Only one son of the old Scot is known, John Allen. He was born around 1760 and married Hannah Brittle on 4 January 1780 in Kidderminster. According to early research by Jim Love, a birth record for Richard Allen, born 11 April 1801, was located on microfilm titled, 1732-1820 Births and Christenings of Kidderminster. It lists the parent's names, John and Hannah Allen.
Love found two possible marriages, John to Hannah Brittle and John to Hannah Milward. The names of children under Brittle match the names of aunts and uncles provided by John's grandson Richard Allen, and those of Milward do not. John married Hannah on 4 Jan 1780 in Kidderminster.
They had the following children:
1. Sarah Allen was christened 24 November 1780 in Kidderminster, England, and married a silk weaver named Moody. He lived in MacClesfield, England.
2. Joseph Allen was christened 14 June 1782 in Kidderminster, England.
3. Hannah Allen was christened 30 January 1784 in Kidderminster, England.
4. John "Jack" Allen was christened 22 July 1785 in Kidderminster, England, and was known to be a weaver of Brussells carpets.
5. Elizabeth Allen was christened 11 May 1787 in Kidderminster, England.
6. William "Bill" Allen was christened 21 November 1788 in Kidderminster, England.
7. James Allen was christened 26 February 1790 in Kidderminster, England.
8. Thomas "Tom" Allen was christened 2 September 1791 in Kidderminster, England, and was a member of the Queen's Guard.
9. Josiah Allen was christened 14 October 1792 in Kidderminster District, England. He died 28 December 1859 in Church Street, Kidderminster, England.
10. Samuel Allen was christened 31 January 1794 in Kidderminster, England.
11. Richard Allen was born 11 April 1801 in Kidderminster, England.
John joined the British army and served most likely during the 1780s. His unit and activities are unknown, but Richard remembered that several of his uncles were “born in the barracks,” and that his uncle, Jack Allen, was born in Lands End, Cornwall, in 1785. It’s possible that Jack’s older brother, Joseph, born in 1782, and younger brother, Bill, born in 1788, were also born while John was soldiering.
After leaving the service, John returned to Kidderminster and worked as a Bombazine weaver. This type of hand loom weaving would be replaced in Kidderminster in his children’s’ lifetimes by the development of steam-powered looms for the more complex Brussells carpets. But as a Bombazine weaver, John and Hannah raised eleven children, although Richard, the youngest, only spoke of three uncles and one aunt: Sarah, Jack, Bill and Tom.
“Jack was weaving Brussells carpets the last I knew of him,” Richard wrote in 1904. “Bill had a pension; he fought three days in the Battle of Waterloo under Wellington. He said his right and left hand man was cut down four times, and the hollows in the land ran with blood.” He remembered Bill saying “that he was so worn out he wished it would take him next.” Richard added, “Tom was a soldier in the Queen’s Guards. He got tired of it and managed to squeeze out.”
Richard passed on several memories of his grandparents, John and Hannah Allen.
“I used to play by his loom,” he wrote of his grandfather. “I well remember visiting him when quite young, and he seemed so much pleased. [He] was very kind, [and] promised me a big drum. I was so tickled that in four days I must go and see Dear, Dear Grandpa again. Tom Allen, my cousin, was with me.” [Tom’s ancestry is not yet established].
“I suppose we got making too much racket,” Richard continued. “The old man came out of his loom, standing straight as an arrow, his eyes sparkling, his arms waving wildly, and swearing like a man that had practiced the art a long time, and told us to get out. I broke for the door and got, and never remember visiting him again for many years.”
Richard wrote that visiting his grandmother, Hannah Brittle Allen, was his first remembrance. “Grandma Allen was sick and my ma [Elizabeth Wood Allen] took me with her to see her.” Richard was born in 1830, so Hannah must have lived beyond 1835. “I must have been very young,” he penned, “As I was sitting on my mother’s knee at the time.”
“I got to Grandma’s stand table, opened the drawer and was taking some buttons,” he continued. “My Ma scolded me for taking them, but a voice from the bed said, ‘Oh, let the poor boy have the buttons.’ I can see that face plainly today and hear the voice. This is the only remembrance I have of her; a large, kind, suffering face.”
Apparently John was a bit of a drinker, and would occasionally “get on a booze.” “After Grandma [Hannah] died,” Richard wrote, “He got my half-brother, Ben, to go and sleep with him [stay in his house, I assume]. Ben said he would come home half tight and get to bed. Then he would awaken Ben and tell him to go at once for my Ma and Pa – that he was dying.”
“Ben would hustle off for them and when they got there, the old man would be asleep,” Richard said. “So Ben got tired of his tricks and when he told Ben he was dying, Ben said, ‘Die and be D___.’” Richard had two older step brothers, William and Ben, so Richard’s father had a first wife whose name is unknown.
Richard recorded one last memory of Grandpa. John Allen’s oldest child, his daughter Sarah (born 24 November 1780), married a silk weaver named Moody and lived in MacClesfield, England. Sarah came to visit her father “and when she left, the old man broke down and said, ‘She is the only child that looks after her father. She is gone, and gone to heaven, and I’ll be Damned if I don’t go after her.’ And then he rushed out to see her again.”
John Allen was considered to be “rather eccentric.”