Captain Abraham Lincoln was the first child born to John and Rebecca Lincoln, who had nine children in all: Abraham born 1744, twins Hannah and Lydia born 1748, Isaac born 1750, Jacob born 1751, John born 1755, Sarah born 1757, Thomas born 1761, and Rebecca born 1767.
Abraham Lincoln learned the tanner's trade and later took his brother John as his apprentice. A prominent tanner of Berks County in those days was James Boone (1709 – 1785), uncle to Daniel Boone. James Boone was a near neighbor to the Lincolns of Hiester's Creek, and his daughter Anne was married to John Lincoln's half-brother. This family connection may have influenced Abraham's choice of occupation.
In 1768 Abraham's father John Lincoln purchased land in the Shenandoah Valley in the colony of Virginia. He settled his family on a 600-acre (2.4 km2) tract on Linville Creek in Augusta County (now Rockingham County). In 1773, John and Rebecca Lincoln divided their tract with their two eldest sons, Abraham and Isaac. Abraham built a house on his land, across Linville Creek from his parents' home.
Revolutionary War Service
During the American Revolutionary War, Abraham served as a captain of the Augusta County militia, and with the organization of Rockingham County in 1778, he served as a captain for that county. He was in command of sixty of his neighbors, ready to be called out by the governor of Virginia and marched where needed. Captain Lincoln's company served under General Lachlan McIntosh in the fall and winter of 1778, assisting in the construction of Fort McIntosh in Pennsylvania and Fort Laurens in Ohio.
Move to Kentucky
While living in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, it is said the Abraham was influenced by famous frontiersman (and possible close family kin) Daniel Boone (1734-1820) to follow him down the Wilderness Road into neighboring Kentucky to make a fortune in real estate speculation.
In 1780, Abraham Lincoln sold his land on Mill Creek, and in 1781 he moved his family to Kentucky, then a district of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The family settled in Jefferson County, about twenty miles (32 km) east of the site of Louisville. The territory was still contested by Indians living across the Ohio River. For protection the settlers lived near frontier forts, called stations, to which they retreated when the alarm was given. Abraham Lincoln settled near Hughes' Station on Floyd's Fork and began clearing land, planting corn, and building a cabin. Lincoln owned at least 5,544 acres of land in the richest sections of Kentucky.
Late 18th Century Kentucky was mostly wild frontier and many angle settlers would settle close to a garrison town / fortress for protection from indian raiders that still roamed the area.
One day in May 1786, Abraham Lincoln was working in his field with his three sons when he was shot from the nearby forest and fell to the ground. The eldest boy, Mordcai Lincoln (1771-1830), ran to the cabin where a loaded gun was kept, while the middle son, Josiah, ran to Hughes' Station for help. Thomas Lincoln (1778-1851), the youngest (and future father of future US President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)), stood in shock by his father. From the cabin, Mordecai observed an Indian come out of the forest and stop by his father's body. The Indian reached for Thomas, either to kill him or to carry him off. Mordecai took careful aim and shot the Indian in the chest, killing him.
Tradition states that Captain Abraham Lincoln was buried by his cabin, which is now the site of Long Run Baptist Church and Cemetery near Eastwood, Kentucky. A stone memorializing Captain Abraham Lincoln was placed in the cemetery in 1937.
Bathsheba Lincoln was left a widow with five underage children. She moved the family away from the Ohio River, to Washington County, where the country was more thickly settled and there was less danger of Indian attack. Under the law then operating, Mordecai Lincoln, as the eldest son, inherited two-thirds of his father's estate when he reached the age of twenty-one, with Bathsheba receiving one-third. The other children inherited nothing. Life was hard, particularly for Thomas, the youngest, who got little schooling and was forced to go to work at a young age.
In later years Thomas Lincoln would recount the story of the day his father died, to his son, Abraham Lincoln, the future sixteenth president of the United States of America. "The story of his death by the Indians," the president later wrote, "and of Uncle Mordecai, then fourteen years old, killing one of the Indians, is the legend more strongly than all others imprinted on my mind and memory."
Marriage & Family =
Capt Abraham Lincoln married Mary Shipley in 1772. His second wife was Bathsheba Herring (c. 1742 – 1836), a daughter of Alexander Herring (c. 1708–1778) and his wife Abigail Harrison (c. 1710 – c. 1780) of Linville Creek. Five children were born to Abraham:
- Mordcai Lincoln (1771-1830) - at their father's death, all assets fell to Mordecai and he lived quite wealthy and successfully, while his siblings ended up quite poor.
- Josiah Lincoln (1773-1835)
- Mary Ada Lincoln (1775-1832)
- Thomas Lincoln (1778-1851) - father of future US President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
- Nancy Lincoln (1780-1845) - born shortly after the family's move from Virginia to Kentucky.
Various researchers give him a first wife of "Mary Shipley", but she seems to be spurious: see http://dig.lib.niu.edu/ISHS/ishs-1959spring/ishs-1959spring-059.pdf.