Friday, December 19, 2008

An educational holiday newsletter

'Tis the season for holiday newsletters. I rather like the few I get, probably because I don't know anyone with wonder-kids and/or a million dollars they spent in the previous year, so the news in the letters isn't annoying. (However, I find annoying the signature on one composed by a cousin's husband, as it is signed with his name, followed by "and wife [name] and sons [two names.]" If he wants to write cast lists for plays he should do that, rather than sign family correspondence.)

One newsletter this year, from a college friend who lives in Virginia, included a mention of a trip she and her husband had taken around Virginia (maybe a staycation?) and produced this amazing factoid: Sherwood Forest Plantation, the estate near Charles City originally owned by John Tyler, the tenth President of the United States (1841-1845,) is currently owned by the (living) grandson of that president.

What? That's one family with an unusually short family tree. Turning to the ever-helpful World Book Encyclopedia, I found out that after the death of his first wife, (22 months after -- no Romeo POTUS he,) Tyler married, in 1844, a 24-year old woman with whom he had seven children before he died in 1862. Turning then to the Sherwood Forest Plantation website, I noticed it has a genealogy. It shows more than one grandchild still living, all from the second wife, but not all with Tyler's seventh child ( a daughter) as the parent.

I don't know if the current owner is tall or not -- his genes are long, but his jeans might not be.

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