Archibald Alexander

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Archibald Alexander

Also Known As: ""Captain of the Sandy Creek Expedition"", ""1st Sheriff of Rockbridge", "Virginia""
Birthplace: Manor Cuninghame, Taghboyne Parish, Degal, County Down, Ireland, United Kingdom
Death: 1780 (71-72)
Timber Ridge, Rockbridge County, Virginia, United States
Place of Burial: OR Irvine Family Cemetery, Buffalo District, Rockbridge County, Virginia
Immediate Family:

Son of William Alexander, The Corpulent, of Manor Cuninghame and Jean McNutt
Husband of Margaret Alexander, 1st wife and Jane or Margaret Alexander, 2nd wife
Father of Elizabeth McClung; William Alexander; Ann Carruthers; Capt. Joseph Parks Alexander; Hannah Lyle and 9 others
Brother of Robert Alexander, I, emigrated to Pennsylvania and Virginia; Peter Alexander; Margaret Alexander and William Alexander

Immigration: emigrated to Penn. in 1736
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Archibald Alexander

A Patriot of the American Revolution for VIRGINIA. DAR Ancestor # A001134


excerpted from Memorials of the Earl of Sterling and the House of Alexander by Charles Rogers, LL.D., (Edinburgh: William Paterson, 1877), Vol. II, Ch. XXVI available online at

Archibald Alexander, eldest son of William Alexander, was born at Manor Cuninghame on the 4th February 1708. In 1736 he accompanied his brother Robert to America, settling at New Providence, in Pennsylvania. About the year 1747 he removed from New Providence to Augusta, now styled Rockbridge, in Virginia, where his brother Robert had already settled. He married first, at Manor Cuninghame, on the 31st December 1734, his cousin, Margaret, daughter of Joseph Parks, who occupied lands in the county Donegal ; * she died in July 1755. He married, secondly, at Augusta, in 1757, Margaret M'Clure, of an Irish family.

By his first wife, Margaret Parks, Archibald Alexander was father of two sons, William and Joseph ; and five daughters, Elizabeth, Anne, Hannah, Phebe, and Margaret. Joseph, the second son, was born at New Providence, Pennsylvania, on the 9th February 1742 ; he married Sarah Reid. Elizabeth, the eldest daughter, was born at Manor Cuninghame on the 28th October 1735 ; she married John M'Cleery of Timber Ridge, Virginia. Anne, second daughter, born at New Providence, Pennsylvania, 17th September 1740, married the Rev. Mr Carruthers. Hannah, third daughter, born at New Providence on the 21st April 1745, married Joseph Lyle. Phebe, fourth daughter, born at Augusta 12th August 1749, married John Paxton; Margaret, fifth daughter, born at Augusta 9th July 1751, died in infancy.

By his second wife, Margaret M'Clure, William Alexander was father of four sons and three daughters. John, the eldest son, born 28th July 1764, died in 1828 ; he married Sarah Gibson ; James, second son, born 4th October 1766, married Martha Telford; Samuel, born 6th February 1769, married M'Coskie ; Archibald, the fourth son, born 3d March 1771, married Isabel A. Patton. Mary, the eldest daughter, born 4th July 1760, married John Tremble; Margaret, second daughter, born 1st February 1762, died unmarried ; Jane, youngest daughter, born 1773, married the Rev. John Doak of Tennessee.

William Alexander, eldest son of Archibald Alexander and Margaret Parks, was born on the river Schuylkill in Pennsylvania, on the 22d March 1738. He settled in Virginia, where he engaged in agricultural and commercial pursuits. He married, in February 1767, Agnes Anne, daughter of Andrew Reid, an opulent landowner, and by her was father of three sons and six daughters. Andrew, the eldest son, married Miss Aylett; John, the third son, married Elizabeth Lyle. Margaret, the eldest daughter, married Edward Graham ; Sarah, second daughter, mar- ried Samuel H. Campbell; Phebe, third daughter, married William Carruthers ; Elizabeth, " fourth daughter, married Henry M'Cleery; Anne, fifth daughter, married Rev. William Turner ; and Martha, sixth daughter, married Benjamin H. Rice.

