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Newsletter #100 Fall 2014

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Who Was Thomas Allred’s Wife?
By:  Linda Allred Cooper

Over half of the current AFO members descend from Thomas Allred who first showed up in North Carolina records in 1755 and died in Randolph County, NC, in 1809.  But, who was his wife?  Who was the mother of his children?  You are probably thinking, “Well, that’s easy.  Her name was Elizabeth.”  But, was it?  After seeing countless family stories and family trees that contain information proven wrong upon closer inspection, I have learned to ask “Where is the documentation?”  

Again, you are probably thinking “Easy again, Thomas named his wife Elizabeth in his will.” (Randolph County, NC, Will Book 3, page 188)  True – but was that Elizabeth his only wife and the mother of his children?  Let’s take a closer look.

The first known documentation that Thomas Allred was in North Carolina is the March 15, 1755 Land Warrant for a Granville Grant purchased by John Allrid.  (SSLG 83-C and NC Patent Book 4, Page 332)  The land description was “640 acres on east side Deep River, on mouth of Mount Pleasant Run of Sandy Run; includes his and Thomas Alldrid’s improvements.”  The land was surveyed May 2, 1755 and deed filed March 5, 1756.  Thomas Allred and Harmon (sic) Husbands were the Chain Carriers for the survey.   James Hunter and John McGee signed as witnesses.   “Improvements” was a catch-all word meaning any type of building(s) (house, barn, etc.), clearing and/or farming that had been done/built on the land.  This documents John and Thomas Allred had already been living on the land for some time prior to filing the actual paperwork for the Grant although how long they had been there is anyone’s guess at this time. 

Note:   These land records give us our first proof of the close relationship between John Allred, Thomas Allred and the American Patriots who lived in central North Carolina in the 1700’s.  James Hunter was prominent in the Regulator Movement and Herman Husband was considered  the Leader of the Regulators, a group of mostly Quaker men who protested against unlawful taxes and tax collectors in the 1760’s and early 1770’s; culminating in the Battle of Alamance on May 16, 1771.  John McGee was also an active Regulator, but more significantly, he married Martha McFarland in 1759.  Martha was a true American Patriot who allowed British General Cornwallis and his staff to stay in her home and listened in on their conversations, then passed along the information to the Americans during the American Revolution.   

Unfortunately, some deeds have been “lost to time” so we do not have documentation of Thomas’ first land grants or deeds.  However, there is a Randolph County, NC, deed (Deed Book 4, Page 56) dated April 10, 1788 which gives us some information.  Per this deed, Thomas and his wife, Elizabeth, sold 144 acres to Jeremiah York.  This land was described as “a certain piece or parcel of land lying and being on both sides of Mount Pleasant Creek, Sandy Creek waters” and was “part of a tract of land said Thomas purchased of John Allred for which land said John obtained a grant of the Earl of Granville March 1756”.   Thus we have documentation that Thomas was married in 1788, his wife’s name was Elizabeth, he was selling land to Jeremiah York and he had originally purchased the land from John Allred.   

Note:  The Jeremiah York who purchased this land was married to Sarah who some have theorized was another daughter of Thomas Allred.   Perhaps this is true and she was not named in Thomas’ will because she had already received her inheritance.   Perhaps, as you will see later in this report, she was the daughter of John and Elizabeth Julian.  Hopefully future research will prove these theories accurate or false. 

This Jeremiah York was the son of Semore York and wife Sylvania Aldridge.  Semore York was the son of Jeremiah York whose connection to the Allred family has been well established by documentation including the 1724 Chester County, PA, Tax List showing Jeremiah York and Solomon Allred listed together.   Once in North Carolina, Solomon Allred and Jeremiah York’s land bordered each other, so they remained neighbors and friends.   

Thus we have established Thomas Allred was living on land that eventually became part of Randolph County, NC and this land was part of a Grant purchased by John Allred in 1755.  The next question is when were Thomas’ children born? 

Thomas Allred wrote his will on November 8, 1809 and named his wife Elizabeth and nine children:

James
William
Elias
John
Moses
Eli
Rachel Brown
Elizabeth Jones
Levi

Thomas also named his grandson, William, son of Elias.  Levi was named Executor.  Joseph and Enoch Davis signed as witnesses.    

Birth Certificates were not required by North Carolina State Law until 1913 so exact birthdates of people born in the 1700’s are very hard to document.  However, some of Thomas’ grandchildren and great grandchildren left behind journals and/or family histories that give us some birthdates.   One of these is a family history that begins:

Andrew Jackson Allred was born 12 Feb 1831 in Monroe Co., Missouri. He was the eighth son and the twelfth child of James Allred and Elizabeth Warren. His father was born in Randolph Co., North Carolina on 22 Jan 1784 to William Allred and Elizabeth Thrasher.  

