Skip to content
January 21, 2019 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Notables: The Allens of Hunts Creek, Part VIII

“A Typical Mammy,” 1897. Social Life in Old Virginia before the War, by Thomas Nelson Page.
Illustrated by Genevieve Cowles and Maude Cowles.

 

The Fall 2018 Issue of Central Virginia Heritage includes three Allen family wills transcribed by Jean L. Cooper. These wills inspired “The Allens of Hunts Creek.”

Need to catch up? Click here: Buckingham Notables: The Allens of Hunts Creek, Part I

~

William Hunt Allen, 1806 will, continued

William Hunt Allen widely dispersed his slaves, especially to younger family members, some of whom did not live or remain in Buckingham County. Some African-American families may have been divided, though Allen did make an effort to keep at least two mothers together with their children.

Following his widow’s death, William Hunt Allen desired that the “negro girl” Aggy, go to his great-niece Elizabeth Gates. Also, without qualification, Elizabeth received the direct gift of Maggey and her daughter, Fanny. Elizabeth Gates died in Bedford County, Virginia, which may have been the eventual home for these women.

Also following Elizabeth Allen’s death, a “negro boy” named Archer was to be given to William Hunt Allen’s great-nephew, George. His brother, Walter Clopton Allen, received “a negro boy” named George as an outright gift. This Allen line removed to Tennessee, possibly taking their slaves even further from Buckingham County.

Other slaves stood a better chance of staying in Buckingham.

Martha A. (Jones) Cottrell, the mother of George and Walter Clopton Allen, was remembered by William Hunt Allen. Her current husband, Richard Cottrell/Cottrill, inherited two slaves—Candice and Tomboy. William Hunt Allen also left a “negro boy” named Vincent to a man named William Cottrell, who married William Hunt Allen’s niece, yet another Elizabeth Allen, daughter of George Hunt and Mary (Ballard) Allen.

Three sons of Col. Samuel Allen of Buckingham County received the following individuals: William was given Charity and her two children Cissely & Betty; John received a boy named Solomon; and Sutton Farrar Allen became the owner of a boy named Ben.

William Hunt Allen’s great-nephew, Benjamin Clopton Glover, also of Buckingham County, inherited a “negro girl” named Rhoda.

Coming next: Buckingham Notables: The Allens of Hunts Creek, Part IX

January 17, 2019 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Notables: The Allens of Hunts Creek, Part VII

Allen Territory.  Note: Rocky and Hunts creeks.  

Buckingham County, Virginia, northeast corner, c. 1991.

The Fall 2018 Issue of Central Virginia Heritage includes three Allen family wills transcribed by Jean L. Cooper. These wills inspired “The Allens of Hunts Creek.”

Need to catch up? Click here: Buckingham Notables: The Allens of Hunts Creek, Part I

~

William Hunt Allen, 1806 will, continued

William Hunt Allen also gave instructions as to the disbursement of his wife’s property after her death, distributing rather than concentrating his extensive holdings in Buckingham County. Since we don’t know Elizabeth Allen’s age at the time of her husband’s death or her death date, it is difficult to discern how and when her property was dispersed.

First, William Hunt Allen ordered his nephew, William Allen (son of George), to sell the home plantation after his widow’s death and, rather specifically, to purchase lands in “the western country with the profits arising therefrom for the benefit of himself during his life but then to be for the equal benefit of all his sons which he may leave at his death.”

Thankfully, William Hunt Allen identified this William Allen’s father as George. He was George Hunt Allen (1734–1778), who married Mary Ballard. This William Allen was born in Buckingham County on April 5, 1771 and married his cousin Nancy Allen. Members of this line indeed moved westerly, first to Tennessee and then to Texas.

Additionally, after Elizabeth Allen’s death, nephew William Allen (son of George) was to inherit six slaves originally left to Elizabeth. William also directly inherited slaves Hannah and “great Tom,” as well as 400 acres on Rockey Creek in Buckingham County, which he was free to sell and the profits of which were to purchase “lands in the western county.” It was a sizable inheritance.

