Welcome to Marsalis Ancestry

This site is dedicated to Marsalis ancestry, and specifically decendants of Peter H. Marsalis (d. Amite County Mississippi) who are spread out across the Southern U.S.

Three of those southern decendants created this website with two distinct purposes in mind. The first is informational. We wish to share our heritage and also preserve it. Which leads us to our second purpose which is to restore and preserve the Marsalis family cemetery where Peter H. and his relatives are buried. Please read more about our Restoration Project.

The cemetery is in poor condition and it should be restored and preserved. Two of Peter’s decendants have collected and revised two manuscripts for reprint. It is our hope to generate enough revenues from the sale of this new book to restore the Marsalis Cemetery.


Update on Cemetery Restoration Project

peter-hutchins-marsalisRestoration of the Marsalis cemetery is very close to being completed. In August of this year, we hired the Brookhaven Monument Company, Inc. to place stones on the graves of Peter Hutchins Marsalis, Mary Magdaline Gordon Marsalis, John Henry Marsalis, Mary Marsalis, Phoebe Marsalis Dickey and Robert Brown Dickey, which was completed on October 30th (Pictures attached). This was made possible by several generous donations from family members.

Wicker Engineering & Surveying Services, Inc., who did the original survey, will be updating the survey to include three of these names which we did not have at the time of the survey.

We have two more projects to bring the restoration to a total and final conclusion. We need to have a brick mason rebuild the two small brick vaults of the children John Henry and Mary Marsalis at a cost of approximately $1400.00, when funds are available. We also need to place some kind of very inexpensive marker on the remaining graves identifying the buried ancestor in each as “Unknown”. These graves were located and are shown on the survey,

It would be good if these two last things could be accomplished before we set a date for the dedication service.

Mayor of Ripley, Mississippi

chris-marsalisIt’s not every day that one of the Marsalis “clan” not only enters the field of politics but wins his first time out.  Chris Marsalis was elected mayor of Ripley , Mississippi in March of 2012.  He was raised in Vicksburg, Mississippi and after graduation he entered the University of Mississippi in Ripley, MS where he graduated with a B.A. degree in Education.  He settled in Ripley and taught physics, biology, and technology at Ripley High School for six years.  He left the teaching field to enter into communications with Dixie-Net as a partner in their management team and continued there for fourteen years.  During that time he established and owns Marbiz Corp which is involved in outdoor furniture manufacturing and technical services consulting.  Some of his furniture was shown in the August 2010 edition of Better Homes & Gardens.

Chris is married and has three children and two grandchildren.  He is past president of the Ripley Rotary Club, past chairman of Ripley’s Historic Preservation Commission, past chairman of Ripley’s Zoning Board, and current board member of Koons Care, Inc. and Tippah County Good Samaritan Center, Inc.  He is also a current lay leader of Ripley First United Methodist Church.

Chris and his dad were the first volunteers at the Marsalis Cemetery.  They arrived with chain saws, axes, and weed killer.  Wielding the chain saw, Chris attacked the over-grown wooded area that the cemetery had become and made a substantial dent in the existing tangle.  The cemetery project would not be where it is today without the initial work of Chris and his dad.

Chris’ lineage is as follows:

John Christopher Marsalis     4 July 1966 –
Richard Lynn Marsalis     27 December 1940 –
Luther Calvin Marsalis, Jr.     25 December 1916 – 29 July 1972
Luther Calvin Marsalis     19 January 1888 – 29 July 1957
Ephraim Ezra Marsalis     8 January 1855 – 23 February 1947
James Enoch Marsalis     14 February 1828 – 27 July 1915
Ephraim Marsalis    21 October 1807 – 19 December 1883
Peter Hutchins Marsalis     1774 – July 1846

Michael Davidson Scottish-trained Master Stone Mason

During February of this year my cousin, Tommy Wixon, and I began looking for a brick mason to rebuild two of the four brick vaults within the Marsalis Cemetery.  Since we weren’t very successful, Tommy contacted the Mississippi Department of Archives and History in Jackson, Mississippi for possible suggestions.  They provided us with the name of Michael Davidson who turns out to be a Scottish-trained master brick mason conservator.  After visiting the cemetery he agreed to do the work.  He not only rebuilt two of the vaults but also repaired the broken tombstones and reset them at the proper graves.  Pictures of his work are attached.  Visitors to the cemetery have been very impressed with the work as have we.  I would personally recommend Michael to anyone interested in historical preservation and restoration.

Several examples of Michael’s prior work are as follows:
1.  Renovation projects at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France.
2.  Cathedral of St. John the Devine in New York City.
3.  Salem Witch Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.

Michael’s contact information is as follows:
Address:  P.O. Box 873
Eupora, MS
Telephone:  1-662-552-0084


Marsalis DNA Sites

The new Marsalis DNA project is underway. Pass the word to any MALE with the last nmae of Marsalis or a variant spelled version. Details will be available at http://www.worldfamilies.net/surnames/Marsalis// and http://www.familytreedna.com/public/Marsalis/default.aspx Bill is already signed up for a 65 marker test (HOORAY!!) and Mike for a 37 + mother’s . Even if you don’t choose to participate you can watch the results and read the pedigrees and patriarchs posted.. You can also learn a lot at the two sites. If you do test at anytime be sure you do it through “Marsalis” at Family Tree. They will give you a discounted price and automatically enter you in the Marsalis page (or at least I will). Also once we are really up and running be sure to give your line of descent by the guidelines listed or email me and I will do it. I volunteered to be the administrator. Incidentally there is a great price through the 24 th.

More info from letters

When I first started researching Marsalis genealogy Tempe Fenn Crosby sent me a copy of a letter written in 1958 by May Fredricks Toney an early researcher and the daughter of Letha Ann Marsalis Fredricks daughter of James E. Marsalis (1821-1882)and a granddaughter of Peter H. and Mary Magdalene Gordon Marsalis. In part it says: “On Grandma Marsalis’ place (Amite, MS) there was a shed where dry oak bark was stacked high to be used for starting fires in the fireplaces. One morning ‘Grandma Marsalis’ went out before day light to get bark. She told mama: ‘The stars were falling!’ What a mystery that was to me as a child and heard mama tell about what ‘Grandma Marsalis’ told (saw). Since I grew up I have read that our earth passed through the tail of a comet about the year 1833. I am sure this was the time that ‘Grandma Marsalis’ believed that the stars were falling.” Mary Magdalene (Polly) Gordon Marsalis lived from 1784 to 1862. ……………………… Quote: The first report of a Leonids meteor storm was in 902 AD by Chinese astronomers who reported “Stars fell like rain”……. In more modern times Displays have been seen in 1799, 1833, 1866, 1966. The 1799 Storm was observed from Europe and South America. The storm vanished in the following years but gained strength again in 1831, 1832 and 1833. Between Nov12-13 1832 huge storms were observed …. An observer in Boston estimated a rate of 9000 meteors in 15 minutes! There was more to come however. In 1833, the following year, there would be another storm, probably the most dramatic ever seen. Huge displays were seen above the USA. Accounts from the time report that people fainted believing that the world was ending and dawn would bring the start of doomsday….


A couple years ago I registered the domain marsalis.us with the intention of doing something like this website. So thanks Allen for getting it done! I redirected marsalis.us to this site this afternoon.