This gives us the date of birth, 22 Jan 1784, for one of Thomas’ grandchildren, James Allred, son of William.   William was the 3rd child born to Thomas’s son, William, the first two children being daughters Sarah and Mary.  Assuming William was probably at least 20 or at least in his early 20’s when his first child was born, this gives us a time frame for William’s possible birth 1750-1760. 

Another clue is the Revolutionary War Pension Application filed by Thomas’ son, Elias, which begins:

On this the 7th day of June eighteen hundred and thirty three personally appeared before John Baty John, M McAper, & Meley E. Wood, Justices of the Inferior Court of Said County Elias Allred Senr. a resident of Hall 'County & State of Georgia and Seventy five years the 6th day of May last agreeable to a record of his age Kept by his parents who being first duly Sworn according to Law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provision made by the act of Congress passed June 7, 1832.

As Elias testified that he turned 75 years old on the 6th of May 1833, this tells us his birthday was May 6, 1758.   

Another clue about the birthdates of Thomas’ children is the 1850 Federal Census for Northern Division, Randolph County, NC, page 243B, Family Number 1185, which is the entry for Joseph Allred, another grandson of Thomas.  Joseph’s father was Thomas’ son, John.   Joseph’s age is listed as 74 years old telling us he was born 1776.  Assuming John was at least 20 years old or at least in his early 20’s when his first child was born, we now have a range of 1745-1755 for John’s birth year.

By these documents we now have circumstantial evidence that some of Thomas’ children were born within the range of 1745-1760.  Thomas’ “improvements” was mentioned in John Allred’s 1755 Grant Warrant so we know he was living on the land prior to 1755.  Taking this into consideration, we can surmise some, if not all, of Thomas’ children were born in North Carolina. 

Who was their mother?  Many family histories state her name was Elizabeth Twiggs but, to my knowledge, there is no documentation to prove this.   Dr. Rulon C. Allred stated the same in his book “The Allred Family in America”, but again, no documentation.    So, let’s look at what is documented. 

A man named Thomas Allred is mentioned in Court Documents filed in Orange County, NC, 1752-1766. 

Orange County was formed in 1752 and included the land that later became Randolph County.   Current research leads me to believe this is the same Thomas Allred, subject of this report.  However, Thomas’ wife is not mentioned in these records.

On November 9, 1786 the Randolph County Court ordered the Sheriff search for John Davis who had apparently disappeared along with “a negro woman” not belonging to him.  (NC Archives CR 081.325.4)  Thomas Allred and Elias Allred are listed as possible witnesses but apparently discounted later as their names were crossed out.  William Allred was interviewed about the matter on November 16, 1786.  No wives were listed.

On March 15, 1787 the Randolph County Court ordered the Sheriff to “take the body of Thomas Alred if to be found in your bailiwick and him safely keep….to answer Silvania York administratrix of Semore (York) dec’d of a plea of trespass”.    Bond to guarantee Thomas’ appearance in Court for the trial was posted on June 5, 1787 by Thomas Allred and William Allred.   On September 14, 1787, in this same matter (NC Archives CR 081.325.5), Elias Allred was summoned to appear in Court during the December Term 1787 to testify on the behalf of Thomas Allred.  No wives were mentioned. 

However on April 10, 1788 the Deed mentioned at the start of this report was filed in Randolph County (Deed Book 4, Page 56) that did mention Thomas’ wife Elizabeth.  Therefore this appears to be the first documented mention of the name of Thomas’ wife.  So, who was she?

A Virginia Land Grant dated December 7, 1779 (Northern Neck Grants 1690-1874, Land Office Record Group 4, Archives Branch, Virginia State Library, Book R, Page 342) gives us our first documentation of who Elizabeth was.  This Grant details the land division and Widow’s Dower for the Estate of John Julian.  The widow is named Elizabeth Aldred.  The land was bordered by land owned by George Julian, Sarah Thomas and James Odell. 

John Julian was the son of Rene Julian who arrived in America via the Port of Charleston, SC, about 1695.  About 1716, after two of their small children died (malaria?), Rene and wife Mary Bullock Julian moved to Bohemia Manor, Cecil County, MD.  John Julian was born circa 1720 while the family was living in Cecil County, MD.   Circa 1736 the family moved to Old Orange County, VA on land that eventually became part of Frederick County, VA.   John Julian first shows up in Frederick County records in January 1743 when he was summoned to be a Constable.   John was replaced as Constable by his brother, George Julian, documented by the February 11, 1743.   John Julian also appears as one of the petitioners to Lord Fairfax c.1750 when the process of settling new land involved surveying activities in the Northern Neck region of Virginia.  John and his brothers, Isaac and Peter, served as chain bearers for a number of land warrants in the 1750’s.  John’s last documented appearance in Court and/or Land Records is the 1779 deed mentioned above (Northern Neck Grants 1690-1874, Land Office Record Group 4, Archives Branch, Virginia State Library, Book R, Page 342) which details the Widow Dower for Elizabeth Julian Allred. 