This nephew was clearly a trusted favorite of William Hunt Allen, perhaps, a surrogate son. From the wording of the will, William Allen was already planning his family’s removal to Tennessee, escaping the increasingly crowded Central Virginia. A widely known gentleman, William Allen is the author of the third Buckingham County will and his obituary appeared in the Richmond Enquirer on March 16, 1824. He died in Virginia before making the move to Tennessee, though his widow and their children went west after his death—perhaps, primarily funded by William Hunt Allen.

Coming next: Buckingham Notables: The Allens of Hunts Creek, Part VIII

 

January 16, 2019 / Joanne Yeck

Book News: Archival Treasures

Archival Treasures in Virginia

The Winter 2018 issue of Central Virginia Heritage, published by the Central Virginia Genealogical Association, is now available and includes my article “Buckingham County Gold: The Allen Family Papers.”  In it, I reveal my complex relationship to this family and offer suggestions about how to utilize the collection and others like it.

As a result of Buckingham County’s courthouse fire in 1869, genealogists and historians lack a solid vein of vital records containing this Virginia county’s rich past and are forced to dig hither and yon for nuggets of information. Today, many helpful records are preserved in private collections, including the impressive “Allen Family Papers” safeguarded in the Virginia Historical Society’s archive, housed at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture in Richmond.

Available at Amazon: Central Virginia Heritage (Winter 2018)

 

January 14, 2019 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Notables: The Allens of Hunts Creek, Part VI

Courtesy Central Virginia Heritage (Fall 2018)

The Fall 2018 Issue of Central Virginia Heritage includes three Allen family wills transcribed by Jean L. Cooper. These wills inspired “The Allens of Hunts Creek.”

Need to catch up? Click here: Buckingham Notables: The Allens of Hunts Creek, Part I

~

William Hunt Allen, 1806 will, continued

First, William Hunt Allen considered the security and comfort of his widow, Elizabeth, who received the household and kitchen furniture, the family wagon, three horses of her choice, half of the Allen stock of cattle, all of the sheep and hogs, as well as any corn on hand and part of the wheat. She also inherited a sizable farm:

[In] lieu and bar of dower in my estate . . . I leave to her during her life the following tract of land, to wit, Beginning at a white oak corner in my fathers William Allens old line, below Hunt’s Creek, thence crossing the creek in the said old line to Guerrant’s line to a branch called and known by the name of the (WA) branch to a path called the Schoolhouse path which is a dividing line, between myself and Peter Guerrant, thence along the said path to my line where it crosses the said path, thence along my line to the land I bought of Adrian Anglin, thence, along the said Anglin’s old line so far as that a line may be drawn therefrom crossing the land which I purchased of the said Adrian Anglin and the land I had of my father to include my Barn and Orchard and four hundred acres of land. . . .

Elizabeth Allen also received slaves to serve her. The will continued:

I also leave to my wife during her life the following negroes to wit, Bettey, Fanny, Peter, Isham, Little Henry, Aggy, Archer and Molly, also a boy by the name of Jerry until he arrives to twenty one, after which time my desire is that the said Jerry may go free. I also leave to [my] wife during her life my negro woman Conday. . . .

Who was Jerry and why was he to be freed at the age of twenty-one? A search of the 1810 and 1820 census did not produce a free black man named Jerry living in Buckingham County. If a Slate River Ramblings reader recognizes him, please comment.

Also, does anyone know which schoolhouse was near Hunts Creek c. 1806? If so, please comment below.

Coming Next: Buckingham Notables: The Allens of Hunts Creek, Part VII

January 10, 2019 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Notables: The Allens of Hunts Creek, Part V

William Hunt Allen will. Courtesy Library of Virginia.

The Fall 2018 Issue of Central Virginia Heritage includes three Allen family wills transcribed by Jean L. Cooper. These wills inspired “The Allens of Hunts Creek.”

