OF ENGLAND AND NORTH CAROLINA
talk presented to the Allred Family Organization at their
the early 1750s, Solomon, John, Thomas and William Allred received land grants
in central North Carolina, in what is now Randolph County.
was the first to settle there, receiving two grants on 10 March 1752. The first
was for land along Cain Creek. In the second grant, Solomon’s name is spelled
“Aldricks,” and the land was described as lying at the mouth of Sandy Creek.
Today, thanks to research by a number of Allred Family Organization researchers,
we know that the exact spot where Sandy Creek branches away from Deep River is
located at the western edge of the town of Ramseur in Randolph County.
returning to the Allreds, let me note that there were two other grants made that
day, both were for land also lying along Cane Creek, so they were probably close
to Solomon’s land. One of these was to Hugh Locken and Valentine
Hollingsworth, and the other to Hollingsworth alone. It turns out the man called
Hugh Lockin in the grant was actually Hugh Laughlin who was born about 1715 in
Ireland. He married Mary Harlan in Kennett township in Chester County,
Pennsylvania. Mary was born 26 Feb
1717. Valentine Hollingsworth was
the husband of Elizabeth Harlan, so he and Laughlin were related through their
Harlan wives. Valentine was the grandson of another Valentine Hollingsworth who
came from County Armagh, Ireland in 1682 and settled in New Castle County,
a question of great interest to all of us here today is: who were these Allred
men, and where did they come from before they settled in North Carolina? I
can’t provide a definite answer, but I hope I can shed some light on the
subject as I proceed.
to William Alred, it now seems likely he was the son of Johan Dider Elrod, a
German who settled in New Castle County, Delaware some time between 1710 and
1714. In the old records, William’s name is spelled both as ELROD and ALROD,
then later as ALRED. Few people could read and write in those days and those
that did spelled phonetically, and this probably accounts for the change of the
name Elrod into Alrod then into Alred.
substantial amount of genealogy research has also been done on the Solomon,
John, and Thomas Allred, but much more needs to be done before we will have a
clear picture of these men and their origins. We do know that Solomon named his
sons John, Phineas, and Solomon, and the name Theophilus was given to two of his
grandsons. The names “Phineas” and “Theophilus” are not very common and
that is a great help in genealogical research. In fact, in researching the
origins of Solomon Allred, these two names helped point to a possible origin of
the Solomon Alred line in the county of Lancashire in northern England. In
particular, these names appear in the records of Eccles parish which is near
present-day Manchester, England. In fact, there was a John Allred of Pendleton,
a village in Eccles parish, who had sons with the peculiar names of Phineas and
Theophilus. He also had sons named John and Solomon.
John Allred of Pendleton married an Ellen Pemberton in about 1658. They had at
least 10 children: JOHN born 1 Nov 1660; 2. MARY born 9 Aug 1661; 3. WILLIAM
baptized 3 Feb 1664/65; 4. ALICE b.c. 1668; 5. OWEN b.c. 1670; 6. PHINEAS,
baptized 7 Nov 1672; 7. ENOCH baptized 16 Jun 1675; 8. THEOPHILUS baptized 4 Oct
1677; 9. ELLIN baptized 15 Jun 1679; and 10. SOLOMON baptized 12 Nov 1680.
and Ellen Allred lived in England during a very turbulent time. For example, it
was during this time that King Charles I was deposed by the Puritans under
Oliver Cromwell. Much of the religious unrest in England was caused by growing
resistance to the Church of England, which was the official religion of England
at the time. This resistance was especially strong in the north of England where
John and Ellen Allred lived. Those who resisted the official state religion were
called “dissenters” or “non-conformists,” terms that included groups
like Quakers, Presbyterians, Baptists and others.
meager records we have concerning John and Ellen suggest they were dissenters.
John was associated with the Presbyterians and his wife Ellen was a Quaker. This
probably caused them much hardship as dissenters were often fined, imprisoned,
whipped, and otherwise punished by the authorities for the non-conformity.
have indications of John Allred’s Presbyterian leanings from a book called
“The Eccles Presbyterians 1662-1765,” which contains a list of members of
the congregation of the Rev. Edmund Jones taken in 1673. The name John Allred of
Pendleton is among those listed. John was also named in a list of those who
attended an illegal Presbyterian service held by Rev. Jones at Lever’s barn
on 12 Oct 1673. A man by the name of Boardman witnessed this religious
service and later testified about it in court. In the proceedings, Boardman gave
the following testimony.
the Twelth day of October laste being the Lords day, there was a conventicle or
meeting in a Barne in the parish of Eccles within this County belonginge to one
Alexander Lever of the same place, husbandman, where mett together under
pretence of religious worshipp. These several persons following vis:-Mr. Edmund
Jones of Barton a non-conformist minister and his wife…(a list of 45 members
of the congregation followed, which included the name John Allred)…together
with many more who were unknowne to this informer, All of them subjects of this
Realme and above the age of sixteene years; he further saith that the said Mr.
