Leslie descends from a southern belle mother with German and Scots Irish ancestry and a father whose paternal ancestry goes back directly to Holland for many generations on the male line. Her paternal grandmother gives her wonderful New England and early colonial roots primarily in CT and MA, her ancestors having arrived in America beginning with the Mayflower, through the Great Migration and into the mid-19th century - a virtual genealogical alphabet soup. Each of these categories contains multiple soldiers and individuals who served in many public service roles. And there are plenty of farmers too! She and her husband, Jonathan B. Richards II, are the parents of a total of six children between them and she is the grandmother of one little boy in Maine, likely to be her only grandchild. She has two children, one an Information Technology professional and the other a physician. Mrs. Richards has joined her husband in his passion for antique automobiles, helping him and his cohorts with researching the history and whereabouts of famous and interesting Cord automobiles, as well as others. She is also currently writing a catalogue raisonne on late 19th and early 20th century Rhode Island artist Walter Sherwood whose works she and her husband collect. She continues her research and collecting of Dutch (Makkum) pottery produced by potter Gerrit Wykstra in partnership with her great great Uncle Theake van der Meulen in NY and later in Michigan until Wykstra's death in 1949. In between times Leslie continues to research her own and her husband's family history, finding her step-children and husband have more Mayflower passengers in their trees than she does, but always delighted when she discovers the cousinships they all share in New England.
Leslie Vander Meulen Richards was born in St. Louis but has no Missouri roots, her parents, Ralph Folkert Vander Meulen and Sally Jo Kilgore, having moved there shortly after World War II for her father’s career.
Richards is presently the administrative manager for a nationwide answering service/call center company in St. Louis. She is the owner/president Alexis Antiques, Inc., an international mail order specialist in Wedgwood English ceramics, includes a subsidiary marketing ceramic college wares. Former National Account Manager and Regional Business Manager for nationwide computer service corporation, and Branch administration manager and sales account manager in its earlier parent company providing hardware/ software/ maintenance sales. Before marriage and children, she worked in hospital administration, developing and implementing admission and scheduling computerization procedures and supervisory positions in the admissions department.
- National Gavel Society (Life Member)
- Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Missouri (Past State Governor; Past Deputy Governor General)
- National Society of New England Women (Colony Registrar, Past Colony President; National Committee Chairman, past National Chairman 100th Anniversary Celebration, past Director General, past Chaplain General, past Organizing Secretary General, past 3rd and 1st Vice President General, President General 2005-2008 and Honorary President General for life. Chairman 125th anniversary 2020 committee)
- Colonial Daughters of the Seventeenth Century (Missouri Chapter Number One Past Recording Secretary, current Registrar and President. Past Organizing Secretary General; past 2nd VPG & National Chairman; President General 2015-2018 and Honorary President General for Life)
- National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (Past Chapter chairman, director, officer and Regent; past State Chairman; past National Vice-Chairman)
- National Society Children of the American Revolution (Past Sr. State officer; Honorary Senior State President; past Senior National Vice President, Great Plains Region, Mrs. Niebell's administration 1990-92)
- Warren Cousins (Life Member; Founding National Secretary)
- The National Society, Magna Charta Dames and Barons (Life Member; MO Division, past Division Officer and Regent; Past National Herald; current National Vice-President)
- Daughters of the American Colonists (Past Chapter officer, chairman and Regent; Past State Chairman, Past National Sectional Vice-Chairman)
- National Society Daughters of the Union 1861-1865 (Organizing Treasurer, DeWitt Clinton Jones Chapter; Chapter Regent; National Society Past Director General, Membership)
- Daughters of Colonial Wars (National Parliamentarian, National Chairman; Missouri State President and past state officer)
- United Daughters of the Confederacy (past Chapter Registrar, Finance & ByLaws Committee; past Division Chairman)
- St. Louis Confederate Monument Association (Secretary)
- National Society Dames of the Court of Honor (Missouri Society, Trustee, Vice President; National Chairman - Missouri Society, Vice President; Past National Chairman)
- National Society United States Daughters of 1812 (St. Louis Pioneer Chapter Registrar and Past Chapter Historian; past State Chairman and Registrar; current State Vice President)
- Continental Society Daughters of Indian Wars (Honorary State Governor - National Chairman, Scholarships; Missouri State Governor)
- Sovereign Colonial Society Americans of Royal Descent (Life Member)
- Most Noble Order of the Garter (Life Member)
- Dutch Colonial Society (Life Member, former Patroon; National Secretary; National Vice-President)
- Daughters of the Union Veterans of the Civil War, 1861-1865 (Department of Minnesota)
- Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic (Litchfield, MN, Frank Daggett Circle #105)
- The National Society Colonial Dames of America (State of Missouri - Past State Chairman Historic Properties; past State Registrar)
- Daughters of the British Empire (Lord Mountbatten Chapter - Past Chapter Recording Secretary & Vice-Regent; Past National Bylaws committee)
- Women Descendants of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company (MO Court reorganizing President, parliamentarian national, Editor, The Broadside)
- National Society Southern Dames of America (East TX Society)
Genealogy & Historical Associations
- Ancient Burying Ground Association, Inc.
- Bolduc House Museum Friends, Ste. Genevieve, MO
- Brecksville (OH) Historical Assn., Inc.
- Committee for the Commemoration of the Battle of Ft. San Carlos, MO, Vice President
- Dunkirk (NY) Historical Society and Museum, Life Member
- Genealogical Society of Whitley Co., IN
- National Genealogical Society
- Harrisonburg - Rockingham County (VA) Historical Society