Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Polly Ann Allen

Polly Ann Allen, pictured at right, was my 3rd great grandmother. She was born about 1834 probably around the Fairgarden/Jones Cove area of Sevier County, Tennessee, to Alfred Allen and Elizabeth Fox.

Polly Ann might have been as young as 6 but certainly was under 16 when her father died, leaving her at home to help her mother make a living and raise her younger siblings. By 1860, her mother was taking in washing, and Polly Ann was weaving to earn money.

She never married, but she had two sons, David M., called Dave, and Asa; Dave was born about 1857, and Asa about 1863. Family stories, attributable directly to her grandson who knew her, name only the two children. However, the 1900 Census indicates that she had a third child; if so, that child presumably died young or at birth.

Births out of wedlock were not particularly uncommon in that era and, in fact, did not carry quite the stigma that would be attached later in the Victorian era. Unfortunately, knowledge of the circumstances of the births has been lost. Family legend indicates that Asa's father may have been a Fox; however, since Polly Ann's mother was also a Fox, some confusion may have arisen. For that matter, no one is certain whether Asa and Dave had the same father.

Polly Ann lived for a long time with her mother, then a nephew, and then her son Dave. She might have lived for a while with Ike Holt, who was raising her grandchildren, as one family story indicates that her grandchild Randolph sometimes cared for her while Ike's third wife, who was not related to her, would not bring her water. Polly Ann probably died in or shortly after 1907 in Jefferson County, Tennessee. She is buried in the Allen Cemetery on what is now a gravel road called Marshall Way off Upper Rinehart Road just over the Cocke County line in Jefferson County. While there is a tombstone on her grave, the stone is not inscribed.

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Fairgarden/Jones Cove Area (Sevier County, Tennessee)

For the complete and latest research, see Mary Ann Allen in my Family File.

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