Disclaimer: Around 30 years ago, while I was doing research in the Randolph Room, Randolph County's Genealogy Library, someone came up to me and handed me copies of the letters mentioned in this report. Sadly, I did not write down her name (or I've lost those notes) and the copies are not high quality so what you see is as good as it gets. I had just started learning how to do research and wasn't educated on what questions to ask and how to preserve evidence. Thankfully, I sent copies to Dawnell who transcribed and studied them, helping her figure out the family relationships spelled out in this report. IF YOU KNOW who the woman was who gave me the letter copies, please contact me!! I would dearly love to get better copies and a history of how they were handed down through the years. Linda Allred Cooper
Solomon and Mary Aldridge Allred
Lineage: Solomon, Solomon, Solomon born 1680 Lancashire, England
by Dawnell H. Griffin
Written Spring 2014
(July 10, 2021: New Research Report Coming Soon! Stay Tuned!!!)
In the summer of 2011, Linda Allred Cooper wrote an excellent article for the Allred Family Newsletter which she titled Who was Thomas, Jr.? (AFO 87, pages 4-5) Through the years, there have also been several editions of the newsletter that have listed some of the records that are available in North Carolina and Tennessee. It is not my intention to reiterate the information included in these articles, but encourage readers to study what has already been printed. I do hope to be able to add some additional insights as to what we already know.
Anyone who has ever done serious research into our origins in North Carolina knows that it is impossible to search for the Allred family without looking at the records pertaining to neighbors and family connections. Sometimes it seems like these ‘relations’ just go round and round and in fact some of them do with so many connections that it makes your head swim. With on-line resources, however, it is able to make better sense of some of this information than we have ever been able to do in the past and for that, I am grateful.
Solomon Allred, son of Solomon and Mary Hayes Allred, was born about 1775 in North Carolina, his age being approximated by referring to the 1850 census. I believe he was the youngest child in the family. Even though it is not known exactly where in North Carolina he was born it is likely that his birthplace was either in Randolph County or in Richmond County. His father died intestate in Richmond County in 1782 when Solomon was about seven years old. His mother would outlive his father by 49 years, passing away when she was approximately 94 years of age, having never remarried.
An inventory of Solomon Allred’s estate was taken on the 20th of December 1782 in Richmond County. In 1783, there was an estate sale held in January, again indicating that Solomon passed away some time in the later part of 1782. Present at the estate sale were Mary Allred, Solomon Allred, Solomon Gross, Edward Williams, Jonathan Harvey and Ezra Bostick. Since Solomon, our subject, would have been about 8 years of age, it is not likely that he is the same Solomon Allred who was present at the estate sale. Someone asked me one time why, if Thomas Allred was the son of Solomon Allred, did he not name one of his sons ‘Solomon.’ I think he probably did, but research is continuing.
In March, Benjamin Beard, Esquire and administrator of the estate of Solomon Alred made a return of the sale upon oath in the amount of seventeen pounds, eight shilling and six pence. In the court records of Randolph County, North Carolina of 1787 there appears a document stating that Solomon Allred, Jr., a labor’r and Margaret Allred, a spinster, stole from Simon Guren and that Solomon and Margaret were not from Randolph County. Again, this may very well be the same Solomon Allred who was at the estate sale in 1783, but is not likely to be Solomon Allred, son of Solomon and Mary Hays Allred as he was by then but 11 years old.
By 1789, the court ordered that the county sheriff, summon Benjamin Sumas [Dumas], Sr. and Benjamin Sumas [Dumas], Jr, John Crouch, William Pankey, Joseph Gadd, Jr., John Howard, Nicholas Stone, Richard Ussery, Solomon Alred, Jonathan Alred, John Spurling, John Burt, Solomon Phillips, Silvester Chun, George Webb Sr., William Webb, Henry Adcock, Samuel Covington, Jacob Mangrum et. al., to attend the next court and ‘make a return thereof.’ The case involved Martha Hicks versus Charles Madlock. Ezra and James Bostick served on the jury. These were neighbors and people who would have been acquainted with the Allred family. Benjamin Franklin Dumas, born in 1783 in Richmond County would later marry Martha Ussery. John Crouch who lived in Richmond County was born in 1744. John Howard was born in 1756. William Auzy Pankey was born about 1753 in Richmond County, married to Elizabeth Chishom. Joseph Gadd, born in 1742, lived in Richmond County, North Carolina in 1786. Nicholas Christopher Stone born 1760 in Richmond County, married Susannah Williams. They left and went to Canada where he died in the 1830s.
