Johnston, Daniel

Died: 1816-XX-XX Hardin County, Kentucky

Daniel Johnston was a jailer and the first husband of Abraham Lincoln's stepmother, Sarah Lincoln. On March 13, 1806, he married Sarah Bush in Hardin County, Kentucky. The couple had three children together. Although his wife brought 500 acres of land with her into their marriage, within just four years the land was gone, and the couple was poor. Johnston was frequently in debt, and, on at least two occasions, his brothers-in-law paid some of his creditors. In 1814, he became jailer for Hardin County, although no members of the Bush family came forward to sign on as the bondsmen he required to hold the position. The family moved into the jail, which his wife helped keep up. He died less than two years later.

“Bush Family Documents: Sources Which Reveal the Early Environment of Lincoln's Stepmother,” The Lincoln Kinsman 6 (December 1938), 6-7; Kentucky, U.S., County Marriage Records, 1783-1965, 13 March 1806, Hardin County (Lehi, UT: Operations, 2016); Kenneth J. Winkle, The Young Eagle: The Rise of Abraham Lincoln (Dallas: Taylor Trade, 2001), 16.