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Richard Allen Sr. (1741 - 1832)

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Captain Richard Allen Sr.
Born in Baltimore County, Marylandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Brother of
Husband of — married 1763 in Frederick, Virginiamap
Descendants descendants
Died in Edwards, Wilkes, North Carolina, United Statesmap
Profile last modified 11 Feb 2020 | Created 10 Aug 2013 | Last significant change: 11 Feb 2020
20:20: Patricia (Sparkman) Thomas edited the Prefix for Richard Allen Sr. (1741-1832). [Thank Patricia for this]
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Captain Richard Allen Sr. participated in the American Revolution



Captain (some attribute the title Colonel, that is not proven) Richard Allen was born 26th of Nov. 1741, in Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, United States. He was the son of Ann Rhodes. His father is questionably named John Allen.

Richard married Nancy Ann Lindsey in about 1763 while in Frederick, Virginia. He lived there about seven years. In the late 1760's, they moved to Wilkes County, N.C, with first son Thomas Allen. Once there, they continued to have 7 more children.

In 1778, Richard Allen was elected the first Sheriff of Wilkes County, NC. He lived to be 90 years old.

Military Service

Richard Allen entered the service of the United States in 1775 as a volunteer in Capt. Jesse Walton's Company of Minute Men[1] which was the first company ever raised in Wilkes County, NC, at the rank of First Sergeant. At the completion of his tour of training and support, he was chosen as Ensign in the company of militia commanded by Capt. Benjamin Cleveland in which they pursued Indians and Tories across the Blue Ridge and into Virginia.

Richard Allen was promoted to Captain early in 1778 when Benjamin Cleveland was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. In Jan 1780, Captain Allen's company was assigned to Col. Andrew Hampton's regiment in defense of Charleston, SC. In the late part of 1780, his company, traveling on foot, arrived late for the Battle of King's Mountain and assisted in guarding prisoners. Richard Allen spent the remainder of the Revolutionary War in North Carolina chasing Tories.

Captain Allen was in almost continuous service from 1775 to 1781. He was ordered to the scene of most of the major battles in the Carolinas: Moore's Creek Bridge, Charleston, Kings Mountain, and Guilford Courthouse. Yet he took no active role in any of them. It is ironic that at a time when numbers of Americans were deserting the battlefields, a man who wanted to meet the British in major conflict was never able to do so.

Sources indicate that after the end of the War, Richard's participation in the military earned him the rank of Colonel. This rank can be referenced by his obituary in the 1832 National Intelligencer and by the published work of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Walter Clark, in 1907 titled, "State Records of North Carolina," both of which refer to him as Colonel Richard Allen.

Service Record: Wilkes County Regiment, North Carolina Militia: Was a Sergeant and an Ensign. Early 1778, a Captain under Col. Benjamin Cleveland. At some time, also served under Col. Andrew Hampton (Rutherford County Regiment). March 1781, a Major.[2]

Note on Military Rank

The photos of grave marker and highway signs made in his honor, indicate that Richard Allen had achieved rank of Colonel during the War. The highest rank achieved during the War was Captain. At some time after the Revolution, Allen was given the rank of colonel of the Wilkes County Militia; though he was long known as Colonel Richard Allen, Sr., the promotion may have been an honorary one.[3]

(Note: Richard Allen is not listed as an officer in the Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army During the War of the Revolution[4])


Richard served as clerk for the Baptist Association, a Branch of the Virginia Association for a long period of time, and was a member of the Constitutional Convention in Hillsbourough in 1778. He was appointed the First Sheriff of Wilkes County, NC, serving from 1778 -1790.

Richard served a term as a Representative in the North Carolina General Assembly (House of Commons) in 1793. He was Wilkes’ sheriff again from 1798 until 1804.


Allen died at age 90 on 10 Oct 1832, at Edwards, Wilkes, North Carolina.[5]

At the time of his death Richard owned 14 slaves named: Dinah, Peggy, Tom, Adam, Sally, George, Myra, Caroline, Wiley, Hannah, Ambrose, Jackson, Edmund and Milly. He willed each one of them a lot of land for themselves on his property in Wilkes County.


  2. J. D. Lewis, North Carolina Revolutionary Soldiers, Link
  4. Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army During the War of the Revolution, 1892: Nichols, Killam & Maffitt. Available as a free Google eBook

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Richard by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Richard:

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Comments: 2

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the area he moved to in NC was possibly Rowan Co. at that time then Surry Co. then Wilkes Co., when it was formed
posted by A Lowe
a transcript of his Revolutionary war pension application can be found here:
posted by A Lowe

Richard is 21 degrees from Danielle Liard, 16 degrees from Jack London and 11 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.