Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Abraham Lincoln's Jewish Ancestors from Lincoln, England

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                  

Our 16th American president had Jewish roots, as was found by Professor Elizabeth Hirschman of Rutgers University.  She wrote an extensive research paper who studied this topic and found beyond any reasonable doubt, that Abe Lincoln was Jewish.  She checked out his ancestry and went back to his hometown where she did years of work on this topic.

For starters, February 12, 1809 was the birthdate of Abe Lincoln.  His mother, illiterate from Virginia, was Nancy Hanks married to Thomas Lincoln, whose family came from the Shenandoah Valley of West Virginia.  Abe really was born in a log cabin built along the banks of the south fork of Nolin Creek near what is now, Hodgenville, Kentucky.

He was the only American president that didn't say he was a member of any particular religious faith. He wasn't raised in a church and never belonged to a church.   His grandfather was said by the researcher to be Mordechai Lincoln and his name was Abraham, two very Jewish biblical names used by Jews.  I believe he could have been a great-grandfather as his grandfather Lincoln was listed as Abraham.

Abe's ancestors probably came from Lincoln, England which has a Jewish history. The Normans came with William I in 1066, though were probably there also in Roman times.  They  had built Lincoln Cathedral and Lincoln Castle.   In 1159 a Jewish community was created in Lincoln  which later became 5 important Jewish communities.   During the crusader riots, the sheriff of Lincoln saved the Jews by giving them official protection.  St. Hugh, the great bishop of Lincoln, taught love of Jews to his parishioners.  The Jews of Lincoln mourned when he died.  Rabbi Joseph of Lincoln, a scholar, was mentioned in the Talmud.  Aaron of Lincoln was a finanacier whose operations extended all over the country.

There was the Jew's House which lies below the Jew's Court.  Anti-Semitic hysteria by 1255 caused Lincoln's Jews to be accused of ritual murder, causing 91 to be sent to London for trial which ended with 18 executed.  In 1290 the Jews of Lincoln were expelled by edict.  It's possible that some remained and were like the secret Jews of Spain who were expulsed in 1492.  They could have been practicing Judaism in secret and passed it on in each generation, following Abe Lincoln to Kentucky.

In researching "Lincoln" on , I found the first Lincoln immigrants to be several Thomases and a Stephen Lincoln born in the 1600's.  One was a husbandman and the other a miller.

Jews reacted to Lincoln's death in 1865 by sitting shivah and rabbis all over the USA eulogized President Lincoln.  Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, creater of Reform Judaism, started the eulogy with "Brethren, the lamented Abraham Lincoln believed himself to be bone from our bone and flesh from our flesh.  He supposed himself to be a descendant of Hebrew parentage.  He said so in my presence."  

When asked about his theology, he quoted from the book of Exodus that he recommended that every American study, learn and follow, the Ten Commandments.

Though he may have been part of the Jewish community of Lincoln, England, Judaism follows from the inheritance of a Jewish mother.  He has roots, but would not be called "Jewish."  He would have had to go through a conversion to be Jewish.  Perhaps those Jewish genes were part of his philosophy of life, though.

