Andrew Durnford was born around 1800 in New Orleans LA, the son of Thomas Durnford (1st cousin to Elias Durnford, Jr.) and Roselind Mercer, a "free women of colour". It is not known if Thomas & Roselind were married. He married Marie Charlotte Remy who was also free. He became a planter in 1828 by purchasing land on the Mississippi and building or purchasing a plantation called St. Rosalie; he also inherited land from his mother. He also purchased 14 slaves to run the plantation.