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I’m in the Land of Lincoln: The Federation
of Genealogical Societies conference is getting underway here in Springfield,
Ill. After quickly setting up our booth (#804, if you’re here—come say hi!) and visiting
with some friendly genealogy faces in the exhibit hall, I ran over to the Abraham
Lincoln Home National Historic Site to try to catch a tour before closing time.
We had a great tour guide, a National Park Service ranger who says his colleagues
call him Ranger Santa in December (you’ll see why a few pictures down).
Here’s the house Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln bought in 1844. They lived there until
Lincoln was elected president, when they rented it out and moved to Washington, DC.
Robert Lincoln, their only surviving son, kept the home as rental property and donated
it to the state of Illinois in 1887.
Here’s the house as it looked in 1860, in a historic image on display at the visitors’
This is the Lincoln’s doorbell.
The rear parlor is where a committee from the 1860 Republican convention formally
notified Lincoln he’d been nominated as the party’s presidential candidate.
In the living room, Lincoln would sprawl out on the floor (most of the furniture was
too small for him) with his kids and the family dog, Fido.
Upstairs in Lincoln’s bedroom, Santa Ranger pointed out how high the 6”4’ Lincoln’s
shaving mirror was hung.
The stove in the kitchen at the back of the house is the one Mary Todd Lincoln used.
Our guide pointed out some of the log cabins Lincoln lived in as a boy were no bigger
than this kitchen.
The last Abraham Lincoln descendant, Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, died in 1985. He
was the grandchild of Robert Lincoln, the only son to survive into his 20s.Think you’re
related to the Lincolns?
Get a quick look the Lincoln
family tree here. You
can see more detail on Abe Lincoln’s ancestors here. Click the links for first
generation (Abraham Lincoln), second generation (his parents, Thomas and Nancy Lincoln),
Here’s a fun fact our guide shared: Abraham Lincoln didn’t have a middle name. Find
other First Family facts here.