Defending Family Honor
Family was deeply important to Andrew Jackson. He, having been an orphan himself, became the guardian and father to many children despite fathering none of his own.
Jackson deeply cared for his wife, provided abundant opportunities for his children to succeed and defended his family honor in nearly everything he did.
Little is known about Andrew Jackson’s ancestors. Apparently, he knew very little about them himself. Since both of his parents died when he was still quite young, he had little opportunity to learn about his heritage. Although many of his mother’s sisters lived nearby during his youth, he maintained a close relationship with only a few of them once he moved to Tennessee.
Due to Jackson’s success and subsequent fame he achieved at the Battle of New Orleans and later as President, several people wrote to him speculating about a family connection with him. How he responded to these inquiries is unknown.
While the identity of Jackson’s forbearers is unclear, information about his descendants is well documented.View Andrew Jackson's Family Tree
Marriage to Rachel
When Jackson moved to Nashville, he met the already married Rachel Donelson Robards. Believing her first husband had divorced her, Rachel, and subsequently Andrew, visited Natchez with friends after which the two of them returned married in 1791.
Rachel and Andrew’s relationship was full of passion. Despite their tendency to spend time together quietly at home, relaxing in the garden and enjoying family, their marriage sparked mystery and would be a source of controversy throughout Jackson’s political career.
Rachel was a unique woman who supported Jackson in all his endeavors until her tragic death in 1828.Meet Rachel
Children and Lineage
Andrew and Rachel never had any biological children of their own, yet there were always children living at The Hermitage.
When Rachel’s brother and sister-in-law gave birth to twin boys, the Jacksons adopted one of them as their own in 1809. Named Andrew Jackson Jr., he would grow up at The Hermitage but also remain close to his biological brother and parents, now his cousin, aunt and uncle. He went on to marry and have five children of his own.
Jackson also became the legal guardian to a number of other children, including a Native American orphan Jackson found in battle.Meet the Jackson Children
Frequently Asked Questions
Who was Rachel Jackson?
Rachel was Andrew Jackson’s wife. She was born Rachel Donelson was in 1767 in Pittsylvania County. In April 1780, their family along with a large group of others became some of the first white settlers of Nashville. She grew up and married Lewis Robards at the age of 18. It was an unhappy marriage which led to separation and eventual divorce. Andrew Jackson and Rachel legally married in Nashville in 1794.
Did Andrew Jackson have children?
Andrew Jackson and Rachel never had any biological children. They adopted their nephew in 1809 and would later become the legal guardians to a number of other children, including a Native American orphan Jackson found in battle.