Vincent Alexander Family

Vincent Alexander

Vincent Alexander, son of Rawleigh and of Elizabeth Smoot [her maiden name might have been Way or Hurst] Alexander, born 1798 at Northumberland County, Virginia; died August 6, 1861 at Lewis County, (W)Virginia from injuries due to a fall; buried at Straight Run Cemetery, Hurst, Lewis County. It should be noted that Vincent's original handwritten death record lists his parents, but his father's name looks like "Rody". We believe it was meant to say Rolly.

Vincent was married (1) December 9, 1816, at Harrison County, (West)Virginia to Rebecca Estlack, daughter of Joseph and of Hannah Lippencoat Salisbury Estlack. His mother signed her permission for "the mach" with an X. John Hurst and Daniel McCan witnessed her signature.

Lewis County Court records indicate that Rebecca probably died before February 1818, when Dr. Josiah Henderson sued Vincent Alexander for $30. Henderson stated that he made four visits and prescribed sundry medicines for the "wife of the defendant", Vincent Alexander. A court battle ensued until April 1821, with Vincent refusing to pay. One might assume that Rebecca died and perhaps Vincent felt he shouldn't have to pay the bill because the doctor was not able to save his wife. When the court battle was finally settled, Vincent owed $75.36, including court costs and interest. Rebecca gave birth to a little girl October 6, 1817. She probably died from complications due to the birth. We have not been able to locate a grave or exact date of death for Rebecca. Vincent is named as an heir in the will of Rebecca's father.

The1820 census for Lewis County shows Vincent with a child and an older woman in his home. The older woman is probably his mother, but only the names of householders were listed in the early censuses.

Lewis County was formed from Harrison County in 1816. Whether Vincent actually moved we do not know, but all records on Vincent are found in Lewis County after the marriage. He probably lived in the area where Jane Lew is today at that time period. He later moved to the Churchville, Freemansburg area of Lewis County.

Vincent was issued a summons for assault and battery June 14, 1819 stating he "with force and arms, did commit assault on the body of Elisha Hall." He appeared in a Lewis County court on the charge in September1819. Based on other court records, it appears that the named Elisha Hall was some type of troublemaker. Friends and relatives of Vincent also went to court on similar charges.   

Vincent married (2) August 19, 1819, at Randolph County, (West)Virginia to Mary England. (It is possible this marriage could be that of another person with the same name. We have no proof that he is or is not our Vincent. We have a theory, though, that Vincent went to Randolph County to visit old friends and met Mary there. His father had been named in a will as guardian of an Ellis Alexander. There is an Elias Alexander in Randolph County records. It is possible that Elias and Ellis are the same person.) Vincent married again in 1821, so we can only assume Mary England Alexander didn't live long, although there is an older woman by the name of Mary Ingland in the1820 Lewis County census, leaving a mystery as to her identity.

In 1820, Vincent was in court again - he served on a jury.

Vincent married (3) March 15, 1821, at Lewis County, (W)Virginia to Mary "Polly" Winans, daughter of Isaac Winans and of Ruth Ayers. By this time he had probably moved to the Freemans Creek District.

Vincent purchased 100 acres in the Freeman's Creek District near Fink's Creek in 1820. During the next thirty years, he bought and sold nearly 2,000 acres in this area. The land was rich pasturage for grazing and early trappers secured some of their finest furs here. Life was rugged. When the area was settled about 1810, the land was infested with copperheads and rattlesnakes and livestock was threatened by wolves, bears and wildcats.

It is unlikely that we will ever know much more about Vincent. It would appear that he was a sensitive young man who could be quite stubborn and even hot-tempered when angered. He grew up as the youngest of  his father's 11 children and had five half-brothers and half-sisters. As he matured and raised his own family (and perhaps "got religion"), he became a well respected citizen, holding responsible jobs and elected positions. 

He served as postmaster while living on Rush Run of Freeman's Creek near Freemansburg. In 1852 and again in 1856 Vincent was elected justice for the Fourth District. [A justice would be equivalent to today's county commissioner.] The Fourth District included the valleys of Freeman's Creek, Leading Creek, Fink creek and their branches.

