Friday, February 13, 2009

Abe's Better-Looking Cousin

"New Jersey Nets dancer Bonnie Lincoln is a descendant of President Abraham Lincoln," says this FOX News affiliate. MSNBC says she's a "direct descendant" of Lincoln.

Bonnie herself knows that's not true. She says that she's descended "thirteen generations down" from John Lincoln, and Abe was descended "eight generations down" from John's brother, Richard. In other words, she is no closer a relative to Abe Lincoln than countless other Americans. But she's a pretty cheerleader, and they're not. And she's got a piece of wood from Abe's log cabin.

Andy E. Wold

So, wait, she's an eight cousin, five generations removed?!

And her qualifications are: 1. Grandfather has demolition wood from a restoration, 2. has a penny collection, and 3. had been to the Lincoln Memorial?!

For crying out loud, Lincoln (the President, not the cheerleader) is my eighth cousin, seven generations removed!

I need some prettier cousins!

Andy E. Wold

... and from what I saw on a PBS show about Lincoln's cabin, the logs from Lincoln's birth cabin and the logs from Andrew Jackson's birth cabin have been indistinguishably inter-mixed and added to over the years. The log they tested by tree ring core sampling showed to be alive 50 years after Lincoln was born.

And, as a sad side note. The designer of the Lincoln cabin memorial building decided to "shave off" a couple feet of the cabin's width and lenth, so that visitors would have room to move around it within the memorial building.

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