During my Alexander family research in 2008 and 2009, I was able to obtain copies of genealogical research conducted by Dr. Ebenezer “Eben” Alexander in the 1880’s. 


Dr. Ebenezer “Eben” Alexander (1851-1910) was the son of Ebenezer Alexander (1805-1857), a Tennessee lawyer and judge, and Margaret White McClung Alexander. Ebenezer Alexander (1805-1857), son of Adam Rankin Alexander (1781-1848), son of Oliver Alexander. He graduated from Yale in 1873, and served at the University of Tennessee, first as professor of ancient languages and later as chairman of the faculty. In 1874, he married Marion Howard-Smith. They had four children: Eben Jr., who became a physician in Knoxville, Tenn.; John Howard who died in 1899; Eleanor Spurrier who married Andrew H. Patterson; and Margaret McClung who married Paul Schenck. In 1886, Alexander accepted the chair of Greek at the University of North Carolina, which he occupied until his death. After appointment by President Cleveland in 1893, Alexander served as minister to Greece, Serbia, and Rumania until 1897. While minister he was a leader in the revival of the Olympic games. He returned to the University of North Carolina in 1897 and in 1900, he became dean of the faculty. At UNC, he established courses in modern Greek and was influential in the movement to rehabilitate the library. 


Ebenezer Alexander (1805-1857) was a very prominent and popular Judge in Knoxville, Tennessee.


Adam Rankin Alexander (1781-1848) was a United States Congressman from west Tennessee. In his bid for re-election, he lost to Davy Crockett.  There’s lots of information about him on the web. 



Dr. Eben Alexander (1851-1910) was only six years old when his father died. Around 1880, he began to conduct research into his family history, as he must not have had much knowledge of his Alexander ancestry. From reading his letters, I learned that he visited a lot of his relatives, and corresponded with some by mail. Three of the people he corresponded with were Dr. Joseph M. Alexander (1802-1884) of Atlanta, Georgia, Oliver Alexander (1812-1888), of Haywood County, Tennessee, and Robert M. Hooke (1807-1883) of Chattanooga, Tennessee.  


Dr. Joseph M. Alexander (1802-1884) was the son of Joseph Alexander and Elizabeth McReynolds. Dr. Eben Alexander said that Joseph was the son of James Alexander, twin brother of Oliver. He gave the birth date of Oliver and James as September 26, 1740. I believe he obtained it from either Dr. Joseph M Alexander or Oliver Alexander.   


Oliver Alexander (1812-1888) was the son of Benjamin Grayson Alexander (1779-1843), son of Oliver Alexander. Oliver was an elected State Representative in west Tennessee. He prepared and published a history of Haywood County, Tennessee. He was very knowledgeable of his Alexander family history.  


Robert M. Hooke (1807-1883) was the son of Abigail Alexander (1774-bef 1824) and Robert Hooke. Abigail was the daughter of Oliver Alexander. Robert M. Hooke was a very wealthy businessman in Chattanooga. He was involved with the railroad industry.  


I believe Dr. Eben Alexander developed a very close relationship with these cousins, especially Dr. Joseph M. Alexander and Oliver Alexander and obtained a lot of information from them. I definitely consider the information Dr. Eben Alexander obtained from these men as very reliable. 


The following very important information was noted in Dr. Eben Alexander’s research: 


1. The father of Oliver Alexander was named John Alexander who came from Scotland to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. (NOTE: York and Adams counties were formed from Lancaster County.) (NOTE: Although John may not have been born in Scotland, the family’s origin was probably Scotch Irish.) 


2. John was the father of James and Oliver Alexander who were twins.  


3. James and Oliver had two half brothers named John and Jeremiah. There were other brothers. He didn’t know their names.  


4. Oliver had a daughter named Susan Alexander, who married James McGinley in 1787 in east Tennessee. There was also a connection between the Alexander and McGinley families back in Pennsylvania.     


5. Oliver’s wife was named Margaret Paul. She had two half brother’s named David and John Craig. 



On November 18, 1768, Joseph Alexander purchased 265 acres of land in Augusta County, Virginia from Francis Beaty. 


Augusta County, Virginia deeds: 

Page 237.--18th November, 1768. Francis Beaty, of Mecklinburgh County, North Carolina, deputed collector, &c.. to Joseph Alexander, £50, 265 acres, part of Borden's 92100, including the Flat Spring, where Francis Beaty formerly dwelt, corner John Ker's old place, Beverley Manor line. Teste: John Frogg, G. Madison, Luke Bowyer. Delivered: Joseph Alexander, November, 1778.  


