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Putting the Pieces Together

The Allen Family Story
 

 

 

     Our family history focuses on the union of William Allen and Adeliza (Knowles)** Allen and their nine offspring. The family has its roots in the Tarpum Bay settlement (also formerly known as Glenelg) on the Bahamian island of Eleuthera. They are the roots from which our branches of the Allen family grow.

     With more than 1,200 names entered into our family tree project as William & Addie's descendants, ours is one of the largest families in the United States and the Caribbean.

     Each of William and Addie’s offspring are profiled in the links below.  To offer a more complete picture of their lives, you'll also find a brief narrative of life as they knew it and a bit about their experiences in their native or adopted cities. 

     We begin by visiting the three main areas in which William & Addie's offspring settled: the Bahamas, Key West and Miami.  Click each of the links below for more of the Allen Family saga.

The Bahamas - History in the Homeland

Key West - The Southernmost Allen Legacy

Miami - Allens Making Their Mark

 

  Faye Carey Smith, reunion founder.  She is the daughter of Ruth Allen Carey, granddaughter of W.W. "Willie Butcher" Allen, and great-granddaughter of William & Addie Allen.  

Faye Carey Smith, Allen Family Reunion Founder

The Allen Family

Today & Tomorrow

     Today, the Allens are scattered far and wide, though they continue to reside in South Florida and the Bahamas in large numbers.

     Estimates place the number of Allen descendants at more than 800 living, which makes it one of the largest families in the United States and Caribbean.

     Faye Carey Smith, granddaughter of William (Willie Butcher) Allen of the Bahamas, was determined to bring this large family together. She began by hosting the first Allen Family Reunion in Nassau, Bahamas, in 1985. They continued until about 1996 when several American Allens attended the Nassau reunion and offered to host the next one in the U.S.

     The 1997 Allen Family Heritage Reunion (held in Key West, Florida) marked the first time all of the descendants of William & Addie Allen had the opportunity to meet in the United States. A total of 518 of them did just that.

     In 1999, the reunion was held in Miami, and in 2000 the Allens gathered in Nassau once again for four days of family fun in the sun.

     The 2002 Allen Family Reunion represented the first time the majority of the Allen descendants had been documented in writing. Once again held in Key West, the reunion featured the planting of the Allen Family Commemorative Tree at a local park, a 1970s themed fashion and talent show, and the highlight of the event - a keynote address at our banquet by Bahamian Prime Minister Perry Christie, grandson of W.W. (Willie Butcher) Allen. More than 500 Allens attended.

     The 2004 Allen Family Reunion was held in Daytona Beach, Florida, and 426 Allen descendants, cousins and guests were in attendance.  Once again, the Honorable Perry Christie, Prime Minister of the Bahamas, was in attendance and gave the keynote address.  The Daytona Beach family did a marvelous job and an excellent time was had by all.

     In 2006, we traveled to Nassau for our bi-annual reunion and it was an incredible experience. Our family's statesman, the Honorable Perry Christie, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, was in attendance and proud to host our reunion.  Faye Carey Smith, founder of our family reunions, had passed the baton to a new generation of reunion planners and they performed magnificently.  They implemented the Crystal Tomato Awards and the Allen Family Pledge, which we loved.  The highlight of the reunion included a trip to our family island of Eleuthera, where we walked in the footsteps of our ancestors and met the descendants of William & Addie's daughter Susan for the first time.

     The 2008 reunion was held in Orlando, Florida, and in 2010, we returned to our roots as the family in Tarpum Bay on the island of Eleuthera hosted us. Both reunions presented a wonderful opportunity to bond and to learn more about this sprawling, international family.

     Now that these ties have been discovered and documented, the future holds many opportunities for more family gatherings. Reunions present the perfect chance to gain a sense of who we are, to develop a sense of family unity, and to pass those ties on to future generations.

 

     ** Author's note: Addie's maiden surname had incorrectly been reported as Culmer in the past.  A search of 19th Century Bahamian birth records has shown that she was instead formerly a Knowles, or perhaps even a Mingo as reported in the LDS International Genealogical Index database for Caribbean Island records.  More research will clarify.

 

Written by Carmen Turner,

Great, great-granddaughter of William & Adeliza Allen of Eleuthera, Bahamas

The Allen Family History is a work in continuous progress. 

As we uncover new historical documents and anecdotes from family elders,

adjustments will continue to be made. 

If you have information to share, or can help solve a family mystery,

please let me know.  Corrections and updates are always welcome.

 

The invaluable contributions of the family sources listed below are gratefully acknowledged.

Thank you so much for sharing your time, stories, memories, documents and photos.

 

 

Family Sources:

Mr. Calvin Allen, Esq. of Key West, Florida

Mrs. Sarah Allen of Key West, Florida

Mrs. Addie Dell Allen McCartney (deceased) 

Ms. Amanda Moncur of Nassau, Bahamas

Mrs. Dorothy McCartney Moncur of Nassau, Bahamas

Mrs. Cleomie Allen Smith of Miami, Florida (deceased)

Mrs. Faye Carey Smith of Nassau, Bahamas

 

Academic Sources:

1900 Census (Key West)

1910 U.S. Census (Key West)

1920 U.S. Census (Key West and Miami)

1930 U.S. Census (Key West and Miami)

Bahamian Birth Records (1873, 1875 and 1877)

Bahamian Marriage Records (1871)

Florida Death Index (1969 and 1979)

Florida History & The Arts Magazine

Key West Citizen - April 26, 1962

Key West Citizen - Nov 2 and Nov 6, 1969

New York Age Newspaper - November 3, 1888

Tequesta, the Journal of the Historical Association of Southern Florida

 

Copyright 2005-2006 Carmen Turner.

Only descendants of William & Adeliza Allen

may reproduce the information contained herein without permission of the author.

All others must gain the written permission of the author

prior to reproducing information or non-commercial images contained herein.

All other rights reserved.

 

 

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This site was last updated 10/05/06