Thomas Richard Ussery born 1740 in Virginia, married to Sarah, died 10 June 1811 in Montgomery County. He lived for a time in Richmond County, North Carolina. John Spurlin[g] born 1750 in Virginia, died about 1822 in North Carolina. He moved to Richmond County in 1786 where he bought 530 acres along Mountain Creek. Sylvester Chunn was born in 1754 in Maryland and died in 1841 in Tennessee. In 1790 he was living in Richmond County, North Carolina, married to Obedience Anne Turpin. Solomon Phillips born 1743 in Edgecombe, North Carolina, resided in Richmond, North Carolina in 1784. William Webb born about 1745 in Richmond County, resided in Richmond in 1795. He died in 1827 in Madison County, Tennessee. Henry Adcock born in Maryland, died in Anson County, North Carolina. He was born about 1750. Samuel Covington was born 1760 in Richmond, North Carolina. Jacob Mangrum married Esther Swinney in about 1784 in Richmond, NC. He was born about 1757.
Jonathan Allred, son of Solomon and Mary Hayes was born the 5th of April 1758 in Randolph County, North Carolina. At some point, he moved with his family to Richmond County where he was married to Margaret Burt about 1779. The John Burt mentioned in the above court record was born about 1760 in Richmond County, the son of William and Isabella McDaniel Burt and a brother in-law to Jonathan Allred. John Burt was married to Elizabeth Bostick in 1783. She was the daughter of John Bostick and his wife, Elizabeth Key, both of Queen Anne’s County, Maryland. Elizabeth’s brother was Ezra Bostick and their grandparents were Thomas and Tamera Tanner Bostick.
Also listed in the court record was James Bostick born about 1750 in Maryland, married to Comfort Ann Love. He was an uncle to both Ezra and Elizabeth, and the son of Thomas and Tamera Bostick. James and Comfort had a son they named Levi. The men who were summoned to court were all about the same age. It is not likely that the Solomon Allred who was to comply with the court order was Jonathan’s brother as he would not yet be of age. Charles Medlock, Esquire, appears to be a court official as he appears in many of the criminal actions taken in Richmond County in the late 1700s. He also appears to have served as a Colonel in the Revolutionary War, listed on the roster of soldiers from North Carolina. The possibilities for the identity of Martha Hicks seem endless.
In October of 1789 it was ordered that Jonathan Alred be appointed overseer of the road in conjunction with the Montgomery County land, from Isaac Armstrong’s to McClain’s and that Solomon Alred, John Ewen, Mr. Haskins, John Gillis, Henry and Robert Stringelow, Solomon Sprawls, John Jenkins, Duncan Mcinnise, Phineas Alred, Samuel Boykin work thereon. Jonathan and Phineas Allred were brothers, sons of Solomon Allred, now deceased. It is possible that the Solomon Alred mentioned here is the younger brother. He was old enough to work with a shovel.
The following year, 1790, Jonathan Allred was excused from serving as a juror at the January Term at court in Richmond County. [FHL f475,677 page 182]. It was ordered that the following persons be appointed to lay a road from Matthew Rayford’s ford on Little River the nearest and best way to the widow Katlea [spelling questionable] bridge . . .: Joseph Tarbutton, John Crouch, Daniel McDaniel, Wm McDaniel, Richard Ussery, James Bostick, Thomas J. McKachea, John McKachea, Sampson Sellers, Solomon Allred, Jonathan Alred, John Ewen, Joseph Hines, Nathaniel Chairs Esq, Robert Stringfellow, Henry Stringfellow, and John Jenkins to make a report in the next court [p. 184].
In 1791, the Treaty of Holston was signed between a band of Cherokee Indians in what would become Anderson County, Tennessee. In 1801, Anderson was formed from a portion of Grainger and Knox Counties and named in honor of Joseph Anderson who was the U.S. senator from Tennessee. It appears that a fairly large group of immigrants left North Carolina between 1791 and 1801 and went to Knox County and Anderson County, Tennessee. Among them were Nathan Aldridge and his large family including daughters Margaret Aldridge who married Thomas Allred and Mary Aldridge who married Solomon Allred. Thomas Allred and Solomon Allred were brothers, sons of Solomon and Mary Hayes Allred.
