Fun with Genealogy: U.S. President John Tyler, Born in 1790, Has Two Living Grandsons

Ah, the joys of genealogy – where a little digging into one’s past can uncover a previously unknown but prominent relation or simply go a long way toward explaining quirks that seem to run in the family.

Take, for example, John Tyler. the 10th president of the United States, born in 1790 – 222 years ago. His TWO grandsons are still alive today.

Tyler was vice-president of the U.S. under President William Henry Harrison, who is notable for having both the longest inaugural address in history (more than 2 hours) and shortest time in office (he died 32 days into his presidency). Tyler ascended to the president’s chair in April of 1841 (the first vice-president to do), though he’s generally considered among historians to be one of the least effective/consequential men to hold the position.

Evidently, Tyler was more prolific in the bedroom than he was in the Oval Office.  He holds the record for most children by an American president, with 15, and was also the first president to marry while in office.

After the death of his first wife, Tyler married Julia Gardiner in 1844, and their fifth child, born in 1853 (when Tyler was 63), was named Lyon Gardiner Tyler.

The younger Tyler also married twice and had six children. As well, he apparently inherited his father’s penchant for producing offspring at an advanced age, as two of his sons were born when Lyon Tyler was in his 70s.

Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. was born in 1924, when Lyon Tyler was 71. Harrison Ruffin Tyler was born in 1928, when Lyon Tyler was 75. These two men, who are the grandsons of President John Tyler, are still alive today. Harrison, according to, a website that chronicles John Tyler’s life and family, presides over the upkeep of the Tyler family’s historic house.

As far as President John Tyler goes, his story doesn’t end happily. Along with being dismissed as a presidential dud, he joined the South during the Civil War and even served in the Confederate House of Representatives. As a result, his death is the only one of all U.S. presidents not to be formally mourned by Washington.

BONUS Presidential genealogy courtesy of

The oldest living presidential child is John Eisenhower, who served as U.S. ambassador to Belgium from 1969 to 1971. He turns 90 this year.

The oldest living grandchild of a former U.S. president is James Garfield’s granddaughter, 99-year-old Jane Garfield. James Garfield served as 20th president of the United States until 1881, when he was assassinated.

-Mike Crisolago