Allens of Monroe County (1825 - 1855)
Almost all persons in this narrative are surnamed ALLEN.
Chronology of William John Allen (1836 - 1915)
William John Allen is mentioned frequently in Bloomington
memorabilia from the late 19th century, so let's tell the chronology
of his family in his first person voice:
- 1732 - 1736 My great grandfathers are born to Protestant
parents in Ulster in a time of religious turmoil.
Their uncle is killed by Catholics.
- 1736 They sail for America with their parents Robert and
Deborah nee Montgomery.
- 1738 The Robert Allan family joins Joist Heydt and others,
and builds the first permanent European settlement west of the Blue Ridge.
- 1743 My great grandmother Ann Polk was born.
Her parents were from Coleraine Ireland;
some say she was born there, some say her parents had
already migrated to Cumberland Co., Pennsylvania.
- 1766 - 1772 My grandparents Montgomery and Martha are
born in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
- ca 1793 My grandparents Montgomery and Martha marry.
They were cousins.
- 1794 - 95 My grandparents migrate to Shelby Co., Ky. with
their extended family.
- 1795 Aug 17 My grandfather purchases, with his cousin,
350 acres that will form the nucleus of Allen Dale Farm.
- 1795 My uncle Montgomery is born, although he will die before I'm
born and appear in very few records.
- 1804 My father John Washington is born.
- 1820 Two Allen households (Montgomery and Sarah) appear in Ripley
I think that Montgomery is my uncle.
- ca 1825 My grandfather Montgomery migrates to Putnam and
Monroe Cos., Indiana with some of his sons.
- 1827 My uncle Robert buys land in Monroe County, partnering
with James D. Allen, who might be my great-uncle.
- 1828 My uncle Robert marries in Ripley County.
- 1828 22 Feb. My father John marries Fanny Clark in Monroe County.
- 1830 My grandfather Montgomery is counted in the Monroe County census.
His sons John and Robert are counted in Putnam County.
- ca 1832 My older sister Margaret is born.
- 1832 My uncle Robert and ``James D.'' sell some of their Monroe Co. land.
- 1835 Sept? My grandfather Montgomery dies in Monroe Co., Ind.
- 1835 My uncle Montgomery also dies.
[This coincidence of date seems suspicious, since I have little
confirmation about ``Uncle Montgomery.'' -- Jda]
- 1836 Sept 8, I am born in Putnam Co.
- 1836 Christmastime, our family of four moves to Monroe Co., Perry Twnsp.
- 1840 We are counted in the Monroe Co. census.
- 1843 - 1844 My father purchases land in Monroe Co.
- ca 1845 [When does my Mom die ?]
- 1847 My dad marries Martha Ann H. Givens.
- 1849 My half-brother James Darwin is born.
- 1850 Counted in Monroe Co. census with dad, sis, stepmom and half-brother.
- 1850 I enter Indiana University.
- 1850 My stepmom Martha Ann dies.
- ca 1851 My father marries for a third time, to Eliza Ann.
- 1852 Sept 8, My father John Washington Allen dies.
- 1853 April I came ``to Bloomington with [my] mother''
according to my 1884 bio.
- 1853 Separate land deeds shown for ``Margrat J. Allen at al'' and ``Eliza Allen.''
- 1853 I work for W.O. Fee, dry goods merchant.
- 1854 March 13, I go to California, where I mine for 3 years.
- 1857 Spring, I return to Bloomington, Indiana.
- 1857 I visit Iowa.
- 1857 Sept. I marry Harriet Swearingen of Monroe Co.
- 1858 - 1861 I work as a farmer.
- 1860 Counted in Monroe Co. census with wife, and children.
Half-brother is next-door with Eliza Ann (age 45) and Robert (age 9).
- 1862 I enlist in 54th Indiana Light Artillery.
- 1862 - 1865 I join in battles at Atlanta, Jonesboro and Nashville.
- 1865 Nov 8, My first wife dies having born two sons and a daughter.
- 1866 July I marry Eliza Jane Allen, uncle Robert's daughter.
- 1865 I operate a stove and tinware business with M.E. Berenger,
later with Samuel Osborn.
- 1869 My half-brother James D. gets his A.B. degree at Indiana University.
- 1870 I buy out Osborn and own my hardware store outright.
- 1871 Half-brother James is in Kansas marrying Nettie Wiley.
- 1872 James and wife move to Fredonia, first born is Guy.
- 1884 According to a contemporary ``who's who in Indiana'' I
``[do] a lucrative business in stoves, tin and hardware,
also agricultural implements, and all kinds of building material.