Archibald Alexander, second son of William Alexander and Agnes Anne Reid, was born on the 17th April 1772. Licensed to preach in October 1791, he was not long afterwards appointed President of Hampden Sidney Presbyterian College. In 1807 he was chosen pastor of the third Presbyterian congregation of Philadelphia, where he ministered till July 1812, when he became First Professor in the Theological Seminary at Princeton, New Jersey, an office which he held till his death, which took place on the 22d October 1851. He was D.D. and LL.D. His more considerable works are his " History of the Colonisation of the Western Coast of Africa," 1846, 8vo ; "History of the Israelitish Nation," 1852, 8vo; " Outlines of Moral Science," 1852, 8vo ; and " Practical Sermons." His memoirs have been published by his eldest son, the Rev. James Waddel Alexander, D.D. (New York, 1855).

Dr Archibald Alexander married, 5th April 1802, Janetta, daughter of the Rev. Dr James Waddel, of the county of Louisa, Virginia. By this union he became father of six sons, and a daughter, Janetta, who survives, unmarried.

James Waddel Alexander, eldest son of the Rev. Dr Archibald Alexander, was, on the 13th March 1804, born at Hopewell, an estate situated at the junction of the counties of Louisa, Orange, and Albemarle, near the present site of Gordonsville. Having attended an academy at Princeton, he entered the College of New Jersey in 1817, where he graduated three years afterwards. Entering the ministry of the Presbyterian Church, he was, in 1828, elected pastor of the congregation at Trenton, New Jersey. He was, in 1830, appointed Professor of Rhetoric in the College of New Jersey, an office which he exchanged in 1844 for the pastorate of Duane Street Church, New York. In November he was admitted Professor of Divinity in the Theological Seminary at Princeton ; he returned to New York in 1851 to become pastor of the Fifth Avenue Church of that city. There he ministered with remarkable acceptance till his death, which took place on the 31st July 1859. He was D.D., and was much esteemed for his theological learning, and his remarkable power of illustrating and enforcing Divine truth. In 1832-33 he edited the Presbyterian magazine. Besides his memoir of his father, he published, " Christian Faith and Practice," " Thoughts on Preaching," and two volumes of pulpit discourses. His "Forty Years' Familiar Letters " were published in 1870, in two octavo 'volumes. He married, 18th June 1830, Elizabeth, daughter of George Cabell, M.D., by whom he had three sons, Henry, James Waddel, and William.

William Cowper Alexander, second son of the Rev. Dr Archibald Alexander, was born in the county of Prince Edward, Virginia, on the 20th May 1806. He studied at the Colleges of New Jersey and Princeton, graduating at the latter in 1824. Choosing the legal profession, he was called to the bar in 1827. In 1837 he was elected a member of the legislature of New Jersey. A Senator of State from 1853 to 1860, he was four years President of the Senate. Of the Peace Congress, for the purpose of averting the civil war, composed of delegates from all the states of the Union, he was an active member, and often presided at the deliberations. In 1857 he was, in the democratic interest, candidate for the governorship of New Jersey, but was defeated. In 1859 he became first president of the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States, and thereafter resided at New York. He died unmarried on the 24th August 1874. He held a commission in the army, and was known as Colonel Alexander.

Joseph Addison Alexander, third son of the Rev. Dr Archibald Alexander, was born in the city of Philadelphia on the 24th April 1809. He studied at the College of New Jersey, where he graduated B.A. in 1826. In the same year he was, by the common council, elected clerk of the borough of Virginia. After a period of public teaching, he was, in 1830, appointed adjunct Professor of Ancient Languages in the College of New Jersey. In 1834 he was nominated adjunct Professor of Oriental Literature in the Theological Seminary at Princeton; he was elected professor in 1835. In the same year, he was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of New Brunswick, and at once obtained celebrity for the power and unction of his pulpit prelections. An accomplished philologist and general scholar, he contributed to the current periodical literature, important articles from his pen appearing in the Princeton Review, the Biblical Repertory, and the Eporium, a monthly magazine. He published "Lectures on the Literature and History of the New Testament." His great work, a " Commentary on Isaiah," he commenced in 1836, and completed in 1846. He died in January 1861.

