Establishing Alexander surnames in Orange County, then Culpeper County, Virginia, focusing on deeds that describe locations in the Fork of the Rappidan River, specifically Elk Run. Followed the Thomas Rucker line since they were neighbors of James Alexander, and followed the names of families that married into James Alexander's family, Thomas Rucker, John Tinsley, John Henderson, and William Crawford.
Most records were obtained from The Library of Virginia searchable database on early Deeds in the Northern Neck, Wills, & Religious Petitions. Researchers from all the families named have posted information online that provide invaluable records for these early Virginia residents.
6 Apr 1734 George Essomes, [Eastham], St. Mark's Parish, Spotsylvania County, 300 acres in Fork of the Rappidanne River corner to Thomas & John Rucker, Neals Mountain, Rucker's line. Eastham, George. 11 July 1719. King William County. Description: 400 acres upon the branches of the Middle River and South River in St. Johns Parish adjoining the land of Rogers.
10 Jan 1736 George Anderson, Orange County. 350 acres in the fork of the Robinson River beginning at Elk Run adjoining to Nicholas Ware, William Phillips, aforesaid Elk run.
10 Sep 1735 Downs, Henry. Orange County. Description: 600 acres in the fork of the Rappidanne River, called Newcastle adjoining Wm. Crosthwaith, Nicholas Ware, James Dyer.
Source: Land Office Patents No. 16, 1735, p. 271.
30 Jun 1740 Indenture of 30 June in the year of our Lord 1740 between Nicholas Ware of parish of St Mary's in county of Caroline of the one part and Jeremiah Rollins of Drisdale Parish in the county of King and Queen for 5 shillings sterling .... beginning at 3 small pines....being half of a patent granted said Nicholas Ware the 28th day of September for the year of our Lord 1728, all houses, orchards, gardens, yards, backsides, fences or being an .. of every part and parcel thereof. Signed sealed & delivered Nicholas Ware /Seal/ in the presence of: John Allen, Henry Downs, W. Waller, Jos. Neavell, Z. Lewis. (Indenture, Orange County Deed Book 4, p. 178).
24 Jul 1740 - Nicholas Ware of St. Mary's Parish, Caroline Co. to Jeremiah Rollins (Rawlings) of Drissdale Parish, King and Queen Co., 500 acres in St. Mark's Parish being half of a patent granted to Nicholas Ware 28 Sep 1728, which was sold for consideration of 60 lbs. current money of Virginia. Signed, Nicholas Ware.
18 Oct 1745 - Orange County, VA Deed Book 10...said William Pearce granted 70 acres in the forks of the Rapidan River. Lease/release for L30 paid by Thomas Coffer.... doth grant land on Elk Run..... Robert Talliaferro corner to George Anderson and Thomas Rucker. Recorded 11/28/1745.
Orange Co., VA Order Book 5 p. 98,
1747 Orange Co. An indenture of bargain and sale between Edward Franklyn of the one part and Joseph Emmons of the other part was acknowledged by the said Edward and ordered to be recorded.
Orange Co. Va. 1747 Indenture between Joseph Emmonds and Edward Franklyn for 13 pounds for 400 acres beginning at a black walnut and red oak to James Dyer on the north side of the Rapidan ....to Robert Sharman. Witnesses: Thomas Jarman, John Eubank, Saml. Ham, and Ed Franklyn.
23 June 1748, O.S. p. 135, Orange Co., VA Road Orders,
Ordered That James Barbour Gent Joseph Rogers & Thomas Rucker or any two of them do some time between this & the next Court go to & view the Way from the River to the upper Church in Saint Thomas.s Parish through the Lands of Darby Quin & report to the Court the most convenient way for a Bridle Way.
1748 Culpeper County was formed from Orange County, by an act of the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1748.
