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First Generation of the Joseph Alexander Line in America, etc.
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THE MATERNAL LATERAL LINE OF LAURA MARIETTE FERGUSON AND JAMES RUFUS FERGUSON TO GRACE WILLIAMS ALEXANDER (Refer to Page 177 of the Johnston Line)

Page 372

FIRST GENERATION OF THE ALEXANDER LINE IN AMERICA TO GRACE WILLIAMS ALEXANDER

Joseph Alexander was born in Sterling, South Scotland, the birthplace of the Scottish Poet, Robert Burns. Joseph Alexander died in 1726 at New Munster, in the colony of Maryland.

In 1673 Joseph immigrated to Armaugh County, Ireland to gain religious freedom. In Ireland, the King, in an effort to subugate the Irish, divided the counties into parishes. He appointed Clergy of the Church of England and entrusted in them both civil and ecclestiastical authority to govern the people. The Presbyterian ministers were persecuted by the State Clergy and they retaliated by persuading their congregations to immigrate to America with them, where religious freedom was assured.

In 1676 Joseph Alexander and seven of his brothers sailed from Ireland on the "Good Ship Welcome" for America. They anchored in the Delaware River, off shore from the town of New Castle. They then migrated to the established Presbyterian settlement at "New Castle", now known as Christianna Hundred, in the American colony in 1714. Lord Cecil had received from the King of England, a land grand of several thousands acres in Maryland colony. Land speculators had purchased approximately 6,000 acres of Lord Cecil's tract, one part of which was located on the Big Elk River, which the early settlers named "New Munster".

Joseph Alexander and his brothers purchased land in New Munster and established the first homes of the Alexanders in America. The actual location of Joseph Alexander's first home is not known, however, a few of the houses have been restored and they are built of field stone and logs mortared with clay. The original land grant to Lord Cecil and Joseph Alexander's deeds can be seen at the Maryland Historical Library at Annapolis, Maryland. Approxiamately [sic], two hundred years later William DuPont purchased several hundred acres of the original Lord Cecil grant, including a portion of "New Munster" and built his estate "Fair Hill". He restored the old Presbyterian Church (now known as Christianna Hundred) and a few of the old houses. In the graveyard of the Church are buried many of the Alexander immigrants and their descendants.

Joseph Alexander's will was filed at Elkton, Maryland on March 9, 1726 which gives the names of his children and his bequests to them.

Children of JOSEPH ALEXANDER:

1. Sophie Alexander
2. Jane Alexander
3. Abigail Alexander
4. Francis Alexander
5. Abraham Alexander
6. James Alexander *

[Page] II

Note: Refer to Page II of "The Alexanders of Mecklenburg County"

SOPHIE ALEXANDER, the daughter of Joseph Alexander, was bequeathed a sum of monies in her father's will.

JANE ALEXANDER, the daughter of Joseph Alexander, married Alexander Mackey.

ABIGAIL ALEXANDER, the daughter of Joseph Alexander, married Mr. Clapham.

FRANCIS ALEXANDER, the son of Joseph Alexander. No information available.

ABRAHAM ALEXANDER, the son of Joseph Alexander, other than mention of him in his will, no other information available.

SECOND GENERATION OF THE ALEXANDER LINE IN AMERICA TO GRACE WILLIAMS ALEXANDER

James Alexander, the son of Joseph Alexander, was born in 1695 in Cecil County, Maryland and died there. This is verified by his will which was filed at Elkton, Maryland on March 9th, 1726. He married Margaret McKnitt in 1714. She was born December 26th, 1693 and died between 1736 and 1745. For his second wife, he married Abigail.

James Alexander inherited land from his father and cultivated it, selling his produce in Philadelphia to the Pennsylvania Colony. He was also a tanner by trade. To each of his sons he gave an opportunity to learn a lucrative trade, as well as learning the cultivation of the land.

James Alexander purchased land, as an investment, from agents in the North Carolina Colony. He was chosen an elder in the New Munster Presbyterian Church and tradition records that he was a prominent layman.

Note: Refer to Page II of "The Alexanders of Mecklenburg County".

