About John Allred
Research Report on The "Originals": John, Thomas, Solomon and William Allred
By: Linda Allred Cooper http://allredfamily.com/originalresearchreport.htm
September 1, 2000
In the early 1740’s, the English colony known as North Carolina was pristine wilderness, inhabited by Indians and wild life. North Carolina’s few thousand "white" settlers lived in the coastal region. To attract more white settlers and to populate the central section of North Carolina, in 1746, the English Crown began offering free land grants to any settlers who agreed to pay the annual property tax. Four men, John, Thomas, and Solomon Allred and William Elrod / Allred took advantage of this offer and moved to North Carolina. The land they settled on is located in today’s Randolph County, North Carolina.
Circumstantial evidence shows that John, Thomas and Solomon were living in North Carolina by the mid 1740’s. The first documented evidence of these three brothers living in North Carolina is the land grant Solomon received dated March 10, 1752. This land grant, recorded in Anson County (sometimes called Bladen County) states Solomon received land located on the mouth of Sandy Creek, including his improvements. Improvements could mean buildings, a house, and/or cleared land, so Solomon had to be living on this land prior to 1752 in order to have made these "improvements". Solomon’s name was spelled "Aldricks" in this land grant, a clerical error. By following the land transactions from 1752 to 1778 when Solomon sold the last of his land in Orange County, we can prove that Solomon Aldricks and Solomon Allred were the same person.
I want to take a moment to explain the formation of today’s Randolph County. As you noticed in the above paragraph, Solomon’s first land grant was recorded in Anson (sometimes called Bladen) County, but he sold his land in old Orange County and you thought he lived in Randolph County. Confusing, right? Counties were being formed and county lines changed rapidly in the 1700’s. To the inexperienced researcher, the Allred family appears to have moved around quite a bit when they each actually found just one piece of land they liked and lived on throughout this time period. Bladen County was formed in 1734 and covered most of central North Carolina. As more and more people moved into the existing counties and local governments became over-whelmed with work, new counties were formed. Anson County was created from Bladen County in 1750. Orange County was created from Bladen, Johnson and Granville Counties in 1752. Rowan County was created from Anson County in 1753. Guilford County was created from Rowan and Orange Counties in 1770. Randolph County was created from Guilford County in 1779. To find all of the available land records on the Allred family in the mid 1700’s, you have to look at all of these counties even though the Allred men never moved and remained on the same pieces of land throughout this time period. (The information on county formations is taken from the "Handy Book For Genealogists (USA)" posted on the Randolph County page of usgenweb.com and on file in the NC State Archives in Raleigh, NC.)
John Allred received his first documented land grant March 15, 1755 which reads: "640 acres on the east side of Deep River on the mouth of Pleasant Run of Sandy Run; includes his and Thomas Alldrid’s improvements". Note John’s last name was spelled "Allrid" and Thomas’s last name was spelled "Alldrid". By following the land transactions from 1755 to 1792, we have proven that John and Thomas’ last names were actually "Allred". Again, the spelling of the names was most likely a clerical error. Illiteracy was very common in the 1700’s and most "literate" people spelled names according to how they sounded . Thus, when an illiterate man filed a court document such as a land record, he gave his name to the clerk who spelled it the best way he/she could since the illiterate man wouldn’t know how to spell it. This is one explanation for the mis-spelling of the Allred name that we confront as we research the family.
This land record is also more of the circumstantial evidence we have that the Allred men were living in North Carolina prior to receiving their land grants. As the record states, the land grant includes "his and Thomas Alldrid’s improvements". John and Thomas had to have been living on the land prior to March 1755 to have made these improvements.