Mr. Allen is a member of the United Presbyterian Church,
and politically he is a Republican.''
- 1908 My half-nephew Guy Wiley dies in Fredonia, Kansas.
- 1912 My half-brother James D. dies in Oregon.
- 1915 I die in Monroe Co.
William J. Allen's hardware store in Bloomington made him
prominent enough to be written up in a 1884 Indiana book,
and much of the above chronology is based on that.
His grandfather Montgomery was also well-known, being a co-founder
of Kentucky's Allen Dale Farm.
The intermediate generation, John W. Allen, is harder to find.
The task is complicated because there were many unrelated John
Allens in early Indiana, including some who had the same ``W.''
John W. Allen's marriages to Fanny Jane Clark on Feb 22, 1829 and
Martha Ann Givens on Sept. 2, 1847 are matters of record, though I
have few other particulars of these women.
(The on-line marriage of records of early Indiana go only up to 1850,
so a third wife might not show up.)
There are also seven land deeds in early Monroe County that
mention John W. Allen.
(Monroe County has graciously put their old records online.)
I show them, along with several others of possible interest:
A special thank you to Monroe County for using simple text and encouraging
the user to exploit his own search tools, e.g. built in to browser.
(Some sites are so insistent on compulsory and hidden search rules,
users can't even find what they want!)
|GRANTOR ||Grantee ||Date, etc.
|CROSLEY ELIKAIN 794 ||Allen Ethan B. ||1819 10 09 G 131
| First ``Allen'' deed in Monroe Co. -- no relation.
|HOWE JOSHUA O. 1599 ||Allen Jas. D. & R. H. ||1827 01 30 B 162
| ``R H'' is probably ``R N'' -- John W.'s brother.
|ALLEN JAMES ||Hall Moses ||1828 12 13 K 609 25
|MOORE JESS C. 2352 ||Allen John ||1828 10 04 D 187
| First of many ``John'' deeds -- who?
|ALLEN J D & R N 44 ||Read Isaac ||1832 08 31 D 78
|ALLEN ROBT. N ET AL 84 ||Warson Dan and others ||1834 01 04 D 259
|MCCAW JOHN M. 2606 ||Allen John W. ||1843 11 01 I 407
| First of seven ``John W.'' deeds -- my ancestor.
|ROGERS HENRY ET AL Allen ||John W ||1843 11 02 J 97 2555
|BERRY J. M. COMR ||Allen John W. ||1844 04 28 J 79 89
|BERRY J. M. COMR ||Allen John W. ||1844 04 30 J 80 90
|BERRY J. M. COMR ||Allen John W. ||1844 05 01 J 82 91
|ALLEN JOHN W. ||Campbell John ||1846 02 21 J 561 7
|BERRY JOHN M COM 234 ||Allen Margrat J etal ||1853 05 06 O 349
| John W. has died. This is presumably Margaret,
his oldest daughter. Who's ``etal''? Is that 17-year old William J.?
Did Margaret need a co-signer?
|CHARD JOHN W 793 ||Allen Eliza ||1853 11 29 P 48
| Eliza Allen -- hitherto unknown -- purchases land about the same time
as Margaret and William J. come to Bloomington.
In 1860 census, Eliza and William J. are next-door neighbors.
(45-year old Eliza is then in a household with James age 11, and Robert
age 9. I presume James is my ancestor and William J.'s half-brother.)
|INDIANA STATE OF ||Allen John W ||1855 12 03 M 520 1806
| John W. is dead. Is this some probate action?
|ALEXANDER WILLIAM D 56 ||Allen David ||1855 01 01 P 444
|ALEXANDER WILLIAM D 57 ||Allen David ||1855 01 01 P 444
|ALEXANDER WILLIAM D 58 ||Allen David ||1855 01 01 P 444
|ALEXANDER WILLIAM D 59 ||Allen David ||1855 01 01 P 444
|ALEXANDER WILLIAM D 60 ||Allen David ||1855 01 01 P 444
| There are many ``Allen'' land deeds
I do not show but mention these just because there was ``Elizabeth Alexander''
age 35 in 1850, and these might be transactions with a son-in-law.
In Wm. J. Allen's biography it states, ``he came to Bloomington in 1853
with his mother.''
In fact J.W. Allen's first wife (Wm J. Allen's mother) and second
wife were both already dead.
The biography must refer to J.W. Allen's third wife, Eliza Ann.
Seven years later, when the federal census
is taken, there is Eliza living next-door to Wm. J.,
with his half-brother James, and Robert, also probably a half-brother.
(But which wife is Robert's mother?)