Solomon born 1680 England
.....William #1 c. 1715 - c. 1762
..........William #2 c. 1742 - 1825
...............Sarah c. 1771-c.1801
...............John 1764-1849
....................Elisha Allred 1803-1854
....................Jane Allred Carter abt 1794-1849
....................Sarah Allred Free b 1795-aft1849
...............William #3 1765-1849
...............Elizabeth 1769-1848
...............Nancy c. 1767 - 1827
...............Mary "Polly" 1774-1843
...............Samuel 1777-1848

John Allred 1764 - August 1849

Reports on some of John's children:
Jane Allred Carter

Sarah Allred Free/Feree

Elisha Allred

John's Revolutionary War Pension Application

John's War Stories

1843 Letter written by John's brother, William, tells of John and some of his children.

John was 58 years old when his father, William #2 died.  Per William’s will, dated October 14, 1822, his oldest son, John, received the largest portion of the estate, as was tradition. John received 1/3 of his father’s land plus an additional 30 acres more than his brother, William #3, received. John and his brother, William #3, were also charged with taking care of their mother and making sure that she was provided for. John received the western most portion of the land bordered by the Deep River where he was already living with his wife, Sarah Spencer with whom he had 13 children. John had purchased this land, 5 1/2 acres, on August 15, 1820 from Archibald Ellison for $60.

On April 11, 1846, an elderly John filed his Revolutionary War Pension Application. As part of the application process, the applicant is asked to describe his service during the War and the resulting papers usually give us a wonderful account. However, when asked to tell about his years of service, John replied that he was 82 years old and "from old age and infurmity of body and sence he suffers a loss of memry and he can not state in detail his Revlutionary services as mite be expected or required....". The pension application lists that John entered the service in 1781 as a Private, serving under Captain Thomas Doogan. Their main duty was "puting down Col. Fanning, a tory...". John also said that he gave his discharge papers to his father, but they were "long since mis lade."   A few  stories of John's Revolutionary War service have survived over the generations and are still re-told today.

Within 2 years, John’s mental capacity had failed so much that his son, Elisha, and son-in-law, Solomon Free, petitioned the court to be appointed his guardians, equivalent to today’s Power of Attorney. The court papers, filed November 8, 1848, state that Elisha and Solomon had declared John "non compus mentis" and the Sheriff was ordered to summon 12 jurors to look into the matter. The sheriff acted quickly and court papers dated the next day (November 9, 1848) state that the 12 jurors agreed, John was mentally incapable of handling his affairs and they declared him a "lunatic". The jurors also estimated that John owned land worth about $1,000 and personal property worth about $1,000-1,200. Solomon Free was appointed John’s guardian.

I wondered why John’s son-in-law (Solomon) was appointed guardian instead of his son (Elisha). After careful study, I have decided the court chose Solomon for two reasons:

  1. From land records I learned that Solomon lived in Cedar Falls on land bordering John’s and was within walking distance of John’s home. Elisha lived about 20 miles south, closer to today’s Coleridge.

  2. Although Elisha was literate, he wasn’t very well educated, probably only having received the basic skills from his parents while growing up. Solomon, on the other hand, had been raised in a fairly wealthy and very influential family in Randolph County. The Free/Feree family were well educated and many were mill/factory owners, lawyers, and court officials. Solomon was, most likely, better able to deal with the business affairs than Elisha.

  3. Also, a letter written in 1843 by John's brother William #2, states two of John's sons, John and Claiborne, were not doing well and John was having financial difficulties.  Sounds like John had his hands full, so Solomon Free was a better candidate for guardian.

Elisha, however, was very involved in his father’s care and is listed in most of the court documents filed in 1848 and 1849. This tells us that Solomon was careful to consult Elisha before filing any paper work or selling any of John’s property.

During the Spring term of Court 1849, Solomon filed a court petition asking for permission to sell 30 acres of John’s land to H. B. Elliott, owner of the Cedar Falls Manufacturing Company (CFMC). John’s land bordered the CFMC land on the west side along the Deep River. CFMC needed to build a new grist mill and had decided that a portion of land owned by John would be the perfect spot for it. However, CFMC warned, that if John (or his guardian) refused to sell the land, CFMC would build the grist mill at another spot just below John’s land. The problem was that a dam and grist mill built at the other spot would flood John’s land, destroying it and causing John and his family to have to move. This was a classic "sell the land or we’ll force you out" move by a powerful company trying to force it’s way onto a lone man. Solomon, however, had been spending the last several months straightening out John’s business and personal affairs and knew that John didn’t have enough money or income to pay all his debts. Solomon agreed to sell the 30 acres to Elliott and CFMC, stating that the land was "poor", no good for farming, therefore useless to John and his family, and this would be a good way to raise the necessary money to pay bills with. The price agreed on was $500.