Another land record filed the same day (March 15, 1755) was for Herman Husband who received land bordering John’s land. Husband’s land record reads "including a cabin built by Solomon Allred and claimed by Zach. Martin". This tells us that Solomon had built a cabin on land "next door" to John and Thomas, but later abandoned the cabin and land which Zach. Martin claimed. Later Herman Husband received the land grant for that same land. All of this happened prior to March 15, 1755, further evidence that the Allred men were living in North Carolina prior to the 1750’s. (Note Solomon’s last name was spelled "Allred" in Husband’s land grant.) (Land Grant information taken from the book titled "Orange County Records, Volume I, Granville Proprietary Land Office, Abstracts of Loose Papers" on file in the NC State Archives.)
Further study of the land grants of Solomon, John and Thomas allows us to pin-point their land’s exact locations as described in the land records. When looking at today’s map, you can find Solomon’s land which was located just north of where HWY 22 crosses HWY 64 in Ramseur, NC (Randolph County). John’s land was located just northeast of today’s Franklinville where Academy Road crosses Sandy Creek. If you stop on the Sandy Creek bridge on Academy Road and look north, you’ll see where Mt. Pleasant Creek branches off from Sandy Creek, about 50 yards from the bridge. Thomas lived with John for several years, then received a land grant for land on the southeast border of John’s. Today, John and Thomas’ land is considered part of the Patterson Grove Community of Randolph County. (See Map of Allred Sites in Randolph County, NC.)
William Elrod/Allred received his first known (documented) land grant November 29, 1753 filed in Rowan County, NC (refer back to that paragraph on county formations). It reads "640 acres on east side of Deep River about 1/2 mile below where PD path crosses the river". Further study of this land grant and future land transactions allows us to pin-point it’s location between today’s Franklinville and Cedar Falls where Bush Creek branches away from Deep River. (See map of Allred Sites in Randolph County, NC.) In this and several other land records filed during this time period, we learn that the land actually belonged to William Elrod, Jr. and that his father, William Elrod, Sr. was living with him at that time. (Per the Elrod Research Report written by Michael Marshall and land records on file in the NC State Archives.) William Elrod, Jr. is the man we refer to as the "original" William (aka William Elrod / Allred)
By now you’ve noticed that I’ve listed John, Thomas and Solomon as brothers named "Allred", but William and his father had the last name of Elrod. Per many years of research done by Michael Marshall and per the many documents he has found, I believe the "original" William’s last name was actually "Elrod", not "Allred". For some unknown reason, William’s last name was changed from Elrod to Allred within a few years of him arriving in North Carolina. There are many theories about why the name was changed, but to my knowledge, no one has ever been able to document why it was changed. By following the land records and land transactions It looks like William Elrod and William Allred were the same man.
I’ll share my theory on the name change with you. As I’ve stated before, illiteracy was very common in the 1700’s. William was the grandson of a German immigrant and most likely spoke with a German accent. North Carolina was an English colony and the court officials were English. William probably said "Elrod" with his German accent and the court officials thought they heard "Allred" which is an English name. They wrote it down, then repeated "Allred" with their English accents and William thought he heard "Elrod" and the deed was done. But, I stress, this is just a theory - I have no documented evidence to prove this. Another theory is that William simply wanted to "Americanize" his name.
William’s siblings were (per Michael Marshall research report):
Samuel Elrod born August 16, 1737
Elizabeth Elrod born January 16, 1739
Susanna Elrod born January 5, 1741
Catherine Elrod born 1748
Conrad Elrod born October 5 1749
William’s parents were William (Wilhelm) Elrod and Anne Beschell who were married in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania on June 14, 1736 (per Michael Marshall research report). The exact birth date of William Elrod / Allred has not been documented, but research suggests that he was born between 1737 - 1741, making him between 15 - 17 years old when he came to North Carolina. This information agrees with the memoirs written by Reverent Brazilla Allred in 1922 which read " My great-grandfather, William Allred, was born and reared to manhood in Pennsylvania. In early life he came to North Carolina and entered a large tract of land..... where he lived to a good old age and reared his family."
