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Appendix: Brief Outline of the Joseph Hanks Family.

Paul H. Verduin

JOSEPH HANKS (1725-1793), a great-grandfather of President Lincoln, lived in Richmond County, Virginia, where he was a plantation overseer and tenant farmer. Migrated to Mercer County, Kentucky 1784, to Nelson County 1787. Children with his wife Ann "Nanny" Lee (c.1742-c.1794):

A. THOMAS HANKS (c.1759-c.1835).

B. JOSHUA HANKS (c.1762-c.1835).

C. WILLIAM HANKS (c.1765-1851/52). Moved to Spencer County, Indiana, c.1825-26, where he was a neighbor of young Lincoln for a year or two. To Sangamon County, Illinois c.1827; to Macon County c.1829. Neighbor of Abraham Lincoln's there 1830-31.
Children with wife Elizabeth Hall, sister of Levi Hall:

1. Nancy Hanks.
2. James Hanks.
3. William Hanks, Jr.
4. CHARLES HANKS (c.1798-c.1865). Published anti-Lincoln article in Decatur (Ill.) Magnet during the 1860 campaign.
5. Elizabeth Hanks. Her first husband Reason Ray settled in Sangamon County 1823. After his 1833 death married 1837 Samuel Dillon.
6. JOHN HANKS (1802-1889). Born in Kentucky, but resided intermittently in Indiana household of President Lincoln's father c.1822-26. Married 1826 Susan Malinda Wilson (1804-1863) in Kentucky. To Macon County, Illinois in 1828. Split rails with Lincoln there 1830, built a flatboat with him in Sangamon County 1831, had occasional personal, legal, and political contact with him until inauguration in 1861.
7. Sarah Hanks.
8. Joseph Hanks.
9. Lucinda Hanks.


10. Celia Hanks.
11.Andrew Jackson Hanks (1815-1889).

D. LUCEY HANKS (c.1767-c.1833?). President Lincoln's maternal grandmother. Born Richmond County, Virginia. According to Herndon, Lincoln said Lucey became pregnant in Virginia by someone Herndon called a "nobleman of Virginia," or "well-bred Virginia planter," an account both credited and challenged by various Lincoln biographers. The child, born about 1783-84, was President Lincoln's mother.

Lucey Hanks presumably migrated to Kentucky with parents 1784. She was accused by a Mercer County grand jury of "fornication," 1789. Case discontinued when Henry Sparrow obtained marriage license, 1790. They were married by Baptist elder 1791. Resided near Mitchellsburg, Kentucky, in part of Mercer County that in 1841 became Boyle County. According to Dennis Hanks, Lucey died "in 1833, as well as I Recollect — Not positive," an estimate supported by census data. Henry Sparrow obtained a Revolutionary War pension, died in 1841.

Lucey's child, according to Herndon by a "nobleman of Virginia":

1. NANCY HANKS (c.1783-1818), married June 12, 1806 Thomas Lincoln (c.1776-1851) in Washington County, Kentucky. Children born in Hardin County, Kentucky:
a. SARAH LINCOLN (Feb. 10, 1807-Jan. 20, 1828). Married Aug. 2, 1826 Aaron Grigsby in Spencer County, Indiana. Died in childbirth.
b. ABRAHAM LINCOLN (1809-1865). Sixteenth President of the U. S.
c. Thomas Lincoln. Died in early infancy, c.1811-12.

Lucey's child with an unknown man in Kentucky:
2. Sarah Hanks (c.1787-c.1854).
Sarah's Kentucky-born illegitimate children were:

a. Sophia Hanks (1809-1893). Until 1818 she lived with Elizabeth and Thomas Sparrow, her mother's aunt and uncle. After their death, resided in Spencer County, Indiana with Abraham Lincoln in Thomas Lincoln household.
b. Greenberry Hanks (c.1812-1842).
c. Creed Harris Hanks (c.1816-185?).
d. Samuel Haden Hanks (1820-1898).
e. Margaret Hanks (c.1823-c.1877). Married Jackson Legrand of Dubois County, Indiana.
f. James Anderson Hanks (c.1825-1862).

Lucey Hanks' children with Henry Sparrow — all lived in Kentucky:
3. Polly Sparrow.
4. Rev. James Sparrow.
5. Betsy Sparrow.


6. Peggy Sparrow.
7. Thomas Sparrow.
8. Rev. Henry Sparrow.
9. George Sparrow.
10.Lucindy Sparrow.

E. CHARLES HANKS (c.1770-c.1828).

F. ELIZABETH HANKS (1771-1818). Married 1796 Mercer County, Kentucky, Thomas Sparrow (c.1770-1818), brother of her sister Lucey's husband. Resided in Mercer and Hardin Counties, Kentucky. Since they were childless, they acted as foster parents at various times for three illegitimate children in the Hanks clan: Nancy Hanks (President Lincoln's mother), Dennis Hanks, and Sophia Hanks. In 1817 followed Lincolns to Spencer County, Indiana. Elizabeth and her husband died of the milk-sickness, as did President Lincoln's mother, in 1818.

