President Lincoln and North Wales

The Oscar winning film starring Daniel Day Lewis as President Abraham Lincoln made the news in the 2013 Oscars with its star taking best actor Oscar, but did you know that President Lincoln has ancestry in North Wales?

In the tiny village of Ysbyty Ifan located in the stunningly beautiful Snowdonia National Park, lies a derelect cottage named Bryngwyn (this translates as White Hill from Welsh).  Abraham Lincoln’s great, great grandfather, called John Morris, lived in Bryngwyn.  John Morris’ daughter, Ellen, emigrated to the United States with a group of Quakers, leaving Wales, it is believed, sometime in the first half of the 17th Century.

Some believe she left because of the poor quality of life in North Wales and the promise of a better life in Pennsylvania.  While she was out there, she met Cadwaladr Evans and they married.  He also came from North Wales in a town called Bala – some 20 miles from Ysbyty Ifan, although it’s ironic that the couple had not known each other before they both emigrated to the USA.

They had a daughter called Sarah and she went on to marry John Hanks.  They had a daughter called Nancy, who became the mother of Abraham Lincoln.

Hopefully the success of the new “Lincoln” movie prompts a few of our cousins over the pond to come and visit the place of President Lincoln’s heritage, here in North Wales.


Bryngwyn Cottage, North Wales                          President Abraham Lincoln

Many thanks to the BBC for picking up this lovely story from my part of Wales and you can read more at:



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