Debora Burroughs was born November 7, 1758 in Fishkill, Dutchess County, New York to James Burroughs and Anne Valentine Burroughs. She was the sixth of eleven children and the first female.
Just prior to the Revolutionary War, the family moved to Washington County, New York. At that time, Washington County was just beginning to be settled. In 1777, British General Burgoynes began a campaign to split New England from the rest of the colonies. Burgoynes began with his army in Canada and planned to drive through eastern New York along Lake Champlain and down along the Hudson River, thus isolating the New England states. This meant that the war was coming through the area where the Burroughs family was living. To avoid being directly involved in the conflict, James Burroughs temporarily moved his family to Pawlet, Vermont. Pawlet was a stronghold of revolutionary soldiers.
While in Pawlet, Debora met and married Captain Parmalee Allen on December 18, 1777. Parmalee had been married to Anne Wheeler in 1768 in Connecticut and they had three children (Prudence 1772-1837, Truman 1773-1855, and Johnson) but Anne died in 1775 in Pawlet. Debora and Parmalee would remain in Pawlet until about 1789. During this time, Debora and Parmalee would have five sons (Ethan 1779-1846, William 1781-1866, Parmalee 1784-, James 1786-, and Timothy 1788-1863).
Parmalee moved the family only a few miles away to Washington County, New York. There Debora and Parmalee would have another five children (Anne 1792-1866, Sally 1793-1866, John 1795-1886, David 1798-1875 and Benjamin 1799-1843).
Parmalee Allen was born in 1746 in East Haven, Connecticut. He was active in the Revolutionary War from nearly the beginning. He was a sailor on the sloop Enterprise from May 23 1775 to July 1, 1775. He next served in 1776 in the 3rd Massachusetts regiment. On January 1, 1777, he enlisted in the Vermont regiment of Col Herrick and served until December 1, 1780. He also was a Lieutenant in Colonel Ebenezer Walbridge’s Battalion from May 21 to December 1, 1781.
Parmalee would die on February 10, 1808 in Granville, Washington County, New York. Debora and Parmalee’s two eldest sons, Ethan and William, had moved to Wales County, Erie County, New York in 1806. Ethan and William along with Amos Clark and William Hoyt were the first settlers in the township. In 1808, Ebenezer Holmes and his wife, Elizabeth Hoyt Holmes (William’s sister) and brother John and his wife, Mercy Hoyt Holmes (also William’s sister) arrived in Wales Township from Greenfield, New York. Debora, along with her children, moved to Wales Township to live with Ethan after Parmalee’s death, possibly coming with the Holmes’.
Her oldest daughter, Anne married Hiram Hoyt, William Hoyt’s son, in 1810 in Wales Township. Debora’s youngest daughter, Sally, married Samuel Johnson in Wales Township in 1821.
In the late 1820’s, Debora’s son, William, moved to Washington Township, Macomb County, Michigan and established a farm. At some time in the mid-1830’s, Debora’s daughters’ families moved from Wales Township to Bristol Township. Lapeer County, Michigan. Hiram Hoyt and Samuel Johnson established farms in section 32 next to the Hough farms. It is probably at this time that Debora moved to Michigan to live with William. It is likely that Hiram and Samuel stayed with William while they did the initial construction on their homesteads.
It was from William’s home that Debora applied for a pension from the government for Parmalee’s service in the Revolutionary War. She was awarded the pension in 1839.
Hiram Hoyt helped establish the ”Union Interring Cemetery”, now known as Sandhill Cemetery, in 1841. On January 29, 1843, Debora died and was buried in the Sandhill Cemetery. Her daughter Sally and her husband Samuel were laid to rest next to her. Where she was living when she died is not known.