Of the three remaining sons of the Rev. Dr Archibald Alexander, Archibald and Samuel Davies are unmarried. Henry M. Alexander, the youngest son, is a counsellor-at-law at New York, in extensive practice. By his wife, Susan M. Brown, Henry M. Alexander is father of five sons, Charles, Archibald, Samuel, Henry, and Maitland, and of a daughter, Janetta Waddel.

Archibald Alexander was a farmer, like nearly all the early settlers of Rockbridge Co, but living on the early dangerous American frontier. He was commissioned into the military service and fought in the French and Indian Wars between 1750-1760. He captained a company of Rangers at the Sandy Creek expedition and for this service he received several thousand acres of land in Kentucky. Archibald who was an elder in Timber Ridge Presbyterian Church was married twice. In 1734 to his cousin Margaret Parks. She died in 1753, and four years later he married Jane McClure who was also Irish born. He had seven children by the first marriage and eight by the second. (JB orig site creator)

Archibald Alexander, native to Scotland, settled in County Donegal, (Republic of) Ireland, outside of Ulster. He had a son William and grandson Archibald, II, born 4 Feb 1708. He came to our colony across the pond, in 1736, settling in Chester Co., PA and 11 years later, moved to Rockbridge Co., VA. The History of Virginia, V. 5, p 450. Gives details on son John.

Joseph Waddells' Annals of Augusta County, Virginia, supplement has the data above, adding he was born in County Down instead of County Donegal, per the site I took over.

He is mentioned multiple time in The Pioneer Presbyterians of New Providence in the Journal of the Presbyterian Historical Society, Jun 1922, Vol. XI, #6. . Alex was one of the first church elders at New Providence. It says he had a brother Robert was the principal of a grammar school organized by Alexander and others, at New Providence Church, opened in 1749. The school later became Augusta Academy, then Liberty Hall, Washington College and now Washington and Lee. Alex attended Dublin University and later emigrated to PA in 1736, coming to then Augusta Co. (1778 became Rockbridge Co.) in 1743.

Archibald Alexander was born on 4 Feb 1708 in Ulster. His will was probated on 1 Feb 1780 in Rockbridge, Co., VA, so he died prior to this date.

He married twice. First to his cousin Margaret Parks (1708-1753, the daughter of Joseph Parks) on 31 Dec 1734 in Ireland and second, to Jane McClure in 1757 in Augusta Co., Virginia.

With Margaret (1708 - 1753), he had 5 known children: Elizabeth, William, Phoebe, Jane and jean.

With Jane (dates unknown), he had 5 known children: Joseph, John, James, Samuel and Archibald, Jr.

From Memorials of the earl of Stirling and of the house of ..., Issue 4, Volume 1. By Charles Rogers. Page 79. < GoogleBooks >

Memorials of the earl of Stirling and of the house of ..., Issue 4, Volume 1 By Charles Rogers. Page 81-82. < GoogleBooks >


  • Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish settlement in Virginia: extracted ..., Volume 3, page 429 in Deed Book 12: "Page 139.--20th August, 1765. Archibald Alexander to Joseph Alexander,£30, 256 acres, crossing the South River. Teste: John Lowrey, John Peoples, Nathaniel McClure."
  • The Westminster Presbyterian site has the "Archibald Alexander Travelogue" by Sherman Isbell: "The older Archibald Alexander died about 1780 and is apparently buried two miles north, at Muse Cemetery, the older burying ground for Timber Ridge Church, though his grave stone is now gone."1-11. The site has a LOT OF DATA:
  • Reference: Find A Grave Memorial - SmartCopy: Sep 1 2022, 10:46:43 UTC
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Archibald Alexander's Timeline

February 4, 1708
Manor Cuninghame, Taghboyne Parish, Degal, County Down, Ireland, United Kingdom
October 28, 1735
County Down, Ulster, Ireland
March 22, 1738
Nottingham, Chester, Pennsylvania
September 17, 1740
New Providence, Pennsylvania
February 9, 1742
Nottingham,, Chester County, Pennsylvania, BCA
April 21, 1745
New Providence, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
August 12, 1749
Augusta, Virginia, BCA
July 9, 1751
Augusta, Virginia