- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 2, 2015

FOUNTAIN GREEN, Ill. (AP) - Hancock County is home to six cemeteries in which more than two dozen relatives of Abraham Lincoln are buried, and local history buffs are working to increase awareness of that significance.

At least 29 relatives are buried at the Majorville, Webster, Calvary, LaHarpe, Giddings Mound and St. Simon cemeteries in Hancock County. Many of those family members are cousins of the nation’s 16th president.

Jan Holtman of the Hancock County Historical Society told The Quincy Herald-Whig (https://bit.ly/1JNowrx ) that the group has started a fund to help with maintenance and research. The historical society’s top priority is purchasing a headstone for Thomas Jefferson Lincoln, the former president’s second cousin, who died in 1914.

More people already are beginning to take interest in the Lincoln family graves since the group has begun its efforts to increase awareness, Miller said.

The Lincoln family lived in Kentucky, formerly a slave state, before they moved to Illinois. Harry Miller, a historical society volunteer researching burial sites for all direct descendants of Abraham Lincoln’s uncle Mordecai Lincoln Sr., believes politics could have been what prompted the Lincolns to move to Hancock County in 1830.

“They didn’t agree with that. They wanted to be out of that atmosphere,” he said of the family’s distaste for slavery.

Military land also was available in Illinois at the time.

“You could buy 80 acres for a small amount. There was water. There was timber to build your home,” Miller said.

Abraham Lincoln was well-aware of his relatives living in Hancock County, where he visited with them at least once, according to the historical society members.

“When Abraham Lincoln was here, we have in our history that he met with Mordecai Jr. and spent a few minutes with him before he went back to Springfield,” Miller said. “Lincoln knew when he was in New Salem that he had a relative in Fountain Green who signed legal documents.”


Information from: The Quincy Herald-Whig, https://www.whig.com

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