Extant records show that Thomas Allen and his sister, Elizabeth, were the only children of Samuel Allen, Jr. and Frances “Fannie” (Rice) Allen.
Samuel Allen, Jr. is believed to have died about 1799 or 1800, though his death is more likely to have occurred in 1801, as it was in November of that year that his administrator filed the inventory of Samuel’s estate in Granville County, North Carolina. The administrator was his father, Samuel Allen, Sr.
Samuel Allen, Sr. is also known to have made allowances in his will for his orphaned grandchildren, Thomas and Elizabeth Allen, to have the portion of his property that would have gone to their father, Samuel, Jr. In fact, Samuel Allen, Sr. was named a guardian of Thomas and Elizabeth in 1812. When Samuel passed away in early 1813, Thomas and Elizabeth’s uncle-by-marriage, John Jenkins, was named their guardian for purposes of handling their inheritance. Extant records in the holdings of the North Carolina State Archives provided the above information.
Fannie Allen, Thomas and Elizabeth’s mother, was remarried in 1807 to John Earl in Granville County. The Earls relocated to Southwest Virginia (Washington County) shortly after 1810 and likely before 1812, when their second child is known to have been born in Virginia. It is not known why Samuel Allen, Sr. chose to seek guardianship of his grandchildren unless he simply did not want their mother or their new step-father to have any control over their inheritance.
Samuel Allen, Sr. was married to Mary McAllister. Though no record of the couple’s marriage has been located, the biography of their son, the Rev. Zachariah Allen, published in A History of Grassy Creek Baptist Church From its Foundation to 1800, with Biographical Sketches of its Pastors and Ministers by Robert I. Devin, published in 1880, specifically names Zachariah’s parents and Samuel Allen and Mary “McCollister.” It also notes that Zachariah was born in Virginia.
Records indicate that Samuel Allen, Sr.’s father was Joseph Allen of Spotsylvania County, Virginia, who died in 1783. Samuel Allen, Joseph’s son, was named one of his executors. Samuel Allen, Sr. and his wife, Mary, are known to have owned land in Louisa County, Virginia, and some researchers believe that Mary McAllister was born in that county.
Further proof of the connection between Thomas Allen and his grandmother, Mary McAllister, can be found in the Robert B. Allen family Bible, in which Thomas’ daughter’s birth was recorded and her name listed as “Mary Mcaulister Allen.”