Surprising Abraham Lincoln Relatives Discovered

Family History, Lifestyle
7 November 2012
by Ancestry Team

Profile of Abraham LincolnThis November, as movie-goers prepare to see Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” on the big screen, experts from Ancestry have uncovered a family connection between Abraham Lincoln and actor George Clooney. In conjunction with the movie’s release, Ancestry is also making its most significant Lincoln-related records available in one place for free viewing.

After researching more than three centuries of Abraham Lincoln’s family tree, Ancestry family historians have revealed a Lincoln family secret: famous actor George Clooney is related to the former president. The family bloodline for both notable figures links to Lincoln’s maternal grandmother Lucy Hanks. Due to this common ancestor, Clooney is Lincoln’s half-first cousin five times removed. Those interested in the Lincoln-Clooney connection can find a family connection chart at Ancestry.

For those more interested in Abraham Lincoln himself, Ancestry is offering free access to more than 20,000 documents showcasing Lincoln’s life, his family tree and the most pivotal moments of his presidential career.

Lincoln enthusiasts and movie fans can discover a whole new side of the former president and his family, with information spanning the 1700s through the early 1900s. Records featured on the site include:

  • Handwritten Civil War documents and records:  One standout document is a personal letter from Lincoln to General Ulysses S. Grant asking for his son to be stationed in a safe location during the Civil War.
  • Emancipation Proclamation: Handwritten drafts and an illustration depicting the first reading of the Emancipation Proclamation before the cabinet, which declared that all slaves residing in Confederate territory were to be free.
  • Lincoln’s family in 1860: See how the census has evolved while learning more about Lincoln’s family – this 1860 census record includes Lincoln’s Springfield address, listing his wife Mary, sons Robert, Willie and Thomas, and two servants living in the household.
  • Famous speeches: Find rare drafts of historic speeches throughout the legendary presidency.
  • Rare photos are worth a thousand words: Images from centuries ago showcasing historical events during Lincoln’s life are included in the image gallery.
  • Lincoln’s Taxes: The original IRS tax assessment listing Lincoln’s presidential salary as $25,000 a year in 1861.

“Abraham Lincoln is a monumental figure in America’s history. The film ‘Lincoln’ depicts his historic last few months in the Oval Office and this is a perfect time to make centuries of records pertaining to the popular president available to all those interested in learning more,” said Dan Jones, VP of Content at Ancestry.  “We want these records to give people a new perspective on key public and private moments in Lincoln’s life. Hopefully this will encourage people to begin researching their own family history.”

Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” doesn’t hit theaters until November 9, but people don’t have to wait to learn more about “Honest Abe.” Lincoln records are available from now through February on Ancestry for everyone to dig a little deeper into Lincoln’s story and impress friends and family with their knowledge.

For those inspired by the records to do more digging into their own history, Ancestry offers a 14-day free trial for all new members.

Discover your family story. Start free trial.