Monday, November 30, 2020

Origins of the Lincolns in England, the move to the Colonies and into Modern Times.

In historical writing and analysis, PRESENTISM introduces present-day ideas and perspectives into depictions or interpretations of the past. Presentism is a form of cultural bias that creates a distorted understanding of the subject matter. Reading modern notions of morality into the past is committing the error of presentism. Historical accounts are written by people and can be slanted, so I try my hardest to present fact-based and well-researched articles.

Facts don't require one's approval or acceptance.

I present [PG-13] articles without regard to race, color, political party, or religious beliefs, including Atheism, national origin, citizenship status, gender, LGBTQ+ status, disability, military status, or educational level. What I present are facts — NOT Alternative Facts — about the subject. You won't find articles or readers' comments that spread rumors, lies, hateful statements, and people instigating arguments or fights.

When I write about the INDIGENOUS PEOPLE, I follow this historical terminology:
  • The use of old commonly used terms, disrespectful today, i.e., REDMAN or REDMEN, SAVAGES, and HALF-BREED are explained in this article.
Writing about AFRICAN-AMERICAN history, I follow these race terms:
  • "NEGRO" was the term used until the mid-1960s.
  • "BLACK" started being used in the mid-1960s.
  • "AFRICAN-AMERICAN" [Afro-American] began usage in the late 1980s.


The name "Lincoln" derives from the Welsh element lynn, meaning 'Lake' and the Latin word colonia, meaning 'settlement or colony.'

Those unconvinced of the laws of heredity can only imagine a vague and curious interest in Abraham Lincoln's origin. The idea of "a self-made man" has become a widely held belief to many Americans who have delighted to see Lincoln, unschooled, unpretentious, rising from obscurity to the nation's highest place by the elemental force of character. But there must be some well-defined reason for the character, whether it be heredity, circumstance, or experience—there is an underlying law for everything in nature.

Abraham Lincoln was schooled for one year, but he was not uneducated in any true sense. He was formed by biblical study (the Torah or Tanakh [1] and the New Testament), upon which American civilization rested in its pioneer days for its world history, law, polity, and science. Lincoln's deep dive into the principles of human law and its humane application, as written in the U.S. Constitution and in many of the older legal systems from other countries. His intellect and thrust for knowledge affirm Lincoln's superior mental discipline.

Abraham was raised in the ruggedness of poverty and hardship, as his father and mother did on the frontier. Abraham Lincoln's superior drive was his persistence, which contributed to his ability to understand most people's opinions. He also possessed the gift of storytelling, his way of gentle persuasion. 

Heredity must be considered in Lincoln's gift of mental acuity, logic, and the art of deduction.

Whether the Lincoln family was of Norman blood or old Saxon stock is still being determined. One of the earliest Lincolns, of whom there is a record, bore the Saxon name Alfred. Still, his family intermarried with Normans, and it is probable that he was of the conquering race, for he held many lands, which was not usual among Saxons in the first years after the conquest of England. 

Colswain de Lincoln was recorded in 1086, and his son, Picot, in 1111. Alfred de Lincoln, living in 1086, was followed in the lordship of his "great Lincolnshire barony" by his son, Alan de Lincoln. Another son was probably Thorold, who bore the office of sheriff. Thorold married the daughter of William Malet, one of the great nobles who came to England with William the Conqueror. It was to Malet that Harold's body, the Saxons' leader, was buried after the battle of Hastings. Another Alfred de Lincoln was living in 1130. He was succeeded by his son, Robert, who was followed by a third, Alfred, living in 1165.

The exact time when the ancestors of Abraham Lincoln settled in County Norfolk, England, is unknown. In the fourth year of King John's reign (1202 or 1203), Ivo de Lincoln figures in the "Pedes Finium" of the county, receiving for twenty pounds sterling a messuage (a dwelling house with outbuildings and land assigned to its use))in Lenn. In 1298, Thomas de Lingcole bestowed upon the Church of Saint Mary Coslany at Norwich, a lamp, a candle, and "the rent of Colegate" for the service of the high altar. Adam de Lincoln, son of William, of Great Yarmouth, while with his wife, Johan, in London, February 3, 1289-90, received a grant from Walter de Wyndsore of the manor of Codesmor in Rutland, and of land in Essex. For these estates, a specific yearly rental was to be paid until the death of Walter, after which a flavor of romance is brought into the formalities of the transaction, for thenceforth, in lieu of money payment, a rose was to be offered each year by Adam and Johan, or their heirs, to the heirs of Walter de Wyndsore. 

Another early Lincoln in Norfolk was Sir John Lincoln, parish priest of Weeting in 1387, whose title may have been one of courtesy rather than by right of birth, for "Sir" was not infrequently added to a priest's name in the Middle Ages in England. The name frequently appears in various documentary remains of Norfolk in the sixteenth century. Nicholas Lincoln of Rollesby was fined threepence in 1507 for poaching in waters belonging to Padham Manor. In 1537, another Nicholas Lincoln was rector of Caistor-next-the-Sea. 

