Several members of the Wallen family appear in the formal records of Southwest Virginia at an early date. Person:Elisha Wallen (3), for example is shown to have settled property in the Holston watershed as early as 1769. A land transaction in 1781 shows him as being the first person in an assignment chain for a parcel settled in 1769.
Settlement dates are only given when a commissioners certificate is involved. Such certificates authorize ownership by virtual of settlement, and it was was important to show the date of initial settlement to establish authority that the first member of an assignment chain had for obtaining initial right to the property.
The Wallens, however, had passed through this area at a much earlier date. Person:Elisha Wallen (3) and at least one of his brothers passed through the area during the "Long Hunts" of the presettlement era, establishing a temporary hunting camp in Powell Valley. Wallen's Ridge, and Wallen's Creek, on the eastern edge of Powell's Valley were named for him. During the settlement era some of the Wallen's acquired land in the area, and appear in low frequency in the records. Several of these families, including Person:Elisha Wallen (3), and Person:Joseph Wallen (1), eventually moved south through the Powell River Valley, settling in Hawkins County, and at a later date, onward deeper into Tennessee, and to Missiour.
The following persons have been identified in the records of Southwest Virginia during the settlement period. We presume that they are all related, but we do not, as a rule, know how.
The Wallen-Wallin-and Walling surnames all seem to be interchangeable variants in the records, and, preumably the people involved are are all related. Their relationships are not, however, clear. Over the period 1760 to 1800 the following given names of this group are noted in the easily available literature: Daniel, Elisha, James, John, Joseph, and Stephen. In most cases the records do not easily permit us to tell how these individuals were related, nor can we tell in most cases whether a given name that's repeated in the records corresponds to the same person each time, or to different individuals with the same name. In the case of "Elisha Wallin" it is clear that there are several persons of this name in the records.
Wilder, Maribelle H., and H. Bruce Wilder. 1985. A Wallen/Walling genealogy. Baltimore: Gateway Press.