Solomon #1 born 1680 England
.....Solomon #2
..........Solomon #3
...............Solomon #4

Theophilus Allred
by Nancy Judd Martin

Published:  AFO Newsletter Issue #81, Spring 2009
A local genealogist told me 20 years ago when I was looking for others in Randolph County, North Carolina, who were researching Allreds, that she knew of no one at that time as “they” thought it had all been done.  Well, we know that it hasn’t all been done, so we continue to search for new evidence and rethink old conclusions to find those elusive Allred ancestors.  I belong to two Randolph County Allred mystery lines.  DNA shows that one of my Allred ancestors, my gggg-grandfather Isaac Allred (1777-1859), husband of Rachel Trogdon, did have an Allred father, but the name of Isaac’s father is unknown to us.  DNA tests seem to show that my other Allred ancestor, ggg-grandfather John C. Allred (17941873), husband of Eleanor Diffee, did not have an Allred father. Circumstantial evidence points to Catherine Allred who later married Isaac Odell as his mother.

In hopes of connecting these lines to the other Allreds, I am constantly searching for clues and collecting isolated facts that I glean from various sources in hopes they will lead to the identity of Isaac and Catherine’s parents.  Theopolis Allred, one of the Randolph County men whom I have investigated (without success), is a possible father for my Isaac was Theophilus Allred.  To my knowledge there are two, perhaps three, primary documents that prove that Theophilus Allred lived in what is now Randolph County: a petition, an estate inventory, and a tax list.  Theophilus’ name also appears on a 1773 Guilford County petition to move the courthouse closer to the center of the county, and his name is among the approximately 400 persons listed on the inventory of book accounts of Col. John McGee of Guilford County, (now Randolph) who died 13 December 1773.  Theophilus owed 4 pounds, 7 shilling, and 1 pence to the merchant’s estate.  A contributor on US GenWeb shows Theophilus on a 1772 Orange County tax list. The names on the list appear to be Randolph County names.   In 1771 Guilford County, which includes present Randolph County, was formed from Orange County.  A search of the NC Archives has been made, and the tax list showing the possible family of Theophilus Allred of Randolph County, North Carolina has not been found.   From the above documents we can infer that Theophilus was born by 1751.

Theophilus’ wife was Margaret Chaney, the daughter of Francis Chaney and Sarah Orrick.  Jane Kelly Harvey’s History, written in 1897, gives some information on the Chaney family.  She says that Francis’ daughter, Peggy Chaney, married Theopalis Alfred. (Peggy is a nickname for Margaret.)  The original paper was handwritten so perhaps the translator misread Theophilus’ last name, or perhaps memories of his correct name had faded by this time.  Margaret is head of the family in the 1790 and 1800 censuses.  She is over 45 in 1800.  Her brother John Chaney in his pension application states that he was born in 1757, so it is logical to assume that Margaret was born 1750 -1755.  According to John’s pension papers, his father’s Bible was burned in a fire at his sister Margaret Allred’s home.  Perhaps this fire is the one described in an affidavit of Francis Cheaney, Senr before William Richards, JP, that “… a hous or cabben on his Land was set on fire and burnt to Ashes and he has grate reason to believe that Thomas Comor set the fire…”  A capias was issued for Comor 5 Sept. 1785.  I have no information on the resolution of this case.

Theophilus does not appear on the first tax list for Randolph County in 1779.  Was he missed by the tax lister?  Had he left the county?  Was he deceased?  Evidence of his death can be found in a land warrant issued to William Horner on 5 Dec. 1778.   The 300 acres in the warrant were on the west fork of Solomon’s Branch and included Margaret Allred’s improvement.  Horner sold the warrant to the “widow Margaret Allred” on 31 Jan. 1783.  The 1790 Randolph County census shows Margaret Allred with three males in her household, two 16 years of age and older and one under 16.  They are of the right age to be sons of Margaret and Theophilus.  I believe that these sons were named Solomon, Francis and Jonathan.  Jonathan is a proven son of Margaret; in 1801, Francis Chaney deeded 100 acres to his grandson Jonathan, son of daughter Margaret.

The last place we want to find our ancestors is in criminal action papers, but often these records are a good source of family relationships.  This is an example. “Margot Aldred & Solomon Aldred Recognizanc to apear at Randolph court on the second Monday of this instant and to Answer a charge of Simeon Geren conserning clevesses Margot Aldred Bound for her own aperance and her son Solomon in the som of 100 pounds taken and acknowledged Before Me the 14th day of September 1787 Zebedee Wood JP.”  At the September Session 1787 of the Randolph Court, the grand jury presented that there was reason to believe that Mageret Alred spinstress and Solomon Alred laborer stole property of Simeon Geron. (The word “spinster” in early usage could mean widow as well as unmarried woman.)  I do not know how the case was resolved.

Solomon Allred was a chain carrier for land surveys in Randolph County at least seven times between 1796 and 1802.  The 1800 Randolph County census has Francis Allred as the head of a household consisting of himself and one female, both 16 - 25 years of age.  He would be of the right age to be Margaret and Theophilus’ son.  Francis was not a common name in Randolph County, but it was the name of Margaret’s father, and it would have been very likely that she would name a son after her father.  I have found Francis four more times in Randolph County records.  In 1795, Frances Alred stood security for Jesse Stroud on a charge of assaulting Abner York.  Francis Chaney’s land was bounded by Stroud land.  Francis Alred was a chain carrier on 30 Nov. 1799, when a tract of land located at the fork of Deep River and Sandy Creek was surveyed for William Knight.  His name appears on Randolph County tax lists of 1799 and 1803.

