http://www.myheritage.com/site-34307711/allencookstownmoneymoreirelandswedenOn entering the My Heritage site, CLICK on horizontal navigation bar, under heading "Family Tree"With the broad background described we now turn to he family stories! These are based on research, via family conversations and internet searches.  Des's (Desmond) parents are Samuel John ALLEN and Thelma ALLEN, nee COULTER. There is also a Coulter and Higginson story.

Liz's (Elizabeth) parents are Peter James O'BRIEN and Lizzie O'BRIEN, nee CURRIE. The O'Brien & Currie stories will also be told, in separate documentation/web site.

Earliest years

My research into records thus far (December 2013) gives me a commencement date of 1775 on the Coulter side with the birth date of my great great great grandfather Daniel Coulter. It was his son James who married Jane (Purvis), whose headstone is located at the Old Derryloran Cemetry, Cookstown.

Then, closely followed is the birth of James Ross, father of Susanna Ross who married my great grandfather Samuel John Allen. Samuel John's father was (Samuel) John, nicknamed "the cock of the North"....no explanation found, but told to me by my father and grandfather. John was a weaver and a farmer...his father was also Samuel, a farmer, born at the turn of the century, at a guess the very early 1800's?

However the oldest records traced by far, thanks to Trish Wylie's researching efforts, are those of the Higginson lineage. The oldest recorded name on the Higginson's line is John Hyggenson 1470-1540. The surname spelling had changed by the time his grandson was born, Rev John Higginson, 1540-1624. The Higginson story, in more detail will be found on the extra pages (coded). Further back we find that there is a family link to Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland 1274-1329!

I will begin however, in 1836, when (Samuel) John Allen was born, just outside Moneymore.....see Google map link below for location!


  "Origins of Moneymore"



He was born in a stone cottage in the Sperrin mountains, townland of Tintagh. There are a few townlands in the area where Allens are noted to have lived, eg Bracke Slieve Gallion, Carncose and Carrydarragh. Ruins of that building remains to this day, with their neigbouring family, Spiers on the same site.

According to the Griffith's Land Valuation, 1859, Samuel Allen was occupier tenant, Landlord: Edmund Staples. County: Londonderry. Barony: Loughinsholin. Union: Magherafelt. Parish: Lissan. Townland: Tintagh

I am NOT sure if this Samuel is Samuel John "cock of the North's" father. Samuel John would have been a rather young tenant, 23 years old. At a guess the father could have been born "possibly" early 1800's, making the father approx 50 years old? (*to be confirmed!)

Click on the link below and the 7th name down: ALLEN


Samuel John Allen had the 3rd largest acreage in Tintagh....Land: 43 acres 2 Roods 0 perches for which the annual rateable value was 4 pounds: 5 shillings. For the house the value was 10 shillings. Staples himself had 450 acres.

See WIKIPEDIA, giving a brief description of Moneymore.


It was to Edmund Staples, Lissan House, the story is told that the rent was paid....as the land was located in the parish of Lissan. This rent was collected by Samuel John Allen...probably just after the famine period, in the 1860's. He and a neighbour would do the rounds every so often and then travel the few miles, downhill to make payment in Moneymore. They would be paid a wage in return. Before returning home to Tinagh, a visit was made to the local pub, where they would get drunk. 

To get home, late in the evening they would climb into the horse drawn cart. The horses knew the road home and so after a while they would arrive home, after the horses had climbed the steep mountainous hills 

During the course of this story I will refer often to the Family Tree which I have created by using the My Heritage tool kit. To date there are approx 6,000 names (this includes some 4,000 names transferred from another web site on the Higginson side of the family!) topped on the ALLEN side by the aformentioned John Allen (have just guessed approx birth date of his father). On the O'Brien's side the first recorded entry is Thomas O'BRIEN, in the 1820's. Other missing dates of these earlier years have yet to be researched. (30 Oct 2011)

Ruins of the Allen cottage home remain in the Sperrin mountains ca 8 km west of Moneymore, in the townland of Tintagh. I am assuming that it was in this home that the 8 Allen children were born, one of whom is my direct descendant, my great grandfather, another Samuel John, known as Sam, 1866-1908

Samuel John ALLEN b. 1836 married Eliza Hartley b. 1834, Moneymore on 12 June 1855 in Desertlyn Church of Ireland. According to records they had 6 children.

SEE THUMB NAIL COPIES OF MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE UNDER "PHOTOS" on navigation bar!....Thanks to Alison Stringer, Desertlyn Church of Ireland Rector's wife, December 2012

Sarah (Eliza) 1864-1950, Samuel John 1866-1908, Eliza b.1868, Jane b.1866, William John b.1881 and Thomas b.1883

We have dates on the births of Sarah, Sam and Eliza, but an unconfirmed date on Jane! (1866?) It is from Samuel John that my lineage is generated and that will be the main substance of this ALLEN story.

Moneymore in the 1920's, the era when my Granda Sam Allen had just married the young postwoman, Violet Smyth (1918)




There are exciting developments in the Sarah, Eliza and Jane family tree as you will discover under a separate story line!

Sarah, Eliza and Jane will come under the heading “The American Connection” starting in the 1880's. Granda Allen's sister Mary was the next to emigrate....unconfirmed arrival date and also location.....just after World War 1, was it to America or Canada? Cousin Gord Allen, British Columbia remembers his/my aunt Mary in Toronto! Small in stature and could play the mouth organ! She had married James Colville.

An up to date research result and supposition on Mary Allen married Colville (August 2014).....

We also have a heading “The Canadian Connection”, which began in the mid 1920’s, when William Allen (Willy in Moneymore and Bill in Canada), my Grandfathers brother emigrated.


Under the heading "PHOTOS" on the Navigation Bar, you will find some more interestion information.... 1. A copy of Samuel John and Eliza Allens Marriage Certificate,1855.... 2. A copy of Eliza's father BERNARD HARTLEY'S Probate 1888, where he had assets of GBP 156, (to days value ca GBP 20,000, as per Historical UK Inflation Rates and Calculator), inherited by his son Abraham Hartley and.... 3. A copy of the registration of Eliza's death, 1917, by her son Thomas James, who was also present at her death. This information I found in the new web site....www.irishgeneology.ie.
Thomas was the long lost missing link in my research, until 20 January 2017! http://www.desallen.n.nu/allen-connection-expands-2

© 2020 desallen.n.nu. All Rights Reserved.
Design by  Edward Caissie.