Here’s one for you.
John Tyler, the 10th President of the United States, was born in 1790 and served between 1841 and 1845.
He died in 1862 and has two surviving grandsons.
Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. was born in 1924, while Harrison Ruffin Tyler was born in 1928 to Lyon Gardiner Tyler Sr., who was one of President Tyler’s 15 children.
Yes, 15 children.
As Harrison explained to New York Magazine in 2012:
Both my grandfather — the president — and my father, were married twice. And they had children by their first wives. And their first wives died, and they married again and had more children. And my father was 75 when I was born, his father was 63 when he was born.
The fact was tweeted recently by Matt Smethurst and it went quickly viral:
John Tyler, America’s tenth president, was born in 1790. He has two living grandchildren.
Yes, grandchildren. pic.twitter.com/ZHrXrEBJr1
— Matt Smethurst (@MattSmethurst) January 10, 2018
Mostly because people couldn’t believe it was true. In fact, over the years its power to astound has led Snopes, the popular fact-checking website of internet rubbish, to confirm it is indeed true.
Harrison reported in the New York Magazine 2012 interview that his older brother Lyon was “not doing good”. However, both have been reported as alive as recently as August 2017. Harrison lives on the Sherwood Forest Plantation family home in Charles City County, Virginia, while Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. lives in Franklin, Tennessee.
The genealogy tree on the Sherwood Forest Plantation website still lists both as alive.
The best part about the whole astonishing fact whirlpool is that when asked what people’s response is to the fact he’s the grandson of a United States President born in the 18th Century, Harrison told New York Magazine:
I don’t know, I don’t bring it up.
Give up now because you will never be as blasé as Harrison Ruffin Tyler.