Was Abraham Lincoln Related to Paul Revere?

Although born and raised at different times and places, Abraham Lincoln was actually related to Paul Revere through three marriages in his family.

Abraham Lincoln’s father, Thomas Lincoln, had two cousins in Boston during the late 1700s named Amos and Jedediah Lincoln. Like Thomas Lincoln, both cousins were carpenters, although they were much more successful at their trade.

After Amos Lincoln participated in the Boston Tea Party when he was 20 years old and served as a Lieutenant Colonel during the Revolutionary War, he married Paul Revere’s eldest daughter Deborah on January 14, 1781.

The couple had nine children together before Deborah passed away in January of 1797, according to the book New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial:

“Captain Amos Lincoln, son of Enoch Lincoln, was born in Hingham, March 18, 1753. He was a member of the famous Boston Tea Party, and an active patriot before the revolution, during which he served the cause as captain in a Massachusetts Artillery Regiment. He resided in Boston for many years, but late in life removed to Quincy, Massachusetts, where he spent his last years. He married (first) Deborah Revere, on January 14, 1781, by whom he had nine children. She was the daughter of Paul Revere. He married  (second) Eliza, another daughter of the famous Paul Revere, in 1797, and had five children. His third wife was Martha Robb, whom he married July 26, 1805, and by her had three children.”

After Deborah’s death, Paul Revere took in the couple’s youngest child, Frederick Walker Lincoln, and raised him himself. Later that year, on May 24, Amos Lincoln married Deborah’s younger sister, Elizabeth, and had five more children.

The first of Amos and Elizabeth’s children, Mary Lincoln, was born in December of 1797, just seven months after the couple’s wedding, which suggests the baby may have been conceived before they were married.

Abraham Lincoln photographed by Mathew Brady in 1861

Abraham Lincoln photographed by Mathew Brady in 1861

Amos’ brother, Jedediah Lincoln, was also a Revolutionary War soldier. After Jedediah’s first wife, Betsey Edwards, died in 1796, Jedediah also married one of Paul Revere’s daughters, Mary, and they had seven children together.

Both Amos and Jedediah Lincoln were later buried at Copp’s Hill Burying Ground in the North End of Boston after they passed away in the 1820s.

Abraham Lincoln and Paul Revere’s lives overlapped by nine years. Lincoln was nine years old when Revere died in 1818, yet since Lincoln’s Massachusetts roots was unknown to him until later in life, it is uncertain whether he ever knew of the family connection when Revere was alive, or if at all.

In 1848, Abraham Lincoln was contacted by a distant Lincoln relative from Massachusetts, Solomon Lincoln, who suspected they were related but couldn’t confirm it. Due to the limited resources of the time, neither one could confirm whether they were related or not. Solomon Lincoln later published an article, titled Notes of the Lincoln Families of Massachusetts, that discussed the possible family connection.

Sources:
Paul Revere and the World He Lived In; Esther Hoskins Forbes; 1942
New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial; edited by William Richard Cutter
The Paul Revere House: Paul Revere’s Ancestry: http://www.paulreverehouse.org/bio/father.html
Paul Revere’s Ride; David Hackett Fischer
Ben L. Edwards: The Colonial Edwards Family: http://benledwards.com/edwards/familytree.html
Boston Tea Party Historical Society: Amos Lincoln: http://www.boston-tea-party.org/participants/amos-lincoln.html
History.com: 12 Things You May Not Know About Paul Revere: http://www.history.com/news/2011/04/18/12-things-you-may-not-know-about-paul-revere/

2 thoughts on “Was Abraham Lincoln Related to Paul Revere?

  1. Jennifer Fabulous

    A freelance journalist who loves history?! It's like looking into a mirror. 😉

    Thanks for finding me and leading me to your blog. I think it is awesome you offer so much interesting information about the civil war here. I'm actually really impressed and I can't wait to dig through some of your old posts.

    You left a comment on my blog about how you wished schools had taught about female soldiers and whatnot, and I completely agree with you. I honestly have learned way more about history (American and world) by reading books on my own as an adult than I EVER did in school. And there are so many fascinating stories and people who should be recognized!

    I really enjoyed this post by the way. I love learning about random historical people who are related. Makes me realize what a small world it is…

    Reply

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