After being accepted at the University of Virginia, Jacqueline Yurkoski came to Charlottesville with her parents and agreed to answer some questions about how a Sally Hemings descendant of the younger generation feels about her ancestry. She looks forward to a career in medicine.
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Ellen Dammond, who was a social worker and personnel supervisor, was descended from both the Fossetts of Monticello and the famous fugitive slaves William and Ellen Craft. The prominent equal rights activist William Monroe Trotter was her uncle. She felt strongly about preserving and passing on the history of the struggles for freedom and equality, and introduced a 1970s film on the Crafts. Both she and her daughter, Peggy Preacely, were active participants in the civil rights movement in the 1960s.
Jane Floyd was born in St. Louis but spent summers at the Selma, Ohio, farm of her maternal grandparents, John Penn and Barbara Ann Woodson. She first learned of her lineage when she shared her elopement plans with her mother, Jane Ann Woodson Gordon (1890–1972). “That’s how she happened to tell me about being descended from Thomas Jefferson.”
Three daughters of Consuelo and Elmer Wayles Roberts were interviewed together in Los Angeles: Paula Henderson, Robin Roberts-Martin, and Ellen Hodnett, a teacher and school principal. They recalled their father, a graduate of U.C.L.A., a mortician, and a probation officer. In 1976 he told Time magazine he thought Thomas Jefferson would be “unhappy about man’s inability to learn anything about living with his fellow man, despite all the advances in technology.”
Martha Boston, who carried on the Hern/Hearns family tradition of a belief in the importance of education, was the youngest of eight children of Bernard Clinton Hearns and Clara Jones Hearns. Her father, “a very progressive man” in her eyes, worked on the railroad to save money to buy the family farm. Her mother, “seeking the best for her children,” sent her as a child to Baltimore to live with a sister, so she would have the opportunity for better schooling.
Maxcine Sterling and four other descendants of Monticello gatekeeper Eliza Tolliver Coleman were interviewed together in 1995. All live in the Washington, DC, area and work (or worked) in various departments of the federal government. They shared their memories of Eliza Coleman’s daughters Lucy Coleman Barnaby Page and Grace Coleman Harris and recalled summers spent at the Monticello gatehouse. Members of the extended Coleman family lived at Monticello for more than a century—far longer than any of the property’s owners.
Stephen De Windt moved with his family from the San Francisco Bay area to Pasadena when he was twelve. He attended Pasadena City College and Arizona State University. After a career in the airline industry, he became an actor—a “background artist”—in Hollywood.
John Quill Taylor King was born in Memphis, Tennessee, the son of Alice Woodson, a teacher, and John Quill Taylor, a doctor. When his mother remarried after his father’s death, he took the surname of his stepfather, Charles King, a funeral director. King graduated from Fisk University in 1941 and then entered the U.S. Army. He retired from the Army Reserves as a Major General.
Betty Ann Fitch is part of an extended family that worked and lived at Monticello for more than a century. She earned her master’s degree in English and became a teacher. She was particularly close to her grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Henderson Fitch, who was orphaned at age four and taken in by the Levy-Mayhoff family, the owners of Monticello. Mary Elizabeth Henderson lived with and worked for the Mayhoffs for more than twenty years, spending long periods in New York City as well as Monticello. She married Thomas Jefferson Fitch, the Monticello coachman and chauffeur. Betty Ann Fitch i
Calvin Jefferson, who is descended from the Grangers as well as the Hemingses of Monticello, grew up in Washington, DC. After working for the U. S. Postal Service, he became an archivist for the National Archives and Records Administration, from which he retired in 2007 after thirty years. He did not learn of his family's connection to Monticello until 1996. He has a strong interest in his family history and continues research on the Hemings family, particularly Betty Brown and her descendants.