Genealogical and Family History
STATE OF MAINE
Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.
LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
[Please see Index page for full citation.]
[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]
According to the decutions of antiquarians and others who have investigated the origin of surnames, the names Allan and Allen appear to have come from the same remote source; but Allen generally is given an English origin, while Allan, so far at least as it relates to the particular family here considered, is distinctly Scotch [trans note: the word is 'Scottish!'] and is traced to Alan, high constable of Scotland and lord of Galloway and Cunninghame, and who died A.D. 1234. In this place, however, no attempt is made to trace the Allan pedigree through the several generations anterior to that of the American ancestor, the period of whose life was three score years and ten, and the scene of which was laid chiefly in Scotland and British America; but there was at least one among his descendants whose life and deeds were intimately associated with the early history of America in general and the province and subsequent state of Maine in particular, as will appear to the reader of these pages.
(I) Major William Allan, the immigrant ancestor and progenitor of the family here treated, was born in Scotland about the year 1720, and died in Nova Scotia about 1790. He was a gentleman of means, education and high social position, an officer in the British army, and tradition has it that his rank was that of major. Little indeed is known of his early life except what is learned from a family record in his own handwriting, and from which free quotation is made in these annals.
He married, July 9, 1744, Isabella, daughter of Sir Eustace Maxwell, of Scotland, gentleman, and at the time of the birth of his eldest son was living temporarily in Edinburgh Castle, to which fortress his family with others had sought refuge during the troubles of the rebellion, and while England and France were engaged in warfare both at home and in their colonies on this side of the Atlantic ocean. In 1748 the treaty of Aix la Chapelle established a temporary peace between the contending powers, but it was at best armed peace and one during which both governments used every means and energy to strengthen their colonial positions. On her own part the British power at once began to devise ways and means to provide for a large number of soldiers and sailors then recently discharged from home service, and to this end arranged for a system of colonization of the province of Nova Scotia, which although nominally a British province was inhabited by only a few neutral Franch and Indians. Liberal provisions were made for all who would settle there, and in 1749 under the inducements then offered Major William Allan with his wife and little son John, the latter than four years old, sailed in company with more than two thousand others for America. It has been assumed that when William Allan came to this country he was still an officer of the British army and was on half pay. He remained in Halifax about three years and in the latter part of 1752 was at Fort Lawrence, on the neck which connects Nova Scotia with New Brunswick, where he may have been commander, but more probably was subordinate officer; and he remained there until 1759. It is believed that Major Allan served as an officer through the French and Indian war from 1754 to 1763, when the treaty of Paris marked the overthrow of the French dominion in America. About that time he received a large grant of fertile land, became a farmer, and in a few years acquired considerable wealth. His farm was cultivated chiefly by the labor of French Acadians, who became for a time servants to the conquerors of their own territory. He was a member of the colonial legislature and fulfilled the duties of several offices of trust and honor. His nine children recieved educational advantages and eventually became connected with the best families of the province.
In religious preference he probably was of the Church of England, and undoubtedly a man of great determination and energy. His wife died in 1767, and he married a second time, and died a few years after the close of the revolution. In a record of his family written by himself he thus mentions the death of his first wife:
"1767. Isabel Allan (wife of William Allan Senior), Departed this life about the Turn of the Night between the 30th & 31st of August 5 monutes before 12 o'clock."
1. John, born Jan. 3, 1746.
2. Mary, b. Aug. 16, 1747, died Dec. 22, 1747.
3. Elizabeth, b. Dec. 25, 1750, married Aug. 27, 1772, John George Pyke.
4. William, b. Oct. 27, 1752, died Oct. 4, 1806, married in 1787, Sarah Dixson; removed from Halifax to Fort Cumberland.
5. George, b. Sept. 30, 1754, died May 19, 1804.
6. James, b. Aug. 25, 1756, died Nov. 1, 1757.
7. Jean, b. April 10, 1759, married Feb. 7, 1775, Thomas Cochran.
8. Winckworth, b. Nov. 21, 1760.
9. Isabel, b. July 23, 1762.
(II) Colonel John, eldest son of Major William and Isabella (Maxwell) Allan, was born in Edinburgh Castle, Scotland, Jan. 3, 1746 (O.S.), and died at Lubec Mills, Maine, Feb. 7, 1805, aged fifty-nine years. The following narrative of his life is taken largely from "A Memoir of Col. John Allan," by Mr. Frederic Kidder, printed 1867.
