Saturday, January 7, 2012

Presidential Genealogy

Kind of a side bar to this hobby that I started is to look up the graves of the Presidents family members. Particularly their parents. I can trace this interest back to when we made a trip down to Columbus one Sunday in early Spring 2010. We had to go shopping for baby clothes since my wife was pregnant with our son Nicholas. She said to look up and see if there are any historical sites that I would want to see while we were down there. So I looked into it. Among other things I decided to visit the largest cemetery in Columbus- Greenlawn. I had been kicking around the idea of looking up Ohio's Governors. Greenlawn Cemetery was the final resting place of 5 of them. So I thought it would be a good start if that were something that I wanted to persue in the future.

When we got to the cemetery we went up to the front desk to get a map. As we looked at the list of famous people buried in Greenlawn, I was pleased to discover that there were 2 sets of Presidential Grandparents buried there. Rev. Thomas Woodrow, grandfather of President Thomas Woodrow Wilson, and Samuel P. Bush, grandfather of President George H. W. Bush. Along with the Governors, we also found the Presidential Grandparents. After this I started to make a deliberate effort when planning a trip to see if the Presidents parents, grandparents or other family members are buried nearby. And if there is time I try to visit them.

I guess that the best place to start is with the earliest Presidential family members and work my way to the most current.

1. George Washington

   At George Washington Birthplace National Monument you will find the Washington family cemetery, where Washington's paternal ancestors are buried. His Father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather are all buried here.

    George Washington's Father Augustine Washington's gravesite

     George Washington's Grandfather Lawrence Washington's gravesite

  George Washington's Great Grandfather John Washington's gravesite

    Me at John Washington's gravesite

    George Washington's Mother Mary's gravesite is marked by this large obelisk in Fredericksburg, VA

     At Mary Washington's tomb

2. John Adams

Henry Adams was the first Adams (of John Adams family) to live in America. His decendents includes Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, and also Signer of the Declaration of Independence Samuel Adams. He is buried in Hancock Cemetery in Quincy, MA. Just across the street from the church where John and John Quincy Adams are buried

This is the gravesite of John Adams' parents. In Hancock Cemetery in Quincy, MA.

3. Thomas Jefferson

Gravesite of Jane Randolph Jefferson. Mother of Thomas Jefferson. She is buried just a few feet away from her son in the Jefferson family cemetery at Monticello. Charlottesville, VA

4. James Madison

Naturally, many members of James Madison's family are buried in the Madison family cemetery at his Montpelier home.

James Madison's parents, James and Elenor are buried in unmarked graves next to the large monument to the President. right around where my cousin is standing over there.

6. John Quincy Adams

Col. John Quincy was the Grandfather of Abigail Adams, making him the Great Grandfather and namesake of John Quincy Adams. The town Quincy, MA is also named after him.

7. Andrew Jackson

Old Waxhaw Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Lancaster, South Carolina is the final resting place of Andrew Jackson's parents. Above is the tombstone for his Father, Andrew Jackson Sr., who died a few months before the future President was born.

Memorial to Jackson's mother Elizabeth who is buried in this cemetery. But the exact spot is lost to time. The military markers on either side bare the names of Robert and Hugh Jackson. Her sons, Andrews brothers, who died during the Revolution. Robert and Hugh aren't actually buried here. These are memorials placed here in their honor. Elizabeth also died during the Revolution, leaving Andrew an orphan as a teenager.

Several members of Andrew Jacksons family are buried near him at The Hermitage, Nashville,
TN. Last time we were there many of the gravestones were covered with these boxes. This is the one for Andrew Jackson Jr.

8. Martin Van Buren

Gravesite of Jan Martense Van Alystyne. 2X Great Grandfather of  Martin Van Buren. And also my 8X Great Grandfather. Making President Van Buren and I 3rd cousins 6X removed. Kinderhook Cemetery Kinderhook, New York

Martin Van Buren's parents Abraham and Mary are buried next to his gravesite in Kinderhook, NY

Only one of four of President Van Buren sons are buried next to him in Kinderhook, NY. Here is the individual marker for Martin Van Buren Jr.

9. William Henry Harrison

My wife and I at the gravesite of Benjamin Harrison V, Signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was the father of President William Henry Harrison and the Great Grandfather of President Benjamin Harrison. Berkeley Plantation, Charles City County, VA

As the historical marker says, many members of the Harrison family are buried in Congress Green Cemetery in North Bend, Ohio. This cemetery is just a short walk up the road from the Harrison Tomb.

