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Bulloch History by Roger Allen
Allens focus on freedom
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    The name Allen is very old. To the Irish, the old family name Ailin means hard and inflexible; while to the Scots the old family name Aluinn means handsome. It extends directly back to the McDonalds of Clan Ranald, named after one of the sons of King Somerled, who ruled all of Argyll and the Great Hebrides Islands.
    The Allen family name has earned a very famous name in early Georgia history: the oldest known folk tune in Georgia is none other than “Barbara Allen”, popularized in 1855 in Georgia. While the folk tune is thought to have originated in Scotland, it was first printed in England in 1780. There are at least 92 known versions of this love ballad.
    Once they came to Georgia, the members of the Allen clan became quite active in seeking their freedom from the British. In fact, in Georgia alone, there were 6 James’, 5 Williams, 5 Roberts, 4 Moses, 3 Johns, 3 Philips, 2 Thomas, and 1 Benjamin, Charles, and Woodson Allens who are known to have fought alongside the Continental troops against the British Regulars.
    In fact, Major General Nathaniel Greene led the Americans in the “Siege of 96." This, the longest siege of the entire American Revolution was being fought just across the South Carolina border form the Pine Barrens of Georgia.
    In fact, Josiah G. Allen Sr., one of the leading citizens of Allendale in the Barnwell District of South Carolina at that time, felt he could not just stand by. The great-great grandfather of the Bulloch County Allens gathered up his family to safety, and then set organized many of the other Allendale residents who supported the rebellion.
    They all set off in the effort to locate and attack the American “Tories” who supported the British efforts to subdue the rebellion, and had been massacring innocents throughout the Carolinas. They soon joined the other American rebels under the banner of the famous guerilla leader “the Swamp Fox”, Francis Marion.
Unfortunately for Josiah and two of his neighbors, they ran into the forces of “Bloody Bill” Cunningham and his Independent Troop of Mounted Partisan Rangers. Cunningham’s forces disarmed Josiah and his neighbors, taking them deep into the swamps.
    The records show that after failing to gain any useful information from the three men, his forces savagely stabbed and shot them and then hung them up to die most gruesome deaths.  Thus was the mettle and the metal of the man who brought the Allens to Bulloch County, and indeed all of the Wiregrass.

    Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look at Bulloch County's historical past. E-mail Roger at roger
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