James gang: Madison kin meet at Montpelier

This is not your typical family reunion– it's presidential! Every three years, descendants of the father of the Constitution descend on the fourth president's Orange County home, Montpelier.

With no Sally Hemings/DNA controversy of the sort that enlivens the gatherings of Thomas Jefferson's offspring, the descendants of James Madison still find time to explore genealogy– and the work-in-progress that is Montpelier itself.

The mansion is in the midst of a multi-year restoration to remove the early 20th century additions by the DuPont family. The plastic shrouding should be removed by the end of the summer.

This year's reunion brought 84 people from 42 families for two days of seminars and convivial connections, says Ann Thornton, president of the National Society of Madison Family Descendants. Herewith a peek at the family picnic on June 18.

Three presidents: former family association president Ridge Porter joins current president Ann Thornton and incoming president John Macon.

Jim Thornton of New York admires an illustrated genealogy created by Gary Willis.

Melaney Collins Davis compares genealogy notes with Elman Collins and Peter and Anita Martin.

James Madison returned from the decidedly charming town of Cashiers, North Carolina– along with his bride, Paige, and children Malachi, 4, and Penelope, 1.

Peter Belfield (center) joins Somerset residents Johnny Scott and John Trimmer.