During Queen Mary's reign, in 1555, one Clover, a schoolmaster of Diss, and three brothers named Lincoln started a little insurrection in Norfolk. It was soon suppressed, and the four leaders were hanged. The cause of their grievances, real or imaginary, is not clear. Norfolk, as a whole, had been loyal to the Catholic faith during the religious changes of Henry VIII and Edward VI and had joyfully welcomed the accession of Mary to the throne. Hence, it is not probable that this disturbance was due to religious reasons. It may, however, have sprung indirectly from the suffering that had come to the poor and to farmers and tradesmen with the dissolution of the monasteries, which resulted in much bitterness of class feeling born of the resulting hardships and the impotence of the people, clinging to the old order, crushed by the king's will. In some cases, this indignation turned to visionary dreams of more or less socialistic government conditions. The Lincolns were scattered throughout the county, but Hingham, Swanton Morley, Carbrooke, and Norwich are the Lincoln homes of most interest to Americans, for in them lived the ancestors of Abraham Lincoln.

I — The earliest known ancestor was Robert Lincoln I (June 1, 1496-1543) of Hingham, Norfolk, England. He probably was born in the fifteenth century, as he had a grandnephew living when he made his will on April 18, 1540. His wife was Johanna Bawdiven (1490-1555) married in 1516. Their son was Robert, also of Hingham.

II — Robert Lincoln II (1525-1554) and his wife, Margaret Albereye [or Alberye] (1529-1558). Their children were John Lincoln, Richard Lincoln, Katherine Lincoln, Agnes Lincoln, John Lincoln, and Unknown Lincoln.

Ill — Richard Lincoln (abt. 1545-1620) married four times. His first wife was Elizabeth Remching of Carbrooke, England. At his marriage with her, he made legal provisions that certain land inherited from his father, Robert Lincoln, who, in turn, had received it from his father, Robert, senior, should pass upon his own death and that of his wife to the children of their marriage. This matter became an important one in the life of their son, Edward Lincoln, who was the father of the immigrant ancestor of Abraham Lincoln. 

Richard's second wife was a widow named Hobbs, and his third wife was Margery Dunham, also a widow. He married another widow, Anne Smale, whose maiden surname was Bird. She was of the Bird family of Great Witchingham, Norwich, England.

In his will, on January 3, 1615, Richard Lincoln called himself "of Swanton Morlie," but he was buried at Hingham on December 23, 1620. In many ways, his will is an interesting document. He bequeathed certain sums to Hingham Church, the poor of Hingham, Swanton Morley, and Great Witchingham, his wife's home. He provided for the bringing up of his youngest son, Henry, "unto literature and good education," and there were legacies to his godchildren, as well as to members of his family. 

Although the youngest son, Henry, was not in the line of Abraham Lincoln, it is interesting to note that he was called in later legal documents both "Yeoman" and "Gentleman." The humbler title was clearly not considered incompatible with gentle hood in those days. And "Gentleman" bore then, as still in arms granting countries, a definite meaning understood of all. Gentlemen were those who had the right, either by inheritance or by direct grant, to bear coat armor. It is beyond doubt, therefore, that the Norfolk Lincolns, ancestors of Abraham Lincoln, possessed a coat of arms.

There are seven known blazons of coat armor under the name Lincoln or Lincolne. They are as follows: (I) Argent, a leopard rampant sable. (II) Or, a leopard rampant sable, armed argent. (Ill) Azure, a lion rampant sable, gorged with a ducal coronet or Crest: A lion rampant as in the arms. (IV) Gules, a lion rampant or out of a ducal coronet or, a demi-lion proper, crowned with an antique crown of the first. (V) Azure, on a cross vert an estoile pierced argent. (VI) Argent, on a cross azure five mullets or. (VII) Quarterly, per pale indented, or and gules; in the first and fourth a cross of five lozenges of the second. This last coat-of-arms was of the Lincolne family of Dorsetshire and Somersetshire in the time of Richard I.

IV — Edward Thomas Lincoln (goes by "Thomas") (February of 1580 - February 11, 1640) was the sole surviving son of the marriage of Richard Lincoln and Elizabeth Remching. Born at Swanton Abbott, North Norfolk District, England. Edward married Bridget Gilman Lincoln (1582-1665), daughter of Edward Gilman, in 1600. She was born and died in Hingham, England.

He was not mentioned in his father's will, and an estrangement had probably arisen between father and son in connection with Richard Lincoln's fourth marriage. This supposition is based on a suit in chancery brought against Edward Lincoln by his half-sisters, children of this fourth marriage. The occasion of this suit was the desire of the guardians of these young girls, for they were minors at the time, to win for their possession of the land which Richard Lincoln had arranged should go to the heir of his marriage with Elizabeth Remching. The documents in this suit contain proof of Abraham Lincoln's four generations of English ancestry: Robert, Robert, Richard, and Edward.

