Did you know that only 21 of the 50 states can claim to be the birthplace of at least one U.S. President? And of those 21 states, four have collectively produced more than half of the country's commanders-in-chief. Maybe there's something in the water in these four states where the most U.S. presidents were born.
Massachusetts (4 Presidents)
As one of the original 13 colonies, Massachusetts may have a leg up on newer states. It's the birthplace of four former Presidents. John Adams, the second president was born October 30, 1735, in Braintree (now Quincy); John Quincy Adams, the sixth President, was born July 11, 1767, in Braintree; John F. Kennedy, the 35th President, was born May 29, 1917, in Brookline; and George H.W. Bush, the 41st President, was born June 12, 1924, in Milton.
Perhaps most surprising on this list is George H.W. Bush, who many people think is from Texas. The family of this former President moved away from Massachusetts shortly after Bush was born, which explains why he isn't often associated with the Bay State. However, while he did go on to launch his career in Texas, Massachusetts still holds the claim of being his birthplace.
A less surprising name on this list is that of John F. Kennedy, who continues to be heavily associated with Boston. His childhood home at 83 Beals Street, Brookline is a designated National Historic Site. The site offers virtual tours, giving interested folks from around the world an opportunity to explore the Kennedy house. If you find yourself in the area, you might also consider stopping in at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, located on Boston's beautiful waterfront.
Stepping a bit further back in history, Adams National Historical Park gives visitors the opportunity to tour the birthplaces of both John Adams and John Quincy Adams. This site is located just 10 miles south of Boston, spreading across 13 acres of serene greenery. Guided tours offer a chance to see inside the historic homes, and virtual tours are available to explore the park from afar.
New York (5 Presidents)
Five Presidents were born in New York, which puts the state at number three on this list. Given New York's sheer size and population density, this high number isn't surprising. Like Massachusetts, New York also has the advantage of being one of the original 13 colonies.
The five Presidents born in New York are: Martin Van Buren, the eighth President, born December 5, 1782, in Kinderhook; Millard Fillmore, the 13th President, born January 7, 1800, in Cayuga County; Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President, born October 27, 1858, in New York City; Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President, born January 30, 1882, in Hyde Park; and Donald Trump, the 45th President, born June 14, 1946, in New York City.
If you'd like to learn more about these Presidents and their lives before taking office, you have plenty of options. You might start by visiting the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site in New York City, where you can tour the former President's boyhood home. Inside this reconstructed 1848 townhouse, which is decorated just as it was when Roosevelt was growing up, you'll find five rooms to explore. Each contains artifacts that were used by the Roosevelt family.
Up for tackling an even bigger historical site? Make your way to Hyde Park. This beautiful area contains a wealth of amazing things to see, including three national parks, Franklin D. Roosevelt's birthplace, and the very first presidential library and museum in the country.
FDR made history by becoming America's first — and only — President to serve four terms. His home in Hyde Park offers guided, self-guided, and virtual tours. Visitors can explore the trails and gardens, as well as the home itself, which sits on a 300-acre property.
Notably, Hyde Park is also home to the only National Historic Site that is dedicated to a First Lady. Eleanor Roosevelt's cottage, known as Val-Kill, is a must-see for anyone interested in the history and lifestyle of this fascinating political figure. Explore Val-Kill's charming gardens before heading inside to visit the permanent exhibit "Eleanor Roosevelt and Val-Kill: Emergence of a Political Leader."
Ohio (7 Presidents)
Ulysses S. Grant was the first President to be born in Ohio, but he wasn't the last.. In total, seven former Presidents claimed Ohio as their birthplace.
They are Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President, born April 27, 1822, in Point Pleasant; Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th President, born October 4, 1822, in Delaware (the city, not the state); James A. Garfield, the 20th President, born November 19, 1831, in Cuyahoga County; Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd President, born August 20, 1833, in North Bend; William McKinley, the 25th President, born January 29, 1843, in Niles; William H. Taft, the 27th President, born September 15, 1857, in Cincinnati; and Warren G. Harding, the 29th President, born November 2, 1865, in Corsica.
Those are the official stats. However, this state likes to point out that William Henry Harrison, the ninth President, also called Ohio home. Although Harrison was born in the state of Virginia, he moved to Ohio as an adult. Harrison served there as a U.S. representative and senator before he won the presidency — so while he may not have been born in Ohio, some may consider Harrison an honorary Ohioan.
Ohio has quite a few places you can visit to learn more about the many Presidents born here. Grant's birthplace is a state memorial in Point Pleasant, Ohio. You can tour the home and learn how the entire house was transported by train at one point in time.
At Spiegel Grove, you'll find the estate of Rutherford B. Hayes. This ethereal area is named after the enormous reflective puddles that form beneath the trees after a storm — spiegel means mirror in German. Here, you can visit Hayes' presidential library and tour the 25-acre estate, which Hayes inherited from his uncle.
Virginia (8 Presidents)
The state where the most U.S. Presidents were born is Virginia, which claims eight former commanders-in-chief. Considering there have been just 44 different Presidents in U.S. history — 45 if you count Grover Cleveland twice, since he served nonconsecutive terms — that's better than one in six. Several of these men were born in the colony of Virginia before it officially became a state.
The official count includes: George Washington, the first President, born February 22, 1732, in Westmoreland County; Thomas Jefferson, the third President, born April 13, 1743, in Shadwell; James Madison, the fourth President, born March 16, 1751, in Port Conway; James Monroe, the fifth President, born April 28, 1758, in Westmoreland County; William Henry Harrison, the ninth President, born February 9, 1773, in Charles City County; John Tyler, the 10th President, born March 29, 1790, in Charles City County; Zachary Taylor, the 12th President, born November 24, 1784, in Orange County; and Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President, born December 28, 1856, in Staunton.
Naturally, Virginia takes a lot of pride in being such a central spot in the birth of the United States. It was a hub for great thinkers and key figures in U.S. history and also played a key role in the formative years of the country. As such, there are many places in Virginia devoted to remembering these individuals.
George Washington's birthplace is a National Monument in Colonial Beach, Virginia. When the site was established as a National Monument, historians even brought in animals that were descended from the very stock of animals who would have lived there when the Washingtons did.
James Monroe's birthplace is also in Colonial Beach. While it used to be just a memorial park, there's now a replica of Monroe's boyhood home. This area is designed to give visitors a comprehensive look at what Monroe's life would have looked like for his first 16 years — long before he became the fifth president.