What I know: (Added more ancestors to on 1/14/13)
1. Mordecai Lincoln b: June 14, 1657 Hingham, Plymouth, Mass.; spouse: Sarah Jones. Great-great grandfather
  2 Mordecai Lincoln b: April 24, 1686 Hingham, Plymouth, Massachusetts d: December 1736 Amity, Berks, Pennsylvania  .  Spouse: Hannah Salter.  I did find born 1750 in Massachusetts with son Isaac born October 18, 1749, Sarah, Jane, Nanne, Pegge, George  and Lucene Lincoln, all in Massachusetts:
   3. John Lincoln b: May 3, 1716, sp: Rebecca Flowers
    4.  Captain Abraham Lincoln b: May 13, 1744 in Berks PA, d: May 1786 Jefferson, Kentucky, GRANDFATHER
      married Bathsheba Herring (1746-1836) of Virginia  GRANDMOTHER
     5. son was Thomas Lincoln b: January 20, 1780 FATHER d: 1851 Farmington, Illinois
           married Nancy Hanks June 12, 1806 ( February 5, 1784-October 5, 1818) 1806 MOTHER (Parents were James Hanks and Lucy Shipley)
           4. Abraham Lincoln b:February 12, 1809 d: April 15, 1865
               married Mary Todd November 4, 1842 (well educated woman from Kentucky)
                5. Robert Todd Lincoln b: August 1, 1843 d: July 26, 1926, Lawyer, Secretary of War
                    married Mary Eunice Harlan
                      6 Abraham Lincoln II August 14, 1873 d: March 5, 1890
                5. Edward "Eddie" Baker Lincoln b: March 10, 1846  died February 1, 1850 of TB.
                5. William "Willie" Wallace Lincoln b: December 21, 1850 d: February 20, 1862 of Typhoid Fever
                5. Thomas "Tad" Lincoln b: April 4, 1853 d: July 15, 1871 of TB.
They had 4 children.  Robert was the only one to survive to adulthood.
Abe  had an older sister, Sarah, and a younger brother, Thomas.  His mother, Nancy, died at age 34 when he was 9 years old.  His father remarried Sarah Bush Johnston who had 3 children she brought to the marriage. The family had moved from Kentucky over a land dispute to Indiana.  He didn't care for his father as he had no ambition.  Neither parents could read or write.

Robert became Harvard educated and married Mary Eunice Harlan.  They had 2 daughters and a son, 6th generation Abraham Lincoln II whom they called Jack.  He was born August 14, 1873 and died March 5, 1890 at age 17 from blood poisoning  and unmarried. Thus ended the Lincoln line.  It's too bad there weren't any descendants to do dna testing.  It would have been interesting to see what Y haplogroup our former president would have had.

"Lincoln's son Robert later denied the admission of Hebrew ancestry. He told IsaacMarkens, author,  that he had "never before heard that his father supposed he had any Jewish ancestry." Markens dismissed the exchange between Lincoln and the rabbi as a "pleasantry."

"Pleasantry or not, the rumor seems to reflect historical truth. "The Lincoln material in my book traces his family's arrival from England into the New Hingham Colony in Massachusetts and their migration down to the Appalachian area," Elizabeth Hirschman told the curator of the Lincoln Collection, James M. Cornelius, who contacted her in September. "I use genealogies, marriage practices, wills and cemetery inscriptions to build the case for his Jewish--and likely Sephardic--ancestry." She had written that the Lincolns were part of the Melungeons from his mother, Nancy Hanks.

Update: 2/15/13 After watching a National Geographic program on searching for the DNA of Abe Lincoln, I found that DNA has been taken from a descendant of Samuel Lincoln (1620-1690) who is thought to be the ancestor, and it tested as R1b1 Y haplogroup., the most common of Europe, or could even be R1b1c1, originating in Central Asia or South Central Siberia.  Abe is buried deep underground in a tomb and so the scientists are searching for something with his blood, but must be careful that it is a verified object.  So far they have not found anything appropriate.  Some believe he had marphan, and others think he had another condition that would show up on DNA.  He went downhill within 13 months and may have had a form of cancer, or it was caused just by the strain and stress of the Civil War.  

Update: 6/15/14  After researching more than three centuries of Abraham Lincoln’s family tree, family historians have revealed a Lincoln family secret: famous actor George Clooney is related to the former president. The family bloodline for both notable figures links to Lincoln’s maternal grandmother Lucy Hanks. Due to this common ancestor, Clooney is Lincoln’s half-first cousin five times removed. Those interested in the Lincoln-Clooney connection can find a family connection chart at

Resource; from Rabbi Jeff Kahn, Temple Har Shalom and Professor Elizabeth Hirschman, Rutgers University,_England, 2's_Jewish_Roots/
Update: 2/15/13


