If you want to discover your genetic history and where you came from... you’ve found the right place!


review of scientific and news articles on dna testing and popular genetics

Abraham Lincoln's Jewish Roots

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is interested in their namesake's Jewish ancestry. Do a Google Search and you'll get numerous hits under "Abraham Lincoln Jewish Ancestry." They can all be traced back to the work of Rutgers University professor Elizabeth C. Hirschman, who published her findings in The Melungeons:  The Last Lost Tribe in America in 2005 (Mercer University Press). Melungeons.com immediately reported the news in an article on Abraham Lincoln's mother, Nancy Hanks, in March 2005.

Actually, the revelation goes back to Abraham Lincoln's own lifetime. In 1909 a book was written by Isaac Markens titled Abraham Lincoln and the Jews. In it is the germ of the controversy. Rabbi Isaac Wise of Cincinnati wrote in 1865, "Abraham Lincoln believed himself to be bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. He supposed himself to be of Hebrew parentage, he said so in my presence, and indeed he possessed the common features of the Hebrew race both in countenance and features."


Sketch of young Lincoln shows typical Sephardic Jewish looks:  dark features, bony skull, lanky build, big nose, craggy brow.

Lincoln's son Robert later denied the admission of Hebrew ancestry. He told Markens 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."

Now that Lincoln is beginning to be seen as having Jewish ancestry, what about his status as a Melungeon? That has now slipped into jeopardy, it seems. Jewish and Melungeon ancestry go hand in glove, except in the eyes of those who don't believe Melungeons are a distinct ethnic group at all. They are opposed to finding any unwanted ethnicity in people claiming to be Melungeon. We predict Lincoln's Jewishness will rapidly be disposed of by these devotees of the received standard version of American history.

More information about Melungeons
Toward a Genetic Profile of Melungeons in Southern Appalachia
Melungeon Studies
Melungeon Match


turqwind commented on 17-Sep-2010 01:05 PM

After I read your post, I remembered my mother mentioned her Glasscock relatives were related to Abraham Lincoln. I still have a male cousin who is direct line, but I haven't talked to him about this. Anyway, Nancy Hanks' mother or grandmother or somebody was the daughter of Thomas Glasscock of Virginia. You have my and my mother's DNA. I have Jewish ancestry on both sides and some family members come from the right part of the country for Melungeon ancestry. I have some documented genealogy (DAR, UDC) and some "shady" lines I have no idea about and people went to great lengths to hide. Actually, I do have an idea about and that is why I came to use your service! Also, is the various Asia ancestry that shows up in my DNA possibly Creek or Choctaw? Going by family history, I guess it is. I am assuming the Michigan NA is Cherokee. "Nancy" is a very common name on both sides of my family. Food for thought. Thanks.

Anonymous commented on 17-Sep-2010 01:11 PM

That's interesting about the Glasscocks. Most surnames (e.g. Hitchcock) ending that way, also Cock and Cox, originated as Hebrew names according to Joseph Jacobs. No, I think your Asian is not related to Native American. It is either a "false positive" or has to do with Gypsy heritage.

Lynda Estrella commented on 14-Mar-2011 03:41 PM

I am related to Abe Lincoln, through his mother's family. My Grandfather was related to Abe Lincoln through the Ray side of our family. My Grandmother would taunt my Grandfather about his heritage when she and he were fighting. She went blind for that...I hadn't heard Jewish, I heard "dark skinned", "non-white", "black people". Jewish would have fit into that in my Grandfather's eyes. Someday I will have my DNA checked, my father could have Jewish blood also.

Iosef von Kastro commented on 25-Jun-2011 06:02 PM

Sadly, the real concept of Sephardic has been deformed, in the interests of who knows who. You hear people nowadays calling Moroccan, Yemenite, Lebanese, Ethipian!!, Syrian, Iraqui, Jordanian, etc. Jews as Sephardic. In other words, they call the Jews
from Arabic countries as "Sephardic Jews". This is totally wrong. The correct name for them is "Mizrachi Jews", the same as saying orientsl jews. These arabic jews communities do not speak spanish, nor ladino, and have no connection whatsoever to spain!!!
sepharadi indeed means "Spanish" in Hebrew. The only REAL sephardic Jews are those from Portugal and Spain. That said, yes, Lincoln looks EXTREMELY sephardic, as the original jews that settled in England in 1492. I myself am a Sephardic Jews, and Lincoln looks
a lot like me. Also, i would like to make notice that Edgar Allan Poe looks extremely Sephardic as well!!! I would like to hear opinions regarding this. Thanks.

Dan commented on 02-Jun-2012 06:26 AM

Great, he got a lot of his "own" countrymen killed then. It explains much of his hostity to AngloSaxons.

It doesn't matter commented on 23-Jul-2013 11:07 PM

Many of our family are related to Lincoln through his Ancestors on his Father's side. Two words were whispered that may or may not have anything to do with his line. They were Pennsylvania Dutch and Black Irish. High Cheekbones, Tall Height, Large Ears, and multi-ethnic hair are things that I see showing up in relatives. Brilliant colored eyes also show up. Not every person nor every generation. Besides his appearance and possible multi-ethnic background other things show up as well, a way with words, wisdom, kindness, melancholy as well as humor.

