Is your surname McAlexander?

Research the McAlexander family

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

James McAlexander

Also Known As: "James the Immigrant", "The Immigrant"
Birthplace: UK
Death: 1798 (76-85)
Davis Creek, Amherst (now Nelson) Co, VA, Davis Creek, Nelson, Virginia, United States
Place of Burial: Nellysford, Nelson County, Virginia, United States of America
Immediate Family:

Son of Alexander McAlexander and Jonet McCandlish 1698 – 1730
Husband of Sarah Mary Patience McAlexander
Father of Captain James S. McAlexander, Jr; William McAlexander Sr; Samuel McAlexander; John W McAlexander, Sr.; Alexander McAlexander and 1 other

Managed by: Noah Tutak
Last Updated:

About James McAlexander

A Patriot of the American Revolution for VIRGINIA. DAR Ancestor # A206115

James "The Immigrant" McALEXANDER was probably born in Scotland; although, his birthplace and parents have never been absolutely proved. There is proved evidence, from Scottish church records, of a James McALEXANDER christened in Barr Parish, County Ayr, Scotland on February 17, 1717 with Alexander McALEXANDER as his father. We think this is James "The Immigrant."

Alexander and Jonet McANDLISH were married in Barr Parish on 19 Nov 1711. So James "The Immigrant" parents are establishd with certainty. An Alexander McALEXANDER, son of Duncan McALEXANDER, was christened in Barr Parish, County Ayr, Scotland on October 23, 1695. This date would indicate that he was sixteen years old when he married Jonet McAndlish. Perhaps somewhat too young for a groom. Proved data is lacking to establish the ancestors of Alexander McALEXANDER. Some researchers say James' father was Robert McALEXANDER (b. ca 1680), County Ayr, Scotland.

Most family historians think James, from Londonderry, Ireland, was an immigrant to America in 1755 with his wife and four (4) sons. There is evidence, a 1746 Albemarle County, Virginia land survey, that would place him here a decade earlier. James (The Immigrant) and Thomas McALEXANDER received land patents in Albemarle County, Virginia, from Governor Dinwiddie in 1756. Thomas McALEXANDER soon disappears from history (perhaps he dropped the Mc), but James McALEXANDER, possibly his brother or cousin, remained on his original grant, which lay on the north fork of Davis Creek, until his death in January 1798. (See James McALEXANDER TimeLine.)

[Religious Freedom Petition Signatories] James and his unknown wife had five children, all sons: James McALEXANDER, Jr. (c.1741-1826/1830) who married Mrs. Patience McDaniel and had one son, William McALEXANDER (1744-1822) had three wives and eighteen to twenty-one children, Samuel McALEXANDER (c.1748-1786/1798) left no known issue, John McALEXANDER (1751-c.1834) married Agnes (Nancy) BURNETT and left ten children, and Alexander McALEXANDER (1756-1841), who lived his entire life on the original family grant on Davis Creek and he amassed land holdings of over ten-thousand acres in Virginia and Kentucky. He married Martha "Patsey" BURNETT, daughter of John BURNETT, on 25 Mar 1786. They had eleven children. Alexander may have been the first born McALEXANDER in the United States. James and William were known foreign born in Scotland or Ireland. These sons grew to manhood with their father in Virginia. James, Jr. is only son known to die outside of Virginia. All five brothers served in the Revolutionary War. Their participation in the freedom movement of the 1770-1780 period in Virginia is further exhibited by the Amherst Co., VA, Religious Freedom Petition, Nov. 1, 1779. The petition was signed by James Sr., James, Jr., Alexander, John and Samuel McAlexander. During the late 1700's to early 1800's James' grandchildren began to move south and west from Nelson and Patrick Counties and settle in several states: Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, Arkansas, Missouri and Iowa.

James McALEXANDER was the progenitor for almost all McALEXANDERS in the United States. The Davis Creek grant fell in the bounds of the new county of Amherst in 1761, and of Nelson in 1807. Nelson County has been described as being "cupped" between the James River on the east and the Blue Ridge Mountains on the west. Davis Creek is a small valley stream flowing in the eastern foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The north fork of Davis Creek lies about the center of the county, a little over four miles north and slightly west of the village of Lovingston. County Road 623 now leads to the original McAlexander holding.

Info courtesy of Hubert McAlexander

James McAlexander is first found when he received a land grant of 150 acres on the North fork of Davis Creek in Albemarle County, VA (present-day Nelson County) on March 10, 1756. He was probably born about 1715-1720 either in northern Ireland or Ayrshire, Scotland (where the family name originated). Some descendants identify him with a James McAlexander baptized in 1717 in Barr Parish, Carrick, Ayrshire, but since the name James was very common among Scots and Scots-Irish and since many parish registers from this period do not survive, this could be a different person. James McAlexander's land was in what became Amherst County in 1761. In 1779 he and four of his sons signed a petition to the Virginia House of Delegates "for giving free and equal liberty & privileges in matters of religion to all inhabitants of this commonwealth" (many of the signers, including James McAlexander, were Presbyterians and objected to the state support of the Church of England, now called the Protestant Episcopal Church). James McAlexander's wife's name is unknown. He had five sons--James, Jr., William, Samuel, John, and Alexander. William and John settled in what is now Patrick County, Virginia. James McAlexander died intestate in January 1798 on his farm in what is now Nelson County.

view all 12

James McAlexander's Timeline

February 17, 1717
Barr, Ayshire, Scotland, UK
Davis Creek, Albemarle, Virginia, United States
January 13, 1744
Davis Creek, Albemarle, Virginia, USA
Patrick, Virginia, United States
Ulster (possibly)
May 1, 1756
Davis Creek, Albemarle (now Nelson) Co, VA
Giles County, Virginia
Age 66
No Township Listed, Amherst County, VA