  1. from George Stapleton: Interesting info about Lincoln. Here's some more.
    While tracing my ancestory over a period of 17 years (STAPLETON CHRONICLES) I found my ancestor's will (Robert P. Stapleton) in the Reading, PA couthouse that was witnessed by Mordeci Lincoln and Squire Boone (father of Daniel Boone). They were all members of the Exeter Quaker Church in Oley Valley, PA, but were kicked out because their daughters married outside the church.
    Stapleton, Lincoln, and Boone then moved to Shennadoah, VA where they had adjoining farms. Charles Stapleton, Mordeci Lincoln, and James Boone then had sons William Stapleton, Abe Lincoln (born in Kentucky), and Daniel Boone who found Cumberland Gap and the Wilderness Road leading from Virginia into Kentucky. Daniel went on to North Carolina, William stayed in Jonesville, VA, and Mordeci went on to Kentucky where Abe was born.

  2. My husband is from Richard Shipley's line the son of Adam Shipley & Lois Howard, Nancy Hanks ancestors. Our grandson had his DNA done & he is Sephardic, Ashkenazi & Mizrahi. Also, I have been looking at Melungeons. Would love to know the orginal sur name of the Lincolns. Jeaninne Shipley

  3. My goodness! Your grandson having all 3 groups of Jewish people is really interesting. I know many that have Ashkenazi and Sephari backgrounds, but having the Mizrahi in the mixture is really something, although Mizrahi and Sephardi are usually in the same grouping, so maybe not. It must be that Nancy Hanks had some Jewish ancestors as well, then if I understand you. You could have your husband take the DNA test as well. I'm really impressed with the autosomal testing that you can have with familyfinder through family tree dna. You'd have to research Lincoln, England to learn more about the history of the surname. Good luck!

  4. The start of the Communist revolution started with Lincoln."Workers of the world of the world unite" started with the slaughter of a half million of my ancestors by the invasion of the racist North.His plan was to make way for white workers and labour unions.The black slaves suffered terribly when their homes ,food ,clothing and security were destroyed by the north.Northern soldiers even wrote about how shocked they were to see black people in white homes being cared for when they were sick.I thought that you may want to know these facts along with... that Abe was a white supremacist who had a plan to ship the blacks out of the country.This war changed the very foundation of a brilliant document written by some of the most intelligent men in history.This is why people still wave the southern flag.It has nothing to do with racism and everything to do with a disagreement over state sovereignty as opposed to an overbearing Federal government.

  5. This is opinion, not fact in saying that the communist revolution started with Lincoln. Do you have any idea what country started communism? It wasn't the USA. The black slaves didn't suffer terribly when the northern soldiers entered the south. They didn't have much at all. Maybe the house slaves had something, but not the field slaves. You're not backing up any of your theories with any facts. Saying something doesn't make it true. The South was racist; very racist and many are still. Face it. The southern business was running on cheap labor; slaves.


    2. What does this have to do with Abe Lincoln's Jewish ancestry? Nothing! To compare him with Marx is ludicrous. Marx was born in 1818 in Germany and died in 1883 in London. Lincoln was born in 1805 and died in 1865 in Kentucky. Where are your sources for your information like releasing Marxists from European jails and setting them onto Americans? This is propaganda as it stands. Hitler's inspiration? More likely Stalin's. And again, the North was NOT extremely racist compared to the South. To bring Abe Lincoln into such an off-beat discussion shows you just don't appreciate history. Lincoln freed the slaves. That was taking one giant step and caused a horrid war. I see you as being anti-Semitic to take an article talking about Jewish ancestors to make a villian out of such a presidentjust because he is said to have Jewish ancestors.

    3. The Jews were more often slave owners (and also slave traders)than whites. And as to anti semitism, if Ashkenazi Jews -who spoke Yiddish, a language that had no common words with the Hebrew - the original Jewish language - are descendants of Khazars, why this misleading word pretending that the Ashkenazi are Semites? It appears that this label was creaated just to confuse and mislead the public.

