Sunday Salute ~ Colonel Richard Allen ~ Revolutionary War

An image of the american revolution

Richard Allen, my 5th great-grandfather, was born on November 26, 1741, in Baltimore, Maryland. He is the son of John (1717-1767) and Ann (1722-1746), Rhodes Allen. His family moved to Rowan County, North Carolina in 1743 and his mother died there in 1746. By 1759 we find him living in Fredrick County, Virginia. Richard was the youngest of nine children born to John and Ann and the family was considered to be poor. When he and Miss Lindsey fell in love, her father, who was wealthy, opposed the marriage. The young lovers persisted, and he married Nancy Ann Lindsey in 1763 in Virginia, and they had 8 known children, 5 sons, and 3 daughters. After the birth of their first child, Thomas (my 4th great-grandfather) in September of 1770, they again moved, this time back to North Carolina to avoid the ill will of her family.

In the month of October 1775, he entered the service of the Patriots as a volunteer for six months in Capt. Jesse Walton’s Company of minute men. It was the first company ever raised in the county of Wilkes. He was appointed First Sergeant. Immediately after the company was raised and organized they marched to Salisbury, where they remained about sixteen days engaged in training and exercising the men, after which they were discharged and returned home, where they arrived a few days before Christmas.

On the 13th day of February 1776, they set out upon their march forPatriot pic Cross Creek because they had heard that the Scotch Tories were committing great devastation in the country there. On their way, they were joined by Col. Martin Armstrong with the Surry militia at a place called old Richmond. After joining Col. Armstrong they continued their march until they reached Randolph County, where they were joined by Col. Alexander Martin of the Continental line with a small body of troops under his command. They engaged the Tories that were in this area.

Not long after the expiration of his first term Richard was chosen an ensign in the company of militia commanded by Capt. Benjamin Cleveland and they received orders from Col. Armstrong to go against the Indians who were committing acts of destruction upon the frontier of the Western part of North Carolina. In this expedition, they served about two weeks scouring the frontier settlements for any problems.

Benjamin Cleveland StatueEarly in the year 1778, Captain Benjamin Cleveland was appointed a Lieutenant Colonel and Richard was appointed to succeed him as Captain of the company which commission he held until the close of the war. In the latter part of the year 1779, a call was made for troops to march to the defense of Charleston. A draft was made from the militia in Wilkes for the company and a draft also made from the Captains of Companies for a Captain to command that company. The lot fell upon Richard, and he rendezvoused with the company on January 13, 1780. As soon as they could organize and make the necessary preparations they marched directly to Charleston, S. C., where they joined the third regiment of North Carolina militia, commanded by Col. Andrew Hampton.

Newspaper Richard's PlaceGen. Lincoln ordered all the troops into the city where they remained until the term of service of Richard and his men expired. They were then discharged and returned home, Richard arrived home sometime in the month of April 1780. In the month of September 1780, information was received by Col. Benjamin Cleveland that Major Ferguson of the British army was advancing from South Carolina with a large body of British and Tories, upon which Col. Cleveland immediately issued orders for all the Troops within the County of Wilkes to rendezvous at the Court House. Richard along with what men he could gather together immediately set out on their march to join the fight. At this time he was promoted to Colonel. They continued their march as quickly as possible in the direction of King’s mountain but was not able to reach it in time to engage in the battle. After this, Richard and his men again returned home to Rowan (now called Wilkes), County.

Richard Allen hsIn 1778, Richard was a member of the Constitutional Convention in Hillsborough, North Carolina. Richard was also appointed the First Sheriff of Wilkes County after the end of the War. In 1785 he served as a justice in the county. In 1793, he was a Representative in the General Assembly as well as serving a term in the House of Commons. Beginning in 1798 through 1804, Richard was once again made Sheriff of Wilkes County. He then served as the clerk for the Baptist Association until his death on October 10, 1832, in Edwards Township, Wilkes Co, North Carolina at the age of 90.


I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on 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.

