Thought I would touch base after my trip to Virginia.
I spent about a week in Madison County looking at records, visiting cemeteries and talking with many of the locals. Although we did not find where James Alexander was buried or any proof of his parentage we did determine that we can be pretty confident that we are not descended from Archibald Alexander.
There is a book that was published in 1855 called "Sketches of Virginia, Historical and Biographical" by Rev. William Henry Foote, D. D. which gives a very good biographical account of the Archibald Alexander family.According to Rev. Foote Archibald's son James was born after 1757 when he married his second wife, Jane M'Clure.So it can't be our James.That information fits with everything else we located on Archibalds son James. Scott and I took a real hard look at land records, church and marriage records and any other record we could find in Madison, Culpeper and Orange counties.We didn't find anything that would connect our James directly to Archibald.
Archibald did have two brothers, William & Robert, that were also in the area at the time.And there is the possibility of a couple of nephews (sons of a brother named Peter who died in Ireland) who may have come with Archibald and his brothers to America.We looked at the names in those families and found all the same names we find in James' family (James, George, William, Elizabeth, Lucy, Mary, Mildred).That is one reason that it is so confusing trying to track our James.But we both find it very interesting that if we are descended from this family group of Alexander's that there is not anyone named Archibald that comes down our decendants line.Do you have an Archibald in your line?
So, although we didn't find proof of our James parents or his place of death, I feel very confident now to say we are not descended from Archibald.
I was able to narrow down the area where we believe James owned property in Madison County when he died.It is beautiful there.Rolling hills, ranch and farm land.
There is suppose to be a family cemetery for the Burton family (James named May Burton as his dear friend in his will) near where we believe James' land was.Unfortunatly it is on private property and we were not able to see it.We did make contact with several local DAR members whose families have lived in the area for many generations.They have agreed to try to help us find information on James.
I found some information about George Eve, the baptist minister who married William, Lucy and Mildred. He was ordained to preach in the Rapidan Bapstist Church in Wolftown, VA in Sept. 1775 (it began in 1773).The county clerk records state that William was married by George Eve in 1782, Mildred in 1783 and Lucy in 1783.I believe that George Eve most likey also married Mary in 1776 and Elizabeth & George in 1778 but for some reason those records did not get recorded with the Clerk (or they were lost at some time).I had an opportunity to view some early records of the Rapidan Baptist church beginning in 1777.No marriages, births or deaths were recorded in the minutes of the church.The church secretary believes that George Eve keep those records seperate.But I did find many of the family names of friends and neighbors of the Alexanders.And in 1803, after the death of James, I found Lucy Crawford asking for a letter of dissmission from the church.I think she may have stayed behind to care for her father and after his death she went on to Georgia. George Eve wrote in 1796 in the front of one of the church minute books... "the spirit of emigration took place at the Ragged Mountains, many of our members emigrated to Georgia and Kentucky.Some of our members excommunicated in the beginning of the year 1788..." "A History of the Rise and Progress of the Baptists in Virginia", by Robert Semple. 1894, says that George Eve went to Kentucky in 1797 and settle in Boone county where he joined the Bullitsburg church.
I'll post more I continue to piece things together.