After playing about online I am most confused about where John Alexander of Tarbert, Kintyre, grandfather of Rev. James Alexander (ca.1634-1704), is supposed to fit in with the line of the Alexanders of Menstrie, Stirling.
An earlier posting by L. Parker has John as the son of William Alexander, Earl of Stirling, and Janet Erskine.He is listed as born in Tarbert, Kintyre, and died at Eridy, Donegal.His son is listed as William Alexander, who married Margaret Douglas of Menstrie.William's birth date is listed as between 1613 and 1656 (a wide span!) and his death date as between 1721 and 1732.The Rev. James is said to have been the child of this William and Margaret Douglas.
However, another online source, at , which traces the Somerled/MacDonald/Alexander line, has quite different information:
William Alexander, 1st Earl of Stirling, married to Janet Erskine of Mar, is listed as dying in London or Nottingham, not Stirling.His son John is listed as being born in Menstrie in 1603 and dying in 1677 in Stafford Co. VA, after several years in Ireland.This John had a son William (1625-1715), who was born in Donegal and died in Cecil Co MD.This William had a son James, who might possibly be our Rev. James, except that his dates would suit him more to be James' brother than his father. Meanwhile, the William to whom Margaret Douglas was married was the second Earl of Stirling, older brother to John rather than his son.This William was born in 1591 and died in Nova Scotia--probably not our Maryland line.He is listed as having one son who died young and three daughters.
So where does the Rev. James fit in?Is he a son of John Alexander rather than a grandson?Is this John Alexander the one born in Kintyre and died in Donegal or the one born in Menstrie and died in Virginia?
What I find especially suspicious is that while Rev. James' father is supposedly a Menstrie Alexander of the Earl's line, his progeny are tanners, weavers and farmers.Is it possible that what we have here are not direct descendants of Somerled, but instead vassals or serfs who took their name, or--at best--descendants on the wrong side of the blanket?