    4. Pandra, you sure don't like us Jews, do you. More often? Slave traders? Than whites? You're accusing us of things without any facts. Your education is terrible! Yiddish is a mixture of Hebrew and German, and a few other languages often thrown in and that's a fact. We're not descended from the Khazars, and that's been proven by DNA. I have DNA proof that my ancestors went from Jerusalem to France-Germany and were there for many years. They were not around Khazaria, but it was a place of refuge for many who met along the way people who did not like Jews and were cruel. Ah, you dislike the fact that both Jews and Arabs are a Semitic people. This is going to kill you, Pandra, but most of us share the very same DNA haplogroup, that of J1, with each other, proving that our Torah was right in calling us "cousins." Yes, we both came from Abraham. Now isn't that something, cousin.

    5. Nadene, I have read the letters between Marx and Lincoln.......your content is either intentional disinformation or cognitive dissonance.......either way, it is not factually accurate.

    6. Tom, just look at my references before you call my information cognitive dissonance. The subject of this article is not communism and Abe Lincoln but the possible dna he might have had being someone of education had a good theory that he came from Jews of England. What's interesting to me is that Jews were expulsed from England in 1290 and weren't allowed back in until 1655. If they had converted to Christianity, they would have been spared and had stayed. So reading the letters between Marx and Lincoln proves nothing about the background of Lincoln's genealogy who most likely didn't know it himself.

    7. Tom, just look at my references before you call my information cognitive dissonance. The subject of this article is not communism and Abe Lincoln but the possible dna he might have had being someone of education had a good theory that he came from Jews of England. What's interesting to me is that Jews were expulsed from England in 1290 and weren't allowed back in until 1655. If they had converted to Christianity, they would have been spared and had stayed. So reading the letters between Marx and Lincoln proves nothing about the background of Lincoln's genealogy who most likely didn't know it himself.

  6. George Clooney, movie actor, is also related to Abe Lincoln through Lucy Hanks.

  7. Just read your blog on Abraham Lincoln’s possible Jewish ancestry. Aaron of Lincoln was tortured by King John who demanded more and more money from the hapless Aaron. Indeed for every day that Aaron refused John’s outrageous demands, his torturers pulled out another of the poor man’s teeth.

    Eventually, by 1290 during the atrocious reign of Edward 1st, the Jewish population had been beggared and were no more use for the Church, the King or the barons and were expelled from England.

    As you know, they were not allowed to return until 1657 during the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell.



  8. Figures why he had a natural dislike for the real Jews who were brought here on slave ships since his people have always tried to make themselves fit the Biblical prophecies which they do not.Edom,so called white people,are hated by the Most High and no matter what they do they can't change that so they continually try and kill us off with diseases,Planned Parenthood,GMO foods,Drugs both legal and illegal,promoting homosexual behavior,etc.The quicker Babylon falls the quicker these Edomites(white people)are put in subjection and the earth will be ruled in righteousness.Shaloam.

  9. You need to actually study history and stop making it up, Tyrant. White people, because they are white, does not make them Jews. People who actually say they are Jewish and practice Judaism are Jews with a history going back almost 4,000 years. They were not originally black. Moses married a black woman and had 2 sons, but they died without becoming fathers. Blacks have not been under any gun of diseases except their own behaviors in Africa of too many sexual partners which has brought on Aids, or unsanitary conditions they themselves did not correct, possibly due to lack of education. Don't blame others for your problems. As for you, do the best job you can do and become proud of your own GOOD accomplishments. That's what mitzvot are all about.

  10. I have DNA which links me to a Jewish heritage I did not expect although I admit I have speculated that I should expect a surprise in my ethnic heritage as has several generations before me. My family line includes a 7x great grandmother who is the sister of Squire Boone (Daniel Boone's Father). It has also been suggested that the Boone heritage included some possible crypto type Jewish heritage. Abraham Lincoln is also a link on my tree and it is true that the Lincoln and Boone lines were very much connected. I have found many Quaker accounts of a membership ty

  11. Nothing is impossible and quite possibly more than one person is at least partially correct...
    I appreciate everyone who is able to keep and open mind and make observations without bias. We must remember to honor the heritage of another as we appreciate and learn our own.