Vincent was a charter member of the Mount Zion Baptist Church on November 12, 1831 and served as church treasurer and as deacon for the Freeman's Creek Baptist Church, at Freemansburg. After his death, his heirs donated a parcel of land to the church. Today, a wood frame church building has replaced an early log structure. There is a large cemetery on the hill overlooking the building.

The appraisement bill of Vincent's personal estate shows that he was a farmer with about 14 head of sheep,13 hogs, one grey mare and one colt. He owned many tools and a set a of books. The estate sold for $221.66 on March 8, 1862.

Chancery Court records in Lewis County name Vincent's heirs as Mary Alexander, widow; Jesse D. Alexander; William Alexander; Washington Alexander; Vincent Hurst and his wife, the former Eliza Alexander; Emily Alexander; Serena Alexander; George Snyder and his wife, the former Amy Alexander; Hezekiah Stout and his wife, the former Elizabeth Alexander. At the time he died, the country was coming out of an economic depression. He apparently had suffered from it as his estate was sued by several businesses. The case was transferred to Gilmer County and I have not seen the results.

Vincent's widow, Mary Winans Alexander, bought 88 acres on Little Cove Creek in 1869 where she lived until her death of paralysis (probably a stroke) September 17, 1874. She left the acreage to her unmarried daughters Emily and Cerena.

Appraisement bill of the
Personal estate of Vincent Alexander Deceased

By an order of the County Court of Lewis to us the undersigned appraisers of the Property of Vincent Alexander Deceased we did appraise and value undernamed property as follows to wit:

   1 Syth sneed and nibs & ring $ .25; 1 lot of old irons .25; 1 riding bridle .87; 1 Pick .50; 1 Plow rench .25; 3 stone wedges .25; 3 broad howes .25; 1 iron square .37; 1 ax .25; 1 Pare stilyards 1.50; 1 spade .50; 1 sythe .50; set of howe irons .25; horse geers 2.50; hinges and latches 1.00; 1 Pare of sheep sheers .50; 1 Pare of tonge chains .50; 1 Pare of Spreder chains .50; 1 saddle 1.00; 1 bell 1.00; 1 lot of tubs .75; 1 tin horn .37; 1 cupboard 5.00; cockle sieve .75; 1 lock chain 1.50; 1 pair of breast chains 2.00; 1 grate 3.00; 1 lot of books $ .50; 1 waggon 5.00; 2 single tress .50; 1 wheat fan 6.60; 1 kettle 2.00; 1 shovel plough stalk .75; 14 head of sheep 21.00; 1 2-horse plough 3.00; 1 grey mare 25.00; 1 horse colt 15.00; 3 chizzels .50; 4 augers 1.00; 1 crosscut saws 3.00; 1 hand saw 1.50; 1 foot alls 1.50; 1 plain .37; 1 sledge hammer .75; 43 shocks of corn 13.00; 1 half bushel .75; 1 lot of saw logs 3.50; 1 shovel .30; 2 stacks of hay 10.00; old trap chains .37; 1 clock 2.00; 1 beauro 7.00; 13 head of hogs 30.00      

(s)Emory P. Stout, Charles Stalnaker…J.D. Alexander, administrator; Lewis County Court Clerk's office March 8th, 1862; The Appraisement bill of the Personal estate of Vincent Alexander deceased was this day presented to said office and admitted to record. Teste J. Woofter, clerk

Mary and Vincent are buried at the Straight Run Cemetery, Hurst, West Virginia. Their graves are in the lower right corner of the small cemetery located on Lewis County Road 11.

Court Records

Lewis County, WV, Chancery Orders Book 5 (1859-1867) page 330 Gibson J. Butcher administrator of  Charles J. Moore deceased complainant vs. Vincent Alexander heirs defendants  Sept. 13, 1866

"It appearing to the court that since the decree rendered in this cause for the sale of the land in the bill mentioned the said Charles J. Moore and Vincent Alexander have both departed this life the said Butcher as administrator of said Moore filed his bill of review at the rules against Mary Alexander widow and Jesse D. Alexander administrator and Jesse D. Alexander, William Alexander, Washington Alexander, Vincent Hurst and Eliza his wife, Emily Alexander, Sarena Alexander, and George Snyder and Amy his wife and Hezekiah Stout and Elizabeth his wife heirs at law of said Vincent Alexander deceased. And the process found thereon having been duly executed on all said defendants except William Alexander and Hezekiah Stout and Elizabeth his wife and the orders of publication awarded at the rules against them having been duly executed and said cause regularly matured against all of said heirs, widow and administrator, and set for hearing before the present term of this court, and they not appearing, on motion of the complainant it is ordered that this cause be revived in the name of said Gibson J. Butcher administrator of said Charles J. Moore deceased, against said heirs widow and administrator of Vincent Alexander deceased and the said husbands of said female children and heirs, and be and stand in all respects in the same plight and condition as it was at the death of said Vincent Alexander and said Charles J. Moore."

