Solomon born 1680 England
.....unnamed daughter and Samuel Finley
..........John #1 died 1792
...............John #2


Samuel Finley was the Father of John Allred
by: Linda Allred Cooper

Time Line of Samuel Finley Estate

Our AFO DNA Project Manager, John Allred, wrote two compelling articles published in newsletter #88 and newsletter #104 that will help you understand how DNA helped confirm who John Allred's parents were.   DNA results proved a growing group of Allreds, who traced their roots back to Randolph County, NC, had Y Chromosome DNA that matched each other but did not match the majority of Allreds. What does this mean?

As you know, land and court records proved John Allred, Thomas Allred, 2 men named Solomon Allred (one older, one younger) and 2 men named William Allred (one older, one younger) arrived in North Carolina in the mid 1700’s. Everyone thought these men were related. At one time everyone thought they were brothers but additional information proved they were a combination of uncles, cousins and brothers.

When we first started the DNA project, we were amazed and puzzled by a group of Allreds who traced their roots back to Randolph County, NC yet their DNA did not match the majority of Allreds. (See the Beige Group on our DNA Graph.)  We knew we had a mystery on our hands. Was there an illegitimate Allred hiding in our family tree that all of these participants descended from? My father (Jack Allred) took the test and his DNA matched this growing group of mystery Allreds!! What??? I lived near the original family land that dated back to the 1700’s. I had done the documentation. How could his DNA not match the Allreds, but instead, matched this growing group of Mystery Allreds?

Y Chromosome DNA tests only looks for male paternity. In other words, it will prove lineage only for a male, his father, his father, his father, his father and so on. It does not cross gender lines. Descendants of those “original” Allreds, of Thomas (died 1810), Solomon (died 1782) and William (died 1825) took the DNA test and matched each other proving they were related and shared a common male ancestor.

Finding a male descendant of John Allred (died 1792) proved harder as his branch of the family seemed to be blessed with girls. We finally found a male descendant of John and convinced him to take the DNA Y Chromosome test. We were shocked to learn his results showed John was not related to the rest of those Allred men who arrived in North Carolina in the mid 1700’s. Instead, he was related to a growing group of Allreds who shared his Y Chromosome results and, therefore, shared a common ancestor.

How could this be? Was John our mystery illegitimate baby hiding in the family tree? The answer is Yes.

I don’t remember who first found the Chester County, Pennsylvania Orphan’s Court records. I think it was Dawnell Griffin so I’ll give her credit. I know she guided me to study this record and to search for more information. This court proceeding was instituted by Joseph Chapline in an Orphan’s Court held in Chester County, Pennsylvania on 30 May 1738. In this proceeding, Chapline set forth a petition to the court which was worded as follows (transcribed below as written):

"JOHN ALDRED having petitioned the Court Setting forth that being a minor and a Considerable Estate being left him by SAM'L FFINLEY which if not timely taken care of may Suffer very much and therefore prays to be Admitted to Chuse his Guardian which is allowed of and the minor Nominating JOSEPH CHAPLAIN of Prince George’s in the province of Maryland who is hereby Admitted to prosecute & defend all Suits pleas and actions for and in the acct of the S'd Minor as the Law directs."

Who was Samuel Finley and why did he leave his entire estate to an orphan named John Aldred? Samuel Finley was unmarried and had no children. What was his relationship to this orphan? Further research uncovered Samuel Finley’s original nuncupative (oral) will. Filed February 2, 1737 (Maryland Will Book DD1 21: 846):

Henry Enoch & Joseph Metcalf of Prince Georges County Planters being duly Sworn severlly depose & Swear tht they were at the late Dwelling house of Samuel Finnly late of the said County Merchant Dec'ed on the Sixteenth day of October last past & that the said Finnly then lay sick in bed & desired this Deponent Henry to mind what he the said Finnly was then going to say And afterwards said Henry afsd I leave all I have to Johny Aldridge or words to that effect Which words the Dep. Joseph heard the said Finnly speak. That there was no other present when the said Finnly spoke the said words but these Deponents And that he the said Finnly died of that sickness with four or five days after speaking the said words And that the best of their judgement & Apprehension the said Finnly at the time of speaking the said words was perfectly in his Senses. Sworn to Feb 2 1737 [1737/8] before me D Dulany Commsr. Signed Henry Enoch, Joseph Metcalf (his mark)

The above deposition was taken at the Instance of Joseph Chaplin to avail as much as in law & Justice it might, which to that end I hereby order to be Entered in the Proceedings of the Perogative office

So Samuel Finley, while on his death bed, told his friends Henry Enoch and Joseph Metcalf, that he wanted to leave everything he owned to “Johny Aldridge”. Although he was sick and dying, his friends testified that he “was perfectly in his Senses” and “The above deposition was taken at the Instance of Joseph Chaplin to avail as much as in law & Justice it might.” This was the same Joseph Chapline who acted as guardian/administrator for John Aldred in the Orphans Court proceeding held in Chester County, PA.

During Colonial times, there were laws protecting minors (children under age 21) and orphans (no living parents), especially when an estate was involved. The Library of Virginia (Virginia State Archives) gives us a simple explanation of these laws:

“The protection of inherited property (both real and personal) was an important reason for the creation of court records. When minor children survived a parent, a guardian was often appointed to protect the estate for the children.

A guardian was appointed by the court only if there was an estate to protect. At age thirteen, a child was eligible to go into court and choose his own guardian. Poor orphaned children did not have guardians and were bound out to learn a trade.” (Library of Virginia

By this we now know John Aldred was a true orphan and both of his parents were dead when he appeared in the 1738 Orphans Court in Chester County, PA. He was at least 13 years old in 1738 because he petitioned the court to appoint Joseph Chapline to be the guardian/administrator of the inheritance/estate left to him by Samuel Finley. One year earlier, in 1737, Joseph Chapline appeared in Prince Georges County, Maryland Court to make sure the oral will of Samuel Finley was made official, testified to and recorded. This will stated all of Samuel Finley’s estate was to be inherited by Johny Aldridge. Thus we know John Aldred and Johny Aldridge were the same person and he lived in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Samuel Finley’s oral will was filed in Prince George’s County, Maryland so we know that is where he died. What we don’t know at this point is why would Samuel Finley leave his entire estate to this child?

Colonial America followed the English Inheritance Laws (Primogenture) in which the first born son always inherited all his father’s estate. The widow and other children were at the mercy of this law and that first born son. If there was no son, the court would follow the Law of Primogenture and the first born son of the previous generation would inherit – they would look for the oldest living brother of the person who had just died. In Samuel Finley’s case, he had a brother named Robert Finley.

On October 29, 1737 Robert filed a bond as administrator of Samuel's estate in Pennsylvania Chester County (Pennsylvania Archives, Probate File 614). As his brother, by law Robert was entitled to inherit Samuel’s estate no matter what Samuel’s will stated. Yet, the Court ruled that John Aldred was to inherit the estate. The only way the Court could legally ensure John Aldred inherited Finley’s estate is if it was proven he was Finley’s son. Although a court document does not exist that definitively states Finley was John Aldred’s father, by law this was the only way he could have inherited the estate.

While all of these questions and documents found were being studied and analyzed, DNA Project Manager, John Allred’s, research and comparison proved John Allred and the mystery Allred group’s DNA matches Finley. Finally, we have an answer to our DNA mystery! No wonder the Y Chromosome DNA results for John Allred (who died 1792 Randolph County, NC) did not match the other Allreds. He was not related via the male line. His father was not an Allred. Instead, his father was Samuel Finley.