Whether Edward Lincoln's defense of his patrimony was successful is unknown. Little further is recorded of him. Two of his sons were apprenticed to learn the weaver's trade, which indicates that he was unable to maintain the social position of his ancestors. His burial in the Hingham churchyard is recorded on February 11, 1640. No trace of his wife's name has been found, but they had eight children. Thomas, the eldest son, came to America in 1633 and settled in Hingham, Massachusetts, in 1635, the same year Hingham was incorporated on September 2. Daniel Lincoln, another son, also came to the same settlement. 

Edward And Bridget Lincoln came to the colonies in 1637 on the ship "John & Dorothy" as servants to the Lawes family. Edward's brothers, Daniel and Thomas, were already in America. Neither he nor Thomas left issue, and Samuel, the third of the three brothers who sailed to the colonies, was, therefore, the American ancestor.

V — Samuel 'Weaver' Lincoln Sr. (August 24, 1622 - May 26, 1690), the son of Edward, was baptized in Hingham, England, on August 24, 1622. As was the custom among the middle classes in England and in those families whose loss of property obliged them to depend upon trade for their living rather than on the income from land, whether as farmers or landlords, Edward Lincoln had apprenticed his youngest son, while still a child, to learn the weaver's trade. He was bound as an apprentice to Francis Lawes of Norwich, England, and it was with him that he came to America. 

Samuel embarked for the New World with Lawes' family on the ship "John & Dorothy," at 15 years old, from England on April 8, 1637. Samuel is described in the shipping list as "Samuell: Lincorne; aged 18 years," in order to be permitted to make the voyage. He was working at Francis Lawe's farm for some time in Salem, Massachusetts. Eventually, he settled in Hingham, where his two brothers lived. Here, he followed his weaver's trade, bought land, and founded the family to give America one of her greatest presidents.

Mordecai1   (1657–1727)  Son of Samuel and Martha Lincoln.
Mordecai2   (1686-1736)  Son of Mordecai1 and Sarah Jones. 
Mordecai3   (1771-1830)  Son of Capt. Abraham Lincoln and Bathsheba Herring.

Samuel helped build the "Old Ship Church" in Hingham, Massachusetts. He married Martha Lyford (1628-1693) of Ireland around 1649, possibly the daughter of the Rev. John Lyford, and the couple had eleven children; Samuel Lincoln; Daniel Lincoln; Mordecai1 Lincoln (June 14, 1657–1727); Thomas Lincoln; Mary Lincoln; Martha Lincoln; Sarah Lincoln; and Rebecca Lincoln, three of whom died in their infancy, but another three of whom lived into their eighties. Lincoln's eldest son, born August 25, 1650, was named Samuel Lincoln Jr. Over the next generations, his ancestors moved south, eventually settling in Kentucky. Samuel was the first Lincoln forebearer of the President to settle in the United States of America. After his death, he left a great deal of his property, including several house lots, to Samuel and his nephews.

Among their eleven children, Samuel Lincoln and his wife, Martha, were born Mordecai1 Lincoln on June 14, 1657. He moved from Hingham to Scituate, Massachusetts, where he was a prosperous and esteemed community member. He owned ironworks and grist and sawmills. Mordecai1 Lincoln died in 1736. His first wife was Sarah, the daughter of Abraham and Sarah (Whitman) Jones.

VI — Samuel Lincoln and Martha's son, Mordecai1 Lincoln, left Massachusetts and went to Monmouth County, New Jersey, where he married Hannah, the daughter of Richard and Sarah (Bowne) Salter. Later, he moved to Coventry, Chester County, Pennsylvania, where he was employed in the iron industry. He owned ironworks and grist and sawmills. Mordecai1 died at Amity, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, in 1736. That he had been able to maintain the social traditions of his ancestry is evident from the fact that he was dubbed "Gent" in the inventory of his estate.

VII — John Lincoln, the eldest son of Mordecai1 Lincoln and Hannah Salter, was living at Caernarvon, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in 1748, but removed to Augusta County (now Rockingham County), Virginia, where, in 1768, he bought six hundred acres of land. His wife was named Rebecca, and one of their sons was Captain Abraham Lincoln, the President's grandfather, born in Pennsylvania on July 16, 1739.

VIII — Abraham Lincoln was a Captain in the Virginia militia. He fought in the Revolutionary War, and it may have been his soldier life as well as the impulse strong in so many of Lincoln's ancestors to probe with pilgrim-staff or hew with the ax of the pioneer the secret of the wilderness, which led Captain Lincoln, near the close of the war, to sell his Virginia lands and make his way over the mountains into the wilds of Kentucky.