In 1799, Solomon Allred, son of Solomon and Mary Hayes Allred, was married to Mary Aldridge, daughter of Nathan and Hannah York Aldridge. More than likely they were married in Tennessee. Nathan Aldridge was born about 1739 in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. His wife was Hannah, sometimes called Hannah Madden and sometimes referred to as Hannah York. I do not know which surname is correct. They were the parents of twelve children, born in North Carolina.
Very little is known about William Aldridge except that he left North Carolina and went to Knox County, Tennessee. Eleanor Aldridge, the second child, married her first cousin, Isaac York, son of Semore York and Sylvania Aldridge. After Isaac died, Eleanor married Jesse Julian. Sylvania Aldridge, the third child, named for her Aunt Sylvania, was married to John Tobias Long in about 1798. Sarah Aldridge married John Julian in 1797. John was the son of George Julian and Eleanor Long. Andrew Aldridge married Leah Chaney in about 1806 in Anderson County, Tennessee. Nathan Aldridge married Elizabeth Julian, daughter of Peter and Ruth Pugh Julian. James Aldridge married Anna Wood, Enoch Aldridge married Elizabeth LaRue and Hannah Aldridge married Clement Wood and died in Knox County, Tennessee.
Nathan and Hannah Aldridge were the grandparents to a great many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Their son, Andrew who married Leah Chaney, was one of the first who left Anderson County, Tennessee and went to Blount County, Alabama with his nephew Thomas Allred (so long referred to as Thomas Jr.), also one of Solomon and Mary Aldridge Allred’s son’s, Andrew, named for his uncle, Andrew Aldridge.
Mahala Jane Allred, Solomon and Mary’s first child, was born in Tennessee in 1800. Their son, Andrew, referred to above, was born in about 1801 or 1802. According to the tax records of Anderson County, Tennessee, Solomon was living there by 1802. [TAX: FHL US 976.873/D2p Album of Anderson County Tennessee by Ruth Petracek. 1978. p. 21. 1802/ Solomon Alred.] The 1800 census for Anderson County was burned, but has been reconstructed through tax and other records.
Another son, Isaac, was born in 1805 in Anderson County, Tennessee. Thomas was born in about 1809, Joseph Wesley in about 1812. The 1840 census for Anderson County, Tennessee, lists Solomon Allred with his wife and one male age ten to fourteen. It is possible that the youngest son was still living at home. In 1817, Mahala Jane Allred, the first child in the family was married to John Key. They were the parents of at least six children, James Wesley Key, John Miller Key, Isaac M. Key, William Allred Key, Polly Key and Sarah Jane Key. Mahala was deceased by 1844.
Andrew Allred was married first to Elizabeth Roden, second to Elizabeth Letitia Yielding and third to Delila Cox. Sons, Isaac and Thomas, married much later, Isaac in 1835 to Mary Howe and Thomas to Rosannah Montgomery on the 25th of January 1838. By 1838, Thomas had removed to Indiana and was married in Shelby County.
Son in-law, John Key, widower, was married to Elizabeth Tiller on the 5th of November 1846 in Anderson County, Tennessee.
A fascinating addition to the census, marriage and death records and which has also been previously referred to, is a collection of letters that have been preserved and which give invaluable insight into the family dynamics. A letter dated the 19th of April 1847 was written to John and Isaac Key, sons of John and Mahala Jane Allred Key. It was from Solomon Allred who was living in Blountsville, Blount County, Alabama and is important for several reasons.
In 1847 when Solomon Allred of Blount County, Alabama wrote to his cousins, he made it clear that his grandparents were Solomon and Mary Aldridge Allred. Solomon was the son of Andrew Allred and his wife, Elizabeth Letitia Yielding Allred. (Click Here to see the letter)
“Dear cousins, I will write a few lines to let you know we are all well at present and all our relations are well at present. So far as I know, I will inform you that old uncle Thomas Allred’s son, James Allred is dead and we cannot account for his death, unless he took a fit and fell on the end of a log that lay near him and I suppose that he went out and stayed so long that his wife became so uneasy that she went out to hunt for him and I suppose that she found him lying on his breast bed and I desire how you are getting along as you went home last fall and write to me how grandfather and grandmother is getting on and all of our relations was the last time you heard from them. I did not come up to Tennessee as I would have done but I think that I will come up to see you all if I live near fall and I want you to write to me whether Isaac [Key] went to Illinois last fall or not. and I want you all to come down next fall. We are doing well at the present and you must look over my mistakes as I wrote it all in the night. This Solomon Alred his hand in pen this 19th day of April 1847. So nothing more at present. Signed Solomon Alred.”
