JOHN HARVEY ALLEN, JR
BIOGRAPHY and GENEALOGY
Calhoun County, Alabama
John Harvey, Allen, Jr. was born August 21, 1846 at Richmond, Virginia, and died July 1, 1913, at Anniston, the son of John Harvey and Mary (McDonall) Allen. John Harvey Allen. Sr. was a native of England who came to Virginia when he was a young man, married in Richmond and lived there until he moved to Wytheville, Virginia. His wife was a native of Ireland.
John Harvey Allen, Jr. was educated in the public schools of Richmond, Virginia and later learned to be a watchmaker and diamond expert. Upon the outbreak of the War of Secession, he joined the C. S. Army in Virginia, and eventually attained the rank of major. He fought under Gen. Stonewall Jackson, and was on the “Alabama,” the Confederate vessel which wrought so much destruction to the commerce of the United States, under Admiral Raphael Semmes.
After peace was declared, Maj. Allen went to Anniston, then a mere woodland settlement, and for a number of years, was engaged there as a jeweler. He was a resident of Anniston for over thirty years, and during this time served as an alderman. He helped establish the Confederate Home in Alabama and accomplished much for the veterans. He was a Democrat and a Presbyterian, belonged to the Masonic order, to the Odd Fellows, and to the Knights of Pythias.
Maj. Allen married September 20, 1866, at Wilmington, N. C, Rachel M. Thompson, daughter of James and Rachel (Murray) Thompson of Wilmington, N. C.
They had the following children:
- Minnie T. Allen of Little Rock, Ark.
- Robert D. Allen of Anniston, Alabama
He is buried in Hillside Cemetery in Anniston, Alabama. He wrote some letters about his Civil War experiences. The letters can be found at the Library of Virginia. A description is included below:
Allen, John Harvey Reminiscences of Civil War service, 1913.
Accession 32238. 6 leaves. Photocopies.
Transcript of reminiscences, 1913, of John Harvey Allen (1838-1913) recalling his Civil War service aboard the CSS Alabama from 13 November 1863 to 19 June 1864, when it was sunk by the USS Kearsarge in the English Channel off Cherburg, France. Reminiscences include descriptions of various members of the crew, life aboard ship, the sinking of the USS Hatteras by the Alabama, and an account of the Alabama’s final battle with the Kearsarge. Also includes portraits of Allen and Rachel Murray Thompson (1846-1912).
- History of Alabama and dictionary of Alabama biography, Volume 3 By Thomas McAdory Owen, Marie Bankhead Owen
- Find A Grave Memorial# 14002592# 14002584
As family historian, do you have friends and family ask you how to get started in family research? This is a hard question to answer in a few minutes. Refer them to the book below to help them get started in this fun hobby. Purchase several – Books make great gifts!
READER REVIEW Donna shares how she “got bitten” by the genealogy bug. She imparts her amazement at how much can be learned about the history of this country as well as one’s own family by researching one’s family tree. And what’s more amazing is that she was able to go back with her family to the 1600s in England, over 400 years. The author has a website where she is asked many “how to” questions by the participants. She advises one to use a computer for their research and seems to describe the use of genealogy software as an easy task and quite intuitive. She identifies many excellent genealogy websites for the new user, some of which I hadn’t known about despite my history of 20 years of searching for my family tree, much of it on the internet. The author provides sample interview questions for eliciting past stories from family elders. She gives quite a few tips on how to organize your materials to make the best use of your time. She includes everything a “newby” to the genealogy research field will need to get started and more. And for those with more experience, she includes tips on how to break down the “brick walls” that researchers inevitably encounter and she advises readers to challenge the assumptions in family lore and stories when the brick wall is hit. She also identifies many of the pitfalls inherent in requested records. And if you’ve ever gone to a courthouse to search without preparing yourself for the kinds of questions you’ll need to ask, you will appreciate the author’s advice about getting ready first. You’ll save yourself time in the long run.
See larger image