Need to catch up? Click here: Buckingham Notables: The Allens of Hunts Creek, Part I

~

The second Allen will transcribed by Jean L. Cooper and published in Central Virginia Heritage (Fall 2018) was written by William Hunt Allen on May 29, 1806, entered into Buckingham County’s Court on October 13, 1806, and now available at the Library of Virginia, it is an extraordinary document filled with clues to Allen family kinship webs, affiliated families, and neighbors in northeastern Buckingham County.

According to Allen-family genealogist Rev. Richard Fenton Wicker, Jr., William Hunt Allen, son of William and Mary (Hunt) Allen, was born in Henrico County, Virginia on May 7, 1724 and married a woman named Elizabeth. Rev. Wicker never discovered her maiden name.

William Hunt Allen, who lived to the age of eighty-two, purchased 680 acres from his father, his property stretching between Slate River and Hunts Creek in Buckingham County. In 1774, he patented an additional 100 acres on Greens Creek in Buckingham and, over the years, purchased numerous additional tracts. An affluent man, on the 1787 tax list, William Hunt Allen reported twenty-six slaves, nine horses, and twenty-nine head of cattle.

Rev. Wicker identifies William Hunt Allen as a leader in the community and the county. Believing Allen to be childless, his property was bequeathed to his widow, nephews, nieces, and other relations. Wicker was saddened by the fact that such an important Buckingham County figure had no lineal descendants, writing: “This editor feels sorrow that no children came from his marriage. They would have been a tremendous contribution to the Commonwealth of Virginia if they had had any of the intelligence, public service orientation, and generous spirit of their father.”

Coming next: Buckingham Notables: The Allens of Hunts Creek, Part VI

January 7, 2019 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Notables: The Allens of Hunts Creek, Part IV

 

 

The Fall 2018 Issue of Central Virginia Heritage includes three Allen family wills transcribed by Jean L. Cooper. These wills inspired “The Allens of Hunts Creek.”

Need to catch up? Click here: Buckingham Notables: The Allens of Hunts Creek, Part I

~

Jesse Allen, 1780 will, continued

Jesse Allen of Buckingham, Amherst, and Nelson counties, was the author of the first transcribed will, written on July 27, 1780 and entered into court on June 3, 1782. Unmarried and childless, Jesse Allen left the majority of his property to the family of his brother and sister-in-law, Samuel and Hannah (Jopling) Allen.

Samuel’s son, Jesse Allen, received all of his uncle’s land in Amherst County.

Samuel’s son, George Allen, received all of his uncle’s land in Buckingham County, as well as two Negro slaves, Will and Job.

Samuel’s daughter, Lucy Allen, received a bequest of four Negro slaves: Kate, [illegible], Nan, and Linnas.

Jesse Allen also desired that his brother, Samuel, collect and pay his debts. Once the accounts were settled, Samuel would receive two horses and one mare named Holliday, Buck, and Polly.

According to Rev. Richard Fenton Wicker, Jr., author of The Allen Family of England, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Texas and Illinois, 1600–1995, Samuel Allen (a. k. a. Samuel Hunt Allen) was born in what would become Buckingham County on November 8, 1750. His will was proven in Amherst County, Virginia, on January 20, 1800, over seventeen years after the death of his brother, Jesse.

Coming next: Buckingham Notables: The Allens of Hunts Creek, Part V

January 3, 2019 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Notables: The Allens of Hunts Creek, Part III

Snowden For Sale. Jesse Jopling, Trustee for Zachariah Nevil.

The Fall 2018 Issue of Central Virginia Heritage includes three Allen family wills transcribed by Jean L. Cooper. These wills inspired “The Allens of Hunts Creek.”

Need to catch up? Click here: Buckingham Notables: The Allens of Hunts Creek, Part I

~

Jesse Allen, 1780 will, continued

To my surprise, I recognized Jesse Allen’s legatee Jesse Jopling, first encountering him through a Nevil-Jefferson connection. (Recall that Jesse Allen’s mother was Betheniah Thomas. Her father was James Nevil, making her kin to Zachariah Nevil of Nelson county who died in 1830.)