Children of JAMES ALEXANDER & MARGARET McKNITT

1. Theophilius Alexander
2. Edith Alexander
3. Kezia Alexander
4. Amos Alexander
5. Ezekial Alexander
6. Jemima Alexander
7. Hezikiah Alexander
8. Margaret Alexander
9. Jemima Alexander
10. John McKnitt Alexander

Children of JAMES ALEXANDER & ABIGAIL

1. Abigal Alexander
2. Elizabeth Alexander *
3. Margaret Alexander
4. Josiah Alexander
5. Ezekiel Alexander

[Page] III

Theophilius Alexander, the son of James Alexander and Margaret McKnitt, was born March 13th, 1715 and died in 1768 in New Munster. He married Catherine Wallis, the daughter of Reverend Wallis of New Munster. She is buried at Sugar Creek Graveyard in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. She died in 1775. The children of Theophilius Alexander and Catherine Wallis will be found on Page II of "The Alexanders of Mecklenburg County". Catherine Wallis Alexander, following the death of her husband, migrated with her children to the North Carolina Colony with her brothers in 1754.

Edith Alexander, the daughter of James Alexander and Margaret McKnitt, was born January 10th, 1718 in New Munster, Maryland Colony. Other than her name and the record of her bequest in her father's will, no other information is available.

Kezia Alexander, the daughter of James Alexander and Margaret McKnitt, was born May 9th, 1720 at New Munster, Cecil County, Maryland. Other than mention of her and the bequest in her father's will, no other information is available.

Amos Alexander, the son of James Alexander and Margaret McKnitt, was born January 13th, 1729 and died in 1780. He married Sarah Sharpe, born in 1732 and died in 1802. Refer to Page III and IV of "The Alexander [sic] of Mecklenburg County" for their children and descendants.

Ezekial Alexander, the son of James Alexander and Margaret McKnitt, was born June 17th 1725. He died young.

Jemima Alexander, the daughter of James Alexander and Margaret McKnitt, was born February 10th, 1716. She died young.

Hezekiah Alexander, the son of James Alexander and Margaret McKnitt, was born January 13th, 1722 in Cecil County, Maryland Colony. He died January 10th, 1801 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. He married Mary Sample, she was born in 1735 in Cecil County, Maryland and died May 17th, 1806. They are buried in Sugar Creek graveyard in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.

Hezekiah Alexander migrated with his brother John McKnitt Alexander and his sister Jemima, the widow of Major Thomas Sharpe and her six children in 1754 to North Carolina Colony.

History records the name of Hezekiah Alexander as an administrator and councilor. He held the post as Magistrate from the first appointed one in the county and historians have said "He was one of the most clear headed Magistrates in the County before the Revolutionary War and following the Declaration of Independence was named one of the members of the State Councul [sic] of Safety. His most important contribution to Mecklenburg County was his participation in the Declaration Convention and his signing of that immortal document, The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence.

During the Revolutionary War, he was paymaster of Col. Thomas Polk's regiment. Hezekiah Alexander's first purchased [sic] of land was recorded in May of 1765. He later purchased land in April of 1767 from Lord Selwyn on Alexander's Creek. He purchased 400 acres on the Broad River, now Gaston County from William Minter.

His home was two stories high and built of stone with a full basement where Mary Alexander stored food for her family of eleven children. The story is told how English soldiers raided her basement one day and what food they could not carry they destroyed. It was necessary at times for her to hide her sons in the weeds to prevent them from being kidnapped and held as hostages by the British Soldiers.

[Page] IV

One of the unusual proofs of Hezekiah's love of religious freedom was a carving of a fish on his house, the secret symbol, which Presbyterians used in Scotland and Ireland to signify allegiance to the Presbyterian faith.

From the day when maurading [sic] Indians, killed the settlers; to the day when Tory neighbors informed the enemy where supplies could be obtained by foraging; to the days when the British Soldiers burned homes and confiscated personal belongings, Hezekiah Alexander remained calm and led the people of his community toward a just peace.

This home has been restored by the Daughters of the American Revolution, as a shrine to the brave men who fought from Mecklenburg County and who signed the Mecklenburg Independence.