Let’s go back to the land warrant that Magaret Allred bought from William Horner. This tract was surveyed for her 26 Nov 1793, and a grant was issued 7 June 1799.  No extant tax lists that I have found have Margaret’s name.  No deeds exist that show Solomon and Francis bought or sold land, but they each appear on the 1799 tax list with 150 acres and one white pole.  Is this just a coincidence, or did Margaret list her 300 acres in her sons’ names?  In 1801, Francis Chaney deeded his daughter Margaret Allred 100 acres for love and goodwill.  The 1803 tax list shows Frances Allred with 150 acres and Solomon with 250 acres.  Another coincidence?  She did not deed the land to them as there are three deeds in which she disposes of the land in 1804 and 1805.

I have found one link of this family to the Solomon Allred family in Richmond County, North Carolina.  But first, a brief refresher. Solomon had originally settled in Randolph County receiving a Granville Grant in 1752, and on 12 August 1771, he sold 400 acres to John Lewis for 125 pounds.  Some time after this he relocated to Anson County (now Richmond) and on 10 Sept. 1774, purchased 100 acres from Stephen Touchstone.  John Allred was a witness to this deed.  The next record that I have found shows Solomon Auldred and John Auldred on a 1779 Montgomery County, North Carolina voters list.  Why are they on a Montgomery voters list? Probably because Richmond and Montgomery were both created from Anson County in 1779, and as Solomon’s land was located close to the county border, there may have been some confusion as to which new county they were now in.

Richmond County estate papers show that Solomon died intestate before 26 Dec. 1782.  Let’s look more closely at the land that Solomon purchased in Anson County (now Richmond) in 1774.  Here’s a description of the tract. “Part of a tract of land granted to the said Stephen Touchstone by his Majesties Letters Patent Bearing date May the 14th day 1771 lying and being in the county aforesaid and on the North East side of Pee Dee River on Mountain Creek Beginning on the second line at a black oak 272 poles from the second corner and runs thence So 40 Wt 126 poles and 12 links to a black oak then So 48 Et 126 poles and 12 links then No 40 Et 126 poles and 12 links then No 48 Wt 126 poles and 12 links to the first station containing one hundred acres….

Now we will examine the possible link between Theophilus and Margaret’s family and the Allreds of Richmond County. In Richmond County Deed Book C, at the top of page 806, we read, “Solomon Alred Jur. to Solomon Alred Sen.”  On 7 Dec. 1797, Sollomon Allred (He’s the junior) of Randolph Co. sold to Solomon Allred of Richmond Co. 100 acres for 30 pounds.  The deed states that this land is part of a tract of land granted to Solomon Allred bearing date 14 May 1797.   This is a mistake made perhaps by the clerk when recording the deed.  Read this description carefully.  The land is “on the North East side of Peedee River on Mountain Creek Beginning on the second line at a black oak 272 (“poles” left out) from the second corner and Then runs thence So 40 Wt 126 poles 12 links to a black oak then So 48 Et 126 poles and 12 links then No 40 Et 126 poles and 12 links then No 48 Wt 126 poles & 12 links to the first station containing 100 acres…” This was signed in the presence of David (his mark) Smith, Francis Allred, Fineha (her mark) Allred, and John Allred. [ I wonder if Fineha is actually Phineus.  I have seen his name spelled in numerous ways, one being Phinehas.]

Obviously the two tracts described above are one and the same although the second deed has misinformation about the acquisition of the tract.  The mystery is why is Solomon Jr. of Randolph the grantor?  The original Solomon died intestate in 1782 so all his children would share equally in his estate.  If Theophilus were a son which has been assumed by earlier researchers, and since Theophilus had died before his father, Theophilus’ sons would inherit his share of Solomon’s estate.  Perhaps Solomon Jr. is selling his family’s undivided share of the tract.  I have seen examples of several heirs, each in separate deeds, selling the exact same land, none saying that the grantor was only selling an undivided share.  But, as we all know, there are always more questions than answers in genealogy, so more thought will have to been given to this.  There are a number of land transactions by the Allred-Chaney family beginning in 1804.  Although Francis Chaney had deeded land to both Jonathan and Margaret in 1801, two new deeds were written (6 May 1804) and registered which give a description of the property which was not done in the previous deeds. Jonathan Allred sold his 100 acres on 16 Oct 1804 to Isaac Julian.  Margaret sold her 100 acres to Joseph Cox on 19 Oct. 1805.

These two tracts were part of a 400 acre 1762 Granville Grant to Francis Chaney.  This land was recorded in a Randolph County deed book which is unusual for a Granville grant.  On 27 Sept 1804, the Chaney family sold another 100 acres of this original tract to Francis Chaney’s son John.  The grantors are Francis Chaney Sr., Francis Chaney Jr., Michael Harvey Sr., Margaret Alred and Margaret Stillwell.  Another mystery. Francis Sr. owned the land so why are the other family members listed as grantors?  One possibility is that perhaps Francis Sr. was old and infirm, and having his other heirs sign was done to protect the grantee should any questions arise later.  Margaret sold her remaining property on 14 June 1805 to Benjamin Hinshaw and on 9 Sept. 1805 to Joseph Cox.  The family probably left North Carolina soon afterwards.  Did the entire family move to Tennessee at this time?  Most of the 1810 Tennessee census is missing, so we have lost that valuable resource.  But the names and ages of these men is consistent with the Allreds that settled in Overton County.  We know that son Jonathan moved to Overton County.  It makes more sense that the Allred men in Tennessee would be descendants of Theophilus Allred and not Theophilus’s brother Solomon.

I would be interested in any documentation or logical arguments that would support or refute my assertions about the family of Theophilus Allred.

Nancy J. Martin