In 1803, Randolph Jefferson’s only daughter, Anna Scott Jefferson, married Zachariah Nevil. When Nevil died suddenly in 1830, he left no will and two of his four children were minors. Anna Scott (Jefferson) Nevil had predeceased her husband.

Their oldest son, James Lilburne Nevil, and Jesse Jopling were appointed administrators to Nevil’s estate. Lafayette Nevil chose Jesse Jopling as his guardian.

Jesse Jopling grew to have a wide influence. In 1810, while living in Buckingham County, he owned thirty slaves, three of them may have been the individuals inherited from Jesse Allen. By 1830, he lived in Nelson County. He died in Albemarle County in March of 1837 and, in July of 1839, his plantation was advertised for sale in the Richmond Enquirer. Located in Albemarle County, “Peach Orchard” contained 700 acres. It was Jopling’s home at the time of his death, described as “valuable and very desirable. . . . Having on it a large and good dwelling house, an excellent young Apple Orchard of choice fruit, grape vines, peach trees, &c.” In addition to these Albemarle lands, there was property in Nelson, to be sold by Holman Jopling and James Pamplin.

~

For more about Jesse Jopling, the Jeffersons, and the Nevil family, see “Anna Scott Jefferson: The Rise and Fall of the Nevils of Nelson County,” in my newest book: Peter Field Jefferson: Dark Prince of Scottsville & Lost Jeffersons.

Coming next: Buckingham Notables: The Allens of Hunts Creek, Part IV

 

 

December 31, 2018 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Notables: The Allens of Hunts Creek, Part II

Jesse Allen Will. Courtesy Library of Virginia.

The Fall 2018 Issue of Central Virginia Heritage includes three Allen family wills transcribed by Jean L. Cooper. These wills inspired “The Allens of Hunts Creek.”

Need to catch up? Click here: Buckingham Notables: The Allens of Hunts Creek, Part I

~

Some of William and Mary (Hunt) Allen’s children remained in Goochland and Cumberland counties; others moved west with their parents. One son, named John, married Betheniah Thomas (a. k. a. Nevil), c. 1748. Their son, Jesse Allen, is the author of the first transcribed will published in Central Virginia Heritage (Fall 2018). Written on July 27, 1780 and entered into court on June 3, 1782, his will may have been recorded in Amherst and Albemarle counties, as well as Buckingham.

Jesse Allen was in his mid-thirties when he died, unmarried and childless. He had a brother, Samuel Allen, who married Hannah Jopling, providing an important clue to Jesse Allen’s connection to the Joplings named in his will.

Legatee Jesse Jopling, son of Alsey Jopling, received three Negro slaves: Lucy, Sarah and Tillis, along with their increase. Jesse Jopling also received one feather bed and furniture, one mare and colt, and all of Jesse Allen’s stock of cattle and sheep. At the time of Allen’s death, Jesse Jopling was still a minor. If he died before his twenty-first birthday, this legacy would go to the children of Jesse Allen’s brother, Samuel.

Jesse Jopling does not appear in Rev. Wicker’s genealogy of the Allen family. It did not take long, however, to discover that he was kin to Jesse Allen. A Jopling genealogy revealed that Jesse Jopling was the son of Ralph and Alsey (Allen) Jopling, the daughter of John and Betheniah Allen. Jesse Jopling was a nephew and a namesake. Jesse Allen had a sister named Alsey who was unknown to Rev. Wicker!

Other members of the Jopling family witnessed the will: Thomas Jopling, Jr. (likely Hannah’s brother), Betheniah Hilton, and Thomas T. Jopling, Sr. (probably Hannah Allen’s father, who was elderly and signed with his mark).