William (Wilhelm) Elrod’s parents were Johan Dider Elrod and wife Maria Magdalena Lerchenzeiler who came to America from Germany in 1709. Records show that they traveled with Maria’s parents, Johan Wilhelm Lerchenziler and wife Susanna Catharina from Holland to London, England on July 15, 1709. From London, they sailed to America entering through the port in New York City. Further research shows that the family was most likely from the area in or around Nuremberg, Germany (Federal State of Bavaria). (Per Michael Marshall research report.)
Newly released research done by Dawnell Griffin shows that John, Thomas and Solomon Allred may possibly have been the sons of Solomon Allred (1680 - abt 1740) who was born and raised in Eccles Parish, Lancaster, England. Per her research, Dawnell believes Solomon moved to America in the early 1720’s. He is listed on the 1724, 1726 and 1730 tax lists for Chester County, Pennsylvania.
Per Dawnell's research, Solomon’s parents were John Allred and Ellen Pemberton, again of Eccles Parish. Ellen was the daughter of John Pemberton and wife Margaret Smith. John’s parents were William Allred and wife Alice Tonge. William’s parents were John Allred and wife Ann. Dawnell will released a detailed research report on this new information in the near future.
For many years it was thought that the Allred family may have lived in Chester County, PA prior to coming to North Carolina. Many of their close neighbors and business associates have been documented as living in Chester County, PA, and several of John, Thomas and Solomon’s children married into families that were from Chester County. Most likely, these families traveled together, following the Indian trading paths and wagon trails from Pennsylvania into Maryland and Virginia, possibly passing through Williamsburg before coming to North Carolina. One of the most popular Indian Trading Paths (per Randolph County history books on file in the Randolph Room and the historical marker posted in Julian, NC) passed through the northern section of today’s Randolph County. By following this path, the families would have come directly to the area that they wound up settling on.
John, Thomas, and Solomon Allred and William Elrod / Allred raised their families on land that eventually became part of Randolph County, North Carolina. The families remained intact until the 1780’s when some began leaving home and spreading out around central North Carolina. In the early 1790’s some family members are documented traveling to South Carolina and Tennessee. At present, there are Allred family members living in all 50 states and scattered in many different countries.
See http://web.northnet.org/minstrel/allred.00.htm for some good documents.
Note from Pam Wilson, Arledge Family History Project (www.arledgefamilyhistory.org):
Decades of Allred researchers have claimed that this John Allred was the same as John Aldridge b. 1706 in Northumberland Co, VA, son of William Aldridge (Arledge) and Alice Fallin. However, evidence of this John Aldridge, who married Elizabeth Thomas and migrated first to Frederick Co, VA and then to Camden District, SC, is strong and does not support his transformation into John Allred of Randolph County, NC. We have a DNA project for Allred and Arledge descendants, and we welcome any male direct descendants of John Allred to participate in this test to help make certain the relationship between these two families. See http://www.allredfamily.org/allreddnaresults.htm and https://www.familytreedna.com/group-join.aspx?Group=Arledge.'''
I've written to Linda Allred Cooper of the Allred Family Organization to ask her if she has any recent research on the ancestors of this John Allred. Thanks!
Also--we have a solid group of Arledge descendants who have done DNA testing, so we invite any direct male descendants of this John to take the test to see if there is a match or not.
This may be of interest:
ALLRED OF ENGLAND AND NORTH CAROLINA
A talk presented to the Allred Family Organization at their
annual reunion held at Gray’s Chapel School, Randolph County, North Carolina
September 7th, 2002
by: Michael Marshall
In the early 1750s, Solomon, John, Thomas and William Allred received land grants in central North Carolina, in what is now Randolph County.
Solomon was the first to settle there, receiving two grants on 10 March 1752. The first was for land along Cain Creek. In the second grant, Solomon’s name is spelled “Aldricks,” and the land was described as lying at the mouth of Sandy Creek. Today, thanks to research by a number of Allred Family Organization researchers, we know that the exact spot where Sandy Creek branches away from Deep River is located at the western edge of the town of Ramseur in Randolph County.