Captain Abraham Lincoln married Mary Shipley, whose sister, Nancy, became the wife of Joseph Hanks and the mother of Nancy Hanks, President Lincoln's mother. He married a second woman, Bathsheba Herring, the mother of his youngest son, Thomas. When Captain Lincoln sold his large Virginia estate for five thousand pounds and became the owner of two thousand acres of land in Kentucky, he no doubt felt as secure in his children's protection from poverty as in his own. Little did he dream that his youngest son would have no share in the broad acres by himself reclaimed, probably to a great extent from the wild forests by a gallant struggle with nature, fighting for her own, and with the savages helping their mother to keep out the stranger.

One day in May 1786, Captain Lincoln was working in his field with his three sons when he was shot from the nearby forest and fell to the ground. The eldest boy, Mordecai3, ran to the cabin where a loaded gun was kept, while the middle son, Josiah, ran to Hughes' Station for help. Thomas, then about five years old, stood in shock by his father. From the cabin, Mordecai3 observed an Indian exit the forest and stop by his father's body. The Indian reached for Thomas, either to kill him or to carry him off. Mordecai3 took aim and shot the Indian in the chest, killing him. Thomas was left without parents (his mother seems to have died before her husband, but the date is unknown) and apparently without any kinsfolk who cared about his fate. Abraham's property was passed to one or both of his elder sons. Captain Abraham Lincoln's sudden death during Thomas' childhood and the consequent loss of protection and property made the life of Thomas, President Lincoln's father, a laborious struggle, unbrightened by the relief that education and cultivated tastes may bring.

IXThomas Herring Lincoln was born in Rockingham County, Virginia, on January 6, 1778. So far as can be learned, he was utterly neglected by his two half-brothers, who were young men at the time of their father's death. He grew to manhood with apparently no care or education except that bestowed by the sisters of his father's first wife, Lucy Shipley (Mrs. Richard Berry) and Elizabeth Shipley (Mrs. Thomas Sparrow). Mrs. Berry brought up Nancy Hanks, daughter of her sister, Nancy (Shipley) Hanks. The love consummated by the marriage of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks probably began with the children's hours of play beneath Mrs. Berry's kindly roof.

They were married by the Reverend Jesse Head, a Methodist minister, at Mrs. Berry's home on June 12, 1806. Nancy Hanks has been described as medium height, fair-haired, gentle, and sweet. Thomas Lincoln was very strong and famous in the countryside as a great wrestler. His son inherited from him his fondness for this sport. Thomas is said to have been relatively short and thick-set, with dark hair, gray eyes, and a prominent nose. This last feature was also inherited by his son. 

Thomas Lincoln had studied carpentry with Joseph Hanks, Nancy's brother. While he had neither the means nor the opportunity for education such as would have been his, without doubt, if his father had lived, he was not at all the letterless boor usually depicted by most of the biographers of President Lincoln. The signature on his marriage bond is clear and well-written. Before he was twenty-five, he had saved enough money to buy farmland destined to fame as the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. This farm was at Buffalo, on the borderline between La Rue and Hardin counties, Kentucky, where the Lincoln Farm Association dedicated a memorial shrine on May 30, 1911. When Abraham was about four years old, his parents moved to a large farm of two hundred and thirty-eight acres at Muldraugh's Hill. Here, he had his first schooling, save that his mother had given him, from Zachariah Riney, a Catholic schoolmaster of the pioneer Kentucky days. 

In 1816, Thomas Lincoln was appointed road surveyor from Nolin to Bardstown, but the following year, the family left Kentucky and made a new home near Gentryville, in Spencer County, Indiana. To us, this removal seems a tragic mistake, for living in the new settlement was hard, as all pioneer life must be, save in tropical climates, and to the hardships was added an epidemic of malarial fever. To this, Nancy Lincoln's delicate, worn spirit succumbed, and here she died on October 5, 1818. 

Thomas Lincoln's second wife was Mrs. Sarah (Bush) Johnston, a widow he had known as a girl in Kentucky. She brought much of ordered comfort and welcome cheer to the little frontier home, which had been without a woman's care for over a year. She was a good woman and lovingly fulfilled to Thomas Lincoln's children the service of mother care that she had undertaken. No children were born in this marriage. Sarah Lincoln died near Charleston, Illinois, in 1869. Her home, where she died, had been a gift from her loved and loving stepson, Abraham Lincoln. 

In 1823, Thomas Lincoln became a member of the Baptist church, a society of that denomination formed in his home neighborhood. Those who knew him have said he was an earnest and devout Christian, as were President Lincoln's mother and stepmother. That a year passed before a funeral ceremony was held for Lincoln's mother was sad evidence of the isolation of the Western settlers. It was her loving little son of nine years, the son to whom his mother's sweet memory was always a holy inspiration throughout his after-career of fame and sorrow, who wrote the pathetically childish appeal to the Reverend David Elkins, the minister, who journeyed a hundred miles to hold a Christian service over Nancy Lincoln's grave. When Abraham Lincoln attained his majority, the family moved to Illinois, finally settling at Goose Neck Prairie, Coles County, where Thomas Lincoln, an old man of seventy-three, died on January 17, 1851. 

