In response to a message in this forum that "Aristide Hamelin, the first son of Felix, had marriage problems that ended in divorce due to religious differences."
I am a descendant of Aristide Hamelin and his first wife Amante Gaines. From talking with my father, Marion Toulmin Gaines III, over the last years of his life (he died in 2010) and reading family letters he saved, I learned that Amante and Aristide's divorce had nothing to do with religious differences. It was generally known by my family, but hardly discussed, that while Amante was pregnant with her second child, Marion Toulmin Hamelin (my great grandfather), Aristide was caught "having an affair" with another woman. One family letter says the woman was the "nanny" for the first-born child, Edmund.
During this time, Aristide was living with Amante in her parents' house and when his infidelity was discovered, he was forced to leave the home. Some time later, Aristide sent a note to Amante begging her to speak to him and join him. Amante, who had cried for days after the "discovery," wanted to speak to him. But she was a mere 19 or 20 years old and her parents overrode her decisions. They would not let her have anything to do with Aristide. Amante's parents adopted and raised the two sons and their names were changed to Edmund Pendleton Gaines and Marion Toulmin Gaines. Amante later married Judge Oliver Semmes, son of Raphael Semmes. They had several children.
Aristide later married Emma Wurzlow and moved to Galveston, Texas where he and Emma raised a family.
Marion Toulmin (called "Toulmin") Gaines became a dermatologist in Mobile and one day a man came to his waiting room and introduced himself. He was Aristide Hamelin, Toulmin's father. Toulmin remembered that the brief meeting ended with Aristide asking for money. Toulmin gave him some money and never saw his father again. Toulmin's half-brother, also named Aristide Hamelin, is said to have made a similar visit, also asking for money.
When young, the two boys knew their Aunt Marie, Aristide's sister who lived in Mobile. They often visited her.Aunt Marie said that "Toulmin" looked just like Aristide.
This message, I hope, will replace talk of "religious differences" for the cause of the divorce with the rather ugly truth of why the two parted ways.