Was a native of Pennsylvania, but ran away from home at the age of sixteen, and enlisted in the revolutionary war, where he remained till its close, when he went to Kentucky and engaged in running the Upper and Lower Blue Lick Salt Works. He was passionately fond of hunting, and found a paradise in this state, where game abounded. He was married, it is thought, while in Kentucky, to Miss Kyger. The couple came to near Springfield, Clarke County, Ohio, which at that time consisted of a few scattering cabins. During the war of 1812, he started to Fort Wayne to join the American army. However, the war had closed before he arrived at his destination. He next came to this county with his family, and "squatted" on the site of Allentown, now the junction of the D. & S. E. and C. M. & C. railroads. He retained his hunting propensities, killed much game, and provided venison for the family table and buckskin for the wearing apparel of the young men. Allen afterward removed to the immediate vicinity of the hamlet of Allentown, in which he resided till his death, which occurred in 1851, at the age of ninety-four years. He was a patriotic citizen, and often predicted the war of the rebellion. He had eight children, four of whom survive: Elijah, William, and Ethan, who reside near the old home, and Adam, who resides in Madison County.


From R. S. Dills' History of Fayette County




The genealogy of Adam Allen’s life was undertaken to establish the parental lineage of Adam Allen for all his descendants that began in Mason County Kentucky and Fayette County, Ohio.

Early Life

The story of Adam Allen begins in 1794[10] with his birth in along the Youghiogheny River which today runs through Fayette County, Pennsylvania. For those who are not aware, the counties in the state of Pennsylvania went through dramatic name changes during the 1700’s. In Fact, the history of Fayette County, Pennsylvania is as follows: Chester Co prior to 1729, Lancaster Co from 1729 to 1750, Cumberland Co from 1750 to 1771, Bedford Co from 1771 to 1773, Westmoreland County 1773 to 1781 and finally Fayette County in 1781.

Unlike, earlier family lore stating Adams parents being that of Joseph and Elizabeth Allen, we now know his parents were in fact Benjamin and Sarah (Powell) Allen of Fayette County, Pennsylvania. This new information came to us through letters Adam Allen wrote his sister Nancy (Allen) Shaver recently found in her husband’s pension files for the Revolutionary War [2, 3]. Adams father, Benjamin Allen was noted as one of the first settlers of Rostraver Township which at first was part of Bedford County and later became Fayette County. He was listed on the Tax Rolls of 1772 [4]. Benjamin and wife Sarah Allen at that time lived at the Forks of the Youghiogheny River which is at the southwest portion of the state of Fayette, Pennsylvania [5]. Benjamin and Sarah Allen were married in 1755 in what is now Fayette. However, the county at that time was known as Cumberland County. Sarah Allen was reportedly Sarah (Powell), of Fayette, Pennsylvania (daughter of Thomas and Priscilla Powell of Newhaven Connecticut). Sarah Powell was reportedly born between 1732- 1735. We do not know if she was born in Fayette or Connecticut. Through Adam Allen and Jacob Shaver pension records we now understand Adam had more than one brother, however, those names at this time have not been uncovered. We know Benjamin and Sarah had at least three children [3, 5, and 7], a few of these children were the following:

1) Adam Allen, (the subject of this story) born in Fayette, Pennsylvania 1754, married Nancy Kyger in Mason County, Kentucky on January 28, 1795 [6] and later married Nancy Gardner. He died in 1851, Fayette County, Ohio.

2) Nancy Allen, (Adam’s sister) born in Fayette, Pennsylvania 1757, married Jacob Shaver (8th Pennsylvania regiment of foot) about September 1779, and she died at Perry County, Indiana on September 16, 1854 at age 97. The marriage took place at the home of Benjamin and Sarah Allen at Forks of the Youghiogheny River. The Justice of the peace who did the ceremony was Edward Cook [5]. This marriage took place on or about September 1779 [6].

3) Benjamin Jr., born in, Pennsylvania 1776, some records reflect Beaver County. He married Mary Ross and later was to have died in Edgar County, Illinois.

Through Adams own statements in the pension records, It is well understood, he had other brothers besides the Benjamin Jr. mentioned above [7, 3]. We suspect but have no proof that a Josiah Allen, Born 1774 in Fayette, Co. Pennsylvania could be one of these brothers.

