Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Thomas Jefferson is perhaps best known as being the principal author of the Declaration of Independence. He was also a leading spokesman for religious liberty. As President, he approved the purchase of the Louisiana Territory and the Lewis and Clark Expedition to explore the west. After retiring as President, Jefferson founded the University of Virginia. Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743 at his family's Shadwell Plantation in Albemarle County, Virginia. His parents were Colonel Peter Jefferson and Jane Randolph. From his mother's side of the family, Jefferson shares a common "Randolph" ancestry with Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall and with Peyton Randolph, First President of the Continental Congress - with the Randolph family being one of the most prominent families in colonial Virginia. From his Randolph side of the family, Thomas Jefferson is descended from Charlemagne and William "the Conqueror." Meanwhile, DNA evidence has revealed that somewhere among Jefferson's ancestors was a Phoenician ancestry. Finally, Thomas Jefferson's sister Martha married John Bolling, a descendant of Pocahontas and an ancestor of Edith Bolling, President Woodrow Wilson's second wife. For a detailed family tree, see