My mother told me this long ago, and today she repeated it: “I don’t know where this came from, but they always used to say that Papa was kin to Thomas Jefferson.”
Thomas Jefferson’s mother was Jane Randolph Jefferson. Jane had a sister, Susannah Randolph, who married Carter Henry Harrison. Carter and Susannah had a son named Randolph Harrison, who had a son, Thomas Randolph Harrison; who had a son, William Mortimer Harrison; who had a son, Edward Cunningham Harrison.
“Papa” was John C. Allen Jr. Papa was Edward C. Harrison’s son. And so, as Thomas Jefferson’s first cousin five times removed, Papa was kin indeed.
I’ve always wondered if John Allen knew who his birth father was. This bit of family lore suggests that he did.