Jefferson/Pearson – Forest Hill Cemetery – Section 3 Lot 18

Eston Hemings Jefferson Jul 1808 – Jan 3, 1856
    Julia Anne (wife of E. H. Jefferson) 1814 – 1889
In 1998 DNA evidence confirmed that Eston was a direct descendant of President Thomas Jefferson and his slave, Sally Hemings. Sally was the half-sister of his wife, Martha. Eston became a free man when Sally died and was required to move from Virginia by the law of manumission.

Eston and Julia moved to Madison in the fall of 1852. It was at this time he changed his name from Eston Hemings to E. H. Jefferson. It is believed that Eston “passed” as white so his family would have more opportunities, separating himself from his black family.

Eston died of smallpox only four years later. Originally buried in the Village Cemetery, his remains were moved here.

Both sons, Beverly and John, fought in a Wisconsin regiment during the Civil War and later became successful hoteliers in downtown Madison. John had one of the largest carriage businesses in Wisconsin.

Their Children:

  • Beverly Frederick Jefferson 1839 – Nov 11, 1908
          Beverly's Daughter Anna Maud Smith 1846 – Feb 5, 1882

  • John W. Jefferson

  • Anne W. Jefferson 1837 - Apr 11, 1866
          Anne's husband Albert Pearson 1830 – Dec 31, 1908