A Century and a Half of Pittsburg and Her People, Vol. 4
Author: Jordan, John W., LL.D. Of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania
New York: The Lewis Publishing Co., 1908
THE ALLERTON FAMILY – Among the Pittsburgh families who have the distinction of being able to trace their ancestry in a clear, undisputed direct line to the band of Pilgrims who came over in the “Mayflower,” is the ALLERTON family, whose male descendants have been prominent in the affairs of the city for many years, and one of whom, ORVILLE HURD ALLERTON, is still a resident of the place.The genealogical line is as follows:
1.ISAAC, who was the American ancestor.2.ISAAC.3.ISAAC.4. JOHN.5.ISAAC.6.REUBEN, the subject great-grandfather.7.SAMUEL W., the grandfather. 8.ORVILLE HURD, SR., the father.9.ORVILLE HURD, JR., the subject.
1.ISAAC ALLERTON, who came in the “Mayflower,” left but one son, who remained in New England, viz.: ISAAC (II), and he in turn left ISAAC (III), born in New Haven, Connecticut, and WILLOUGHBY, born in Virginia.ISAAC (I) was born in New Haven, 1655, and became the progenitor of all the ALLERTONS of later generations.His descendants may be embraced into three branches: those of Rhode Island being one branch, from JOHN (V); the New York branch descending from ISAAC (V), and the New Jersey branch, from ZACHARIAH (V).
The exact time and place of the birth of ISAAC (I) is not at this time known to his descendants in this country.He was of an old and honorable family mixed Saxon and Danish descent that had been for many centuries located in the southeastern part of England.He was certainly born between the years of 1583 and 1585, and resided in London for some time prior to his removal to Holland, in 1609, when he was about 26 years old, and was 37 when he came to Plymouth, Massachusetts.It was supposed that he was the son of EDWARD and ROSE (DAVIS) ALLERTON.He is generally admitted to have been the wealthiest of all the Pilgrims, and was among the few who had the prefix of “Mr.” attached to his name, which at that day indicated that he was of a superior family, or respectability.No one in the whole Leyden colony was more efficient and eminently useful in all their preparations for departure to America than he.When he sailed he had 4 children, all born in Holland: BARTHOLOMEW, REMEMBER (the book spelled the name like that ?) and MARY came with their parents in the “Mayflower,” while SARAH remained behind to come later with an aunt.
ISAAC ALLERTON was the fifth to sign his name to the celebrated “Compact,” John Carver, William Bradford and two more only preceding him.His son-in-law, DEGORY PRIEST, was the twenty-ninth to affix his signature to the document, which had but 41 names attached to it.
In September, 1621, a part of ten men went by water to view and explore the country at what is now known as Boston harbor; also to get acquainted with the Indians in that locality.The first headland at Nantucket was named “Point Allerton,” which name it still retains.In the autumn 1626 MR. ALLERTON was sent by the colony to England for the purpose of obtaining supplies upon which to subsist.By a contract made, the entire trade of the colony was found to William Bradford, Edward Winslow and Isaac Allerton for the period of six years.The men named assumed the little colony's indebtedness of 24 hundred pounds, they also agreeing to furnish the colony with “50 pounds worth of hoes and shoes.”
Like most of his descendants, ISAAC ALLERTON (I) was a man of quick temper and apt to resent an affront, and acted largely on his impulses.He (pg. 126) was just and fair at all times, however.In 1634 his trading house was taken by the French and Indians and burned, as was also its contents.In 1635, on account of the liberality of his religion, he was notified to leave Marblehead, which he did.From 1636 to 1646 he lived at New Amsterdam, where he engaged in coasting and dealing in tobacco, having a warehouse at East River, near the present Maiden Lane, New York City.He made many voyages to Virginia and the West Indies.Governor Winthrop wrote of him in 1643:
“Three ministers which were sent to Virginia were shipwrecked on Long Island.MR. ALLERTON, of New Haven, being there took great pains and care of them and provided them with a very good pinace (? meaning) and all things necessary.”
In 1646 he became a permanent resident of New Haven, Connecticut, where he spent the remainder of his days, having built for himself “a grand house on the Creek with Four Porches,” as the record reads.He died aged about 75 years, in 1659, and was buried in the old burying ground at New Haven, Connecticut, but no monument ever marked his grave, as was the case in many other instances of the worthy Pilgrims, the reason ascribed being that at that time all gravestones had to be shipped from the Old World and were, necessarily, expensive.
