Grandchildren of John Tyler, America’s 10th president, are still alive

While most U.S. presidents become associated with important legislation or significant policies, what stands out for former President John Tyler, America’s 10th commander in chief, is his impressive lineage.

It turns out two of Tyler’s grandsons -- yes grandsons -- are still alive.

The men, Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr., born in 1924, and Harrison Ruffin Tyler, born in 1928, are the sons of Lyon Gardiner Tyler, one of President Tyler’s 15 children.

President Tyler was 63 when his son, Lyon Gardiner Tyler, was born, according to records obtained by And Lyon had his children even later; he was in his 70s when his sons were born. The boys’ mother, Sue Ruffin, was the second wife of Lyon Sr., who died in 1935.

In an interview with, Harrison Tyler said he and his wife still live near Virginia's Sherwood Forest -- the house they reside in is the only presidential home in America lived in by direct descendants of the president. Now retired, Harrison and his wife work to preserve the forest, keeping it full of deer and turkey.

When asked what people should remember about John Tyler's presidency, Harrison said the peace conference of 1861.

"He was the principal promoter," he told "He brought together states not part of the Union, including Pennsylvania and Ohio, southern states, and Virginia who was trying to decide what to do."

The conference was obviously not a success, as it was followed by the Civil War.

"But he really tried and made so much effort," Harrison said. "I don't get why there are wars -- people should just talk about things and everything will work out."

Harrison Tyler's father died when he was 5 and Lyon was 9, but Harrison remembers him as a prolific author who wrote all kinds of books and was responsible for reopening the College of William and Mary in 1888 after the Civil War. Lyon Sr. eventually went on to be the president of the college for 31 years.

Harrison entered William and Mary at age 16 after graduating from high school early. He was required to take a science course during his freshman year and fell in love with chemistry.

"There had just been the first atomic bomb explosion," he said. "My mind was just boggled."

A profile of Harrison Tyler done by Virginia Tech magazine in 2007 said he later worked with Virginia-Carolina Chemical Corp. and co-founded an industrial water treatment firm, ChemTreat Inc., in 1968.

In a profile by the Franklin, Tenn., chapter of the Lion’s Club, Lyon Tyler Jr. was honored as being a “faithful member” of the organization. Lyon Jr. also graduated from William and Mary and attended the University of Virginia Law School, practicing law in Virginia, reported.

Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. served as the director of the Virginia Civil War Centennial Commission from 1959-1963 and gave history lectures throughout the state, according to the Lions Club site. He later returned to school, receiving his Ph.D. in history at Duke University, the site reported. He resides in Tennessee.'s Abigail Forget contributed to this report.