George Allen

Male 1580 - 1648  (68 years)

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  • Name George Allen  [1, 2
    Born 1580  Weymouth, , Dorset, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 2 May 1648  Sandwich, Barnstable Co., Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I20338  alger
    Last Modified 4 Apr 2017 

    Father Ralph Allen,   b. Abt 1542, Weymouth, , Dorset, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Mother Unknown,   b. Abt 1544,   d. Plymouth, Plymouth Co., Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F7387  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Unknown,   b. Abt 1582,   d. Yes, date unknown 
     1. John Allen,   b. Abt 1604, , , , England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Feb 1689-20 Nov 1689, Rehoboth, Bristol Co., Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 85 years)
     2. Samuel Allen,   b. Abt 1605, , , , England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Aug 1669, Braintree, Norfolk Co., Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 64 years)
     3. Rose Allen,   b. Abt 1609, , , , England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1690-1694, Sandwich, Barnstable Co., Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 85 years)
     4. Joan Allen,   b. Abt 1613, , , , England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1638  (Age ~ 26 years)
     5. Robert Allen,   b. Abt 1615, , , , England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 May 1661, Rehoboth, Bristol Co., Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 46 years)
     6. Ralph Allen,   b. Abt 1615,   d. Abt Mar 1698, Swansea, Bristol Co., Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 83 years)
     7. George Allen,   b. Abt 1618-1619,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 31 Jul 2015 
    Family ID F19014  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Catherine,   b. Est 1600,   d. Yes, date unknown 
     1. Francis Allen,   b. Abt 1620,   d. 1697-1698, Sandwich, Barnstable Co., Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 78 years)
     2. Matthew Allen,   b. Abt 1629,   d. Apr 1695, Dartmouth, Bristol Co., Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 66 years)
     3. William Allen,   b. Abt 1629,   d. 1 Oct 1705, Sandwich, Barnstable Co., Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 76 years)
     4. Henry Allen,   b. Abt 1635, Lynn, Essex Co., Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1690, Stratford, Fairfield Co., Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 55 years)
     5. Gideon Allen,   b. Abt 1647, Sandwich, Barnstable Co., Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Jun 1693-1694, Milford, New Haven Co., Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 47 years)
     6. Joshua Allen,   b. Abt 1639,   d. 27 Dec 1699, Windham, Windham Co., Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 60 years)
     7. Judah Allen,   b. Abt 1645,   d. Feb 1649  (Age ~ 4 years)
     8. Caleb Allen,   b. Abt 1647,   d. 27 Jun 1647, Sandwich, Barnstable Co., Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 0 years)
    Last Modified 31 Jul 2015 
    Family ID F7360  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • **********
      ***"The time and place of George Allen's birth are matters of debate even to this day as is the identity of his wife Catherine who accompanied him to these shores. neither is the name of his previous wife, by whom he is presumed to have had a number of his children, known. Much research has been done in England on these matters by Seward and Norah (Stewart) Allen (1985) and, based on their findings, it seems safe to reject two very popular hypotheses.

      "The first hypothesis was based on an assumption that George's second wife was Catherine Starkes the marriage having taken place on November 4, 1624, at All Hallows Church in London. This George Allen was a widower, the son of Richard Allen, a moneyer of the Tower of London, 24 years of age and a clothworker by trade. Catherine was a spinster, "30 years of age or the year above" and so was born by 1535, at the time George and Catherine are found listed as passengers to America, this George would have been 35 and his wife, 40 or 41. Our Catherine is listed then as age 30. It is known that George's earliest children were born shortly after 1600, making them contemporaries of this George.

      "The secnd hypothesis was based on some litigation between a George Allen of Saltford, Somersetshire, that involved Rice Davis of Tickenham. The indenture was dated 8 May 1627. It has been posited by some that our George married a daughter of Davis (i.e., a Catherine Davis), but according to the Allens, all of Davis' daughters are known and none married an Allen. However, this same George Allen was still involved in litigation in England and was one against whom the Privy Council took action in November of 1638, three years after our George had come to America.

      "These findings convinced the Allens that 1) George Allen did not marry Catherine Starkes or a daughter of Rice Davis, and 2) he was not the above-mentioned George, resident of Saltford, Somerset. George of Saltford was the son of John Allen of that place and sired a son George in 1605. Our George had his seventh child, George, in 1618 or 1619.

