Benjamin Allen, Sr. (c.1735 - 1823)

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Nicknames: "Shy Ben"
Birthplace: Norwich, New London, CT, USA
Death: Died in Baie Verte, Westmorland, , New Brunswick, Canada
Occupation: Farmer
Managed by: Charles Allen
Last Updated:

About Benjamin Allen, Sr.

More Bits and Pieces

From the book ALLEN and WHITTIER families: "Benjamin Allen, son of Samuel Allen, 3rd, born in Bridgewater in 1702, emigrated to Norwich, Conn. and had 2 wives. Children -- Joseph, who went to Vermont and had a son Ebenezer, who was an officer in the Revolution. Benjamin, who settled near Utica, NY, who had a son Benjamin. Amasa, who went to Walpole, NH and was a General. The compendium (Abridged Compendium of American Genealogy) is based on A History of Bridgewater, MA by Mitchell. The quote is "Benjamin Allen, son of Samuel Allen, m. Mehitable Cary, 1730 and had Benjamin, Ephraim, Hannah and Mehitable (b. 1737). The father died and his widow married Caleb Washburn 1756. Benjamin (the son) went to Kingston, MA and married Beza Delano. He was a Sargent with General Winslow 1755, he enlisted from Plymouth, where he was a tanner. He died in Nova Scotia." >From East Bridgewater Births-- "Benjamin Allen, child of Benjamin bp. 9 May 1736 A record signed Benjamin Allan (not Allen) reads: "The memorial of Benjamin Allan of Bay Verte in the County of Westmorland, signed 20 Aug 1802." In this record is found the following" "Your memorialist served His Majesty as a non-commissioned officer in the taking of Fort Cumberland" and has "consistently resided for 30 years back at the Bay Vert." Earliest census records spell the name "Allan." Later ones "Allen." The application for membership to the "board of managers of the Daughters of the American Revolution" says "Benjamin Allen" assisted in establishing American Independence, while acting in the capacity of "Corporal" in "Captain Isaiah Boudreau's company of Frenchmen" in "Cumberland County, Nova Scotia." The application is signed "Carrie Belle Allen," and dated "June 1, 1900." We can conclusively establish that our Benjamin Allen is not the same as Benjamin Allain, who did serve with Captain Isaiah Boudreau," so this information appears erroneous. In the application is also found "Benjamin Allen was a great-great grandson of Samuel Allen who settled in Braintree, Mass in 1630." And the reference "Mass Soldiers and Sailors, vol. 1, p. 140." <iframe src="http://view.atdmt.com/iaction/ancestrycom_non_secure_universal_v3/v3/atc1.-lib-TinyMce_2_1 _0-blank_htm/" width="1" height="1" frameborder="0" scrolling="No" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" topmargin="0" leftmargin="0"></iframe>

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Lived in New England. At the time of the war between England and France he fought under General Wolfe at the taking of Louisbourg in 1758 and quebec in 1759. At the close of the war and the signing of the Treaty of Paris in1763 he returned to New England where he remained until the close of the Revolutionary War (1775-1783). In1783 with his brother Henry and other Loyalists he came to what is now St. john New brunswick where he married Sarah Somers, daughter ofMathias Somers, one of the first settlers of the Bend (now called Moncton New Brunswick).She was considered to have pugnacious tendancies, while he was considered a man of mild disposition (Shy Ben).From Fort Cumberland he went to Botsford Parish in Westmorland County, New Brunswick where he farmed. Eventually he moved to Baie Verte New Brunswick where he stayed until his death.On his tombstone is in Baie Verte is the following:

"Remember man as you pass by, As you are now once was I, As I am now so you will be, Remember man, as you have to dee."

Probate Records According to the book, "Early New Brunswick Probate Records 1785-1835" , page 3, lists ALLAN, Benjamin. I believe this is what you are looking for...

ALLEN, Benjamin Bay Verte, Parish of Westmorland, Westmorland Co., Yeoman. Will dated 3 August 1823, proved 10 September 1823. Sons Ephraim, Jonas, George, James, Liffe, Mathew and David each 10 shillings. Daughters Catharine, Jane and Cyntia each 10 shillings. Wife Sarah residue of real and personal estate for life. After wife's death, estate to son Samuel. Wife Sarah ALLAN and son Samuel ALLAN executors. Witnesses: John DOBSON, Margaret AVARD, Joseph AVARD Jr. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Origin of Benjamin Allen

The most likely origin for Benjamin Allen was that he was a soldier of Scottish origin who served in the Battle of Louisbourg and in French and Indian War in Quebec as part of the 78th Fraser Highlanders. After he may have gone to New England for a time (possibly to south east Connecticut and Massachusetts). Benjamin is mentioned in Donald Whyte's A Dictionary Of Scottish Emigration To Canada before Confederation as having first come to Saint John, NB and settling near Cape Tormentine. There is a Benjamin Allan in the IGI for Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, married to a Jane McFarland at Edinburgh on September 28, 1735. This couple appears to be possible candidates as parents of Benjamin as he is said to have been born in 1735. As the Rebel John Allan and William Allan family came from the Edinburgh area of Scotland, it may be possible that there is a distant connection between these Allan families. The Somers family came from a place just outside of Freiburg im Bresgau in the Dutchy of Wurtemburg on the Rhine River known as Kohl. They first settled near Philadelphia in Pennsylvania and came with other Pennsylvania German families to Petitcodiac at the Bend after receiving land grants there. Matthias Somers married Christina Noll or Null. The Noll family appears to have come from Rimmels in the Hesse region of Germany to Pennsylvania. So it is likely that Jonas, George and Ephraim Allen were 1/2 Scottish and 1/2 German in origin.

