Thomas Lincoln was born on January 7, 1778, in Rockingham County, Virginia, to Captain Abraham and Bathsheba Lincoln. He was the youngest of three sons and the fourth of five children. The Lincoln family migrated from eastern Virginia to Jefferson County, Virginia, in 1782. Four years later, Captain Abraham was killed by Native Americans on the family farm.
Thomas, a carpenter and farmer by trade, courted and married Nancy Hanks on Beech Fork in Washington County, Kentucky, on June 12, 1806. Together they had three children, Sarah, Abraham, and Thomas, Jr. Thomas and his family continued their migration westward in 1816, first to Indiana and finally to Macon County, Illinois. A year following Nancy Lincoln's death in October 1818, Thomas married Sarah Bush Johnston, an Elizabethtown, Kentucky, widow. Upon reaching Illinois, Thomas lived the remainder of his life in Coles County, Illinois, until his death in 1851.
Nancy Hanks Lincoln
Nancy Hanks was probably born around 1783, in Virginia, to James and Lucy Shipley Hanks. Little is known about the Hanks ancestry, because of the repetitive use of common names from generation to generation. At the time of her marriage to Thomas Lincoln, she was living at the Washington County farm of her uncle, Richard Berry. Following her marriage to Thomas and the birth of her three children, including future president Abraham Lincoln, the family moved to Indiana in 1816.
Nancy contracted milk sickness, caused by drinking the milk of cows that had consumed the poisonous white snakeroot plant. She called her two oldest children, Sarah and Abraham, to her bedside and "told them to be good and kind to their father - to one another and to the world." She died on October 5, 1818.
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