Five Ancestors Ago–Nancy McSwain Allen (52 Ancestors)

Nancy McSwain Allen was my 3rd great grandmother via

  • her son David Jones Allen
  • his daughter Virginia Allen Smith
  • her son
  • his daughter

According to her gravestone, she was born August 22, 1828 and died May 10, 1806.  The year of her birth was fairly close to what was reported on each census I’ve seen.

I’ve found a Nancy McSwain (age 21) living with Sarah McSwain (age 36) and Thomas McSwain (age 1) in Centre, Stanly County, NC.  This could be my Nancy living with a sister or sister-in-law.

Nancy and William were married with two children by 1860.  My mother’s notes indicate 1852 but I haven’t found anything to correlate that yet.

I don’t know a lot about Nancy other than she lost her husband during the Civil War and was left with two small children to raise on her own.  In 1880 she and son, David, are living in Stanly County.  In 1900, she is living with son David and his family, again in Stanly County, NC.

Her will leaves all property to her son and names him as executor.  It does not mention her daughter Sarah nor any children of Sarah.

According to my mother’s notes, her parents were Charles and Lurana Washburn McSwain perhaps of Rutherford County, NC.  However, I haven’t found the proof of this as of yet, either.

 

Sources:

  • Allen, Nancy.  US Federal Census.  1880 & 1900.
  • McSwain, Nancy.  US Federal Census.  1850.
  • Stanly County Wills.
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Five Ancestors Ago–William Allen (52 Ancestors #5)

I found a challenge yesterday and thought it would be a perfect way to really get this blog going.  I’m going to go back (cheat) and add the other two for previous weeks and I’ll catch up the other two posts sometime later.  In August of 1862, William Allen headed to war.  On August 6th, his will was recorded in Stanly County.

This is my last will that my wife Nancy shall after my death have all my possessions; all that is mine shall be hers to raise my children with.  This is my last will and testament.

When I came across the will I was surprised at how short it was, but in a way, it goes right along with how the last few months of his life went.  Two days later, on August 8th, he enlisted in Stanly County.

He traveled all the way to Northhampton County, just over 200 miles, then headed towards Fredrickburg, Virginia.  Family legends holds that,

he made his will and left in August, laid out in the fields in December or January in the snow, caught pneumonia, and was dead by February.

It seems there were a lot of deaths from disease more so than actual war wounds.

According to his records, he has black eyes, dark hair, and a dark complexion and was 6’1 1/2″.   His records  also say he died on February 4, but someone whom I corresponded with, the person actually provided me with these records, wonders if that’s wrong because of another date that’s out there in March.

This I don’t know.  What I do know is that in May 1863, his father, Joseph Allen, took his will to open court for probate and he left behind his wife, Nancy McSwain Allen, and two small children, Sarah and David.  I haven’t found what happened to Sarah yet, but Nancy and David were never apart.  She lived with him until her death.

William is my third great grandfather.

Three Ancestors Ago…A Picture doesn’t always tell the whole story (52 Ancestors #3)

For this photo, Grandmother Allen (Rosa Caudle Allen) took little Virginia and Margie to Troy. It may be hard to tell from the photo, but this was no simple feat. She had to get them up early and get a ride to the train station in Norwood (a couple miles away). Then, they took the train from Norwood to Troy, a distance of about 15-18 miles as the crow flies. It was coal powered, so they wore their old clothes for the trip. Once they were in Troy, Grandmother picked up their new dresses and got them all gussied up. The pair was finally ready for their picture! After the picture, it was time to undo everything! They changed back into their old clothes and carefully packed up the new dresses. They rode the train back to Norwood and an uncle was there to pick them up. What a long day! But also, what a beautiful picture.

Virginia Allen is my great grandmother.

Picture of the Allen Sisters ~1910

Allen Sisters, ~1910