John Cleves Symmes first settled this area. He was the father in law of William Henry Harrison. I put more pictures of Symmes gravesite farther down the page under Benjamin Harrison, since he is Benjamin Harrison's great grandfather.

The Symmes Harrison grave plot at Congress Green. To much family to post a picture of each one, so I will select a few close relatives.

The taller stone is the gravesite of Elizabeth Bassett Harrison Short. (1796-1846) Daughter of William Henry Harrison. The one of the right of hers is that of her Grandfather John Cleves Symmes

These 3 stones belonged to 3 sons of William Henry Harrison who all died as young men, all outlived by their father. On the left Dr. Benjamin Harrison (1806-1840), middle William Henry Harrison Jr. (1802-1838) and on the right Carter Bassett Harrison (1811-1839)

Gravesite of Anna Tuthill Harrison Taylor (1813-1865), daughter of WH Harrison

10. John Tyler

Greenway is the birthplace of President John Tyler and home to his father John Tyler. As mentioned above the elder John Tyler was Governor of Virginia, also he is buried somewhere on the property which is private property, so this is as close as you can get.

The Tylers Greenway home where the Presidents father is buried.

Several of President John Tylers family members are buried near him in Richmond, VA 's Hollywood Cemetery. This is the gravesite of his daughter Pearl.

11. James K. Polk

Presidents James K. Polk's parents Samuel and Jane Knox Polk. Columbia, TN. Not far from the Polk Ancestral Home historical site. There are many members of the Polk family are buried here.

Jane Knox Polk gravesite. The Presidents mother. She is one of 3 Presidential mothers to outlive their President sons.

Gravesite of William Polk. The Preidents brother. Near his parents grave

12. Zachary Taylor

Grave of Richard Taylor. Zachary Taylor's father. Zachary Taylor National Cemetery Louisville, KY. Zachary Taylor was buried in his family cemetery near his family home. Over the years the house and cemetery has been seperated. The house is private property and the cemetery is now a National Cemetery.

13. Millard Fillmore

Gravesite of Nathaniel Fillmore father of Millard Fillmore East Aurora, NY

Millard's mother Phoebe Fillmore's gravesite

Fillmore's parents and I

14. Franklin Pierce

Just down the road from the Pierce Homestead in Hillsbourogh, NH is the Pierce family gravesite where President Pierce's parents and a brother is buried.

Gravesite of Benjamin and Elizabeth Pierce, Franklin's parents. Benjamin was a Revolutionary War veteran and Governor of New Hampshire.

Franklin's brother Henry and his wife Susan in Hillsborough, NH

16. Abraham Lincoln

Grave of Lincoln's mother Nancy Hanks Lincoln. Pioneer Cemetery at Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial Lincoln City, Indiana. 

Grave of Lincoln's sister Sarah and her husband Aaron Grisby. Lincoln City, Indiana

Gravesite of Mary Todd Lincoln's family, Abraham Lincoln's in laws. The flat looking stone to the right of the big 'Todd' marker is the personal gravestone of Robert S. Todd. Abraham Lincoln's father in law.

Gravesite of Robert Todd Lincoln. President Abraham Lincoln's oldest son. He is also Lincoln's only son to live to adulthood. Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA

17. Andrew Johnson

All 3 of Andrew Johnsons sons died young, and are buried just feet away from there parents. Here are 2 of them. Charles was thrown from his horse and was killed during the Civil War. Robert survived the war but struggled with alcoholism. Which resulted in his suicide. Andrew Johnson National Cemetery Greeneville, TN

Andrew Jackson Jr. is Johnsons only son to out live him. But only by about 4 years. Andrew Johnson National Cemetery Greeneville, TN.

18. Ulysses S. Grant

Gravesite of John and Sarah Simpson. Maternal grandparents of President Grant. Bethel, Ohio

There are several other members of the Simpson side of Grant's family buried here to.

Gravesite of President Ulysses S. Grant's parents Jesse and Hannah Grant. Spring Grove Cemetery Cincinatti, Ohio. September 2011

Jesse and Hannah Grants gravesite on a return trip in November 2018

My kids and I return on a bright morning in November 2018

This is the gravesite of Frederick Dent, father in law to Ulysses S. Grant. He was a slave owner, and Grants father was an abolitionist, which kept things interesting I'm sure. The stone makes mention that he died in the Executive Mansion (White House). Calvary Cemetery St. Louis, MO.

19. Rutherford B. Hayes

Gravesite of President Rutherford B. Hayes' parents Rutherford and Sophia Hayes. Hayes' Dad died before he was born. They are buried in Delaware, Ohio not far from Hayes' birthplace marker, which now sites at a BP gas station.