Coming next: Buckingham Notables: The Allens of Hunts Creek, Part III

December 27, 2018 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Notables: The Allens of Hunts Creek, Part I

Central Virginia Heritage (Fall 2018)

 

If your families settled in Buckingham County in the late 18th or early 19th century, and lived in the northeast corner of the county, you might have an Allen in your family tree.

The Fall 2018 Issue of Central Virginia Heritage includes three Allen family wills transcribed by Jean L. Cooper. These rare documents go a long way toward illuminating one of Buckingham County’s earliest settlers and inspired the following series at Slate River Ramblings: “The Allens of Hunts Creek.”  Images of the original wills can be found here:

Library of Virginia: LOST RECORDS LOCALITIES DIGITAL COLLECTION

~

During the 18th century, one Allen family migrated west from New Kent County, Virginia to Henrico/Goochland/Albemarle/Buckingham counties. The patriarch, William Allen, would become one of the founders of the newly formed Albemarle County where he was involved in the establishment of the courthouse at Scott’s Landing.

In the 1990s, Rev. Richard Fenton Wicker, Jr. compiled a thorough genealogy of this Allen family entitled The Allen Family of England, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Texas and Illinois, 1600–1995. While some of his conclusions have since been disproved, his work is full of primary source references and clues for more research. Throughout this series, I rely on his work, which includes this statement about Capt. William Allen:

Mr. Allen also had the contract for the construction of the new courthouse for Albemarle County at Scottsville. This courthouse was to be a duplicate of the ‘fine courthouse’ in Goochland County. (The bond for the Courthouse read as follows: Sealed with our seals & dated 27 June 1745. The condition of this obligation is such that Samuel Scott shall by or before the last day of June 1747; build at his own charge and expense, a court house, prison, stocks & pillory for use of Albemarle County. The prison is to be built first, according to the dimensions of those in Goochland County. Samuel Scott (seal), William Allen (seal).

William Allen and his family came west over several decades. Following the death of his first wife, Hannah, Allen left New Kent County, Virginia sometime after the spring of 1720 and moved westward to Fine Creek in Goochland County. There, his neighbor was Peter Jefferson (father of President Thomas Jefferson). Together, they served the county as Gentleman Justices.

William Allen’s second wife, born Mary Hunt (1695–1763, was the widow of Robert Minge. (After William Allen’s death, Mary married Field Jefferson, brother of Peter Jefferson.)

The Allens began their family in 1721, rearing at least nine children. In about 1745, Allen sold his Fine Creek property, relocating to Albemarle County, south of the James River, near Slate River at Hunts Creek. Between 1735 and 1756, he accumulated six patents in what would become Buckingham County.

This William Allen wrote his will on August 15, 1751 and it was recorded in Albemarle on June 11, 1752. In it he named his widow, sons, daughters, and various grandsons. Some of these individuals will appear again in the wills transcribed in Central Virginia Heritage.

Coming next: Buckingham Notables: The Allens of Hunts Creek, Part II

~

Available at Amazon: Central Virginia Heritage (Fall 2018)

Also featured in this issue is my article, “Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire: Tracing My Harris Ancestor from One Burned County to Another.”

December 24, 2018 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County Murder: Manteo Killing, Part IV

Courtesy Alexandria Gazette.

In 1911, Curtis N. Branch was murdered in Buckingham County. Click here to catch up:

Buckingham County Murder: Manteo Killing, Part I

The news of the murder of Curtis Branch was published across Virginia, including notices in the Alexandria Gazette and Newport News’ Daily Press. The story was even reported beyond the state, including an article in The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Richmond’s Times-Dispatch followed printed a new report in its December 4, 1911 issue, announcing that there was a reward of $350 for information about the slayer of Curtis Branch. This article indicated that not only was Buckingham County’s Commonweath’s Attorney Edmund W. Hubard involved in the case but also that the US government had sent a detective to investigate because the looting of the post office included the theft of postal funds and stamps.

Here the story ends. No further coverage in Virginia newspapers has been found.

If a Slate River Ramblings reader knows more Curtis Branch, his family, or about the capture of his murderer, please comment below.