Person:William Alexander (81)

William Alexander
b.BEF 1690
  • HWilliam AlexanderBEF 1690 -
  1. Peter AlexanderBET 1700 AND 1720 -
  2. Archibald Alexander1707/08 - bef 1780
  3. Robert Alexander1710-1719 - bef 1783
  4. William Alexanderabt 1712 - Bef 1750/51
Facts and Events
Name William Alexander
Gender Male
Birth? BEF 1690

From "The Alexander Family of Scotland, Ireland and America", compiled by Frances Austin Arnold of Carrollton, Missouri, 1896 - from (

Archibald the I., the first of the family, lived and died in Scotland.

Early in the 17th century, probably in 1610, as that was the date of the great religious emigration, three sons of the above, namely Strong, William and Thomas, emigrated to Ireland.

Thomas married and left a daughter and a son. The daughter married Joseph Parks and had a daughter named Margaret. The son, William, was "a very fat man". He left four sons:

1. Archibald. See Campbell's History of Virginia, p. 422 2. William, who married a widow in Philadelphia and d. s.p. 3. Robert. See Campbell's History of Virginia, p. 429. 4. Peter.

ALEXANDER - Archibald, Robert, and William, sons of William Alexander, Sr., came from near Londonderry, in 1737, and lived about ten years near Philadelphia. The brothers were well-to-do for those days, and were men of character, education, and influence. Robert, a Master of Arts of the University of Dublin, founded the school which finally grew into Washington and Lee University, but was himself a resident of Beverly Manor. Archibald removed in 1747 from the bank of the Schulykill and settled on South River nearly opposite the mouth of Irish Creek. His son, William, born on the Schulykill, settled about 1775 at the mouth of woods Creek, and there opened the store which he seems to have conducted until his death in 1797. He also established the first school to be taught within the present confines of Lexington, making one of his own man-servants the teacher.

As a captain of ranger, "Old Arsbel" had a share in the Big Sandy expedition of 1757. Under orders from the governor of the colony, Andrew Lewis led an expedition against the Indian towns on the Scioto, but did not cross the Ohio, and his men suffered terrible hardships from inclement weather and inadequate ratios. A daughter of William Alexander married Edward Graham of the faculty of Liberty Hall Academy, and another married Samuel L. Campbell, the first resident physician of Rockbridge. Archibald, still another of the eight Children was born in a house of squared logs on the family homestead on South River. His school days began in the log structure his father had built on Woods creek,. and were continued at Liberty Hall. Coming under the influence of the Great Revival of 1739, he resolved to become a Presbyterian minister, and was licensed in 1791. For several years he was engaged in itinerant work, and thereby acquired a remarkable facility in offhand speaking. With a brief intermission he was president of Hampden-Sidney College from 1796 until 1807, and then became pastor of Pine Street Church, Philadelphia. In 1812, he was make first professor in the Princeton Theological Seminary of New Jersey. The title of Doctor of Divinity had already been conferred upon him by the College of New Jersey. The school had just been opened and Doctor Alexander had taken a very active part in its establishment. He remained at Princeton until his death, October 22, 1851, at the age of seventy-nine. Like his father he was short and compact in stature, and he had brown hair and hazel eyes. His memory was remarkable, and he was a delightful companion. As a pulpit orator he was unrivaled. As a writer on theological subjects he was quite prolific, his principal works being these; "A life of John Knox," The Way of Salvation," "A History of the Israelitish Nation," "An Outline of Moral Science," "A Brief Outline of the Evidences of the Christian Religion," "The canon of the Old and New Testaments Ascertained," "Biographical Sketches of the Founder and Principal Alumni of the Log College," "A Selection of Hymns," "Practical Sermons."

In 1802 Doctor Alexander was married to Janetta, a daughter of James Waddell, a blind minister who lived some years in Augusta, and whose eloquence was highly extolled by William Wirt. His sons, Joseph A. and James W. were also eminent as minister, writers, and teacher of Theology. The former was an eloquent orator and remarkable linguist. The latter was at the time of his death in 1859 pastor of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in the city of New York.

Source: A History of Rockbridge County, Virginia by Oren F. Morton, published in 1920.

Transcribed and submitted by: "Marilyn B. Headley" <>, 1997

Husband: William Alexander
Born: at: County Donegal, Ireland

Married: at:

  Died:                  at:   
       Other Spouses: 

Born: at:
  Died:                  at:   
       Other Spouses: 

Name: Archibald Alexander
  Born: 1708             at: Ireland  

Married: 1734 at:

  Died: AFT. 1778        at: Timber Ridge, Rockbridge County, VA  

Spouses: Margaret Parks

Name: Robert Alexander
  Born: 1710             at: County Donegal, Ireland  

Married: ABT. 1740 at: Pennsylvania

  Died: NOV 1783         at: Augusta Co., VA  

Spouses: Esther Beard