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.


205 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

  89. Debra Sellmansberger…I found some proof that Jesse Richards Gryder was married before too! She had a son named Walter Lang. There is an article in the 6/19/2002 Commercial Appeal about him that says: “75 years Ago: June 19, 1927 Walter Lang, a former Memphian, now a full-fledged director at the Hollywood film studios, has directed eight first-run pictures in the past year and a half”.” HAHAHA boy oh boy did they cover stuff up!! Ginger

  90. I didn’t know…and guess what? My mom mentioned there was a friend of the family named Lang. Well…well…well. Thanks for that! Changing the subject, anyone else do a CRI dna test? As we are finding some Gambian/possible Nigerian and no American Indian…what are others finding? These results do not show on our Ancestry test.

  91. No I haven’t, but remember mine was <1% Mali & American Indian, so may not show in yours at all.

  92. Hello everyone,
    Im Linda Sharp, a sister to Debbie Sellmansberger. I did CRI genetics test. Its more in depth than ancestry. I have 2 tenths percent Gambian. Gambia also is referred to sometimes as Little Jamaica. If you research history of Gambia it was launching point from West Africa in slave trade. Also, there was a heavy presence of Asians predominately Chinese in Gambia also. The British, Dutch, Portuguese empires all had a heavy influence there and throughout the Caribbean. Im also, 2 tenths percent japanese, two tenths percent chinese han and a hair of vietnamese. Also, four percent peruvian, four percent colombian, two percent mexican, two percent puerto rican. Im mostly west european and one third finnish. What an odd concocktion. Im all over the globe. I suspect Marie Louiselle was very mixed going way back. I had my 2 children do CRI genetics as well just to make sure someone didnt goof up in the lab. They came back with very similar results. If Creek Indians are related to Mexicans to some degree that may explain the native american stories.

  93. Also, I would like to add that there were results showing 4 different traces of India in me as well. Punjabi, Bengali, sri Lankan, gujarati. And my children are one is a girl and one is a boy. Funny thing is the African showed up in my daughter as Nigerian as .01 of a percent. My son showed zero for African. But all 3 of us show the Native American as equivalent to Peruvian, Colombian, Mexican, Puerto Rican. I guess the Asian and India really threw me. But keep in mind the British empire was such a vast empire from all over. People were transported via these slave ships and other type merchant ships all over the Atlantic and Caribbean and all up and down the North, Central and South American continents. You know if we could ever piece all of this story together it would make quite a hit movie like Roots. And I researched a little on Creek Indian Muskogee and there may be a link to Mexican in that. They may both have had contact with Aztec civilizations very long time ago. There is a supposed ancient pyramid or structure of some sort in Georgia believed to be Aztec.

  94. Linda, Marcus & Amarante’s home was called Muscogee Camp so I do believe that the Native American portion of our heritage was Creek. Her Death and Burial Certificates are on my Ancestry page which I received from St. Louis Cathedral archives and State of LA archives. Her Mother and Father lived at 147 Royal before all of the streets were renumbered. I am going to try to find it when I go next time.

  95. Hello all. I’ve read through the majority of posts here and would like to make a comment. My 3rd great grandmother was Louisa Winchester who married Dr. Edmund Rucker. Louisa was a sister of Marcus Brutus Winchester. It is more complicated than it appears. Marcus had 5 brothers and 6 sisters. Their parents were General James Winchester and Susan Black. .

    James Winchester and Susan Black were not married until 1805. The first 7 children were illegitimate. James Winchester, through acts of the Tennessee legislature, was able to legitimize the first 7 children only through these legislative acts.. The reason is that his wife, Susan, was not 100% European. Her mother’s maiden name was Gibson. Susan Black’s mother was Mariah Gibson, the daughter of Jordan Gibson. Jordan was the son of Gideon Gibson, who was mixed European and African and most likely, Native American.. Jordans Gibson line were free people of color in the Pee Dee river area of South Carolina. Jordan Gibson’s brother was Gideon Gibson Jr., and is known as Gideon Gibson “the Regulator”.

  96. Hi Hans Nielsen,
    Thanks for the info. Do you have a source for the two “marriage” dates for James and Susan, or is this something that you’ve heard from family? I have seen both on my genealogy sites, but I don’t seem to have a source for either.

