When Sylvia Allen married David Mosher, two families were united who had been pioneers in Massachusetts and New York. Below are brief histories of Sylvia's great-grandparents, grandparents, and parents:
- Ebenezer Allen and Abigail Hill (Sylvia's great-grandparents)
- Ebenezer Allen and Margaret Williams (Sylvia's grandparents)
- Ebenezer Allen and Sybil Dwinell (Sylvia's parents)
Ebenezer Allen (1650-1725) and Abigail Hill (1660-AFT 1705)
Ebenezer Allen was born 10 Feb 1650 in Sandwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts. It is believed he was the son of Ralph Allen and Esther Susanna Swift. Barnstable County is the “boot” of Massachusetts. The city of Sandwich, first settled in 1637, is the oldest town on Cape Cod, and was named for the seaport of Sandwich, Kent, England. Sandwich was the site of an early Quaker settlement, but they soon clashed with the Puritans who had founded the town. As a result, many Quakers left, some of them going to Dartmouth. Agriculture, fishing, and trading provided the town with its economy.
Ebenezer must have moved to Dartmouth in his youth, perhaps because he was a Quaker, for it was there that he married Abigail Hill in 1682. He was 32; she was 22. Abigail had been born in 1660, the daughter of Zebulon Hill (mother unknown), in Dartmouth, so she most likely spent her entire life there, too.
Dartmouth was incorporated in 1664 and named after the town of Dartmouth in England, from where the Puritans originally intended to leave. The land, however, was purchased from the Native Americans by the elders of the Plymouth Colony and then sold to the Quakers, who wished to live outside the religious laws of the Puritans in Plymouth.
Ebenezer and Abigail had at least eight children. The children are:
- Mary b. 27 Oct 1682 in Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts, USA
- Philip b. 28 Feb 1684 in Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts, USA
- Ebenezer b. 16 Jan 1690 in Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts, USA [See Ebenezer Allen and Margaret Williams below.]
- James b. 30 Nov 1690 in Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts, USA
- Sarah b. 9 Jan 1692 in Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts, USA
- Hannah b. 10 Aug 1697 in Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts, USA
- Seth b. 28 July 1704 in Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts, USA
- Abigail b. 16 Dec 1705 in Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts, USA
Abigail would have been 45 when Abigail, the youngest was born. It is possible that she even died in childbirth and that is why the child is named after her. The exact date of her death is unknown, but it is assumed to be 1705 or after.
Ebenezer lived to the age of 75, dying on 18 May 1725 in the town where he had lived all of his life — Dartmouth, Bristol County, Massachusetts.
Ebenezer Allen (1690-1778) and Margaret Williams (1694-1784)
Ebenezer Allen was born on 16 Jan 1690 in Dartmouth, Bristol County, Massachusetts. He was the son of Ebenezer Allen and Abigail Hill.
Ebenezer married Margaret Williams in 1711 in Dartmouth. She, too, had been born there, four years after him, in 1694. When they married, he was 21 and she was 17. She was the daughter of John Williams and Elizabeth Allen .
Ebenezer and Margaret had at least eight children:
- Elizabeth b. Mar 1709 in Dartmouth, Bristol, MA
- George b. 1710
- Peter b. ABT 1714 in Dartmouth, Bristol, MA
- Sarah b. 1715 in Dartmouth, Bristol, MA
- Hannah b. 1717 in Dartmouth, Bristol, MA
- John b. 1718 in Dartmouth, Bristol, MA
- Margaret b. 1722 in Dartmouth, Bristol, MA
- Ebenezer b. 1734 in White Creek, Washington, New York [See Ebenezer Allen and Sybil Dwinnell below.]
Ebenezer and Margaret spent the early years of their marriage in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, but moved to White Creek, New York, in Washington County, before their last child was born. White Creek is at the far eastern border of the state. It would have been a long trip from Dartmouth to New York in the 1730’s, as one must travel west across the entire state of Massachusetts and then north to White Creek. The decision to go must have been a major one and with good reason.
Washington County, unlike the more heavily populated southern portion of the state, is sparsely populated. It is very close to the Vermont state border. In the 2000 Census, only 3411 people lived in White Creek, so it was probably not much larger (and perhaps considerably smaller) when Ebenezer and Margaret moved there. It is assumed that Ebenezer continued to be a farmer in this area.
Ebenezer and Margaret apparently returned to their Dartmouth‘s roots some time before their deaths; Ebenezer died on 3 Nov 1778, at the age of 88, in Dartmouth. Six years later, Margaret died, in 1784 at the age of 90, in North Kings Town, Rhode Island. Perhaps she had gone there to live with one of her children.
Ebenezer Allen (1734-1823) and Sybil Dwinnell (1740-1821)
Ebenezer Allen was born in 1734 in White Creek, Washington County, New York. He was the son of Ebenezer Allen and Margaret Williams.
Ebenezer married Sybil Dwinnell in White Creek in 1769. Sybil was born, also in White Creek, in 1740. Ebenezer was 35; Sybil was 29.
Based on the 1790 Census, Ebenezer and Sybil had nine children, five boys and four girls. Below are the names of seven of those children (but one boy and one girl are missing):
- Sylvia b. 1769 in White Creek, Washington, New York
- Weston b. 1770 in White Creek, Washington, New York
- Ebenezer b. 1771 in White Creek, Washington, New York
- Mary Ann b. 1772 in White Creek, Washington, New York
- Hugh M. B. 1777 in White Creek, Washington, New York
- John b. 1780 in in White Creek, Washington, New York
- Anna b. 22 Jun 1782 in White Creek, Washington, New York
Ebenezer is found in the 1800 and 1810 census in Cambridge, and in the 1820 Census in White Creek. Clearly, Ebenezer never strayed far from the place where both he and his wife had been born, although it might seem so at first. As mentioned before, when counties were first established in New York state in 1683, they were huge. Slowly, over time, most of them were divided up. It must have been easier to keep track of these changes when you were actually living it! While the Censuses make it seem as though Ebenezer and Sybil moved around, in reality they never left the same place; the names of the counties simply changed.
Sybil died on 11 Nov 1821, still in White Creek, at the age of 81. Ebenezer lived two years longer. He died on 8 Sep 1823 at the age of 89.
This page written and researched by Susan Overturf Ingraham, wife of Robert Philip Ingraham, a descendant of The Allens. Last updated January 1, 2012.