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Alexander Fleming (abt. 1612 - bef. 1668)

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Capt. Alexander Fleming
Born about [location unknown]
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married in Glasgow, Lanark, Scotlandmap
Husband of — married [location unknown]
Husband of — married in Virginiamap
Husband of — married [location unknown]
Died before in Old Rappahannock County, Virginia, USAmap
29 April 2016
05:24: Carrie Quackenbush edited the Biography and Locked Status for Alexander Fleming. (adding ppp and linking to the current free version of the Paynes book, for quick reference) [Thank Carrie for this | 1 thank-you received]
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Uncertain Origin

It has been supposed that Alexander Fleming was the son of John Fleming, 2nd Earl of Wigtown. However:

No evidence has ever been found that links Capt. Alexander Fleming with the Earls of Wigton.[1]

It appears that Alexander Fleming, younger son of the 2nd Earl of Wigton, together with a large family party (including Alexander's brother John, the future 3rd Earl of Wigton) in 1629 became burgesses in Glasgow. Then we find Alexander Fleming, merchant and burgess and guild brother in 1646, gaining this privilege upon his marriage to the daughter of a deceased guild brother. This would appear to be the same as the Alexander Fleming, merchant burgess, who died in 1666.[2]

Thus it seems that Alexander Fleming of Glasgow couldn't have been the same as the Alexander Fleming who emigrated to Virginia in 1649.



Date: ABT 1612
Place: Lanark, Scotland[3]


Husband: Alexander Fleming
Wife: Elizabeth (Elspet) Anderson
Child: Elspet Fleming
Child: Margaret Fleming
Child: Mareone (Marion) Fleming
Date: 6 Dec 1643, Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland
Husband: Alexander Fleming
Wife: Ursula UNKNOWN, widow of John Brown(e)
Child: Ursula Fleming
Date: BET 1656 AND 11 AUG 1659
Note: Ursula was a widow in 1656. She signed deed as Alexander's wife 11 Aug 1659[5]
Husband: Alexander Fleming
Wife: Elizabeth Madestard
Child: Alexia Fleming
Date: before 5 Feb 1660/61 deed (Rapp. Co. DB 2, pp. 176, 268)[6]
Husband: Alexander Fleming
Wife: Joyce Jones
Child: Elizabeth Fleming
Date: between July 1666 and Sept 1667
Note: [7]
Possible parents
Husband: John Fleming
Wife: Margaret Livingston
Marriage Date: EST 1609[8]


