Is your surname Lincoln?

Research the Lincoln family

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Nancy Lincoln (Hanks)

Also Known As: "Nancy Hanks"
Birthplace: Hampshire County, Virginia, now, Mineral County, West Virginia, United States
Death: October 05, 1818 (34)
Lincoln Homestead, Gentryville, Spencer County, Indiana, United States ('milk sickness' now tremetol poisoning from cows eating the white snakeroot plant)
Place of Burial: Lincoln City, Spencer County, Indiana, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of (unknown Virginia farmer, possibly Tanner) and Lucy Hanks
Wife of Thomas Lincoln
Mother of Sarah Grigsby; Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the USA and Thomas Herring Lincoln, II
Half sister of Sarah Hanks; Mary Ann 'Polly' Whitehouse; Reverend James B. Sparrow; Elizabeth Franklin; George Sparrow and 5 others

Occupation: Homemaker & Mother of a US President, Sister to Grover's grandmother McMichael, Intellectual woman, Mother, Mother of Lincoln
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Nancy Lincoln

Photo of her grave and headstone is located at:

An artist rendition of Nancy Hanks Lincoln. (Lloyd Ostendorf): “NPS - Abraham Lincoln Birthplace”

The Ancestry of Abraham Lincoln ( Find more information at Wikipedia.

When Thomas and Nancy Lincoln moved to Nolin Creek, Thomas and Elizabeth Sparrow lived near them. Elizabeth, who was like a mother to Nancy, after having her in the home for most of her life, was present at the birth of Abraham. The Sparrows also followed the Lincolns to Indiana and arrived in time to be stricken with the same sickness as Nancy Hanks Lincoln. They died within a few days of each other.

Nancy Hanks was tall and slender, dark complexion. She and her husband were members of the Little Mount Baptist Church in Kentucky. After the death of Nancy, Thomas Lincoln took his letter to the Little Pigeon Church which was formed in Indiana. Both the Lincolns and Hankses were Primitive Baptists. Everything known of Abraham Lincoln's mother indicates she was a "noble woman, worthy to have been, as she was, the mother of a truly great man." Source of information: The Lineage of Lincoln by Barton, 1929.

Thomas Lincoln, Augusta (now Rockingham) Co., Virginia 6 Jan. 1778-near Farmington, Ill. 17 Jan. 1851, Beech Creek, Washington Co., Ky. 12 June 1806

3. Nancy Hanks, Campbell Co., Va. 5 Feb. 1784 or Richmond Co., Va. 5 Feb. 1783 (according to Paul H. Verduin)-near Gentryville, Indiana 5 Oct. 1818

  • page 57-59 of American Ancestors Magazine, Vol. 17, Number 3, Fall 2016. Genetics & Genealogy - The Hanks DNA Study: I Was Wrong! Christopher C. Child


Hampshire County, VA is now Mineral County, W. VA.

Nancy Hanks Lincoln was the mother of President Abraham Lincoln. While Lucy is known to have been her mother, the identity of her father hasn't been totally proven.

The following is excerpted from the National Park Service retrieved October 31, 2007 from

“Nancy Hanks Lincoln was born in Virginia in 1784. Her family later moved to Kentucky where, on June 12, 1806, she married Thomas Lincoln. She gave birth to three children: Sarah (February 10, 1807), Abraham (February 12, 1809), and Thomas (1812), who died in infancy.

“In 1816, the Lincoln family migrated to what is today Spencer County, Indiana. Two years later, on October 5, 1818, she died of ‘milk sickness,’ an illness contracted by drinking milk from a cow that had consumed the poisonous white snakeroot. She was buried in a hill-top, pioneer cemetery near the Lincoln farm.

“Lincoln probably knew little of her background, since she died when he was nine, and his father quickly remarried. In later years, he referred to her as his "Angel Mother," that is, his deceased mother.

“Sources: The Lincoln Encyclopedia, (1982) by Mark Neely and Lincoln's Youth (1959) by Louis A. Warren.”

