Eston Hemings was the youngest son of Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson. Eston Hemings learned the woodworking trade from his uncle, John Hemmings, and became free in 1829, according to the terms of Thomas Jefferson’s will. He and his brother Madison left Monticello to live in the town of Charlottesville with their mother, Sally Hemings.  Together they purchased a lot and built a two-story brick and wood house. 

In 1832, Eston Hemings married a free woman of color, Julia Ann Isaacs.  About 1838 they sold their property and moved to Chillicothe, OH, where Hemings led a very successful dance band.  He was remembered as "a master of the violin, and an accomplished 'caller' of dances."  

At mid-century Eston and Julia Hemings and their three children, John Wayles, Anna, and Beverly, left Ohio for Wisconsin, changing their surname to Jefferson and living henceforth as white people. They settled in the capital, Madison, where Eston Jefferson pursued his trade as a cabinetmaker.  A 1998 study genetically linked his male descendants with male descendants of the Jefferson family.

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The Hemingses of Monticello


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