Before returning to the Allreds, let me note that there were two other grants made that day, both were for land also lying along Cane Creek, so they were probably close to Solomon’s land. One of these was to Hugh Locken and Valentine Hollingsworth, and the other to Hollingsworth alone. It turns out the man called Hugh Lockin in the grant was actually Hugh Laughlin who was born about 1715 in Ireland. He married Mary Harlan in Kennett township in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Mary was born 26 Feb 1717. Valentine Hollingsworth was the husband of Elizabeth Harlan, so he and Laughlin were related through their Harlan wives. Valentine was the grandson of another Valentine Hollingsworth who came from County Armagh, Ireland in 1682 and settled in New Castle County, Delaware.
Now, a question of great interest to all of us here today is: who were these Allred men, and where did they come from before they settled in North Carolina? I can’t provide a definite answer, but I hope I can shed some light on the subject as I proceed.
As to William Alred, it now seems likely he was the son of Johan Dider Elrod, a German who settled in New Castle County, Delaware some time between 1710 and 1714. In the old records, William’s name is spelled both as ELROD and ALROD, then later as ALRED. Few people could read and write in those days and those that did spelled phonetically, and this probably accounts for the change of the name Elrod into Alrod then into Alred.
A substantial amount of genealogy research has also been done on the Solomon, John, and Thomas Allred, but much more needs to be done before we will have a clear picture of these men and their origins. We do know that Solomon named his sons John, Phineas, and Solomon, and the name Theophilus was given to two of his grandsons. The names “Phineas” and “Theophilus” are not very common and that is a great help in genealogical research. In fact, in researching the origins of Solomon Allred, these two names helped point to a possible origin of the Solomon Alred line in the county of Lancashire in northern England. In particular, these names appear in the records of Eccles parish which is near present-day Manchester, England. In fact, there was a John Allred of Pendleton, a village in Eccles parish, who had sons with the peculiar names of Phineas and Theophilus. He also had sons named John and Solomon.
This John Allred of Pendleton married an Ellen Pemberton in about 1658. They had at least 10 children: JOHN born 1 Nov 1660; 2. MARY born 9 Aug 1661; 3. WILLIAM baptized 3 Feb 1664/65; 4. ALICE b.c. 1668; 5. OWEN b.c. 1670; 6. PHINEAS, baptized 7 Nov 1672; 7. ENOCH baptized 16 Jun 1675; 8. THEOPHILUS baptized 4 Oct 1677; 9. ELLIN baptized 15 Jun 1679; and 10. SOLOMON baptized 12 Nov 1680.
John and Ellen Allred lived in England during a very turbulent time. For example, it was during this time that King Charles I was deposed by the Puritans under Oliver Cromwell. Much of the religious unrest in England was caused by growing resistance to the Church of England, which was the official religion of England at the time. This resistance was especially strong in the north of England where John and Ellen Allred lived. Those who resisted the official state religion were called “dissenters” or “non-conformists,” terms that included groups like Quakers, Presbyterians, Baptists and others.
The meager records we have concerning John and Ellen suggest they were dissenters. John was associated with the Presbyterians and his wife Ellen was a Quaker. This probably caused them much hardship as dissenters were often fined, imprisoned, whipped, and otherwise punished by the authorities for the non-conformity.
We have indications of John Allred’s Presbyterian leanings from a book called “The Eccles Presbyterians 1662-1765,” which contains a list of members of the congregation of the Rev. Edmund Jones taken in 1673. The name John Allred of Pendleton is among those listed. John was also named in a list of those who attended an illegal Presbyterian service held by Rev. Jones at Lever’s barn on 12 Oct 1673. A man by the name of Boardman witnessed this religious service and later testified about it in court. In the proceedings, Boardman gave the following testimony.