A more recent marker at the Hayes parents gravesite

Since President Hayes' father died before he was born, his Uncle Sardis Birchard assumed the role of father figure. It was Uncle Sardis who built the red brick house at Spiegel Grove in hopes the Hayes and his family would come live with him there. Which they would eventually do. 

  Hayes Uncle Sardis and I. Oakwood Cemetery Fremont, Ohio

Also in Oakwood Cemetery is the Hayes family gravesite. Some of the Presidents kids and Grandkids are buried here. So was the President and First Lady until they were moved to Spiegel Grove around 1915.

20. James A. Garfield

Gravesite of President James A. Garfield's parents. They are buried just a few miles from the Garfield birthplace marker. Near Cleveland, OH.

21. Chester A. Arthur

President Arthur is surrounded by several family members at his gravesite in Albany Rural Cemetery in Albany, NY.The 4 stones to the upper right are his parents, sister and brother in law. Front and center is the grave of his son and grandson Chester Arthur II and Chester Arthur III.

22. and 24. Grover Cleveland

Surrounding Grover Clevelands gravesite in Princeton, NJ are the graves of several family membered. This is the grave of his daughter "Baby Ruth" Cleveland. She was the inspiration for naming the Baby Ruth candy bar. She sadly only lived to be 12 years old.

This is the grave of Oscar Folsom, Law partner to Grover Cleveland. And eventually, his father in law. Even though Cleveland is a little older then Folsom. Folsom died young, and Cleveland looked after his family. When Folsoms daughter Francis grew up, Grover married her in the White House.

23. Benjamin Harrison

As mentioned above under WH Harrison. John Cleves Symmes was the father in law of WH Harrison and Great Grandfather of Benjamin Harrison

Gravesite of John Cleves Symmes

Harrison Symmes family gravesite North Bend, Ohio

Benjamin Harrison's grandparents

John Scott Harrison is the only man in history to be the son of one President and the father of another. Unfortunatly he died about 10 years before he could realize his significant spot in history. He was the son of William Henry Harrison and the father of Benjamin Harrison. He is buried in the large William Henry Harrison Tomb in North Bend, OH next to his parents.

He was originally buried in a cemetery across the street from the Tomb with other family members. Graverobbing was a serious problem back then. After J. S. Harrison was originally buried his elder son went to help find the body from another graverobbery. Much to his horror, he found his father hanging up at a local college like a cow ready to be butchered. He didn't even realize until them that his fathers grave had been robbed. J. S. Harrison was later buried in the Tomb to avoid any further graverobbing.

Updated picture of John Scott Harrison's gravesite next to his parents in the Harrison Tomb.

Gravesite of Elizabeth Ramsey Irwin Harrison. Mother of President Benjamin Harrison. North Bend, Ohio

At the gravesite of Ben Harrison's mother

James Irwin Harrison. infant little brother of Benjamin Harrison

Buried directly behind Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis is his daughter Mary Harrison McKee and her husband. The Presidents only son Russell is also buried there with his parents.

25. William McKinley

In the cemetery next to the McKinley Memorial in Canton, OH, is the final resting place of the rest of the McKinley family, his parents and siblings.

Gravesite of James and Mary McKinley in South Bend, IN. Grandparents of President William McKinley

At the gravesite of McKinley's grandparents

Saxton family gravesite. Family of First Lady Ida Saxton McKinley. William McKinley's in laws. Canton, Ohio

26. Theodore Roosevelt

This is the final resting place of Theodore Roosevelt's parents and first wife Alice. There are also many other Roosevelts in this area. His first wife and mother died on the same day. Greenlawn Cemetery Brooklyn, NY

My kids and I with the hard to read Roosevelt gravestones.

A ways behind Theodore Roosevelts gravesite at Youngs Memorial Cemetery in Oyster Bay is the gravesite of his daughter Ethel and son in law Richard Derby.

Not far from TR's daughter Ethel is this marker. It is the gravesite of TR's daughter in law Eleanor. Her husband Theodore Roosevelt Jr. died in France after the Normandy invasion and was buried there. So it is a cenotaph to TR Jr and gravestone to his wife.