Lucey's admirer commented on 27-Sep-2014 11:28 PM

Abe was partly Sephardic Jew through his "unknown" grandfather, the lover of his grandmother Lucey Hanks. Abe's mother Nancy was a genius, was dark, dreamy, intense, and other traits which her son inherited. These traits came from the wealthy planter who was Lucey's lover. There is more to the story than they are telling.

Anonymous commented on 12-Nov-2014 08:35 AM

Mr. Abe Lincoln was of Irish descent you can find it in Ireland. Also the irish people for hundreds of years were considered the scholars of the world or as an encyclopedia mention the irish as being the most learned people in the world. Abraham Lincoln was helped to be the president by the irish in U.SA.
Just like Christopher Columbus was not the founder of U.S.A as St. Brendan came to Vinland also known as Massachusets in the 6th century. They found writing of his on stone.
Christopher Columbus did not even come to U.SA he went to Barbados. Christopher Columbus travelled to Ireland to get the maps that st. Brendan used. At least the kids are not taught the lies in school anymore.

Please tell us what you think

Name, website, and email are optional; if we publish your comment, your name will be shown, and may be linked to your website if provided, but the email you enter will not be published.

Captcha Image

Recent Posts


Arabic Germany PNAS New York Academy of Sciences Stacy Schiff Science magazine When Scotland Was Jewish B'nai Abraham corn Scientific American Epigraphic Society Irish history Teresa Panther-Yates Charles Darwin Sea Peoples Y chromosomal haplogroups genealogy Richard Buckley hoaxes Richard Lewontin Richard III DNA Diagnostics Center anthropology Etruscans Washington D.C. Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma ENFSI palatal tori Melungeon Movement National Health Laboratories genetic determinism Patagonia haplogroup L Olmec Puerto Rico Finnish people Chris Tyler-Smith ISOGG Nova Scotia Italy Kurgan Culture Romania Yates surname Stephen A. Leon Kate Wong Charles Perou Panther's Lodge Publishers French Canadians Colin Pitchfork Bill Tiffee BATWING Ethel Cox Discover magazine Arizona haplogroup C Sasquatch Ancient Giantns Who Ruled America Nayarit microsatellites Cree Indians evolution Maui single nucleotide polymorphism Hertfordshire Victor Hugo polydactylism Columbia University Rush Limbaugh Mildred Gentry origins of art Plato Philippa Langley Antonio Torroni African DNA Sonora Grim Sleeper Louis XVI Hispanic ancestry Shlomo Sand Russia far from the tree Telltown Walter Plecker Amy Harmon Timothy Bestor Peter Parham personal genomics Bryony Jones Middle Ages Indian Territory family history Luca Pagani Melba Ketchum New York Times Michael Grant Alabama Indo-Europeans X chromosome 23andme haplogroup X Ziesmer, Zizmor ethnic markers Sir Joshua Reynolds Colima India Early Jews and Muslims of England and Wales (book) occipital bun alleles medicine clinical chemistry Jewish novelists Lab Corp haplogroup W University of Leicester Kennewick Man Abraham Lincoln admixture Magdalenian culture Great Goddess Celts Stephen Oppenheimer Odessa Shields Cox David Cornish DNA magazine Bradshaw Foundation M. J. Harper Melanesians National Geographic Daily News Stan Steiner Rebecca L. Cann health and medicine Panther's Lodge Genex Diagnostics Horatio Cushman familial Mediterranean fever Smithsonian Institution Oxford Journal of Evolution Early Jews of England and Wales consanguinity Scotland peopling of the Americas INORA Stone Age James Shoemaker rock art Rare Genes Population genetics Asiatic Fathers of America Sam Kean genomics labs Sinti Hopi Indians Kentucky Algonquian Indians Native American DNA Austro-Hungary Ancestry.com Henriette Mertz Bering Land Bridge Patrick Pynes MHC haplogroup N Phillipe Charlier Chauvet cave paintings Science Daily, Genome Biol. Evol., Eran Elhaik, Khazarian Hypothesis, Rhineland Hypothesis Jesse Montes immunology education Jewish contribution to world literature The Nation magazine Ashkenazi Jews Anglo-Saxons Charlotte Harris Reese Majorca Israel Neolithic Revolution Anacostia Indians Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies China research Barack Obama Richmond California Douglas Owsley New Mexico Texas A&M University Bulgaria giants Donald N. Yates Secret History of the Cherokee Indians George van der Merwede Echota Cherokee Tribe of Alabama haplogroup J Sinaloa FOX News Melungeons Asiatic Echoes prehistory surnames London Tifaneg American Journal of Human Genetics religion Satoshi Horai ancient DNA haplogroup M George Starr-Bresette El Castillo cave paintings Phoenix Zuni Indians Ari Plost Eric Wayner Cismaru Normans Melungeon Union Erika Chek Hayden race Salt River cancer