“On the Twelth day of October laste being the Lords day, there was a conventicle or meeting in a Barne in the parish of Eccles within this County belonginge to one Alexander Lever of the same place, husbandman, where mett together under pretence of religious worshipp. These several persons following vis:-Mr. Edmund Jones of Barton a non-conformist minister and his wife…(a list of 45 members of the congregation followed, which included the name John Allred)…together with many more who were unknowne to this informer, All of them subjects of this Realme and above the age of sixteene years; he further saith that the said Mr. Jones did preach to them both ends of the day, and that the said Mr. Jones did not use the booke of Common prayer, accordinge to the Constitution of the Church of England.”
I have already mentioned that Ellen was a Quaker. In fact, she was a member of the East Hardshaw Quaker Meeting near Manchester. Some of their records remain, including a notice of her death which reads: “Ellin Allrod of Pendleton Pool departed this life ye 21st of ye 10th month 1684 and was buried at our burying place.” In those days, the new year began in March which was the first month, so the 10th month was December. So, Ellen Allred died on the 21st of December 1684.
We also have indications that the John Allred family was not very well off because in 1680/81, he petitioned the Eccles parish church wardens for relief. In other words, he asked them for assistance for his family. Records of the relief petitions for the year 1686 also list John Alred in the parish church accounts. These records, and the fact that the births and baptisms of several of his children are recorded in the Eccles parish register, do seem to show that despite his Presbyterian leanings, John had not entirely severed his connections to the official church.
We do not know when John Allred died, or what became of most of his children. His son Theophilus seems to have stayed in the area, because his name appears in the records of Pole, another village near Pendleton, when his son Thomas was christened on 7 Jul 1717. However, a search of the Eccles records and those of the surrounding area of Lancashire disclose no further mention of the names Phineas and Solomon Allred and this could indicate they left that part of England, or perhaps England itself. In fact, many religious dissenters began to leave England in the latter part of the 1600s to escape religious prosecution. This was especially true of the Quakers many of whom followed William Penn to what would later be called Pennsylvania.
Some of these Quakers settled in Chester County, Pennsylvania, one of Penn’s original counties after he founded his Pennsylvania colony in 1682. This area was on the western frontier of Pennsylvania at that time, and the lands west of Chester county were still inhabited by Indians. In speaking of Chester County, it should be noted that Lord Baltimore, the proprietor of the colony of Maryland, also claimed part of this same area, and this led to a continuing dispute between Penn and Lord Baltimore over the boundary between the two colonies. This dispute continued for another 50 years after William Penn died in 1718, before it was finally settled by the survey carried out in 1764 by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon who established the now-famous “Mason Dixon” line.
Now, let me say a few words about a large tract of land established by Penn in Chester County which became known as the Nottingham Lots. The name “Nottingham" most likely came from William Penn's home in Nottinghamshire, England.
Establishment of the Nottingham Lots grew out of Penn’s eagerness to establish his border rights. In 1702, he granted a land warrant for 18,00 acres which was carved up into a number of so-called lots. To help solidify his claim to this border area, Penn attracted and settled a number of Quaker families from the Philadelphia area and what was called West Jersey to settle in this disputed border area. When these lots were settled, this entire tract of land was in Chester County. However, after the completion of the Mason-Dixon survey, only 1,300 of the original 18,000 acres remained in Pennsylvania. The remainder fell in Cecil County, Maryland.
After its settlement, the local townships in the area became known as East Nottingham and West Nottingham. West Nottingham township was settled almost exclusively by Quakers and Scots-Irish Presbyterians—groups that had been among the prominent non-conformists in England.
Original purchasers of the Nottingham lots included Joel Baily, John Bales or Beals, Edward Beeson, James Brown, William Brown, John Churchman, James Cooper, Robert Dutton, Cornelious Empson, Ebeneser Empson, Randal Janney, Andrew Job, Samuel Littler, Henry Reynolds, and John Richardson. Most of them were middle-class yeomen, born in England during the middle 1600's. And most came from the north of England, from the counties of Cheshire, Durham, Lancashire, and Yorkshire. Also, most had lived within a 50-mile radius of Philadelphia before moving to Nottingham.
