She was the daughter of Ross Winans and Julia De kay. She married George William Whistler and had five children: Julia de Kay b. 1855); Thomas Delano (b. 1857); Ross Winans (b. 1858); Neva (1860-1907); Joseph Swift (1865-1905).
She lived for long periods of time in Russia and Germany. In 1872, three years after the death of her husband, she returned to Baltimore, MD. Her brother, Thomas De Kay Winans, there presented her with a new house. She inherited a number of Whistler paintings including Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room (YMSM 34), The Coast of Brittany (YMSM 37), and Symphony in White, No. I: The White Girl (YMSM 38).
Luckett, Margie H., Maryland Women, Baltimore, 1931, pp. 431-32.