Ethan Allen

Ethan Allen (1738 - 1789)

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Colonel Ethan Allen
Born in Litchfield, Litchfield, Connecticutmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married [location unknown]
Husband of — married in Westminster, Windham, Vermont, USAmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Burlington, Chittenden, Vermont, USAmap
Profile last modified | Created 29 Nov 2008
This page has been accessed 47,296 times.

Categories: Litchfield, Connecticut | Green Mountain Boys | British America, French and Indian War | Battle of Ticonderoga | Greenmount Cemetery, Burlington, Vermont | Continental Army Generals, American Revolution | American Founding Fathers | NSDAR Patriot Ancestors | Collaborative Profile of the Week | This Day In History January 10 | This Day In History February 12 | Vermont Project-Managed.

Colonel Ethan Allen served Green Mountain Boys during the American Revolution
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Ethan Allen is a part of Vermont History.
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Ethan Allen (1738-1789) was "a farmer, businessman, land speculator, philosopher, writer, and American Revolutionary War patriot, hero, and politician."[1] He is best known for his bold capture of Fort Ticonderoga and his efforts towards Vermont statehood.[1]

Ethan was born in Litchfield County, Connecticut, in the Northwest corner of the state, which was still a frontier at the time. He was born on January 21, 1738 (modern Gregorian calendar) though the date is officially recorded as January 10, 1737 using the old Julian system. The family moved to nearby Cornwall. Ethan, showing an early interest in learning was sent to be instructed by a nearby minister, in preparation for attending Yale College. Unfortunately the death of his father, in 1755, forced Allen's return home, to help care for the family.[1][2]

Ethan began his military career in 1757 by joining the Litchfield County militia as a private.[2] He served in the colonial military during the French and Indian War.[1]

Ethan became part owner of an iron works near Salisbury, Connecticut, and married his first wife Mary Brownson in 1762.[2]

During the years leading up to the formation of the "Green Mountain Boys," Ethan settled in Sheffield, Massachusetts and he became interested in the land belonging to the New Hampshire Grants.[1]

The Green Mountain Boys

What do you suppose happens when two people/s claim the same land? Future Vermonters found out the hard way. In the middle 1700s Benning Wentworth, Governor of New Hampshire, granted lands west of the Connecticut River to citizens of New Hampshire, who needed to accommodate a growing population. These were called the New Hampshire Grants. [3] The colony of New York believed that it owned this same land west of the Connecticut River and King George III declared it so. The Lieutenant Governor of New York, Cadwallader Colden, also sold land to settlers. These people were called Yorkers.[4]

As Yorkers began to encroach on land already occupied by The New Hampshire Grants, Ethan Allen his brother Ira Allen and cousins Seth Warner and Remember Baker formed a militia for the resistance of New York’ authority over their land. It certainly was not fair that they should have to pay for their land a second time. The Green Mountain Boys, as they were called, used intimidation, and vigilante tactics to drive out the Yorkers.[5]

During the revolution the Green Mountain Boys became a legitimate part of the continental army and were instrumental in the first expeditions of the war to Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point.

Capture of Fort Ticonderoga

Early in the fight against the British, Connecticut formed a plan to take Fort Ticonderoga and it’s cannon as a strategic point of defense against British Invasion through the waters of Lake Champlain. The men from Connecticut headed to Bennington, to secure the cooperation and help of Ethan Allen. In Bennington, it was found that Ethan Allen was already planning an expedition with the same ends. Ethan Allen was chosen leader, with Colonel James Easton second and Seth Warner as third in command. In a short time the Green Mountain Boys and others were ready. At Castleton, the group broke up to accomplish different tasks. Captain Samuel Herrick and about thirty men went south to Skenesborough (Whitehall) at the head of Lake Champlain to seize the boats and supplies owned by Major Philip Skene. Captain Drylas went to Panton to likewise seize boats. The main body of men were to proceed to Shoreham opposite Fort Ticonderoga. Great minds think alike and the Massachusetts safety committee had also formed a plan to take Ticonderoga and sent Colonel Benedict Arnold, to lead an expedition. They joined forces. The hoped for boats had not appeared and only a small company had crossed the lake as the day began May 10, 1775. Arnold fearing that the force would be spotted, putting an end to the element of surprise, attacked the fort immediately with about eighty men. The element of surprise was so great on this occaision that Allen had little trouble capturing and asking for the surrender of the fort. The military spoils acquired were one hundred twenty pieces of iron cannon, fifty swivels, ten tons of musket balls, three cart loads of flints, thirty carriages, shells, and other stores.[6]

