I am directly descended from a Joseph Alexander. His wife was the widow Sarah Bell, whom he married on 14 Nov 1777 in Frederick County, Virginia. We believe this Joseph, on strong circumstantial evidence, to have been a son or other close relative to a man named Oliver Alexander (c.1731-1812). They were frequently associated together in the records of Augusta and Washington Counties, Virginia, and also served together in the Revolutionary War. That William Alexander you speak of (wife Anne Laird) was also associated with both my Joseph and that same Oliver Alexander in Washington County.
Recently, we paid FTDNA (Family Tree DNA) to have a 37-marker yDNA test done on one of this Joseph Alexander's direct male descendants, a cousin of mine from Alabama. I will discuss the results from this test below.
Right now, we are about to send in yet another 37-marker yDNA test to FTDNA, this one from a gentleman who lives in Austin, Texas. He graciously agreed to provide us with a DNA sample, in the hopes that his sample will match our own. We believe (again, on strong circumstantial evidence) that this gentleman's proven ancestor William Alexander (wife Anne Laird), of Washington County, Virginia, and Knox County, Tennessee, was a brother of my ancestor Joseph Alexander, and another son of that same Oliver Alexander.
This is the test candidate descendant of William and Anne Laird Alexander that you seek. His 37-marker test has already been received by FTDNA, and they are only awaiting payment from me. I am only waiting for it to clear my bank, and then I will transfer it from my PayPal account to FTDNA. This should take place literally within the next day or two. Your offer to pay for this test is noted, with interest. You are most welcome to reimburse part, or even all, of the expense of this test. Doing so will be gratefully received on my part, since I personally have ponied up for most of the cost of this test (thus far). The William/Anne Laird descendant's kit number is 124982. I am the contact person for the test. You may also want to consider helping to upgrade his test to a 67-marker test.
This gentleman's lineage back to William Alexander and Anne Laird seems to be fairly solidly documented (from what I've seen), which is why I went to great lengths to find and contact him.
A genetic match between him and my cousin will just about (but not quite) prove that Joseph and William were indeed brothers. It will certainly prove that they were related. It will also greatly strengthen our belief that they were both sons of Oliver.
What will absolutely clinch the case, however, would be yet a third yDNA test, from a proven male Alexander descendant of Oliver. So far, I am within about one or two generations of finding such a living male candidate. Should you know of such a suitable candidate for testing, and should he agree to test, and furthermore, should his test match the results of both my cousin's and the Wm. descendant's tests, we will thus have proof positive that all three of those Alexander men (Oliver, William, and Joseph) were in fact closely related--probably father and sons.
If you are interested, my cousin's yDNA results are viewable here: http://alexanderdna.org/yresults.htmlhttp://alexanderdna.org/yresults.html .
His kit number (left-hand side of the page, in the brown section at the bottom) is 112971. If you click on that kit number, you will be directed to his lineage page, where you can see how he's descended from our ancestor Joseph Alexander. Living people, of course, are not shown on this website, so it will be necessary to know that the Rev. Burble Burel Alexander was his grandfather. I happen to be the contact person for my cousin's kit, with his permission. As I say, I will also be the contact person for the William/Anne Laird descendant's kit, also with his permission. This is because I am the person (so far) who has put this whole project together, and helped arrange the financing. Your help will be greatly appreciated!
Now, as to the results from my cousin's test:
His test did not match a single one of all of the known Alexander males who have tested thus far. Not even one! This is particularly why a test match from a known, proven descendant of Oliver Alexander or William Alexander would be so very important.
My cousin did, however, to our great surprise, closely match a living man named Weir. This Mr. Weir's family was from Wilcox County, Alabama originally, and before that, they went back to Lincoln and Gaston Counties, North Carolina (and indeed are descended from the same Scots/French Gaston family for whom Gaston County was named). That Weir aspect is a completely different 'ball of wax'.At this point, we have no way of knowing when or how our surname went from being "Weir" to being "Alexander" (or the other way around), but given that the two DNA tests (my cousin's and that of Mr. Weir) were off by two full genetic steps (37/35), they probably do not share a common male ancestor within at least the last two hundred years (or more). This would mean that their last common male ancestor probably lived somewhere back in either Ulster or Scotland in the 1700s or 1600s. (Strangely, my branch of Alexanders in Georgia intermarried in the 1840s with two Weir sisters, who appear to go back to the same Weir family of North Carolina! Stranger than fiction ... One almost has to wonder if they knew that their families had any connection....) My cousin's haplotype, by the way, is the ubiquitous R1b1b2 (formerly R1b1c).
Again, a genetic match between a known, proven descendant of Oliver and/or William Alexander and my Alexander cousin will just about prove, not only that we are in fact related by blood and DNA, but will also prove that Oliver or William Alexander's ancestors, too, once were connected by blood with the Weir family of Scotland.
Of course, I realise only too well that none of these other Alexanders may end up matching my cousin's test. But even so, valuable knowledge will have been gained.
Your help in this important endeavour will possibly prove to be crucial--especially if you can help locate a living male descendant of Oliver Alexander (especially if William's haplotype ends up matching that of my ancestor Joseph). Besides locating the living descendants, the other difficult factor is paying for the tests. I'm sure you also realise this.
Hope to hear from you soon. As soon as you e-mail me, I will provide you with whatever detailed information you need.
T.J. (Terry) White