Page 78.--18th March, 1772. Joseph Alexander and Abigail ( ) to James and Oliver Alexander, £60. Teste: William Livingston, Alexander Mountgomery.  


Page 83.--17th March, 1772. Francis Beaty, of Rowan County. North Carolina, public register, &c., to Joseph Alexander, tract purchased by Francis from John Kerr. Delivered, November 1778. 


On May 16, 1769, John Alexander of York County, Pennsylvania, purchased 400 acres of land in Augusta County, Virginia, from David Doak.  


Augusta County, Virginia deeds: 

Page 474.--16th May, 1769. David Doack and Mary ( ) to John Alexander, of York County, Pennsylvania, £310, 400 acres. Teste: Randal Lockhart, John Finley, William Doack. Delivered: David Doack, November, 1771.  


Page 438.--18th November, 1771. John Alexander to Nathaniel Steel, mortgage, £120, tract whereon John now lives, 400 acres conveyed to him by David Doage and whereon he formerly lived. Teste: Francis Patton, David Doage. Delivered: Nathaniel Steel, April, 1773.  


Page 5.--17th November, 1772. John Alexander and Mary to David Humphress in Beverley Manor. First sold by Beverley to George Breckinridge and by him transferred to David Doak. Delivered: David Humphries, 24th November, 1774.  


On March 18, 1772, Joseph Alexander and his wife, Abigail, sold land in Augusta County, Virginia,  to James Alexander, Oliver Alexander, and Alexander Montgomery.   


Augusta County, Virginia deeds: 

Page 78.--18th March, 1772. Joseph Alexander and Abigail ( ) to 516 James and Oliver Alexander, £60. Teste: William Livingston, Alexander Mountgomery.  


Page 81.--18th March, 1772. Same to Alexander Mountgomery. Teste: William Livingston, Oliver Alexander. 


Page 105.--20th March, 1772. Oliver Alexander, teste.  


Page 121.--16th March, 1773. Oliver Alexander and Margaret ( ), James Alexander and Martha ( ) to Robert Thomson, corner Francis Beatty's other tract, the great road. Teste: James ( ) Trotter, Jacob ( ) Patton. Borden's 92100. 




A deed from Joseph Alexander carpenter and Margaret his wife, because they are moving, to Adam Wilson, of New Castle, Del., is dated 12 Dec 1740 (Cec. 6-660).  It identifies the land as being in New Munster, on the east side of the Elk River; “said tract left Joseph by the will of his father, James Alexander carpenter, who bought from Thomas Stevenson, Aug 15, 1718.”  

Joseph Alexander, of Augusta County, in the Colony of Virginia, deeded David Alexander, of Cecil County, MD, two tracts of land called “Sligo” and “Alexandria”, in Cecil County.  This instrument was dated Oct 12, 1769 and recorded in Book II, page 125 Cecil County.  The name of Joseph Alexander is found in the court records that he removed to the Shenandoah Valley about the time he sold land in 1769.   

[Source: Alexander Notebooks   Compiled by Alvah M. Stafford, MD and Evelyn Alexander Stafford. January, 1951 

Edited by Paul Rowland, August, 1970.  Indexed by James Ballagh Moore 

Charlotte, NC: Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, 1985 

[Index pages 304-436]  



In the records, John Craig of Limestone County, Alabama, said he had known Jeremiah Alexander since earliest youth. (NOTE: John Craig was born in York County, Pennsylvania.)


An Alexander Family Bible record of a descendant of Adam Rankin Alexander - has the following information noted in the family records pages: Adam Rankin Alexander (born November 1, 1781, in Washington County, Virginia) and his wife, Leah Reagan. In the margin of the Bible page, the following is noted: Oliver Alexander born in Va. and John Alexander born in old country. Adam Rankin Alexander's father, Oliver Alexander, was most likely born in Pennsylvania or Maryland, and not in Virginia. He did reside for a significant amount of time in Virginia. When the information was written in the Bible, the writer believed (incorrectly) that Oliver's father, John Alexander, was the immigrant of their family and the first to come to America. The immigrant was actually John's grandfather, Samuel Alexander. 

Link to Bible record: Alexander Family Bible record of a descendant of Adam Rankin Alexander