On the 12th of May, Crown Point another strategic fortress was taken without bloodshed by a force led by Seth Warner. A warship, a corvette, was also stationed on the lake, which was swiftly captured securing Lake Champlain for the revolutionary forces. [6]

Capture of Ethan Allen

Unfortunately, Ethan's next bold move, a "surprise" attack on Montreal, did not fare so well. His group and that of Major John Brown were to attack Montreal from two sides. Allen showed up, Brown did not. A spy was captured and escaped to inform General Guy Carleton of the presence of Allen and his small band, who were routed by Carleton's troops. Allen was captured 24 Sept. 1775. He spent the next three years a prisoner of war and was released 6 May 1778 in a prisoner exchange.[1][2]


In 1777, Vermont had claimed it's independance and, in Sept 1778, Ethan presented Vermonts claim for statehood to the Congress in Philadelphia. Since New York was still claiming the area, Vermont was not accepted.[1][2]

Worried about Vermonts independence, Allen and others subsequently negotiated with the British to become once again a British Province. [1][2]

His wife Mary died in Feb 1783 and a year later he married Fanny, and moved to Burlington Vermont.[2]

Besides, his service in the army and his political maneuvering, Allen used his pen, frequently authoring pamphlets, plus he wrote two major works, one "Reason, the Oly Oracle of Man: Or A Compinduous System of Natual Religion"[7] was "a typical Allen polemic, but its target was religious, not political. Specifically targeted against Christianity, it was an unbridled attack against the Bible, established churches, and the powers of the priesthood."[1] It was also a total failure.[1]

Another literary work was A narrative of Col. Ethan Allen's captivity: from the time of his being taken by the British, near Montreal, on the 25th day of September, in the year 1775, to the time of his exchange, on the 6th day of May, 1778.[8] Published in 1779, this was a best seller.[1]

Ethan Allen's Basic Data

Ethan Allen, son of Joseph Allen and Mary (Baker) Allen, was born 10 Jan 1737/8, in Litchfield, Connecticut.[9] That is 21 Jan 1738 in the Gregorian Calendar.

He married (1) 23 Jun 1762, in Washington, Litchfield, Connecticut, Mary Brownson.[9][10] She was born 1732,[11] (daughter of Cornelius Bronson and Abigail Jackson)[11] died Feb 1783.[12]

Ethan married (2) 9 Feb 1784, in Westminister, Vermont, Frances Montresor Brush Buchanan, born 4 Apr 1770, New York, New York,[11] died 1834.

Ethan died 12 Feb 1789, Burlington, Vermont, buried at Greenmount Cemetery, Burlington, Vermont.[13] Children by Mary Brownson:

Children by Frances Montresor:


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Wikipedia biography: Ethan Allen
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Ethan Allen Homestead Museum. "Ethan Allen Timeline"
  3. “The New Hampshire Grants” Vermont History Explorer. Vermont Historical Society
  4. “The New York Patents” Vermont History Explorer. Vermont Historical Society
  5. Procknow, Gene. “Seth Warner or Ethan Allen: Who Led the Green Mountain Boys?” ‘’Journal of the American Revolution.’’
  6. 6.0 6.1 De Puy, Henry Walter. Ethan Allen and the Green-Mountain Heroes of'76. With a sketch of the early history of Vermont. Boston: Dayton&Wentworth, 1853 pp. 204-210.
  7. Allen, Ethan. Reason, the Only Oracle of Man: Or, A Compenduous System of Natural Religion Boston: JP Mendum, 1854.
  8. Allen, Ethan. A narrative of Col. Ethan Allen's captivity: from the time of his being taken by the British, near Montreal, on the 25th day of September, in the year 1775, to the time of his exchange, on the 6th day of May, 1778 Thomas & Thomas. From the press of Charter and Hale, 1807.
  9. 9.0 9.1 White, Lorraine Cook, ed. The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records. Vol. 1-55. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1994-2002.Litchfield p. 3
  10. Bailey, Frederic W. Early Connecticut Marriages as Found on Ancient Church Records Prior to 1800. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1997. Book 1 p. 97. At
  11. 11.00 11.01 11.02 11.03 11.04 11.05 11.06 11.07 11.08 11.09 11.10 Allen, Orrin Peer, b. 1833. The Allen Memorial: Descendants of Samuel Allen of Windsor, Conn., 1640-1907. [Salem, Mass.: Higginson Book Co., 1907. children pp 49, 50
  12. "Vermont Vital Records, 1760-1954," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 22 May 2014), 004542937 > image 2253 of 3896; State Capitol Building, Montpelier.
  13. Death and Burial Source, "Vermont Vital Records, 1760-1954," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 6 December 2014), Ethan Allen, 12 Feb 1789, Death; State Capitol Building, Montpelier; FHL microfilm 27,459.