For many years, Dewell Lott researched these families, hoping to document once and for all who was Thomas Allred [Jr’s] father, whether it was Thomas or Solomon. He was dissatisfied with the conclusion that he was the son of Thomas Allred as he was not mentioned in his will of 1810. As a younger son, it would not have been likely he would have already received his inheritance. Dewell also assumed that because Andrew Allred was living in close proximity to some of Thomas and Margaret Aldridge Allred’s children, that he was one of them, but this letter maintains otherwise. Andrew was indeed, named for his Uncle Andrew Aldridge, but he was Solomon and Mary’s son, not Thomas’s.
As stated above, by 1802, Solomon Allred was living in Anderson County, Tennessee, and so was Thomas Alred. [TAX: FHL US 976.873/D2p Album of Anderson County Tennessee by Ruth Petracek. 1978. p. 21. 1802/ Thomas Alred. ] He was still living there 1805 and again in 1810, but between 1820 and 1830 he moved to Alabama. Without this, and another letter written by Andrew to his parents, it would be easy to make the same assumptions Dewell had made about Andrew’s parentage.
By 1849, Isaac Allred, son of Solomon and Mary, was living with his family in Greene County, Missouri. He and his wife, Mary Howe, were the parents of at least two children, Mary Ann who later married Thomas Owen George and William C. Allred, married to Mary Agnes Howe. The mother and the wife have often been confused in the records. On the 26th of April Isaac wrote to his parents. He talked about the ‘worst winter’ he had ever known, the ice that came before Christmas and never melted until the middle of February, but the grass was up and sufficient for their stock. “I am, myself, not very well today, but I trust I am not dangerous.” They had endured ‘considerable sickness’ during the winter, but were now healthy. Click Here to see the April 1849 Letter
It is apparent from the way he wrote that Isaac had just recently made the move from Tennessee to Missouri. He reported on the crops and the livestock then mentioned that Nimrod Seber had come to visit at his house. Nimrod’s daughter Mary was now married to Thomas H. Ussery [7 March 1849 Greene County, Missouri]. Nimrod had come from Illinois and settled ‘but a little piece’ from Isaac. They were living 25 miles east of Springfield, the county seat. Isaac did not talk about the feud that had been part of Nimrod Seber’s choice to leave Frost Bottom, Tennessee and take his family to Missouri, but as a note of interest, I include the following:
Phillip Seiber was born in about 1765 in Germany and immigrated to Tennessee, settling on Poplar Creek near Frost Bottom in Anderson County. He was a well-to-do land and slave owner. His son, John built a grist mill and tried to drown himself in the pond. Phillip later put up a hewn log house that was still standing 120 years later when Jasper Smith wrote about it. “I hope it will stand there until it rots,” he said. “I love to look at an old log house. I was reared in one; raised my family in one. It is no disgrace to live in one. [Information can be found on the internet.]
When Phillip made his will in 1833 and named his wife, Mary and sons Frederick and Joseph, he also mentioned ‘other children.’ It is known that he had sons, Samuel Wesley, Philip, the Reverend John Seiber, Nimrod who married Mary Farmer, and Robert Seiber. Phillip was ambushed and shot near the door of his house in Frost Bottom, an act that set off a feud between the Sieber and Duncan families. Phillip died in 1845.
In a note shared by jhsh114 on Ancestry states that Nimrod Seiber was born about 1803 in Tennessee and because of the feud in Frost Bottom, he moved his family to Illinois. By 1849 he had removed from Illinois to Greene County, Missouri. Before 1861, he had gone back to Pike County, Illinois where he died.
Isaac Allred, in his letter to his parents, wanted to know where his brother, Thomas, was living. Apparently he did not know that Thomas had gone to Indiana. He wanted to be mentioned to brother in-law, John M. Key, “let him know that I am still in existence yet and that I have not forgot him. His son, John M. Key lives in Hartsville, Wright County in the state.” He sent his respects to James W. Key and family [his nephew.]. “We wish to let Isaac Key we wish him to come see us. Tell Peter and Nancy Johnson that we wish to be remembered to them also and all the rest of their relations.” The Stephen Julian Isaac he said he saw ‘a few days ago’ and who lived about 12 miles away, appears to Stephen Allred Julian, son of Renne and Catherine Allred Julian who was living in Wright County, Missouri, in the 1850 census.
