Allen Gates (1775-1864)
Father unknown
Mother unknown
Vital Information
Born c1775 in North Carolina
Married (1) Elizabeth Allen - c1795
Married (2) Ann Thomopson - c1815
Died June 1864 in Marshall County, Tennessee
Children of Allen & Elizabeth
1 Eliza Gates m. Thomas Powdrell
2 Susan Gates m. Abram Lorance
3 Nancy Gates
4 William A. Gates (c1803-?) m. Jerusha Willingham
5 Benjamin D. Gates (1808-aft 1850) m. Piety
6 Alexander Gates
Children of Allen & Ann
7 Julia Margaret Gates (1817-1888) m. Alexander Hooser and Abraham Wyatt
8 Woodson Clay Gates (1821-aft 1860)
9 Spencer Carroll Gates (1823-aft 1860)
10 Harriet Gates


It is my current theory that Allen Gates of Tennessee married twice. There are two separate deeds from Bedford County, Tennessee which list an Allen Gates as husband to Elizabeth Allen (1824) with several children, and with Ann Thompson (1834) with several children. His first wife was the daughter of William H. Allen, who died before 1823 and left a slave named George to his daughter that in turn was sold to be distributed among their children. The children were named as Eliza Powdrell, Susan Lorance, Nancy Gates, William A. Gates, Benjamin D. Gates and Alexander Gates. The second deed, dated June 10, 1834, is a similar record for the sale of property on behalf of the children of Allen Gates and his wife Ann. The sale is conducted by John Thompson and Joseph P. Thompson in trust for Ann Gates, "wife of Allen Gates for her natural lifetime and then for her children forever, wit, Julian Marguaritte, Woodson Clay, Spencer Carrol, Harriet for love and affection John Thompson has for his sister Ann Gates and her children … Reg. June 10, 1834.” - Bedford County, TN - Deed Book DD, page 478.

At first it may seem that there must have been two men named Allen Gates as, upon further research, at least two of the children from the second marriage were born in 1817, 1821 and 1823, when it is assumed that Elizabeth Allen was still alive. However, the 1824 deed does not say that Elizabeth Allen Gates had recently passed and it may have been her father, William H. Allen, that died that year. Although the dates of birth of all of the children have not yet been confirmed, it does not seem that the two sets overlap. It's my belief that Elizabeth Allen Gates died several years earlier than 1823 and that Allen Gates remarried to Ann Thompson sometime prior to 1817 and had his second family.

We do find sons Woodson and Spencer living near Allen and Ann Gates in the 1850 and 1860 census. We also know from the 1860 census that Woodson was a "mechanic" and Allen was also listed as a "mechanic" in the biography of his grandson A. J. Hooser, son of Julia Margaret Gates Hooser Wyatt. This is important as William A. Gates, son of Allen Gates and Elizabeth Allen, was also a mechanic, a rare occupation for the time, and the inventor of the Gates' Cotton Seed Planter in 1852. This occupation seems to have been passed from father, Allen Gates, to his sons, William A. Gates and Woodson Clay Gates.

Although a Will has not survived for Allen but a record dates May 2, 1864 in Marshall County shows that he had died shortly prior to that date and had appointed John F. Carlton as executor of his estate. He as well as W. C. Gates and F. G. Jones were listed bound to the State of Tennessee for the penalty of $200 for the care of the estate.


Census Records

  1. 1830 Census: Bedford County, Tennessee
  2. 1840 Census: Marshall County, Tennessee
  3. 1850 Census: Marshall County, Tennessee
  4. 1860 Census: Marshall County, Tennessee


  1. A Biographical sketch of A. J. Hooser