This Old House #8 ~ The Allen House

Once again I was searching through my family trees and I noticed that there were quite a few photos of the homes that my ancestors had lived in. Some of them were built way back in the early 1600s. They varied in size, style, and construction material. They are all as equally unique as each of my ancestors!

The Allen house was built of heavy hewn logs and was both a fort and a public house. The roof of the building was steep, and shingled with hand-riven shingles. The walls between the rooms were of clay mixed with chopped straw. The walls were whitened with a wash made of powdered clam-shells. The first floor consisted of puncheon floors which were pieces of broad, heavy, roughly dressed timber with one face finished flat.. The well-smoothed timbers were sanded in careful designs with cleanly beach sand.

Edward Allen Jr was my 7th Great Uncle, was born in Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts on May 1, 1663. He moved to Suffield, Connecticut in 1679 with his father and had a grant of 40 acres. Here he married Mercy Painter (1664-1740) on November 24, 1683. In 1686 he was granted 40 acres on the Green River, at Deerfield, Massachusetts, and he moved his growing family here. He built the “Allen House” within the first year. He was a town clerk between 1704 and 1712 and Moderator of the town meetings twice between 1727 and 1731. He was a selectman eight times between 1694 and 1716.

He was active in the defense of Deerfield in King Williams War and Queen Anne’s War. He was in military service in 1709. On April 17, 1707, he proceeded, along with John Sheldon and others to Canada, by order if Governor Dudley, to recover the English captives there. They returned on September 18th with seven redeemed captives, after suffering great dangers and fatigues. Edward died on February 10, 1740, in Deerfield, Massachusetts.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

This Old House # 6 ~ Strother Meeting House

Once again I was searching through my family trees and I noticed that there were quite a few photos of the homes that my ancestors had lived in. Some of them were built way back in the early 1600s. They varied in size, style, and construction material. They are all as equally unique as each of my ancestors! I decided not to limit it to dwelling places, but to also include the occasional “house” of worship.

Strother’s Meeting House, the “cradle of the Methodist Church in the West”, was erected near Cottontown in Sumner County about 1800. The church held the distinction in 1802 of housing the first Middle Tennessee Methodist Conference. At that meeting Bishop Francis Asbury was in charge, and one of the most valuable relics in the church today is the chair in which the bishop presided. Also, there today is one of the rude log benches hewn by a Sumner county pioneer for the Methodist chapel.

The single candle that was the only illumination for the church is on display as well as a circuit rider’s trunk, rusty and worn, bears on it the explanation that “Bishop McKendree used this on his journeys through the undivided bounds of American Methodism. There are many other relics–pictures, Bibles, books and gavels–all telling the story of the early days of a denomination that now has millions on its membership rolls.

It must have been a very impressive meeting there, according to the accounts that have been handed down by several who attended. The membership reported for that year the Cumberland Circuit was 588 white and 39 Negro members. William McKendree, was the presiding elder and John Page and Thomas Wilkerson were the preachers on the circuit.

As Methodism grew in Sumner County the tiny one-room chapel was not large enough so another building was erected and it was dedicated in 1857 as Bethel Church. Prior to this, however, Strother’s Meeting House had been moved from its first location one mile away to Red River Pike.

When the Methodists began using their new church, the old meeting house, then located on the Hassell farm, was used for many years as a corn crib. The church remained as a crib under an eave of the barn on the farm, but one reason for the excellent condition of the logs was the fact that it was thus protected from the weather.

This small log cabin has often been referred to as the “Traveling Church” because it has been dismantled and moved numerous times. The church was finally moved to an honored place on the Scarritt Bennett Campus located in Nashville in 1931.

This Old House # 5 ~ David Tilden

Once again I was searching through my family trees and I noticed that there were quite a few photos of the homes that my ancestors had lived in. Some of them were built way back in the early 1600s. They varied in size, style, and construction material. They are all as equally unique as each of my ancestors!

One of the first English settlers of this area was David Tilden born in Scituate, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, David was one of twelve children born to Stephen Tilden and Hannah Little. David’s grandfather was Nathaniel Tilden who arrived at Plymouth Plantation in February 1634 aboard the Hercules. In 1654 this area had been established as the Ponkapoag Plantation, 6000 acres of land set aside for the Ponkapoag Indians. And it was from the native people that David received his deed of land. The deed gave land ownership of 20 acres to David Tilden, Husbandman, “outdone of the English Tenants of Lessees…” for 5 pounds 15 shillings, “a certain messuage or Tenement with lands thereto belonging”.

