Penelope Allanach

Penelope Allanach, b 1861 Alford, d. 1944 Easton MA

Penelope Allanach


When Penelope Allanach was born on 17 April 1861 in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, her father, John, was 47, and her mother, Jean, was 44. She married John M Tillock on 10 October 1900 in Saginaw, Michigan, USA. She died in 1944 in Easton, Massachusetts, USA, at the age of 83, and was buried in Southborough, Massachusetts, USA.



Penelope Allanach was born on 17 April 1861 in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, to Jean Beveridge, age 44, and John Allanach, age 47.


Penelope had seven siblings

  • John Allanach (born 1841)
  • Agnes Allanach (born 1845)
  • Francis Allanach (born 1845)
  • James Allanach (born 1849)
  • Alexander Allanach (born 1851)
  • George Allanach (born 1857)
  • Jean Allanach (born 1857)


Penelope Allanach married John M Tillock in Saginaw, Michigan, USA, on 10 October 1900 when she was 39 years old.


There are no records of Penelope and John having children


Penelope Allanach died in 1944 in Easton, Massachusetts, USA, when she was 83 years old.

Life Story


Penelope is born in Borrowstone Brae farm

Penelope Allanach Birth 1861

Borrowstone Brae, photo from the Alford Picture Library

Sadly there is little trace today of Borrowstone Brae or nearby Droichsbiodge.



Penelope resides at Droughsburn with father John, Mother Jean, and her niece Isabella (4). Neighbour Helen Farris (68) is a ‘stocking knitter).

1871 Census John Allanach

Interesting to note is that famous botanist John Duncan is a boarder at the Allanach property. You can read more about John here at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh’s website. There is also a biography of John written by friend William Jolly shortly after he died in 1883. It contains numerous references to John Allanach and his family and gives us fascinating glimpses into their daily lives, much more than anyone would expect for simple tenant farmers from the 1800s.

The view up Droichsburn from Droichsbridge.


William Jolly visits his friend John Duncan at Droughsburn and Penelope makes a favourable impression on him!

“During the four succeeding days while I stayed in the Vale, I spent as much time with John at Droughsburn as his strength was able to bear, retiring to the kitchen when he needed rest, to talk with his intelligent landlady. Her kindness to the weak old man, who was now restless, wandering and in many respects troublesome, and required unremitting attention, was beyond all praise; and it was well for John that he had such a nurse in his last days, who had known him in his vigour and respected his talents and character. She was ably assisted at all times by her daughter Penelope, [The long word “Penelope” was colloquially shortened into “Penny,” or more frequently into “Peeny.”] as active and constant in work as the celebrated queen whose name she bore, and who had developed, since I saw her first, into blooming womanhood. At that time, too, a niece called Jessie was staying with them, whose power of managing John, as well as Peeny’s, was remarkable; for that required, in his weaker turns, both strength and tact, fun and firmness.”


The census shows Penelope (29) living at Kingsford Lodge, Alford with Mother Jean (73) and Boarder Betsy Christie (58).


Shortly after the death of her Mother, Penelope arrives at Ellis Island on October 14th 1893 aboard the SS Etruria from Liverpool. Records from Cunard show the ship sailed from Liverpool on October 7th and the journey took 7 days. The records indicates that Penelope (32) travelled together with Elizabeth Fraserton(?) (22) on the basis that their number of luggage items (4) is linked together. Both are listed as being from Scotland.

Ellis Island 1893 Penelope Allanach


Penelope marries fellow Scot John Tillock in Saginaw, Michigan on 10th October 1900. John’s profession is stated as gardener, Penelope’s as dressmaker. Interestingly, Penelope states ‘unknown’ for both name of her father and mother.


Penelope resides in Little’s Point, Swampscott, Essex, Massachusetts with husband John, and a lodger Tilson Morse, also a gardener. Her immigration year is stated as 1893.

The area seems to have always been a rich one with many mansions and expensive properties. The property Penelope where resided at number 47 now would seen to be an outbuilding of the below property (a beautiful seafront location with Boston on the skyline).


Penelope resides on Sears Road Sears Road, Southborough, Worcester, Massachusetts with husband John. He works as a gardener on a private estate. The property is listed as rented. A later passport application reveals the property to be Wolf Pen Farm. (50/52 Sears Road).

Penelope is stated as an alien.

The Sears Road area was full of mansions and many influential people resided there.

In the late 1800s, Southborough became a popular destination for city-dwellers to build their country homes, led by the “richest man in Massachusetts”, Joshua Montgomery Sears, and his wife, Sarah Choate. Mrs. Sears was a well-known patron of the arts, whose connections included Isabella Stewart Gardner and John Singer Sargent.