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Benjamin Allen was born 1735 either in Scotland or Connecticut. He was a soldier under British General Wolfe at Louisburg in 1758 and at Quebec in 1759. In 1783 he received a first land grant at Mispec, Saint John Co. New Brunswick, Canada and a second land grant at Baie Verte, Westmorland Co. New Brunswick. In 1771 at Fort Cumberland Nova Scotia (now Ft. Beausejour, NB) he married Eva Magdalena "Sarah" Somers, a daughter of Matthias Somers of Moncton NB.

The story is told that Benjamin Allen was extremely shy, hence the name "Shy Ben". One night after returning from a long trip, he found a New Year's Eve dance in progress at Fort Cumberland. After suitable liquid fortification, he went to the center of the dance floor and said: "I am in dire need of a wife! Who will have me?" Up stepped a hearty lass of German descent, Sarah Somers, who said "I'll have you, Ben!". The happy couple were married on the spot by a minister who happened to be in attendance. It is said that any pugnacious tendencies in the Allen female descendants can be attributed to Sarah. [The male line may have certain tendencies too, as shown in the next paragraph.]

Stories are also told of their adventurous son Matthew Allen. In New Brunswick it is said of Matthew Allen that at the time of the Anglo-American War (1812) during a trip to the United States a press gang took him and a companion on board a man-of-war and induced them to enlist. One night as the ship was lying at anchor off one of the West India Islands, they jumped overboard with the hope of swimming ashore. Allen reached shore and expecting to be followed by a guard from the ship took refuge under an upturned boat on the shore. One of them suggested that the deserter might be hidden under the boat but no search was made and Allen escaped. After spending some days on the Island he found a friendly vessel that finally landed him at Halifax. His companion was never heard from and it is supposed that he was drowned in his attempt to desert from the man-of-war. [A History and Story of Botsford, by W. M. Burns, 1933]

A different version of this story is told in Pictou County, Nova Scotia:

There were incidents of course when the press gangs did capture a few Pictou men; such as the time they came sneaking along the shoreline to suddenly make a dash for a number of young men cutting timber. At the first alarm the Pictou men took to the deep woods, but hard on their heels came the men of the press gang, with swinging swords, clubs and loaded muskets. The majority of the Pictou men got away, but two were taken - Edward Crae and Matthew Allen, both stout men, but slow of foot. These two were pounced upon by six jubilant pressmen. Within minutes both had been subdued in the brief but exciting fight that followed. Matthew Allen, claimed as the most notorious bruiser of the township, laid three of the press gang with bleeding and battered heads before he was struck from behind and clubbed to his knees. His face was one bloody mess when the press gang dragged him away. Edward Crae remained uninjured as he gave up quietly in the face of the cutlass-swinging pressmen. While some in the county, who had run foul of the two bruisers in the past, were glad to see them go, official protests were made to the Provincial Governor, who, in turn, requested the release of the local men. Before that order had been processed, the two captives made good their escape by swimming ashore at Antigua. As far as was ever known, the two never returned to the township of Pictou, which many considered a blessing. [Pictou Pioneers: a story of the first hundred years in the history of Pictou town; by Roland H. Sherwood 1973]

In fact, Matthew Allen, who had been working in Pictou, finally returned to Cape Tormentine, NB about 1815 at age 32, married Mary Ann Dobson and settled down. They had a large family with many descendants, some of them shy, and some not. -------------------- From zpatric:

I'm a descendent of Benjamin Allen. The information I have re: the Scots, English question says he was English. My information has not been verified with official documents.

George Allen born Somerset, England 1568 died 1648 in Barnstable, Mass., U.S.A.

Son Samuel Allen 1597 - 1669 son Samuel Allen 1632 - 1703 son Samuel Allen 1660 - 1750 son Benjamin Allen 1702 - 1754 son Benjamin Allen 1733 - 1823 wife Sarah Jane Somers buried at Baie Verte, N.B. in 1823.

From akgagliani:

The most likely origin for Benjamin Allen was that he was a soldier of Scottish origin who served in the Battle of Louisbourg and in French and Indian War in Quebec as part of the 78th Fraser Highlanders. After he may have gone to New England for a time (possibly to south east Connecticut and Massachusetts). Benjamin is mentioned in Donald Whyte's A Dictionary Of Scottish Emigration To Canada before Confederation as having first come to Saint John, NB and settling near Cape Tormentine.

There is a Benjamin Allan in the IGI for Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, married to a Jane McFarland at Edinburgh on September 28, 1735. This couple appears to be possible candidates as parents of Benjamin as he is said to have been born in 1735.

