3rd U.S. President and Signer of the Declaration of Independence
Who was Thomas Jefferson?
President Thomas Jefferson was born 13 April 1743 in Shadwell, Virginia, to Peter Jefferson and Jane Randolph. His father Peter Jefferson was a wealthy plantation owner whose lands were eventually passed on to Thomas. Thomas married a 22 year old widow named Martha Wayles Skelton on 01 January 1772.
Thomas Jefferson was actually born on 02 April 1743 according to the Julian calendar in use at the time. When the English adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1758, the date shifted forward 11 days so that today we observe Jefferson's birth date on 13 April.
Credited with drafting the Declaration of Independence, Thomas is recognized as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States along with President George Washington to whom he is related through their common ancestors of Ralph de Neville and Joan Beaufort.
During his first term as President, Jefferson commissioned Meriwether Lewis to mount an expedition to the Pacific Coast through the recently completed Louisiana Purchase. Although both men grew up as neighbors in Virginia and their families were not unknown to each other, what they didn't realize was that they were also distant cousins through their common ancestors of Ralph de Neville and Joan Beaufort, who they also shared with President George Washington.
Thomas Jefferson died on 04 July 1826, on the same day as his friend and former political rival President John Adams. Probably unknown to both Jefferson and Adams was that Jefferson was related to Adams's son, President John Quincy Adams, through his wife Abigail Smith.
The famous family relationships of President Thomas Jefferson are numerous and include many notable figures from both American and European history. Famous for his own writing, Thomas counts numerous celebrated authors amoung his kin. His Royal connections go all the way back to Charlemagne in the 8th century, and to as recent as today with family relationships to both the bride and the groom of the recent royal wedding between Catherine "Kate" Middleton and Prince William, now the Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge.
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