Did Elizabeth Julian Allred have any children prior to her marriage to Thomas Allred?  The answer is yes:

George Julian                    1752 - c1822
Benjamin Julian                  c.1758 – 1852
Jesse Julian                        c.1757 – 1846    

The birth and death dates come from Julian documents, family histories and genealogies and are estimates based on a variety of records similar to how I figured the birthdays of Thomas Allred’s children.  Providing these birthdates are correct, they explain why only George was listed as an “heir at law” of John Julian on the 1779 land record listed above.  By law you had to be at least 21 years old to own land and/or appear as a legatee in Court and/or Land records.   George, born 1752, was about 27 years old in 1779.  The other two sons, Benjamin and Jesse, may have been in their late teens or just 20 years old in 1779, too young to appear in the record as legal adults. 

In the early 1760’s, several members of the Julian family moved to central North Carolina to escape the escalating Indian violence and murders which occurred during the French and Indian War.  John Julian purchased a land grant in 1762 and this land was located on what later became part of Randolph County, NC.  We know this is the same John Julian by a Randolph County, NC, deed:  Deed Book 7, Page 69, (date September 9, 1796) which proves George Julian sold land that came to him as “heir at law of John Julian, dec’d”.    Elizabeth Allred signed the deed with her son, George.    Another deed (Randolph County, NC, Deed Book 8, Page 86, date September 9, 1796) proves George Julian sold another tract of land which was also inherited from his deceased father, John Julian. 

Was Elizabeth Julian Allred the mother of any of Thomas Allred’s children?  The answer is No.  Refer back to the portion of this report that details the ages of some of Thomas Allred’s children.  As you will see, Thomas’ children were born during the same time period that John Julian’s children were born.  This clarifies Elizabeth Julian Allred, widow of John Julian, was not the mother of any of Thomas Allred’s children – as least not the older children.     

When did Thomas Allred marry Elizabeth Julian?  As documented above, John Julian was alive in 1762 when he received that North Carolina land grant.    John does not appear in any known court and/or land records between 1762 and 1779 with the exception of a 1778 deed proving a man named John Julian purchased land in Burke County, NC.   However, I was unable to definitively prove this was the same John Julian.  Traditionally, a widow would remain in mourning at least one year before remarrying, but factors such as economics, needing help tending to a farm, needing help raising children, etc., could cause this mourning period to change.   Traditionally, the Widow/Heirs would go to Court to begin the process of settling the Estate soon after the death so they could retain ownership of the family property.  The Widow would need money to support herself and her family, so would petition the Court for her Widow’s Dower as soon as possible; the longer she waited, the longer it would be before she had any money coming in.  Taking all of this into consideration, my theory is that John Julian died sometime in 1778, giving Elizabeth time to remarry and the family time to appear in court to begin settling the Estate and petition for the Widow’s Dower.  Of course, this is just a theory and there is no way to really know when he died unless a will, estate record, tombstone, family Bible record, etc., turns up.   Currently none of these documents are in existence to the best of my knowledge.

So we have evidence that Elizabeth Julian, widow of John Julian, married Thomas Allred, most likely, in 1778.   Elizabeth was the mother of 3 sons by John Julian:  George, Benjamin and Jesse; but she was not the mother of any of Thomas Allred’s children.  So, who was the mother of Thomas Allred’s children?   Earlier in this report we established there were no court/land documents to prove who Thomas’ first wife was, so let’s take a look at some of the journals and biographies written by Thomas’ descendants.

In 1888, William Hackley Allred (1804-1890) was sitting in Spring City, Utah, writing in his journal.  This journal contained, among other things, a list of his family members and ancestors.  At the top of page 3 he wrote:

                                Great Grandfather    Thomas Allred his wife Elizabeth Allred

Isaac Allred (1813-1859), a grandson of Thomas Allred, wrote his autobiography in 1847.  Sadly, he did not include any information on Thomas or his wife. 

In 1885 a grandson of Thomas Allred, William Moore Allred (1819-1901) wrote his biography.  Unfortunately he did not include any information on his great grandparents.

So the only information we have is that journal entry from William Hackley Allred who stated his Great Grandmother was named Elizabeth.    But Elizabeth who?   Lots of Allred family histories list her as Elizabeth Twiggs, but where did that information originate and how was it documented?  To my knowledge, no one has found documentation (marriage record, Bible record, court document, etc.) to prove a woman named Elizabeth Twiggs ever existed or married Thomas Allred.  This is what we need.   The research never ends!!

If you have additional documentation, biographies, or info about Thomas’ wives, I would love to hear from you.  My contact information is found on page ______ of this newsletter.   

 

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