Another interesting family lore has been the remarks made by Adam and his sister at different times that they are a second cousin to the now known General Ethan Allen (Green Mountain Boys). Adam Allen as well as his sister Nancy has stated this fact in various letters found in the revolutionary war files [3] as well as family lore. However, as of the time of this writing we have not yet verified whether or not or how Benjamin Allen (Sr.) is related to Ethan Allen’s father.

Early Adulthood

According to the History of Fayette County Ohio, an article was written suggesting that Adam at age 16, “runaway” in his youth to join Washington’s Army [8]. He officially enrolled in the Army in 1776 (at age 17). Some records reflect he was an Aide to General George Washington during this time at Valley Forge [9]. He moved quite frequently in his early youth. The following information was taken from the Fayette County Ohio source.

“After the War he and several friends went west. One account states he went to Kentucky where he engaged in running the Upper and Lower Blue Licks Salt Works. While residing in Mason County, Kentucky, Adam and his neighbor William Weaver entered into a land lease of James Ralph's plantation with Henry Weaver and Henry Storm to be used for raising crops. By 1796 the migration to Ohio began for the Weaver and Storm families. Adam came to Ohio with his wife Nancy Kyger (or Kizer) settling in Champaign near Springfield (now Clark) County where he entered a lease agreement for land in Sec 15 SR 10 T4. The lease was signed on 17 August 1807 by Adam Allen who added his mark on the reverse side with the statement: “I do agree to discharge within note 31 August 1807". It is said he then moved to Fayette and “squatted” on the site of Allentown, now the junction of the Railroad. He later removed to the hamlet of Allentown until death.” [8]


Adam would have received most of his education in and around the farm, homestead in Fayette County, Pennsylvania as well as life experiences through the War and then as he traveled through Kentucky and Ohio for opportunities.


Looking back over the letters written about him during the application process for pension, and in turn by himself, it is important to mention to family members that Adam was described as a reputable person [3, 7]


Adam spent his young adult years as a Soldier and later a Farmer and Hunter of venison and other game for his life [8].


According to a letter written in a letter to his sister in August 1845 mentioned he had been a member of the Methodist Church for some time [3]. It is also believed that he was either a relative to or possibly the same person as an Elijah Allen who met in 1817 with 26 people in a log barn to sign a charter organizing the Bloomingburg Presbyterian Church. Found on page 11, Selected Histories of Fayette County Church by Christopher Siscoe and Maria Wilburn [11].

War Records

Revolution: (Served 1776 – 1779)

Adam was a private in the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment from 1776 to 1779. He served in the Company of Eli Myers under Colonel McCoy [7]. The Regimental 8 commander was officially Colonel Aeneas Mackey (Mackay), in some documents “McCoy” and later at his death on Feb 14th, 1777, this same regiment later became under the command of Colonel Daniel Brodhead. Adam’s company was under Captain Eli Myers and later was replaced by Captain James Carnahan. Carnahan had transferred in from the 13th Pennsylvania regiment in July 1778 [7, 8]. This same regiment was at times under the Division of General Anthony Wayne and General Lachlan McIntosh.

At one time during the war of Revolution, he was an aide to General George Washington (page 14, of official Roster of Soldiers in Revolution, State of Ohio) [9]. He was also known to have been one of the guards for the notorious Benedict Arnold for a two week period while at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The 8th Pennsylvania regiment was “authorized on July 15, 1776, initially to provide protection against Indian attacks on the Western Front. Many soldiers had joined to protect family and friends in the region. The regiment was made up of eight companies. Seven of the companies were made up of men from Westmoreland County and the remaining company came from Bedford County. It was first assembled at Kittanning, Pennsylvania and remained their through November 26, 1776. Under orders the regiment was to join General George Washington in New Jersey on December 4, 1776. Initial difficulties occurred as the men were not well equipped and many had to leave their families unprotected” [13]. The battles and engagements for the eight occurred as follows:

•    New Market, New Jersey (March 1777)

•    Bound Brook, New Jersey, (April 1777) where they were surprised and defeated by the British

•    Battle at Brandywine (September 11, 1777) under the command of General Anthony Wayne to cover Chadds Ford

•    Paoli (September 20, 1777), defeated by British

•    Battle of Germantown (October 4, 1777), again under General Anthony Wayne where the regiment engaged the British with a full frontal assault.

