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Allentharp ~ Tharp Connection

A look at the history of how the Allentharps eventually became the Tharps


Connecting the Allentharps and Tharps
by David Tharp

There is no question about the following ancestral line: Simeon Stanley Allen Tharp, son of John Allen Tharp, Jr, son of John Allen Tharp, Sr. Another known fact comes from the 1890 Census of Denton County, Texas where we learn that the father of John Allen Tharp, Sr. was born in Kentucky, and that John Allen Tharp, Jr. was born in Georgia. Of course, there is also the fact that the original family name was Allentharp. This knowledge comes to us directly from the family Bible of William “Willie” Harris Shinn, husband of Veda Gertrude Tharp Shinn which clearly states that the original family name of Simeon Stanley Allen Tharp was Allentharp.

Coming from the Allentharp direction forward, we have the following facts. The first paragraph of the Forward of the book, "Sifting Through the Ashes for the Althorp, Alinthrop, Allentharp, Allentharpe, Tharp, Tharpe Family" by Eleanor Davis McSwain states in part, “The Allentharp Family settled in Colonial Virginia in Stafford and Prince George Counties. Few records remain as they were destroyed in the War Between The States. John A Allentharp and his wife, Ann Sebastian, had three sons. Jacob, the youngest, remained in Virginia until after the Revolution when he went to Kentucky.” One correction to this direct quote is that it was in fact King George County, not Prince George County.

Thus, it is Jacob, the youngest son of John A Allentharp and Ann Sebastian that we will follow, as his two older brothers “Benjamin and John left Virginia before the Revolution. John settled in North Carolina and Benjamin moved his family to the Sumter District of South Carolina.”

The first sentence in the book states, “The origin of the name Allenthorp or Allentharp is difficult to determine, but it is definitely English.”

Thorp, thorpe, throp, or thropp was an old English word meaning “hamlet, village, small town or estate”. While Mrs McSwain believes the name Allentharp may have originated in the county of Yorkshire, England, I have been told by other descendants of John Allen Tharp, Jr that the Allentharps came from the Isle of Wight, England, a small island off the south central coast of England. Interestingly enough, there is a county in Virginia also named Isle of Wight.

“The first proven Allentharp who lived in Stafford County in the Colony of Virginia was John A Allentharp. The date and place of his birth are unknown. An estimate of his birth is that he was born between 1697 and 1702. That is based on the fact that he was probably a young man when he married Ann Sebastian in 1723.” Their marrige is recorded in the Church register of St. Paul's Church in King George County as well are the birth's of several of their children. John and Ann later moved to Stafford County. John made his will in 1747 and died shortly after. His wife, Ann Sebastian Allentharp, was appointed administrator as he had not appointed an executor. So we know Ann was living as late as 1747, but her death is ‘lost in the ashes’.

Jacob Allentharp, the youngest son of John and Ann Sebastian Allentharp, was born in Stafford County, Virginia. The exact date of his birth is not known, but he was baptized in Aquia Church on December 24, 1742. He married Elizabeth but her last name is unknown. We know Jacob was still living in Stafford County during the Revolution because on a Public Service Claims for Stafford County it shows, “Jacob Allentharp, Cert. Lieut. Wharton, corn 4/ Provisions 7/6.”

He evidently joined the Society of Friends or the Quaker Church as it is known, for his name is found in their records as a witness to two Quaker marriages, one taking place on November 17, 1779 and one on October 3, 1782, both in Stafford County, Virginia.

Sometime after the marriage he witnessed in 1782, Jacob moved his family to Bourbon County, Kentucky. Jacob’s family used the spelling of Allentharp long after their kinsmen had dropped the “Allen”. Jacob must have died sometime between 1782 and 1793 for on June 3, 1793, Elizabeth Allentharp, his wife, gave her consent to the marriage of her daughter, Mary Allentharp, to marry Adam Miller. William Allentharp, another son of Jacob and Elizabeth, signed the marriage bond.

“I do hereby notify that I am willing that my daughter Mary Allentharp should join in
matrimony to Adam Miller given over by law, June the 3rd, 1793, Elizabeth Allentharp.”

Had Jacob Allentharp been living, it would have been he who gave permission for his daughter to marry. It should be noted that Elizabeth signed her name and did not make a mark. Few women at that time could read and write unless they were members of the Quaker Church, because the Quakers believed in educating the girls as well as the boys.

