Marie Catherine Laveau was the child of a mulatto man and a multiracial woman, Marie Laveau was a free woman of color of African, Native American, and French descent. Laveau's only two children to survive into adulthood were daughters. The elder named Marie Eucharist Eloise Laveau (1827–1862); the second daughter was named Marie Philomene Glapion (1836–1897). Following the reported death of her husband, she entered a domestic partnership with Christophe Dominick Duminy de Glapion, a nobleman of French descent, with whom she lived until his death in 1855. They were reported to have had 15 children (it is unclear if that includes children and grandchildren). They had seven children according to birth and baptismal records, they were François-Auguste Glapion, Marie-Louise "Caroline" Glapion, Marie-Angelie Paris, Celestin Albert Glapion, Arcange Glapion, Felicite Paris, Marie-Philomene Glapion, and Marie-Heloise Eucharist Glapion.
She was a dedicated practitioner of Voodoo, as well as a healer and herbalist. "Laveau was said to have traveled the streets like she owned them" said one New Orleans boy who attended an event at St. John's. Her daughter, Marie Laveau II displayed more theatrical rubrics by holding public events (including inviting attendees to St. John's Eve rituals on Bayou St. John). It is not known which (if either) had done more to establish the voodoo queen reputation.
Laveau's name and her history have been surrounded by legend and lore. She is generally believed to have been buried in plot 347, the Glapion family crypt in Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1, New Orleans, but this has been disputed by Robert Tallant, a journalist who used her as a character in historical novels. Tourists continue to visit and some draw X marks in accordance with a decades-old tradition that if people wanted Laveau to grant them a wish, they had to draw an X on the tomb, turn around three times, knock on the tomb, yell out their wish, and if it was granted, come back, circle their X, and leave Laveau an offering.