Allegheny & Blue Ridge

 

Birthplace of Abraham Lincoln's Mother, Nancy Hanks

Do you know who Nancy Hanks is?  Well of course you do now, I gave it away in the title of this page.  But as I drove through the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, I didn't have a clue.  For some reason, though, when I saw a sign pointing to a memorial in her honor, I decided to take the detour. 

Watch for small brown signs to point the way to the "Nancy Hanks Memorial".  You'll spot the first sign along US 50, between MD Rte. 972 and US 220.

The old log cabin that stands as a memorial to Honest Abe's mom is a long way off the beaten path.  It's about six miles from US 50, and you have to take three roads to get there--each one narrower than the last.

This is the turn from the second road to the third, where the pavement reduces from 1 1/2 lanes down to one lane.  Keep in mind, I was wandering around these back roads, not knowing who Nancy Hanks was, or why I was spending so much time looking for her memorial.  Just as I was about to give up...

... I came upon this log cabin at the side of the road.  The cabin is a replica of the original, in which Nancy Hanks was born, on February 5, 1784.

Little is known about Nancy Hanks' early life.  Her father either died shortly after her birth, or he was out of the picture before her arrival.  When Nancy was very young, her mother, Lucy, married a man named Henry Sparrow (on April 26, 1790), and Nancy began using his last name.  As she grew up, she became known as an excellent seamstress.

I'm not certain if the cabin's front door was supposed to be unlocked, but it was, so I invited myself in.  The cabin's interior probably looks a lot like the original 1700's version, with a bed, table, chairs...

 ... and fireplace, all in one room.

Across the street from the cabin, there's a small plaque on a stone pillar.  It's the only thing on the property that explains who Nancy Hanks was. 

As I examined the house, a car drove past, and the driver explained that some neighborhood kids had recently broken some of the windows in the cabin.  He said he had called the historical society, and they should come out and replace them soon.  I was impressed -- not only to find out that this place existed, but that there are people actively maintaining it. 

Nancy Hanks married a carpenter named Thomas Lincoln in 1806.  Abraham was the second of her children, born in 1809.  Nancy died in 1818, when Abraham was only nine years old.  "Milk Sickness" killed her -- milk sickness is caused by drinking tainted milk, from a cow that has eaten poisonous white snakeroot.

 

Oakland, Maryland

Burlington, West Virginia

 

West Virginia Attractions Map
Research West Virginia Hotels
Free Travel Brochures

 

Paw Paw Tunnel, along the C&O Canal Towpath, Maryland

Romney, West Virginia, and Route 55 - Corridor H

Casselman River Bridge, US 40, The Old National Road, Maryland

Share your thoughts!

In order to better manage your comments, TakeMyTrip now uses Facebook to allow you to leave comments for other visitors to this page, and your friends.  Please use the form above (you might need to log into your Facebook account first).  If you have a message specifically meant for the website creator, send an email to feedback takemytrip.com.  And don't forget to LIKE TakeMyTrip.com's Facebook page!


 


I was just there 12/10/08. I had come to Maryland to go deer hunting and I read an article in the Cumberland newspaper that morning and had to find it. My mom is related to Nancy. I also found the door unlocked so I went in. Greatly enjoyed seeing something like this of an ancestor!!

-- Chuck Jones


I have been doing my ancestry, and I have found that Lois Shipley was Nancy Hanks mother.  Is this true?

---Anonymous


Are there any HON's in Nancy Hanks geneology? I was told that the Hon side of my family was related to her.

---Edria Ressler, Mountain Home, Arkansas


Nancy Hanks was the secret code name for a signal procedure in WW 2.  Have used it and know.

--- Anonymous


Recently I was given a picture of my great,great,great grandfather Hanks, a brother to Nancy Hanks, it original came from my great grandma, Betsy Stocker, I,m trying to confirm this, do you have any information on any of her family growing up

--- Rich Edwards, Wauconda, IL
 

I welcome your feedback.  Your thoughts will make this a better website. Click Here to Contact Me.
All photographs on this website are available for purchase.  Many may be purchased directly through the Gallery.  For commercial use, contact me directly.

View All The Road Trips - USA Map - Route 66 Guide - Drivelapse Videos
AL AR AZ CA CO FL GA ID IL KS LA MA MD ME MI MO MS MT NC NE NH NM NV NY OH OK OR PA SC SD TN TX UT VA VT WA WV WY Canada: AB BC ON Europe: London

Recommended Reading - Bookstore | Search This Site | Support This Site
How to Use This Site | About Me | Links | Legal Stuff | Sitemap | Old Gallery

All content and photographs © 2013 TakeMyTrip.com / Daniel Woodrum
If you wish to use images from this page, please follow the rules listed
here.

         
    Oakland, Maryland  

 

Burlington, WV