    Here is an interesting bit for the person who mentioned a Quaker connection and for those who ponder whether Abraham Lincoln ever "suspected" a possible Jewish heritage.

    I personally "suspected" my own heritage would lead me to something which was once either consciously hidden or forgotten. This happened from several rational observations rather than some major leap of speculation. Perhaps Abraham Lincoln or even you have experienced the following as have I:
    A unique physical attribute or in my case several which seems to inspire the curiosity for an account of my ethnic heritage from others occasionally and throughout my entire life. An account of family heritage which offers a "go to story" for quickly passifying any such questions yet is actually unsupported in both DNA and geneology.
    In my case DNA shows Iberian Peninsula and Jew which may or may not indicate possible Sephardic Jewish heritage.
    The family story was a mystery explained simply to anyone who is so bold as to ask for an account that we have "some Cherokee Indian" or even simply "Indian" sprinkled in but are white.
    We have grey eyes and black hair and easily tanned skin, intense eyes with unique shape, darker skin ty

  12. Daniel Boone's father: Squire Boone is the brother of my 7x great grandmother. Records show my 7x great grandmother and 2 of her other siblings including Squire did in fact come to America as passengers of a "Friends" ship which was in fact part of the Quaker immigration. More than one of my ancestors shows an early arrival with records indicating they were Quaker yet they all seemed to intermarry and leave the Quaker church within less than 3 generations after using it to get to America.
    I should mention I had no idea of any Quaker origin prior to my family geneology all research.

    I am a descendent of the sister of Daniel Boone's brother but also of the ancestor of Abraham Lincoln: Capt. Abraham Lincoln. Whom was also documented early on as Quaker.

    I've attempted to post this previously and have encountered difficulty with the site putting through partial bits of what I intend to post for review to be published.

    The point of this is to simply state that it is indeed possible that Abraham Lincoln and Daniel Boone were at least potentially of partial Jewish heritage. It is also possible that they may or may not have known or speculated as much.

    It is also possible that DNA testing shows an incomplete picture and that we have to look at ideas while objectively considering oral traditions, historical evidence and anything else without independence of the rest.

    In my case, my DNA results would seem to fit a mysterious or potentially intentionally hidden family heritage as well as well established physical attributes which have caused others to ask for my account of my ethnic background with suggestion of something more ethnic than just whatever visibly "white" should be.

    My experience tells me that the experience of wonder is more telling than the speculation until there is a combination of evidence which suggests proof. To put it simply, if you wonder, there's probably a reason. Just be open to the reality that you may only ever find enough bits of the puzzle to keep adjusting those speculations :)


  13. If you have taken an autosomal DNA test such as familyfinder at Family Tree DNA, or 23& Me, you can send the results to and then see even more results of your DNA. I'm doing that right now, and it is immensely interesting. People from other companies send their results there and so our matches cover more people if out there. You can also see your ancient connections. Daniel Boone-I think I'm also related to someone close to him from my mother's side. There's nothing boring about being a detective of genealogy research and founding out about all these historic things.

  14. Thanks Nadene! I have heard of GEDmatch, will definitely set that up, great idea.
    PS I appreciate your posts here; keep up the good work!

  15. Yidish actually comes from Sanskrit which was from India originally. Jews spoke Hebrew which was based upon Sanskrit, a slight perversion of it due in part to having been driven from India. Check out Godfrey Higgins and his two volumes _Anacalypsis_. He presented the correlations circa 1772-1833.

    From India into the Caucus mountain range/s of what is now modern Turkey the Jews went. It was here they settled with the Khazar. The Khazar king decreed his people adopt the religion of the Ashkenazi Jews in order that they survive, thrive within a culture that overtook their own.

    From here the now Khazarian Jews took to the steppes of South Western Russia with a movement known as the Boshlovicks. It was this group what first taught the world of communism, more accurately collectivism. These same Ashkenazi Jews were ones which also invaded Rome via way of Egypt, out of Babylon. This group has aboded in the Babylonian mystery magic and blood sacrifice, human sacrifice.