“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Norvell in Lassen County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Nancy Ann Allen

Nancy Ann Allen Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Alvis Hendley, October 9, 2016
1. Nancy Ann Allen Marker
Nancy Ann Alien was born November 14, 1832, in Gentry County, Missouri. Her parents were Robert and Marian (Crawford) Ready, natives of Kentucky where they were married in 1826. Nancy was the oldest of four children. Her sister Elenor, "Elen", the next oldest of four, was born in 1835 (pictured). Living nearby was the family of William "Will," or "Billy," and Eleanor "Nellie" (Harris) Allen. Will Allen was North Carolina born, but he and his family arrived in Missouri in the early 1840s by way of Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois.

While in Illinois, Will and Nellie Allen's first two children were born, Joel Robert in 1830 and William Carrell in 1832. By 1850 the two Allen boys were married to the Ready sisters and appear living in the same household in the Gentry County census of that year: Joel R. Allen, age 20, farmer, with his wife Nancy Ann, age 17, with William C. Allen, age 18, and his wife Elen J., age 15.

In 1857 Will Allen, Sr. determined to move again, this time across the plains to California. By then the Will Aliens were the parents of eight children still at home aged from seventeen to little Sarah, age
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three. Joel and Nancy Ann Allen were the parents of two children, Eleanor Miriam, age four, and Cortes "Cort," age one. Will, Jr. and his wife Elenor had one child, Joel, named for his uncle, age three. The two young couples were heading west with the senior Allen family.

Two other related families were in the overland company, the Martins and the Parmans. Jesse Martin and Will Allen were married to sisters, Catherine and Eleanor, née Harris. The Allen and Martin families had been friends since their days in Indiana. Jesse and Catherine Martin were the parents of six children at home, ages seventeen to six. Three older sons were also with the company. One of them, Nathaniel, was married to a daughter of Will Allen and his deceased first wife. They had four young children. Henry H. Parman was married to Martha Ann, the oldest daughter of Jesse and Catherine Martin. Henry and Martha Ann were the parents of five children; the youngest, Lucy Ann, was about three months old when they left home.

The ensuing overland company thus became a mass migration of these affiliated families. They totaled 42 people, sixteen adults, four teenagers, and twenty-two children under the age of twelve. At least three other single men were with the company, James Ready, the brother of the two young Allen wives, William Harris, younger brother of Eleanor and Catherine, and a William
Nancy Ann Allen Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Alvis Hendley, October 9, 2016
2. Nancy Ann Allen Marker
The trail marker to the right is Nobles Trail Marker 30 erected by Trails West, Inc.
Leonard. All three would later marry into the Martin or Allen families.

There were twelve ox-drawn wagons in the train. Jesse Martin, an experienced ex-Forty-niner, was captain, with brother-in-law, Will Allen, his close advisor. There were many saddle horses in the company and a herd of nearly 400 head of loose stock that kept many of the men busy, while the women of the party usually drove the wagons. All the children old enough rode horses or ponies, the older ones handling the reins with two or three smaller ones hanging on in the rear. The toddlers and babies rode in the wagons with their mothers. Another baby joined the company when James Adams Allen, last son of Will and Eleanor Allen, Sr., was born on June 25.

The company was plagued with sickness. They had not gone far when Martha Ann Parman died on May 25. Family tradition says she died of a "fever" that may have had something to do with postpartum complications. William C. Allen, Jr. died on September 5, and on September 29, Nancy Ann Allen, wife of Joel, died and was buried here. She had not yet turned twenty-five. It was said that both William and Nancy Ann died of mountain fever.

The company went on to Shasta City, California, arriving on October 12. Two surviving spouses, Henry Parman and Elenor Allen, were married in 1858 and had twelve more children, but the different families soon
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dispersed. The Martins settled in Thurston County, Washington, where Jesse and Catherine raised their mother-less granddaughter, Lucy Ann Parman. The Parmans settled in Modoc County, California. Joel Allen eventually moved to Oregon, but he never remarried and raised his two children, Miriam and Cortes, alone. All three are buried on the Allen Ranch Cemetery at Crosswater Golf Club in Sunriver, Oregon. Joel Robert Allen, husband of Nancy Ann Allen, died at his ranch on the Little Deschutes River in 1898.

This is a part of your American heritage. Honor it. Protect it. Preserve it for your children.
Erected 2016 by Oregon-California Trails Association.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Settlements & SettlersWomen. A significant historical year for this entry is 1826.
Location. 40° 30.561′ N, 120° 56.82′ W. Marker is near Norvell, California, in Lassen County. Marker can be reached from Bridge Creek Springs Road (County Road 112) one mile north of Merrill Flat Road. On Bridge Creek Springs Road, about one mile north of Merrill Flat Road, there is a dirt road on the left. Drive about five hundred feet on the dirt road to a parking area. Park and walk about 400 feet to the marker. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bieber CA 96009, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within 15 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Nancy Ann Allen Grave (here, next to this marker); Nobles Trail - Bridge Creek (here, next to this marker); Nobles Trail - First Nobles Pass (approx. 2 miles away); Nobles Trail - Big Spring (approx. 7.8 miles away); The Chimney (approx. 12.8 miles away); Nobles Trail - Dry Valley (approx. 12.8 miles away); Lassen Emigrant Trail (approx. 14.6 miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on April 14, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 14, 2020, by Alvis Hendley of San Francisco, California. This page has been viewed 102 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 14, 2020, by Alvis Hendley of San Francisco, California. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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Sep. 21, 2023