Jones did preach to them both ends of the day, and that the said Mr. Jones did
not use the booke of Common prayer, accordinge to the Constitution of the Church
have already mentioned that Ellen was a Quaker. In fact, she was a member of the
East Hardshaw Quaker Meeting near Manchester. Some of their records remain,
including a notice of her death which reads:
“Ellin Allrod of Pendleton Pool departed this life ye 21st
of ye 10th month 1684 and was buried at our burying place.” In
those days, the new year began in March which was the first month, so the 10th
month was December. So, Ellen Allred died on the 21st of December
also have indications that the John Allred family was not very well off because
in 1680/81, he petitioned the Eccles parish church wardens for relief. In other
words, he asked them for assistance for his family. Records of the relief
petitions for the year 1686 also list John Alred in the parish church accounts.
These records, and the fact that the births and baptisms of several of his
children are recorded in the Eccles parish register, do seem to show that
despite his Presbyterian leanings, John had not entirely severed his connections
to the official church.
do not know when John Allred died, or what became of most of his children. His
son Theophilus seems to have stayed in the area, because his name appears in the
records of Pole, another village near Pendleton, when his son Thomas was
christened on 7 Jul 1717. However, a search of the Eccles records and those of
the surrounding area of Lancashire disclose no further mention of the names
Phineas and Solomon Allred and this could indicate they left that part of
England, or perhaps England itself. In fact, many religious dissenters began to
leave England in the latter part of the 1600s to escape religious prosecution.
This was especially true of the Quakers many of whom followed William Penn to
what would later be called Pennsylvania.
of these Quakers settled in Chester County, Pennsylvania, one of Penn’s
original counties after he founded his Pennsylvania colony in 1682. This area
was on the western frontier of Pennsylvania at that time, and the lands west of
Chester county were still inhabited by Indians. In speaking of Chester County,
it should be noted that Lord Baltimore, the proprietor of the colony of
Maryland, also claimed part of this same area, and this led to a continuing
dispute between Penn and Lord Baltimore over the boundary between the two
colonies. This dispute continued for another 50 years after William Penn died in
1718, before it was finally settled by the survey carried out in 1764 by Charles
Mason and Jeremiah Dixon who established the now-famous “Mason Dixon” line.
let me say a few words about a large tract of land established by Penn in
Chester County which became known as the Nottingham Lots. The name
“Nottingham" most likely came from William Penn's home in Nottinghamshire,
of the Nottingham Lots grew out of Penn’s eagerness to establish his border
rights. In 1702, he granted a land warrant for 18,00 acres which was carved up
into a number of so-called lots. To help solidify his claim to this border area,
Penn attracted and settled a number of Quaker families from the Philadelphia
area and what was called West Jersey to settle in this disputed border area.
When these lots were settled, this entire tract of land was in Chester County.
However, after the completion of the Mason-Dixon survey, only 1,300 of the
original 18,000 acres remained in Pennsylvania. The remainder fell in Cecil
its settlement, the local townships in the area became known as East Nottingham
and West Nottingham. West Nottingham township was settled almost exclusively by
Quakers and Scots-Irish Presbyterians—groups that had been among the prominent
non-conformists in England.
purchasers of the Nottingham lots included Joel Baily, John Bales or Beals,
Edward Beeson, James Brown, William Brown, John Churchman, James Cooper, Robert
Dutton, Cornelious Empson, Ebeneser Empson, Randal Janney, Andrew Job, Samuel
Littler, Henry Reynolds, and John Richardson. Most of them were middle-class
yeomen, born in England during the middle 1600's. And most came from the north
of England, from the counties of Cheshire, Durham, Lancashire, and Yorkshire.
Also, most had lived within a 50-mile radius of Philadelphia before moving to
the greatest problem facing the Nottingham Lot landowners and their descendants
was gaining title to their property after the death of William Penn in 1718. The
problem was that both Pennsylvania and Maryland claimed the area. So, many of
the Nottingham lot owners did not pay the quit rents due on the land because
they didn’t know whether to pay them to Penn or to Baltimore. In fact, most
didn’t pay their rents at all, and this made it difficult to obtain a good
confusion over land titles finally led many of the Nottingham residents to pick
up and move elsewhere. This move accelerated after 1730 as more and more of the
Nottingham descendants began to immigrate to other regions to find cheaper land
and better opportunity. The evidence shows that many who left moved to that part
of Prince George’s county Maryland that became Frederick County in 1748.
Others moved to old Frederick County, Virginia, to Loudon County in northern
Virginia, and to central and southside Virginia. Some moved directly to the
central Carolinas and Georgia.