Lewis County, WV, Chancery Orders Book 5 (1859-1867) page 354 John P. Hull complainant vs. Vincent Alexander heirs defendants

"It appearing to the court that since the rendition of the decree, heretofore pronounced in this cause, the defendant Vincent Alexander has departed this life intestate, leaving Mary Alexander his widow, and Vincent Hurst and Eliza his wife, late Eliza Alexander, Emily Alexander, Sarena Alexander and George  Snyder and Amy his wife late Amy Alexander, William Alexander and  Hezekiah Stout and Elizabeth his wife late Elizabeth Alexander and Jesse D. Alexander his heirs at law and distributies, and that Jesse D. Alexander has qualified as administrator of said Vincent Alexander deceased, and it appearing that the complainant has at rules sued out a sceri? facias against the said persons to revive this cause against them in their several characters aforesaid: and the said scui facias having been duly executed on the said Mary Alexander, Vincent Hurst and Eliza his wife late Eliza Hurst (This is the way the court record is written, but it is incorrect. Eliza's maiden name was Alexander), Emily Alexander, Sarena Alexander, George Snyder and Amy his wife late Amy Alexander, George Snyder and Amy his wife late  Amy Alexander, and Washington Alexander (was not listed earlier) and Jesse Alexander, and the order of publication entered at rules against the said William Alexander and Hezekiah Stout and said Elizabeth his wife, late Elizabeth Alexander, having been duly published and posted as required by law, and this cause having been regularly set forth and this case having been regularly set for hearing upon said scui facias at rules.

It is therefore ordered that this cause be and stand revived against the said widow and heirs, in their character aforesaid, and against the said Jesse D. Alexander as Administrator of Vincent Alexander deceased, and stand in the same condition in which it was at the time of death of said Vincent Alexander.

And it is further adjudged ordered and decreed that this cause be referred to one of the commissioners of this court who is directed 1st to settle and state the accounts of Jesse D. Alexander as Administrator of Vincent Alexander deceased and return his statement and report to this court.

2nd to ascertain all the debts and demands against the said Vincent Alexander deceased or his estate, and their priorities, and 3rd to report whether or not the assetts in the hands of said Jesse D. Alexander are sufficient to satisfy all of such debts and demands. But before executing this order, the said commissioner shall fix upon a time and place for executing this reference, and shall give personal notice to such of the said parties as may at the time be within this state and shall also publish notice of such time and place and of the objects of this reference for four consecutive weeks in some newspaper published in the county of Lewis or in the county of Upshur and after executing this order the said commissioner shall report his proceedings to this court, in order to further proceedings in this cause."

Lewis County, WV, Chancery Orders Book 5 (1859-1867) page 405

The judge of this court being so situated as in his opinion to make it improper for him to decide the above causes on motion of the complainants it is ordered that said causes be transferred to the Circuit Court for Gilmer County there to be proceeded in to final decree and it is further ordered that the clerk of this court transmit the papers of each of said causes together with transcripts of the proceedings had therein to the clerk of the said circuit court of Gilmer County.

Robert Irvine

Lewis County, WV, Chancery Orders Book 4 (1854-1859) page 67

Vincent Alexander vs. Benjamin Hurst April 2, 1855

"This cause came on this day to be heard upon the bill of complainant and exhibits therewith filed, and it appearing to the court that the subpoenas to answer the same have been served on the defendants, John Hurst and John McWhorter more than two months before the present term of this court, and they still failing to appear and answer the said bill, it is therefore ordered that the same be taken for confessed as to them, and it further appearing that the order of publication against the absent defendant Benjamin Hurst taken at rules has been duly published and posted and it also appearing to the court on evidence of John Morrow taken upon the hearing, that the paper filed in this cause assigning to complainant all the interest of said Benjamin Hurst to the land in the bill mentioned and directing a conveyance thereof to complainant and subscribed to by said Benjamin Hurst, and it further appearing that said complainant has paid all the purchase money due from said Benjamin Hurst, it is therefore adjudged ordered and decreed that said defendant John McWhorter do convey the land in the bill mentioned to said complainant instead of to Benjamin Hurst in all respects as he was directed to convey the same to said Benjamin Hurst."

