The Allens

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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 (1650-1725) and Abigail Hill (1651-1729)

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 on 16 November 1651 in Salem, Massachusetts, the daughter of Zebulon Hill and Elizabeth Dyke.

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 may have had nine children, all born in Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusets. The children are:

Abigail would have been 53 when Abigail, the youngest was born. Therefore, this child may not have existed, but proof has not yet been found.

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. After his death, it is believed that Abigail married again -- this time to John Whiteley on 4 July 1728. However, she did not live for even a year after her marriage. She died on 27 March 1729 in Dartmouth, Bristol, 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 (see details above).

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, but her mother's name is unknown.

Ebenezer and Margaret had at least eight children, all but the last child born in Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts:

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 (see above for more details).

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), all born 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 May 13, 2019.

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