This is my tenth A to Z Challenge. My first was in 2013, but I missed 2021. This April I am going through the alphabet using snippets about my family through the generations.
My 2X great grandmother Eliza Williams Allen was born into slavery on the plantation of Col. Edmund Harrison and his wife Jane Starke Irvin Harrison. Her mother was Ann Williams, a seamstress on the plantation. Who her father was is not known. When the youngest daughter of the Harrison’s, Martha James, married Milton Saffold in 1851, Eliza went with her as a wedding gift. Martha was 18 when she married. Eliza was about 12.
Martha gave birth to three sons before she died in 1856. At 16, Eliza gave birth to Saffold’s daughter in 1856. In 1857, Saffold married Georgia Whiting. Eliza was 17 when Saffold freed her and Mary. In 1860 I found them living, free, on a small farm with Nancy Wiggins and her daughters. I haven’t found a connection between Nancy and Eliza.
Later that year she met Dock Allen when he hid in the barn while escaping from a master known for cruelty and keeping vicious dogs to hunt escapees. Dock and Eliza married. They had 13 children. Eight lived to adulthood. After Freedom, Eliza’s mother, Annie Williams lived with the family until she died in 1898.
Eliza was a seamstress and Dock was a carpenter. Although neither of them were literate, they sent all of the children to school, the oldest through elementary school and the youngest completed two years of college. The family owned their own home in Montgomery’s Centennial Hill Community.
Eliza died on June 22, 1917 at 77 years of age and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Montgomery.
More about Eliza and her family
- Who was Eliza?
- The Search Begins
- A Brief Explanation for Eliza’s Story
- Eliza Williams Allen – a photograph
- Eliza and the people in her life
- Escape – Dock Allen
- Finding Eliza Part 1
- Finding Eliza Part 2
- Finding Eliza Part 3
- Eliza’s daughters part 4
- She was owned before the war by the late Colonel Edmund Harrison of this county
- The 4th Annual Gene Awards
- Visit to Oakwood Cemetery
- Seven Generations of L3e3b-My MtDna
- Stolen From Africa