G. MARY (POLLY) HANKS (c.1773-c.1821). Married 1795 Jesse Friend in Hardin County, Kentucky. He was a brother of Charles Friend, the natural father of Dennis Hanks.

H. NANCY HANKS (c.1780-c.1829). Since this Nancy Hanks — Dennis Hanks's mother — was perhaps only four years older than her namesake niece, President Lincoln's mother, the two were often confused in later family traditions. After having Dennis Hanks out of wedlock, Nancy married in 1802 in Green County Levi Hall, brother of William Hanks's wife Elizabeth. Resided in the counties of Hardin, Green, and Grayson. About 1825 accompanied William Hanks's family to Spencer County, Indiana, where young Abraham Lincoln and her natural son Dennis Hanks were living. About 1829, both Nancy Hanks Hall and her husband Levi died of the milk-sickness, the disease that killed President Lincoln's mother and Elizabeth and Thomas Sparrow eleven years earlier. Nancy Hanks Hall's child with Charles Friend:

1. DENNIS HANKS (1799-1892). President Lincoln's cousin-once-removed, foster brother, and step-brother-in-law. Born in Hardin County, Kentucky, and raised there by Elizabeth and Thomas Sparrow, his aunt and uncle. Acquainted with President Lincoln all of Lincoln's life, he lived in the Thomas Lincoln household with him 1818-21. A farmer in Indiana, he accompanied Thomas Lincoln in his migrations to Macon County and Coles County, Illinois. In the mid-1830's moved to Charleston in Coles County, where he became a shoemaker and resided most of the rest of his life. He married 1821 in Indiana Sarah Elizabeth Johnston (1807-1864), President Lincoln's step-sister, the oldest daughter of Daniel Johnston and his wife Sarah Bush, who in 1818 became the second wife of Thomas Lincoln. Their children who survived childhood were:


a. Sarah Jane Hanks (1822-1907).
b. John Talbot Hanks (1823-1915). Settled in California, then Oregon.
c. Nancy Hanks (1824-?).
d. HARRIET HANKS (1826-1915). Resided in the Abraham Lincoln household in Springfield, Illinois in 1844-46, while attending school. Married 1847 Col. Augustus H. Chapman of Coles County.
e. Amanda Hanks (1833-?).
f. Mary Hanks.
g. Charles Hanks (1841-1870).
h. Theophilus Hanks (1849-?).

Children of Nancy Hanks Hall with her husband, Levi Hall:
2. William Hall.
3. SQUIRE HALL (c.1805-1851). Married Matilda Johnston (b.1809), step-sister of President Lincoln and younger daughter of Daniel Johnston and his wife Sarah Bush, who became the second wife of Thomas Lincoln. In 1856, after Squire Hall died, Matilda married Reuben Moore. The children of Squire Hall and Matilda Johnston were:

a. John Johnston Hall (1829-1909).
b. Nancy Ann Hall (1832-?).
c. Elizabeth Jane Hall (1837-?).
d. Alfred L. Hall (1839-?).
e. Sarah Louisa Hall (1841-1935).
f. Joseph A. Hall.
g. Amanda Hall.
h. Harriet Hall.
4. Lydia Hall. Deceased by 1858.
5. Alfred G. Hall.
6. Joseph Hall (1814-186_). Chose brother Squire Hall as his guardian in Coles County, Illinois court, Sept. 29, 1831. Squire Hall was appointed guardian of the children below:
7. Mahala Hall (b.1817).
8. Letitia Hall (b.1819).

I. JOSEPH HANKS, JR. (c. 1784-1856). According to a daughter-in-law and a grandson, after his mother's death about 1794 he was returned from Kentucky to Hardy County (now in West Virginia), where he was raised by one of his two much-older brothers, either Thomas Hanks or Joshua Hanks. He returned to Kentucky about 1798, and according to these same sources and Dennis Hanks, was employed in the same carpentry shop in Elizabethtown, Kentucky where Thomas Lincoln worked. Resided in Hardin County 1805-14. In 1810 married Mary Young (1793-1872). In 1815 migrated to Crawford County, Indiana, and in 1825 to Sangamon


County, Illinois. In 1828, three years before young Abraham Lincoln arrived in that place, he moved to Adams County, Illinois, and with his wife spent his remaining years there. The children of Joseph Hanks, Jr. and his wife Mary Young were:
1. Jacob Vertrees Hanks (1812 — 1894).
2. Elizabeth Hanks (1813 — 1830).
3. Susanna Hanks (1816 — before 1826).
4. Nancy Hanks (1818 — 1890).
5. John Henry Hanks (1822 — after 1894).
6. Joseph Hanks (1825 — after 1894).
7. Mary Ann Hanks (1827 — after 1894).
8. Amaltha Jane Hanks (1830 — 1891).
9. Isabelle Hanks (1833 — after 1894).
10. Caroline Hanks (1836 — after 1894).

Compiled January 1995



1. The editors believe that Mr. Verduin's account of the elusive Hanks family is the best available and are grateful to him for permitting a brief outline of his findings to be published here.