Perhaps the greatest problem facing the Nottingham Lot landowners and their descendants was gaining title to their property after the death of William Penn in 1718. The problem was that both Pennsylvania and Maryland claimed the area. So, many of the Nottingham lot owners did not pay the quit rents due on the land because they didn’t know whether to pay them to Penn or to Baltimore. In fact, most didn’t pay their rents at all, and this made it difficult to obtain a good title.
This confusion over land titles finally led many of the Nottingham residents to pick up and move elsewhere. This move accelerated after 1730 as more and more of the Nottingham descendants began to immigrate to other regions to find cheaper land and better opportunity. The evidence shows that many who left moved to that part of Prince George’s county Maryland that became Frederick County in 1748. Others moved to old Frederick County, Virginia, to Loudon County in northern Virginia, and to central and southside Virginia. Some moved directly to the central Carolinas and Georgia.
Hopewell Monthly Meeting, which is near present-day Winchester, Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley, was settled in large part by Quakers from Nottingham who followed Alexander Ross to the Shenandoah Valley to settle 100,000 acres in the 1730's.
Now, why have I spent so much time on this discussion of the Nottingham lots and the townships of West and East Nottingham? The answer is because a number of names we might find very interesting appear on the tax lists for these townships between the years 1718 and 1730. These names include SOLOMON ALRED and JEREMIAH YORK, both of whom appear on the tax lists for West Nottingham Township. Solomon appears on the lists for 1724 and 1730. On the 1724 tax list, the names Solomon Alred and Jeremiah York are written one under the other possibly suggesting they lived close to each other. Another name that appears on these same tax lists is that of Samuel Finley whom I will discuss in more detail shortly.
Now, there are several reasons why it seems highly likely that the Solomon Alred on these West Nottingham township tax lists is a direct descendant of John and Ellen Pemberton Allred of Eccles parish, Lancashire, England, maybe even the son Solomon who was baptized 12 Nov 1680. If so, he would have been about 44 when he first appears on the 1724 tax list. It also seems likely that the Solomon Alred who received a land grant in central North Carolina in 1752 is descended from this earlier Solomon of Chester County, Pennsylvania, perhaps his son. For one thing, the names Phineas, Theophilus, John, and Solomon appear in the North Carolina Solomon’s line as well as among the names of the children of John and Ellen Allred. For another, there is the Quaker-Presbyterian connection both in England and in Chester County where many of the dissenters who left England settled.
There is also another item which I won’t dwell on here, but it involves the name Randle Janney. You will recall that I mentioned one of the original settlers of the Nottingham lots was also named Randle Janney. It turns out that these Janneys were Quakers who came from a part of Cheshire, England that is not too distant from the part of Lancashire England where John and Ellen Pemberton lived. This Janney family is the subject of two articles published by Miles White, Jr. who researched this family extensively. One appears in the Southern Historical Association Magazine., the other in the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography.
White’s research shows there was a Randull Janney who married an Ellen Alrodd in Cheshire. Their son Thomas married Elizabeth Worthington by whom he had a son Thomas Janney who married Margaret Heath. Margaret’s sister, Ann Heath, married James Harrison., and their daughter Phoebe married Phineas Pemberton, son of Ralph Pemberton. It was Ralph’s sister Ellen that married John Allred. In short, there is some connection between the Randall Janney family, the Allred family, and the Harrison, Heath, and Pemberton families that goes back to England. A number of these families immigranted from England and settled in Chester County in the late 1600s.
Let me turn for just a minute to Jeremiah York who appears on the tax records of West Nottingham township between the years 1718-1729. Jeremiah is also mentioned in the 1722 will of a John Wilson of Cecil County, Maryland who left him some personal property. Remember that I said that Cecil County bordered West Nottingham township on the south and this area was in dispute until the 1764 Mason-Dixon survey.
