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John McKnitt Alexander

Male 1733 - 1817  (84 years)


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  • Name John McKnitt Alexander 
    Born 6 Jun 1733  Cecil Co., MD Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 10 Jul 1817  Mecklenburg Co, NC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I5206  MyTree
    Last Modified 19 Jun 2011 

    Father Capt. James Robert Alexander, (the Carpenter),   b. Abt 1690, Somerset Co., MD Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Jul 1779, Mecklenburg Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 89 years) 
    Mother Margaret McKnitt,   b. 26 Dec 1693, Manokin Hundred, Somerset Co., MD Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1736, Manokin Hundred, Cecil Co., MD. Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 42 years) 
    Married 1713  New Munster, Cecil Co., MD Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F2917  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Jean Bean (Bain),   b. Cecil Co., MD Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Mar 1789, Mecklenburg Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married Abt 1762  Cecil Co., MD Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. William Bean (Bain) Alexander,   b. 25 Apr 1764, Mecklenburg Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Jan 1844, Mecklenburg Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years)
     2. Margaret Alexander,   b. 3 Apr 1766, Mecklenburg Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Jul 1805, Mecklenburg Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 39 years)
     3. Jean Bean (Bain) Alexander,   b. 6 Jul 1768, Mecklenburg Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 May 1816, Mecklenburg Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 47 years)
     4. Abigail Alexander,   b. 25 Nov 1770, Mecklenburg Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 May 1802, Mecklenburg Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 31 years)
     5. Joseph McKnitt Alexander,   b. 23 Apr 1773, Mecklenburg Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Oct 1841, Mecklenburg Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years)
    Last Modified 17 Jul 2017 
    Family ID F5544  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 6 Jun 1733 - Cecil Co., MD Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - Abt 1762 - Cecil Co., MD Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • John McKnitt Alexander 6 Jun 1733 - 10 Jul 1817:
      John McKnitt Alexander was one of the original signers of the Meckenburg Declaration of Independence.
      He is probably one of the most famous signers. Born in Maryland, his came to Mecklenburg County with some siblings. His brother, Hezekiah, built a home that is reportedly one of the oldest homes in the county. When he arrived, he settled in the Hopewell section (north) of Mecklenburg County, before it was established in 1762. After arriving he left the occupation of tailor and became a surveyor. He acquired large tracts of land, many of which are now in other counties. His property may have been as large as ten miles square. He was a member of Hopewell Presbyterian Church and served as the treasurer for the Presbyterian Synod, which included what is now North and South Carolina.
      When he was summoned to Salisbury to serve on a jury, he declined and was forced and fined by the sheriff to serve as a juror. When the British soldiers invaded Charlotte, he ordered his supplies be destroyed, rather than have them fall into the hands of the enemy. He served as Mecklenburg’s Register of Deeds from 1788 to 1792. After the Revolutionary War, he served as a member of the State Senate, the House of Commons and the convention that formed the North Carolina State Constitution.
      He reportedly was the secretary of the convention where the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence was adopted. This duty made him the custodian of the original document. Richard Barry, Sr., a neighbor and fellow signer, was named an executor of his will. When John died, he was one of the largest landowners in the county.
      Two of his daughters married Presbyterian ministers. He sent his oldest son, Joseph McKnitt, to get an education at what is now Princeton University.
      (Source: Lives and Times of the 27 Signers of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence of May 20, 1775, by Victor C. King, Charlotte, NC, 1956)

      John McKnitt, b. 6/6/1733, in Cecil County, Maryland; d. 7/10/1817, in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina; m. September, 1762, Jean Bean (Bain) (daughter of William); d. 3/16/1789, aged 49 years.
      Children:
      1. William Bain (Bean), b. 4/25/1764; d. 1/23/1844; m. 8/25/1791, Violet Davidson, b. 8/28/1771; d. 10/26/1821.
      2. Margaret, b. 4/3/1766; d. 7/7/1805; m. 4/7/178, Francis A. Ramsey, b. 5/31/1764; d. 11/5/1820.
      3. Jean Bain (called Polly), b. 7/6/1768; d. 5/18/1816; m. Rev. James Wallis; d. 12/27/1817; aged 57 years.
      4. Abigail Bain, b. 11/25/1770; d. 5/15/1802; m. 1792, Rev. Samuel C. Caldwell; d. 10/5/1826, aged 59 years.
      5. Joseph McKnitt, b. 4/23/1773; d. 10/18/1841; m. 8/3/1797, Dovey Winslow; d. 9/6/1801, aged 25 years.

      John McKnitt Alexander, accompanied by his brother, Hezekiah, and other relatives removed to Mecklenburg, North Carolina, about 1754. Later his brother, Ezekiel, and his sisters, Jemima Sharp, Elizabeth Sample, Abigail Bradley, and Margaret McCoy, with their families, came to live in the same section, as did also Catherine Alexander, widow of his brother, Theophilus.
      He established his home ten miles north of Charlotte, in the Hopewell section of the County. He was a tailor by trade and later became Public Surveyor under the Crown. He acquired extensive tracts of land, was very successful in business, and a leader in the community.
      He was a zealous patriot, active in the cause of liberty from the beginning. He was a member of the Provincial Assembly in 1772; a member of the Committee of Safety in 1775; Secretary of the Convention which met at Charlotte on May 19 and 20, 1775; and a Signer of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, May 20, 1775. In 1777 he served as the first State Senator from Mecklenburg County.
      It has been said that he was a Scout for General Greene and that he was with him at Yorktown when Cornwallis surrendered.
      John McKnitt Alexander served his County in many capacities. He was a Justice of the Peace; a member of the first organized Court of the County; a trustee of Queen's Museum; and Register of Deeds from 1792 to 1808.
      He was very much interested in church affairs and served as Treasurer of the Synod of North Carolina. He gave the original tract of land on which Hopewell Presbyterian Church was built. He lies buried in the graveyard of that church, in which he was an elder from the time of its organization (about 1762) until his death in 1817.

      McKnitt, Margaret Abigail (b. 26 DEC 1698, d. 1736)
      Note: The Colonial Families of Eastern Shore lists her birth date as
      26 Feb 1693.