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Sally Hemmings (1773 - 1835)

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Sally Hemmings aka Hemings
Born in Charles City County, Virginiamap
Ancestors ancestors
Daughter of [uncertain] and
Descendants descendants
Died in Charlottesville, Virginiamap
Hemmings-109 created 14 Feb 2014 | Last modified | Last edit: 19 Sep 2017
16:56: Barbara Mills posted a message on the page for Sally Hemmings. [Thank Barbara for this | 1 thank-you received]
This page has been accessed 3,884 times.

Categories: Charles City County, Virginia, Slaves.



Sally was a slave owned by President Thomas Jefferson through his wife's inheritance, as were her mother and siblings. Although it's unknown, there's a possibility that Sally was actually his wife's half-sister through John Wayles.[1]
Abt 1787 after Jefferson's wife Martha had died, either in France or shortly after their return, Jefferson and Sally began an intimate relationship which produced 6 children born into slavery, four surviving to adulthood. They were 7/8ths European and 3 of the 4 entered white society as adults,[2] and despite the controversy, are now widely accepted as being fathered by Jefferson after his wife's death.
Jefferson freed all of Sally's children as they came of age.
Sally Hemmings never married.


Sally Hemmings (1773-1835)[3]
Freed: aft 1826

Early Life

Mother: Elizabeth Hemings[3]
Father: disputed[1]

Issue: Disputed

Harriet (1795-1797)[3][4]
Beverly (b.1798-aft.1822)[3][4]
dau. (1799 - d.infant)[3]
Harriet (1801-aft.1822)[3][4]
Madison (1805-1877)[3][4]
Eston Hemings (1808-1856)[3][5][4]
  • Note: Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society suggested that Thomas' brother, Randolph, may have fathered some of Sally's children.[3]



  1. 1.0 1.1 May have been an English sea captain or Thomas Jefferson's father-in-law, John Wayles.
  2. Harriet, Beverly and Eston
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8
    "Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: A Brief Account."
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4
    Appendix H: Sally Hemings and Her Children.
  5. Eston is Sally's last known child
  6. This is from a different point of view than the one given by Jefferson's Monticello estate.

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No known carriers of Sally's mitochondrial DNA have taken an mtDNA test and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Family Tree DNA.

Images: 1
Children of Sally Hemings & Thomas Jefferson
Children of Sally Hemings & Thomas Jefferson


On 19 Sep 2017 at 20:56 GMT Barbara Mills wrote:

DNA shows that only one of Sally Hemming's children has Jefferson DNA -- after either a 9 year or 38 year relationship depending upon who you read, really?

Fact: Her youngest son was conceived after their return from France, and there were several other male Jeffersons available to be the father. Until Thomas Jefferson's DNA can be accessed, which so far has been refused, whether or not he is the father can be neither proved nor disproved. All of Sally Hemming's descendants have been accepted into the Jefferson Family Association, according to what I have read.

On 29 Dec 2016 at 02:19 GMT Renee Malloy wrote:

Author David McCullough wrote the book, John Adams. Please see the first person accounts recorded when the Adams family took care of Sally, before TJ finally took custody. Also, please know that TJ personally insured his slave children would be given their freedom by demanding the VA State Legislature pass a law only for them. They lived FREE in VA and where known to be TJ's children due to their unique status. NO other slaves were allow to live free in VA. Evidence of his parenthood is overwhelming.

On 28 Dec 2016 at 21:24 GMT Thom Anderson wrote:

It seems there is one group that WANTS to think that TJ fathered children with Sally whether true or not and another that WANTS to disbelieve it, whether true or not. Personally, I have no problem with where the facts. The rumors (not saying this to bias one side of thinking) started in the early 19th century and, as I understand it, the DNA evidence later proved those rumors to be untrue. Later, I heard DNA evidence does say that the children were fathered by one of six Jefferson males but not necessarily TJ. Some use circumstances to support that it was TJ and not one of the other six, but those circumstances actually supported that it would have been one of the other five.

Not sure what the thinking is today. Can anyone describe it in 50 words or fewer?

On 2 Mar 2016 at 03:00 GMT Renee Malloy wrote:

According to VA law, if a slave was liberated, he/she would have to leave the state. To circumvent this law, Jefferson petitioned the VA legislature to allow his children to remain in Virginia after he freed them in his will, according to the author of the book, Thomas Jefferson, by Appleby. This fact was reported in the Wikipedia site for Sally Hemings, see footnote 33.

Also, see at: President Jefferson never publically denied assertions concerning his slave children. In fact, they were the ONLY slaves given freedom in his will. And thanks to his Legislative efforts, they lived near Monticello as Free persons of color, according to the 1830 Albemarle County census. In the Albemarle County 1833 census they are all listed as free WHITE persons.

On 1 Mar 2016 at 12:06 GMT Michele (Britton) Camera wrote:

What is the title and number of the VA law you mentioned? What is the date of its passage? Do you happen to have a link to the statute?

On 26 Feb 2016 at 02:10 GMT Renee Malloy wrote:

Jefferson was such a wonderful slave owner that he got the entire VA state legislature to pass a LAW declaring his children by Sally as FREE and they lived free after his death. Circumstantial evidence? Jefferson and I are 5th Cousins 5x removed via Alice Fox Banks.

On 26 Feb 2016 at 01:57 GMT Michele (Britton) Camera wrote:

Vincent, not only is the marriage PLACE not on the map, the marriage itself is a fantasy.

Where is the evidence that a marriage ceremony between Sally Hemmings and Thomas Jefferson ever took place? Where is evidence that Jefferson referred to Hemmings in public as his wife? What legal marital rights did Hemmings enjoy as the wife of Jefferson?

On 22 Mar 2015 at 16:41 GMT Vincent Piazza wrote:

the marriage place is not on the map

Sally is 16 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 16 degrees from Joseph Broussard, 25 degrees from Helmut Jungschaffer and 15 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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