Lewis County, WV, Chancery Orders Book 3 (1849-1854) page 86

Vincent Alexander vs. Phillip Ozburn Oct. 24, 1850

On motion of the defendant he hath leave to file his answer to the complainants bill which being here filed in court, the complete replies generally thereto.

Lewis County, WV, Chancery Orders Book 3 (1849-1854) page 114 Oct. 31, 1850

Vincent Alexander vs. Phillip Ozburn

"The bill in this cause having been filed more than two months and the subpoena to answer the same having been returned executed this cause coming on this day to be heard upon the bill answer thereto replication and exhibits was argued by council on consideration thereof by consent of the parties it is adjudged ordered and decreed that the said contract between the said Alexander and said Ozborn in relation to the said land be received and annulled and in order to a final decree between the parties in this cause it is ordered that the same be referred to Master Commissioner G.W. Jackson to ascertain and report the amount of the payments of the purchase money made by the said Ozborn.

Decreed that the said contract be rescinded and annulled and it is ordered that the same be referred to G.W. Jackson. Purchase money by said value of permanent improvements on the said land of the said Ozburn since the said contract also the value of the rents and profits of the said land since the said Ozburn has possession of the same stating an account of said subject and showing the balance if any that may be due from either party to the other. "

Lewis County, WV, Chancery Orders Book 3 (1849-1854) June 4, 1851

Vincent Alexander vs. Phillip Ozborn

"This cause coming on this day be heard upon the bill answer replication thereto and exhibits and has argued by council upon consideration where of and by an argument in writing between the parties filed in the said course.

It be adjudged and ordered and decreed that the said sale of the 10 acres of land in the bill and proceedings mentioned be canceled and set aside and that a writ of possession be awarded to the complainant against the said defendant to take effect April 1, 1852."

Lewis County, WV, , WV, Chancery Orders Book 5 (1859-1867) - The following cases concerning Vincent Alexander were referred to Gilmer County Court: Richard P. Camden (p405); John P. Hall (pp354, 405); C.J. Moore, dcd (pp330, 405); Exchange Bank (p198); David S. Peterson (p405); J.A. Hall and G.J. Butcher (p405)

Harrison County Minute Book (1811-1812) page 104

"Aug. 20, 1811 The court doth assign Thomas McWhorter guardian to Elizabeth Alexander, Vincent Alexander and Jesse Alexander, orphans of Rawleigh Alexander deceased and therupon said Thomas McWhorter with David Stringer and John Edmunds his sec., entered into and acknowledged their bond in the penalty of $1,500 with condition according to law."

Harrison County Will Book 2 page 32

Thomas McWhorter of Alessanders. Bill of Thomas McWhorters.

Expenditure in going to Northumberland County, Virginia in order to get the property of Elizabeth Vincent and Jesse Alexander from the 29th of August 1811 to the 18th of September 1811; $14 Traveling to Northumberland and back 20 days $15 attending court on their business $3 Total amount $32.08.

According to an order of the Court of Harrison County at the September term after having been sworn have settled with Thomas McWhorter Guardian of Elizabeth, Vincent and Jesse Alexander and report to the court that the above is a true settlement given under our hands this 13th of November 1811.

Joseph Chevront, John Mitchel B.... Bond

(Note the lack of a comma between Elizabeth and Vincent. This punctuation error has caused a lot of researchers through the years to ask, Who was Elizabeth Vincent?)

Children of Vincent and Rebecca (Estlack) Alexander were as follows:

i. Elizabeth Alexander, born October 6, 1817. Elizabeth Alexander married Hezekiah Stout in 1836 in Lewis County. Her marriage bond was signed by Vincent Alexander. The 1820 census shows a child, presumably Elizabeth, in Vincent's home.

