APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2008-07 > 1216069582
From: "Elliott, Desta (JCNA)" <>
Subject: Re: [APG] APG Digest, Vol 3, Issue 469
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2008 15:10:14 -0600
Desta Elliott MA MBA
John Crane USA
Product Support Specialist
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The Lincoln 'case' has turned out to be a favorite of mine. I fell upon
the idea of using Lincoln's Genealogy as a case study in my intro
genealogy class--only because I live in Illinois. As it turns out, the
problems in the Lincoln genealogy (7 Nancy Hanks contenders!), both
grandfathers named Abraham etc, are an excellent seqway into basic
Hi, here are a few more points about Lincoln's
ancestry, as related to the discussion so far:
(1) How come no one mentions Lincoln's sister, Sarah,
born two years before him (and 8 months after the
Lincolns were married)? She was said to resemble
their father in build. She died at age 20 in
childbirth, so there is lots of unimpeachable
testimony that she was raised as his older sister.
>> I think the ones that ignore her are the ones who have convoluted
stories involving VA, NC, & KY fathers.
(2) Ida M. mentioned the theory that Lincoln had a
disease called multiple endocrine neoplasia, type 2B
(MEN2B). I believe this explains the persistent
[mistaken] theories that Lincoln's father was an
Enloe, a Browning, or whoever.
MEN2B is a single-gene disease, and it greatly affects
a person's build and appearance. People who have this
disease look more like each other than they do
relatives without the disease. It is certain that
Thomas Lincoln did *not* have this gene. This is why,
even if Tom & Abe Lincoln were father-son, Abe did not
resemble Tom in any physical regard whatsoever. (They
were, however, both great story-tellers.)
Lincoln probably got the MEN2B gene from his mother,
who died young and who shared several disease-related
physical features with her son (e.g.
much-higher-than-average height, a tall forehead,
It is not surprising that a few men in Lincoln's
community had some physical features of MEN2B (great
height, leanness) and would therefore have been
thought more likely candidates to be Lincoln's father.
Importantly, early death is a key part of the disease.
(Explains why 3 of 4 of Lincoln's sons died before
age 20, and why Nancy Lincoln died at 34.) Lincoln's
survival to age 56 is very unusual, but not
unprecedented. But my impression is that Enloe
survived decades past this age. It is clear,
therefore, that Enloe did not have MEN2B -- and this
means that the physical resemblance between Enloe and
Abe Lincoln was coincidental. Who wouldn't want to
claim to be Abe Lincoln's father?
>>I am in no place to evaluate disease theory/genetic markers (Melungeon
theories make my skin crawl), but aren't Lincoln's children's deaths
from diseases like typhus and diptheria? Did any of the sons share
physical features with Lincoln?
(3) Even without the MEN2B theory, Lincoln's paternity
has long been agreed upon by historians. I think
about it this way: Lincoln ran for President in 1860
and 1864, when there were lots of people alive who
would have had first-hand knowledge of Lincoln bastard
birth, if any. Politics was an ugly game in the
1800s, and if there had been a shred of truth to a
bastard birth, someone would have exposed it. There
are lots more productive avenues to explore than
>> I think you are right, it is the kind of story newspapers loved to
I think that Lincoln started the trend of being proud of humble
ancestors (born in a log cabin), before, I think people preferred to be
descended from the upper class. Lincoln was the first president born
outside the original 13 colonies.
Has anyone else heard of child that died very young while the Lincolns
were still living in a boarding house? I read it somewhere, but I can't
find the annotation--which probably means it was poppycock, but I do
like to annotate even poppycock.
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End of APG Digest, Vol 3, Issue 469
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