BIOGRAPHY AND GENEALOGY
Lavone Johnson Anglen
Reverend John Allan wrote an autobiography of his life which was found at the Huntsville Library, Madison Co. Alabama. The autobiography was a hand written copy. Volume 2 of his autobiography is somewhere, but we have not been able to find it. However, this volume does have parts of it in the History of Henry County Illinois under a biography about his son, James McCartney Allan, one of the most prominent men of Henry County. Evidently, he started to write another volume to his autobiography and was never able to finish the third volume. When he died his other son, William Allan was to get his autobiography.William Allan, his other son also lived in Henry County, Illinois.
John embarked from England July 08, 1801, with his mother, Mary Knight Allan; father, David Allan; sisters, Harriet, Eliza and Mary Ann, and one other brother, James Allan. His autobiography tells of his trip in detail across the ocean and of his life in Hertford, England and of occasional trips to London, England. Times were bad in England in 1801. The family wanted a better life for their children. One of the daughters, Margaret stayed behind in England. One of Mary Knights brothers, Matthew Knight had encouraged them to come to Georgia, where he was a planter and involved in merchandising. The family lived with Matthew for several years until 1803, when John and his father built a house in Athens, Georgia for the family to teach and board young ladies.
John Allan at 16 years of age attended Franklin College (University of Georgia). He took part in the graduation ceremonies. In his autobiography, he tells about his time at Franklin College and of a trip with a later relative to Kentucky and Tennessee by the name of Hodge. On one of these trips he meets and fall in love with Nancy Hodge, a widow. He eventually moves to Kentucky and he becomes a circuit rider. At first, he is hesitant to become a minister. He intended to teach and he did teach at Green Academy. He disappointed in the pay for teaching. While in Kentucky, he experiences the New Madrid earthquake 1811-1812; although, the detailed report about this is lost and we only have records of speeches and articles by persons about Rev. John Allan at the First US Presbyterian Church in Huntsville, Alabama where Rev, John Allan came to preach for twenty-two years. He was provided with a monument and property for his grave in the Maple Hill Cemetery, in Huntsville, Alabama. He served as the first installed minister, for the years of 1823 -1843. Rev. John Allan came to Huntsville about the time, his uncle Thomas Knight died, in 1820. He went back to England and preaching for a time, he came to Huntsville, Alabama to teach at Greene Academy. He was converted by Rev. Gideon Blackburn, who organized the church. Soon after he began studying for the ministry and preached in several of the churches within his weekend riding distance. He completed his studies and passed the Presbytery examinations. He organized a church at Courtland and he planning to organize another at Moulton at the time he was called to Huntsville, Alabama. Rev. John Allan and Nancy Hodge married 14 July 1809 in Sumner County, Tennessee.
The inscription on his monument gravestone reads as follows:
Rev. John Allan, D. D.
Born April 21, 1788
Died Nov. 14, 1843
For 22 years the beloved pastor of the Presbyterian Church. “He being dead; yet speaketh”. Communion vessels were presented by the Women of the Church during his ministry. He is survived by several distinguished grandchildren and children. Rev. John Allan’s sermons are in the “Guide to Manuscript Collections of the Presbyterian Church, US. By Robert Benedetto. It is listed as 8006 Allan, John 1788-1843. This set of sermons is in the Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery, Alabama- Manuscript Collections 8006, B354.
Children of Rev. John Allan and Nancy Hodge Allan:
- William Thomas Allan b. 07 Dec. 1810 Sumner County, Tennessee d. 05 Jun. 1882, Geneseo, Henry County, Illinois m. (1) Irene Ball Oct. 1837 and (2) Caroline Snow 24 July 1849 Henry Co., Illinois.
- Eliza Elinor Allan b. 07 Dec 1812 Christian County, Kentucky d. 18 Nov. 1890 Morgan Co., Jacksonville, Illinois m. David Allen Smith 04 Aug 1831, Huntsville, Madison, Alabama.
- James McCartney Allan b. 23 Nov 1814 Near Shilo Meeting House, Sumner County, Tennessee d. 20 Dec 1885, Geneseo, Henry Co., Illinois m. Susanna D. Stewart Mar. 06, 1839 Geneseo, Henry Co., Illinois.
- Euphemia Allan b. 16 Jul 1816 Gallatin, Tennessee d. 27 Dec 1895, Marshall Co., Guntersville, Alabama m. Louis Weiss Wyeth 09 Apr. 1839 Huntsville, Madison Co., Illinois
- Mary Anna Allan b. 01 Oct 1819 Sumner Co. Tennessee –unknown
- Harriet Mebane Allan b. 13 May 1822 d. 1822 –never married
- Sarah Jane Allan b. 31 Oct 1823 Huntville, Madison Co., Ala. d. 1912 Huntsville, Madison Co., Alabama. –never married
- Laura Allan b. 20 Oct 1826 Huntsville, Madison Co. Ala. d. 1906 Jacksonville, Morgan Co., Illinois m. Marshall Paul Ayers 29 Oct. 1846 Jacksonville, Morgan Co., Illinois