Friday, March 20, 2009

John Tyler has a LIVING Grandson!

As you all probably realize John Tyler had a LOT of children (15 by two wives) and many of these rather late in life. So if you work out the math, it isn't that surprising that Tyler still has a living grandson. Harrison Tyler, 81, the grandson of John Tyler, still resides at Tyler's plantation, Sherwood Forest. There are tours of the house by appointment even though the family still lives there. In addition, you can take a virtual tour.

If you are interested in the genealogy, here is the breakdown and some information on Harrison Tyler:
Let's back up. John Tyler was president from 1841-45. How can a guy who became president 168 years ago have a living grandson?

It helps if he's a distinguished horndog who keeps fathering children until he's 70 years old. Lyon Gardiner Tyler, his 13th child, was born in 1853, when John Tyler was 63.

Going his father one better, Lyon Tyler lived to be 81 and fathered a son at age 75, in 1928. That son was Harrison Tyler -- born 66 years after the death of his grandfather and still living today.

John Tyler was the 10th president, and Barack Obama is the 44th, so 34 presidencies have passed between John Tyler and his grandson. For that matter, President Tyler was born in 1790, when George Washington was president... so the three Tyler generations span every single president of the United States.

Harrison Tyler went to the College of William & Mary (like his grandpa) and became a chemical engineer. He still lives in Sherwood Forest Plantation and seems like a good egg. Keeping up the Tyler political tradition, he even donated $1250 to the Virginia Republican Party in 2008.And he's got a sense of humor about the family fecundity. Here he is encountering some college kids pitching woo near busts of his ancestors at William & Mary:

Shortly after the dedication of the sculptures, Tyler was returning from an alumni event at the University Center and visited the garden, which was occupied by two young couples enjoying the evening.

I said, 'That's my father, that's my grandfather, and that's my great-grandfather," he says. "And they could not be any happier about what you all are using this for."

Just a reminder that we aren't that far removed from the founding fathers! Thanks to Battlefield Biker for a tip on this one!


Purpleslog said...

I had read that he had two still living. Perhaps one died recently.

Jennie W said...

According to the genealogy at Sherwood Forest, Lyon Tyler, Jr. (Harrison Tyler's brother) is still alive. I found this piece on him: He doesn't seem as well know as Harrison (probably since it is Harrison who still lives in the family plantation). I can't find anything that says he's dead, so I'd guess he is still alive.

Terry Neu said...

There is a second Tyler grandson. O spoke with Lyon Gardiner Tyler just yesterday in Franklin, TN. He is in remarkable health for his age.