(This blog article is adapted from a written response to a member of the public who inquired about where the two First Ladies who, as widows, later married a second husband, are buried and under what names)
There were five women who were married to Presidents of the United States, either before, during or after their tenure, who had previously been widowed (Martha Washington, Martha Jefferson, Dolley Madison, Caroline Fillmore , Mary Harrison, Edith Wilson) and three who had been divorced (Jackson, Harding, Ford).
The vast majority of women married to Presidents survived them. Of these, only two presidential widows married a second time.
Born on July 21, 1864, Frances Folsom famously married at the age of 21 years old to the incumbent President of United States, Grover Cleveland, in the White House on June 2, 1886. He was 28 years her senior.
The former President died on June 24, 1908 in the town of Princeton, New Jersey where he and his family lived after his presidency.
Mrs. Cleveland remarried on February 10, 1913 to a Princeton University professor of archeology, Thomas Jex Preston, Jr.
Born on October 26, 1862 in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, he was two years older than the former First Lady, who had also been born in the state of New York.
Although she was had remarried, Mrs. Preston was permitted to continue using the free frank privilege, which enabled her to send mail free of charge by signing her signature where a stamp is usually placed.
She always signed with both of her married names, usually as “Frances F. Cleveland Preston,” and occasionally even as “Frances F.C. Preston.”
She died in 1948. Her second husband survived her by seven years.
Frances Preston chose to be buried in the same Princeton cemetery where her first husband and daughter Ruth had been laid to rest as well.
Her gravestone carries both of her married names.
It also states the names of her parents but does not mention the names of either of her husbands. The burial place of Thomas J. Preston is indeterminable.
Jacqueline Bouvier married John F. Kennedy, the incumbent United States Senator representing the state of Massachusetts on September 12, 1953.
Born on July 28, 1929, she was then 24 years old. Her husband, born in 1917, was twelve years her senior.
The Kennedys were married for just over ten years.
In 1963, Kennedy was assassinated as President of the United States. Against the wishes of some of his family members, she determined that he would be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in a prominent spot that overlooked the capital city of Washington.
Five years later, the widowed Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy married a second time, on October 20, 1968 in a Greek Orthodox chapel on Skorpios, Greece, the private island owned by her second husband, Aristotle Onassis.
Aristotle Onassis died on March 15, 1975.
His widow, who always used his name for the rest of her life, signing her name as “Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis,” or just “Jacqueline Onassis,” survived him by nineteen years, dying on May 19, 1994.
She is buried beside her first husband in his presidential burial plot, at Arlington National Cemetery.
Her gravestone carries her name as “Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis,” with her second husband’s last name being engraved on a separate, second line.
One other former First Lady is buried in Arlington National Cemetery: Helen “Nellie” Taft, who died in 1943 lays beneath the same obelisk memorial marking the resting place of her husband, former President and former Chief Justice William Howard Taft, who died in 1930.