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Flowers left for Thomas Lincoln
LINKED TO LINCOLN DNA CONFIRMS LOCAL MAN DESCENDANT OF 16TH PRESIDENTDan Davis The Daily Jeffersonian Published: November 19, 2012 1:00PM"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."The speaker of those words: President Abraham Lincoln, as he dedicated the Soldier's National Cemetery at the Gettysburg battlefield on Nov. 19, 1863 ... 149 years ago today.For Guernsey County resident James A. Linkhorn, it marked one of the finest moments in the career of his great-great uncle, the 16th president of the United States, "Honest Abe" Lincoln.The Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863 marked a pivotal point in American history. The nation was divided by the Civil War. As the Union fought to restore unity the Confederacy battled for independence.Gettysburg marked the turning point of the war. Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's invasion of the north failed. Casualties numbered nearly 50,000.Residents of the Pennsylvania town buried thousands of the dead in shallow graves. Heavy rains washed many from their inadequate interments, and the need for a proper cemetery was realized.President Abraham Lincoln visited the battlefield. It is there that he delivered his famous Gettysburg Address.Fast forward to March 27, 2012. Linkhorn receives certification of his DNA testing results: He is a descendant of Lincoln."I am related to Abraham Lincoln," the 91-year-old said. "We always knew it. There was just no way of proving it."He heard the story of his relation to Lincoln repeated often in his youth. But that was prior to DNA testing, and proving the lineal link beyond doubt was not possible.Samuel "the weaver" Lincoln was born in England and died in Massachusetts in 1690. His line of descendants includes Mordecai I (born 1657, died 1727), Mordecai II (born 1686, died 1736), John (born 1716, died 1788) and Abraham Linkhorn (born 1739, died 1785), the president's grandfather.At some point, "Lincoln" became "Linkhorn," possibly due to a misspelling on a legal document. Another theory holds that both surnames were used interchangeably.The president's father, Thomas, used "Lincoln" as a surname, and the tradition continued.Thomas Lincoln fathered an illegitimate child, Jesse Linkhorn, who would be Abraham Lincoln's younger half-brother. Linkhorn moved to Ohio and settled in present-day Jackson Township near Byesville."He was a carpenter," James said of his great-grandfather's vocation. "He built several houses in Byesville."Some of those sat on the lot currently occupied by the McDonald's restaurant.Jesse Linkhorn fathered three daughters and as many sons. Son Joseph was the father of Orville, James Linkhorn's father.Jesse Linkhorn died in 1892. He is buried in Enon Cemetery in Byesville.At the urging of family members, James Linkhorn supplied a DNA sample for testing earlier this year to Family Tree DNA. The results provided the confirmation he needed: His branch grew from the Lincoln/Linkhorn family tree.Direct descendants of Abraham Lincoln are no more. The last living descendant, Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, died Dec. 24, 1985, without fathering children.The lineage of "the weaver" continues through James Linkhorn and his three sons, however.ddavis@daily-comNovember 3, 2013
 Added: Jan. 14, 2014

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