William Alexander, mentioned in the following record, an as-yet-undetermined relative of the James Alexander family, was in Bromfield Parish, Culpeper Co., VA years before James Alexander purchases land in this very neighborhood from Nicholas Ware. This 1754 Culpeper William is the first hint of Alexanders outside of Augusta County after the designation of Culpeper County in 1748. The Sharman family of Robert, his wife Lucy, and daughter Ann show up as a constant link in the court records of Darby Quinn, Benjamin Head, William Alexander and other nearby neighbors.
21 Dec 1754 Will: Darby Quinn, Brumfield Parish, Culpeper Co, VA
IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN, I Darby Quinn of Brumfield Parish in Culpeper County, planter, being very sick and weak in body but in perfect health of mind and memory, thanks be to almighty God for the same, but calling to mind the certainty of death and that all men must die and as touching all such worldly estate that it hath pleased God to bless me with, do make this my last will and testament revoking, disallowing and disannulling all other Wills and Testaments..........Item: I constitute, ordain and appoint my son Richard Quinn my sole Executor of this my Last Will and Testament.
IN TESTIMONY whereof I have this twenty first day of December one thousand seven hundred fifty four set my hand and seal. Darby X Quinn (LS)
Signed, seal'd, published and pronounced in the presence of:
At a Court held for the County of Culpeper Thursday, the 16th day of September 1756
This Last Will and Testament of Darby Quinn, dec'd, was exhibited to the court by Richard Quinn, heir at law and the Executor therein named, which was proved by the oaths of Robert Sharman and Ann, his wife, two of the witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded and on his motion, Certificate is granted him for obtaining a Probat in due form. Teste: Roger Dixon, Cl.Cur.
Source: Library of Virginia, Will Book A, 1749-1770 Culpeper Co, VA Reel 31, pages 137-138.
22 May 1755 Orange County deed, Benjamin Head purchased 200 acres of land in Bromfield Parish, Culpeper County, Virginia on the north side of the Rapidan River, west of Maple Run from Col. Thomas Chew, Martha Chew (Thomas's wife), and Timothy Crosthwait (all of St. Thomas Parish in Orange County). This was part of a tract of land sold by Capt. Henry Downs to the Chews and Crosthwait on 3 Jun 1751. (Orange County Deed Book B, pages 352-355)
8 Aug 1760. James Alexander of Culpeper County, planter, to Michel Rice of same, carpenter. For L50 current money. 500 acres James Alexander bought of Necholas Ware ... bounded by Jeremiah Rawlins, James Finney and Richard Wayt. James (x) Alexander Witness: Robert Sharman, Lucy (x) Sharman, Ann (AS) Sharman.
20 Sep 1764 Acknowledged by James.
Culpeper County, Virginia Deeds Vol. III Deed Book D (1762 - 1765), pg 540-542.
1761, July 11 The Estate of Robert Medley, dec'd (William Alexander attends the Estate sale below) Dr pd William Eastham in part of a Legacy left Susannah his wife; to Isaac Medley in part of his Legacy; to May Burton ditto; James Medley Senr. For Elianor his wife in part ditto; to John Medley's Legacy in part; to Jacob Medley ditto; to Jane Medley ditto; Doctor Thomas Jackson acct. proved; to Robert Sharman do: to Benjamin Powell do; to Henry Sparks do; to Charles Brooking do; to William Crosswait do; to Isaac Crosswait do; to John Medley's acct. proved; to Jacob Medley ditto; paid Andrew Shepherd do; Mr. Joseph Rogers do; July 11, 1761 L86.14.4 ½
Contra as per sale by Reubin Shelton, May Burton, Richard Yarbrough, John Medley, Charles Brooking, Jacob Medley, Benjamin Row, Robert Leavell, William Johnson, Richard Vawter, Benjamin Powell, Jacob Ward, William Twyman, William Dickerson, Robert Cave, Isaac Crosswait, William Alexander, John Zackery, John Gibbs .... total L93.7.10. 11 Jul 1761 Errors Excepted per John Medley, Jacob Medley) Exrs. October 15th, 1761, Exhibited to the Court upon oath and ordered to be recorded. Culpeper County Will Book A, pp 263-264.
