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Tom Hanks and Abe Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln's very pretty
mother, Nancy Hanks.

I've always loved history, especially the little factoids that you can discover. The best is when I retain a fact and use it in the timeliest manner.

In 1991, my wife Jody and I were out to dinner at the Ameche restaurant in Los Angeles with friends. Surprisingly, they saw their friends, Tom Hanks and, his wife, Rita Wilson, and asked them to join us, which they did. I remembered that the only "Hanks" that I had ever heard of was Abraham Lincoln's mother, Nancy Hanks. When I asked Tom if he was related to her, he seemed stunned. He put down his fork and said: "How did you know who she was?" Then, he told me that he was directly related to her. "Aha!" I thought. Now, wouldn't it be cosmically correct if he, one day, played Lincoln in a movie. Hmm...

Comments | Post a Comment

Dear Rose,
I just read your story about Mary Friend Kerns and Abraham Lincoln. My husband, now deceased, was related to the Kerns family. Did Mary Friend marry Henry Kerns? They had a son, Luther, who was my husband's great grandfather. Does any of this information fit? Thanks, Madge Little

Posted by: Madge Little

Useful blog. Thanks!

Posted by: Debikf

Hey, Seth, my great great great grandmother was Mary Friend. She had an illigitimate half-brother, Dennis Friend Hanks. Dennis's mother was Nancy Hanks, aunt of Nancy Hanks, Abe Lincoln's mother. Anyway, Dennis was raised with Abe in Kentucky. Abe defended Dennis in a trial where he and Thomas Lincoln got sued over debts. It is quite probable my direct ancestor, Mary (Friend) Kerns may have known Abe Lincoln. Dennis born, illigitimate never did have much luck and died in 1892 when run over by a carriage! I live in Central Alberta, Canada too funny!

Posted by: Rose Balcom

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