Analysis. Family of Alexander Walker of Wigton Scotland



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Source:White, 1902

According to Source:White, 1902 John Walker I of Wigton Scotland had two sons, John and Alexander. John moved to Newry Ireland sometime after his marriage to Katherine Rutherford in 7 January 1702[1] Alexander also married, but remained in Scotland. In 1726 John emigrated from Ireland to America, taking with him his family, plus three children of his brother Alexander. It is not known whether the children were adults at the time of their emigration, though it is suspected that they were still minor children.

John settled in Maryland, somewhere in the vicinity of the Presbyterian Nottingham Meeting House in the modern community of Rising Sun, Cecil County. He died in 1734 and was buried in the Meeting House cemetery, along with his wife Katherine who died in 1738. At this time "most of the family" left the area, moving to Borden's Grant in what is now Rockbridge County, VA. This implies that some remained behind, but who is not clear. White tells us that

ALEXANDER Walker...the nephew of John and Katherine Walker, the emigrants...came to America with them in 1728 [2] with his older brother John (called Jack) and sister Eleanor; first settled in Pennsylvania, and then with his brother John and cousin Alexander (eighth child of John and Katherine) went to Virginia and settled on what was called Walker's Creek, Rockbridge County, then Augusta County; this was in the fall of 1734. Alexander Walker lived on the farm now owned by William Walker; his brother John settled about one mile up the creek, and their cousin Alexander pitched his tent nearer the Jump Mountain, about one-half mile from his cousin Alexander's place, they being the first settlers there. The creek which runs parallel with the valley was called for them, and still bears that name.
This graphic shows the location of the land patents of Alexander "Sawney" Walker and his brother John "Gunstocker" Walker on Walkers Creek on Borden's Grant. The property of their cousin Alexandery lies just below that of Alexander Sawney Walker, and is labeled "James Walker". This appears to be a bequest to James. The date shown here (1773) probably reflects when the property was actually patented, rather than when the property was sold by Borden to Alexander. The property owned by John Walker, further to the south (dated 1754) is believed to be that of John Walker III and wife Ann. The property to the east owned by "John Walker Jr", could be the land of John IV, but could also be belong to John, son of Gunstocker John, or even John, son of Samuel Walker and Jane Hammer.

Alexander I's Family

White identifies three children for Alexander I:

"Sawney" Alexander Walker
"Gunstocker" John Walker
Eleanor Walker

Parish records for Wigtonshire are commonly cited to show that an Alexander Walker married a Janat Cowan in Wigton, 15 June 1710. Christening records (See: Data:Children of Alexander Walker and Janat Cowan of Wigton, Scotland, 1710-1716 show three subsequent births for this couple:

Helen Walker, 16 September 1711
John Walker, 14 April 1714 [3]
Alexander Walker, 1 September 1716

Some have interpreted these data as verification that Alexander, son of John Walker and Jane McKnight, did in fact have three children Alexander, John and Eleanor, and lived in Wigton. This seems plausible, and if true, represents the only known confirmation of the information provided by White 1902, concerning the presence of this family in Wigton. The fact that White identifies Alexander as the younger brother of John, is consistent with these christening records. The data, however, conflict in one respect with the data provided by White. Specifically, White identifies the daughter as "Eleanor", not "Helen". Eleanor could be a corruption of Helen, but its also possible that this is the child of a different Alexander Walker.

Overall, these data look very good, and may be some of the few confirming bits of information that can be used to verify White 1902 concerning the family prior to their appearance on Borden's Grant. Additonal work, however, is needed to validate this interpretation


  1. This is the DOM given by White, 1902:2. It is not known if this is a New Style, or Old Style date, and the marriage could plausibly be said to have occurred in 1701/1702, or 1702/1703. No confirming evidence for the date has been found.
  2. Note that this is an alternative date of arrival, one of several, given by White 1902, without explanation, other than to reference "other documents". The 1726 date is probably contained in the Joel Walker Record, but we don't know that for certain. What other documents she used for the other dates occasionally cited, are not usually known.
  3. Some transcriptions give this as 25 Apr 1714. See vs email of Mary Richardson to SCT-WIGTOWNSHIRE Rootsweb Archive