Tuesday, July 15, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #28 The Records of Andrew Lafayette "Fate" Allee

The life of my great-great-grandfather Andrew Lafayette "Fate" Allee is detailed in government records. I wish all my ancestors were so well documented.

His story begins with the marriage of his parents.

State of Arkansas
County of Saline
I J. H. Williams an acting Justice of the peace in and for Saline County do hereby certify that I did on the 29th day of December, 1842 Solemnize the rites of matrimony between Josiah Alley of the County aforesaid and of the age of 21 years and Mary Jane Pelton of the Same place and of the age of fifteen years. Given under my hand this 30th Day of December 1842.
J.H. Williams J.P.

A child is born.

Fate was born on August 24, 1844, twenty months after his parents married. Within another two years both his parents were dead and his Uncle Abraham Allee became his legal guardian. His father's estate was billed for medical care for his young mother in 1846, setting her death date between March and October of 1846.

The guardianship was documented in 1847.

State of Arkansas
County of Saline
I Abraham Allee do solemnly swear that to the best of my knowledge and belief the estate of Josiah Allee deceased is worth the sum of three hundred dollars. Andrew Lafayette Allee is the only child of the deceased and resides in this County. he died without a will...
Sworn to and subscribed before me
this 26th day of July AD 1847
A R Hockersmith Clerk

Fight for an orphan's pension.

Josiah Allee died while serving in the Mexican-American War. The name Allee was often misspelled or misunderstood in handwritten records. His service record was interpreted as Isaiah Allen. Abraham Allee had to fight the military bureaucracy to set the record straight and to collect the military pension that Fate was due as an orphan.

Department of the Interior
Orphans Claim
I certify that Andrew Lafayette Allee, Child of Josiah Allee, deceased, who was a Bugler, Company I, Arkansas Mounted Volunteers, in the service of the United States and died on the seventeenth day of October 1846, is entitled to receive pay ...

The estate grew.

Abraham Allee not only collected the orphan's pension, but also obtained a military land warrant for Josiah's service. Fate also received money from two estates in his mother's family, Samuel Pelton and James Adams. At the last known guardianship accounting in 1860, Fate's worth was about $650, plus 80 acres of land.

The Confederacy called.

Fate volunteered very quickly when the Civil War began. Just prior to his 17th birthday, he enlisted in Company F, 11th Arkansas Infantry on July 19, 1861. He was one of 7000 Confederates who valiantly defended Island Number 10 near New Madrid, Missouri, until the commander was forced to surrender on April 8, 1862. Fate spent several months as a prisoner at Camp Douglas, Illinois. Later that year he was part of a prisoner exchange at Vicksburg, Mississippi.

He then served in the 11 & 17 Consolidated Arkansas Infantry; Co B, Anderson's Unattached Battalion, Arkansas Cavalry as a 2nd Lt; and as an independent scout in the McMurtry Brigade, under Captain Webb. A story told by a member of Webb's forces depicts Fate as an honorable man, although Webb's forces were generally considered to be less than honorable.

The military and prisoner records tell the basics of his service.

Quick drop page from Outdoor Dad kit by Brandy Murry for Digital Scrapper

On May 6, 1866, Fate married a cousin, Martha Elizabeth Grant. The area in Arkansas where they lived had been overrun during the Battle of Jenkins Ferry in 1864. Fields, streams and rivers were rife with spent ammunition. Although the family stories don't tell us, we can only surmise that the Allee family members who left Arkansas did so due to the devastation of the war.

Fate relocated his family about 1869 to Denton County, Texas, along with Abraham and some of his family. Fate and Martha had three children, all of whom married into the Lucas family. Sometime after Frank's birth in 1872, Martha died.

The widowed Fate married Anna Elizabeth "Bettie" Allen on January 30, 1876, in Collin County, Texas. Fate and Bettie farmed in Palo Pinto County, adding four more children to their family before his death on July 4, 1895. He was buried in Ballew Springs Cemetery in Parker County, Texas.

The final record is a widow's pension.

The widowed Bettie Allee filed in Texas for a Confederate widow's pension. The pension file tells us that A. Lafayette Allee died in Palo Pinto County, Texas. It also gives the marriage date and place for his second marriage. Bettie did a good job of detailing his military service. Many soldiers don't like to talk about their service, so this level of detail is surprising. Perhaps the couple documented the service so that the family would have the facts in case of his death.

Other records.

In addition to the mentioned records, there exist tax, land and marriage records, plus censuses.

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