By filing this petition, Solomon was asking the court’s permission to sell the land. Two witnesses (Dr. Lorenzo D. Wood and James Marsh) were called by the court to testify and they agreed, the land was "very thin and much worn and that a support cannot be made" and that "it will in all probability sell for a fair price." On April 10, 1849, Solomon had the 30 acres surveyed per the court’s request. The court agreed to the land sale and on August 10, 1849, Solomon, Elisha, John (Elisha’s brother) and Eli Spoon posted a bond of $2,500 to guarantee that the sale would be fair and the proceeds distributed fairly among the family (after John’s debts were paid). They also agreed to sell the rest of John’s estate at auction as John was no longer able to live there or tend to his property. However, John didn’t live long enough to witness the auction. Sometime between August 10th and August 30th, the date of his estate auction, John died. The auction, now termed a "crying sale" was attended by many members of the family and earned a total of $1,690.98. After paying all John’s debts, a balance of $1,372.43 was left, so Solomon and Elisha divided the remaining money among John’s heirs, giving each of John’s 12 children $114.37 each. They carefully noted that in the case of John’s deceased daughters, Jane Allred Carter and Luvicia Allred Dougan, their children would receive their mother’s share. Interestingly, one of John’s sons, William, was not mentioned in any of the court documents. Some family records show that William died in 1835, but I could find no documentation to prove this. That would explain, however, why he was not mentioned in the court papers.

The children and grandchildren mentioned in the estate records are:

Claiborne Allred
Aley Allred
Lovinia Allred
Alexander Gray and wife Mary
Solomon Free and wife Matilda
Elisha Allred
John Allred
George Russell and wife Rebecca
Sarah Allred Free (widow of William Free)
Jeremiah Elliott and wife Margaret (Peggy)
the children of Jane Allred Carter, deceased (wife of James Carter):
John
Nicholas
Stephen
Hannah
Franklin
Wilshire
Margaret
David
the children of Lovicia Allred Dougan, deceased (wife of William Dougan)
Clark
William

As is true with most families when the time comes to divide money or property, there is always one child who feels he/she didn’t receive their fair share. In this case, it was one of John’s younger daughters, Aley. Aley, who never married or had children, filed suit against her siblings on September 26, 1849 asking for $500 in "damages". For some reason, Aley had not received her share of the money raised from her father’s estate and went to the court for help collecting. The papers filed during the November term 1849 shows that Aley’s brother, Claiborne and sister Lovinia were siding with her in demanding payment of her share. On November 24, 1849, the court agreed and awarded Aley $150 in damages (plus $1.85 in interest) to be paid from John’s estate. Now, remember, after paying John’s debts, Solomon divided the amount of money left from the estate sale and gave each sibling the same amount, $114.37 each. When Aley was awarded $150 (plus interest), more than the rest of her siblings, this meant that each sibling had to pay back some of the money so that Aley could receive the full amount the court awarded - to make up the difference from the $114.37 to the awarded $150 plus interest. They were not happy about this and didn’t rush to pay Aley. Aley was in court again August 26, 1850 trying again to collect the $150 awarded her by the court. This lawsuit seems to have started a family feud that never healed. When Aley died, her will (dated March 21, 1866) names only one sister, Lovinia and one nephew, John Gray. No other family members are mentioned.

Where John and his wife, Sarah Spencer Allred, are buried remains a mystery. Notations in the Feree/Free family and Trogdon family files in the Randolph Room (Asheboro Public Library) and the family history written by John and Sarah's grandson, Brazilla, lead me to believe that John and Sarah are buried in the old Allred-Trogdon cemetery near Cedar Falls. This cemetery, in the early and mid 1800’s, was one of the largest and best kept community cemeteries in the area. John and Sarah’s daughters, Matilda "Matsey" and Sarah, married the Free brothers, Solomon and William, who’s mother was William "Billy" Trogdon’s grand daughter, so John and Sarah had a family connection to the cemetery. Remember, Solomon Free was John’s guardian and estate executor. Also, the cemetery could be seen from John’s land; it was located on top of a small mountain less than 1/4 mile south of John’s home. This makes it the perfect place to bury John and Sarah, right where family members could see their peaceful grave site from John’s home. However, this graveyard was abandoned about 150  years ago.  The ECAFA owns the cemetery now and is working to restore it.

In the mid 1960’s, William Mendenhall placed two grave markers in the cemetery at Grays Chapel Methodist Church in Randolph County. This cemetery, located about 9 miles north of John’s land, is where John’s brother, William and his wife, Patience Julian Allred, are buried. The two markers, one for John and the other for his father, William, were placed beside William and Patience’s graves. Unfortunately, William Mendenhall, a descendant of John, is now deceased, so why he chose to place the markers at this location will remain a mystery. Perhaps Mendenhall, not being able to find the actual graves, chose to place these markers as a memorial to his ancestors.  The marker for John notes that he died in 1850, which per his estate records, is not correct. (John died between August 10 and August 30, 1849.)

March 2002, some descendants found William #2's grave in the Billy Trogdon Cemetery.  Buried beside his is his wife, Elizabeth Diffee.  However, John and Sarah's graves have not been found at this time.

Sources:

John’s estate papers, original documents, are on file in the Research Room of the  NC State Archives in Raleigh  CR.081.801

John’s land records, on microfilm, are also in the NC State Archives and in the Randolph County, NC, Register of Deeds

Free/Feree family file, Randolph Room, Asheboro Public Library

Trogdon family file, Randolph Room, Asheboro Public Library

William Allred #2 will, original document, dated 1822, on file in the Research Room of the NC State Archives CR.081.801.