He was thrice married, first to MARY NORRIS, of Newbury, England, November 4, 1611; she died February 25, 1625.He married his second wife, FEAR BREWSTER, in 1626, and she died December 12, 1634.She was the daughter of ELDER WILLIAM BREWSTER, who came over on the ship “Ann” in 1623.For his third wife he married JOHANNA (maiden name unknown), and she died at New Haven, Connecticut, in 1682.By his first marriage he had children, born at Leyden, Holland: BARTHOLOMEW, REMEMBER, MARY and SARAH.By his second wife he had ISAAC (II), born 1630.
(II)ISAAC ALLERTON was born at Plymouth, Massachusetts, 1630; graduated at Harvard College, 1650, being in the seventh class to graduate from that institution.He accompanied his father on his numerous sea voyages to the West Indies and Virginia.He married “ELIZABETH,” and resided at New Haven.His wife died in about 1660.He then settled in Westmoreland County, Virginia, where he was a justice of the peace and held other offices.He was a major in 1675, second in command to John Washington, of Virginia, against the Indians; was also a member of the house of burgesses.He died in Westmoreland County, Virginia, in 1702.The children born to MR. ALLERTON were: ELIZABETH, born September 27, 1653; ISAAC, born July 11, 1655; and SARAH, born about 1660.By his second wife he was the father of two daughters, one named FRANCES, and a son named WILLOUGHBY.
(III)ISAAC ALLERTON was born in New Haven, Connecticut, July 11, 1655.He finally located at or near Norwich, Connecticut, but he died in Rhode Island, where his son JOHN had settled.He was a farmer all his days and also handled produce.He served in some of the New England Indian wars.His children were: JOHN, born 1685; JESSE, born 1686; ISAAC, born a few years later, as was his brother THOMAS.
(IV)JOHN ALLERTON was born at New Haven, Connecticut, in 1685. He married and moved to Norwich, Conn, in 1712; was a selectman in 1721, moved to Rhode Island in 1739 and in 1741 resided in Coventry (pg. 127) Rhode Island, where he died in 1750.He married “ELIZABETH,” by whom was born the following children: ESTHER, SARAH, MARY, JOHN, RICHARD, ISAAC, ELIZABETH, ANNA and JONATHAN.
(V)ISAAC ALLERTON was born at Norwich, Connecticut, August 15, 1725.But little is known of his history besides that he was a farmer.He was a tall man and had some local prominence as an athlete.Before the Revolutionary war he was possessed of much wealth, but by exchanging his produce to supply the Continental army, taking his pay in paper money,he lost nearly all he had accumulated.Seeking to retrieve his fortune, he moved to Amenia, Dutchess County, New York, in 1792, and died there December 26, 1807.He had in his possession many relics of the war for national independence, including a broad-axe with which was hewed the logs for the first building erected by the Pilgrim fathers; also a fuzee-gun captured from an old Indian warrior.He married LUCY SPAULDING, by whom was born: JONATHAN, ALICE, SARAH, DANIEL and REUBEN.The wife died in 1813, age 86 years, and was buried beside her husband at Amenia, Duchess County, New York.
(VI)REUBEN ALLERTON was born at Canterbury, Connecticut, December 25, 1753.He received an excellent education; studied medicine and became a noted physician and surgeon, beginning his practice about 1777.He entered the colonial army as surgeon of Colonel Hopkins' regiment in 1777.The instruments which he used are still in the possession of the family.He died at Amenia, New York.In Sharon, Connecticut, in 1778, he married LOIS ATHERTON, born 1757, at Newton, New Jersey.Their children were: CORNELIUS, POLLY, LUCY, SAMUEL WATERS, AMARYLLIS, MIRA, MILTON BARLOW.
(VII)SAMUEL WATERS ALLERTON was born in Amenia, Dutchess County, New York, December 5, 1785.He studied medicine and intended to take the practice in which his father had been so successful, but he soon abandoned the notion and engaged in the tailoring trade, which he learned, and became a merchant tailor and conducted a country store.In 1828 he was one of the promoters of a woolen factory, but with the Democratic reduced tariff measure enacted in 1833, he with nearly all others engaged in like business was financially ruined.The mills once prosperous stood as so many monuments to the folly of such a political party measure.He then went to Dubuque County, Iowa, hoping to regain what he had lost, but after two years in that country he was smitten with dumb ague and returned to his former home.He was deputy sheriff of Dutchess County, New York, for three years, and in 1842 moved to Yates County of that state, where he rented a farm, and in 1848 purchased one in Wayne County, New York, where he died.He was a Universalist in his religious faith, although a trustee in the Presbyterian church at Amenia at one time.He died at age 99 years and 8 months.The date of his death was August 10, 1885.