Egyptians El Paso Wendy Roth Harold Sterling Gladwin Tintagel Waynesboro Pennsylvania Douglas C. Wallace GlobalFiler haplogroup G Pueblo Grande Museum Joseph Andrew Park Wilson Chuetas powwows haplogroup T Carl Zimmer mummies AP Freemont Indians French DNA Wikipedia Moundbuilders Juanita Sims Jack Goins Dragging Canoe Hohokam National Museum of Natural History Johnny Depp Roma People Cornwall CODIS markers Bode Technology FBI Navajo Sizemore Indians Tom Martin Scroft population isolates Leicester Gregory Mendel Michael Schwartz Black Dutch Hadassah Magazine Khazars myths human leukocyte antigens Zizmer private allele Jan Ravenspirit Franz Arizona State University clan symbols genetic memory Stony Creek Baptist Church Anne Marie Fine Neanderthals Comanche Indians Mary Kugler epigenetics Maronites Denisovans Britain Sorbs Anasazi archeology Hohokam Indians Marie Cheng megapopulations Irish DNA haplogroup H Les Miserables methylation Smithsonian Magazine Mark Stoneking DNA Forums Clovis Gila River haplogroup U Melungeon Heritage Association Jews Russell Belk human migrations Lebanon Constantine Rafinesque Dienekes Anthropology Blog Family Tree DNA Rich Crankshaw Jewish GenWeb Genome Sciences Building King Arthur, Tintagel, The Earliest Jews and Muslims of England and Wales Eske Willerslev Sarmatians Joseph Jacobs Cave art ethnicity Roberta Estes Kari Carpenter pipe carving Nancy Gentry Gravettian culture Elizabeth C. Hirschman Bigfoot Tucson crosses Old Souls in a New World phenotype Cancer Genome Atlas Life Technologies Cismar art history Rutgers University Keros Mohawk Mark Thomas human leukocyte testing Paleolithic Age crypto-Jews Riane Eisler Mucogee Creeks Old World Roots of the Cherokee Muslims in American history Daily News and Analysis Taino Indians American history Elvis Presley DNA university of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Myra Nichols prehistoric art Oxford Nanopore Tucson Zionism aliyah haplogroup B Janet Lewis Crain Irish Central Ireland Fritz Zimmerman BBCNews Harry Ostrer Jews and Muslims in British Colonial America James Stritzel Virginia genealogy HapMap Robinson Crusoe Rafael Falk news Solutreans Elizabeth DeLand North African DNA seafaring Elzina Grimwood New York Review of Books Navajo Indians Nikola Tesla Black Irish Holocaust Nature Communications Michoacan Lithuania Bryan Sykes DNA testing companies Mother Qualla Barnard College Ripan Malhi mental foramen DNA Fingerprint Test Bentley surname research population genetics Joel E. Harris Nature Genetics Arabia Chris Stringer history of science metis European DNA Albert Einstein College of Medicine Tutankamun Gypsies Tennessee Austronesian, Filipinos, Australoid Cherokee DNA Project cannibalism Mexico Gustavo Ramirez Calderon Richard Dewhurst DNA Fingerprint Test Thuya Theodore Steinberg Henry VII Jim Bentley Colin Renfrew Helladic art haplogroup E N. Brent Kennedy Penny Ferguson Micmac Indians Terry Gross DNA security Central Band of Cherokee Central Band of Cherokees DNA databases William Byrd Silverbell Artifacts Mary Settegast Y chromosome DNA First Peoples Cleopatra Asian DNA Pima Indians EURO DNA Fingerprint Test bar mitzvah Jalisco gedmatch Monica Sanowar Phyllis Starnes IntegenX Anne C. Stone Ananya Mandal statistics mitochondrial DNA Monya Baker FDA Holocaust Database Henry IV Cherokee Freedmen ged.com linguistics Ron Janke oncology Maya ethics genetics Jewish genetics Akhenaten Pomponia Graecina haplogroup D horizontal inheritance pheromones Basques Kitty Prince of the Bear River Athabaskans Daniel Defoe Ukraine Current Anthropology Phoenicians Promega Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act mutation rate Valparaiso University andrew solomon Miguel Gonzalez Belgium Cooper surname Chromosomal Labs Bode Technology Alec Jeffreys Iran Khoisan haplogroup Z John Butler Marija Gimbutas Patrick Henry Ostenaco Greeks District of Columbia hominids climate change Gunnar Thompson Nadia Abu El-Haj Native American DNA Test King Arthur Europe Cohen Modal Haplotype The Calalus Texts b'nei anousim Sizemore surname Isabel Allende Altai Turks Cherokee DNA North Carolina Havasupai Indians Discovery Channel rapid DNA testing John Ruskamp Choctaw Indians NPR Caucasian Genie Milgrom Acadians autosomal DNA Applied Epistemology Beringia Thruston Tablet Svante Paabo Slovakia Turkic DNA Middle Eastern DNA haplogroup R Bureau of Indian Affairs Israel, Shlomo Sand breast cancer Kari Schroeder Wendell Paulson Virginia DeMarce Nephilim, Fritz Zimmerman Hawaii Jon Entine Alia Garcia-Ureste Peter Martyr England Abenaki Indians Douglas Preston bloviators Pueblo Indians forensics John Wilwol Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Cajuns Wales Brian Wilkes