He came to Halifax, Nova Scotia, with his parents in 1749, and Oct. 10, 1767, married Mary Patton, b. Feb. 3, 1746, died June 8, 1819. He was a representative in the provincial parliament of Nova Scotia from 1770 to 1776, when he was obliged to flee for refuge to the United States, his ideas of freedom having made him obnoxious to the British government, who offered rewards for his apprehension. He came to the states in the autumn of 1776. Proceeding to Philadelphia, he had several interviews with General Washingtion and also waited upon congress. He was soon after appointed colonel of infantry and superintendent of eastern Indians, and throughout the war was stationed at Machias, Maine. He remained at his post until 1783, when he commenced a mercantile business, which not succeeding well he turned his attention to agriculture and continued in that pursuit until the time of his death.
Such, then, is a very meagre glance at the career of one of the notable characters in our early national history, with none of the sidelights of his eminent services in behalf of American liberty, nor of his private life as a citizen of one of the important states of the federal union.
Of his boyhood little is known, although his letters and public utterances give evidence of superior education, and it is known that he possessed a good understanding of English history, was versed in French, having acquired that knowledge from the Acadians among whom his youth was spent; and besides these he was quite familiar with several of the Indian dialects, which knowledge was of much value to him in his capacity of superintendent of the eastern Indians. It is thought that some part of his younger life was spent in Boston, where doubtless under the patriotic influences of Massachusetts public men he learned the lesson which impelled his own later action; but however this may have been the fact remains that upon his return home after a somewhat extended absence there was an estrangement between his father and himself on account of political questions, for the former remained loyal to the mother country during the revolution, while the son gave his greatest energies in behalf of the cause for which the American colonies were contending.
About the time of the death of his mother Colonel Allan became acquainted with Mary Patton, and it is related that on one occasion she went into his father's store, with a skein of thread hanging loosely about her neck. He playfully attempted to take it off, but she resisted and a merry struggle followed. From that time they became intimate friends and were married Oct. 10, 1767. It is supposed that after his marriage his father gave him a part of his large estate, and he began life in farming and mercantile pursuits. His farm, known as "Invermary," was one of the best in the counties of Cumberland and Westmoreland and included three hundred and forty-eight acres of land; and besides his own dwelling it contained several country houses occupied by French Acadian families as tenants, two large and four small barns. He also held several important public offices, among them of justice of the peace, clerk of the sessions and clerk of the supreme court.
In 1770 he was elected representative to the provincial assembly and held that office until 1776, when his seat was declared vacant becuase of his non-attendance. At that time his mind was made up to join the colonies in resisting the oppressions of the mother country, and his actions and utterances impelled the provincial authorities to take measures for his apprehension on the charge of treason to the king. Thus threatened he fled to the states, but not until after he had visited the Indians and secured for the colonies the co-operation of a large number of the Mic-Mac tribe.
Leaving Cumberland early in October, 1776, he came to Machias, Maine, later went to Boston and on Nov. 29 started on horseback for Philadelphia, and on Sunday, Dec. 22, dined with Washington at headquarters. He was received by congress early in January, 1777, and gave that body a full statement of affairs in the provinces. Soon afterward he was appointed superintendent of the eastern Indians and commissioned colonel of infantry, and having received instructions from John Hancock left Baltimore for Boston, arriving in that city Feb. 3, 1777.
After he fled to Maine the British authorities put a price on Colonel Allan's head, offering one hundred pounds for him "who has been deeply concerned in exciting the said rebellion." In writing of Colonel Allan's alliance with the Americans, the historian Murdock says: "As he had no New England ancestors his escapade must be attributed to ambition, romance or pure zeal for what he thought was right and just. For the feelings against the crown in Nova Scotia in 1775 were confined to the Acdaian French who resisted their conquest, the Indians who were attached to them by habit and creed, and the settlers who were emigrants from New England."
When the British sacked Cumberland, Colonel Allan's house was one of the first to be destroyed, his wife was made prisoner and taken to Halifax, and imprisioned for six months, separted from her children. She was subjected to many insults and indignities, her finest apparel taken and worn by the wives of soldiers and paraded before her eyes.