There are several members of Theodore Roosevelts family buried near him at Youngs Memorial Cemetery in Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York. But of his 4 sons, only one, Archibald "Archie" is buried here. This is my nephew Chris at the gravesite of Archie Roosevelt in 2012

Me at the gravesite of U. S. Speaker of the House Nicholas Longworth. Longworth was married to Alice Roosevelt. Which makes him the son in law of President Theodore Roosevelt. Spring Grove Cemetery Cincinatti, OH. September 2011

Speaker Nicholas Longworth gravesite. son in law of Theodore Roosevelt

Nick and I at Longworth's gravesite

27. William Howard Taft

Alphonso Taft was the father of President William Howard Taft. Spring Grove Cemetery Cincinatti, OH. Alphonzo Taft  also served as Secretary of War and Attorney General under Ulysses S. Grant.

Alphonso was married twice. He had 5 children with each wife. Sadly many of them died as infants and are buried here.

President Taft's grandparents Peter Rawson Taft and Sylvia Howard Taft are buried near his parents.

Headstone marking 3 infant siblings of President Taft

My wife, boys and I at the Taft family gravesite in  Spring Grove Cemetery Cincinatti, Ohio

Individual markers for the Presidents mother Louisa, his father Alphonso, Alphonso's first wife Fanny, and the Presidents brother Peter.

It was by pure chance that I passed this gravesite as we were leaving Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinatti. I saw the name 'Taft' and had to investigate. As it turns out this is the gravesite of Charles Phelps Taft II. Son of President William Howard Taft. September 2011

Return trip to the gravesite of Charles Phelps Taft II and his family at a different location of Spring Grove Cemetery

My kids and I. November 2018

Senator Robert A. Taft was the son of President William Howard Taft.This is a memorial to him at the church cemetery where he is buried. Indian Hill Episopal Church Cincinnatti, Ohio. This is not the actual gravemarker. The Taft family plot is about 40 -50 feet away from this memorial. All the headstones are flat on the ground markers, which made them difficult to locate.

My boys

Senator Robert Taft's gravesite.

President Taft's grandson Robert Taft Jr. also served in the US Senate

My boys and I at Taft's gravesite

My older boy Nick actually found this gravesite after about 45 minutes of all of us looking. It's his first gravehunting find.

Several other members of the Taft family are buried here.
28. Woodrow Wilson

First Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Columbia, SC is the final resting places of Woodrow Wilson's parents and sister

Rev. Joseph Wilson, President Wilson's father

Jessie Woodrow Wilson, President Wilson's mother

Annie Wilson Howe, President Wilson's sister

Proving I was there

Gravesite of Rev. Thomas Woodrow. Grandfather and namesake of President Thomas Woodrow Wilson. Greenlawn Cemetery Columbus, OH

The photo above this one is the gravesite of Rev. Thomas Woodrow. Well this is the gravesite of his son by the same name, Thomas Woodrow, and Uncle to President Wilson. Grandview Cemetery, Chillicothe, Ohio.

29. Warren G. Harding

In the Marion Cemetery across the street from the large Harding Memorial in Marion, OH, is the Harding family gravesite. President Warren G. Hardings parents, siblings, and many neices and nephews are buried here.

George Tryon Harding was the father of President Harding. Notice that we outlived his son by 5 years. Joseph Kennedy are George Harding are the only 2 Presidential fathers to out live their President sons.

30. Calvin Coolidge

President Calvin Coolidge is buried in a cemetery that has 7 Generations of Coolidges. This is the gravesite of President Coolidges parents, sister and step mom.  His Dad swore him into office after hearing about the death of Warren Harding. Plymouth Notch, VT

A long row of Coolidges, with the President down at the end. Plymouth, VT

31. Herbert Hoover

Gravesite of Herbert Hoovers parents in West Branch, Iowa. They both died in their 30's, leaving President Hoover an orphan by age 10.

32. Franklin D. Roosevelt

Gravesite of John Howland, Burial Hill Plymouth, Mass. Howland came to America on the Mayflower and was nearly lost at sea at one point when he was knocked overboard. He survived and had many children. Among his Descendents are President Franklin D. Roosevelt and both President Bush's

St. James Church Cemetery Hyde Park, NY is the final resting place of several members of FDR's family. Mostly his parents and children.

James Roosevelt was the father of FDR. He was much older then Franklin's mother Sarah and died when FDR was 18.

This unique marker mentions FDR's father James on one side and his mother Sarah on the other.

Gravesite of Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr. in St. James Church cemetery in Hyde Park, NY next to the graves of his Grandparents James and Sarah. The President and First Lady are buried at the FDR Historic Site and Library just a few miles down the road.  4 of FDR's 6 children are buried here along with his parents.