      "Even more intriguing findings by the Allens related to Devonshire. According to parish records at Shebbear, two sons of a George Allen, Robert and George, were baptized there (dates not provided but apparently around 1619). A George Allen, son of John, was christened at St. Sidwell, Exeter, Devon, on April 4, 1582. This John might well be the one christened on 19 January 1562 at Bishop's Nympton, Devon, son of William. A John Allen died at Landkey, Devon, leaving a will which unfortunately was destroyed during WWII, but the terms of which were preserved. The names of the children of this John Allen were William, George, James, Matthew, and John. Landkey, Shebbear and Barnstaple are all in Devonshire and close to one another. Many of the early immigrants to America came from this area. Coincidentally or not, Richard Bourne (b. 1610) was a native of Barnstaple and was one of the earliest settlers at Sandwich, Mass., as well as a witness to the will of George Allen. If the age of George at his emigration in 1635 was 54 (rather than the impossible 24 recorded), as most believe, he could well be the one baptized in 1582, very possibly born in 1581. It should also be noted that a George Allen was baptized on 2 April 1581 at St. John the Baptist Church in Bridgewater, Somersetshire. A Somerset county origin is somewhat supported by the contention that Samuel Allen came from this county.

      "There has also been a story accepted by many (e.g., Cutter, ibid.) that George was a son of Ralph Allen of Thurcaston, Leicestershire, born in 1568. The Allens found no record in Leicester of this birth, only of a George born to a Ralph in 1628. However, the records here are missing between 1573 and 1594. It seems unlikely that a man of 71 years would be elected constable in 1639 as was our George.

      "On the other hand, it is known that the Ralph Allen who was also at Sandwich, Mass., was a brother of George Allen. Ralph was born about 1590. According to Torrey, he married his first wife, Hester English, at St. Mare le bos Church in London on 6 May 1619. He came to Roxbury, Mass., in 1636 and was able to bear arms in Sandwich in 1643. He was an overseer of George Allen's will and was a mason by trade. He has often been confused with Ralph, son of George. For this reason it is useful to devote a paragraph or two to the varying accounts of him.

      "According to Sprague (1963), Ralph Allen had the folowing children: Samuel; George (removed to Shrewsbury, New Jersey); Henry (b. ca. 1620, housewright, deacon, m. Judith, d. at Boston 1694/5); John (m. 1650 Elizabeth Bacon of Dunstable, resided at Newport, Rhode Island and removed to New Jersey in 1667); Jedediah (b. 1646, m. Elizabeth Howland, daughter of Henry, and removed to New Jersey); Hester (b. 1648, m. Henry Bull); Experience (b. 1652); Ephraim (b. 1657). Boyer (1981, p. 15f.) believes both Ralph and George to be sons of John Allen of Saltford, Somerset, and gives Ralph five children by his first wife, Hester English: John (m. Elizabeth Bacon); Henry (m. at Weymouth a Miss Tucker); George (m. Susan); William (b. 1629, d. 1718, m. 1677 Patience [Clifton] Beere, lived on Long Island and at Newport, Rhode Island); Samuel (lived at Sandwich in 1643 and Hempstead, Long Island, 1684). According to this account, by his second wife Esther Swift, he had six more children: Jedediah (as above); Josiah; Experience; Ephraim; Mary (bur. at Sandwich 18 Apr 1675); Esther (as above).

      "In other accounts there is considerable confusion. Austin (1982a) ascribes to Ralph Allen, Jr. and Eleanor Swift the following children: Ralph, John, Increase, Zachariah, Joseph, Jedediah, Josiah, Esther, Ebenezer, Experience, Mary, Patience, Ephraim, Benjamin and Philip. Savage mentions only one Ralph, "perhaps son of George the first," of Newport [RI] 1639, Rehoboth [MA] 1643, and of Sandwich [MA], also in 1643. He is given Josiah (1647), Experience (1652), Ephraim (1657) and Mary who died in 1675. Pope does not even mention a Ralph Allen except as a son of George. Neither does Holmes.

      "Cutter (ibid.) ascribes to Ralph Allen, son of George, by wife Esther (daughter of William and Jane Swift of Sandwich), the following children: John, Joseph, Increase, Ebenezer, Zachariah, Patience. Cutter says that he probably had children of a second marriage: Jedediah, Jonah, Experience, Ephraim, and Mary.

      "There are so many erroneous accounts of the Allens that the result of reading them is utter confusion. Ralph is constantly confused with his nephew, Ralph, son of George. At the time of George's death in 1643, there were two Ralph Allens in the records of Sandwich, Mass., one being referred to as Ralph, Sr. and the other as Ralph, Jr. Furthermore, Ralph Sr. was still having children by his second wife when Ralph, Jr. started his family. According to Allen (1907), a careful study indicates that Ralph, Jr. was the son of George and Ralph Sr., his brother. It was common practice in colonial days to differentiate between two persons of the same name, living in the same community, by calling them "Sr." and "Jr.," but his practice did not imply a father-son relationship.