16 Jul 1761 Thomas Rucker of Culpeper Co., VA to Michael Earehart of same. For L12 current money. 240 acres joyning to the lands of Julius Christy, Samuel Angels and Thomas Rucker, being bounded by the Rapadan River...on the north side of Rappadan corner to Julius Christy formerly Benjamin Head....corner of Angel's ... Rucker's line ... corner to Downs and Rucker ... on the south side of Maple Run ...to a small branch just below a point of large stones...to the Rappadan River ... Thomas Rucker Witnesses: William Lightfoot, Thomas Chew, Benjamin Cave.
16 July 1761. Acknowledged by Thomas.
Culpeper County, Virginia Deeds, Vol. III Deed Book D (1762-1765), pgs. 25-27:
11 Nov 1761 Nicholas Ware of Caroline County to James Alexander of Culpeper County. For L50 pounds current money. 500 acres, part of 1000 acres granted to Nicholas Ware, 500 acres being formerly sold to Jeremiah Rawlings. . . at Jeremiah Rawlins' corner including all the patent land excepting the part sold to Jeremiah Rawlins.
/s/ Nicho. Ware.
Witnesses: William Alexander, Michael Ehart, Robt. Alexander.
11 Nov. 1761. Proved by Robert Alexander and Michael Ehart.
20 May 1762. Proved by William Alexander.
24 Aug 1763 Deed, Culpeper Co., VA, Deed Book G, page 151, abstract: "Robert Sharman of Bromfield Parrish of Culpeper County ... to Benjamin Head of St. Thomas Parish of Orange County ... land lying in Culpeper County containing 150 acres ... bounded by Richard Quinn's land ... signed, Robert Sharman. In the presence of: Henry White, James Head, Ann Sharman.
Note: Ann Sharman was the daughter of Robert & Lucy Sharman. Benjamin Head, who had married Robert & Lucy's daughter Martha Sharman, of Orange Co., VA, by deed dated 15 Sep. 1777, Culpeper Co. VA, Deed Book H, page 517, sold this land to neighbor Richard Quinn, son of Darby Quinn.
1764 Rent Rolls Culpeper Co., VA
James Alexander, Samuel Sam Angel, Absolom Bobo, Spencer Bobo, Andrew Brown, Coleman Brown, Daniel Brown, George Bruce, Will Crawford, Henry Early, Jeremiah Early, Edward Eastham, George Eastham, Col. Robert Eastham, Will Eastham, Abraham Eddins, Joseph Eddins, Joseph Emmons, James Finnie, Gentleman, James P. Finnie, Francis Gains, Richard Gains, Will Gains, Adam Garr, Adam Lawrence Garr, John Gibbs, Zachaih Gibbs Joseph Ham, George Holt, Nicholas Holt, Francis Kirtly, EXR, Thomas Kirtly, Capt. Will Kirtly, William Kirtly Jacob Medly, John Medly, Daniel Philips, Ambrose Powell, Benjamin Powell, John Powell, John Quin, Richard Quin, Jere. Rollins - Orphan, Cornelius Rucker - Orphan, Ephraim Rucker, James Rucker, Peter Rucker, Thomas Rucker - deceased, Will Rucker, Robert Shearman, Henry Sparks, Thomas Sparks, Will Sparks, Mark Stowers, Will Stowers, Edward Tinsly, Jr., Edward Tinsly, Isaac Tinsly, Nathan Underwood, Richard Vernon, Richard Waite, Jacob Ward. These names show up in various deeds in the Elk Run, Rappidan area that James Alexander & family settled into. William Alexander, first referred to in Dec 1754 is not on the above tax list, although William was in the neighborhood of James Alexander witnessing various events. Yet William was never referred to as 'of Culpeper.' Notice that these names are almost a first rate list of early Wilkes/Elbert Countians.