The following is excerpted from Wikipedia retrieved October 31, 2007 from

Nancy Hanks Lincoln (January 20, 1784 - December 9, 1818) was the mother of Abraham Lincoln and Sarah Lincoln and wife of Thomas Lincoln.

Nancy Hanks' (January 26, 1784 - December 9, 1818), mother of President Abraham Lincoln and Sarah Lincoln, was born in Hampshire County, Virginia (now Mineral County, West Virginia.) She was born in a log cabin on the Doll farm near Mike's Run at the base of Knobly Mountain near Antioch, West Virginia. and baptized in the Broad Run Baptist Church there which still retains the baptismal record. She is thought to be born out of wedlock. Little is known about her early life, but she was admired as an excellent seamstress. On June 12, 1806, she married Thomas Lincoln.

On June 12, 1806, she married Thomas Lincoln. They had three children:

  1. Sarah Lincoln, born February 10, 1807
  2. Abraham Lincoln, born February 12, 1809
  3. Thomas Lincoln, born in 1812 who died in infancy

In 1816 Nancy Hanks and her family moved to Southern Indiana. On October 5, 1818, Nancy Hanks Lincoln died of "milk sickness", a disease contracted from drinking the milk of a cow that has eaten the poisonous white snakeroot. In the same year, several other people also died of "milk sickness" in the small town of Little Pigeon Creek in Spencer County, Indiana, where the Lincolns lived. Nancy Hanks Lincoln was only thirty-four years old when she died, and her son Abraham was only nine.

Nancy Hanks Lincoln's grave is located in Nancy Hanks Lincoln Cemetery, on the grounds of Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in Lincoln City, Indiana.

The definitive biography of Abraham Lincoln's mother, ‘Nancy Hanks Lincoln: A Frontier Portrait’ by Harold and Ernestine Briggs, is now back in print.”

  • -------------------- American actor Tom Hanks is a direct descendant of her family line. [n.b.: this claim has not been confirmed.]

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Nancy Hanks Lincoln

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:

Nancy Hanks

Abraham Lincoln's Parents

This entry is from Wikipedia, the leading user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors (see full disclaimer) - "Nancy was left an orphan at her parents death in 1793.She was adopted by her Aunt Lucy (Shipley) Berry, whose husband Richard Berry became her legal guardian, and at whose house in Beechland,Washington County, KY she married June 12, 1806,Thomas Lincoln. Her uncle,Richard Berry was the surety on the marriage bond.

The mother of Abraham Lincon, 2 Oct 1818.

"All that I am or hope to be owe to my angel mother. Blessings on her memory"

Thomas Lincoln of Kentucky married Nancy Hank for his first wife. Her family was from Virginia. She was a tall woman, above middle height, with black hair, little educated, but of marked character, and a mind naturally intelligent and vigorous. Her experience in the rude frontier life was hard. The glimpses we get of her in the biography of her great son are somber, and probably to her the President owed that underlying element of sad thoughtfulness in his nature, always so apparent, and so in contrast with the humorous surface traits that perhaps came from his father. Nancy Hanks, I have little doubt, was a descendant of that John who was in Rockingham county, Virginia, in 1787. Her family name was English, but her black hair we may believe she had from the Welsh blood of her ancestress Sarah Evans, of Gwynedd.


  • Coleman, Charles H. “Lincoln’s Lincoln Grandmother.” Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society (1908-1984) 52, no. 1 (1959): 59–90.
view all

Nancy Lincoln's Timeline

February 5, 1784
Hampshire County, Virginia, now, Mineral County, West Virginia, United States
February 10, 1807
Elizabethtown, Hardin County, Kentucky, United States
October 8, 1808
Age 24
Brock's Gap, Fulks Run, Rockingham County, Virginia, United States
February 12, 1809
Sinking Spring Farm, Hodgenville, Hardin County, Kentucky, United States
February 19, 1811
Knob Creek Farm, Larue County, Kentucky, United States
October 5, 1818
Age 34
Lincoln Homestead, Gentryville, Spencer County, Indiana, United States
October 7, 1818
Age 34
Nancy Hanks Lincoln Cemetery, Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, Lincoln City, Spencer County, Indiana, United States