Date: 13 MAR 1669
Place: Old Rappahannock County, Virginia

Land Transactions

250 acres being part of a marsh called Parretts Marsh, on N. side of Rappahannock River, bounded on SE with a creek opposite Pages land & NE with Colemans thickett. Transport of 5 persons: Jno. Wright, Margarett Edderman, Finniel Danah (?), Jno. Mill. Phillip Pascall[9]
Alexander Fleming, merchant, was admitted a Burgess and Guild Brother, 2 April l646, as having married Elspeth, lawful daughter to the dec. William Anderson, merchant. (Scottish Record Society 56:118) William Anderson, cordiner, became a Guild Brother, as the son of a Guild Brother 22 Mar. 1610. (Ibid., p. 39.)
650 acres to Mr. Alex: Fleming on the north side of the Rappahannock River. 250 acres being called Yarretts Marsh, adj. Colmans Thickett; the latter lieing between the S. side of Silvester Thetchers Creek & N. end of the land whereon the said Fleming now liveth. Transport of 8 persons: Tho. Stone, Jno. Mason, Wm. Taylour, Eliz Weekes, Ann Stokes, Roger Reeves, Roger Read, Wm Jones. 1 June 1691 Rowland and Elizabeth Thornton sold 100 acres she inherited which may be part of this tract.[10]
280 acres to Mr. Alexander Fleming in the freshes of Rappahannock River beginning neere land formerly called Yarratts Land, etc. Granted to Walter Dickeson 6 Sept 1651 (or 1654) & after severall sales &c. sold by Jno. Barrow to said Fleming. See also John Barrow's patent 13 Nov 1662 with a description "the first mentioned tract granted to Walter Dickenson, 6 Sept 1654, & sold to Alexander Fleming who assigned to said Barrow..."[11]
800 acres on N. side and within the freshes of Rappahannock River beginning next to land of Wm. Yarrett, extending ESE & E by S along the river to an oak dividing this & land surveyed for Toby Smith &c. Granted to Walter Dickeson 6 Sept 1654 & by John Merredith, hit Atty, sold to said Fleming.[12]
250 acres to Capt. Alexander Fleming on the N. side of the Rappahannock River above the plantation of Mr. Wm. Smart.[13]
300 acres to Capt. Alexander Fleming on the S. side of Rappahannock River on the upper side of the Cod of the bay opposite to a poynt between Nanzemond & Nansatequond towne, adj. upon the NW with Cedars Creek which divides this & land of John Gillett &c.[14]
2750 acres in the freshes of Rappahannock Co., S. side the river, about 2 mi. up Pwomansend Creek &c. crossing severall paths to Nanzatico &c. to land of Will White, to Mr. Robt. Paine &c. to maine run of Porobacco Cr. over severall pathes to Nanzaticon, thence on maine run of Powmansend &c. Transport of 55 persons. The same land was granted to Arthur Spicer on 29 Apr 1693 with a notation that it had been granted to Alexander Fleming and deserted[15]
200 acres to Capt. Alexander Fleming on S. side of Rappa. Co. & in the freshes, beg. at land formerly Walter Dickenson's, adj. Lt. Coll. Toby Smith, with land of Mr. Jno. Hull, nere the Road &c. Transport of 4 persons.[16]
560 acres to Capt. Alexander Fleming in the freshes of Rappa. Co. about 2 mi. from the river. Beg. at Cockill Creek with issues into Mr. Lucas' Creek, adj. Mr. Beth Gilson & Mrs. Robert Paine. Transport of 12 persons. On 3 Nov 1673 the same land was granted to Lt. Coll. Jno. Washington with the notation that Fleming had sold the land to Elizabeth Hoskins and she had deserted it. Still later on 20 April 1694, Capt. John Battaile & Mr. Francis Meriwether patented the same land described as granted Capt. Alexander Fleming, deserted & now granted by order.[17]
Alexander had, with his brother William, a dispensation from their father and brother of the annual rents effeiring to the principal sums of 10,000 merks payable from the lands of Harbertshire, Denny, and Catscleuch[18]

Lack of Evidence for Connection to Earls of Wigton

"The early Flemings in Virginia are very confusing and there is scant documentation to help. Sir Thomas didn't exist, Capt. Alexander may or may not have been the second son of the Earl of Wigton, John may have been kin to Alexander, and Charles was probably kin to John but we don't know what the relationship was. The legend of Sir Thomas Fleming in Virginia was started by R. A. Brock in a column he wrote for the Richmond Standard 7 Feb 1880. Brock's misinformation was debunked as early as 1902 in the William and Mary Quarterly. Unfortunately, the same misinformation continues to be repeated with no evidence to support it. There is no record of a Thomas Fleming in Virginia.

The second son of John, 7th Lord Fleming and 2nd Earl of Wigton, and his wife, Margaret Livingston, was Alexander. According to the Scots Peerage, Alexander was born about 1612.

A marriage contract was signed between Alexander Fleming and Elspet Anderson 6 Dec 1643. The baptisms of three daughters of this couple are recorded in Scotland's Old Parish Registers: Margaret 13 Sept 1644, Elspet 4 Sep 1645, Mareone (Marion) 20 Feb 1648.

Alexander is often said to be the same person as Capt. Alexander Fleming of Old Rappahannock County, Virginia although I have never found anything to verify that. There is no mention whatsoever of Elspet or the three daughters in Virginia records.

