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Allen Cole's Website

James Allen (1783-1855) Family

Can you solve the mystery of their origins?

Information on James Allen is sketchy. Some of the documents surrounding his estate refer to him as "Captain" James Allen. We know from the death certificate of his son Robert M. Allen (1817-1889) that at least some of these five children were borne by a previous wife named Elizabeth.

  1. Dr. Edward Henry Allen (1808-1886) - Lived along Wells Road in Dinwiddie County at Oak Forest where he also operated a private school. Worked the area where Dinwiddie, Amelia and Nottoway come together on horseback. Was a founding member of the Namozine Presbyterian Church, and is said to have also attended Hebron Church. Married an Allfriend.

  2. Harriet Allen (1810-1886) - Also lived along Wells Road in Dinwiddie and married William B. Coleman. Adopted her niece Ann Elizabeth Hawkes, and another girl, Rosa Saddler. This family was on the roll of Poplar Hill ME Church on Wills Road in Amelia.

  3. Rev. James Madison Allen (1814-1854) - Attended Princeton University and was ordained into the Presbyterian Ministry in 1842, serving the Dover, Hebron and Providence churches in Goochland County until ill health forced him to retire in 1853. While at Hebron Church, he lived at Eastwood, the plantation of the Cunningham family. His 1854 will, probated in Dinwiddie County is curious in that it includes all of his full brothers and sisters, but none of his half-siblings.

  4. Robert M. (Munno?) Allen (1817-1889) - There is very little mention of this brother except in the bible of Dr. E. H. Allen and the will of Rev. James M. Allen. Robert Allen apparently lived in Virginia until the end of the Civil War, when he moved to New York City and was in business as a tobacco merchant. His wife was named Georgeanna, and they lived for many years at 588 Lexington Avenue on the Upper East Side. His son Robert M. Allen, Jr. continued his work as a tobacco merchant. His sons Edward H. Allen and Norman H. Allen were dentists practicing on Lexington Ave and in Brooklyn respectively. His daughter Bettie G. Allen also lived in the Lexington Ave. house with her husband Emile Blum, a french-born merchant. All are buried in the Bronx's fashionable Oaklawn Cemetery.

  5. Mary Elizabeth Allen (1820-1858?) - Possibly the most prolific progenitor of this family. She married overseer John S. Hawkes and appears to have had a pretty tough (and short) life. More on her children later.

In December 1826, James Allen married Mary Ann F. Bevill, the daughter of neighbor Jack (John Randolph?) Bevill. They wasted no time in continuing the offspring:

  1. Richard Alfred Allen (1827-1911) My great-great grandfather. Lived along Wills Road with his wife Martha Turner Allen, and amassed over 1000 acres by the time of his death. Served briefly in the Civil War, and attended Poplar Hill ME Church.

  2. Sarah Jane Allen (1829-1911) Married Thomas B. Sadler of Dinwiddie County and appears to have lived in the family home while her mother was still alive. Buried today in Maury Cemetery, her only known descendents are Hudsons.

  3. Virginia A. Allen (1830-1906) - Very little known about this lady. She married neighbor Robert W. Gill and eventually left Poplar Hill ME Church for neighboring Mount Hope Baptist Church, where she is buried.

What We Actually Know About James Allen:

Assumptions that I'm currently working with:

Interesting facts:

Possible Origins of James Allen:

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