Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Allen line: Lambert Lane 1737-1804

To the best of my knowledge at this point, we'd have to go way back to the early Middle Ages to find another ancestor named "Lambert".  It was a British name, not particularly common in America.  Nevertheless, this is the name that our ancestor was given by his parents, Samuel Lane and Mary Jane Corbin, when he was born in 1737 in Baltimore, Maryland (or possibly England).  He was one of 12 children born to this couple, who moved at some point from Maryland to Bedford County, Pa.

There Lambert met his future wife, Nancy Ann Anderson, who was the daughter of James Anderson and Ann Downing.  They had been born in England, but I know almost nothing more of their background at this point.  What we do know is quite a bit about the wedding of Lambert and Nancy Ann, thanks to the website "Boone County Genealogy: Preserving out Precious Past."  A grandson of Lambert and Nancy's, William E Lane,  wrote this from his home near Zionsville, In. on October 18, 1886:

"My grandparents, Lambert Lane and Nancy Anderson, were emigrants from England. They were both young when their parents arrived in this country. Their parents settled on the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania about fifteen miles north of its mouth, in the wild woods and amongst the Indians.  While living there my parents became acquainted and were married in the quaint old style. My grandfather wore a blue cloth coat cut "claw hammer" style, with no lapels, ornamented with large brass buttons which closely buttoned up his coat; his pantaloons were white linen, buckled with a large silver bucle just below the knees to a pair of white silk stockings. His shoes were leather, fastened with another pair of silver buckles. Grandmother wore a white cambric dress, with nice hand embroidery on the skirt.  In a few years they moved to Virginia and lived there about four years; then they moved to Tennessee on the Holston River and remained there for a few years, after which they moved to Shelby County, Kentucky, about five miles from Shelbyville."

(As an aside, the rest of this letter is fascinating but is not directly related to our ancestors. I encourage you to go to the Boone County Indiana genweb site and read it, because our family's history is probably not far different than the one related by our distant cousin William.)

I believe William was not correct about Lambert being an emigrant from England. His background seems to be well documented and leads back to several generations of Lanes in Maryland, although it's possible that Lambert's parents had visited family in England and that's where the confusion was.  However, I said "seems" and this needs more investigation. Did someone place Lambert Lane in the wrong family?  More investigation needs to be done on this.

However, we can trace Lambert Lane, married in Bedford County, Pa about 1762, further. According to his grandson's statements, they lived in Bedford County for a few years, then moved to Virginia, and then to the Holston River Valley in Tennessee for a few years.  This is where Lambert earned his recognition from the DAR, participating in the campaign against the Cherokee Indians (who were encouraged by the British, as part of their strategy during the Revolutionary War).  This must have been a scary time for the family. It appears that their 13 children were born in Virginia and in the Holston River area, for the most part. The earliest may have been born in Bedford County, Pa.

From the Holston River area, the couple, now approaching 60, moved to Shelby County, Kentucky.  This was a common emigration route at the time, and land was more plentiful in Shelby County than it had been in Tennessee or Virginia.  There, Lambert died in 1804.  His will is on record there, and he trusted his wife enough to make her the executrix of the will, which she accepted. 

This is the story as reported on various web sites and in the Maryland books I've consulted.  However, I would like to find true primary records rather than relying on secondary records, because I'm not finding documentation that can support the connection to Maryland, nor am I finding documentation to support the English immigrant theory.  Does anyone reading this have any further information?  I'd like to get this right, even if it turns out that Lambert is not of the illustrious Lane ancestry. 

Our line of descent is:

Lambert Lane-Nancy Ann Anderson
Nancy Ann Lane-James McCoy
Vincent McCoy-Eleanor Jackson
Nancy McCoy-George R Allen
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard/Edith/Corinne/Tessora/Vernon Allen
Their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren