George Bell Balch - Connection to Abraham Lincoln

George Bell Balch (November 1, 1828-September 4, 1886) was born in Bedeford County, Tennesee to Alfred Moore and Elizabeth (Gammill) Balch. Late in October 1830 George's parents moved from Tennessee to Pleasant Grove Township in Illinois. It was in Pleasant Grove that George would grow to adulthood receiving limited education.

On March 19, 1851 George would marry Margaret S. Walker (born:Tennessee, Oct. 1, 1832) and they would go on to have eleven children.

George Balch would be a farmer for most of his adult life but he was also apparently instrumental in the development and construction of the town of Lerna, Illinois. One source says that George "established the post office and station of Larna" filling two offices at that time. In Galusha Balch's book George is described as being "a ruling elder in the Presbyterian church and a natural poet".

Not a lot of information seems to be available, regarding George, but one thing that does seem to pop up is that he knew Thomas Lincoln and his son Abraham Lincoln(the sixteenth president). In the 1830's Thomas Lincoln and his wife traveled with their son Abraham to Lerna, Illinois to settle. During this time the Lincoln family and the Balch family would have lived in close proximity to one another.

A later biography of Lincoln, written by Frances Fisher Browne sights George Balch as having "accurate personal knowledge" when it came to knowledge of the Lincoln family.

Genealogy of George:

Father: Alfred Moore Balch
Mother: Elizabeth Gammill

Wife: Margaret S. Walker
Married: March 19, 1851


1. Samuel Walker
2. Elizabeth Jane
3. Ann Minerva
4. Thomas Alexander (Twin)
5. Nancy McDonald (Twin)
6. Esther Rebecca
7. Ellen Dixon
8. Minnie B.
9. Eliza Adaline
10. Robert E.
11. Margaret L.

Primary Sources/Links:

Genealogy of the Balch Families in America - Galusha B. Balch

Access Genealogy - Balch, George B.

The Every Day Life of Abraham Lincoln - by Frances Fisher Browne

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