John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. was born in Plymouth Notch, Windsor County, Vermont, on July 4, 1872, the only U.S. President to be born on the Fourth of July. He was the elder of two children of John Calvin Coolidge, Sr. (1845–1926) and Victoria Josephine Moor (1846–1885). His chronically ill mother died, possibly from tuberculosis, when Coolidge was just 12 years old. His only sibling, Abigail Grace Coolidge (1875–1890), died at the age of 15, when Coolidge was 18 years old. Coolidge's father married a schoolteacher in 1891 and lived to the age of 80. Over the years, Coolidge grew close to his step mother. Coolidge's father engaged in many occupations during his lifetime, and ultimately enjoyed a statewide reputation as a prosperous farmer, storekeeper and committed public servant. He farmed, taught school, ran a local store, served in the Vermont House of Representatives and then the Vermont Senate, and held various local offices including justice of the peace and tax collector. Coolidge's mother was the daughter of a Plymouth Notch farmer.
Coolidge's family had deep roots in New England. His earliest American ancestor, John Coolidge, emigrated from Cambridge, England around 1630 and settled in Watertown, Massachusetts. Another Coolidge ancestor, Edmund Rice, arrived at Watertown in 1638. Coolidge's great-great-grandfather, also named John Coolidge, was an American army officer in the Revolutionary War and was one of the first selectmen of the town of Plymouth Notch.
Most of Coolidge's ancestors were farmers; the more well-known Coolidges, such as architect Charles Allerton Coolidge, general Charles Austin Coolidge, and diplomat Archibald Cary Coolidge, were descended from branches of the family that had remained in Massachusetts.
Coolidge's grandmother, Sarah Almeda Brewer, had two famous first cousins: Arthur Brown, a United States Senator, and Olympia Brown, a women's suffragist. It is through this ancestor that Coolidge claimed American Indians descent,...