Solomon born 1680 England
.....William #1 c. 1715 - c. 1762
..........William #2 c. 1742 - 1825
...............Sarah c. 1771-c.1801
....................Elisha Allred 1803-1854
....................Jane Allred Carter abt 1794-1849
....................Sarah Allred Free b 1795-aft1849
...............William #3 1765-1849
...............Nancy c. 1767 - 1827
...............Mary "Polly" 1774-1843
Was Elizabeth Diffee the only wife of William Allred?
Yes, Elizabeth Diffee was William’s wife and is buried next to him in the Allred – Trogdon Cemetery near Cedar Falls, NC. But, was she his only wife? Did she have an illegitimate child before marrying William? Her will, estate records and the Bastardy Bond all give us many questions but few answers.
First: Carefully study Elizabeth and William’s Wills. In the wills, heirs/children are named:
"my wife Elizabeth"
"two sons William and John"
William Allred Sr.
Thomas Allred son of Eli Allred
Note William names only some of his children: John, William, Elizabeth and Nancy. Why didn’t he name all of them? Was it because he had already given land or money to the others? Or was it because they were the children of his first marriage – and he knew his second wife, Elizabeth Diffee Allred, would provide for the children of his second marriage – the children not mentioned in his will?
Note, Elizabeth names two additional children in her Will: Samuel and Sarah. She and William both named Elizabeth and William. But, why didn’t Elizabeth name John? Why didn’t William name Samuel and Sarah? Was John already grown and living on his own by the time William married Elizabeth? Is that why Elizabeth didn’t name him in her Will? Did she name William and Elizabeth because she helped raise these two children of her husband’s first marriage?
It seems very odd that Elizabeth only named some of William’s children and not all of them. Instead she chose to leave some of her estate to John Diffee and Elizabeth Laughlin who we believe were her niece and nephew, and specifically states that the “balance of my Estate be sold and an Equal Division made Between my living brother and Sisters”. This is very unusual for a woman with living children – why leave some of them out of your Will? Unless, of course, they weren’t really your biological children.?.
Here’s another mystery for you to think about. Note that in his Will, William clearly states “my two sons William and John”, “my daughter Nancey” and “my daughter Elizabeth”. There is no doubt that these are his children. But, study Elizabeth’s Will. She names Sarah, Samuel, William and Elizabeth, but never states “my son” or “my daughter”. There is no clear statement that these were her children. We assume they were her children because they are named in the Will – but were they? Traditionally, the parent states “my child” or “my son” or “my daughter” leaving no doubt as to the relationship. Why didn’t Elizabeth do this? Is it possible she wasn’t the biological parent of any of these children? Could she have simply been a step-mother? A second or maybe even third wife?
Finally, note William’s will states “I also give to my wife Elizabeth her and her heirs for ever all the property she brought with her at her marriage”. Archivists, historians and genealogists agree, this usually indicates a second marriage and the wife brought property with her, inherited from her first husband, when she remarried.
Yes, we know Elizabeth was William’s wife and is buried next to him. But, was she his only wife? Or do their Wills give us clues that there were more than one wife?