March 26, 1808, he married HANNAH HURD, born 1788, at South Dover.She was the daughter of EBENEZER and REBECCA (PHILLIPS) HURD.Her father was an extensive cattle drover and was known widely throughout New York state as “Uncle Eb.”He took large droves of cattle overland to the New York markets, returning with the pay for the packed away in his huge (pg. 128) saddle bags.He had many business dealings with Henry Astor, brother of the New York dry goods prince, John Jacob Astor.He was the son of Daniel Hurd, of Connecticut, who married Betsy Allen, of Vermont, a cousin of Colonel Ethan Allen.The children born to MR. and MRS. SAMUEL WATERS ALLERTON were: CORNELIA, born March 26, 1809; AMARYLLIS, born January 1, 1812; HENRY REUBEN, born December 25, 1814; ORVILLE HURD, born April 17, 1817; AMANDA H., born July 15, 1818; BYRON, born September 20, 1822; REBECCA H., born September 28, 1824; LOIS J., born January 26, 1826; SAMUEL WATERS, born May 26, 1828.
(VIII)ORVILLE HURD ALLERTON, the subject's father, was born at Amenia, Dutchess County, New York, April 17, 1817.At the age of ten years he began life's active career by working in a comb factory, which trade he designed to learn, but a few months later his life was turned in another channel by his employer selling and moving away.He then worked for a time on a farm, for which he received a sum of three cents a day.He had an uncle, who was chiefly engaged in buying and driving to the New York markets large droves of fat cattle, and when ORVILLE was but 11 years old, he had him leave school and help him drive his droves the distance of 100 miles to New York City.On the first trip and when only out about 20 miles, he became very homesick and could not be induced to go farther on the long journey.He turned face homeward and covered the whole distance following behind two men on horseback who were going part way.He hurried on and arrived at home the same evening, having averaged 5 miles an hour for the four hours.
From time to time he assisted in driving stock to New York, always having to trudge along on foot.He received 25 cents a day for his services and his steamboat fare to Poughkeepsie, 30 miles from his home, and this distance on his return trips he always walked, unless fortunate enough to find teamsters going his way.Up to 14 years of age he was educated at the district schools, at the select school of Dr. Leonard and the Amenia Seminary.
At the age of 13 he commenced to clerk in a store at Nassau, New York, and later at Dover Plains, New York.Subsequently he went to Elmira, New York, and clerked in a drug store.In 1839 he went to Dubuque, Iowa, where he had a brother, HENRY ALLERTON, who was a farmer, living out but 20 miles.He made his way by a fearful perilous voyage over the great lakes to Chicago, Illinois, and by stage 200 miles to Dubuque, and from there made the 20 miles on foot.There he was to clerk in a store in which the chief stock of merchandise was plug tobacco, clay pipes and whisky.Five weeks was a sufficient time for him 'midst such surroundings, and the end of that period he retraced his steps to his native state.He went to Elmira, New York, and was engaged as clerk and bookkeeper for about 12 years, this giving him a practical business schooling, which was the real foundation for the success he finally achieved.
In 1842 he went to Newark, New York, where he began the mercantile business and continued for 25 years.After 37 years of indoor work he found it necessary to change on account of his health, and so, in 1868, he accepted a position tendered him by his brother, SAMUEL W. (pg. 129) ALLERTON, as superintendent of the Pennsylvania Central Stock Yards at Pittsburgh, Pa.He continued for 17 years at the place.He retired after having been 54 years engaged in active business pursuit.He retired to a beautiful home at Newark, New York, where he also owns a well improved farm of 160 acres.This is but a fragment of the sum he was enabled to accumulate in his long career.He is an able writer and speaker.
On January 15, 1845, MR. ALLERTON married ELIZA ADELAIDE DEAN, of Dresden, Yates County, New York, who was a natural self-taught painter of portraits and landscape scenes, although she never cultivated her artistic tendencies to any great extent.Their children are as follows: CLARENCE, born in 1849, died age 9 months; ORVILLE HURD, born October 3, 1851.
(IX)ORVILLE HURD ALLERTON, subject, was born October 3, 1851, at Newark, New York, and received his education at the Newark Academy and a business training at Poughkeepsie, New York, and Elmira, of that state.From 1873 to 1884 he was a live stock shipper from points in the west to the New York markets.During the last named year he succeeded his father as live stock agent for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. He resigned this position in 1904.In 1886 he made a tricycle tour extending through England, Scotland, Wales and France.
MR. ALLERTON is a supporter of the Republican party.In January, 1907, he was elected president of the Board of Trade of Pittsburgh.
He was married, June 3, 1874, to MISS IDA C. LEGGETT, daughter of JOHN T. and SUSAN (CRONISE) LEGGETT, of Newark, New York.The children by this union are: IDA MAY, born April 17, 1882; EDITH MARIE, born January 11, 1887.