About this Famous Person
Third President of the United States
The third of ten children, Thomas Jefferson was born into a planter family closely related to some of the most prominent individuals in Virginia. Two siblings died in childhood. His mother was Jane Randolph, daughter of Isham Randolph of Dungeness, a ship's captain and sometime planter, first cousin to Peyton Randolph, and granddaughter of wealthy English and Scottish gentry. Jefferson's father was Peter Jefferson, a planter and surveyor in Albemarle County (Shadwell, then Edge Hill, Virginia.) He was of possible Welsh descent, although this remains unclear. When Colonel William Randolph, an old friend of Peter Jefferson, died in 1745, Peter assumed executorship and personal charge of William Randolph's estate in Tuckahoe as well as his infant son, Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr. That year the Jeffersons relocated to Tuckahoe, where they would remain for the next seven years before returning to their home in Albemarle in 1752. Peter Jefferson was appointed to the colonelcy of the county, an important position at the time.
When Thomas Jefferson was 22, his oldest sister Jane died at the age of 25 on October 1, 1765. He fell into a period of deep mourning, as he was already saddened by the absence of his sisters Mary, who had been married several years to Thomas Bolling, and Martha, who had wed in July to Dabney Carr. Both had moved to their husbands' residences. Only Jefferson's younger siblings Elizabeth, Lucy, and the two toddlers, were at home. He drew little comfort from the younger ones, as they did not provide him with the same intellectual stimulation as the older sisters had.
- Category American politician