Madison Hemings’s wife, Mary, was born into a mixed-race family of free blacks who lived near Monticello. Her mother was Eliza Hughes McCoy, daughter of a white landowner, Stephen Hughes, and his slave Chana (Chaney), whom he freed in 1798. Mary McCoy and Madison Hemings married in 1831 and lived with his mother, Sally Hemings, in a house on the main road west of Charlottesville.
After Sally Hemings’s death, the Hemingses sold their house and left for southern Ohio, settling on the border of Ross and Pike counties. They joined a rural community populated by many other mixed-race families from Albemarle County, including Mary McCoy Hemings’s own extended family, some of whom were involved in the Underground Railroad.
Mary and Madison Hemings raised nine children and spent their last years on their sixty-six-acre farm in Ross County.