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Category Archives: Allin house

widows and spinsters and feuds (oh my!)

Over the last month I’ve continued to burrow into the history of the General Allin house. The 1930 census had showed two families living in it, and deeds going back to the 1871 plat with a division line transecting the house showed that the west wing was separately owned. Now the ownership of the house […]


Another revelation about our new old house. From the discovery of the amazing fifteen occupants in 1930, I knew the house had had its west wing rented out at the time. Further deed digging gave me a new conundrum: according to the town’s deed index, the owners of the house in 1930 seem to have […]

fifteen people lived here…

In 1930, our new house was pretty full. The census shows that Emanuel and Maria lived there with their eight daughters. Eight daughters. And, in the west wing (which back then boasted a separate street number) Ezra and Marian, renters, lived with three more daughters. Eleven girls. Maybe their ages & surnames were faked, and […]

colonial recycling, on the attic walls

A couple of days ago I posted on the eighteenth-century trigonometry homework on the walls of our attic. Now I have some pictures. The trigonometry, it turns out, was for the study of navigation. There are also legal papers and accounts, and the odd scrap of printing. I should explain the context you can see […]

Allin house — the smokehouse

I mentioned earlier the space within the central chimney complex in our house. The description we were given of it — as a ‘hidey hole’ — hardly does it justice, and it would have been a pretty sooty place to hide. It is a glorious smoking chamber with probably 40 to 50 wrought nails in […]

four wills, four generations, four courts: the Allins of Barrington

I’ve begun to poke around in the history of the Allin family to see about the land and house. The attributed builder of our house is Thomas4 Allin (Matthew3, Thomas2, William1), who lived from 1742 to 1800. His great-grandfather, William1 Allin, had bought a portion of the original land purchased from the family of the […]

she grew up here too: Elizabeth (Allin) Bicknell

Turns out Amy Allin’s sister has a picture in Bicknell’s Barrington too, Elizabeth Waldron Allin: And well she should, since Elizabeth went on to marry her cousin (at least two different ways), Allin Bicknell; they were parents of Thomas W. Bicknell, the author. No wonder he seems to have felt a special attachment to our […]

eighteenth-century trigonometry homework

That’s what we found this morning, among the miscellanous recycled papers — accounts, one page of a letter, and some odd scraps of letterpress printing — all pasted over some of the remaining vertical boards which made up a dividing wall of the original attic room in our new house. There’s a much newer door […]

two beehive ovens

This weekend I was riveted by Anne ‘Pete’ Baker’s book, Collecting Houses: 17th-century Houses — 20th-century Adventure, recommended to me by aunt Amy, who knows Pete slightly. It’s a chronicle of how Pete taught herself to evaluate and restore the oldest houses of Southeastern New England, especially the detective work of discerning and dating the […]

she grew up here: Amy (Allin) Horn

Bicknell’s History of Barrington has another great tidbit, a portrait of Amy Allin: Thomas Allin’s oldest daughter, Amy, was born in 1773, and married John Horn in 1796 (per some hits on Worldconnect). She would have seen this house built (or enlarged) in 1783, and grown up in it. Our oldest will be moving in […]