  97. The information comes from family sources and through the State of Tennessee archives.
    James Winchester and Susan Black are my 4th great grandparents. The following acts can be found at the Tennessee State Library and Archives. Acts of Tennessee, 1796-1850 >W: Part 2

    Winchester James 1803 10 35 To alter names of illegit. children
    Winchester James 1807 14 54 Father of illegitimate children
    Winchester Lucilius 1807 14 54 Last name changed from Black
    Winchester Marcus Brutus 1803 10 35 Name altered
    Winchester Maria Eliza 1803 10 35 Name altered
    Winchester Napoleon 1807 14 54 Last name changed from Black
    Winchester Selema 1803 10 35 Name altered

  98. Hans:

    You have no idea the number of questions that have been clarified to so very many people with a single post! I’ve worked on this for 8 years and have NEVER heard any of this! Thank you so very much for sharing and please feel free to join into the family tree on Ancestry. I am listed under Virginia Richards Hadley and will gladly add you as an editor. This changes things drastically on the beliefs that many of us had regarding Amarante Loiselle Winchester being the sole source of our mixed heritage. My DNA reflects <1% Mali and <1% Native American. Kudos!!

    Also, I understand that the grounds where Marcus is buried (and perhaps his second wife) which are now built over with a city garage, are being bought by St. Jude Hospital. Would any descendants here like to help petition to have their remains moved to his rightful home at Cragfont?

    Best regards cousins!

  99. I tried to find Virginia Richards Hadley tree at ancestry. No luck. Perhaps you could try looking at my mother’s tree at Ancestry which is listed as “American Family”.

    As to helping with a petition to move Marcus to Cragfont, I’d have to decline. He died in 1856, and his mother was alive until 1864. If he wasn’t buried at Cragfont, there must have been a reason.

  100. I would love to sign a petition to have their remains moved!

    Is your Ancestry page open ? Could you send me a link, please?

  101. Ginger,
    My father, Richard Barnes Clark, asked if you are C.O. Richard’s (Jr.) daughter.
    He thinks it’s a good idea to move their remains to Cragfont, also.

  102. My tree is named Richards/Culpepper/Webb, I am the home person.

    Diana…that was indeed my Daddy! Please send me a message on Ancestry and I will add you onto it! I doubt I’ve seen your father since the 70’s!!

  103. How do I look it up?
    I started my family tree on Ancestry, too. I have only used the app on my phone.

  104. Back up to Mr. Nielsen’s post mentioning the Gibsons…I am now reading up on the Melungeons. This well may explain a lot. The archived information may just have escaped our attention, so thanks for that! All I was ever finding on Susan Black Winchester was sketchy info and what seemed to be a brick wall. Obviously some in the past knew something of a connection…my grandfather Joseph S. Gryder’s middle name being Shepherd. Just one more connection besides Gibson. Any other explanation out there?

  105. Debra Sellmansberger, I am glad you have discovered the Melungeon connection. There is a connection. I would like to mention that I have discovered that Mariah Gibson Black was buried at Cragfont. Just not in the cemetery. She was buried in the garden in front and East of the house. You have to ask yourself why the garden?

  106. Mr. Nielson, Could you please invite me to your tree? There is no way to search for specific trees, and, try as I might, I can’t seem to trigger your tree to come up in my searches for specific people. Thank you!
    My user name is Susan Johnson. I’m surprised there is only one of me on Ancestry!

  107. Certainly, Susan. I believe I have seen your name over and over on wikitree and if I am not mistaken, by wikitree calculations, we are 5th cousins once removed. My mother has an Ancestry account. Her username is cnnnlord and the tree is American Family. I found your tree on Ancestry. It wasn’t easy. There are 10 pages of Susan Johnson’s. I found yours by doing a search for people who did a search for Winchesters in Tennessee.

  108. Diana Clark…my sister recently passed away and I have found a beautiful picture of your grandmother! I’ll scan it and add it to Ancestry this weekend! Ginger

  109. Hi all!

    My husband and son are direct descendants of Marcus B. Winchester through his daughter, Frances. We are in Memphis. We are in the process of conducting research about burial grounds, living heirs, etc. Does anyone have a list of Marcus’ living heirs?

  110. I am a direct descendant of Marcus Brutus Winchester’s sister, Louisa Orville Winchester (3rd gr grandmother). Marcus was married twice. Husband of Maria Louise Amerante Regis (Loiselle) Winchester — married about 1824 (to about 1839) [location unknown]
    Husband of Lucy Leonora (Ferguson) Winchester — married 17 Aug 1842 in Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee
    These are descendants I know of….
    Father of Laura (Winchester) Nelson, Regis Pierre Winchester, Robert Owen Winchester, Frances E Wright (Winchester) Vance, Louise Winchester, Loiselle Winchester, Valeria (Winchester) Richards, Selina Winchester and Lisida Winchester.