See also:

  • Goodrich, John E., Compiler, Editor; A Member of the Vermont Historical Society. The State of Vermont, Rolls of the Soldiers in the Revolutionary War, 1775 to 1783. Published by Authority of the Legislature.
  • A List of the Field Officers, Captains and Part of the Lieutenants of the RegimentPublisher: Vermont Historical Society, Rutland, Vermont: The Tuttle Company, 1904, 814: "A List of the Field Officers, Captains and part of the Lieutenants of the Regiment of Green Mountain Boys, consisting of seven companies. July 4, 1775, Colonel Allen's royal list of loyal Officers: Ethan Allen, Field Officer.
  • Daughters of the American Revolution, DAR Genealogical Research Databases, database online, ( : accessed July 26, 2016), "Record of Ethan Allen ", Ancestor # A001535.

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No known carriers of Ethan's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

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Capture of Fort Ticonderoga

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On 14 Dec 2017 at 23:43 GMT John Kingman wrote:

DB errors 213 & 313: Parents' marked "confirmed with DNA" without required DNA testing and matching documentation. Reverted to "confident."

See Help:Confirmed_with_DNA if you need further explanation.

On 5 Apr 2017 at 22:54 GMT Karen (Mahaney) Raichle wrote:

Just curious as to how these parents are marked as confirmed by DNA. "When you select "Confirmed with DNA" you must include a source citation in the text section of the child's profile explaining the confirmation method. Suggested citation formats are included on the DNA Confirmation page. If there isn't a proper source citation the "Confirmed with DNA" relationship status should be changed, by you or someone else."

On 31 Jul 2016 at 08:55 GMT Vicky (Freeth) Majewski wrote:

I named my youngest son after Ethan Allen.  :) What a great profile you've created!

On 25 Jul 2016 at 00:22 GMT Anne B wrote:

Tomorrow, July 25, 2016, this profile is being featured as the Collaborative Profile of the Week, for a makeover, to eliminate the copy/pasted material.

On 9 Aug 2015 at 02:16 GMT Anne B wrote:

Hi all, In response to the "needs inline citations," I've been looking at this profile. As nice and informative as it is, it is a collection of copy/pasted materials from other websites. A proper original bio should be written. Would one of you, related people, care to tackle this?

On 14 Dec 2014 at 21:05 GMT Keith Hathaway wrote:

Hello. Nice job on this profile, it looks great and is very informative. Thank you for the time and effort invested. It's appreciated.

On 20 Oct 2011 at 17:44 GMT Jerin Halstead wrote:

Looking for descendents of Ethan Allen through his two sons.

On 4 May 2011 at 05:58 GMT Karen Blake wrote:

My Great Grandmother was Edna V. Allen and suppose to be a decendent. She would have been born in the late 1800s. She had 8 children. One was Alice, who had Joyce, who had me. Any clue who came before Edna and does it link to Ethan?

On 8 Feb 2011 at 16:24 GMT Mary DeFrancisco wrote:

I am related through the Baker side to Ethan Allen but am unsure how. I was told that it was through his fellow Green Mountain Boy and cousin Remember Baker. My grandmother was Helen Carlie Baker from near Middlebury Vermont. I am forgetting my great grandfather's name but he was married to Nettie Westall. Does anyone know of this line of Ethan Allen's Family?

On 13 Nov 2010 at 19:36 GMT Matt Allen wrote:

My name is Matthew Allen. I don't know if I am a descendant of Ethan Allen but I would love to find out. I am from Florida but my dad and his family was from the New York area. My dad doesn't know either and I can't go any further up because his dad died when he was 2. So I will start from Ethan down. I have made this one of my life's missions and I will not rest until I find out the truth.

Ethan is 25 degrees from Rosa Parks, 21 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 15 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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