He was an elder in the Sugar Creek Presbyterian Church from its organization until his death. Hezekiah Alexander's will was probated in Mecklenburg County in which he provided for his children and grandchildren. The children and descendants will be found on page III of "The Alexander [sic] of Mecklenburg County".

Margaret Alexander, the daughter of James Alexander and Margaret McKnitt, was born in June of 1736. She died young.

Jemima Alexander, the daughter of James Alexander and Margaret McKnitt, was born January 9th, 1727 in Cecil County, Maryland Colony. She died September 1st, 1797. She married Major John Sharpe, born in 1727 and died in 1759.

Jemima Alexander and her husband migrated to the North Carolina Colony and are buried in Sugar Creek Cemetary [sic] graveyard in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Their children and descendants are on Page 111 of "The Alexander's of Mecklenburg County".

CHILDREN OF JAMES ALEXANDER AND HIS SECOND WIFE, ABIGAIL

Abigail Alexander, the daughter of James Alexamder [sic] and Abigail, was born May 24th, 1748 and died September 23rd, 1817. She married Frances Bradley who died November 14th, 1780. The children and descendants of Abigail Alexander and Francis Bradley will be found on Pge IV of "The Alexander [sic] of Mecklenburg County".

Francis Bradley, it has been recorded, was one of the largest and stoutest men in the county. He was hated by the Tories and was much desired as a prisoner by the British officers for his activity and energy with which he harassed [sic] their scouts and foraging parties, and the fatal aim of his gun in taking off their sentries.

On the day of his death, seeing four Tories lurking near his house, he took his gun and went to capture them or drive them from the neighborhood. A scuffle ensued in which one of the Tories succeeded in wresting his gun from his hand and killed him.

In the graveyard of Hopewell Church in Mecklenburg County, is found the following inscription: Under two sculptured drawn swords the motto "Arms Libertatis" in memory of Francis Bradley, a friend of his country and privately slain by his enemies of his country.

Elizabeth Alexander, the daughter of James Alexander and Abigail, was born November 17th, 1746 and died August 1st, 1822. She married William Sample, born in 1736 and died in September, 1791, age 55 years. The children and their decendants [sic] of Elizabeth Alexander and William Sample, will be found on Page V of "The Alexander's in [sic] Mecklenburg County".

Margaret Alexander, the daughter of James Alexander and Abigail, was born March 30th, 1750. She married James McCoy and migrated from Pennsylvania in 1700. Her second husband, tradition records was Ezekial Beatty. Regarding the children and decendants [sic] of Margaret Alexander, will be found on Page V of "The Alexander's of Mecklenburg County".

[Page] V

Josiah Alexander, the son of James Alexander and Abigail, was born August 3rd, 1752. He remained in Cecil County, Maryland.

Ezekial Alexander, the son of James Alexander and Abigail, was born October 21st, 1754 in Cecil County, Maryland and died in North Carolina. He married Jemima Esther McCoy. Regarding the children of Ezekial Alexander and Miss McCoy will be found on Page V of "The Alexander's of Mecklenburg County".

CHILDREN OF [next 2 names handwritten] WILLIAM SAMPLE AND ELIZABETH ALEXANDER

1. Abigail; born - December 16, 1763; married _____ Dixon
2. Ester; born - November 1765; married _____ Carruthers
3. Mary; born - 1768; married James Alexander
4. James; born - February 14, 1770; married Martha Robinson [handwritten date] June 14, 180[page cut off]
5. Jemima; born - February 1772; married _____ Barry
6. Ann; born - January 28, 1774; married John Henderson
7. Joseph; born - 1777; married [handwritten 1st name] Eliz. Robinson [handwritten date] Feb. 4, 180[page cut off]
8. Jane Bain; born - 1780; married Andrew Moore
9. Elizabeth; born - 1782; _____
10. Margaret; born - 1785; married _____ Woods
11. Araminta; born - 1789; died July 11th, 1794


Submitted by: Vera Andrews. Unknown Author and Source. Online transcription by Susan Shields Sasek.


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Page Updated on: 4 May 2004 Page Visitors: c. Susan Shields Sasek