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Hanks, Dennis F.

Born: 1799-05-15 Hardin County, Kentucky

Died: 1892-10-21 Paris, Illinois

Flourished: Coles County, Illinois

A cousin of Abraham Lincoln's mother, Hanks was raised by Nancy Hanks Lincoln's foster parents, Thomas and Elizabeth Sparrow. When the Sparrows both died of milk sickness in Indiana in 1818, Dennis Hanks was taken into the Lincoln family. Hanks later married Elizabeth Johnston, Abraham Lincoln's stepsister. Hanks moved his family from Indiana to Illinois in 1830, which may have prompted the Lincoln family to follow. After a year spent in Macon County, the two families finally settled in Coles County, where Hanks remained until a few years before his death.

Newton Bateman and Paul Selby, eds., Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Coles County, ed. by Charles Edward Wilson (Chicago: Munsell, 1906), 219; Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1:25, 48; Kenneth J. Winkle, The Young Eagle: The Rise of Abraham Lincoln (Dallas: Taylor Trade, 2001), 11, 228; Gravestone, Old City Cemetery, Charleston, IL.