Monthly Meeting, which is near present-day Winchester, Virginia, in the
Shenandoah Valley, was settled in large part by Quakers from Nottingham who
followed Alexander Ross to the Shenandoah Valley to settle 100,000 acres in the
why have I spent so much time on this discussion of the Nottingham lots and the
townships of West and East Nottingham? The answer is because a number of names
we might find very interesting appear on the tax lists for these townships
between the years 1718 and 1730. These names include SOLOMON ALRED and JEREMIAH
YORK, both of whom appear on the tax lists for West Nottingham Township. Solomon
appears on the lists for 1724 and 1730. On the 1724 tax list, the names Solomon
Alred and Jeremiah York are written one under the other possibly suggesting they
lived close to each other. Another name that appears on these same tax lists is
that of Samuel Finley whom I will discuss in more detail shortly.
there are several reasons why it seems highly likely that the Solomon Alred on
these West Nottingham township tax lists is a direct descendant of John and
Ellen Pemberton Allred of Eccles parish, Lancashire, England, maybe even the son
Solomon who was baptized 12 Nov 1680. If so, he would have been about 44 when he
first appears on the 1724 tax list. It also seems likely that the Solomon Alred
who received a land grant in central North Carolina in 1752 is descended from
this earlier Solomon of Chester County, Pennsylvania, perhaps his son. For one
thing, the names Phineas, Theophilus, John, and Solomon appear in the North
Carolina Solomon’s line as well as among the names of the children of John and
Ellen Allred. For another, there is the Quaker-Presbyterian connection both in
England and in Chester County where many of the dissenters who left England
is also another item which I won’t dwell on here, but it involves the name
Randle Janney. You will recall that I mentioned one of the original settlers of
the Nottingham lots was also named Randle Janney. It turns out that these
Janneys were Quakers who came from a part of Cheshire, England that is not too
distant from the part of Lancashire England where John and Ellen Pemberton
lived. This Janney family is the subject of two articles published by Miles
White, Jr. who researched this family extensively.
One appears in the Southern Historical Association Magazine., the other
in the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography.
research shows there was a Randull Janney who married an Ellen Alrodd in
Cheshire. Their son Thomas married Elizabeth Worthington by whom he had a son
Thomas Janney who married Margaret Heath. Margaret’s sister, Ann Heath,
married James Harrison., and their daughter Phoebe married Phineas Pemberton,
son of Ralph Pemberton. It was Ralph’s sister Ellen that married John Allred.
In short, there is some connection between the Randall Janney family, the Allred
family, and the Harrison, Heath, and Pemberton families that goes back to
England. A number of these families immigranted from England and settled in
Chester County in the late 1600s.
me turn for just a minute to Jeremiah York who appears on the tax records of
West Nottingham township between the years 1718-1729. Jeremiah is also mentioned
in the 1722 will of a John Wilson of Cecil County, Maryland who left him some
personal property. Remember that I said that Cecil County bordered West
Nottingham township on the south and this area was in dispute until the 1764
disappears from the West Nottingham tax lists after 1730 indicating he and his
family moved about this time to the Pipe Creek area of Prince Georges County,
Maryland. In a book on old southern Bible records by Memory Aldridge Lester,
there is a record that says that Jeremiah's son, Henry Yorke, was born on Pipe
Creek on 6 Aug 1732. This Pipe Creek area would have likely fallen in Monocacy
Hundred of Prince Georges County for which a 1733 tax list exists. However,
Jeremiah York is not listed on this tax list suggesting he had moved on by this
date to an area that is today in Jefferson County, West
Virginia, but was then part of old Frederick County, Virginia.
know for sure Jeremiah was in old Frederick County, Virginia by 1736 because the
land records show he was living on part of a 1,200 acre tract of land called
"Terrapin Neck," by 25 Oct 1736. Most probably, Jeremiah Yorke moved
into this area of Virginia in late 1732 or early 1733.
"Terrapin Neck" tract had been purchased by John Browning from Jost
Hite who had James Wood make a survey on 10 Nov 1735. Hite, one of the Palatine
Germans who came over with Johan Dider Elrod, had moved into this area of old
Frederick County sometime between 21 Oct 1731 and 28 Nov 1732 and acquired large
tracts on condition that he induce settlers to come and take up land there. I
suspect Jeremiah York was one such settler.
want you to remember the name William Chapline—the man who bought Jeremiah
York’s property -- because he had a brother named Joseph Chapline whom I will
say more about. But first, let me now return to Solomon Alred and Chester
County, Pennsylvania. As I have already said, Solomon’s name appears on the
West Nottingham township tax lists for the years 1724 and 1730. Unfortunately,
despite a great deal of searching, I have not been able to find any other record
relating to him. However, there is an interesting connection that involves the
name Samuel Finley. As I said earlier, Finley also appears on the West
Nottingham township tax lists during the same period as Solomon Alred and
Jeremiah York. He first appears in 1718 while 1732 is the last year he is
know that some time in the early 1730s, Samuel Finley left Chester County,
Pennsylvania and moved to Prince Georges County where he died in 1737 leaving
only an oral or nuncupative will. It was dated 16 Oct 1737, and it was proved in
court on 2 Feb 1737/38. In his will, Finley leaves his entire estate to
"JOHNNY ALDRIDGE" but does not say who this Johnny Aldridge is, or
where he lived. Henry Enoch and Joseph Metcalf witnessed the will. I won’t go
into it here, but I can show this Enoch family was well acquainted with Jeremiah
York in old Frederick County, Virginia.