•    Winter Encampment occurred at Valley Forge (December 1777)

•    Went to Fort Pitt (March 8, 1778)

•    Defended the settlements along West Branch of Susquehanna River (July 12, 1778) to counter British inspired raids by Indians against settlements in that area as well as in Wyoming Valley.

•    Was in Muncy (July 1778)

•    Potters Fort (July 24, 1778) facing Indian Attacks

•    Probed the Ohio River (fall of 1778), where the men suffered from lack of supplies.

•    Built Fort McIntosh at mouth of Beaver Creek,

•    Built Fort Laurens at head of Muskingum. Indian raids were a daily occurrence and which the heaviest raids occurred around 1779.

Adam’s declaration for pension states he fought at the Battles of Monmouth New Jersey, Germantown and Brandywine, N.J. and Paoli. He was also known to help built Fort Laurens. After completing his three plus years experience in 1779, He was later He discharged at Fort Pitt, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from Eighth Regiment of Pa Continental Line [7, 12]

At the age of 64, Adam applied for his pension in the Year 1819 on October 11th in the district of Fayette County, Ohio. The claim for pension went out of Jeffersonville, Post Office, Fayette County, Ohio. He had to reapply in March 1825 under Judge James Finley in Brown County. [7] After serving three years in the revolution, Adam received a Pension from the United States for in the Revolution, his number was S44295 on the Microfilms. The pension was $8 dollars a month beginning June 1825.  Even though he fought in Pennsylvania regiment, he later testified he wanted to be remembered as a soldier fighting for what would become the state of Ohio.

1794 Whiskey Rebellion / Whiskey Insurrection

According to family lore and local history, Adam Allen was said to have been listed in one of the books of the Whiskey Rebellion out of Pennsylvania. In this insurrection, Adam would have joined the 13,000 Militia in 1794 to squash the Whiskey Rebellion. We were not able to locate this page however, continuing to prove or disprove this point.

“At the urging of Hamilton, George Washington determined that troops would be needed to put down the, so called, insurrection. The troops, largely from New Jersey, arrived in Carlisle Pennsylvanian late September 1794. Washington and his troops arrived in Bedford, Pennsylvania on October 19th. By early and mid November the "Watermelon Army" began rounding up suspects in western Pennsylvania. These people, suspects and witnesses together, many of the barefoot and lacking winter clothing, were then marched to Philadelphia to stand trial.” [15]

War 1812

The History of Fayette County Ohio stated that Adam made his way to Fort Wayne, Indiana to enroll as a soldier in the War of 1812, however upon reaching the destination the war was over [8]. In our research we noticed that an Elijah Allen served July 26, 1813 to August 16, 1813 out of Fayette Ohio. This individual helped to organize a company and traveled to Detroit, but hostilities ceased upon their arrival. He was a private in Captain Samuel Myers Company, out of Fayette County, Ohio. As before, even though our Adam Allen’s middle name was Elijah and at times went by Elijah, he was more readily known as Adam. As such we were not able to prove that this Elijah is the same as our Adam [16].


By the year 1790, Adam had moved to Mason County, Kentucky and was found on the 1790 Tax list for that year.  A personal letter from Adam to his sister Nancy mentioned that he had two wives [3, 2], the first being Nancy Kyger (Kizer) from which he had 5 daughters by 1820. The existence or names have not been determined to date. Adam married Nancy Kyger on January 28, 1795 in Mason County Kentucky [6]. Not yet proven, he moved with Nancy Kyger to Greene County (which part later became known as Clark County), Ohio with from Mason County, Kentucky [8]. Adam later married a Nancy Gardner at Clark County, Ohio. It has not yet been determined who Nancy’s parents were however, it is mentioned she was born 1759 in Virginia and or in Springfield, Clark County, Ohio.


In total, Adam had 16 children between his two wives. Adam and Nancy Kyger had 5 children (all female). Adam and his second wife, Nancy Gardner, had the following 11 children. Two died in infancy [13]

•    Ethan B. Allen, B: 1815, D: 1880, M: Susannah Straley

•    Elijah Allen. B: 1804, D: 1897, M: Servailia Henkle

•    Nancy Allen, B: 1807, D: 1819, M: Unknown

•    Benjamin Allen, B: 1810, D: 1827 unmarried

•    Adam B. Allen. B: , D: Unknown, M: Rosanna Hidy

•    William Allen, B: 1818, D: Unknown, M: Sarah Hidy

•    Aaron Allen, B: 1819, D: Unknown, M: Milly Jane Gardner

•    Betsy (Elizabeth) Allen, B: Unknown, D: Unknown, M: William Redding

•    Sarah Allen, B: Unknown, D: Unknown, M: William Robinson The following information establishes a time line of Adam Allen’s Travels

•    Born in Fayette County, Pennsylvania 1759

•    Parents had then moved to Rostraver Township, Pennsylvania by 1772.

