|CALVIN ALLYN, a prosperous
farmer of Norwich, belongs to a family that came to America in the early
days of its settlement by white people, enduring with brave hardihood the
privations and sufferings which were the lot of the early colonists. He
is a direct descendant of Sir Robert Allyn, of England. Another of his
ancestors was Lord Mayor of London, and the family coat of arms dates from
the second crusade.
Robert Allyn, the immigrant progenitor of
the branch of the family now being considered, came over in 1637, and settled
in Salem, Mass., remaining there until 1651, when he removed to New London,
Conn., and obtained a large tract of land, including what is now Allyn
Point, much of which is still in the family. From Robert Allyn the line
descends, through John, Robert, Robert, James, a second James, and Charles,
to Calvin, whose name appears at the beginning of this sketch. The younger
James and his twin brother Ebenezer, who was the progenitor of the present
Allyn Point branch, were born in that part of Groton which is now Ledyard,
Conn., about 1750. James Allyn purchased the farm of John Dean, and the
active years of his life were profitably spent in carrying it on. James
Allyn, Jr., was married in 1768 at Stonington, Conn., to Anna Stanton,
of that place. She was descended from Thomas Stanton, the Indian interpreter.
A coverlid made and marked by her mother in 1743 and a chair that belonged
to her ancestors have been handed down as heirlooms to the present generation.
The children of James and Anna (Stanton) Allyn were: Joseph, Anna, Althea,
Martha, Jabez, Charles, and Roswell, all of whom had families except Jabez.
The mother died at sixty-seven and the father at eighty-six years of age.
Their remains are resting in what is known as the Allyn Burial-ground,
which was taken from the old farm in the town of Ledyard. The house in
which James Allyn, Jr., and his children were born was also the birthplace
of Silas Deane, one of the commissioners to France in Revolutionary times.
Charles Allyn, father of Calvin, was born
September 28, 1781, twenty-two days after the massacre of Fort Griswold,
New London, headed by Arnold, the traitor, September 6, 1781. He became
a well-to-do man and influential citizen, and served acceptably as Selectman
of Montville. He married in Groton, February 9, 1814, Miss Lois Gallup,
a daughter of Jacob Gallup, who was a son of Colonel Nathan Gallup, one
of the Committee of Safety that advised with Governor Trumbull. The children
born of this union were: Louisa; Robert; Amanda; James; Calvin; and Harriet.
Louisa married Robert A. Williams, of Preston, and died March 22, 1896,
at eighty years of age, leaving five children. Robert was educated at the
Wesleyan University at Middletown, Conn., graduating in 1841. In 1857 he
was elected Professor of Greek in Wesleyan University at Athens, Ohio;
was afterward president of the Female College in Cincinnati, president
of McKendree College at Lebanon, Ill., and the first principal of Southern
Illinois State Normal School at Carbondale, Ill. The degree of Doctor of
Divinity was conferred upon him by his Alma Mater, also that of Doctor
of Laws; and he was ranked with the leading educators of the West. He died
in Carbondale, Ill., January 7, 1894. Amanda, who was the wife of the Rev.
Nathaniel Clark Lewis, a Methodist preacher, died September 19, 1891, in
Onarga, Ill., leaving no children, and bequeathing her large property to
the Northwestern University, at Evanston, near Chicago. Her husband was
in the itinerancy in New England and Illinois, and was also engaged in
university work. James Allyn, third, died in Waterford, Conn., March 18,
1893, aged seventy. Harriet lived to be but sixteen, and Calvin is now
the sole survivor. At a family reunion held here August 15, 1889, all the
sons and daughters except Harriet were present. Their mother died April
28, 1860, at sixty-nine years of age; their father, May 13, 1868, at eighty-six.
Calvin Allyn was born in Groton, Conn., New
London County, May 26, 1827. His early education was supplemented by a
course at Wilbraham Academy; and after that he taught school for three
winters, but eventually turned his attention to farming, in which he has
met with good success. He came to Norwich from Montville, where he had
lived for forty-nine years, and now resides on the farm known as the Riverview,
which he purchased of the Jedediah Spalding estate in 1881. Commodore Perry
was staying at the tavern here, which was kept by his father at the time
he was ordered to Lake Erie, where he engaged with the British fleet, and
won his famous victory of September 10, 1813.
On February 26, 1861, Mr. Allyn was united
in marriage with Sarah A. Gallup. She died in 1864, leaving one son, Robert
Gallup Allyn, who lived to be but eighteen years of age, dying in 1881.
On November 7, 1865, Mr. Allyn was married to Mrs. Eunice A. Ames, born
Raymond, a daughter of William and Eunice B. Raymond. By her former marriage
she had one son, Charles W. Ames, who was accidentally drowned at seventeen
years of age. Three children blessed her union with Mr. Allyn, namely:
Lois Anna, wife of Dwight L. Mason, a manufacturer of Winchendon, Mass.;
James Raymond Allyn, who is engaged in the market business in Norwich,
is unmarried, and lives at home; and Martha S., who was graduated from
the Norwich Free Academy in 1894 and from the Normal School in 1896, and
is now pursuing the study of art, for which she has special aptitude. Mrs.
Allyn died April 19, 1897.
Mr. Allyn votes in the ranks of the Republican
party, but prefers the quiet of home life to the turmoil of political service,
and as a rule declines official honors
(2 Photos Attached)
Biographical Review Volume
Containing Life Sketches of Leading
Citizens of New London County Connecticut
Biographical Review Publishing Company
pgs 222 - 226