Sunday, February 13, 2000

Thomas Jefferson's family tree




BY JOHN KIESEWETTER
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Thomas Jefferson family tree, according to Sally Hemings: An American Scandal:

        • Thomas Jefferson(1743-1826): Third U.S. president and founder of the University of Virginia. His first wife, Martha Wayles Skelton, a widow when he married her, died in 1782, 18 years before his presidency. He was 39 and never remarried. • Sally Hemings (1773-1835): Half-sister of Thomas Jefferson's wife, the daughter of John Wayles and slave Betty Hemings. At 14, she accompanied Jefferson's daughter Polly (Maria) from the United States to France, where he was ambassador. Mr. Jefferson fathered all of her children. • Thomas Jefferson Hemings Woodson (1790-1879): The first-born child of Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson, conceived while she was his servant in Paris. After newspaper accounts in 1802 revealed the 12-year-old boy's resemblance to the president, he left Monticello and resided on a nearby plantation with the Woodson family, Jefferson's cousin. He took the name Woodson, moved to Chillicothe, Ohio, and later settled in a mulatto community in Jackson County, Ohio, about 30 miles southeast of Chillicothe.

        • Martha Jefferson Randolph (1772-1836): Older daughter of Thomas and Martha Jefferson, who ran Monticello while her father was in the White House. • Maria “Polly” Jefferson (1778-1804): Younger daughter of Thomas and Martha Jefferson. She died during her father's first term in the White House. • Beverly Hemings (1798-?): Slave son of Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson, a carpenter and musician who left Monticello in 1821 or 1822 for Washington, D.C., and passed into white society. He married a white woman in Maryland. • Harriet Hemings (1801-?): Slave daughter of Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson, a textile shop spinner, who left Monticello in 1821 or 1822 for Philadelphia and passed into white society. • Madison Hemings (1805-1878): Son of Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson, a musician and carpenter. Freed at age 21 in Jefferson's will (1826), he moved to nearby Charlottesville with brother Eston. Their mother joined them in 1829 or 1830. After she died in 1835, Madison's family settled near Waverly, Ohio, about 20 miles south of Chillicothe. He built the restaurant now known as the Emmitt House in Waverly. • Eston Hemings (1808-1856): Son of Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson, also a musician and carpenter. Freed at age 16 in Jefferson's will (1826), and moved to nearby Charlottesville with brother Madison. After his mother died in 1835, Eston's family moved to Chillicothe. He was a well-known professional musician who performed throughout southern Ohio and in Columbus. He moved to Wisconsin in 1852. He was buried as Eston H. Jefferson, a relative of Thomas Jefferson. — John Kiesewetter

        John Kiesewetter is Enquirer TV/radio critic. Write him at 312 Elm St., Cincinnati, 45202.