•    Lived in and around Allegheny and Cumberland County, Penn as late as early 1790

•    Lived at Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky.[3]

•    Lived In Mason County, Kentucky (where he met his wife) as he was in the 1790 Tax list for Mason County [17]

•    Lived in Champaign (now Clark) County where he entered a lease agreement for land in Sec 15 SR 10 T4. The lease was signed on 17 August 1807 (Adam Allen) [8]

•    Lived in Greene County, Ohio, (part of which later became Clark County, Ohio) after 1815.[8]

•    Lived in Fayette County in 1819 (as he was applying for pension Letters in Oct 1819, June 1825), he settled in Allentown, (now Octa). Here he owned 52 acres of land on which he raised his family. His valuable at the time of application of pension was no more than $ 120 [7]

The Passing of Adam Allen

Adam died at the home of his son Ethan, near West Lancaster in Jefferson Township, Allentown (now Octa) Fayetteville, Ohio on August 27, 1851 at age 97 years. To date we have been unable to determine when his first wife Nancy (Kyger) died. Nancy (Gardner) dies October 09, 1844, Jefferson Township, Allentown (now Octa) Fayette, Ohio at age 85. Both Adam and second wife Nancy (Gardner) Allen are buried at Coons Cemetery on Jamestown Pike, Jasper-Jefferson TWP, Milledgeville, on US Route 35, 1 mile North of Milledgeville, Ohio

The Legacy of Adam Allen

Adam will be known as a young man who struck out at a young age and fought for this country's freedom against Great Britain. For his services from the War, the Washington Court House Chapter presented a DAR marker on November 1, 1924 in front of family and friends at the graveside of Adam and Nancy. Miss Fannie Persinger was responsible for the marker ceremony [14].

In another note, we find from the Tribune interview with Sylvester Strong, titled “THE FIRST FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION”.  We extract the following:

"The first Fourth of July celebration was held at this (Adams) tavern, in 1830. Seven old soldiers of the revolutionary war were present. I remember of riding over the country, telling them to come. Among them was a man named Allen, a relative of Ethen Allen of revolutionary fame; his descendants now live at Allentown, Fayette County. Others present were, Robert Snodgrass, Asa Reaves, and Samuel Webb. The last named was present at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis, and saw the General give up his sword. The names of the others I don't recollect." [18]

In the end to sum up this man, he was not only a soldier, but a father, a hard worker, a traveler and a man of faith. In a letter to his sister, I like to think of Adam in these terms, he states “I hope to meet you with all the faithful on the suney banks of eternal deliverance where we shall never part anymore……your affectionate brother, Adam Allen” [3]


[1] Fayette County, Pennsylvania, 1900, Nelson, Page 155,156, Chapter IX, Establishment of Fayette County, Nelson Biographical Dictionary, The Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

[2] Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly, Volume 8, November 1981, Page 59 and 60, reflects the letter of Adam to sister Nancy written in August 1845 specifying many of his children as well as fact he had two wives. In addition, these pages specify the fact that Nancy and Adam were children of Benjamin and Sarah Allen of Fayette, Pennsylvania.

[3] Revolutionary War Pension Files for Jacob Shaver and Nancy (Allen) Shaver, W9648, The David Library of the American Revolution, Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania

[4] List of settlers in Fayette and in contiguous parts of Greene, Washington and Westmoreland Counties in 1772, Page 205, Chapter VII, 1800, by James Veech, “The Monongahela of old, or Historical Sketches of South – Western Pennsylvania to the year 1800. This was in “List of settlers in Allegheny, green, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties in 1772”. It came from an article written by James Veech’s “Monongahela of Old; Historical Sketches of South-Western Pennsylvania to the Year 1800 (1898) Pittsburgh Press (Pages 199-205).

[5] Letter to George Mayse, July 8, 1929 from Rev War and 1812 Wars Section in Pension Files see [3] above.