  111. Hi Kathy,
    I’m a descendant of Frances too. My whole family on my Mom’s side are, so there are probably hundreds of others alive now. Are you on Ancestry? That’s where many of the other researchers are! In my tree, I probably have a couple hundred people listed who descended from Frances, living and dead. Or, when you say “heirs,” are you only looking at male descendants or thinking of property inheritance? Just curious.

  112. Hi Kathy…we have several trees in process. If you’d like to send me your email address you are more than welcome to dig around. I am 3rd great granddaughter of Marcus & Amarante (Mary) through Valeria. My email is

  113. Family Search has added quite a lot about Amarante and Victorie Loiselle’s family through Victorie’s mother’s family the Beaugeneaux.

  114. Hi this is Anita Jessop again. I have not been on this for a long time. It is so very interesting to read what people have found out and researched. Especially about Susan Black’s side. Thanks for posting this info; it will be interesting to explore her side and it explains quite a lot.

  115. Good luck trying to find info on Susan. It has obviously been covered up for the past two hundred years. I started researching 3 years ago through genetic genealogy and contacting people through dna matches. I received some hints but for the most part, the history has been whitewashed. My best information comes from old records. I wish I lived in Tennessee. I would be practically living at the Tennessee State Library. Even the docents at Cragfont either don’t know the truth or assist in the coverup. For example…. Susan’s mother, Mariah Gibson Black, is buried in the garden at Cragfont, not in the cemetery. She is buried next to my 3rd great grandmother’s twin sister. My 3rd great grandmother being Louisa Winchester Rucker. Her twin, Malvena, died in infancy. It is said that Susan spent many long hours sitting in the garden by the graves. You have to ask why was Mariah buried in the garden and not the cemetery? As far as I know, the grave is no longer marked and Cragfont staff wouldn’t even acknowledge it when I asked them about it. The only way I found this out was an excerpt from a booklet written by Susan Winchester Scales, daughter of George Washington Winchester, the youngest child of Susan and James.

  116. I may have posted this before, but once again even though some of the Gryders tell me nope Joseph Shepherd Gryder was not married before Nell Edmunds. Yes he was and the marriage lic. Is registered in Arkansas to Evelyn Aileen Brogdon. They had two daughters…Margaret Faye Gryder and Barbara Gryder. Barbara went to the Tennessee adoption scandal place and adopted by a rich Chicago family. My grandmother Aileen and Joe did divorce. Have not seen the divorce papers. So, let me say we are part of this family tree. In researching back to Susan, I have to thank Mr. Nielsen. That was a brick wall. However, if anyone is not showing dna evidence from the common tests, try one called CRI. It showed Creek Indian with Peruvian, Mayan, and Mexican markers…also Gambian & Nigerian. Which markers came from Susan’s Melungeon tri-racial people? And which from Mary Winchester? This is great information.

  117. I hit enter too quickly. I am very close to finding that Creek was Amarante (Mary) Winchester’s grandmother’s heritage. Or Osage. I am planning a trip to Belleville where the birth records are housed for Fort de Chartres which is where her mother Victorie was born. Her uncle was the Indian Agent for both clans and was married to an Osage woman too. I’ve added many pictures to the Ancestry tree if you want to see how the features came down through my side of the family. Guy Francis Richards had very indigenous looking features, son of Robert Edgar & Valeria Winchester Richards. I can’t seem to paste it here but everyone is welcome to look at the tree, just send me an email address and I will send you an invitation.

  118. Hans…I have a contact there now that may be able to assist. The former caretakers are gone now and I am uncertain if they have been replaced yet. Johnnie is related as well and most interested in all of this. Will let you all know what I find.

    And yes CRI Said Creek with Mayan, Peruvian, and Mexican markers. I’ve got some other weird stuff too besides Gambian and Nigerian…. 2 types of Chinese, and 4 types of India………heard that Jamaican blacks claim some oriental hertage. We are very Caucasian and would never have guessed.

  120. Debra, invitation is on the way. Creek makes such sense, their home was named Muskogee Camp…another term for Creek’s.

  121. I have meant to mention that I did find where their “farm outside of Memphis” was…we always seem to think in great distances don’t we…it was actually Cleveland bordered by Poplar & Union, part of the land from the original plat. Also, when Amarante died in New Orleans, she was with Marcus’ sister and brother in law (Nelson’s) whom he did brokerage with between NOLA, Memphis & St. Louis. Not so sinister as we’ve all imagined. She didn’t die alone and abandoned which has always been my dread.

