Monday, 4 March 2013

Abraham Lincoln Family Tree

I recently watched the film Lincoln, and was very impressed. It is as much about the president's family relationships as about his political struggle to abolish slavery. It got me to thinking about the Abraham Lincoln family tree, and specifically how the famous name of Lincoln had been passed down through the years. I decided it was time to do a little research, hence this special Family History Finder blog post on the Abraham Lincoln family tree.

First a little information about Abraham Lincoln's genealogy. The 16th President of the United States was born in Kentucky in 1809. He was the second son of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks. (Yes, Tom Hanks is a distant relative, as is George Clooney!)

The couple had three children: Elizabeth was born in 1807 and died in at the age of 20, then Abraham, then Thomas junior, who was born around 1912 and died as a child. The issue of children dying, while not uncommon at the time, was particularly prevalent in the Lincoln generations.

Abraham's father, Thomas, was born in Virginia in 1744. Thomas' father was also called Abraham, and was born in Pennsylvania in 1744. He in turn was the son of John Lincoln, who was born in New Jersey in 1716. The Abraham Lincoln family tree goes as far back as his great x 4 grandfather, Edward Lincoln from Norfolk, England. Edward's son, Samuel Lincoln, was born around 1622, and made the journey to America in 1637. He died in Massachusetts in 1690, but not before growing the family tree that would eventually bear the name of Abraham Lincoln.

The Abraham Lincoln Family Tree - Marriage and Children
Mary Todd
Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd in 1842. The following year their first son, Robert Todd Lincoln, was born. As it was to turn out, he was the only one of Lincoln's four sons to survive to adulthood. Edward Baker Lincoln was born in 1846 and died in 1850 of suspected tuberculosis. William Wallace Lincoln was born in 1850 and died in 1862, with the cause of death believed to be typhoid fever. Lincoln's youngest son, was born in 1853 and died in 1871 of congestive heart failure.

The grief that must have been felt by Abraham and Mary Lincoln after the deaths of Edward in 1850 and William in 1862 in unthinkable, and the president was said to be a very caring father. Mary was so affected by the deaths that Abraham considered having her committed to an asylum.

The Abraham Lincoln Family Tree - the Descendants
Robert Todd Lincoln
Robert Todd Lincoln was for obvious reasons the only one of Abraham Lincoln's children to produce any offspring. He became a lawyer and served as Secretary of State for War under Presidents Garfield and Arthur. In 1868 he married Mary Eunice Harlan, and they had three children together. Mary Lincoln was born in 1869, her brother Abraham in 1873, and a second daughter, Jessie, was born in 1875.

Abraham died of blood poisoning in 1890, but Mary and Jessie both went on to have children. Mary married Charles Bradford Isham in 1891, and their only child, Lincoln Isham, was born a year later. Although Lincoln married in 1919 he never had any children of his own.

Jessie Harlan Lincoln married Warren Wallace Beckwith in 1897. They had two children together: Mary Lincoln Beckwith was born in 1898 in Iowa, and Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith was born in 1904. Mary never married and had no children, which meant that after her death in 1975 her brother was the last living descendant of President Abraham Lincoln. Although Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith married three times he failed to produce any offspring. His second wife, Annemarie Hoffman, had a son in 1968 whom she named Timothy Lincoln Beckwith. Robert stated that the child was not his, and the paternity was never confirmed.

Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith
When Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith died in 1985 it ended the Lincoln line, so bringing to a close this Family History Finder blog post on the Abraham Lincoln family tree.

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