XI — Abraham Lincoln's life was filled with death like many others who lived on the frontier. His little brother, Thomas Lincoln Jr. (nicknamed "Tommy"), died days after birth in 1812. Abraham Lincoln's mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln (February 5, 1784 - October 5, 1818), died when Abraham was just nine years old. Then, in 1828, his sister Sarah Lincoln Grigsby (February 10, 1807 - January 20, 1828) died while giving birth to a stillborn boy, subsequently named George. Lincoln also grieved his first love, the woman he intended to marry, Ann Rutledge (January 7, 1813 - August 25, 1835), when she died of Typhoid fever (a specific type of Salmonella) in New Salem, Illinois, leaving Abe severely depressed.

After Abraham married Mary Todd in 1842, the couple settled down to start their own family. They had four sons. Abraham and Mary's first son, Robert Todd Lincoln (August 1, 1843 – July 26, 1926), lived a long and prestigious life. 

The Lincolns' second son, Edward Baker Lincoln (March 10, 1846 - February 1, 1850; 47 months), died just shy of 4 years old of what was believed to be Tuberculosis (then commonly known as Consumption).

Their third son, William Wallace (nicknamed "Willie") Lincoln (December 21, 1850 - February 20, 1862), was born 10 months after Edward's death while the Lincolns resided in the White House. A favorite of Mary and Abraham, Willie's death was a harsh blow to the family. His body was eventually exhumed and accompanied his father's body to be buried in Springfield, Illinois.

The Lincolns' youngest son, Thomas (nicknamed "Tad"), was born in 1853. Tad outlived his father by only six years. He died at the age of 18 on July 15, 1871.

When Abraham Lincoln was elected President in November of 1860, many viewed him as a man who managed to rise to the highest position in our nation despite being born the son of a lowly farmer. In reality, he came from a long line of England-born landowners. The first American-born Lincoln men also became landowners in modern-day Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Kentucky.

XII  Robert was a lawyer, President and Chairman of the Board for the Pullman Company and had a political career. At its height, he was appointed Secretary of War under President James Garfield. Tragically, Robert's long life was marred by encounters with America's calamitous history. After being present at the Petersen House when his father died, he witnessed the assassinations of President Garfield (July 2, 1881) and President William McKinley (September 14, 1901).

The Lincolns' only son to marry and have children was Robert. He married Mary Eunice Harlan in 1868 and had three children: Mary Todd "Mamie" Lincoln Isham (October 15, 1869 - November 21, 1938); Abraham Lincoln II (August 14, 1873 - March 5, 1890); and Jessie Harlan Lincoln (November 6, 1875 - January 4, 1948). Abraham II was the final Lincoln to own the name Abraham.

Robert's two girls each lived well into the 1900s. His daughter Mary had one son, Lincoln Isham, who did not have children. Robert's daughter Jessie had two children: a daughter, Mary, and a son, Robert. Mary never married; she died in 1975. 

XIII — Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith married three times but had no children. In 1985, Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, the great-grandson of Abraham Lincoln, died with no heir to carry on the family name. With his death, an American family that had lived and worked in this country for generations ended abruptly.

The element of personal sympathy is mingled with our thoughts of Nancy Hanks, the mother of Lincoln. A gentle spirit bravely enduring the hardships of her life until death gave her victory, and our pity and affection go out to her and make the pathetic aspect of her story more vivid. Bereft of father and mother, we fancy her a sad little child growing up in the rough surroundings of a pioneer settlement; then, as a serious and charming young girl married to a frontiersman, Thomas Lincoln, who lacked the education she had managed to acquire; and later, a fragile mother, falling wearily to death as though to sleep, worn out with the harshness of life the toil, which had been her lot as the wife of a fighter of the wilderness. Nancy Lincoln seems to have been forced into a forlorn struggle with nature and circumstances, a struggle in which she yielded her life.

The efforts, both of Lincoln's enemies and of many of his friends, to convince his countrymen that his origin was of the utmost obscurity and that in the technical gentle hood, he had no part have fixed firmly in many persons' minds the idea that his mother's family was as lowly as they unjustly contend was his father's. To those who have accepted this opinion, it may be surprising to learn that the Hanks family of England were gentry with the right to bear coat armor. The Hank's arms are blazoned: Bendy of six, azure and a chief ermine. While proof has not been found that these arms belonged directly to the ancestors of Nancy Hanks, the theory of the social insignificance of the lineage is thus upset. 

