Monday, October 17, 2011

Abe's Parentage ... as told to me by my grandmother

When I was a teenager [around 1960], my grandmother told me this ...  "We are 'kin' to Nancy Hanks that lived close to Ebenezer Community near Anderson, South Carolina.  That Nancy, in the early 1800s was a waitress in a tavern that was visited often by John C. Calhoun, who later became a famous South Carolinian.  At the time, he was a young lawyer traveling through the area where the tavern was.  He and Nancy got "involved," and she got "in a family way".  Knowing that his future in law or politics was at stake, he had to do something.  A traveling salesman that also was often at the tavern was Thomas Lincoln.  John C. Calhoun paid off Thomas Lincoln to take Nancy Hanks out of the State of South Carolina and far enough away so that nobody would know what had happened.  Having a child out of wedlock is bad anytime, but back then it was terrible.  Anyway, Thomas Lincoln went from South Carolina to North Carolina to Tennessee and finally ended up in Kentucky -- where Abraham Lincoln was born.  So that is how we are also 'kin' to Abraham Lincoln."


  1. My mother's Bradley line from Northeast Georgia, near Stephens County, on the South Carolina border across from Clemson and Anderson, was supposed to be related to Abraham Lincoln, according to old family stories and material once held in the Georgia Archives in Atlanta. We thought the story highly improbable until I matched a Calhoun descendant on FTDNA Family Finder, through a descendant of his grandson named Clemson, giving some credence to the story. That branch of my mother's family was tall and lanky with long spidery fingers, having some of the features of Marfan's syndrome, and my sister had mitral valve prolapse, a condition sometimes associated with that syndrome. The only way to confirm or deny the hypothesis that John C. Calhoun was the biological father fo Abraham Lincoln is to find a male descendant of the President and compare his Y DNA to the Calhoun Y DNA from John C. Calhoun. Until then, we can only speculate.

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  3. There are plenty of Calhoun descedants, as my grandmother is one. And one of her brothers, my Great Uncle Gene Calhoun, is still alive. We believe that John C. Calhoun is definitely Abraham Lincolns birth father. Angela

  4. I live in Abbeville, SC. I have done some research upon the whole Nancy Hanks and John C. Calhoun connection - it's all very interesting... I have done a timeline; and Calhoun was actually in Abbeville, SC at the time that Lincoln was conceived.

    While, not in itself conclusive, it is definitely something to seriously consider!

    1. There is some good information that certainly points to Calhoun as Abe Lincoln's father. It appears that a "cover-up" happened way back then.