      "As another example of confusion, let us consider Esther Allen, daughter of Ralph, who was born on 8 December 1648 at Sandwich and who on the 14th day of the 12th month of 1664, married Henry Bull. Henry was subsequently elected Governor of Rhode Island in 1685. The conflict regarding her ancestry arises within a very few pages in Genealogies of Rhode Island Families (GRIF, 1983, vol. I) where on page 146 it is stated that ... "the parentage of Governor Bull's second wife, Esther ... (she was daughter of Ralph and Esther (Swift) Allen. Her father was son of George Allen, Sr. of Sandwich, Mass." On page 153 it states, "She was daughter of Ralph and Esther Swift Allen of Sandwich. Ralph was brother of George Allen, Sr..." The latter interpretation is correct.

      "For a truly distorted account of our Allen family, one has only to read Lee (1910, 4:1406) in which George is given a wife named Catherine Collins and provided with the following children: George (married a Hannah); Matthew (married Mary [sic] Kirby); Ralph (married Esther Swift); William (married Priscilla Brown); Francis (married a Barlow); Henry (moved to Melford [sic] Conn.); Samuel; James (moved to Tisberry [sic]). It also credits George with a second wife named "H. S. Smith"! How far off this account is will be seen shortly.

      "Returning now to our own ancestor, let us examine the conditions surrounding his departure from England. On March 20, 1635, there sailed from Weymouth, England, a ship carrying more than 100 persons under the leadership of the Rev. Joseph Hull. Although the ship's name has been lost, portions of its passenger list have been recorded (Banks, 1981). Among them were: "George Allin age 24 [sic] years, Katherine Allyn his wife aged 30 years, George Allyn his sonne aged 16 years, Willm Allyn his sonne aged 8 years, Mathew Allyn his son aged 6 years, Edward Poole his srvant [sic] aged 26 years." As Allen (ibid.) explains, "Like so many of the early shiploads of immigrants to New England, a clergyman was the head of this little company, and from the residences of several of those named in the passenger list it is safe to assume that this party was made up of friends and neighbors living on the borders of Somersetshire and Dorsetshire who decided to follow Mr. Hull into the new country across the ocean."

      "In his article, "The Family of George Allen, the Immigrant and its Connection with the Settlement of Old Dartmouth," Allen provides a background for the emigration of the group. Joseph Hull, their leader, was born in Somersetshire in 1594 and from 1621 to 1632 was rector of Northleigh in Devonshire. George Allen, he says, was undoubtedly a yeoman farmer living in the county of Somerset when the Rev. Joseph Hull collected his little company together to emigrate to America. He was probably not a member of the gentry, as the Heraldic Visitation of Somerset shortly before his emigration does not include his name, and therefore neither he nor his descendants were qualified to bear a coat of arms.

      "The company arrived at Boston on May 6, 1635, a 47-day trip. For a time the family--or those still living with George and Catherine--probably resided at Saugus (now Lynn), Mass., and on April 3, 1637, Mr. Edmund Freeman and nine associates of Saugus had granted to them the town of Sandwich were they began a settlement. George and some of his family joined them the same year. He was known to have been in Lynn in 1636 and to have owned land in Weymouth, then a settlement of 21 families claiming the Rev. Hull as their minister, but he may never have resided there.

      "It is certain that he was recorded in Sandwich in 1637, was among the members of the first church there in 1638, and on 31 August 1639, was made freeman and sworn in as constable (Sandwich and Bourne Colony Town Records, 1912). In 1640, 1641, and 1642 he was deputy to the General Court at Plymouth, and in 1641 was one of the committee to divide the lands in Sandwich where he was granted six-and -a-half acres. The date of this grant was 16 April 1640. In 1646 he built a house in Sandwich, about a quarter of a mile from what eventually would be the Quaker meeting house on the main road to the Cape, and this house stood until about 1882 at which time it was razed.

