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Charles Allen

     Back in 1992 I had the great pleasure of spending an afternoon with Reverend Charles Allen of Sand Gap, Kentucky.  Sand Gap is located in Jackson County.  I met Mr. Allen at his home and spent most of the day with him hiking back to an area he believed he had discovered the silver ore that Swift and company mined. Charles Allen was not your average silver mine hunter, though he had claimed to have found the workings.  He had carefully identified the correct light houses, various rock landmarks and creeks.  The area he  identified was, indeed like many areas, located under and around one of the many sandstone rock houses that exist all along the escarpment of Eastern Kentucky.  It was an enjoyable day to be sure and and he was remarkably fit. This man, in his 70's, nearly walked me to death that day and I recall having a difficult time keeping up with him.
     Charles Allen was a silver mine hunter to be sure but his special gift; his uniqueness among all the rest of us was his claim to be a descendant of John Swift.  Yes, that's right, Charles Allen claimed to have very accurately traced his ancestry back to John Swift and beyond.
Charles Allen
     OK, I know, this sounds like a wild tale and I have no way to confirm other than the paper he gave me that day when I departed, very tired and with samples of iron hematite-no silver on this visit.  Now the serious researcher can easily find that John Swift married a Virginia woman named Ann (Nancy in some accounts) Roberdeau.
  Charles Allen claims  John Swift married a Cherokee woman of the Red Cherokee Tribe living in the area that is now Jackson County, Kentucky.  Without going into a list of genealogy records, Mr. Allen claims that his great, great (I think four greats) grandmother was one Theina Renfrowe.   Theina, Allen insists, was the daughter of John and Dandelion Swift.  Dandelion being the daughter  of  Little Hawk, a Cherokee.
     So, the obvious jumps out.  What happened Swift's wife Ann?   Perhaps, Swift found another wife in wilderness?  Swift never mentions taking a Cherokee wife.  But Charles Allen was insistent on the matter.  He is descended from John Swift.
     No one will ever know if this is story is factual.  Charles Allen believed it with all his heart.  I found him to be a sensible, earnest and humble man and wanted absolutely nothing for his information.  I think, in the end, he just wanted the record to show he was a living testament to the Swift legend.  I do not know if Mr. Allen is still alive or not.  I could not find any listings for him at this writing.  I can say, without a doubt, one sunny day a number of years ago, I was fortunate enough to meet Reverend Charles Allen, a descendant of John Swift.


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