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Genealogical Notes on Ezra Alexander

References:

(1)  Ezra Alexander by Miss Rose Amanda Coffey, Charlotte, NC 1956 (Descendent of this Signer, through his son, Augustus)

(2) The Six Alexanders Who Signed the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence

Ezra Alexander, one of 27 brave, true men who signed the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence on May 20, 1775, by this memorable act alone created a sense of honor and a love of country in the hearts of the hundreds of his descendents not so freely comprehended by the average person.

Ezra Alexander was born February 26, 1740 in either Frederick or Cecil County, MD. He is identified in the will of Arthur Alexander (Mecklenburg County, NC) as the brother of Abraham Alexander, therefore making him also the son of Elias and Sophie Alexander.

In the year 1754, with other members of his family, he came to Mecklenburg County, NC-then a mere wilderness, un-named and inhabited by roving bands of Indians. While living in Mecklenburg County, NC in 1763, he was appointed guardian of his nephew, Elias – the son of Arthur Alexander. He was granted several hundred acres of land on McAlpine and Sugar Creeks and established his home not far from the present town of Pineville – with the Polks, Barnetts, and Smarts among his neighbors. He was appointed an over-seer of roads in 1778.

Ezra served in the Continental Army and saw considerable action during the Revolutionary War. He was an active member of the Committee of Safety and engaged in the battle against the Tories at Ramseur’s Mill. He also fought against them in Lincoln County and arose to Captain of his regiment. He was at the Battle of Hanging Rock and is remembered by history as a patriot and noted soldier.

Upon his death 46 years later on July 6, 1800, he was laid away in the cemetery of the Ezekiel Polk family near Pineville, NC.

This old cemetery, as well as Ezra’s burial place had long been forgotten for 100 years and more at least until one day about 1950 when squirrel hunters discovered it buried deep in the woods near Big Sugar Creek about one mile off the old Pineville Road, seven miles south of Charlotte on land now owned by J.W. Spratt).

Beside him, as if in one grave lay his wife, Mary Polk Alexander, daughter of Ezekiel Polk, his neighbor and friend, but Mary did not pass away until September 6, 1814, age 70 years. The double grave stone is beautifully carved, evidently imported from a Northern stone cutter, and bears in addition to their names, the following inscription

"Farewell, Flesh, with all thy was……

Above the Skies, to see my Father’s throne."

Ezra’s will is dated February 16, 1798 and affords ample proof of his economic success and his prominence in the county. It is on file in the Courthouse, Charlotte, NC Book of Wills A and mentions the following children as heirs: Eleazer, James, Dorcus, Abdon, Augustus, Paris, Redempta and Polly Ann.

Abstract of the Will of Ezra Alexander, Mecklenburg County, NC Book A, page 14 dated 16 Feb 1798 and probated July 1800.

"Being in perfect senses, I give to my wife a bed and furniture, chest, spinning wheel, saddle, $24 annum, dresses and kitchen furniture except a cauldron; to my son Eleazer $60 in the form of a note from him to me; to my son James Alexander, a parcel of land on the east side of Little Sugar Creek; to my daughter Dorcas Alexander $5; to my son James Alexander $60; to my son Augustus all my land adjacent to William Alexander; and to my son Paris Alexander the remainder of my plantation on which I now live. If Augustus fails to convey to Paris all the land held by him within my enclosure and that adjacent to William Alexander, then he shall forfeit to Paris an equal amount bequeathed to him lying most contiguous to my improvements. I give to each of my daughters, Redemption and Polly Ann, a bed and furniture, $250, a spinning wheel and a saddle. Any surplus is to be divided between sons Augustus and Paris. Sons James, Augustus and Paris shall each pay my beloved wife $8 per year as long as she shall live. Executors: son James Alexander and friend Ezekiel Polk. Witnesses: Sam and William Polk."

The inventory of his estate (dated July 30, 1800), an account of the sales of the estate (August 19, 1800) and a map showing division of his lands (October 1800) are to be found in the Department of Archives and History in Raleigh, North Carolina.

On May 22, 1954, the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution unveiled a marker to him in recognition of his services to Mecklenburg County, but placed it beside the grave of his son, Augustus in Sharon Presbyterian Church Cemetery due to the inaccessibility of the Polk Cemetery near the Big Sugar Creek.

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