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The Allen Family of Pennsylvania

Updated: Apr 17, 2022

My interest in the Allen family starts with my maternal 3rd great-grandmother, Martha Jane Allen, who married John Lloyd Temple. Her parents were Valentine Allen and Margaret McGarvey. Valentine was born in or about 1836 in Montour County, Pennsylvania, and died in Danville, Montour County, Pennsylvania. He was counted on the 1850 census in Muncy Creek, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, in the home of Nathaniel Allen who was born abt. 1795. Anyone with information, please comment below or contact me.

Later I learned that three branches of my family tree contain the Allen surname - see the Reese page, the Harvey page, and the Daniels page for more.

My research of the Allen family led me to the earliest Allens in Pennsylvania, which as far as I can tell, was William Allen. What I have found so far about his family is shown here. This information was found in one source, shown below, which offers additional details for those who are interested. From the source, I am providing a summary of William's descendants here, to help determine if there is a connection.

Generation 1

John Allen of Dungannon, Ireland, married a sister of William Craige, also of Dungannon. John had fled from Stirlingshire, Scotland, "to escape the persecution of the Presbyterians by James I, of Scotland". He had at least two children:

  1. William Allen. Born about 1670, probably in Dungannon, Ireland. Emigrant to America. Died in 1725.

  2. Catherine Allen. Married to surname Cally.

Generation 2

William Allen, born about 1670, son of John, married about 1700 to Mary, daughter of Thomas and Susannah Budd. Mary was born in Burlington [New Jersey?], April 7, 1679 and died at Philadelphia on April 20, 1760. William came to America and was a merchant at Philadelphia, where he died August 30, 1725, at the age of 55. He mentioned his sister, Catherine Cally, and uncle, William Craige, both of Dungannon, Ireland, in his will dated July 3, 1725. Only two children were named in his will, although he had others:

  1. John Allen. Died soon after his father, without issue.

  2. Thomas Allen

  3. James Allen

  4. William Allen. Born in 1704 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

William Allen (1704-1780)

Generation 3

William Allen, son of William and Mary Allen, was born in Philadelphia on August 5, 1704. He was baptized August 17, 1704, in Philadelphia's First Presbyterian Church. He married on Feb. 16, 1733 (O.S.), to Margaret Hamilton, daughter of Andrew Hamilton. She was born in 1709 and died in 1760 at Philadelphia. William was the founder of what is now the third largest city in Pennsylvania - Allentown. He was close friends with Benjamin West, the painter, and William's daughter, Anne, was painted in one of his paintings.

"Although a politician often leading a faction greedy for office, Allen was throughout life a man of large public spirit, thinking of the needs of the colony, giving his influence, his time and his pecuniary aid for its advancement."

William died on September 6, 1780. "On the 16th of the month his will and codicil were proved in Philadelphia by the oaths of all the witnesses except Nathaniel Allen, who was deceased". William Allen had four sons and two daughters who grew to maturity:

  1. Nathaniel Allen. Died before 1780.

  2. John Allen. Born about March, 1739.

  3. Andrew Allen. Born about June, 1740.

  4. James Allen. Born about 1742.

  5. Anne Allen, who married in 1766 to John Penn. Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania and grandson of William Penn.

  6. William Allen. Born about 1751. Died unmarried in London on July 2, 1838.

  7. Margaret Allen. She married James DeLancey in Shrewsbury, New Jersey, in 1771. She died in England on October 18, 1827.