Isaac also started for California from Wright County on the 15th of month, [April 1849]. There were 10 wagons, 4 men to each wagon and well armed. “It is thought that there will be 100,000 persons start from Independence to go through the plains. All for Gold!” One of those who went with this group was George W. Julian, son of John Julian and Sarah Aldridge and a cousin to Isaac Allred. George W. Julian died in 1878 in Sacramento, California.
Later that same year on the 19th of October, 1849, Thomas Allred wrote to his parents from Shelbyville, Indiana, where he had gone with his family. He had received a letter on the 18th of September telling him that his parents, Solomon and Mary, were doing well. He spoke of his parent’s proposition that one of the children come back to Anderson County, Tennessee, and take care of them and of the farm. “It would afford me great pleasure to be with you and render you all the comfort and assistance I could in your helpless and declining years, but still I don’t see that I can possibly come . . . because I now have a large family of small children.” Like his brother, he included news about the farm that he knew would be of interest to his father. Click Here to see the October 1849 Letter
By 1849, Thomas and his wife, Rosannah Montgomery Allred, were the parents of seven children, including a set of twins. He made mention of Peggy Montgomery, a relative of his wife’s. “Jackson Aldridge and myself will likely be out to see you this winter.” Was this Andrew Jackson Aldridge, his cousin and son of Andrew and Leah Chaney Aldridge? He also mentioned his brother in-law, John Keys and a William Tunnell. “As nothing more at present, but remain your affectionate son and daughter until death, Thomas and Rosannah Allred.”
On the 26th of April 1850, W.C. Allred [William C. Allred, son of Isaac and Mary Howe] wrote to his cousin, Isaac M. Key from Greene County, Missouri. He talked of the California Gold fever that was raging in their part of the county, “the emigration from this state this spring will be much greater than it was last. Still I am not going.” He talked about the farm, prices for stock, how much for bacon, corn and wheat. “This is the backwardest Spring I have ever seen since we have been here.” He was anxious for Isaac to move to Missouri, but by the next year, Isaac Key had gone to Texas. “We read a letter from Illinois a few days ago. They was all well. Uncle Thomas Allred was well and his family. [Thomas and Rosannah Montgomery Allred]. Tell Grandfather and Grandmother Allred that we have not forgot them. I would like to see them very much. Polly Ann [his wife] sends her love to you all. Health is very good in this part of the county. You will think so when I tell you that I weigh 180 lbs and was not very fat at that. If you will come here, you will find girls that will keep you awake when you go sparking.”
On the 30th of December, 1850, Isaac M. Key married Lodema Caroline Hoskins in Anderson County, Tennessee. The next year they were living in Panola County, Texas.
The final letter comes from Andrew Allred to his parents, Solomon and Mary. It was written on the 1st of August 1856 in response to a letter he received from them on the 18th of May. “While it give me Satisfaction on the one hand it trobled me on the other, I will not inform you that I am not in good health at this time. I was taken sick on the 9th day of last September and had a long and Severe Spell of the fever. I have not been able to do much work since, the balance of my family is in tolerable health excepting youngest child it and my self is considerable unwell with Something like the flue, a pardon is granted for not writing sooner to me I was glad to hear that you was both in tolerable health and also a great deal better Satisfied to hear that you had made a deed of your land to Westly and gone to live with him Where you can and will be taken care of, but I had Rather it could been so that you had lived with me So that when the red dirt shall be dug out Yonder in the old field in the old peach orchard That I could be there for you and the laying of both your old Gray heads in there graves and both side and side for I know this earth which once your Substance gave Will very quickly be your grave. our relations In this country is well as far as I know at this time. is 40 or 50 cts [cents] per bushel, wheat 400 cts per bushel, bacon were 12 cts per lbs, the wheat crop was tight, oats very good, corn looks miserable on account of a 7 weeks drouth and no bright prospects for rain yet. Jonathan returned home on the 25th day of April last and is with me at this present time and said he is tired of hunting new countries. So I must close my short letter by assigning my Self your unworthy Son until death Andrew Allred” Click Here to see the 1856 Letter
His father, Solomon Allred died the following year. His mother went to live with her grandson, James Wesley Key and his wife, Matilda. She died between 1860 and 1870 in Tennessee. The ‘Westley’ referred to in his letter was Joseph Wesley Allred, the youngest child of Solomon and Mary. He was married to Mary Ann Wilkerson in 1845 in Knox County, Tennessee and lived there until about 1886 when his wife died. He was the only one of the children who found it possible to live with and take care of his parents. Only one of his two children lived to adulthood and married.
Joseph Wesley Allred was living in Anderson County, Tennessee when he died on the 12th of August 1893.