James Madison

portrait of James Madison c. 1816, image cropped and shadows decreased; portrait by John Vanderlyn, at The White House Historical Association, the White House collection

Date of Birth: March 16, 1751

Place of Birth: Port Conway, Virginia

Date of Death: June 28, 1836

Place of Death: Orange, Virginia, U.S.

Ethnicity: English, as well as 1/16th Welsh

James Madison was an American statesman, lawyer, diplomat, and philosopher. He is a Founding Father of the United States, known as the “Father of the Constitution.” A member of the Democratic-Republican party, he served as President of the United States, from March 4, 1809 to March 4, 1817. He was elected to the position in 1808 and 1812. He was previously a Delegate to the Congress of the Confederation from Virginia, from March 1, 1781 to November 1, 1783, a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia, from March 4, 1789 to March 4, 1797, and the U.S. Secretary of State, from May 2, 1801 to March 3, 1809.

President Madison was the son of Eleanor Rose “Nelly” (Conway) and James Madison. One of his great-great-grandfathers, Daniel Gaines, had Welsh ancestry. The rest or most of the rest of President Madison’s ancestry was English. He was married to Dolley (Payne) Madison, until his death. He adopted her son John Payne Todd.

President Madison’s paternal grandfather was Ambrose Madison (the son of John Madison, Jr. and Isabella Todd). Ambrose was born in Orange County, Virginia. John was the son of John Madison, whose parents were English.

President Madison’s paternal grandmother was Frances Taylor (the daughter of James Taylor, Jr. and Martha Thompson). Francis was born in Virginia. James was the son of James Taylor, who was likely from Carlisle, England, and of Frances. Martha was the daughter of Roger Thompson.

President Madison’s maternal grandfather was Francis Conway (the son of Edwin Conway, Jr. and Elizabeth Thornton). Francis was born in Richmond County, Virginia. Edwin was born in England, the son of Edwin Conway and Martha Eltonhead. Elizabeth was the daughter of Francis Thornton and Alice Savage, whose parents were English, her father from Warwickshire.

President Madison’s maternal grandmother was Rebecca Catlett (the daughter of John Catlett, Jr. and Mary/Elizabeth Gaines). Rebecca was born in Virginia. John was the son of John Catlett, who was born in Sittingbourne, Kent, England, and of Elizabeth Underwood, who was also English. Mary was born in England, the daughter of Daniel Gaines, who was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, to Welsh parents, and of Margaret Bernard, who was born in Kingsthorpe, Northamptonshire, England.

President Madison’s matrilineal line can be traced back to Milicent Strelley.

President Madison was a second cousin of U.S. President Zachary Taylor. President Madison’s paternal great-grandparents, James Taylor and Martha Thompson, were also President Taylor’s paternal great-grandparents. He was a third cousin, once removed, of President Taylor, as well, through their shared ancestors Francis Thornton and Alice Savage. President Madison was also a second cousin, five times removed, of actor Parker Stevenson, whose great-great-great-grandfather Joseph Pannell Taylor was President Taylor’s brother.

Sources: Genealogies of President Madison – https://www.geni.com

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