Hometown Tuesday ~ The Cherokee Land Run of 1893

hometown tuesdayWilliam Henry Hamilton Hayes, my 2nd cousin 4x removed, was born on February 2, 1846, in Claiborne County, Tennessee. His family moved to Pleasant Hill, Missouri in 1853. There he married Sarah Cornelia Hayes, his first cousin, on August 8, 1878. They had 14 William Hamilton Hayes & Sarah Cornelia Hayes pcchildren, 12 of whom lived past adulthood. In 1883, he moved his growing family to Medicine Lodge, Barber County, Kansas. Here he built a large house for his family to live in and he farmed the land.

Land run photoIn August of 1893, “Ham” as he was called, learned that the government was going to open up land in Oklahoma to new settlers. There were 8,144,682.91 acres available of homesteading land that has been purchased from the Cherokee Nation. In order to obtain this land, you had to participate in a Land Run. Potential homesteaders gathered on the edges of the large landmass and once given a signal they had to drive their wagon or ride a horse and pick up a flagLast land rush 1893 marking the section of land they were to live on. The run began on September 16, 1893. It was a wild and dangerous event but somehow Ham got his own piece of the land. It was near present-day Richmond, Oklahoma. In his obituary it gives this description:

Here he resided, enduring the trials and hardships which characterized the settlement of a new country, helping to make of it a suitable habitation and giving his family the best it was possible to have in a new place. His efforts were crowded with success and he lived to see the day when the land brought forth in abundance. Schools were established and modern conveniences enjoyed.”

In 1910, Ham once again moved his family. This time to Woodward, Oklahoma. He found work as a janitor at the local Court House. He worked there for 6 years until February 8, 1916, when he became ill and the County Commissioner gave him a 10 day leave to get better. He went home hoping to feel better and return to work, but that was not to be. On Thursday, February 10, 1916, he passed away at his home. On the following Saturday, his funeral service was held at the local Christian Church and it was filled to overflowing with those who wanted to honor and pay tribute to this good man.

Hayes Family Early Settlers newspaper article William Henry Hamilton Hayes FamilyI know this blog has strayed from my usual Hometown Tuesday format. I just discovered this story about my cousin and wanted to share it. He lived in 5 very beautiful places and picking just one was too hard. Plus, the excitement of having someone related to me who participated in the Land Run, was too good to pass up. Over the years he moved over 1153 miles from Tennessee to Oklahoma. I guess he could have been called a ramblin’ man!




I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on 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.

Freaky Friday ~ “We Were Cherokee”

ff imageGrowing up I was always told that we were part Native American. On my mothers’ side, I was supposedly Creek and on my dads’ side, I was supposedly Osage, Cheyenne, and Cherokee. For my mothers’ side, I can find no proof of being Creek. My Great Grandfather was our link to this bloodline, but unfortunately, he is also one of my solid brick walls, and the few documents I do have give absolutely no indication that he was. All of the “proof” we had were the far fetched stories my mother told us.

Now, on my dad’s side, there is no proof whatsoever that we have a drop of Native can you prove it questionblood in us. However, every cousin I have ever talked to or corresponded with swears we are Cherokee. So, for over 20 years I have searched the archives for any proof. When genealogy made it easier to find documents etc, I spent a multitude of hours researching. Still nothing. I had one cousin tell me that I apparently am not smart enough to figure out that we are Cherokee. I just laughed. I guess he didn’t realize that the fact that most people in our family have high cheekbones is not proof enough to claim we are.

A few months ago, I decided to revisit the rumors of our Native Heritage. I started with my oldest Hughes ancestor and began to slowly go over all of my documents and notes. I spent a couple of days making my way forward hoping to find one little hint. I took a break and called one of my two living first cousins to try to get more information about why the family believed the story. He told me that my Grandmother Hughes had told him when he was a young boy that we were Cherokee and that it came from our Hayes side a couple of generations back from her. He is the only living cousin who met our Grandmother, so who was I to doubt it?

George W Hayes Finished pic 2I returned to the search determined to find something. I abandoned my search of the Hughes’ and switched to the Hayes’. I was determined to find a link to our story. It didn’t take long. My 2x Great Grandfather, George W. Hayes (1817-1898) was where I found my answer. He was a wealthy man and during the Civil War, he provided aid by way of finances and supplies to the Confederate Army in North Carolina. In Burke County, North Carolina they had a unit called “Company A the Cherokee Rangers”. Although George never joined the army nor fought in any battles he was made an honorary Captain in the unit.

