The Alleyne Family
The Barbados Museum and Historical Society (B.M.H.S) Article “Alleyne of Barbados” by Louise Allen states that, owing to his failing health, Abel Alleyne (12)1 (uncle of Sir John Gay Alleyne) with his wife Mary and his family, left Barbados in 1739 and moved to Braintree (now Quincy) Massachusetts in search of a more temperate climate.
The author made a trip to Quincy to see if any evidence remains today that would indicate that the family once lived there. In the town of Quincy, close to the centre, is a street called ‘Alleyne Street’. This can be no coincidence.
Near the town centre, at the corner of School Street and Phipps street is the old cemetery of Christchurch Episcopal Church. The church itself has long been demolished, but many of the graves are still there. The BMHS article states that the Alleynes had a Vault under the church, but without the church being there it was not possible to locate the vault.
Mr. Corey, historian for the Episcopal Church in Quincy, was able to locate the Vault and also was able to show, from his church records, what family members were interred there. All the Alleyne records of the Episcopal Church in Quincy are in Volume One of the church records, showing that the Alleynes were among those who founded the church there.
The Historical Society in Quincy has a file on the Alleyne Family and this file contains a letter from Jeremiah Smith Boies, Abel’s cousin, which tells what family members were interred in the vault. See a copy of the Letter Below. This letter was wrapped around the Keys to the vault.
From this letter it can be seen that the following Alleynes are interred in the vault:
Abel Alleyne (12)
Mary Alleyne (Woodbridge) his wife
Dorothy Harbin Alleyne (Forster) Wife of Thomas Alleyne (18) and daughter-in-law of Abel and Mary
(Thomas was not interred here as he died at sea)
Abel Alleyne (26)
Anna Alleyne (Chase) wife of Abel
Mary Beck , daughter of Sarah Hannah Boies Alleyne (26 iv ) and Frederick Beck
Jeremiah Smith Boies addresses the letter to the two sisters, Sarah (26 iv) and Dorothy Deborah Forster (26 i).
Below are photos the old Cemetery of Christ Church Episcopal Church in Quincy, where the Alleyne Family Vault is located.
The Alleyne Vault was one of two vaults located under the church, when the church was there. Today there is an open space where the church once stood with only the two Vaults within the space. The Alleyne Vault (Bottom Right) is unmarked, but I was assured by Mr. Cory that it was the Alleyne Vault.
While in Quincy I visited the Historical Society where I was shown their "Alleyne" File. In the file was a copy of 2 pages from the Abel Alleyne (26) Family Bible, in his hand, showing the Names, Birth dates, Birth places and of his children and the person for whom each child was named. There were also senen death records on the second page. Note that Deborah Dorothy Forster Alleyne (Chickering), one of the addressees in the Jeremiah Alleyne Letter above, was also interred in the vault only four years later. It is also interesting that this document shows she was interred in the vault while there is a grave stone in Dedham bearing her name (see Alleyne Graves)
Also Located in the town of Quincy, on Butler Road, is the Dorothy Q. House, said to be the oldest house in New England.
This house was owned by the Quincy family and later by Dorothy Quincy. After her death in 1762 the house passed to a Mr. Bradford and then on 24th November 1769 he sold it to Mary Alleyne then widow of Abel Alleyne. Abel, as previously stated, left Barbados on the recommendation of his doctor, to seek better climate in New England. He and Mary settled in Milton and then in Braintree. Some time after his death, Mary purchased the house and 400 acres of land for 2,400 pounds sterling and lived there with the family till she died. Her son Thomas sold the house and 258 acres of land to a Mr. Benjamin Beale 1st December 1787 for 981 pounds sterling.
This house only had 5 owners before it was taken over by the Massachusetts Society of Colonial Dames. The House is a museum today, run by the MSCD.
During the time that Mary and Thomas owned the house. John Adams (2nd US President) and his wife Abigail, who was a member of the Quincy Family, lived both in Quincy and in Washington. Abigail very much wanted to purchase the house from the Alleynes and get it back into her family. The Massachusetts Historical Society has a number of letters, available on line, between Abigail and John Adams that show that the Alleynes and the Adams’ were acquaintances who visited one another and had tea together.
In March of 1772 Abigail wrote to John Adams and said in the letter that Mr. (Thomas) Alleyne had put the house up for sale but (owing to the price) “It is a place I should be fond of, but know it must still be my castle in the air”
The house was never passed back into the Quincy family.
Sign at the Gates to the Dorothy Q. House in Quincy
The Dorothy Q. House in Quincy Massachusetts
From these Records and signs, graves, churches etc. it is plain that the Alleyne family lived in Milton, Dedham and Quincy (Braintree) and left their mark there.
The family remained in Quincy for 3 generations until first John Forster Alleyne (27) returned to Barbados and then in1802, Thomas Harbin Alleyne (31) was sent back to Barbados by his parents at the age of ten. Thomas Harbin lived at Porters plantation with his uncle John Forster Alleyne (27) until he was old enough to fend for himself. Thomas Harbin was the eldest son of Abel and Anna and they were loyalists in a new republic, after the United States had won independence. It is the belief of the author that Abel and Anna did not want young Thomas Harbin to grow up in the new republic, and so sent him back to Barbados.
As a result of John Forster and Thomas Harbin returning to Barbados, the Alleyne family continued on the island and most Alleynes today can trace their line back to them.
1) Numbers shown behind names in the text refer to the numbers and individuals shown in the BMHS Articles “Alleyne of Barbados” by Louise Allen. These articles are part of “Genealogies of Barbados Families” from Caribbeana and The Barbados Museum and Historical Society - Compiled by James C. Brandow.
This page was last updated on 06 June 2018 when it was converted to Html format and a number of Typos were corrected