How to add a posting below . . .

To add a new posting, send an email to me at with a comment, question, story, photo, observation, etc. It will be posted below, shortly after the email is received. To comment on an existing posting, click on the "comments" command below the posting and type your comment. Your comment will show up immediately.   Pete Stemmer

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Harry Allen Family- A 4 Generations Photo

The other day I received an email from Mike Allen, down in Alabama, with a photo attachment of 4 Generations involving the Harry Allen family. Mike, the son of Benjamin and Elaine Allen, is Harry Allen's grandson. Three of the generations in the photo are in Harry's direct line while the forth, and oldest, is Harry's mother-in-law, Rebecca Grant Mathis. 

(l-r) Harry Allen; Ray Etta Mathis Allen, Harry's wife; Rebecca Grant Mathis, Ray Etta's mother; George Allen, Harry and Ray Etta's son; and Arthur Allen, George's son. Can anyone identify the photo on the wall? (Photo courtesy of Phillip Michael Allen. Most people don't know that Mike's first name is really Phillip.)

Harry and Ray Etta lived on Adams Avenue next to the present home of their son, Benjamin Allen, Mike Allen's father.

Harry Allen (left) in the driveway of his Adams Avenue home in New Gretna. Can anyone identify the other two people in the photo and the model and year of the car? (Photo courtesy of Benjamin and Elaine Allen.)

Harry Allen's house has been extensively remodelled and expanded by the present owners, Louis and Theresa Macera who enjoy the house with their daughter, Gianna. They are good neighbors to Ben and Elaine Allen. (May 7, 2009 photo by Pete Stemmer.)

The above photos of Harry Allen's house dramatically show a change in the life style and culture of New Gretna. Harry and Rae Etta raised five children in their small, cottage style house. Today we have the opposite, a family of three in a much larger house. We see this pattern repeated over and over in New Gretna. It's the sign of our times.

For those genealogists who might be interested in Harry and Ray Etta's family, the following has been taken from Murray and Jean Harris' book, "The Mathis Family of Little Egg Harbor". The information in italics has been added. Individuals highlighted in red are in the 4 generation photo above. I believe Benjamin, his wife, Elaine, and their son, Mike, along with Howard Ware are the only ones living, today. I am indebted to all four for sharing their memories of the "Good Old Days" in New Gretna.

Ray Etta Mathis, daughter of Joshua H. (2043) and Rebecca (Grant) Mathis, born December  26, 1892, died 1973, married (a) John Allen Jr. and  (b) Harry Allen, both are sons of John and Sarah  (Gray) Allen. Harry was born July 27, 1890, and  died January 29, 1983. They are buried in Miller Cemetery, New Gretna. John was the father of Ray's first son, Leon.

i. Leon Allen, born July 19, 1911, died January 30, 1983, married December 31, 1941, Georgia Griffin and had Anna Rebecca Allen (b 11-16-1943) and Sara (b 9-16-1946). 

ii. Benjamin Allen, born December 10, 1917, married Elaine Bangert, born April 10, 1924. (Their son, Phillip Michael Allen, sent me the 4 generation photo.)

iii. Lawrence Allen (died in infancy). Buried in Atsion Cemetery.

iv   Ann Allen, born May 19, 1922  married (a) August Hickman and (b) Ralph Newman.

v. George Allen, born February 10, 1925, married Pauline Buss. Their children: Arthur (b 10-15-1953); Susan Rebecca (b 5-26-1955); George Jr, (b 5-2-1958); and John Austin (b 4-13-1963).

vi. Sara Allen, born August 5, 1927,  married Howard Ware.

vii. Jessie Allen, buried Miller Cemetery (died in infancy).

viii. Harry M. Allen Jr., born July 21, 1932 buried Miller Cemetery (Died of measles at age 2).

ix. Joshua Raymond Allen, a twin to Harry M., born July 21, 1932 (Died of measles at age 2. Joshua and Harry M., Jr. died only hours apart.)

x. Esther (stillborn).

I want to thank Mike for sending the 4 Generation Allen photo. It gave us the opportunity of visiting with another old New Gretna family.

Pete S

PS- Pop Quiz: New Gretna was famous for its nicknames. Who can tell me the nickname of Ben Allen's older half brother, Leon?


  1. Minky was Leon Allen's nickname - he lived on Mink Path so I wonder if his nickname came from this road.

  2. Good question, Phyllis. which came first . . . the chicken or the egg?

    Pete S

  3. Minky: They called his dad "Minky" also. The road took it's name from him. We always called it "New Road". He was the first one to build a house on it. The car in the picture looks like a 46 or 48 Ford. Harry's dump truckis in front of it. And it looks like Minky second from the right.

    Bob Mathis

  4. The three are Harry Allen, Leon (Minky) Allen, and George Allen .... The car is my mother and father's 1941 Ford (which I rode in the back seat until we we got a new Ford in 1953) .... the dump truck is either my father's or Uncle George's

    Mike ALLen (}:-)