It’s always interesting to map out famous connections in your family tree–however distant they may be. I mark one of those connections today with the celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.
Abraham Lincoln was born on 12 Feb 1809 in Hadgenville, Kentucky. He became the 16th president of the United States of America in Mar 1861. My relationship is so distant that it may be laughable to even consider us “related.” But mapping out these sorts of connections is fascinating not only because of the fame factor but you begin to realize that we are all connected in one way or another… it’s just a matter of knowing how to put together the puzzle pieces.
My exact relationship with Abraham Lincoln comes from the Rambo family. Ann Rambo (1725-1819) is my second cousin eight times removed (our common ancestor is Swedish settler Peter Gunnarson Rambo). Ann descends through Peter’s son Gunnar while I descend through his son Peter. Ann married Jacob Lincoln (1725-1769) in Jun 1747. Jacob never knew his cousin Honest Abe, having died many years before Abe was born. And though Ann died when Abe was 10 years old, she lived and died in Pennsylvania while young Abe was born in Kentucky. The connection was probably too distant, and even if she knew of her late husband’s young cousin, she certainly didn’t know what the future held for him.
Abraham is one of those figures we’re taught to revere growing up. He is viewed as one of the greatest presidents in our history. He certainly held one of the hardest jobs, uniting a divided country through difficult times. Actually, it doesn’t sound that much unlike today. We must remember that even though revered by history books, politicians are still politicians. I wonder how I would feel if I were there in the 1860s. Without the sheen of a carefully polished history, what would it be like to be there in the moment and vote for (or against) Abraham Lincoln? After all, that’s all he was… just another politician.
This year represents Abraham Lincoln’s 203rd birthday. Happy Birthday, cousin Abe.
Be sure to read more about my Rambo family in the Jordan’s Journey book.