I mentioned earlier that Jeremiah York sold his land in old Frederick County,
Virginia to a William Chapline. It turns out that William’s brother, Joseph
Chapline, was named as executor of Samuel Finley’s estate during the
administration proceedings. Chapline began settling Finley’s estate with an
appraisal dated 15 Mar 1738 and proved in court on 29 Jun 1738. The appraisers
were Johannes Noll and John More. Thomas Wale and William Norris were named as
creditors. There were two inventories taken of the estate. The first was dated
24 Jun 1738 and proved in court 31 May 1739. A second was proved on 24 June 1739
and it shows payments to a number of individuals including Joseph Medcalfe,
Henry Enoch, and William Norris. It is stated in the inventory that there were
no known heirs. In this court proceeding, there was testimony that Samuel Finley
had been charged by a Joseph Evans, in Oppeckon, County of Orange, with stealing
a horse in Chester County, Pennsylvania in 1735. The reference to Oppeckon,
County of Orange, is to that part of Orange County, Virginia that later became
old Frederick County, Virginia, and Oppeckon refers to a creek near present-day
administration of Samuel Finley’s estate in Maryland took some time because we
find a court
of 23 Jun 1741 which ordered payments from the estate to a number of creditors
including Thomas Wale and Robert Finley, who was probably Samuel’s brother.
Joseph Chapline was again the administrator.
who was the “Johnny Aldridge” to whom Finley left his entire estate? We
don’t know for sure, but it appears likely he was living in Chester County,
Pennsylvania in the late 1730s at which time he was still a minor. We know this
from a court proceeding which Joseph Chapline instituted in an Orphan’s Court
proceeding held in Chester County, Pennsylvania on 30 May 1738. In this
proceeding, Chapline set forth a petition to the court which was worded as
ALDRED having petitioned the Court Setting forth that being a minor and a
Considerable Estate being left him by SAM'L FFINLEY which if not timely taken
care of may Suffer very much and therefore prays to be Admitted to Chuse his
Guardian which is allowed of and the minor Nominating JOSEPH CHAPLAIN of Prince
Georges in the province of Maryland who is hereby Admitted to prosecute &
defend all Suits pleas and actions for and in the acct of the S'd Minor as the
the man called “Johnny Aldridge” in Finley’s Maryland will was actually a
young boy named John Aldred who probably lived in or near West Nottingham
township in Chester County. And it appears that Joseph Chapline may have been
appointed his guardian. Perhaps he moved back to Maryland with Chapline since he
became the court appointed guardian.
the present time, I cannot tell you anything further about this John Aldred
except that he was born between 1722 and 1738. Nor can I say anything about his
relation to his Finley. My best guess at the moment is that he may have been a
son of the Solomon Alred who appears on the West Nottingham tax lists up to
1730. If so, he may be the John Allred who received a land grant in what is now
Randolph County on 15 Mar 1755. John’s grant also refers to Thomas Alldrid.
Perhaps both John and Thomas were sons of the Solomon of Chester County. More
research will be needed before we can say with certainty.
about Samuel Finley? Research by others that have studied this Finley family,
say he was born in May of 1684 in County Armagh in Ireland, the son of Robert
Finley and Margaret Lauder who were married in 1680. Robert died there on 18 Jun
1712. You may remember that the Hollingsworth family also came from Armagh. It
is also said that Samuel Finley had a daughter named Isabella who married James
Patterson, son of James Patterson Sr. and Anne Corry. There was a James
Patterson on the West Nottingham township tax lists at the same time as Samuel
Finley, Jeremiah York, and Solomon Alred.
Samuel, it is said that Robert and Margaret had 4 other sons: Michael, Robert,
Archibald, and John, all of whom were staunch Presbyterians. Robert and John
also settled in Nottingham township. A John Finley of Nottingham, perhaps
Samuel’s brother, is listed in 1739 as an Elder of Donegal Presbytery. He may
also be the John Finley who died intestate in Nottingham in 1753. Robert Finley
of West Nottingham died in West Nottingham in 1741.
I wish I could give you answers to all the questions you must have about the origins of the family, but I can’t. Perhaps with more work, we will eventually put the puzzle together.