Culpeper County, Virginia Deeds, Vol. III Deed Book D (1762-1765), pp.542-545.
17 Sep 1764 Michael Rice of Culpeper County, carpenter, to James Alexander of same, planter. For L55 current money. 250 acres, being part of 500 acres Henry Rice bought of Robert Andrews as by record of Spotsylvania court...
Michael (x) Rice Mary (x) Rice
Witness: Robert Sharman, Lucy (x) Sharman, Ann (AS) Sharman.
20 Sep 1764 Acknowledged by the parties. Mary was first privily examined.
After James & Elizabeth Alexander settle into their new home, 1760-1769, the remaining half of the original 500 acre parcel purchased of Robert Andrews by Henry Rice in Spotsylvania County is sold to John Tinsley and his wife Sarah Parks by the descendants of Henry Rice. The John Tinsley family becomes the Alexander family's close neighbors and Mary Tinsley, daughter of John Tinsley married George Alexander in 1778.
Culpeper county Will Books B & C: pg 19,
22 Apr 1777 Inventory of estate of Daniel Brown, appraisers, Jonathan Underwood, James Alexander, William Rucker.
Will Book B & C, 1770-1783, pg 19. Inv. & Appr. recorded 22 Apr 1777. James Alexander was one of the estate appraisers for Daniel Brown and apparently no one else! James simply did not involve himself in this level of civic responsibilities. It could mean that 'he kept himself to himself' or that he wasn't related close enough to anyone nearby to be invited to handle the more personal aspects of a family grieving their dearly departed.
1782 Land Tax
James Jett & Alexander Waugh, Commissioners of the Tax for the County of Culpeper 1782
The Land Tax returned by John Hume and Alexander Waugh, Jr.,
District Commissioners for the year 1782.
William Alexander, 125 acres
James Alexander, 125 acres
Abraham Ahart, 100 acres
William Crawford, 200 acres
Assuming that William Alexander above is the son of James Alexander begs the question of why George and his bride Mary Tinsley aren't given 1/2 the acreage of James Alexander's property instead of William Alexander.....is this an oldest son issue, or the son who married first?....or this is another William Alexander? Or if George is the older son, is he the assumed heir of his father's 125 acre holdings?
1783 Property Tax
By this 1783 Property Tax enumeration, there were no Alexanders listed in Culpeper County except for the family of James Alexander with his sons George and William. His sons-in-law Joseph Henderson, William Rucker and Oliver Crawford who had married James' daughters Mary and Elizabeth and Lucy are also listed. Males of 16 years also listed in each household. The following households are picked from the larger tax list and I have added family information;
ROBERT ALLCOCK, GENT., LIST
Head of household:
George Alexander m. Mary Tinsley in 1778, Culpeper Co., VA..
James Alexander m. to Elizabeth since 1748.
William Alexander m. Frances Rucker in 1782.
William Cafford, Olson (Oliver)Cafford. Oliver married Lucy Alexander in 1786.
Leroy Canady m. Sarah Wait. chosen by James Alexander for the settlement of his estate, recorded in Madison County.
Joseph Early, owned land on Elk Run, near the Alexander family; by 1805 when this property was sold by his heirs, it was in Madison County, VA; A George Alexander witnessed the deed. Joseph Early died in this year, 1783, the very year he was elected to represent his vicinity in the Virginia Legislature.
Michael Ehart m. to Katherine Lesch; was father of Catherine Ehart who m. George Rucker.
Abram Ehart, (a covering horse) son of Michael; also serves as a witness to James Alexander's will in 1803. Michael Ehart bequeathes his land next to James Alexander to his son Abram Ehart.
Joseph Henderson m. Mary Alexander, dau of James & Elizabeth Alexander.
William Rucker m. Elizabeth Alexander, dau of James & Elizabeth.
John Rucker m. Julianne, daughter of Joseph Early.
George Rucker m. to Catherine Ehart, dau of Michael Ehart.