Investigations prove that Nancy Hanks is descended from a family living in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, in the sixteenth century. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, Benjamin Hanks was an immigrant ancestor in Pembroke, Massachusetts. His son, William, moved to Virginia and was the father of Joseph Hanks. He was living in Amelia County, Virginia, in 1747. Joseph Hanks made his will on May 4, 1793. In it, he speaks of his "Wife Nanny" and his "Daughter Nancy." Nancy Shipley was his wife, but it may have been a second marriage for the daughter, Nancy, born in 1784. This would make Joseph Hanks a very old man if he was the same Joseph who sold land in Amelia County in 1747, then a grown man.

Both of Nancy Hanks' parents died when she was a child, and she was brought up in her aunt's home, Mrs. Richard Berry, as noted above. She was twenty-two years old when she married Thomas Lincoln and thirty-four when she died. To her, Abraham Lincoln probably owed much of the patient strength that helped him through the agonies of his country's struggles.

Abraham Lincoln's grandmother, Mrs. Joseph Hanks, was a Shipley. The Shipleys were an old family in Leicestershire and in Hampshire, England. The Hampshire branch bore the following coat armor. 

Arms: Lozengy, argent and sable, a bordure of the last. 
Crest: Out of an earl's coronet or, the bust of a Moorish prince proper, habited of the first, wreathed about the temples argent and sable. 
Latin Motto: "Nec placida contenta quieta est."  
English: "Neither peaceful, contented, is quiet."

It is believed that the Virginia Shipleys came from Leicestershire. Robert Shipley, the father of Nancy Hanks' mother, who married Joseph Hanks, owned over three hundred acres in Lunenburg County, Virginia, but after the Revolution, he and his wife, Sarah Rachael, and their family were among the many Virginians who at that time braved the perils of "The Crossing" and founded new homes and, eventually a new state Kentucky.
Thomas Lincoln ─ President Lincoln's Father

Practically all Lincoln's ancestral families were pilgrims and pioneers, which was not without purpose in his making. They followed truth as they were able to see afar off. Perhaps it's light. Some, wayfarers for liberty, marched bravely along the perilous ways for the right to live as freemen. Some, perhaps, had in their hearts that one red drop of blood which beats to the road call, the world call, the song of the wilderness. In Lincoln was the patient Pilgrim, surely the lover of freedom and that touch of kinship with wood-folk and forest ways, which made him understand animals, love children, and which, alas, may have made him uncomprehended, unloved by the world-bound, too spoiled by an artificial and corrupt standard to revere his simplicity. 

Abraham Lincoln's grandmother, the wife of Captain Abraham Lincoln, was Bathsheba Herring, the daughter of Leonard Herring of Heronford, Rockingham County, Virginia. The research of Mr. Lea and Mr. Hutchinson established the Herring connection with the Lincoln family. Leonard Herring was the son of John, who is said by family tradition to have been a younger son of an English family that belonged to Thomas Herring, Archbishop of Canterbury, in the eighteenth century. He was born in County Norfolk but seems to have been related to the Heron family of Croydon, Surrey, where the archbishop died. The coat-of-arms of the Croydon Herons were: Gules, a chevron engraved between three herons, close, argent. Crest: A heron close, argent.  

The great-great-grandmother of Abraham Lincoln was a Salter. Richard Salter was a notable Monmouth County, New Jersey, lawyer in 1687. In 1695, he became a member of the House of Deputies, and in 1704, he remained a member of the Assembly of Representatives. His legal achievements won him the high office of Chief Justice in the Supreme Court of New Jersey. In military service, he held the rank of captain. Captain Salter married Sarah Bowne, and their daughter, Hannah, became the wife of Mordecai2 Lincoln. 

Among the Lincoln progenitors are the Bownes. William Bowne came from Yorkshire to Salem, Massachusetts, in 1631 with his wife, Anne, and their son, John, Lincoln's ancestor. Salem was scarcely a "city of peace" to those whose minds and temperaments were not cast in the mold of the Puritans. The passion of the time for forcing souls and bodies into a harsh prisonhouse of uniformity made the little settlement a seething whirlpool of sects and enmities. Half-crazed perhaps by persecution, the Quakers, it is said, ran naked through the streets. The Baptists vainly protested against the intolerance of those who fled to New England for conscience's sake. In following the records of those days, the modern descendants of the Puritans seem to be looking at a gloomy Ibsen play viewed from the comfortable security of the orchestra chairs of our twentieth-century "laissez-faire" or perhaps an Ibsen play combined with a blood-and-thunder melodrama thrilling at the Indian massacres, appalled by the desolate horror of witchcraft, alternately indignant at the cruelty, and pitiful to the terrors which perhaps were a cause of the cruelty. But let us not forget, in the revolt of sensibilities made tender not so much by Christian tolerance, possibly, as by indifference to the value to souls of right thinking, that the Puritans were men and women of splendid valor, who dared peril of sea and savage fury, and the blighting rigor of life in a northern wilderness, for the sake of a principle which, although it was afterward shadowed by cruelty and persecution, was high and holy in so far as it recognized the paramount rights of eternal principles over human governments and personal opinions. 

