How two of President John Tyler’s grandsons are still alive, 174 years later

As far as American presidents go, John Tyler is hardly a household name. Yet his presidency marks an important moment for the country as he was the first vice president to become president as a result of the death of a sitting president. And oddly, two of Tyler’s grandchildren are still alive, 175 years after he occupied the White House.

“Harrison Ruffin Tyler, 89, is one of two living grandsons of President John Tyler, who was born in 1790, one year after George Washington was sworn in as president,” CBS writes.

Harrison is the son of Lyon Tyler, who was the son of President Tyler. When you consider that these three generations cover the whole history of The United States, our country seems quite young.

“We met Harrison and his son William at President Tyler’s Virginia estate. We asked William if people find it hard to believe that his father is the grandson of the 10th president,” CBS adds.

“I find it hard to believe,” William replied. “I think it had to do with second wives.”

John Tyler, the 10th President,  took the office in 1841. He was married then and already had eight children. But his wife died while he was in office.

Tyler, who was 52 at the time, married 22-year-old Julia Gardiner. And he was far from finished. His second wife had seven children. All together, Tyler fathered 15 children. At age 63, Julia gave birth to Lyon.

As it happens, Lyon’s first wife passed away, too. Like his father, he remarried. His much-younger second wife gave birth to Harrison in 1928. At that time, Lyon Tyler was 75.

Harrison’s son William showed the CBS crew around Sherwood Forest Plantation, where President Tyler lived with Julia.

“William says the house is also haunted,” CBS noted. “He showed us a spot on a wall where you can see what looks like a young woman.”

“You can see the curls coming down and a bonnet on top of her head,” William pointed out. “It’s clearly a young girl, there’s no doubt.”

Unlike their grandfather, the two grandsons have no political ambitions. Their legacy is more historical and they work now to preserve that long-standing connection to the past.