Children of Vincent and Mary "Polly" (Winans) Alexander were as follows:

i. Marinda Alexander, born March 5, 1822 at Lewis County, (W)Virginia; died December 10, 1822 (age 9 months) at Lewis County. Marinda's headstone was seen about 1988 by Earl and Matha Byrd, of Fairmont, West Virginia, but apparently no one recorded the name of the cemetery and we have been unable to find the stone since then. Another mystery: If Marinda was Vincent and Mary's child, she was born before their marriage and conceived less than a year after his marriage to Mary England.

ii. William Alexander, born Sept. 11, 1823 at Lewis Co., (W)Virginia; died March 28, 1870 (age 46) at Lewis Co., buried at Freemansburg Baptist Cemetery, Freemansburg, Lewis County. He was married Feb. 26, 1844, at Lewis County, to Mary Elizabeth "Polly" Cox, daughter of Isaac Perry Cox and of Mary Knisley. They had the following children: (1).Elizabeth Ann "Eliza" Alexander, born March 22, 1841; (2) James "Calvin" Alexander, born July 22, 1846; (3) Mary Virginia Alexander, born about 1849; (4) Holdridge K. Alexander, born August 6, 1850 (5) George W. Alexander b Sept. 30, 1856 and (6) Nancy A. Alexander born Aug. 9, 1854. The 1850 Lewis County federal census indicates William and Mary were living as neighbors to William's parents. By 1860, William was living with his parents in Lewis County, while his wife, Mary Alexander, and children, Columbia and George, were living in Ritchie County, (W)Virginia in the home of Timothy and Sarah Cox Tharp. Sarah was Mary's aunt. Mary was listed as a "house hand". The other children are found in different homes in the 1860 (W)Virginia federal census: James and Mary were in the Asa Woodford home in Gilmer County; Holdridge was listed as a servant in the home of his mother's aunt and uncle, Philip and Susannah Knisley Cox; Eliza was a seamstress in the home of her aunt and uncle, George and Nancy Cox Heckert, all in Gilmer County. We don't know why William was separated from his family. Although William was the oldest son, he was not named as administrator of his father's estate. There is a birth record for Henry Nutt May 7, 1854 at Fink's Creek naming William Alexander as the father, Nancy Nutt as the mother, and Ruth Nutt the grandmother. This is just three months before William's his wife gave birth to his sixth child. We can only guess this is the reason for the separation. Mary apparently forgave him, at least for awhile, as they had one more child before the separation. William is buried at the Freemansburg Baptist Church Cemetery, Freemansburg. This church is located on property given by Vincent Alexander's children for the church and cemetery. After William's death, his widow Mary Cox Alexander, married a widowed Methodist minister, the Rev. John Miller on December 2, 1873, in Gilmer County, West Virginia. Miller was a neighbor of the Tharps in Ritchie County at the time of the 1860 census. Sometime after 1873, John and Mary (Cox Alexander) Miller moved to Moulton, Washington Township, Appanoose County, Iowa, where they remained until their deaths. (The Timothy Tharp family also migrated to southeastern Iowa, and lived in Mount Sterling, Van Buren County.) John Miller died June 18, 1890. In the 1900 Appanoose County federal census, Mary is listed as widowed and living in the home of her son, Holdridge Alexander. Her gravestone says she died April 19, 1914. Two other sources say she died April 23, 1914: a letter written by her son Holdridge to Eliza Webb and the death notice in the April 28, 1914, issue of the Semi-Weekly Iowegian newspaper. Mary and John and two of William and  Mary's sons are buried in the Oakland Cemetery at Moulton. The marriage record for William and Mary is found in HCPD Marriage Book 1817-1880 p 24. Mary's marriage to John Miller is found in Cochran's Gilmer County Marriage Book p22.

