My Allred Family History

by Lenora Sue Allred Martinez
Lineage:  Lenora, Louis, Wiley, James, Ephraim, Lemuel, Thomas, Solomon, Solomon born 1680 Lancashire, England

My brother, Richard Lee Allred, joined the Allred DNA Project and received his results in February 2009. The DNA test is for males only (Y-Chromosome test) thus I couldn’t participate so he did it for me. The results confirmed my research and proved that we descend from the North Carolina Allreds.

My research had documented our lineage back to the man most folks call Thomas Jr. (1771-1858). Although most family trees list Thomas Jr. as the son of Thomas Allred (died 1810 Randolph County, North Carolina), current research shows he more likely was the son of Solomon Allred who was most likely the son of the Solomon Allred who was born 1680 in Eccles Parish, Lancashire, England. Research on this is ongoing.

The man known as Thomas Jr. never actually used the “Jr” on any of the land, court or other documents he left behind. I don’t know where the “Jr” came from or who started using it as part of his name. Possibly it originated in the book, The Allred Family in America, by Dr. Rulon C. Allred, but that is just a guess. Unfortunately, Dr. Allred is no longer with us and the notes compiled during his research are gone so there is no way to know why he used “Jr” or if that is where the “Jr” originated. It remains a mystery.

Thomas “Jr” is buried at Glenwood Cemetery, Knox County, Tennessee, next to his daughter Sylvania Allred Wood (1819-1885), her husband Alfred Wood (1813-1882) and their son John Wood (1856-1874). Land, court and family records show Thomas traveled back and forth from Tennessee to Blount County, Alabama, where most of his family lived. The majority of Alabama Allreds living today can trace their lineage back to Thomas “Jr.”

Thomas “Jr’s son, Lemuel Allred (1795-1850) married Sarah (last name unknown) and raised 12 children mostly in Alabama. Their second child, Ephraim, was born 1818 in Knox County, Tennessee, per the book “The Family of Thomas Allred, Jr.” by Dewel Coleman Lott. However, Mr.Lott notes (page 1) that Lemuel and his older sister Mary “Polly” may have actually been the children of Thomas Jr instead of his grandchildren. There is no explanation listed of why Mr. Lott theorized this.

Ephraim Allred married Elizabeth “Betsy” Calvert on October 5, 1836, in Blount County, Alabama. Per the 1850 Federal Census, Ephraim, Elizabeth and their four children (Nathan, 13; Hannah, 11; James, 9; and William, 8) were living in Princeton Township, Dallas County, Arkansas.   Many family trees list Ephraim as dying during the Civil War. However, he would have been 43 years old at the start of the War (1861), too old to serve but could have still been a casualty. No documentation was found to prove Ephraim’s service or war death.

Wiley and Martha Jane Vickers Allred Ephraim’s son, James Allred (born 1841), married Elizabeth White in Arkansas. Elizabeth died about 1879 and James’ second wife was Missouri Horner. Missouri (born 1848) was Ephraim’s distant Allred cousin (John C., Russell W., John Sr., Elizabeth, John). This was very interesting how cousins found each other four generations and many states away from their original roots in North Carolina. (I wonder if they knew they were cousins?)  James and his first wife, Elizabeth, gave birth to son Wiley Allred in July 1866. Wiley married Martha Jane Vickers on October 16, 1892, in Blytheville, Mississippi County, Arkansas. Wiley died in 1918 and was buried with his wife, Martha Jane Vickers (who had died 1917) in North Sawba Cemetery in Blytheville. There may be as many as 5,000 persons buried in North Sawba Cemetery, however, there are no available records for this cemetery before 1920.

On the 17th day of April 1942, the War Department authorized the U.S. Army to acquire 2,670 acres of land, including North Sawba Cemetery to establish a twin engine flying field on the Gosnell site. The land where Wiley and Elizabeth were buried is now located under the landing strip of the Blytheville Air Force Base.  In 1955 North Sawba Cemetery once again returned to government jurisdiction with the activation of Blytheville Air Force Base, later renamed Eaker Air Force Base, until base closure December 1992. Although army records show some graves and markers were moved by the Air Force in 1942, most remained and were covered over by the military. 

Wiley and Martha Jane’s son, Louis, was born February 3, 1898. Louis married Sula Mae Burfield on December 23, 1927. They became the parents of 11 children.  Louis, along with his brothers James Henry and Bethel, farmed a 40 tract of land located near Osceola, Arkansas. They grew cotton, soy beans, corn and had a pecan grove.  Louis moved his family to Michigan in the 1950s when daughter Lenora Sue (me) was 10 years old. I married Emilio Martinez of Puerto Rico and together we raised four children. We now reside in Carrollton, Texas