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john allen family slate creek kentucky

Speculation about John Allen's Ancestry - a work in progress

1.) The leading thought about John Allen's ancestry is that he was born about 1744 to David Allen and Sarah Baker when they lived at the corner of New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts. This would have been near or on the Connecticut River, which runs down to Suffield CT/MA where Edward Allen of Ipswich spent his final years.

David had actually been born in Suffield before his parents David Allen and Sarah Hayward moved to New Jersey. He must have moved back to the upper Connecticut River area before 1732, because his 1st four sons are believed to have been born in NH.

Then he must have moved back to NJ after his father David died in 1752, because his last children were born there before he moved to North Carolina in the 1760s.

One complication with this theory is there are several John Allens living in Surry Co., NC during the 1770s and 1780s. Some records indicate John Allen's living very near David Allen, but nothing has been found to connect any of them directly with David (other than DNA).

Additionally, as more of my DNA matches upgraded from 37 to 67 markers, we separated a little farther in terms of a common ancestor, raising the possibility that our John Allen might have descended from a different son of Edward Allen or even a brother or close cousin of Edward.

2.) Some speculation about John Allen's ancestry involves John Allens that seem to disappear with no further information. One such John Allen was discussed under "Family Secrets"; that John Allen was a Loyalist in Montgomery Co., VA.

Other theories about John Allen are those that married a Hannah, Catherine or Sarah without further solid information. The John Allen that married Hannah Bartee in 1778 in Hyde Co., NC is a good example. The John Allen born 1745 that married Elizabeth Brashears 1778 in Guilford Co., NC is another possibility.

3.) It is also possible our John Allen has been incorrectly added to someone's family tree, possibly years ago. There are plenty of cases of incorrect family trees perpetuated across a hundred years or more of historical books, including Edward Allen of Ipswich.

One possibility that comes to mind is the John Allen that was born August 12, 1743 to Archibald and Abigail Allen in Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co., VA. Overwharton Parish is intriguing because so many of John Allen's neighbors in KY came from the Chopawamsic church, including the Williams, Andersons, Harpers and Summers.

Archibald leased a lot in Manor of Leeds, Fauquier Co., VA in 1766. In 1771 his sons Archibald Jr, William and John leased land in the Manor of Leeds. John was added to the tithable list in 1778. By 1786 Archibald Jr and William have moved to Nelson Co., KY. Eventually Archibald Jr moved to Crawford Co., IN.

I came across this interesting Jan. 2, 2000 post by a Sandy in Southern CA SeNiDiA@aol.com

"I have been interested in this Allen family. I have a book published in 1615 at the University of Cambridge. It is a religious book on how to live you life according to the word of God. Archibald was loaned the book by a William Williams in 1743 in Stafford Co. In the book John Allen writes in his own hand. I believe that this John Allen is the same man that was born in 1743 in Stafford Co, VA and his parents were Abigail Rhoades & Archibald Allen. The book was owned by Abraham Farrow in the 1690's and somehow ended up with William Williams. Archibald Allen must have had the book long enough for his son John to learn how to write. The last person to write in the book was a Samuel Holliday in 1804. Samuel wrote in Latin, so he must have been educated. The book ended up in Canton, Haywood Co., NC via Fairview, Buncombe Co., NC."

Some information indicates this is the John Allen that married Sally Heffling in Fauquier Co. 1787, in which case this would not be our John Allen. There are family trees showing completely different versions of Archibald's son John's descendants. That suggests to me none of them may be correct and instead, he may actually be our John Allen.

Overwharton Parish is also one of the very few places we find a George Allen mentioned near a John Allen in the right time period. A George Allen died there December 3, 1754. Admittedly, his will does not list any descendants.

Our John named his first son George. It would have been traditional at that time to name the first born son after his paternal grandfather. In addition, a George Allen showed up on the Fayette Co., KY tax list in 1789 near John; a brother perhaps?

4.) And finally we have the male Allens documented as descendants of Edward Allen without further information. It would appear that due to the timing of Edward moving to Suffield, all of his son's children (Edward's grandsons) are well documented in Suffield records. However, some of those grandson's children are not so well documented. If our John Allen descends directly from Edward, it would probably be one of these great-grandsons.

Supplementing this chain of thought, no DNA matches have been reported yet for three of Edward Allen's sons; John, William and Caleb.

Beginning with Edward's oldest son John, who was killed by Indians at Deerfield in 1704, his son Ebenezer born 16 Aug 1696 does not seem to be documented past his birth.

Some researchers show Edward's son Edward had an unproven son William who married Mary Budd. Other researchers say William was Scots-Irish and came to America in 1725. This line is interesting because of later KY connections. William and Mary had 3 sons; Capt. James Allen, Lt. Hugh Allen and John Allen.

James lived to an old age and died in Augusta Co., VA. Hugh was killed at the Point Pleasant battle in 1774, but his sons William, John and Hugh show up in KY land records. What hasn't been proved to my satisfaction is whether they ever actually moved to KY. William and Mary's son John was killed at Braddock's Defeat in 1755.

Edward (1703- )-Benjamin-Benjamin-Edward Allen is not documented past his birth in Lancaster, Worcester, MA in 1703.

Aaron (1711- )-Benjamin-Edward Allen is not documented past his birth at Suffield in 1711.

Adoniram (1714-1800 )-David-Edward Allen has no documented wife or children.

Ebenezer (abt 1720- )-Samuel-Edward Allen is not documented past his birth at Morris Co., NJ abt 1720.

Samuel (1707-1800)-Samuel-Edward Allen has no documented wife or children.

It's possible William (son of William, son of Edward Allen) and Keziah (Taylor) had more children after their last documented son in 1745.

We have not found any documented children for Benjamin born 1724 (son of Ebenezer, son of William, son of Edward Allen) and Peggy (Spofford) who were married in 1751. It's possible, although not too likely, our John Allen was born as late as 1755.

We have not found a wife or children for Ebenezer born 1728 (son of Ebenezer, son of William, son of Edward Allen).

We have not found a wife, children or even birthdate for James (son of Caleb, son of Edward Allen).

5.) As discussed elsewhere, a traditional family legend about Edward Allen is that he was a weaver from Scotland and fought in Oliver Cromwell's army before coming to America. While this story is doubtful, it is possible some part of it is true; either the Scottish part or the Cromwell part but not both.

Since we know Edward was a Puritan, it is highly unlikely he had any connection with Scotland or Ireland for that matter. Since we haven't found any other Allen's with a connection to Edward in early Massachusetts, it seems possible our John Allen's connection to Edward Allen might have come to America many years later.

It is even possible our John Allen is the immigrant himself. One family story about Richard Allen is that his father came to America from Wales in the mid-1700s. While it doesn't seem too likely John came from Wales, it's possible he came to America from England in the 1760s or early 1770s. Aaron Fogelman's 1992 analysis "Migrations to the Thirteen British North American Colonies, 1700-1775" estimates as many as 19,000 English migrated to America between 1760 and 1775.

Jon Butler's book "Becoming America - The Revolution before 1776" says more than half during that same 1760 -1775 period were single males between 15 and 24 years of age. Most were trained artisans and craftsmen who endentured themselves to come to America leaving behind a sluggish economy with few opportunities. These English immigrants included very few wives, children or parents.

He goes on to say these immigrants are very difficult to trace because they dispersed widely across the colonies into an existing culture with the same surnames.

This bit of speculation suggests we will never find John's parents in Colonial America...