FHB Alexander Predecessors

From Family History Book

Alexander Predecessors

For decades Alexander descendants have attempted to link the Lincoln County, Tennessee Alexanders to the Alexanders of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina who were associated with the (disputed) Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence of 1775. Recent research, particularly a reading of a 1909 book titled Records of a Family of the House of Alexander: from 1609 to 1909 by Frances Alexander Butterworth, has provided a clue that might point to the missing link. Specifically, the 1785 will of Eli (or Elias) Alexander mentions a son named Lewis. If this Lewis Alexander is our William L. Alexander (whom at least one descendant said was named William Lewis Alexander), that would do it. Unfortunately, so far I have not seen any documentation to definitively prove that William L.'s middle name was Lewis, but of course it could have been. An early Tennessee land record does show he was known as "William L. Alexander", so there is that. Pending further results, then, the following genealogy is presented as provisional.

Supporting Traditions

On a recent trip to Lincoln County I met a distant Alexander cousin who graciously has given permission to quote the following information that supports the concept that we are related to the Mecklenburg NC family:

Of course, it was always a matter of almost gospel in my family that we WERE connected to the Mecklenburg N.C. Alexanders. Something that strengthened this further was the connection with Dr. Clement Alexander Diemer who practiced in Fayetteville in the last half of the 19th century and in whose biography categorically stated that he was a descendant of the Alexanders who signed the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. He supposedly came to Fayetteville because of the Alexander connection and interestly his grandfather's name was George Alexander (not our George). Dr. Diemer's daughter married Dr. William Bonner's grandson William Bonner Lamb. Another supposed reason Dr. Diemer came to Fayetteville was to study under Dr. Bonner.

-- Dr. Samuel Michael Ashby

Possible Ancestors of William L. Alexander (per Butterworth)

Father: Eli/Elias Alexander (d. ca. 1785)

Grandfather: Martin Alexander (1687-1751)

Great-Grandfather: Samuel Alexander (1657-1733)

Great-Great Grandfather: Rev. James Alexander (1634-1704)

DNA Evidence

So far there have been no matches found between our known Alexander descendants and descendants of the Mecklenburg, NC Alexanders. It may be too far back to show up in autosomal DNA, and at this time we don't have Y-DNA to compare. If that changes, of course, it could answer the question of whether we are from the same family or not.

Back to Alexander
Back to Family History Book
Back to Table of Contents