Capt. Alexander married three times in Virginia and had a daughter with each wife. First Ursula, widow of John Brown(e), with whom he had Ursula, born about 1657. Next he married Elizabeth Madestard, widow of both Epaphroditus Lawson and William Clapham. They had Alexia born about 1663. Last he married Joyce Jones, widow of Anthony Hoskins. They had Elizabeth, born 1668. Extensive details of these marriages is in an article by Lenora Higginbotham Sweeny titled "Captain Alexander Fleming and Joyce, His Wife" (Vol. XXXIII, No. 3, July, 1939, of Americana, The Quarterly Historical Magazine).

Capt. Alexander died by 13 Mar 1668 when his will was probated in Old Rappahannock County (the will does not survive). He did leave many records but there is never any mention of a son.

John Fleming appears when he was granted a patent on 28 Feb 1658 for 250 acres in New Kent County (Patent Book 4, p. 254). Although there are exceptions, a man had to be 21 in order to take out a patent. If John was in fact 21, he must have been born before 1637 or at least six years before the marriage contract between Alexander Fleming and Elspet Anderson.

The baptisms of two of John's children are recorded in Charles Parish, York County. They are Lidia, daughter by Mercy bap. 30 Oct 1679 and John, son by Mary bap. 14 April 1683. There is nothing to tell us whether or not Mercy and Mary were the same person.

An interesting question is what went on in John's life between 1658 and 1679? Did he have other wives and children?

Charles Fleming was very probably related to John Fleming but we don't know if he was a son, brother, nephew or some other relation. Charles is usually said to be John's son. They lived on adjacent land and Charles took up a patent which had first been granted to John."


  • Archibald Bennett, Finding your Forefathers in America (1957), 120-133
  • Source: SOPR Old Parish Registers (Scotland), Alexr. Flemyng and Elspet Andersone, FHL film 0102924, 0919484.
  • Source: S149 The Paynes of Virginia, 2nd edition Payne, Brook. C. J. Carrier Copmany, Harrisonburg, VA, 1977.
  • Cokayne, George Edward. The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, vols. I-XII St. Catherine Press Ltd., London, 1910-1959
  • Source: S205 Cavaliers and Pioneers Nugent, Nell Marion. Virginia State Library and Archives, Richmond, VA, reprint 1992
  2. These snippets are presented at Fleming Family Traditions Tested, which tries to suppose that the Alexander Fleming who died in Glasgow was the uncle of Alexander Fleming of Virginia.
  3. Cokayne, vol 8, p. 550
  4. Source: #SOPR Old Parish Registers (Scotland), Alexr. Flemyng and Elspet Andersone, FHL film 0102924, 0919484
  5. Source: #S149 pp. 51-52
  6. Source: #S149 pp. 51-52
  7. Source: #S149 pp. 51-52
  8. Cokayne, XII p. 637
  9. Source: #S205 Vol 1, p. 384
  10. Source: #S205 Vol 1, p. 419
  11. Source: #S205 Vol 1, p. 424, 431
  12. Source: #S205 Vol 1, p. 503
  13. Source: #S205 Vol 1, p. 518
  14. Source: #S205 Vol 1, p. 519
  15. Source: #S205 Vol 2, p. 18, 382
  16. Source: #S205 Vol 2, p. 7
  17. Source: #S205 Vol 2, p. 47, 48, 392
  18. Cokayne, vol 8, p. 550


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On February 28, 2013 at 04:24GMT Mary Elizabeth Stewart wrote:

Joyce Jones and Joyce Hoskins are the same person. She was a daughter of William Jones of Accomack County, Virginia and married first, Anthony Hoskins. She was Hoskins' widow when she married Alexander Fleming about 1667. After his death, she married Lawrence Washington and last, James Yates. ~~~~

Alexander is 21 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 19 degrees from AJ Jacobs, 29 degrees from Gene Kelly, 28 degrees from Bram Stoker and 15 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II of the Commonwealth Realms on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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