Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bell 3904

3904. John Alexander {… VA}

~1610, John born in Scotland.
1659, John, migrated to VA; joining his son William who had arrived about 1645.
1677, John died.

Family notes:
• There is circumstantial evidence that John was s/o Sir William Alexander, 1st Earl of Stirling, Knt. born 1580 in Scotland; s/o Alexander Alexander, 6th Baron of Menstrie, who died in 1594 leaving only 1 son [Sir William]. 1621, Sir William, Secretary of State of Scotland for King James. “The ingenious writings of this gentleman promoted the interests of colonization, by enflaming the spirits of emigration.” (S) The History of Maryland: From Its First Settlement, in 1633; Bozman, 1837, P266.
• Case for John being s/o Sir William: Sir William had 7 sons and 3 daughters by Janet Erskine. The 4th son was named John. The oldest son William was Viscount of Canada. He died in 1638 while his father was still alive. This William left a son, the 2nd Earl, but he died within 6 months of getting the title in 1640 at age 8. He got the title because the 2nd son had also died before the father. The title then went to Henry, the 3rd son of Sir William. Henry died in 1644 leaving the title to his son Henry, who died in 1691 leaving 4 sons. Since John had no chance of receiving the title, it would make since that he would seek his fortunes elsewhere. The selling of his estate in 1644 suggests he was moving. The family title was secure in his nephew’s hands after the death of his brother Henry. He could easily have had a son, William, by a previous/later marriage, or this information could be wrong; and he did name his son William. Sir William actively encouraged his sons and other family members to move to the new world, and he especially needed connections in VA to support trade with his titled ownership of Novia Scotia. The Alexander family that arrived in VA were wealthy individuals that immediately bought large land holdings.
• Case for John NOT being s/o Sir William: The 4th son of Sir William is “documented” as having no male heirs; and there is no evidence of another marriage. John’s son William named his plantation “Rapho” – the name of the home of the Alexanders of Ireland [not Scotland.] Alexanders originally lived in the vicinity of Edinburgh, Stirling and Glosgow in Scotland. Their chief men were the Barons of Menstrie. From Scotland some Alexanders migrated to Ireland. From them are descended the Irish Earls of Caledon. The Alexander forebears came to Raphoe, Ireland, as tenants of Sir James Conningham, a Scottish nobleman from Ayrshire, and settled on lands granted him in Donegal County in the Laggan district.
• There are genealogies that claim the Alexanders are descended from Rev. James Alexander “at Raphoe”, who was a Presbyterian minister there from when he was ordained on 12 Dec 1677 until he died 17 Nov 1704 (Reid's Irish Presb. Church, reference given in book). It says that he left a will dated 13 Mar 1702 (Probate Court record) naming his wife Marian Shaw as executrix and sole “legatee”. She left a will dated 1711 with a bequest to a niece, Elizabeth Shaw. The book states he died without issue.

Children of John and ?:

i. William Alexander (1952), born ~1625 in Scotland.

ii. Robert Alexander, born ?.
6/1/1704, Robert died.
Robert Alexander, born 1688.
He married ? Foushee.
1735, he died.

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