A small building was already on the site where David Tilden planned to build his new home. Jabez Searle, who had received a grant from his father Robert in 1710 and lived on the property until at least 1723 had apparently built a small building which most likely is the rear portion of the present day Tilden House. The original portion of the house built by David consists of the two east rooms in the two-story front portion of the house along with the lean-to built by Jabez Searle.

Portions of the homestead were built as early as 1709 and the main structure was largely constructed in 1725. This historic site still stands on the original tract of land deeded to David Tilden by the Ponkapoag Indians. The house resting on a small knoll overlooking the meadows of the Pequit Brook make this view one of the rare untouched and preserved Colonial views in Massachusetts. The view from the door at the Tilden House is almost exactly as David Tilden would have seen it 275 years ago.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

This Old House #4 ~ Captain Robert Cleveland

Once again I was searching through my family trees and I noticed that there were quite a few photos of the homes that my ancestors had lived in. Some of them were built way back in the early 1600s. They varied in size, style, and construction material. They are all as equally unique as each of my ancestors!


Original House

Restored House

Robert Cleveland was born on January 8, 1744, on his fathers Plantation in Orange County, Virginia. He, along with several of his siblings migrated to western North Carolina sometime around 1769 when he was 25 years old. He settled near the Yadkin River on a tract of land that had been granted to him. About 1779, Robert Cleveland built his house on the Parsonville Road in western Wilkes County. Here he farmed and made whiskey. He had 13 children by his first wife, Alice ‘Aley’ Mathis. He died April 26, 1812. Hundreds of descendants have visited the house of their ancestors. For many years the house stood vacant, slowly decaying, a refuge for an occasional stray animal. In 1987, the house was purchased by Old Wilkes, taken apart and brought downtown to Wilkesboro, where the task of reassembling began. The original logs were used with only a few having to be replaced, and the mountain rocks that mad the chimneys were washed, stacked and reused in the two large chimneys and fireplaces. All the original beams are exposed; however, the floors and rafters had to be replaced. The rafters were cut from the Cleveland land and are held together with wooden pegs, which was the way it was originally constructed. It is believed to be the oldest house in Wilkes County.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

This Old House #3 ~ Marshall Anderson Hayes 1848-1885

Once again I was searching through my family trees and I noticed that there were quite a few photos of the homes that my ancestors had lived in. Some of them were built way back in the early 1600s. They varied in size, style, and construction material. They are all as equally unique as each of my ancestors!

Marshall Anderson Hayes, my paternal second cousin, was born in 1848, in Claiborne County, Tennessee. His family moved to Jackson County , Missouri when he was 12 years old. In 1873, he and his new wife moved to Medicine Lodge, Barber County, Kansas. After securing a 160 acre claim by the Medicine Lodge River, he then built this house. This two-story house had 4 bedrooms and an inside kitchen. It was built in anticipation of the newlyweds having a lot of children. They each had come from very large families.

On February 8, 1885, Marshall was coming home from town. He had to cross the Medicine Lodge River and it had been cold and snowing for 2 days. He and his horse began crossing in the lowest point in the river when the horse lost his footing and threw Marshall off his back, into the icy, freezing river. The horse continued back to the homestead, but Marshall’s body wasn’t found for 2 days. He left behind his pregnant wife and 2-year-old son, Sterling. Mary Etta lived in this house until she died in 1910.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

This Old House ~ Edward Morgan 1660-1736

Once again I was searching through my family trees and I noticed that there were quite a few photos of the homes that my ancestors had lived in. Some of them were built way back in the early 1600s. They varied in size, style, and construction material. They are all as equally unique as each of my ancestors!

The land upon which the Morgan Log House stands in Gwynedd, Pennsylvania, was deeded to the Commissioners of William Penn. It was granted as part of a 600 acre patent to a merchant named Griffith Jones on February 12, 1702. Six year later, on February 26, 1708, a Welshman named Edward Morgan, my 8th Great Grandfather, purchased 309 acres of land from Mr. Jones. In this transaction an existing “dwelling house” is recorded. Edward was a tailor by trade and was advanced in age. On August 23, 1723, Edward Morgan deeded 104 acres to his son John Morgan, my 7th Great Grandfather. This 104 acre tract included the land that contained the house.

This 1695 medieval, 2 1/2-story log house, the only one of its kind still surviving in America, was built by grandparents of Daniel Boone, the frontiersman, and forebears of General Daniel Morgan famed Revolutionary War “raider.”

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.