If I'm thinking of presidents who have living family members, I'm probably going to start with the more recent ones.
From Chelsea Clinton to Jenna and Barbara Bush, presidential descendants are actually still in the news and making history of their own. But once you go back past the 1930s or 1940s at the earliest, I would have assumed that the relationship with any descendants of the president became more distant. As usual, I would be completely and totally wrong.
There are two people still alive today whose grandfather was the President of the United States, and he was born before we even hit the 1800s. How? Check it out.
John Tyler was our 10th president, and he was born in 1790. He took office in 1841 after the death of William Henry Harrison, and he had 15 children. He lived to be 71 years old, which was fairly old for the time.
One of Tyler's children, Lyon Gardiner Tyler, was born in 1853 and fathered two children in the 1920s when he was more than 70 years old himself. Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. was born in 1924, and Harrison Ruffin Tyler was born in 1928, and they're both still alive today.
To put that another way, Matt Smethurst on Twitter put all of this in historical context, and it's kind of mind-blowing.
John Tyler, America’s tenth president, was born in 1790. He has two living grandchildren.— Matt Smethurst (@MattSmethurst) January 10, 2018
Yes, grandchildren. pic.twitter.com/ZHrXrEBJr1
1. John Tyler was 63 when his son Lyon was born (1853).— Matt Smethurst (@MattSmethurst) January 10, 2018
2. Lyon was 71 when Lyon Jr. was born (1924), and 75 when Harrison was born (1928).
3. Both sons are still alive.
Another way to think about this: There are people who could look at you today, in 2018, and say: “Yeah, my dad was 8 years old when the war started.”— Matt Smethurst (@MattSmethurst) January 10, 2018
“World War 2?”
“Oh wow, World War 1?”
“The Civil War.”
That's right. Their father was born before the Civil War. I'll just let you sit with that a moment.
(via Huffington Post)