Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Immigrant George Allen Did Not Marry Katherine Starke

One of my biggest pet peeves in genealogy is seeing fathers, wives, and children attached to someone else's family tree.

It is this researcher's opinion that when there is no concrete proof, or even a hint of probability the questionable family member should be left off of the tree.  However, be sure to make research notes about the individual.

A point I have been trying to prove for a while now is that George Allen  the immigrant ancestor who arrived in Massachusetts Bay Colony with the Rev Joseph Hull Company on 6 May 1635 from England was not married to Katherine Starks/Slarks/Starke. The George Allen that married Katherine Starke was the son of Richard Allen, Moneyer of the Tower of London.

Other pages that have discussed this issue:

This George has not only been given the wrong wife by some, but has been given at least 3 different fathers. It's like someone many years ago grabbed a hold of the first George Allen they found who was married to a Katherine and said, "this is him." Just to give you an idea of how common the name George Allen is there are at least 2,516 people with that name in the U.S.

The only way to get the word out that the Massachusetts couple has been confused with the London couple is to do research on the family of Richard Allen, Moneyer of the Tower of London.

The following is an extraction of his will:

Abstracts of wills in the Prerogative court of Canterbury at Somerset house,
 London, England, page 35
I have transcribed the will of his son Henry which was written in April of 1640.  He mentions his brother George, sister Susan Willmott, sister Joane Usher, cousin Joseph Usher (should be nephew), brother John, and wife Susan.

Thanks to The Records of London's Livery Companies Online I was able to locate the apprentice and freeman records of George and Henry.

  1. Henricus Allen - London - New apprentice, son of Rici - Monnyer - Turri London, London. Jozeph Ussher - Master Co Clothworker.  Start Date: 25/07/1610 Apprentice Bond Length: 10 years.
  2. Georgius Allen - London - New apprentice, Son of Rici Allen Monnyer - Turrim London, London. Jozeph Ussher - Master Co Clothworker. Start Date: 30/09/1613 Apprentice Bond Length: 9 years.
  3.  Georg Allen - New freeman Co Clothworker, Jozeph Usher - Master Co Clothworker, 1620.
  4. George Allen  the Elder Sheeremaker - Queenehithe Master Co Clothworker, William Johnson - London -  New apprentice - Start Date: 11/02/1658.
The age of apprenticeship was usually 14-21. So this would give George Allen, clothworker a birth date of about 1598, which would make him about 26 when  he married Katherine Slarks. Since George Allen the clothworker from Queenhithe, London was busy still being a clothworker in 1658, he could not have been the George Allen who traveled to America with Rev John Hull since he died in the year 1648.

Therefore, Katherine Slarks/Starke was not the wife of our George and she was not the mama of his children.

I am putting together a database of the Queenhithe Allens that I have been able to find so far and will post it when I am done. 

UPDATE: I have posted the Queenhithe Allens database at my other blog Extra! Extra!

Leslie Ann


  1. Do you have any idea how your George (1580-1648) is related to Samuel Allen (1597-1669)? DNA shows they are very closely related, but not father/son as so many records show.

    1. At this point in time Samuel Allen's parents are unknown. I have not seen any DNA markers for George Allen of Sandwich (c. 1582-1669) so I don't know if the two are connected or not.

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  3. I have hit a bump in the road with research on this matter too. I did find a record that stated Katherine Starks was Ralph's mother. It was through Family Data - Births. How reliable is this information? TIA

    1. As mentioned above, Katherine Slarks (I have seen the marriage record of this George and Katherine and her name is actually Slarks, not Starks. Someone has misread the handwriting and then it spread like wild fire.) married the George Allen from Queenhithe. They never left England. If you are talking about Ralph Allen (abt. 1610-1698) who married Susannah (not Swift), his mother is still unknown.

      George Allen is known to have been married twice while still residing in England, the name of his first wife has not been determined. His second wife, however, was a woman named Katherine. Katherine accompanied George to America, and is believed to have been the mother of his five youngest children.

      I have made an Ancestry Tree for the Queenhithe Allens if you want to take a look at it.

  4. Hi Leslie, I am also a descendant of George and Ralph. Have you had a chance to read the section on George Allen in the "Great Migration"? It seems to indicate that Ralph, the mason, and not Ralph the wheelwright, is the son of George, the immigrant. I descend from Ralph Allen and Esther Swift. Thank you for sharing your work. Patti



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