Monday, December 19, 2011
A Forgey Slept with Abraham Lincoln's....
Cousin! Or so the story goes? It all hinges on a 15 year old WIDOW who married a 50 year old man, and an Indian Prince? I found this juicy family story at findagrave. This is what it says: "Mary Ann Hanks was the daughter of John & Elizabeth Hanks. She was born October 05, 1827 in McMinn County, Tennessee. Family legends has it that Mary Ann was married for a brief time to and Indian prince by the name of Forgey? but that has never been confirmed and they had no children. Mary Ann was then married to William T. McCallie of Chattanooga,Tennessee on September 18, 1842, This was a strange union because William T. 50 at the time and Mary Ann was only 15." I immediately performed a logic, credibility test on this interesting yarn. It didn't seem to pass the test :). I know the Forgeys of McMinn, TN were not Native American. John Forgey's, progenitor of this McMinn Clan, descendant Roger has been DNA tested and is of Scots-Irish heritage. His wife, Nancy Armstrong, was born in Prince Edward County, VA and her family wasn't Native American either. I have not run across a fifteen year old widow in my family research either? A connection was also made between Mary Ann Hanks and Abraham Lincoln's mother Nancy Hanks. All of this smacked of someone trying to establish a connection to Abraham Lincoln's family, and hence all these unlikely facts.
Well I may have given up the research there, if not for fellow genealogy researcher Karen De Groote. She was able to find more about the Hanks family which adds credibility to this incredible story. She found a reference to John Hanks Will, which did mention a daughter Mary. He also mentioned a wife Elizabeth in the will. John Hanks does says he was born in North Carolina on the 1860 US Census. I was able to find the supposed to connection in this family and Abraham Lincoln in this tree at Rootsweb http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=REG&db=ldkingsley&id=I003134
So my personal connection to the Hanks family would be that my ancestor Hugh Forgey would have been the Uncle of the Forgey male who married Mary Ann Hanks. Mary Ann would have been a several times great-grand daughter of William Hanks born 1654, and the several times great-granddaughter of Nancy Hanks-Lincoln. So the cousin relationship would not be very close between Abraham Lincoln and Mary Ann, being that they shared a common ancestor in 1654, in North Farnham, Richmond Co., VA.
My connection is tenuous at best, lol, to the Hanks Family and Abraham Lincoln.. I will take any possible connection to Lincoln, however. I have not been able to find a marriage so far between a Mary Hanks and a Forgey so far. John Forgey and Nancy Armstrong do have some unidentified sons, per the 1820 and 1830 Census's. So can I add Abraham Lincoln to our family tree. NOT Yet lol.