On the 12th day of April, 1796, Elizabeth Allentharp signed a document giving her consent to the marriage of her daughter, Anny Allentharp, to Benjamin Beasley. Her son-in-law, Adam Miller, witnessed that document.

Definite proof that Jacob Allentharp of Stafford County, Virginia was the same man who went to Bourbon County Kentucky is found in an interesting item published in The Virginia Genealogist. Before the Revolution, a number of the Colonist traded with British merchants. Many of the accounts had not been paid when the Revolution began, so after the Revolution, some British merchants attempted to collect these debts. Some of the debtors were poverty stricken, dead or had moved out of the country. Jacob Allentharp was a boot and shoemaker and was a superior craftsman for he is referred to as “excellent”.

“British Mercantile Claims for 1775-1803; debts due James Ritchie &
Company, 13 December 1800.
Jacob Allentharp by bond Aquia Store. He left Stafford County since 1783.
He was an excellent boot and shoe maker and in good circumstances. He
went to Bourbon County, Kentucky and is now dead.”

Jacob and Elizabeth Allentharp had a number of children: John, William, Mary, Anny, Lucy, Elizabeth, and Jacob, Jr.

It is John, the first son of Jacob and Elizabeth on whom we next want to focus. John was born in Virginia before the family moved to Kentucky as he was still living there during the Revolution. His name is on a list of persons, paid in Stafford County, Virginia for supplies furnished or for militia duty. John Allentharp’s name was on the list of supplies furnished as he furnished some beef. John moved his family to Kentucky at the same time his father and mother, Jacob and Elizabeth moved to Kentucky.

John was the executor of the will of his son, Benjamin Allentharp, a known issue [child] of John. John’s children include, Benjamin, William, Ann, Martha and George.

It is George Allentharp, the son of John, son of Jacob, son of the first John Allentharp where we make our connection to our line of Tharps.

But first, a quick note of interest regarding the death of George’s brother, Benjamin. Benjamin Allentharp, son of John Allentharp, served in the Kentucky Militia as an Ensign in Rifle Company, 12th Regiment. He was on a list of Commissioned Officers on September 17, 1805. This fact comes from G. Glen Clift in his publication, The Cornstalk Militia of Kentucky 1792-1811. Benjamin died a young man and did not mention a wife or children, so he probably never married. Fortunately, however, he mentioned his brothers and sisters in his Will, which is recorded in Scott County, Kentucky. (Scott County is the county just west of Bourbon County).

This will is interesting in and of itself, but I find it especially interesting that Benjamin, the oldest son of John Allentharp and older brother of George has begun to separate the Allen and Tharp parts of his name. This lends credence to the fact that the George A Tharp, who is later documented traveling with our known John Allen Tharp, Sr., was in fact born George Allentharp.

In Mrs McSwain’s book, she sites additional records, wills, etc., for the other children of John Allentharp as remaining in Kentucky. No such records exist for George. It is for this reason that I feel certain that George Allentharp (later documented as George A. Tharp), son of John Allentharp, son of Jacob Allentharp, son of the first John A Allentharp, left Kentucky, moved to Georgia where we know our John Allen Tharp, Sr. was born. I have found census records for George A. Tharp in Pulaski County, Georgia at the time that John A Tharp Sr, would have been born (about 1816). We also know that George A Tharp signed the marriage license for John Allen Tharp, Sr in Madison County, Mississippi. We further know that this same George A Tharp moved to Caddo Parish, Louisiana (Shreveport) which is just north of DeSoto Parish, Louisiana (Mansfield) where we find John Allen Tharp, Sr. and his wife Martha Catherine Barnes, who gave birth to John Allen Tharp, Jr, father of my grandfather, Simeon Stanley Allen Tharp. Census records which give the age of George A Tharp fit perfectly with him being born in Kentucky about 1791 or 1792. We have two other strong supporting facts. For one thing, unlike several other names, George is a rare first name in any of the Tharp lines, therefore we do not have to be too concerned with confusing our George with other lines. The other fact, is that only the descendants of Jacob, the youngest son of the first John A Allentharp went to Kentucky. Because we know John Allen Tharp, Sr.’s father was born in Kentucky, this is almost certain to be the same George, who was a descendant of the first John A Allentharp.

Linked toPersonal Library and Photo Collection, David Tharp

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