After returning to Boston, Colonel Allan remained there about three months then went back to Maine and assumed the duties of his office of superintendent of Indian affairs and entered actively into all of the military operations which were cararied out in that region; and from that time until the close of the war his life was one of constant motion, full of danger and frequently subject to covert attack from bitter enemies, whites and red men alike. He was a fearless leader and very capable officer and perhaps no man in all the province did more than he or sacrificed more than he for the American cause; and when peace was again restored and he gave an account of his stewardship it was found that his transactions were perfectly honest and his character was without blemish.
After the war he returned to Boston, resigned his office and closed his accounts with the government. In 1784 he settled permanently in Maine and in the next year began mercantile business on what was named for him "Allan's Island," near Lubec. But he appears not to have prospered in business, for he was so constituted that it was a thing almsot impossible for him to press a debtor for payment, hence his forbearance cost him considerable money, and at the end of about two years he closed out his mercantile establishment and went to Lubec Mills, where he died.
In 1792 about twenty-two thousand acres of wild land was granted him and his associates, the tract being within what now is the town of Whiting, but the soil was hard and barren and of comparatively little real value to the grantees. In 1801 congress made him a grant of about two thousand acres of land in the then territory of Ohio, on a part of which the city of Columbus is built up, but this yielded him but little peconiary advantage.
During the later years of his life he was seriously afflicted with bodily ailments, largely the effects of his years of privation and exposures incident to his public service, and he died as he had lived, a courageous and honorable man, a soldier and patriot.
He married, as has been mentioned, Oct. 10, 1767, Mary Patton.
1. William, born Halifax, Nova Scotia, July 23, 1768, died March 6, 1814; married Alice Crane, born 1770, died 1841.
2. Mark, born Cumberland, Nova Scotia, March 31, 1770, died Sept. 22, 1818; married Susan Wilder, b. 1774, d. 1852.
3. John, born Cumberland, Dec. 23, 1771, died Oct. 3, 1863; married Mehitable Crane, b. 1779, d. 1846.
4. Isabel Maxwell, born Cumberland, Oct. 23, 1773, died July 12, 1829.
5. George Washington, born Cumberland, March 13, 1776.
6. Horatio Gates, born Machias, Maine, July 13, 1779, drowned Oct. 30, 1837; married Charlotte Crane, born West Point, New York Sept. 25, 1782, died Dec. 19, 1840.
7. Anna, born Machias, Maine, April 16, 1781, died Boston, Aug. 21, 1783.
8. Elizabeth, born Machias, Maine, April 16, 1781, died Whiting, Maine, June 22, 1863. [trans note: were she & Anna twins?]
9. Winckworth Sargent, born Lubec, Maine, May 31, 1788, drowned Oct. 2, 1811.
(III) George Washington Allan, fourth son and fifth child of Colonel John and Mary (Patton) Allan, was born in Cumberland, Nova Scotia, March 13, 1776, drowned at sea Aug. 24, 1806.
He married Mary Cutts Hart, born 1779, died 1864.
1. Theodore Cutts, born Dec. 26, 1803, died 1865; married Nancy Hall and had two children, Theodore M., b. Feb., 1844, and Mary, born April, 1847.
2. John George, born April 5, 1805, died 1824.
3. Mary Elizabeth, born March 15, 1807.
(IV) Mary Elizabeth, only daughter of George Washington and Mary Cutts (Hart) Allan, was born March 15, 1807, died at North Lubec, Maine in 1892. She married Colonel George Comstock, born April 19, 1799, and had:
1. Hiram, born Feb. 18, 1828, died April 30, 1900; married Mary E. Brown.
2. Mary Ardelia, b. Dec. 20, 1829, died Aug. 8, 1849.
3. Ann Maria, b. May 21, 1832, married Captain John Albion Davis.
4. Theodore Allan, b. May 3, 1834, died April 10, 1888.
5. Eurilla Elizabeth, b. Jan. 8, 1838, married Alfred Small.
6. Lucia Emily, b. May 8, 1843, died Feb. 16, 1878.
7. Sarah Jeanett, b. June 11, 1845.