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                                                            RESULTS ARE IN!  ~  NANCY HANKS LINCOLN mtDNA STUDY


October 21, 2015:  New study of the matrilineal kin of Abraham Lincoln's mother Nancy Hanks has demonstrated that Lincoln's mitochondrial DNA belonged to a very rare haplogroup X1c, and has provided evidence of the maternal ancestry of Nancy Hanks Lincoln.


Commemorating the 150th anniversary (1865 - 2015) of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the authors of an independent new study are pleased to announce the results of the Nancy Hanks Lincoln mtDNA Study.


     Nancy Hanks Lincoln mtDNA Study ~ Unlocking the Secrets of Abraham Lincoln's Maternal Ancestry
© 2015 All Rights Reserved, Suzanne W. Hallstrom, Nancy C. Royce, Stephan A. Whitlock, Richard G. Hileman, M.A., J.D., Gerald M. Haslam, PhD, AG, FUGA 

Abraham Lincoln is a monumental figure in our nation's history, yet his mother's maternal ancestry has been debated for over a hundred years. Most historians agree that Nancy Hanks was the illegitimate daughter of Lucy Hanks who had a second illegitimate daughter, Sarah "Sally" Hanks, before marrying Henry Sparrow and giving birth to eight more children. So the question then becomes, "Who were the parents of Lucy Hanks (Sparrow)?"

While most have believed Lucy Hanks (Sparrow) was the daughter of Joseph Hanks and Ann "Nancy" Lee of Richmond Co., VA and Nelson Co., KY, others have claimed Lucy Hanks (Sparrow) was born Lucy Shipley who prior to her marriage to Henry Sparrow had been married to a James Hanks, a supposed son of Joseph and Ann Lee Hanks, making her their daughter-in-law instead of daughter. They have further claimed that she was one of five Shipley sisters, two of whom were Naomi Shipley (Mitchell) and Rachel Shipley (Berry). This study addresses this long standing controversy and seeks to provide an authoritative reference sample of Abraham Lincoln's mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA).

Nancy Hanks Lincoln has no living descendants so mtDNA samples were obtained from matrilineal descendants of two known daughters of Joseph Hanks and Ann "Nancy" Lee (Nancy Hanks Hall and Mary Hanks Friend), matrilineal descendants of two daughters of Sarah "Sally" Hanks (Sophia Hanks Lynch Legrand and Margaret Hanks Legrand), and matrilineal descendants of two daughters of Lucy Hanks from her marriage to Henry Sparrow (Margaret Sparrow Ingram and Lucinda Sparrow Richardson). This group shall be identified as Group-A. Full mitochondrial sequencing reveal Group-A belongs to a rare haplogroup X1c. In addition to the mutations used to define haplogroup X1c, they share a core set of {three} more specific mutations. These results indicate Group-A participants descend from the same maternal line. The rarity of the X1c haplogroup makes these matching samples more definitive. 

MtDNA samples were also collected from matrilineal descendants of two Shipley sisters -- Naomi Shipley who married Robert Mitchell and Rachel Shipley who married Richard Berry, Sr. This group shall be identified as Group-B. Matching HVR1 and HVR2 results for these two samples are Haplogroup H, indicating Group-B descendants do 
not descend from the same maternal line as Group-A.

In summary, these results can be used with confidence as a reference for DNA testing of Abraham Lincoln artifacts and for distinguishing between the two accounts of the parentage of Nancy Hanks. By including participants from multiple lines of descent from Ann Lee Hanks, the results conclude that Lucy Hanks Sparrow was not a sister of Rachel Shipley and Naomi Shipley and the results provide evidence supporting the conclusion that Lucy Hanks was a daughter of Ann Lee Hanks. All matrilineal lineages were researched by the study authors, Suzanne W. Hallstrom, Nancy C. Royce, Stephan A. Whitlock, Richard G. Hileman, 
M.A., J.D., Gerald M. Haslam, PhD, AG, FUGA  

DNA testing by Family Tree DNA at Gene by Gene, Ltd's Genomics Research Center in Houston, TX.

