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Added Nov 19 2014

I've been an amateur Lincoln scholar since grammar school. Spent a lot of time in Springfield during my early years--used the Illinois Supreme Court Library to research and write my thesis. I've always been intrigued with the town and its history, in particular its most famous resident. Been reading "Recollections of Abraham Lincoln" by Ward Hill Lamon--makes me want to visit Springfield the spring. Have any of you read this book? I love it and find it an intimate portrayal of Mr. Lincoln whom I have admired since boyhood.

  • Senseis Taking the road less traveled

    I think I have to add that to my reading list. We loved the Lincoln Museum. We also really enjoyed seeing his birthplace in Kentucky. It was beautiful!

  • Read some place a few days ago the Lincoln home in Springfield is being repainted by the company whose owner lived down the block from the Lincoln's in the 1850's.

  • Janet Baker ISON over France (squint!)

    Dennis, could you comment on my family's contention that we are related to Lincoln? I was raised in McLeansboro, Illinois, in a house that stood beside a log cabin that my great grandparents said was Lincoln's as a child, and said also that his mother, Nancy Hanks, was my great-grandmother's half-sister, Hanks with one father from wherever the family came from before Illinois, I think Kentucky they said, and my great-grandmother Charity Daily by a different father in Illinois. I ought to go research it myself, but am always a little put off by people researching their ancestry, it seems like they are worshipping something unworthy, and in the case of my family it would be down-right sacriligious--lots of chicken thieves in the mix, if contemporary behaviors are any witness. But perhaps you know? I would not put it past my own family to have made it all up--my great-grandfather _____ Shepard--I forget his first name for a moment-- and great-grand uncle his brother were mayors of McLeansboro for a long spell, trading off, and very active in all the troubles on the docks in Cairo, altho I don't know what side they were on. They were, in short, politicians. We had a handful of slave quarters on the property, and it is said that my grandmother ran Lincoln out of the house with her broom. The grown-ups knew what for and never spelled it out, I always figured it was over the question of slavery. Down state seems to have had rebel sympathies.

  • Lincoln was born in Kentucky and grew up in Southern Indiana. He briefly lived with his family in the Decatur area and when his father moved to the Charleston area, Lincoln moved west to New Salem. McLeansboro is fairly far from any of those places.

    Janet, you may well have seem people who got a little overzealous about genealogy, but for most people it doesn't elevate to the level of worship. The thing is... you can learn a lot when you actually look into those chicken thieves. The truth can often be mundane but sometimes it is far more bizarre than any of the colorful stories you've heard. And from what you do know - true or embellished - it sounds like a potential goldmine of characters and stories, and perhaps even some greater understanding about those "contemporary behaviors" you speak of.

  • Janet Baker ISON over France (squint!)

    Phil, you're so totally right, especially about insight into today. Looking at your own family over time might reveal as much as a novel reveals about a period that a short story doesn't. It takes time for bs to be revealed for what it is--was. But you must admit it can be daunting. Or you don't have a family like mine. We might have thieved a couple horses too.

    One's take on it probably reveals something about character. I'm not the Ayn Rand type. Their struggle being human makes me cry, and so does my own struggle. Excess of pity.

  • Seconding Phil's comment about the joys of discovery. Like our family story of a sketchy second cousin shot off the roof of his house by the sheriff of Vigo County,Indiana. His family was so shamed they fled across the border into Illinois and settled in Danville. This was back around 1910. An old uncle brought out the story at the dinner table when my sister was introducing the guy from Danville she was planning to marry. He happened to be of the same last name. But his hasty call home found he was not descended from that no account cousin. Probably.

  • Janet Baker ISON over France (squint!)

    Portage, don't you think we're all descended from some no-count cousin or other? Maybe the same one. Matter of fact, now I remember, it IS the same one.

  • Janet....this bird went by the name of Thompson. And some of them drifted back to Fountain, Indiana. A backwater flag stop on the Monon line.

  • Janet Baker ISON over France (squint!)

    I was thinking a little further back.

  • Dennis 30 year Jefferson Park resident

    Janet, as Phil said Lincoln was born in Kentucky and came to Illinois via Indiana. McCleansboro is not on my radar as anywhere he lived, but he did ride circuit throughout the state and could very well have stayed there. He knew almost nothing about his mother's family, the Hankeses, who moved from Virginia to Kentucky in the late 1700's. They named all their kids the same, all the boys were named James or John, and the girls Polly, Lucy, or Nancy. There were at least 8 Nancy Hankes born during the 1780's. Abraham Lincoln believed that his mother was illegitimate. She died while in Indiana, and his father, Thomas married Sarah Bush before moving to Illinois. Rather difficult geneology to track, but I would certainly encourage you to take a shot at it. Good Luck.

  • i thought this was funny, there is a reference to Lincoln and his hat at :29

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