15 Aug 1785
Will of Esther Rucker of Bromfield Parish, Culpeper Co.
Dated 12 June, 1779. Proven 15 Nov 1779.
Part of index to Culpeper County Wills and Administrations (1749 - 1800) p. 135. Inv. & Appr. rec. Aug. 15, 1785.
Will Book C, 1783-1791 p. 343-344. Will pro. 15 Nov. 1779.
Will of Ester Rucker,12 June, 1779, Legatee: sister, Frances Rucker. Executors: Brothers, William Rucker, Joseph Rucker. Witnesses: William Rucker, Elizabeth Rucker, Joseph Rucker.
Inventory and Appraisal of Estate of Esther Rucker, dec'd. Recorded 15 Aug 1785. Conducted by William Alexander, Edward Herndon, Joseph Henderson.
Esther Rucker originally made her Will out to her sister Frances Rucker, still single in 1779. By the final estate recordings, Frances has married William Alexander and it is he that helps conduct the inventory and appraisal of his deceased sister-in-law, Miss Esther Rucker.
22 Dec 1783; Orange County, Marriage date of John Page, Jr., and Mary Collins, Jr., daughter of Mary Collins who consents to marriage. John Page, son of John Page Sr., and Elizabeth Page. Surety William Alexander. John Page, Jr. & Mary Collins, both of St. Thomas Parish, Orange Co., VA.
Regarding this record, not enough info to make a call on which William Alexander this is.....could be either the earlier William affiliated with the Quinns and Sharmans, or this is William, James Alexander's son, who has some connection to these Collins' or Pages. If this is James' son William Alexander, then this record is the first with his name associated with Orange County acquaintances.
Early Virginia Religious Petitions
November 2, 1785, Culpeper, Against assessment bill: Samwell Cary, William Alexander, Martin Nalle, Robt Stuart, John Strother, Wm Hill, Adam Snyder, John Broyle, Rupart Hill, Ambross Powell, Ephraim Rucker, Stephen Haynes, Charles Hume, Jacob Ward, Robt Alcock, Francis Kirtley, Jeremiah Kirtley, John Forrister, Thomas Sampson, Elijah Kirtley, Jasper Haynes Jr., Joseph Strother, Alpheus Beall, Isaac Dunaway, William Butter, John F. Price, Argalon Posie, Anthony Hughes, John Chapmon, George Hill, Isaac Jackson, Benj. Gains, Wm Ozburn, Richard Battick, Charles Hill, Robt. Strother, Henry Hill, Saml Brown, John Rowyce, Edwd Herndon, George Anderson, Joseph Henderson, William Kirtley Jr., Joseph Rucker, James Rucker, Augustine Rucker, Thomas Stoddell, James Walker Sr., James Allexander, George Alexander, William Chapman, Tho. Portor, Andrew Glassill..........Petition from Culpepper referred to Committee on the Bill concerning Religion.
This record shows the actual signatures of James and his son George Alexander, with William Alexander signing the petition among the first few signers. The tax records indicate that there was no 'extra' William Alexander in Culpeper County in 1783 or 1787.
1787 Land Tax
List of the Land Tax within the District of Goodrich Lightfoot, Commissioner in the County of Culpeper for the year 1787. (George Alexander, son of James, is not listed below as a land owner, although he was the Head of Household in 1783. William is listed as a property owner who owed taxes, however, the entire 250 acres were sold as property of the Estate of his father, James Alexander. William was renting?)
James Alexander: 125 acres
William Alexander: 125 acres
Abraham Ahart: 100 acres
Michael Ahart: 311 acres
Rapidan Baptist Church Records: George Eve wrote in 1796 in the front of one of the church minute books... "the spirit of emigration took place at the Ragged Mountains, many of our members emigrated to Georgia and Kentucky. Some of our members excommunicated in the beginning of the year 1788..."
Culpeper County Alexanders are continued under Elbert County Message Boards. Feb 9-12, 2013.