I can see how the “story” may have gotten started. He or his wife could have told a telephone-gamechild or grandchild that he had been in the Cherokee Rangers and just like the “game of telephone” each time the story is passed to another person part of it is changed. So, I can see why we came to believe that we were Cherokee. This whole concept is kind of Freaky because it makes one wonder what other family stories have been changed this drastically?


I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on 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.

Thursday at the Cemetery ~ Elizabeth Chestnutt ~ Antioch Cemetery, Ray Co., Missouri

pic TATCOnce again, we are looking at the heartbreaking results of a cemetery that has been neglected. This one is the Antioch Cemetery 3 miles north of  Millville, Ray County, Missouri. It is also known as Wild Church Cemetery. It was founded in 1845 and it has 136 marked graves.

Elizabeth Chestnutt my 3x Great Grandmother, daughter of Samuel Chestnut and Rachel Antioch CemeteryGumm, was born on October 1, 1808, in Kentucky. There is not a lot of information about her.  I do know that she married her first husband, Felix Wild who was born in South Carolina on July 7th, 1798. At some point, he moved to Kentucky and met then married Elizabeth on April 24, 1826, in Clay County, Kentucky. She was 17 years old and he was 27. They soon moved to Grape Grove, Ray CO. Missouri where Felix bought 120 acres of land. Their only son, Samuel was born on April 22, 1827. Felix died on May 14, 1837.

Elizabeth then married Henry Marsh in 1938. He was born in Canada in 1780. They had a daughter, Elizabeth born on December 31, 1841. Henry died in 1850.

Elizabeth Chestnutt HS Antioch Cemetery Millville Ray Co MOLast but not least Elizabeth married Henry Wild born April 30, 1797, in North Carolina. He was the younger brother of her first husband Felix. He had been newly widowed in August 1854. He and Elizabeth were married on October 22, 1854, in Grape Grove. He died on September 8, 1862.

Elizabeth outlived all three of her husbands. She died in November 1868 at the age of 60. Elizabeth, her first husband Felix and their son Samuel are buried here.



I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on 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.



Saturday’s Dilemma ~ Should a Christian do Genealogy?

Family_TreeA few years ago, a Pastor friend of ours told me I shouldn’t be working on my genealogy because the Bible speaks against it. He quoted a few scriptures that “proved” his statement. At this point in my life, I had been a Christian for 42 years and I had been a Genealogist for over 20 years. I never felt the two were in conflict with each other. Even so, his words bothered me.

I went home and got out my Bible and sure enough, that is basically what those scriptures stated. They inferred that taking on Genealogy endeavors were “unprofitable and vain”. Being a researcher at heart and having been misguided by others in the past because they pulled one verse out of an entire book in the Bible to prove their point, I did my own research on what those scriptures meant.

Here is what I discovered. Throughout the Old Testament being able to “prove” your lineage is what gave you a position in society and/or in the Temple. If you were from, let’s say, the line of Aaron who was the high priest of the wilderness tabernacle, then each high priest that came after him had to be from his line. This line assured their importance and position. Fast forward to the New Testament. Things had not changed. Each group of people fits into society according to their lineage. When Jesus began His ministry, He did not follow the “rules”.  He called some fishermen, a tax collector, a doctor, a zealot, and several tradesmen to be His disciples.


When the 2 verses (see verse references below) that had been quoted to me made the statement about “vain genealogies” it was referring to those who use their ancestors to put themself above others or who believes this makes them better than others. The bottom line is…..God created us all and we are equally valuable. I can comfortably reconcile my love of genealogy with my faith in Jesus!

SIDE NOTE: I have found through my research that there is a rich Religious Heritage that has been passed down through the generations to me. This comes from many different faiths and beliefs and I am thankful for this foundation.


Scriptures: 1 Timothy 1:4; Titus 3:9


cropped-blog-pic.jpgI am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on 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.