[6] Allen, Adam and Kiser, Nancy on January 28, 1795, mason County Kentucky Early Marriages Through 1850 - A Surnames http://searches1.rootsweb.com/usgenweb/archives/ky/mason/marriages/marr001.txt

[7] Revolutionary War Pension Files, S44295 (Adam Allen), Pennsylvania. His pension number was S44295 on the Microfilms at David Library of the Revolution, Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania

[8] History of Fayette County, Page 250, by R.S. Dills, 1881

[9] The Official Roster of the Soldiers of the American Revolution Buried in the state of Ohio, Page 14, Adam Allen (Fayette County), by Mrs Harry R. Rankins

[10] DAR Patriot Index- Centennial Edition Part 1, Page 35, {Adam Allen Born 1754}

[11] Selected Histories of Fayette County church by Christopher Siscoe and Maria Wilburn, Page 11

[12] Fayette County, Pennsylvania, Nelson, Pages 146-151, 1900, Nelsons Biographical Dictionary, found at The Historical Society of Pennsylvania

[13] The Pennsylvania Line Regimental Organization and Operation, 1776-1783, By John B.B.Trussell, Jr. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, 1977 Pages 102-110

[14] Family records - from the Allen Family History November 1, 1924 at DAR Marker ceremony of Adam Allen's Grave in Coons Cemetery, North of Milledgeville.

[15] “General Lighthorse Harry Lee by Charles William Peale. The Whiskey Rebellion by Thomas P. Slaughter, 1986, by Oxford University Press: http://www.whiskeyrebellion.org/chapt13.htm

[16] Roster of Ohio Soldiers in the War of 1812, Page 80, Published under Authority of Law by The Adjutant General of Ohio, 1916, Clearfield

[17] http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~hlglkg/Allentaxlists.htm

[18] History of Green County, Ohio, Page 786, “The First Fourth of July Celebration”

Additional Reference Sources:

[19] Personal Family Files,

[20] Ref: Natl No. 109696.

[21] 37th NSDAR Report

[22] Graves of Revolutionary Patriots by Patricia Hatcher, March 1989, Vol 1, A-D

[23] Dictionary of American Family Names  by Elsdon C. Smith, New York 1956, Page 3

[24] Robinsons History of Greene County, Ohio

[25]Georgetown Scott County, Kentucky, Information and copies of some of the family excerpts in the Pension Files can be found at a Kentucky Information Source: http://www.kentuckianagenealogy.org/boards/messages/115/129.html?932797560

[26] Johnson County, Kentucky, A History and genealogy of its people to the year 1927, by. C. Mitchell Hall.

Special Thanks:

Special and warm thanks to the following people and institutions that could make the writing of this project possible.

The David Library of the American Revolution, 1201 River Road, Box 748, Washington Crossing, Pa 18977, 215-493-6776. To Greg Johnson and Katherine Ludwig for their continual efforts and professionalism in helping me find necessary revolutionary war documents for this family. http://www.dlar.org/

Fayette County Clerks Office as well as the Fayette County Historical Society, 110 East Court, Washington Court House, Ohio 43160-1355; To  Mrs. Caroline Shaper for her endless hours and professionalism of helping me searching for family records on this family line.

The Pennsylvania Historical Society, 1300 Locust Street, Philadelphia, Pa 19107 for the use of their books on Western, Pennsylvania. Carol (McCoy) Ellies Moorehead, my mother in law for the Family information and group sheets to begin and understand this family history.

Much Thanks goes further to the following ladies who without further encouragement and agreement the above information may not have ever been shared:

Pam Whalen of Martinsville, Ohio for information on Adam Allen’s son “William Allen”

Sheryl Noble of Monroe Michigan for the information on the Kentucky Family information on the Nancy (Allen) Shaver side – see reference [25]. Which lead to the further research and findings in the David Library and Penn Historical Society.

About the Author

John Scott Chace is a full time insurance executive with a large Insurer and a part time family genealogist. He is the husband of Kristin Ellies who is the daughter of David and Carol Ellies of Washington Court House Ohio. Carol (McCoy) Ellies Moorehead is the daughter of Joseph McCoy and Mabel Allen. Mabel Allen’s was the daughter of James Houston Allen, whose father was Ethan B. Allen and the son of Adam Elijah Allen.