The video below gives an impression of the area and Sears Road

52 Sears Road. the employee house at Wolf Pen Farm where Penelope and John resided.

Wolfpen Farm and Sears Road

Although most of it has been subdivided for residential development in recent years, the remaining farmstead and associated landscape of the farm that in the 1890s became known as Wolf Pen (Wolfpen) Farm is a vivid reminder of the days when large portions of the north part of Southborough were converted by a few wealthy owners to picturesque, state-of-the-art “gentlemen’s farms.” Although rivaled by Charles F. Choate’s Chestnut Hill Farm, located directly to the west, the largest and most lavish of all was Wolf Pen Farm, which at the turn of the century covered over 400 acres on both sides of Sears Road from Main Street to the border of Marlborough.

In 1877, Sarah Choate of Southborough, daughter of Charles Francis Choate, married the wealthiest man in Boston, J . Montgomery Sears (1855-1905). While their winter residence was in Boston, and they summered in Maine, in 1889 they established a country estate in Southborough at the foot of Sears Road, where they lived in spring and fall. They also began buying property west and north of their house on both sides of the road leading north to Marlborough (later named Sears Road). By the mid-1890s Montgomery Sears, as he was known, owned no less than five of Southborough farms, complete with houses and outbuildings, which he combined into Wolf Pen Farm. Those in the vicinity of Wolf Pen Hill were the old nineteenth-century farms of Eber S. Fay (134 acres-incorporating the former Stow/Newton farm), Nathan L. Johnson (80 acres), and Elijah Crouch (103 acres). Mr. Sears utilized some of the old buildings, including the early-nineteenth-century Johnson and Fay farmhouses, and some outbuildings, including the Fay barn. He installed tenants and farm managers in the houses, building several more residences for his employees, including a house and outbuildings that once stood at 52 Sears Road.

More buildings were added further south on Sears Road. On the west side of the road, Mr. Sears had a blacksmith shop (shown as a “forge” on the map of 1898,) and several rental houses, On the east side, on part of the former Fay farm, were a large house (demolished), assorted outbuildings, and a calf barn. Among the other buildings and structures either listed in tax records or shown on the map of 1898 were a stable, a water tower, a wind mill, two corn cribs, two ice houses, a carpenter shop, two hay ricks, a “swiss cottage”, and a small cheese factory. While nearly all of these have apparently been demolished, a few may have been moved to other locations or reused as modern outbuildings. A gentleman farmer in the truest sense, at the turn of the century Mr. Sears had the only flock of sheep in Southborough (76 sheep in 1900), a dozen goats, a prize herd of over 40 cows (mostly Jerseys) that was rivaled only by that of the Burnetts’ Deerfoot Farm, two bulls, a dozen pigs, 250 fowl, and ten horses.

After Mr. Sears’ untimely death in 1905, his sheep herd was sold off. Mrs. Sears continued to operate the property as a dairy farm, however, with her son-in-law James D. Cameron Bradley in charge. The Bradleys resided at 60 Sears Road, which had been built in 1913 as a wedding present from Mrs. Sears. J.D.C. Bradley was also an official of American Agricultural Chemicals Co., and over the course ofhe early twentieth century the farm operations gradually diminished. Like his father-in-law, he died at a young age, and by 1928, his wife, Helen Sears Bradley, was a widow, as well. When Sarah Choate Sears died in 1935, Helen Bradley inherited the house at 1 Sears Road, along with much of both the Sears and Choate real estate in Southborough. She ran Wolf Pen Farm under a farm manager for many years, until its operations were taken over after World War II by her son, J.D.C. (Cameron) Bradley,Jr . Under his management the farm produced many champion Golden Guernsey cows, and operated a farm store in one of the outbuildings. Cameron Bradley, he operated Wolf Pen Farm as a dairy farm until the early 1970s, when 150 head of cattle were sold off. Then, in 1975, most of the remaining acreage of the vast farm, and all the dairy equipment and farm machinery, were sold at auction. Over the last twenty years, subdivisions of large houses on large lots have been built on much of the former farmland.

From Massachusetts Cultural Resources Information System (MACRIS) with recent updates.

Sarah Choate Sears

Above – an 1889 portrait of Sarah Choate Sears by John Singer Sargent.


Penelope and John apply for a passport in order to visit Scotland. There is little detail on Penelope, but it shows John to be 5ft 8 with blue eyes and that he was born in Banffshire in August 1861 to father Thomas Tillock. Perhaps famous photographer Sarah Choate Sears took their passport photo?


Penelope travels with husband John to Liverpool aboard Cunard’s ship Samaria. They arrive on July 12th 1925 from Boston and their onward destination is stated as Aberdeen. They would arrive back in Boston on 16th September 1925, also sailing back on the Samaria.


Penelope resides on Sears Road, Southborough, Worcester, Massachusetts with husband John, still working as a gardener. She is now a naturalised citizen of the US. The property is listed as a farm and rented.


The 1940 census continues to show Penelope, now widowed, living at a rented farm on Sears road.


Penelope Allanach died in 1944 in Easton, Massachusetts, USA, when she was 83 years old. She is buried at Southborough Rural Cemetery section 8, lot 33. The inscription reads ” Tulloch/ John Tulloch Aug. 29, 1861 Apr. 29, 1938 his wife Penelope Allanach Apr. 17, 1861 Aug. 23, 1944” Note the name has now changed to Tullock.


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