I wouldn’t call this is my “favorite” female Ancestor but she certainly is one of the most interesting ones. She led a fascinating life, especially for a woman living in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Permelia is my Maternal 4th Great Grandmother.
Permelia was born in 1774 in Wilkes, North Carolina, the youngest of 14 children. She married Thomas J. Allen on October 1, 1796, at the age of 19. After her husband served in the War of 1812 they moved their family of 10 children to what is now Cole County Missouri Territory. At this time it was a wild, untamed place. By 1819 they had acquired 620 acres of land and began to farm.
Upon her husband’s death in 1843 Permelia became the sole heir of all his properties and possessions. Once the will was finalized some 4 years later, Permelia sold all the land and with 8 of her children and their families and other related families moved from Missouri to what is called “Peters Colony” in Tarrant County Texas. According to the History of Tarrant County “The group of settlers from Missouri was led by a widow Permelia Allen”. Permelia was 73 years old at this time. She was a woman of great strength, resolve, and courage.
She received 640 acres of Peters Colony land and settled near what’s now Roanoke and Keller. Permelia Allen is one of only a few women shown on Tarrant County tax assessment lists in the 1850s. In a letter written by a Grandson of Permelia he described the land this way “Here we found the country which had been most wonderfully blessed by the great Architect of Nature, a soil as rich as the craving of man could wish for, and timber, water, and grass in an abundance, and sufficient evidence of the sunshine and the showers, besides the woodlands were lined with wild deer and turkey, and fine herds of antelope on the prairies the year round, the buffalo was there during the winter season. The only serious question was where our bread would come from until virgin soil could be prepared and made to supply our wants. Here was the most wonderful and beautiful sight our eyes had ever be held. Here we could view the beauties and grandeur of nature before they were be spoiled by the woodman’s ax or the surface of the earth was furrowed by the plow or by the surging of waters.”
She was instrumental in the building of the Mount Gilead Baptist Church. The church built its first place of worship in March or April of 1851. There were eight charter members listed: John A. Freeman, Daniel Barcroft, Ireneus Neace and wife, Lucinda Allen Neace, PERMELIA ALLEN, Abby Dunham, and two slaves, Ambrose and Caroline Collard. The first deacons were Brother John A. Freeman, and Brother Daniel Barcroft, the former was the first pastor of the church. He served until March 1857 when he moved to California.
This remarkable woman witnessed the Revolutionary War and the Civil War “she saw the depredations upon her people by Tarleton and his men…One of her uncle’s, named Sisk, was killed at the battle of King’s Mountain. Another uncle, Col. Lindsey, had one of his hands cut off in a fight with Tarleton’s troops. She saw the republic of America firmly established, and lived to see the same country convulsed with one of the greatest civil wars of modern times, and she died in 1866 at the ripe age of 92 years”. She moved not once but twice to unsettled territories and built a home and life there. She raised 10 children and watched over her family with love.