    On another point, after a weeks research in St. Louis, the term “mulatto” in French (which all of our family from there were) meant anyone of dark complection, hence those with Osage, Creek or any other darker skinned peoples (see: for example). We know that the French Canadian Loiselle’s married indians, the Winchesters, via the Gibsons, black and so on. Victorie was born at Fort de Chartres and those records are at the Belleville, IL library. I’ll let you all know what I find.

    Now we have DNA specified as Creek, makes so much sense that Marcus & Amarante named their home Muscogee Camp. I don’t know yet where the Osage or Blackfoot might come in, but one of Amarante’s uncles is documented as the Osage Indian Agent and was married to a member of that Nation…so the hunt goes on.

  122. My dad (Richard Clark, son of Margeret Richards, daughter of Guy Richards) and one of my brothers have been to the burial site. It’s under a mechanic shop! I lived in New Orleans for 9 years and never knew Amarante was buried there. I’m going to visit this month and I’m going to find her grave.

    Sent from my iPhone


  123. Guy Richards’ mother was one of Marcus & Amarante’s daughters, Valeria. We have been to the James Winchester home, Craigfont.

    Sent from my iPhone


  124. It’s unused now, right at the point of the curve around to the plaque.

    Diana…please be really careful when you go to NOLA, the Archdiocese couldn’t tell me where exactly her grave was, but I’d love to know. If you read back someone else went and were mugged looking for her. Stay safe and let me know how it goes. Did you got to see the pic I told you about of Aunt Margaret…so beautiful and such a dear soul!

  125. “At some undetermined date in the early 1820’s, Winchester made the marriage that wrecked his career. There exists a rumor, so far unsubstantiated, that it was this wedding that brought on the Tennessee law of August, 1822, against miscegenation which was not previously illegal in the state”. -page 342
    -Tennessee Historical Quarterly
    Vol. 21, No. 4 (DECEMBER, 1962), pp. 326-351 (26 pages)

  126. This is Debbie Sellmansberger. Before Katrina I, my husband and oldest daughter went to the St. Louis Cemetary No. 2. They do not take tours there so we went at 9 AM. After going through 2 walled blocks, we went into the 3 section also walled.
    This may be where Marie Lavou and Dominique Youx are supposed to be. A man popped out from the back area and robbed us. Do be careful!

  127. I will be careful. Many years ago , 1998, I saw Marie Louveau’s gravesite.

  128. I haven’t been there. They have photos & I am sure my dad has the address.
    My dad had his DNA tested; he is 1% Ghana/West Africa. No Native American. That probably answers the question of whether Amarante Loiselle was part American Indian or part African Americans. She’s his second great-grandmother.

  129. Ginger Hadley, yes, O-ma was gorgeous. She looked almost like a Pacific Islander if you ask me. Goes to show that looks can be deceiving. Her husband used to tease her, in the summertime, that she would have to use the back door.
    I will try to find the Guy Richards photo on Ancestry.
    The anti miscegenation law was passed in Memphis as the Civil War drew nigh, & racial hostility escalated.

  130. Yea, I didn’t get to do DC either. Hope all is well with the family!

  131. As I delve deeper into the history of Middle Tennessee I have begun to uncover things that are not part of the historical dialogue. For example, there are two names on the Cumberland Compact that bear further examination. John Gibson and William Gowen. John Gibson is closely related to Longhunter Jordan Gibson, of whom, both Marcus Brutus Winchester and I descend. The other is William Gowen, whose daughter married Longhunter, and one of the earliest settlers of French Lick, aka, Nashville, Capt. John Rains. William Gowen was a descendant of Mihill Gowen, believed to be a descendant of the first Africans in America. One of the “20 and odd negroes” who were brought to Jamestown in 1619. William Gowen, John Gibson, and Jordan Gibson were free men of color and slave owners themselves. They were accepted as neighbors when facing the constant Indian attacks and it was only after the Indian troubles were over that their race was an issue. I find it curious that the graves of these men have all been lost to history. Jordan Gibson, John Gibson, and William Gowen were all killed by Indians in the late 1780’s and early 1790’s at and around various forts of the Cumberland Settlements. There are accounts for each of them detailing the circumstances of their deaths, yet there are no accounts of where they were buried. Why is that? Why are their graves unknown? Because they couldn’t be buried in white christian graveyards.