Acknowledgements: Bennett Greenspan, President, Family Tree DNA, laboratory assistance and Dr. Ann Turner, DNA analysis and consultation

©  2015 All Rights Reserved, Suzanne W. Hallstrom, Nancy C. Royce, Stephan A. Whitlock, Richard G. Hileman, M.A., J.D., Gerald M. Haslam, PhD, AG, FUGA  

For more information, please contact Suzanne Hallstrom, administrator:  
fabercove@aol.com 

To view Group-A and Group-B mtDNA test results, please select the mtDNA RESULTS tab.

NOTE: This is a work in progress. Please check back often!  

February 24, 2016: New test results for a descendant of another daughter of Lucy Hanks and Henry Sparrow, Elizabeth Sparrow who married Claiborne Franklin, are also an identical X1c match to Group-A.  ... Suzanne Hallstrom, administrator



NHLmtDNAchart



© 2015 All Rights Reserved, Suzanne W. Hallstrom, Nancy C. Royce, Stephan A. Whitlock, Richard G. Hileman, M.A., J.D., Gerald M. Haslam, PhD, AG, FUGA 


Brief Background


Lincoln’s law partner of seventeen years, William Herndon, claimed that Lincoln had told him that Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks, was illegitimate, meaning that her mother was a Hanks by birth. This account was followed by virtually all Lincoln biographers until 1900.

In the 1920s, Lincoln biographer William Barton concluded that Nancy Hanks Lincoln was the daughter of Lucy Hanks Sparrow, born before Lucy Hanks married Henry Sparrow. He further maintained that Lucy Hanks was the daughter of Joseph Hanks and Ann "Nanny" Lee of Richmond Co., VA and Nelson Co., KY. Lucy was therefore, according to Barton, a sister to two other daughters of Joseph and Ann Lee Hanks named Nancy Hanks, who married Levi Hall, and Mary Hanks, who married Jesse Friend.

Barton’s view was opposed by Louis Warren, who agreed that Lucy Hanks Sparrow was Nancy Hanks’s mother, but contended that Lucy Hanks Sparrow was not a Hanks by birth. Instead, he claimed she was one of several sisters named Shipley. One of these sisters was Naomi Shipley, who married Robert Mitchell, and one was Rachel Shipley, who married Richard Berry Sr. Warren contended that Lucy had been married to a James Hanks, whom Warren claimed had been a son of Joseph and Ann Lee Hanks, before she married Henry Sparrow.

In 1998, Paul Verduin provided a genealogy of the Hanks family for the book Herndon’s Informants, edited by Lincoln historians Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis. In this genealogy, Verduin agreed with Herndon and Barton that Lucy Hanks Sparrow, the mother of Nancy Hanks Lincoln, was a daughter of Joseph and Ann Lee Hanks, and that Nancy was therefore illegitimate. He also concluded that Lucy Hanks had a second illegitimate daughter, Sarah "Sally" Hanks, before marrying Henry Sparrow. Lucy then had eight more children with Henry Sparrow, four girls and four boys. Verduin also concluded that Sarah “Sally” Hanks had six illegitimate children of her own, including Sophia Hanks Lynch Legrand and Margaret Hanks Legrand.

Barton and Verduin agreed that Lucy and Henry Sparrow had four daughters named Mary, Elizabeth, Margaret, and Lucinda. Record evidence exists showing that Mary Sparrow married Benjamin Whitehouse, Elizabeth Sparrow married Claiborne Franklin, Margaret Sparrow married William Ingram, and Lucinda Sparrow married Sandy Richardson.

© 2015 All Rights Reserved, Suzanne W. Hallstrom, Nancy C. Royce, Stephan A. Whitlock, Richard G. Hileman, M.A., J.D., Gerald M. Haslam, PhD, AG, FUGA