Presidents’ Day Genealogy Trivia

Presidents’ Day 2017


Source: Personal Postcard Collection

Since this is a family history blog, I have a question for you. How many U.S. Presidents have no living direct descendants today?

The answer is more than you probably think. There are actually ten of them and they can be divided into two groups.

First, there are five Presidents who had no natural children of their own:

George Washington
James Madison
Andrew Jackson
James Polk
James Buchanan

Their direct lines all ended with their deaths.

The second group of Presidents either had children who died young, did not marry, or the death of a grandchild or great grandchild ended their family line.

There are also five Presidents here:

Millard Fillmore – had two children, neither of whom married or had children
Franklin Pierce – children died young
Abraham Lincoln – his last descendant, a great grandson, died in 1985
Chester Arthur – his last descendant, a grandson, died in 1972
William McKinley – children died young

One more President, Warren Harding, is in a group by himself. While he and his wife had no children, it is widely accepted by historians that he had an affair with Nan Britton, which resulted in a daughter, Elizabeth Ann Christian Blaesing, born in 1919 and died in 2005. Elizabeth had two sons of her own, who are recognized as grandchildren of President Harding.

Every other United States President has living descendants in the 21st century.

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