Four Thomas Linkons / Lincolns

52 in 52 Challenge:  Week 11

I belong to several genealogy groups, and I frequent many genealogy chat boards.  A question that is often asked is, “Have you found a connection between your family lines and anyone famous?”  I guess everyone wants to claim lineage to someone who is well-known or influential, and of course, finding a long-lost, rich ancestor would be nice.  In my own research, I’ve got the infamous covered, (See previous posts on Edward Gove and Mary Bradbury!), but it seems every time my tree gets close to fame and fortune, my line branches off.

This week is another example of coming close.  (For family members following along, this is again Elmer’s family.  This time, Elmer’s father’s line.)

The surname Linkon originates in Hingham, Norfolk, England.  Early records show that the name existed with various spellings for at least  100 years before the earliest families bearing this name arrived in Massachusetts.  By the mid-1630s, there were eight men in Plymouth, Massachusetts with the surname Linkon.  To make it interesting, two of them were named Daniel, and four of them were named Thomas, so it’s easy to see why so many family trees bearing this surname get their ancestors crossed!  It is said that everyone in the United States with the last name “Lincoln” can be traced back to one of these families.

Family One consisted of three brothers, Daniel, Samuel, and Thomas “the weaver”.  Daniel (“The Husbandman”) died unmarried on 3 April 1644.  (*Note – a husbandman is a farmer).  His brother, Thomas, died in 1675, having married twice and fathering several children.  Their brother, Samuel, arrived in 1637 at the age of 18.  He married a woman named Martha.  They had 10 children, and he is the progenitor of President Abraham Lincoln’s line.

Family Two is the second Daniel.  He is referred to as Daniel “The Young Man”.  Later, he was a sergeant and boatman.  He married and had children as well.

Family Three is brothers Stephen and Thomas “The Husbandman”.  Both of them married and had children.

Family Four is Thomas “The Cooper”, and Family Five is Thomas “The Miller”.

There are no records to indicate a connection between any or all of these five families, although they all came from the same place in England, so it’s possible there is an as yet undiscovered relationship between them generations back.

My line descends from Thomas “The Miller”.  Thomas arrived in the colonies around 1635.  On 3 July 1636, he was granted a house lot and 5 acres of land, with additional acres granted for planting.  In 1649, the town of Taunton voted to offer Thomas “accommodations” (no mention of what the accommodations were) if he would come to Taunton and set up a mill.  Thomas accepted.  The Old Grist Mill remained under the ownership of the Linkons for 47 years.  In 1652, Thomas’ family joined him in Taunton.

Thomas brought five children with him when arrived in the Colonies:  Thomas, John, Samuel, Sarah, and Mary.  His first wife, and the mother of these children, had likely died in England, as there is no mention of her in Colonial records.  Thomas married his second wife, Elizabeth Andrews, on 10 December 1665.  Records of the town show that Thomas Linkon was the largest land owner in Taunton, and he was an early investor in the establishment of the Taunton Iron Works.

Thomas Linkon’s will was dated 28 August 1683.  In it, he states, “I Thomas Linckon Senir, being eighty years or there-abouts, of Taunton in Plymouth patent, being of perfect understanding blessed be god for it doe make this my last Will and testament.”  The will was proved in Plymouth on 5 March 1684, and his estate was valued at 205 pounds and 8 shillings.

Generation 1:  Thomas “The Miller Linkon

  1.  John m. Edith (Five children:  John, Thomas, Mary, Daniel, and Josiah)
  2. Thomas m1. Mary Austin (Ten children:  Mary, Sarah, Thomas, Samuel, Jonah, Sarah, Hannah, Constant, Mercy, and Experience); m2. Susanna Macey
  3. Samuel  (more below)
  4. Mary m1.William Hack (one child:  William); m2. Richard Stevens (Six children:  Richard, Nicholas, Mary, Thomas, Tamsin, and Nathaniel)
  5. Sarah m. Joseph Willis (Two children:  Joseph and Thomas)


Generation 2:  Thomas’ third son, Samuel, was born in England and baptized in Hingham, Massachusetts, in February of 1637 or 1638.  Accounts vary as to whether his wife’s name was Jane or Catherine.  Samuel died in 1716, and he left no will.  Samuel’s children:

  1. Samuel  (more below)
  2. Hannah b. 24 Mary 1666, m. Daniel Owen (Eight children:  Daniel, William, Ephraim, Joseph, Nathan, Seth, Mehitabel, and Elizabeth)
  3. Tamson, b. 27 Oct 1667, m. Jonah Austin (Seven children:  Jonah, John, Ebenezer, Zechariah, Jacob, William, and Sarah)
  4. Elizabeth, b. 24 April 1669, m. William Briggs (Four children:  William, Isaac, Noah, and Elizabeth)
  5. Ebenezer, b. 15 Oct 1673
  6. Rachael, b. 16 Sep 1677, m. Thomas Randall
  7. John, b. 15 Sep 1679
  8. Thomas, b. Sep 1683
  9. Daniel, b. 1685


Generation 3:  Samuel’s first son, Samuel, was b. 1 Jun 1664 in Taunton.  In 1684, he married Experience Briggs.  Samuel died 10 May 1738.

Generation 4:  Their son, Nathaniel, was born in 1707 in Taunton.  On 5 Jun 1735, Nathaniel married Sarah White.

Generation 5:  Their daughter, Sarah, marries Levi Samson on 21 Aug 1760 in Taunton, and it’s here that my Linkon line “daughter’s out”.

When researching the Linkons, several different spellings of the name are mentioned.  Many records have been transcribed with the spelling “Lincoln” despite the record clearly showing Linkon.  My Linkon line begins in 1635 and ends in 1760.  I have not come across an original record for any of my ancestors with a spelling of anything other than Linkon, with the exception of Thomas the Miller’s will.  There, his last name is spelled “Linckon”.  While researching, I came across a letter written by Abraham Lincoln in 1848.  In it, he was corresponding with a newly-discovered relative and was comparing genealogical notes.  The letter is signed “A. Lincoln”, so perhaps the spelling variation occurred when the branches of the family moved west.

In any event, once again, so close to a famous ancestor!


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