About 1645, a little band of Quakers and Baptists shook from their garments the unfriendly dust of Salem and began their pilgrimage for conscience' sake to Gravesend, Long Island, then under Dutch rule. Among these wayfarers for the rights of the soul was one of the most interesting figures who passed across the stage of our colonial history, Lady Deborah Moody, recognized by the authorities as the chief of the proprietors at Gravesend, a valiant woman, strong in the will to do and to suffer for her Quaker faith. 

To Gravesend, with the Salem exiles came the Bownes. William Bowne was named one of the seven patentees in 1670 and a magistrate of Gravesend in 1657. In 1663, a colony from Gravesend settled in Monmouth County, New Jersey. The "Monmouth Patent" was granted on April 8, 1665, and two of the twelve grantees, John Bowne and Obadiah Holmes, were ancestors of Lincoln. William Bowne, the father, was not one of the original grantees, but he received land two years later at Portland Point in Monmouth County and died there in 1677. One of his sons, James, was a deputy to the General Assembly and a judge. Another, Andrew, became deputy-governor of New Jersey in 1699 and governor of East New Jersey in 1701. Major John Bowne, the eldest son of William and Anne Bowne, was born in England, probably in Yorkshire. He has been called "the most prominent citizen of the county [Monmouth], esteemed for his integrity and ability." He was a deputy to the Assembly and major in the Monmouth County militia. His wife was Lydia Holmes, and their daughter, Sarah Bowne, married Richard Salter, as recorded above.

Abraham Lincoln also had the blood of Holmes in him. The Reverend Obadiah Holmes was a man of extraordinary ability in many directions. He was of scholarly education, a zealous preacher, a worker in glass, and, as the events of his life prove, enterprising and courageous, with the qualities that make for business success. He possessed a capacity for leadership in public affairs, which won him a high place in the government of the Rhode Island colony. He was probably an Oxford graduate, as in an account of his life, which he wrote in 1675, he says that his parents sent three sons to that university. In this account, he mentions a brother, Robert Holmes.

The result of research in England of the ancestry of Obadiah Holmes made known by Colonel J. T. Holmes recently, shows that the American immigrant was baptized at Didsbury, near Manchester, Lancashire, on March 18, 1609-10. On November 20, 1630, he married Katherine Hyde in the Collegiate Church in Manchester. His name is not found among lists of Oxford students, but two of his brothers matriculated at Brasenose College, Oxford; John in 1625 and Samuel in 1632-33. The father was Robert Hulme (not Holmes) of Reddish, in the parish of Manchester. He made his will on August 11, 1602, and it was proved on January 28, 1604. His wife was Alice, and she was buried at the Collegiate Church of Manchester on September 7, 1610.

In 1639, Obadiah Holmes came to Salem with his wife, Katherine, and their son, Jonathan. In 1646, he moved to Rehoboth, and at about this time, probably, he adopted the tenets of the Baptists. In 1650, he was accused of holding house-to-house meetings on Sunday, and in 1651, he was arrested, sent to Boston for trial, and sentenced to receive thirty lashes. His specified offenses were baptizing on Sundays and praying with his hat on. In his "Diary," he describes the suffering he endured in this punishment, which he refused to escape by paying a fine. In 1652, he became minister of the Baptists at Newport, Rhode Island. He served as commissioner for several years, was sent as a deputy to the General Court, and was one of the most eminent men in the Colony.

Obadiah Holmes has been imbued with that wanderlust that impelled so many of Lincoln's ancestors to leave the old country for the New World and organize settlements here for the wilderness. He was at Gravesend, Long Island, with Lady Deborah Moody's settlement in 1664. In 1665, he became a patentee of the new settlement in Monmouth County, New Jersey, though he did not settle there, as did his family. He returned to his old home in Newport and died there in 1682. Lydia Holmes, daughter of Obadiah and Katherine (Hyde) Holmes, married Major John Bowne, and their granddaughter, Hannah Salter, married Mordecai2 Lincoln. 

Abraham Lincoln's heredity includes that of the Jones and Whitman lines. Thomas Jones was one of the first settlers of Hingham, Massachusetts. Abraham Jones, Lincoln's ancestor, is believed to have been the son of Thomas. Abraham was born in 1629 and lived in Hull, Massachusetts, in 1657. In 1689, he was a deputy to the General Court. He died in Hull in 1718. His wife was Sarah Whitman, the daughter of Ensign John Whitman, who was made a freeman of Weymouth in 1638, was the Deacon of the first church of Weymouth and was an extensive landholder there. Sarah Jones, the daughter of Abraham Jones and Sarah Whitman, married Mordecai2 Lincoln, son of Samuel Lincoln, the immigrant ancestor.

