Presentation highlights early Black families of Allen County

LIMA — The earliest Black settlers of Allen County arrived by 1840.

Only 11 Black men and boys and 12 Black women and girls are recorded in the 1840 Census in Allen County, which was created in the 1820s and organized in 1831.

Allen County Genealogical Society President Becky Pescosolido shared these and other facts about Allen County’s Black settlers Saturday during a special lecture at the Allen County Historical Museum.

The settlers included James Robinson, the first recorded Black settler of Allen County; William H. Robinson, who became the first Black settler from Allen County to join the Fifth U.S. Colored Artillery for the Union to fight in the Civil War after 1863; and Henry Monroe Talbot, who settled in Allen County during the Civil War.

Pescosolido traced the history of these early settlers and their descendants as told by history books, newspaper articles and census, marriage and death records.

“I believe that everybody’s story needs to be told,” she said.

Saturday’s presentation was held in an effort to diversify the Genealogical Society, which is accepting applications from descendants of founding families who settled in Allen County before 1840 for its First Families society, as well as descendants of families who settled in Allen County between 1840-1880 for its Settlers and Builders group.