Allred Family Organization
AFO Mission Statement
Identify and Unite the Allred Family Through
Gathering, Storing and Sharing Information
A talk presented to the Allred Family Organization at their
annual reunion held at Gray’s Chapel School, Randolph County, North
Carolina, September 7th, 2002
by: Michael Marshall
In the early 1750s, Solomon, John, Thomas and William Allred received land
grants in central North Carolina, in what is now Randolph County.
Solomon 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.
Before 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, Delaware.
Now, 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.
As 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.
A 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.
This 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.
John 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.
The 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.
We 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.
“On 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 of England.”
I 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 1684.
We 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.
We 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
Some 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.
Now, 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, England.
Establishment 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 County,
After 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.
Original 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 Nottingham.
Perhaps 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 title.
This 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
Hopewell 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 1730's.
Now, 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.
Now, 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 settled.
There 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
White’s 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.
Let 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 Mason-Dixon survey.
Jeremiah 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.
We 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.
The "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.
Jeremiah was still living on the Terrapin Neck track in 1751, because on 7
June 1751 he received a Fairfax grant for 323 acres of the NE-most part of
the Browning tract. However, York sold this property a couple of years
later to a William Chapline. This was on 4 Jul 1753. In the deed, he was
called Jeremiah York Sr. The chain carriers on the survey were THOMAS YORK
and DAVIS YORK, probably sons. The name JOHN YORK also appears in the
records of "old" Frederick County, Virginia when he and Thomas were chain
carriers in a survey of a tract on Opeckon Creek made in 1763. His son
Jeremiah Jr. was living on an adjacent tract on 13 Jul 1773 when Joseph
Mitchell received a Fairfax grant "on Great Cacepehon" which is a river in
what is now Hampshire County, West Virginia. It is possible that Jeremiah
Sr. moved to North Carolina about the time he sold his land to William
Chapline, or he may have moved in with one of his sons and remained in
I 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 listed.
We 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.
Now, 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 Winchester, Virginia.
The administration of Samuel Finley’s estate in Maryland took some time
because we find a court proceeding 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.
So, 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 follows:
"JOHN 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 Law directs."
So, 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.
At 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.
What 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
Besides, 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.