Randolph Jefferson was the younger brother of Thomas, and the only other surviving son of Peter and Jane (Randolph) Jefferson. He was a twin to Anna Scott and they were the youngest of the Jefferson children.
Randolph was 12 years younger than his brother, Thomas, and lived at Shadwell until 1771 when he left Albemarle County to attend the Grammar School at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.
In 1776, Randolph inherited the plantation Snowden, in Buckingham County, located about twenty miles south of Monticello, across from Scott's Ferry (today Scottsville, Virginia). There he lived a the quiet life of a country gentleman. He was an early supporter of the Revolutionary War and, in 1778, he served under Thomas Nelson, who later became Governor of Virginia. Randolph went on to become a captain in the Buckingham County Militia.
In 1781, he married his first cousin, Anne Lewis. Their Albemarle County, Virginia marriage bond is dated July 30, 1781. Anne died, probably at Snowden, circa 1800. Randolph was a widower for approximately ten years when he married Mitchie B. Pryor of Woodlawn, Buckingham County.
Within a few months of his death in 1815, the dwelling house at Snowden burned to the ground. Almost immediately, Randolph Jefferson's widow, Mitchie, left Snowden and the plantation became part of a lengthy legal battle between the sons of Randolph and Anne (Lewis) Jefferson and Randolph's widow.
DNA testing commissioned by the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society in 1999 suggested that Randolph rather than Thomas was most likely the father of Sally Heming's sons.
The controversy over the Jefferson DNA and its match to Sally Heming’s son, Eston, continues. Approximately two dozen Jefferson males are possible candidates. All are not equally probable. Today, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and many scholars accept Thomas Jefferson as the father of Sally Hemming’s children.
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