President Abraham Lincoln's great, great, great, great grandfather, Samuel Lincoln, left England in 1637, settling in Hingham, Massachusetts. The next four generations of Lincolns continued to move south and west — to New Jersey, then Pennsylvania and, finally, to Virginia.
Captain Abraham Lincoln, grandfather of the sixteenth president, left Rockingham County, Virginia, about 1782 with his wife, Bersheba, and their five children. The Lincolns entered Kentucky through Cumberland Gap, settling in what is today Casey County (5). About 1784, Abraham moved his family to Jefferson County (6). There, in May 1786, Captain Lincoln was killed in an Indian attack.
Shortly after Abraham's death, Bersheba Lincoln moved her family to what is today Washington County (7). Abraham and Bersheba's youngest son, Thomas, married Nancy Hanks in 1806. The young couple was living in Elizabethtown (8) when their first child, Sarah, was born in 1807. The family moved to the Sinking Spring farm (9) in 1808. Their first son, Abraham, named for his grandfather, was born there in 1809.
Two years later the Lincolns moved to the Knob Creek farm (10) where Abraham spent his early childhood. The family remained at Knob Creek until 1816. When problems with the title to the farm arose, Thomas Lincoln decided to leave Kentucky.
The Lincoln Family moved to Indiana (11) and later to Illinois (12). As a young adult, Abraham Lincoln moved to New Salem (13), where he eventually established a law practice. After his second election to the state legislature, the future president moved to Springfield, the state capital (14).
Though he left Kentucky before his tenth year, Abraham Lincoln left a strong attachment to the state. His wife, Mary Todd, was a Kentuckian, as were many of his closest friends, including Joshua Speed, William H. Herndon and Cassius Marcellus Clay.
Kentucky Lincoln Heritage Trail
1809 Abraham Lincoln born at Sinking Spring farm, in present-day Larue County, Kentucky.
1816 Lincoln family moved from Kentucky.
1841 Abraham Lincoln visited his friend Joshua Speed at Farmington, the Speed family plantation, in Louisville, Kentucky.
1842 Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd of Lexington, Kentucky.
1847 The Lincoln family visited Lexington, Kentucky, en route to Abraham's only term in Congress.
1860 Abraham Lincoln elected President of the United States in November.
1865 Abraham Lincoln assassinated at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C.
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A project of the Kentucky Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission produced by the Kentucky Heritage Council in partnership with the Kentucky Historical Society and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet