A BASINGSTOKE woman has an incredible connection to one of America’s greatest presidents – Abraham Lincoln.
Eunice Eagle is distantly related to the 16th American president who was in office between 1861 and 1865. Her brother was even invited to Springfield Illinois because of his blood ties and his remarkable resemblance to the famous Civil War statesman who helped to abolish slavery.
The family are descendants of John Lincoln, whose relatives emigrated to America in the seventeenth century and into which family Abraham Lincoln was born in 1809.
Eunice said: “We have always known that we were related to Abraham Lincoln. It is enormously complicated but we have family trees showing how we are all related.
“It’s certainly a talking point, and I watched the recent film about Lincoln with great interest.”
Her brother Martin Battelley was invited to the US in 1970 when he was 32. He addressed the Senate and “did all sorts of lovely things” according to Mrs Eagle, who lives in Shakespeare Road, Popley.
The 78-year-old great-grandmother said she had taken a three-week trip to the country in 1995 and felt “incredibly proud” of her family ties with Lincoln.
She said: “I did feel very proud standing there, looking at the White House and knowing that I had a connection to it.
“It was a wonderful trip and I still have friends today that I met when I was in America.”
Eunice’s mother was born in Swanton Morley, the Norfolk village where John Lincoln and his descendants have lived for centuries, and Eunice herself was brought up in the village of Dereham, just a few miles away.
She moved to Basingstoke in 1962 when her then-husband began work at AWE Aldermaston, but many of her close family remain in the Norfolk area.
Lincoln – the subject of a new Oscar nominated film starring Daniel Day-Lewis – has no direct living descendents, due to a series of tragedies and unmarried descendants.
Only one of his children, Robert, lived to adulthood, and while Robert had three children, only a few gave him grandchildren. Lincoln's last direct descendant passed away in 1984.