Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln on November 8, 1863, photo by Alexander Gardner

Date of Birth: February 12, 1809

Place of Birth: Sinking Spring Farm, Kentucky, U.S.

Date of Death: April 15, 1865

Place of Death: Petersen House, Washington, D.C., U.S.

Ethnicity: English, more distant Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, possibly small amounts of Irish and Dutch, possibly other

Abraham Lincoln was an American politician, statesman, and lawyer. As a member of the Republican Party, and then, for one year, the National Union, he served as the 16th President of the United States, from March 4, 1861 to April 15, 1865. He was elected to the position in 1860 and 1864. He was the first Republican Party President. As a member of the Whig Party, he was previously a Member of the Illinois House of Representatives, from 1834 to 1842, and a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois, from March 4, 1847 to March 3, 1849. He is widely credited for having freed the United States’ predominantly African-American enslaved population, and ended slavery in the U.S.

President Lincoln was the son of Nancy (Hanks) and Thomas Lincoln. He was married to Mary Todd Lincoln, with whom he had four children. He had English ancestry, along with a smaller amount of Scots-Irish/Northern Irish roots. He may have also had more distant Irish forebears, and Dutch ancestry.

President Lincoln’s paternal grandfather was Abraham Lincoln (the son of John Lincoln and Rebecca Flowers/Flower). President Lincoln’s grandfather Abraham was born in Berks County, Pennsylvania. John was the son of Mordecai Lincoln, Jr. and Hannah Salter. Rebecca was the daughter of Enoch Flowers and Rebecca Barnard/Bernard, whose father was born in Kingston, Wiltshire, England.

President Lincoln’s paternal grandmother was Bathsheba Herring (the daughter of Alexander Herring and Abigail Harrison). Bathsheba was born in Virginia. Alexander was the son of Alexander Herring, who may have been of Dutch descent, and of Margaret. Abigail was the daughter of Isaiah Harrison, who was from Chester, Cheshire, England, and of Abigail, possibly Smith.

The identity of President Lincoln’s biological maternal grandfather remains undetermined. He has not been clearly identified, neither during President Lincoln’s lifetime nor by historians or researchers since.

President Lincoln’s maternal grandmother was Lucy Hanks (the daughter of Joseph Hanks and Ann “Nanny”/”Nancy” Lee). Lucy was born in Virginia, likely in Richmond County. Joseph was the son of John Hanks and Catherine. Ann was the daughter of William Lee, who had Scots-Irish/Northern Irish ancestry.

President Lincoln’s mother was the half-sister of Mary Ann “Polly” Sparrow, who was the maternal great-great-great-great-grandmother of actor George Clooney (they were both the daughters of Lucy Hanks). This makes President Lincoln and George Clooney half-first cousins, five times removed. President Lincoln is also a third cousin, four times removed, of actor Tom Hanks. President Lincoln’s maternal great-great-grandparents, John Hanks and Catherine, were also the paternal six times great-grandparents of Tom Hanks.

Sources: Genealogies of President Lincoln – http://www.geni.com

DNA testing of President Lincoln’s matrilineal line – https://www.familytreedna.com

37 Responses

  1. bearboy says:

    How do we know for a fact hypothetically speaking if president Lincoln was alive to take a DNA test he wouldn’t have any remote Sub-Saharan African DNA? Of course his parents weren’t of majority African descent but who really knows 500-1,000 years ago. I mean it was a surprise when president Obama’s mother was descended from John Punch.

  2. phaedra says:

    I find it weird that the forefathers of America were usually British/Irish when over half of America was colonized by the French, German, Dutch and Spaniards. How did the Brits get so much power?

    • Seger says:

      Most people in colonial America, whether they were born or emigrated here, were of British stock. It’s as simple as that! They called the shots.

      While it’s true that the Dutch, French & Spanish founded colonies that would later become states, they were mostly settled by the descendants of Yankees (New Englanders), & also further heavy migration during the 19th century from: Germany, Scandinavia, Ireland & Britain.

      While our culture has been enriched by many sources — our core cultural roots are British.

  3. savanna says:

    ‘New study of the matrilineal kin of Abraham Lincoln’s mother Nancy Hanks has demonstrated that Lincoln’s mitochondrial DNA belonged to a very rare haplogroup X1c, and has provided evidence of the maternal ancestry of Nancy Hanks Lincoln.’ https://www.familytreedna.com/public/HanksDNAProject/default.aspx?section=news


  4. sparkles180 says:

    I was always confused about his ethnicity because of the part black rumors.

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