"On January 5, 1767, William Allen deeded to his son James Allen, land amounting to 3,338 acres (embracing the present City of Allentown and its environs). The witnesses to the deed were Alexander Stuart and Wm. Allen, Jr., and it was acknowledged June 13, 1767, before George Taylor, one of the Justices of the' Peace for Northampton county, and afterwards a signer of the Declaration of Independence. This deed included the town of Northampton, "save and except certain Lotts of Ground situate in the Town of Northampton within the said tract which have heretofore been granted by the said William Allen to divers persons on ground rent forever." These lots were granted by William Allen on June 1, 1765, for a yearly-quit rent of nine shillings sterling. On February 7, 1776, a tract of 61 acres and 66 perches, in Salisbury township, adjoining the above, was also deeded to James by his father. Although many writers credit James Allen with the founding of Allentown, or Northampton, as it was formerly called, his father, Judge William Allen was the founder, to prove which was one of the purposes of this paper. At the time it was laid out, in 1762, James Allen was a youth of twenty, studying law at the Temple in London. In James Allen's Diary, published in the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, in the first entry, under date of November 6, 1770, he says: "Two days ago I returned from Trout Hall (a name I have just given my house), where I had been with Mr. Lawrence, my brother Billy, and Jemmy Tilghman." September 13, 1771, he says: "Lord Dunmore passed thro' this town on his way to Virginia; I dined and supped with him. This day I set off for Trout Hall with my wife and child and Mrs. Lawrence. They have not been there since I finished my house."

Generation 4

John Allen, born March 1739, married in New York, April 6, 1775, to Mary Johnston, daughter of David Johnston of New York. John and Mary had two children:

  1. William Allen. Twin born in 1776. Married a Miss Verplanck and lived in Hyde Park, New York. He died in 1850.

  2. John Allen. Twin born in 1776. Lived near Red Hook, New York, and died in 1809.

Andrew Allen, born June 1740, was appointed Attorney General of the Province from 1768 to about 1775. He married in 1768 to Sarah (a.ka. "Sally") Coxe, daughter of William Coxe of Philadelphia and granddaughter of Chief Justice of New Jersey, Daniel Coxe. Andrew was one of the founders and 1st Lieutenant of First Troop, Philadelphia City Cavalry in preparation for the Revolution. He died March 7, 1825, in London, at the age of 85. Andrew and "the beautiful Sally Coxe" had the following children:

  1. Andrew Allen. He founded the Anchor Club in Philadelphia. He married Maria Coxe of Sydney but died without issue in England in 1850.

  2. Ann Allen. Died unmarried.

  3. Elizabeth Allen. Died unmarried.

  4. Margaret Allen. Married in 1793 at Philadelphia to George Hammond, first British Minister to the United States. She died in 1838.

  5. Maria Allen. Died unmarried.

  6. John Penn Allen. Born October 25, 1785. Died unmarried.

  7. Thomas Dawson Allen. Born October 25, 1785. Married in 1840 to Jane Mortimer, widow of Rev. E. C. Henry. Died without issue.

James Allen (1742-1778)

James Allen, born 1742, married in Christ Church, Philadelphia, in 1768. His wife was Elizabeth Lawrence, daughter of John Lawrence, Esq.. She was born in 1750. After James died in 1778, she married Senator John Lawrence of New York (1724-1799). James and Elizabeth Allen had four children:

  1. Ann Penn Allen, born 1769. She was described as "one of the most splendid beauties this country has produced" and Gilbert Stuart painted her portrait three times. She married James Greenleaf and died in Allentown on September 21, 1851. (Allentown Friedensbote, Sept. 25, 1851).

  2. Margaret Elizabeth Allen, born 1772. She married William Tilghman in 1794. Their daughter, Elizabeth, married Benjamin Chew.

  3. Mary Masters Allen, born 1776. She married Henry W. Livingston of Livingston Manor, New York.

  4. James Hamilton Allen, born 1778. He died at the age of ten.

"In the words of E. F. DeLancey, it may be said both of Philadelphia and of Allentown, that "the name of Allen, for more than a century the synonym for high ability, political power, great wealth and the first social position, is there no longer known."

Source: Roberts, Charles R. (1908). "William Allen, the Founder of Allentown, and His Descendants" (PDF). Proceedings of the Lehigh County Historical Society. Allentown, Pennsylvania: Lehigh County Historical Society (1st): 22–43. Archived from the original (pdf) on 2008-06-26. Retrieved 2008-05-30. [Link]


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2 則留言

I am searching for a Connection to Elizabeth Allen 1765 to 1801. and My 3rd Grt was Charity Allen who Married a William J Evans in N.C. Elizabeth Married a Jacob Wilt

Genealogy Addict
Genealogy Addict

I've had a hard time with the Allen's and I have at least two different Allen lines in my tree! Have you looked at the Allens who founded Allentown, PA?


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