DEAR ABBY: I am a man who used to think your column was just another women's gossip column, so I never bothered to read it. Then my wife called my attention to something you wrote, and I'm glad she did because I have been an avid reader ever since.
Abby, I have a question you probably have been asked before. Are you a descendant of President Martin Van Buren? His wife's name was Abigail. -- BRANDON WELSH, PHOENIX
DEAR MR. WELSH: No, Abigail Van Buren is my pen name. However, Martin Van Buren's wife's name was not Abigail -- it was Hannah. Hannah bore him four sons, then died, leaving Van Buren a widower.
Martin Van Buren moved into the White House with four bachelor sons. One day, Dolley, the wife of James Madison, our fourth president, came to the White House accompanied by her beautiful young niece, Angelica Singleton, who was visiting from South Carolina.
President Van Buren's eldest son, Abraham, promptly fell in love with Angelica. They were married shortly after and moved into the White House where Abraham served as his father's private secretary, and Angelica assumed the duties of the first lady.
However, there were two presidents whose wives WERE named Abigail -- John Adams (our second president) and Millard Fillmore (our 13th president).
I have probably told you much more about American presidents than you care to know, but I became fascinated with the American presidents B.C. (Before Column), and have been hooked on the subject ever since.