the Winchester land yet, but I will! One of their homesteads was called Muscogee Camp which is where his second wife Lucy died and the land was left to her nephew Robert Edgar Richards. Muscogee is another word for the Creek Indian Tribe, which leads me to believe we might be Creek as the Native American line in us hasn’t really been identified as the black from Mali has…

    If anyone want to see the documents search for me on Ancestry and back up to her…my real name is Virginia.

  73. Forgot to post that in the 1830 Census, A Loiselle is listed in Memphis as the head of household with 5 children listed as “free colored” adn 4 slaves, makes me question the marriage. 😦

  74. A couple of thoughts: You might want to contact Jarvis DeBerry, of the New Orleans Times Picayune, and formerly of the Memphis Commercial Appeal about who might be able to help with your New Orleans research on Marie Louise’ family. Secondly, if anyone wishes, I can contact a FB Friend, John McKusker, formerly of the Times Picayune and now a New Orleans tour guide, to ask where the building that was 147 Royal is now. The city renumbered the houses in the past. I don’t believe I am related to the Winchesters, but I enjoy reading your posts.

  75. Please do contact you FB friend, can’t wait to hear what he has to say! I will try to reach out to Mr. DeBerry today and thank you so much for your help!

  76. It is so tragic that the city Marcus loved so much hated the woman he loved.
    Even if we never find a picture of her, Marie Louise Amarante Loiselle Winchester, the wife of Memphis’ first mayor, deserves a monumental statue on Court Square or the Civic Plaza. With enough photos of her descendants available, a computer generated composite image could be created, on which to base the statue’s face. (Such an image would not be an accurate portrait, but the symbolic appeal can’t be denied.)

  77. Totally agree. She has been lost to history and it’s just criminal. I’d support any effort to bring them recognition. The fact that he is buried under a City garage may me sick.

  78. Hi. Absolutely nothing. After I posted to you, I looked at the address on Google Maps. That area has been commercial for quite a long time. No response from DeBerry? I wish people would work together. Take care.

  79. My dad has researched the family line. He’s most interested in James Winchester, her father-in-law. He took us all to Cragfont in Gallatin, Tennessee last fall.
    I think me dad believes she was buried on the farm, about 4 years after they moved out there.

    Her people were French-Canadian mixed race from Quebec. They moved to St. Louis a generation or two before she was born. It would still have been part of France 🇫🇷 at the time.

  80. Diana…I received confirmation (Burial Certificate and Death Certificate) that she is buried in St. Louis Cemetery #1 in New Orleans and as Loiselle. Just breaks my heart! There is absolutely no memorial to either of them in this city, something deeply wrong with that.

  81. Good. If you go to see the tomb, take an old car and go with a group. Don’t dress up or carry a purse. No camera. Know where it is and make a beeline for it. That cemetery, although interesting, is a dangerous place.

  82. Really and truly it is a dangerous place. Before Katrina, I went with my husband and a daughter to see if we could find her tomb. There was no tour available so we thought it would be safe at 9 AM…. nope! We were robbed by a man who was hiding in the back and must have been waiting for us. There are so many hiding places! Be careful!

  83. It is the cemetery people most want to see b/c a Marie Laveaux is buried there. Homer Plessy, too. It has been dangerous for a long time. Wear scruffy jeans and go with a large group. Bring a few large men, if you can. To make you look less like a target. DO NOT look like tourists. Walk with a purpose.

  84. Basin Street. Several of my ancestors are in tombs in the one on Washington, across from Commanders Palace.

  85. So I have been there, once. In 1998, I think. We went to see Marie Laveaux’s grave. Fortunately not a target, lol.

  86. No, I won’t go to the cemetery for all the reasons listed above, plus the ladies that I spoke with could not pin-point the grave. Too much of the information is illegible at this point. Perhaps a few years ago I’d have gone and hunted it out, but I don’t have much “run quick” left in me!

  87. I am not sure in what order these “replies” post….so tagging on to the most recent: to all the ladies and gents who have had and not had their DNA tested…we’ve been using Ancestry and 23 & Me to find our connection to Marie. If you were disappointed or want even deeper delving results, try CRI testing. I don’t think they are giving you a family tree or distant cousins, but they dig deeper than these other companies. We are finding Gambian and Esan of Nigeria, besides Indian of India, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Puerto Rican….one of my sisters says this is probably Jamaican. This is not a rub your cheek and spit in the tube testing. This is a swab to the inside of both cheeks and gives more DNA. What do you think?

  88. Anita Jessop…where in the NOLA archives did you find info on Pierre?I’d love to see it and start down that path. Thanks! Ginger

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