Karen Allen

Karen Allen

photo by PR Photos

Birth Name: Karen Jane Allen

Place of Birth: Carrolton, Illinois, U.S.

Date of Birth: October 5, 1951

Ethnicity: English, smaller amounts of Northern Irish/Irish, Scottish, Welsh

Karen Allen is an American actress. Her roles include National Lampoon’s Animal House, Marion Ravenwood in the Indiana Jones films, John Carpenter’s Starman, Scrooged, and Things Heard & Seen.

She is the daughter of Ruth Patricia (Howell) and Carroll Thompson Allen, an FBI agent. She has described herself as being of English, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh descent. She has a son with her former husband, actor Kale Browne.

Karen’s paternal grandfather was William Jackson “Bill” Allen (the son of Thomas J. Allen and Lillian M. Porter). William was born in Roodhouse, Greene County, Illinois. Thomas was the son of William J. Allen, whose family were among the earliest European settlers of Green County, IL; and of Mary Shaw, whose father was from Northern Ireland.

Karen’s paternal grandmother was Hazel Jane Thompson (the daughter of Albert Alonzo Thompson and Sarah Josephine/Jane “Sally” Edwards). Hazel was born in Roodhouse, Greene County, Illinois. Albert was the son of David Thompson and Mary Jane Cole. Sarah was the daughter of William Presley Nowlin Edwards and Ellen/Ellinder Jefferies/Jeffres/Jeffries.

Karen’s maternal grandfather was Fred Uriah/William Howell (the son of John J. Howell and Augusta L. Snell). Fred was born in Jerseyville, Illinois. John was the son of Uriah D. Howell and Elsie/Alice Nevius. Augusta was the daughter of Asa Snell and Priscilla Emeline Landon, who were from Vermont, and were of Colonial American (English) descent.

Karen’s maternal grandmother was Florence Lucille Stanley (the daughter of Edward Buchanan Stanley and Sarah Maria Kirby). Florence was born in Illinois. Edward was the son of Matthew Cook “M.C.” Stanley, who was born in Cheshire, England, and of Elizabeth Armstrong. Sarah was the daughter of William Kirby and Experience Perrings, whose father was English, and whose mother was from Vermont.

Sources: History of the Allen family in Illinois – http://www.rcasey.net

Genealogies of Karen’s parents – https://www.findagrave.com

Karen’s father on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Genealogy of Karen’s paternal great-grandfather, Thomas J. Allen (focusing on his father’s side) – https://www.wikitree.com

Karen’s mother on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

3 Responses

  1. Jason 7 says:





    “Zachariah Allen”
    “…First wife was Sarah Bryan, sister of Margery Bryan. After Sarah died, he then married Elizabeth Law Allen, she and rest of children moved up into Warren County, ILL (Monmouth area) after Zach died. His parents are still not identified in North Carolina. Two of his brothers also went west to Greene County, Ill. withem them – John and James.
    Must be 2 sisters married 2 brothers. Zach and his brother Thomas are well documented as being two of the earliest settlers in this area. Thomas built the first home in this area when they moved here and Zachariah ran a lumber mill and sawmill on Apple Creek. They were both born in Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina. Rowan County was a staging area for those who wanted to head west. They then moved to Davidson County, Tennessee near Nashville before coming to southern Illinois. They were founders of White Hall and Greenfield. Zachariah had a total of 25 children: 17 with his first wife and 8 with Elizabeth Law who moved up to Warren County, ILL after his death.”

    – from Find a Grave

    Her GGGG grandparents, Zachariah Allen and Sarah Bryan were both the siblings of my own GGGGG grandparents, Thomas Allen and Margaret Bryan. All of them were among the first settlers of European descent in Greene County Illinois (where Karen Allen was born) over two centuries ago.

    Through the Allens and the Bryans Elizabeth Montgomery is also distantly related.

  2. Jason 7 says:

    My paternal line lived In the same county where she was born and some of them were surnamed “Allen.”

  3. ses101 says:

    All her family’s surnames are British, so where’s the Irish blood?

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