Editor’s Note: When John Edward Bowe (1928-1997) married Katherine (“Kathie”) Pargellis (1930-2016), he married into the Allen Family. This came about because Kathie’s father, Stanley McCrory Pargellis (1898-1968), married an Allen when he married Kathie’s mother Elizabeth Scribner Allen (1899-1964). Thanks to John and Kathie’s son Charles Bowe, an illustrated picture of the Allen Family in Maine has been put together for all of their kin to have a window onto the Allen Family’s rich history. Charley Bowe’s history focuses on the WhaWa Cottages in Kennebunkport, Maine and the lineage and history of the extended Allen clan. Here is the link to Charley’s history:

The Allen Family in Maine

And here is his introduction to his research:


Kathie Bowe loved to talk about family history. The old slides, movies and photographs always brought back memories. Summer vacations with my mother always included wonderful stories. I regret not writing them down and I know she felt the same. This work is a history of the Allen family and significant events. The Wahwa Cottages were built in Cape Porpoise by the Allens at the end of the 19th Century. Outsiders referred to them as the Allen Cottages. Wahwa brought the family together, keeps it together today and is the motive for this book.

“What we do all live in the presence of is the place itself: the islands and the tides; the granite and the oaks; the Maine air, the shore birds wheeling in the wind; the sunrises, the moon on the water. All this: health and happiness, moments of real blessedness.” Sterling Dow II

The story starts with the Pargellis’ and follows ancestors back to the Mayflower. The Family Tree is followed by milestones, landmarks and what the future may bring. This project began with photographs found after Kathie’s death. Looking at the photographs, the question of “who is that?” kept coming up. I try to answer the question of who, adding stories as they were passed down. Photos led to genealogy; genealogy led to locations; locations led to events. For more detail, visit publications and online source material. You will find source details in the bibliography. Thanks to Andy and Greg Pargellis for genealogy of the Mayflower descendants.

Thank you to Ann McMullen at the Smithsonian Institution. Ann is the Curator and Head of Collections Research & Documentation at the National Museum of the American Indian. I inquired if they would provide the etymology of the name “Wahwa”. Ann came up with source material on “Chief Wahwa”, his tribe and language. We concluded Herbert Allen may have read the “History of Kennebunk Port” by Charles Bradbury (page 114) and chose the name Wahwa for the houses.

In researching Stillman Allen, I found his law firm, Hemenway and Barnes still in existence. I contacted the lead partner and asked for any pictures they had in the boardroom. They shared his portrait and biography from their annals.
The value of family history is in the magnitude of the legend. As in any family, certain characters provide the glue. Frank and Herbert Allen stand out as key players pushing and uniting the family for generations to come. The Allen Family history includes stories of devotion, ingenuity and adventure. It is a story of a strong family, sharing skills, wealth and knowledge with the world. The focus here is to move beyond names and dates to discover the essence of our family and its role in history.

Allen Family in Maine and the Pargellis family history