35. John F. Kennedy

This is the gravesite of John F. (Honey Fitz) and Mary Fitzgerald. Grandparents of and namesake of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Honey Fitz was the Mayor of Boston and Mary was the only Presidents grandparent to outlive her President grandson. But from what I understand she was never told of President Kennedy's death because she suffered from some sort of dementia. Brookline, Mass.

Kennedy family gravesite Brookline, Mass. This is where several members of the Kennedy family are buried including President Kennedy's parents Joe and Rose.

Along with Joe and Rose Kennedy are buried their daughter Rosemary, and 4 of their Grandchildren. 2 of Bobby Kennedy's sons are buried here, David and Michael. And also 2 of Teddy Kennedy's children, Kara Anne Kennedy, who died of cancer in 2011, and also an infant son of Teddy's who died in 1964.

President Kennedy's sister Rosemary. Brookline, Mass.

Not far from the gravesite of President Kennedy are the gravesites of his brothers, Robert and Edward. This is the grave of Attorney General and Senator Robert Kennedy

Gravesite of Senator Edward "Teddy" Kennedy. With the Lee Custis Mansion in the background.

38. Gerald F. Ford

Gravesite of Gerald and Dorothy Ford. Mother and step Father of President Ford. Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 2014 I spent about an hour looking for these gravemarkers with no luck. This time I brought my wife who has a great eye for these things. 

President Ford's mother

President Ford's step father

Proving I was here.

39. Jimmy Carter

Me at the Carter family gravesite in Plaines, GA. Jimmy Carters parents and brother Billy are buried here

Jimmy Carters father

Jimmy Carters mother

Jimmy Carters brother Billy

41. George H.W. Bush   and   43. George W. Bush

Gravesite of Samuel P. Bush in Greenlawn Cemetery, Columbus, Ohio. Samuel Bush was the Grandfather of President George H. W. Bush, and the Great Grandfather of President George W. Bush.

My kids and I revisit the gravesite of Samuel Bush in 2017

Gravesite of Prescott and Dorthy Walker Bush. Parents of President George Bush and Grandparents of President George W. Bush. Greenwich, CT



My son Grant and I at the Bush gravesite. Bush 41's daughter Robin was also buried here until she was moved to her parents future gravesite at the Bush Library in College Station, TX.

A few more Bush's are buried here including Bush 41's brother Prescott Bush Jr.

At the George Bush Library in College Station, TX is a small cemetery that will be the future gravesite of President George and First Lady Barbara Bush. Sadly the Bush's lost a child who is already buried there. Their daughter Robin died at age 4. She was also the younger sister of President George W. Bush.

42. Bill Clinton

Gravesite of President Bill Clinton's parents and Grandparents in Hope, AR.

Bill Clinton's birhname was William Jefferson Blythe, after his father who died before he was born. His mother Virginia Cassidy Blythe re married a man named Roger Clinton, who adopted Bill as a teenager. Bill was rasied in his first few years by his Grandparents Elbridge and Edith Cassidy while his mother was away at nurses school.

Bill Clinton's biological father

Bill Clinton's mother

Bill Clinton's grandpa

Bill Clinton's grandma

44. Barack Obama

Gravesite of Joseph and Phebe Kearney. 4X Great Grandparents of President Barack Obama. I found this is a small cemetery in southern Ohio. It was a good 100 yards off of the road with no stone or paved path.

45. Donald Trump

Gravesite of President Trump's parents, grand parents and brother. All Faiths Cemetery Queens, NY


My kids and I at the Trump gravesite. With very little information to go on, finding this gravesite after nearly 2 hours of looking felt like a pretty big win.

I guess it was my interest in my own Geneology, fused with my interest in Presidents that started this little side bar to my Presidents sites hobby. I did find an interesting intersection with my own Geneology and our first President George Washington. During the American Revolution my 5X Great Grandfather John Waggonner would come to America under the command of the French General Lafeyette. He would eventually become one of 12 men assigned as personal bodyguards to General George Washington. It has been documented that Waggonner saved Washingtons life at least once.

After the War Washington had 12 sword canes made and gave them as gifts to his 12 personal bodyguards. Waggoner moved to the Firelands region of Northern Ohio near what is now Fremont, Ohio. The sword cane was eventually donated by Waggoners family to the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center. Also donated to the Hayes Center was the tomahawk of Tecumseh. According to family legend, John Waggoner Jr.(who would be my 5X great Uncle) got Tecumsehs tomahawk shortly after Tecumsehs death at the Battle Thames, while serving under the command of William Henry Harrison.

Some of my family members actually got the chance to go to the Hayes Center and see and handle the swordcane and the tomahawk. It was very cool

Klo and I at the grave of our ancestor John Waggoner