This church at Freemansburg, West Virginia is located on property once owned by Vincent Alexander. His oldest son, William, is buried behind the church.

iii. Emily Alexander, born April 8, 1825 at Lewis County, (W)Virginia; died September 3, 1909 (age 84) at Leopold, Doddridge County, West Virginia; buried at Mount Olive Cemetery, Grove, Doddridge County. Emily remained single, living with her parents until their deaths. She joined the Baptist Church when she was 20 years old. She is shown in the homes of her sister, Eliza Hurst, in the 1880 census, and with her widowed brother-in-law, George Snyder, in the 1900 census. She later lived with her niece, Gay Conley in Doddridge County, where she died. According to the newspaper, West Union Record, Emily is buried at Mount Olive M.P. Church at Grove, Doddridge County, located on County Road 19 (Cove Creek Road). There is no marker. The cemetery is also known as Pine Grove Cemetery. Her death record in Book 2, page 2, lists her as a widow.

iv. Jesse Denny Alexander, born March 24, 1827 at Lewis County, (W)Virginia; died October 24, 1915 (age 88) at Granada, Douglas County, Missouri; buried at Day Chapel Cemetery, Granada. He was married November 11, 1849, at Harrison County, (W)Virginia to Sarah Elizabeth Simmons, daughter of David Simmons and of Sarah A. Grogg. Jesse was named the administrator of his father's estate. Jesse and Sarah lived with his parents in 1850. In 1860, they lived nearby in Doddridge Co., (W)Virginia.

v. Elizabeth "Eliza" Alexander, born August 22, 1829 at Lewis County, (W)Virginia; died May 19, 1895 (age 66). She was married July 11,1857, at Lewis County to Vincent Hurst, son of John Hurst and of Winifred "Winny" Smoot. Eliza had red hair, as did many of her descendants. She and Vincent are buried at Point Pleasant Baptist Church Cemetery, also known as Woofter Cemetery, on Fallen Timbers Run, Cove District, Doddridge Co., West Virginia. Vincent died of heart disease. Vincent lived on or near his father's property on Straight Run. His youngest son, John R. Hurst is believed to have lived in the original John Hurst log cabin. In his will, Vincent divided his farm into acreages and left them to his children: Minor Hurst, born about 1857 - 23 acres; Whitson Henry "Whit" Hurst, born June 8, 1859 - 25 acres; Mary Elizabeth "Lizzie" Hurst, born July 4, 1861 - 23 acres; William Ewell Hurst, born October 10, 1863 - 22 acres; Emily H. "Emma" Hurst, born October 3, 1866 - 24 acres; and John Rezin/Reason Hurst, born July 20, 1869- 24.4 acres. A child, Washington A. Hurst was born June 8, 1859 but was not listed in the 1860 census.

vi. Cyrena (Serena) Alexander, born July 31, 1831 at Lewis County, (W)Virginia; died December 15, 1914 (age 83) at Doddridge County, West Virginia. She was married (1) February 27, 1874, at Lewis Co., to widower Joshua Pearcy; and was married (2) February 10, 1884, at Doddridge County, to Stewart Chapman. Cyrena and Joshua Pearcy resided in Doddridge County. In Hardesty's reprint of "The History of Doddridge County" there is reference to the murder of Joshua Pearcy near New Milton on the night of August 31, 1881. According to the September 10, 1881 issue of the newspaper Republican, he was "found dead in the highway in Doddridge County, last week. The cause of death is not known". His estate was valued at $1,466.84. Cyrena and her second husband, Stewart Chapman, lived on Middle Fork of the Hughes River, Central District, Doddridge County. According to the newspaper, West Union Record, Stewart Chapman died May 4, 1912 and is buried at Grove M.E. Church Cemetery, on County Road 19 (Cove Creek Road), Doddridge County. It is presumed that Cyrena is also buried there. There is no marker for her. The cemetery is also known as Mount Olive. Cyrena bore no children.
Cerena Alexander Chapman The photo, from a Chapman reunion, was provided by John Chapman.

vii. Amy Alexander, born September 10, 1833 at Lewis County, (W)Virginia; died May 9, 1898 (65). She was married 1860, to George W. Snider. The family resided on Brushy Fork, New Milton District, Doddridge County. She may be buried at Childers Cemetery, Doddridge County. There is a marker for "wife of G. W. Snider." However, there were several G. W. Sniders. Emily and George had the following children: (1) Mary J. Snider, born about 1861; (2)Gabriella "Gay" Snider, born December 29, 1862; (3)William V. (probably Vincent) Snider, born 1865; (4) Emory S. Snider, born March 13, 1866; (5) Jehu W. Snider, born 1869; (6) Rush Blair Snider, born 1874

10. viii. George "Wash" Washington Alexander, born 11 Oct 1835.

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