02 January, 2015

My Cousin, Abraham Lincoln


It had always been family lore that we (the Thachers) were related to the same Lincoln family as the President. In fact, my uncle and his son and grandson bear Lincoln as their middle name. I knew that my 5th great-grandmother was named Mercy Lincoln, so decided to start there and work my way back.

Mercy Lincoln, wife to Ezra Howes, was born in 1748 in Harwich on Cape Cod. She died in Yarmouth, Cape Cod, in 1788. Her father was Nathaniel Lincoln of Hingham, Massachusetts who evidently moved to Brewster on Cape Cod and subsequently met Hannah Asten of Harwich (next town over from Brewster) and married her.

So first I checked out Abraham Lincoln's ancestry and discovered that his 4th great-grandfather named Samuel Lincoln and known as "the Weaver" had emigrated from Norfolk, England to...... yup! Hingham! in the 1640's. He had followed his brother Daniel who had arrived in Hingham in 1635. The father of these two enterprising young men was Edward Lincoln, born 1580 in Morley, Norfolk, England. He married Bridget Gilman, mother to Samuel and Daniel. Bridget emigrated to Hingham as well, after the death of her husband, but I've not yet determined if she came with her son Samuel or later.

As it turns out, Daniel, the brother of Abraham Lincoln's 4th great-grandfather, is my 9th great-grandfather! Old Abe and I share the great-grandparents Edward Lincoln and Bridget Gilman, though they are Abe's 5th greats and my 10th. This makes me 6th cousin 5x removed to President Abraham Lincoln! Kind of a stretch, but I enjoy finding these connections anyway. It reminds me that time is a moving continuum, not really "then" and "now", and that my family has been a part of that continuum, taking part in the flow of time, the annals of history, the story of human kind.

Hats off to you, cousin Abe!!

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