Jeremiah disappears from the West Nottingham tax lists after 1730 indicating he and his family moved about this time to the Pipe Creek area of Prince Georges County, Maryland. In a book on old southern Bible records by Memory Aldridge Lester, there is a record that says that Jeremiah's son, Henry Yorke, was born on Pipe Creek on 6 Aug 1732. This Pipe Creek area would have likely fallen in Monocacy Hundred of Prince Georges County for which a 1733 tax list exists. However, Jeremiah York is not listed on this tax list suggesting he had moved on by this date to an area that is today in Jefferson County, West Virginia, but was then part of old Frederick County, Virginia.
We know for sure Jeremiah was in old Frederick County, Virginia by 1736 because the land records show he was living on part of a 1,200 acre tract of land called "Terrapin Neck," by 25 Oct 1736. Most probably, Jeremiah Yorke moved into this area of Virginia in late 1732 or early 1733.
The "Terrapin Neck" tract had been purchased by John Browning from Jost Hite who had James Wood make a survey on 10 Nov 1735. Hite, one of the Palatine Germans who came over with Johan Dider Elrod, had moved into this area of old Frederick County sometime between 21 Oct 1731 and 28 Nov 1732 and acquired large tracts on condition that he induce settlers to come and take up land there. I suspect Jeremiah York was one such settler.
Jeremiah was still living on the Terrapin Neck track in 1751, because on 7 June 1751 he received a Fairfax grant for 323 acres of the NE-most part of the Browning tract. However, York sold this property a couple of years later to a William Chapline. This was on 4 Jul 1753. In the deed, he was called Jeremiah York Sr. The chain carriers on the survey were THOMAS YORK and DAVIS YORK, probably sons. The name JOHN YORK also appears in the records of "old" Frederick County, Virginia when he and Thomas were chain carriers in a survey of a tract on Opeckon Creek made in 1763. His son Jeremiah Jr. was living on an adjacent tract on 13 Jul 1773 when Joseph Mitchell received a Fairfax grant "on Great Cacepehon" which is a river in what is now Hampshire County, West Virginia. It is possible that Jeremiah Sr. moved to North Carolina about the time he sold his land to William Chapline, or he may have moved in with one of his sons and remained in Virginia.
I want you to remember the name William Chapline—the man who bought Jeremiah York’s property -- because he had a brother named Joseph Chapline whom I will say more about. But first, let me now return to Solomon Alred and Chester County, Pennsylvania. As I have already said, Solomon’s name appears on the West Nottingham township tax lists for the years 1724 and 1730. Unfortunately, despite a great deal of searching, I have not been able to find any other record relating to him. However, there is an interesting connection that involves the name Samuel Finley. As I said earlier, Finley also appears on the West Nottingham township tax lists during the same period as Solomon Alred and Jeremiah York. He first appears in 1718 while 1732 is the last year he is listed.
We know that some time in the early 1730s, Samuel Finley left Chester County, Pennsylvania and moved to Prince Georges County where he died in 1737 leaving only an oral or nuncupative will. It was dated 16 Oct 1737, and it was proved in court on 2 Feb 1737/38. In his will, Finley leaves his entire estate to "JOHNNY ALDRIDGE" but does not say who this Johnny Aldridge is, or where he lived. Henry Enoch and Joseph Metcalf witnessed the will. I won’t go into it here, but I can show this Enoch family was well acquainted with Jeremiah York in old Frederick County, Virginia.
Now, I mentioned earlier that Jeremiah York sold his land in old Frederick County, Virginia to a William Chapline. It turns out that William’s brother, Joseph Chapline, was named as executor of Samuel Finley’s estate during the administration proceedings. Chapline began settling Finley’s estate with an appraisal dated 15 Mar 1738 and proved in court on 29 Jun 1738. The appraisers were Johannes Noll and John More. Thomas Wale and William Norris were named as creditors. There were two inventories taken of the estate. The first was dated 24 Jun 1738 and proved in court 31 May 1739. A second was proved on 24 June 1739 and it shows payments to a number of individuals including Joseph Medcalfe, Henry Enoch, and William Norris. It is stated in the inventory that there were no known heirs. In this court proceeding, there was testimony that Samuel Finley had been charged by a Joseph Evans, in Oppeckon, County of Orange, with stealing a horse in Chester County, Pennsylvania in 1735. The reference to Oppeckon, County of Orange, is to that part of Orange County, Virginia that later became old Frederick County, Virginia, and Oppeckon refers to a creek near present-day Winchester, Virginia.
