this is from an autobiographical sketch from the Wallis family, but it begins with some Alexanders who imigrated from Pennsylvania to Morth Carolina in 1753:
(Written in 1880)
First my ancestral family record.
The first Alexander known to history was the beautiful Paris, son of Priam, King of Troy.He was called Alexander on account of his physical strength and courage, the name meaning helper or defender.James Alexander and his wife, Abigail McKnitt, of Scotch-Irish ancestors, were the parents of John McKnitt Alexander, who was born in Pennsylvania near the Maryland line June 6th, 1733.He served as an apprentice to the trade of a tailor, and when his apprenticeship expired at the age of twenty he emigrated to North Carolina, joining his kinsmen and countrymen in seeking an abode in the beautiful champagne between the Yadkin and Catawba rivers; the land of the deer and the buffalo, of “Wild Pear” vines and canebrakes and of peaceful prosperity.He became in time a Crown Surveyor in the Colony.Among the pretty Scotch Presbyterian lasses who emigrated in the 18th century was Jean Dean whom he married in 1759.The tombstone of this lady, which is taken to be the oldest one in the Hopewell Church Yard, N.C., was engraved upon it some heraldic devices, but to the antiquarian is left the task of deciphering them.She died in 1789.As time rolled on John McKnitt Alexander acquired wealth rapidly, not only adding acre to acre, but square mile to square mile, until he found himself lord of a landed estate which an English Duke might have envied; the tract on which he lived comprising at the lowest estimate over twenty square miles; and this was only one of his places.In every direction around his mansion he was monarch of all he surveyed.Rising in the estimation of his fellow citizens he was promoted to the Magistracy and the Eldership of the Presbyterian Church. He was a member of the Provincial Assembly in 1772, and one of the delegates to the Constitution which met at Hillsboro on the 21st of August, 1775.He was also a Member of the Provincial Congress which met at Halifax on the 4th of April, 1776, with John Phifer and Robert Irving as colleagues.In 1777 he was elected the first Senator from Mecklenburg County, N.C., under the Constitution.He was Secretary of the Mecklenburg Convention on the 19th and 20th of May, 1775, and preserved for a long time the records, being the proper custodian of its papers.As to the old home of John McKnitt Alexander, which was nine miles from Charlotte, N.C., on what is now know as the Statesville Road, there is little left of what his eyes rested upon, except the trees, grass and sky.Ah! Yes, there is the old garden with its old-fashioned boxwood as green as when the momentous Declaration was signed.He died leaving two sons; Joseph McKnitt and Wm. Bane, and three daughters.One of the daughters married Rev. Samuel Craighead Caldwell, the second married Hon. Francis Ramsey, whose son, Dr. J.G.M. Ramsey is the well known Historian of Tennessee; the third married the Rev. James Wallis of Providence, N.C., the grandfather of the subject of this sketch.By the east wall of the Grave Yard at Hopewell Church is a row of marble slabs, all bearing the name of Alexander.On one of them is this short inscription, “John McKnitt Alexander, who departed this life, July 10th, 1817.Age 84.”