      "George died in 1648 and was buried on May 2nd of that year, described as "aged." His name did not appear in 1643 in the list of those between sixteen and sixty, able to bear arms, so at that time he was more than sixty years old and therefore he was probably born before 1583. Fortunately, he left an undated will which, only slightly modified, reads as follows:

      "The last will and testiment of George Allen the elder late of Sandwich--Imprimis--I give unto all my children 12 pence a piece. Item--I give unto my son Matthew one calfe and 5 shillings. Item--I give unto my wife the ould cow. Item--I leave my house and household stuff to my wife during the time she continueth unmarried, but in case she marries again, my will is that they shall be disposed of to bee divided amongst my five least children. Item--I give unto my five least children a cow a piece. Item--I give unto my son William the meadow I bought of P...G... being in the division (second). Item--for the land and the rest of my meadow I give unto my sons Henry and Samuel. Item--for my adventure in the Barque (I leave) my wife and five least children.

      "This will was proved on the 7th of June, 1648, Catherine Allen to be executrix, Ralph Allen and Richard Bourne overseers. Inventory was taken by Edward Dillingham on 9 (22) 1648 and exhibited to the court on 6 (8) 1649 upon the death of Catherine, total value 44 poinds, 16 shillings. (The reader may note that these dates are reversed from the usual manner of O.S.)

      "From this will we know that the widow has survived, that there are four named sons living as well as five younger ("least") children. The name of the person from whom the meadow was bought is illegible, but it might be guessed that it was Peter Gaunt, a prominent Quaker who was closely allied with the Allen family."...

      Those of the Allen family who adopted the Quaker faith suffered much in the way of scorn, court actions, fines and even imprisonment. There is no evidence that George was a Quaker. He is described as an "anabaptist" or member of the radical left wing of the Reformation for which the chief distinctive tenet is adult baptism. It was said by Bowden (cited by Allen) in his history of the Quakers, that William Newland (second husband of Rose Allen) and Ralph Allen were among the first to join the sect. He also said that "There were six brothers and sisters of Ralph who joined the Friinds. The father had laid down his head in peace before Friends had visited these parts. His children had resided upwards of 20 years in Sandwich and vicinity and were much respected by their neighbors"

      In 1655 the General Court at Plymouth ordered that no Quaker be entertained by any person or persons under a penalty of either five pounds for every such default, or a whipping. There was a split that year in the Sandwich church, and a collection was made for the purpose of building a new place of worship. To this cause, Ralph Allen, along with his nephews Ralph, William, Matthew, George and Francis contributed. It was not until 1657, after the establishment of the Monthly Meeting in Sandwich, that persecutions resumed.

      William was especially obnoxious to established authorities because he allowed meetings of Friends to be held in his home and although frequently fined, he did not waver in his determination. The winter previous to this renewed persecution, Sarah Kirby (not yet married to Matthew) was complained of "for disturbance of public worship and for abusing the minister," and was summoned to court and sentenced to be publicly whipped." At about this same time, William Newland was sentenced to find sureties for his "own good behavior" because he had allegedly encouraged Quakers and had allowed one to occupy his house. This was also about the time that Ralph Allen was arrested and laid under bonds for entertaining Quakers.

      The marriage of Matthew and Sarah Kirby as well as the births of all their children are recorded in the Friends Records of Newport, Rhode Island (GRIF, 1983, 1:10-12). The Rhode Island colony was a refuge for dissenters from the rigorous and narrow views of the Puritans of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies. In later generations, members of this family removed to New Jersey. in an article pertaining to Rhode Islanders who settled in Monmouth county, N. J., there is mention of the Allens and Kirbys who left Lynn for Sandwich with the Gaunts, joined the Quakers and suffered persecution, and had family members eventually finding their way to New Jersey, viz.:

      There was a George Allen of Sandwich, Massachusetts, among the first settlers of Monmouth, and a John Allen. There was also a George Allen named among the first settlers of Newport, R.I., 1638, and also Samuel and Ralph Allen. The George who came to Monmouth is supposed to be George the 2d of Sandwich...The name Ralph Allen occuring at Newport 1638, is also found at Sandwich 1657-9, and it is known that some of his descendants came to New Jersey (GRIF, 1983, 2:545).

      What a disappointment it must have been to free spirits such as the Allens to make the long journey to America in order to enjoy freedom of worship, only to find an equally judgmental and punitive church. And what courage it must have required to continually confront the neighbors and the courts in defense of their beliefs!***

      ("The Ancestry of Dr. J. P. Guilford" - by J. S. Guilford)

      Compiled and edited by Allen Alger, Alger Family Historian - e-mail:

  • Sources 
    1. [S13] Alger files - Web site print-outs, - 31 Jul 2004 - p. 15 (Reliability: 3).

    2. [S69] Ancestry of Dr. J. P. Guilford, Dr. Joan S. Guilford, (Published in 1990 by Sheridan Psychological Services - Orange California), p. 1-6, 12-14 (Reliability: 3).

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