The administration of Samuel Finley’s estate in Maryland took some time because we find a court
proceeding of 23 Jun 1741 which ordered payments from the estate to a number of creditors including Thomas Wale and Robert Finley, who was probably Samuel’s brother. Joseph Chapline was again the administrator.
So, who was the “Johnny Aldridge” to whom Finley left his entire estate? We don’t know for sure, but it appears likely he was living in Chester County, Pennsylvania in the late 1730s at which time he was still a minor. We know this from a court proceeding which Joseph Chapline instituted in an Orphan’s Court proceeding held in Chester County, Pennsylvania on 30 May 1738. In this proceeding, Chapline set forth a petition to the court which was worded as follows:
"JOHN ALDRED having petitioned the Court Setting forth that being a minor and a Considerable Estate being left him by SAM'L FFINLEY which if not timely taken care of may Suffer very much and therefore prays to be Admitted to Chuse his Guardian which is allowed of and the minor Nominating JOSEPH CHAPLAIN of Prince Georges in the province of Maryland who is hereby Admitted to prosecute & defend all Suits pleas and actions for and in the acct of the S'd Minor as the Law directs."
So, the man called “Johnny Aldridge” in Finley’s Maryland will was actually a young boy named John Aldred who probably lived in or near West Nottingham township in Chester County. And it appears that Joseph Chapline may have been appointed his guardian. Perhaps he moved back to Maryland with Chapline since he became the court appointed guardian.
At the present time, I cannot tell you anything further about this John Aldred except that he was born between 1722 and 1738. Nor can I say anything about his relation to his Finley. My best guess at the moment is that he may have been a son of the Solomon Alred who appears on the West Nottingham tax lists up to 1730. If so, he may be the John Allred who received a land grant in what is now Randolph County on 15 Mar 1755. John’s grant also refers to Thomas Alldrid. Perhaps both John and Thomas were sons of the Solomon of Chester County. More research will be needed before we can say with certainty.
What about Samuel Finley? Research by others that have studied this Finley family, say he was born in May of 1684 in County Armagh in Ireland, the son of Robert Finley and Margaret Lauder who were married in 1680. Robert died there on 18 Jun 1712. You may remember that the Hollingsworth family also came from Armagh. It is also said that Samuel Finley had a daughter named Isabella who married James Patterson, son of James Patterson Sr. and Anne Corry. There was a James Patterson on the West Nottingham township tax lists at the same time as Samuel Finley, Jeremiah York, and Solomon Alred.
Besides, Samuel, it is said that Robert and Margaret had 4 other sons: Michael, Robert, Archibald, and John, all of whom were staunch Presbyterians. Robert and John also settled in Nottingham township. A John Finley of Nottingham, perhaps Samuel’s brother, is listed in 1739 as an Elder of Donegal Presbytery. He may also be the John Finley who died intestate in Nottingham in 1753. Robert Finley of West Nottingham died in West Nottingham in 1741.
I wish I could give you answers to all the questions you must have about the origins of the family, but I can’t. Perhaps with more work, we will eventually put the puzzle together.
This John is not the son of William Aldridge and Alice Fallin of Northumberland Co, Virginia.
John Allred's Timeline
May 16, 1706
Randolph County, North Carolina, United States
Hillsborough, Randolph, North Carolina, United States
Northumberland County, Virginia, United States
Northumberland, Virginia, United States
Northumberland, Virginia, USA
Northumberland, Virginia, USA
Northumberland, Virginia, USA
Northumberland, Virginia, USA