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It is exciting for the amateur genealogist when he or she discovers they share common ancestry with a Notable person.

Truman | Lincoln | New Madrid Quake

Malvena Shipp and President Harry S. Truman

That was the case when I ran across an article by George H.S.King in Tylers Quarterly Magazine,Vol. 29, July 1947, where I learned that my maternal grandmother,Malvena Jane Shipp (1857-1915) and President Harry S. Truman were both descended from Josiah Shipp of Essex County, Virginia. Seems that Josiah, who died in 1706, had two sons, Richard and Thomas. President Truman was descended from Richard (1685-1724). GrandmotherMalvena Shipp was descended from Thomas (?-1746).

Judith Hanks and President Abraham Lincoln

My ancient grandmother, Judith Hanks (1744-1820) was a cousin of Abraham Lincoln. Her brother, Argyle, married Frances Hargrave 20 Jun 1783. They were the parents of seven children, the eldest of whom was Nancy Hanks (1784- 1802). Nancy Hanks was the mother of Abraham Lincoln.

A Notable Occurrence

Folks in Kentucky and neighboring states can tell you the story of Reelfoot Lake. Located in northwestern Tennessee, it was created when an earthquake caused the Mississippi River to run backwards. My ancient cousin, Martin Hazard (1764-1855) , who lived near my hometown of Campbellsville, Kentucky, recorded family births, marriages and death in an old Bible. He also kept track of severe weather, including the "shaking of the earth" or New Madrid earthquake from 15 Dec 1811 to 7 Feb 1812. I got ahold of a copy of this old Bible. Cousin Martin's account tells it all as follows:
"December 15th 1811 being Sunday was the first shakeing of the earth and it continued on at times till the 7th of February 1812 when a very great one was and several small ones and the next night another not much less and some small ones."


If you have additions, corrections or clarifications, please contact me.
- George W. Trotter
- La Grange, Kentucky

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