When Tom Hanks took on the role of narrator for National Geographic’s Killing Lincoln, it turns out he was telling a family story.
Hanks revealed that he is related to America’s iconic president through President Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks.
Nancy was an orphan by the age of nine and lived for a time with an aunt and uncle. She was living with the Richard Berry family when she came to know Thomas Lincoln. They were married on 12 June 1806 in Washington County, Kentucky.
Abraham was the couple’s second child, born on 12 February 1809. Nancy died on 5 October 1818 at the age of 34, possibly of milk sickness, a disease contracted from drinking milk given by cows that had eaten white snakeroot. In his literary biogrpahy of Lincoln, Carl Sandburg descrives young Abe helping his father build Nancy’s coffin.
(Almost 25 years later, Abraham Lincoln would marry Mary Todd, and the couple would have four children of their own, but only one would reach adulthood. Abraham Lincoln’s last direct descendent died in 1985.)
Hanks says, “the members of my branch of the family are either cousins or in-laws or poor relations.
“So when I was at school, guess which president I was always doing essays on.”
You can read the entire article from the Daily Mail here.