John Tyler’s Grandsons

A friend on facebook posted a status with this trivia, which I thought it would be cool to repost here. I've checked it out in enough media outlets to believe in the validity of the information. I'm not going to cite from any one source in particular, but will just recount the facts.

President John Tyler, who lived from 1790-1862, has two living grandsons. Not great-grandsons. Not great-great grandsons. Grandsons. "What?" you exclaim. "Madness! How can that be?" Well, my friends, when a man and a woman love each other very much, and he's a septuagenarian and she's a child-bride, all things are possible.

John Tyler might look like an old coot, but he was a major player.
Tyler_Daguerreotype_crop_(restoration)
He had the most legitimate children of any U.S. President (fifteen, to be precise). He had eight with his first wife, but when they were both 52, she died of a stroke. He married again shortly thereafter, this time to a woman 30 years his junior. They rapidly had seven children of their own. The last three children he had with his second wife were born when he was 63, 66 and 70, respectively. His youngest child was only 2 years old when he died.

The son he had had when he was 63, Lyon Gardiner Tyler, did the same thing as his father–he had three children by his first wife, and upon her death he married a woman 36 years his junior, this time having three more children. One was fathered when he was 71, and another when he was 73. Much like his father, he died before he could see his youngest children grow up.

They were born almost 140 years after their grandfather. To put this in perspective, I was born 62 years after my oldest grandparent, and 49 years after my youngest.

These youngest boys, Lyon Gardiner Jr. and Harrison Ruffin Tyler are still living, at 88 and 84 years old, respectively. To my knowledge, neither has perpetuated this cycle of remarrying late in life.

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