The Lincoln lineage traces directly to the Remchings of England. Richard Remching (1520–1567) was Lord of Carbrooke Manor, Norfolk in the sixteenth century. He died in March 1567 and was buried in Carbrooke Church. In his will, dated March 12, 1566-67, he mentioned his daughter, Elizabeth, who later became Richard Lincoln's wife and Samuel Lincoln's grandmother, the American immigrant ancestor. The wife of Richard Remching was Elizabeth; her maiden surname is unknown. Her will, made April 14, 1595, and proved May 24 of the same year, is an interesting human document. It is the last will and testament of a kindly old woman, speaking her affection for her family, son and daughter, grandchildren, the son-in-law and daughter-in-law, and many of the quaintly worded bequests show a most feminine appreciation, even in the solemn hour of death, of her "gown which came from London," her pretty kirtle of "silk gregorian," and "petticoat with a red silk fringe." To be sure, this note is sobered by the many "little prayer books" bequeathed as precious legacies, the bequests to numerous ministers, and the "book called Beza, his testament," which was to go to one of the granddaughters together with "one says gown with a velvet cape."

But one grandchild received no token, no last loving thought. Edward Lincoln, son of her dead daughter, Elizabeth, then a young man of twenty, was as completely ignored in his grandmother's will as he was in that of his father. We may account for the father's forgetfulness by the jealous influence of the stepmother. This estrangement would naturally make the ties between Edward Lincoln and his mother's kinsfolk closer and warmer. In those troubled times, when households were so often divided because of religious strife, was it perhaps some such matter which brought about the isolation of a boy, who sorely needed the kindness of kin, from those whose place it was to befriend him? 

The Remching connection with Abraham Lincoln's English ancestors was discovered by Mr. J. Sidney Lea and Mr. J. R. Hutchinson. This is the story in the outline of some of the men and women to whom America owes a part of Lincoln's greatness. It is not a story of kings and nobles, of brilliant achievement glowing against a splendid background. It is a history of English families of gentle blood, of hardy American pioneers, of men and women who lived their lives simply, bravely, and honestly, who bequeathed to Lincoln something of that ardent flame of loyalty to an idea that was his, as well as the tranquil courage which can meet death but never surrenders.

These investigations may disprove the popular fancies of his lack of "gentle" lineage, but they should not make him, in the eyes of any American, less indeed a man of the people in the best sense and the truest. He loved all humanity and gloriously manifested his love for his people since he died a martyr so that we might preserve a nation.

Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.

[1] THE TORAH (or Tanakh; pronunciation) is part of the sacred Scriptures of the Jewish people. The Hebrew Bible, or Tanakh, is typically divided into three parts: the Torah, the Navi'im (the Prophets), and the Ketuviym (the Writings). The Torah also explains how Jews are to worship God and conduct their lives as witnesses of God.

To the Jewish people, there is no "Old Testament." The books that Christians call the New Testament are not part of Jewish scripture. The so-called Old Testament is known to Jews as the "Written Torah" or the "Tanakh."

This is a list of the books of Written Torah, in the order in which they appear in Jewish translations, with the Hebrew name of the book, a translation of the Hebrew name (where it is not the same as the English name), and English names of the books (where it is not the same as the Hebrew name). The Hebrew names of the first five books are derived from the first few words of the book. The text of each book is more or less the same in Jewish translations as what you see in Christian bibles, although there are some occasional, slight differences in the numbering of verses and there are some significant differences in the translations.

TORAH (The Law):
  • Bereishith (In the beginning...) (Genesis)
  • Shemoth (The names...) (Exodus)
  • Vayiqra (And He called...) (Leviticus)
  • Bamidbar (In the wilderness...) (Numbers)
  • Devarim (The words...) (Deuteronomy)
NEVI'IM (The Prophets):
  • Yehoshua (Joshua)
  • Shoftim (Judges)
  • Shmuel (I &II Samuel)
  • Melakhim (I & II Kings)
  • Yeshayah (Isaiah)
  • Yirmyah (Jeremiah)
  • Yechezqel (Ezekiel)
  • The Twelve (treated as one book):
    • Hoshea (Hosea)
    • Yoel (Joel)
    • Amos
    • Ovadyah (Obadiah)
    • Yonah (Jonah)
    • Mikhah (Micah)
    • Nachum
    • Chavaqquq (Habbakkuk)
    • Tzefanyah (Zephaniah)
    • Chaggai
    • Zekharyah (Zechariah)
    • Malakhi
KETHUVIM (The Writings):
  • Tehillim (Psalms)
  • Mishlei (Proverbs)
  • Iyov (Job)
  • Shir Ha-Shirim (Song of Songs)
  • Ruth
  • Eikhah (Lamentations)
  • Qoheleth (the author's name) (Ecclesiastes)
  • Esther
  • Daniel
  • Ezra & Nechemyah (Nehemiah) (treated as one book)
  • Divrei Ha-Yamim (The words of the days) (Chronicles)

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