  132. Thank you so much for sharing your research with us. I, too, am a descendant of Marcus Winchester and pass on everything to my children and my grandchildren. Please don’t stop and too bad so many other people will never know of their true ancestry. Thanks!

  133. I so agree with you Debra! I can’t wait until this mess clears up some and I can get back up to St. Louis and Belleville, IL. The documentation on Amarante Loisel is located, but I haven’t been able to get there to get my eyes on it! So frustrating! Thanks Hans for your diligence. Marcus & Amarante are my 3rd greats.

  134. Mine too!
    Margaret Richards Clark – grandmother
    Guy Richards (great)
    Valeria Winchester Richards (2x)
    Amarante Loiselle Winchester. (3x)

  135. I am from Jamaica and I am related to many of you on this site as I recognize the names from 23andme,, and MyHeritage. One of the Winchesters came to Jamaica and was born abt 1834 according to the cousin calculator on 23andme or possible on generation up born 1799. The parish is St. Catherine and married to a James Britton, a White Jamaican. Maria Loiselle was not Black, she was a Quadroon (1/4 Black) that is all European features, light tan to White complexion!
    Does anyone know of any moving to Jamaica??

  136. I haven’t found anything about any of them moving to Jamaica. Do you have the names? It looks that Amarante Loiselle was actually French/Canadian and Osage or Cherokee, but was classified as Mulatto in the censuses because they were in St. Louis and the French would have used that term for anyone of darker skin, they didn’t distinguish between African or Native American. The Winchester’s have tracked back to the Gibsons who were biracial, though we aren’t sure at which point, believe it was Gideon Gibson. If you can send me any names from the Jamaica side, I can start digging too.

  137. Diane Clark: Did you ever get a chance to look at the pictures of Aunt Margaret? Here is the link to my Ancestry page. The picture of her father, Guy Richards, will show you how dark complected his mother Valeria must have been, though I don’t have a picture of her either. Compare Guy to his father Robert Edgar Richards and you will see exactly what I mean, he looks very English. One of Victorie’s uncles was the Osage Indian Agent for the region…makes a lot more sense now.

  138. Hi! I had heard a false history of Marie Loiselle being Jamaican. Your family branch must be where that rumor originated.

  139. I’m going to try to upload a pic of a family heirloom. An cast iron trivet. I wonder if it’s Jamaican.
    Shoot, I can’t paste it in the comments.

  140. Carole Gregory…I don’t have any James Britton in the family tree, do you possibly have a first name on the Winchester?

  141. Diana Clark I couldn’t paste the picture of Margaret, that’s why I put the link to my Ancestry page.

  142. There is a Rucker from the general time period with Louisiana roots that died in Havana, Cuba. A Jamaican connection is not out of the realm of possibility.

  143. That is awful. Erased from history.
    I’m not able to find/get back into my account. So I haven’t seen the photos of Margaret Richards you posted

  144. Today’s New Orleans Advocate has a story about the Winchester’s Louisiana Plantation: “In search for Black family histories, St. James chemical plant may reveal more about past “

  145. Theresa Counce, after reading the article, I contacted Garry Winchester and asked if he would like to participate in this forum.

  146. Debbie Selolmansberger…I am definitely up for a get together. How many folks are around Memphis??

  147. I thought you might want to include him. Have you thought about setting up a Facebook group?

  148. Hans, as you may know, it was common for people from the New Orleans area to take trips to Cuba at that time.

  149. OMG, Ben is buried in the cemetery where my ancestors’ tomb is. By the way, is closed and will be for some time. For those of you who have been to NOLA, it is the one across from Commander’s Palace. The one that often appears in films, including Interview with a Vampire.

  150. There is a discussion begun by Craigfont about the Winchesters on Facebook today. One poster believes he has a photo of her grave and will get back to me on that.

  151. I am one of the posters on the Cragfont FB page. My question to them would be to ask them if Susan Black Winchester’s mother, Mariah Gibson Black is in a marked grave in the garden, buried with my 2nd great grandmother’s twin, Malvena, or if the foot high granite memorial has been removed.

  152. Hans posted it. There could be a new, more helpful person at the historic site. Name is Tonya. She seems quite helpful. I gave her the name of this group. Did not know it was a site, as I know it from e-mails. Vincent Astor jumped on the information and says he updated the FAG info. There is still no photo of her grave, so…..

  153. I friended and liked them and hope to get out of the way of the white male privilege. Ha! He means well. I think Tonya is going to be a valuable resource for y’all.

  154. Actually, look for me, Diana Clark (Conway, Arkansas) and send me a friend request so I can invite you to the group.

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