From Doug Allen:

I do know that he fought on the British side as a NCO during the French and Indian wars at Beausejour in 1755 (I have seen NB land petitions where he claims this) as well as Louisbourg (1758) and Quebec (1759). I have found a Benjamin Allen who was listed on a muster roll as a corporal in Capt John Fraser's Company of the Fraser Highlanders (78th British Regiment) when it was disbanded in 1763 and this Ben Allen accepted the offer to take a land grant and remain in Canada. (see Clan Fraser of Canada Web Site). I have also found a Private Benjamin Allen among the 45th British Regiment in 1760 in a muster roll in the British Archives in Kew, England. The 45th fought at all three of the above battles. I know at Beausejour there was a force of 2000 New Englanders under Winslow and Scott of which I cannot seem to find any muster rolls and a smaller force of several hundred British regulars, including the 45th.The Fraser Highlanders fought at Louisbourg and Quebec. In these same battles New Englanders were represented by several companies of Rangers as well as smaller numbers who enlisted with the regular British Regiments. In fact there was a lot of movement between all regiments during this war and so Benjamin Allen could have been with any or all of the above.

I too am still wondering about the origin of Ben Allen. There is a Cpl Ben. Allen on the disbanding 78th Fraser Highlanders in 1763. For that Ben to be our ancestor I would think he was not likely a Scottish man. If it is our Ben perhaps it is possible he joined as a New Englander as all regiments in North America during the seven years war took on new members as their ranks were depleted. But again it is unlikely he was a Scot as Ben does state in an 1802 land petition (perhaps you have seen) that he was a Non Commissioned Officer at the taking of Fort Cumberland (Beausejour). As there were 2000 New Englanders in 2 regiments under Winslow and Scott, only 300 British regulars and no Highland Companies involved in the Beausejour Expedition it makes it unlikely Ben was a Scotsman.

According to the book, "Early New Brunswick Probate Records 1785-1835" , page 3, lists ALLAN, Benjamin. I believe this is what you are looking for...

ALLEN, Benjamin Bay Verte, Parish of Westmorland, Westmorland Co., Yeoman. Will dated 3 August 1823, proved 10 September 1823. Sons Ephraim, Jonas, George, James, Liffe, Mathew and David each 10 shillings. Daughters Catharine, Jane and Cyntia each 10 shillings. Wife Sarah residue of real and personal estate for life. After wife's death, estate to son Samuel. Wife Sarah ALLAN and son Samuel ALLAN executors. Witnesses: John DOBSON, Margaret AVARD, Joseph AVARD Jr.

Material arguing against Shy Ben being the son of Ben Allen Sr of Bridgewater, MA:

From History of the Early Settlement of Bridgewater, by Nahum Mitchell:

8. Benjamin (s. of Samuel 2.) m. Mehitabel, D. of Ephraim Cary, 1730, and had Benjamin, Ephraim, Hannah, Mehitabel 1737.—The father died, and his estate was settled among the children 1754.—Hannah m. John Edson 1751.—Mehitabel, the daughter, m. Benanuel Leach.—Mehitabel Allen, the widow, m. Caleb Washburn 1756.—Benjamin went to Kingston and m. a Delano, and was a Sergeant with Gen. Winslow, 1755, in seizing the neutral French at Nova Scotia, where he died; he enlisted from Plymouth, where he was a tanner.—This family lived where Dexter Pratt now lives.

Look in Kingston, MA for a Delanos and you find:

2783. Beza Delano (Joshua Delano , Martha Simmons , Mercy Pabodie , Elizabeth Alden , John ) was born on 24 Nov 1737 in Duxbury, Plymouth Co., MA. She died about 1773 in of Kingston, Plymouth Co., MA.

Beza married (1) Samuel Drew. Samuel was born on 25 Mar 1739 in Kingston, Plymouth Co., MA. He died on 16 Aug 1803 in Kingston, Plymouth Co., MA.

They had the following children:

     	10330 	F 	i 	Beza Drew was born on 9 Sep 1773 in Kingston, Plymouth Co., MA. She died on 19 Jan 1777 in Kingston, Plymouth Co., MA.

Beza married (2) Benjamin Allen on 1 May 1755 in Kingston, Plymouth Co., MA. Benjamin was born on 30 Jan 1732/1733 in Bridgewater, Plymouth Co., MA. He died before Nov 1768 in Nova Scotia, Canada.

They had the following children:

   + 	10331 	M 	ii 	Benjamin Allen
view all 18

Benjamin Allen, Sr.'s Timeline

1735
January 30, 1735
Norwich, New London, CT, USA
1755
October 11, 1755
Age 20
Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
1755
Age 19
1757
December 12, 1757
Age 22
Kingston, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
1771
1771
Age 35
Baie Verte, NB, Canada
1771
Age 35
Cumberland, NS
1773
1773
Age 37
Baie Verte, NB, Canada
1775
1775
Age 39
Baie Verte, NB, Canada
1779
1779
Age 43
NB, Canada
1782
1782
Age 46
Canada