Alexander Biles1

M, #3452, b. circa 1720
Last Edited: 5 Sep 2014

Family:

Children:

Notes

  • Note*: There were two, three, four or five persons named Alexander Biles in Hunterdon County, New Jersey from the 1690s to at least 1782. See a list of these persons and a list of events for this name, listed in this database under Alexander Biles, the son of Charles Biles (1665-~1696) and Sarah Wood (~1670-1731). Some of those listed events could pertain to this Alexander Biles, the said father of brothers William and Alexander.

    The identity and parentage of this Alexander Biles is unknown. He could be the same person as Alexander Biles, the son of Charles Biles (1665-~1696) and Sarah Wood (~1670-1731). Or he could be a son of Charles' and Sarah's son Alexander (see John A. Biles' theory below).

    This Alexander Biles is identified as the father of brothers William and Alexander. But in addition, he possibly could have been the same person as the Alexander Biles whose daughter Sarah married Thomas Biggs.
  • Note: Thomas Jefferson Biles in 1883 told family researcher John A. Biles the following: His father had died in 1814 when he was ten years old and that he was sent to live with his grandfather William Biles who was born about 1740 and had married Mary Updike about 1765-1770. His grandfather William had one brother Alexander, who had only one daughter Martha, who married William Anthony. His grandfather William's father was Alexander Biles, born "1700 to 1720" at Maidenhead New Jersey. Thomas Jefferson Biles said that his grandfather William, when a boy had lived with his grandfather, whose name was not remembered or not reported to John A. Biles with certainty.

    Researcher John A. Biles presented his theory in a letter to Warren Eli: "My theory that Thos J's [Thomas Jefferson Biles'] grandfather William was a grandson of Charles Biles' son Alex mentioned in wife Sarah's will, and not a son as he would then be near 50 years old, yet it would be possible with a younger wife. It is certain that there was two generations between William (Thos J's gr father) and the first Charles, for Thos J's grandfather (Wm) could not have lived with Charles as a grandfather who died over 40 years before Wm was born. I believe a solution will be found someway."

    John A. Biles theory hangs on his own recollection 44 years later of a single interview with a 79 year old man relating his recollection of a childhood conversation with his grandfather. John A. Biles did not regard that as conclusive evidence.4
  • Note: The compiler of this database looked at the feasibility of this Alexander being either the son or the grandson of Charles and Sarah Biles from the constraints of known dates. We know the dates of Charles Biles' birth, 1665, and probate, 1696, and of William Biles' marriage to Mary OpDyke, 1768, and the birth of Martha Biles Anthony's daughter Catherine, 1786.

    For John A. Biles theory to be correct, that is, that William is the great grandson of Charles, remarkably many people had children at young ages for the period: Say Charles at age 28 has second son Alexander in 1693, who at age 25 has son Alexander in 1718, who at ages 25 and 26 in 1744 and 1745 has sons Alexander and William; William marries at age 23 in 1768, and his brother Alexander, at age 22 in 1767, has daughter Martha, who at age 19 in 1786 has daughter Catherine.

    For the alternative theory that William is the grandson of Charles, then remarkably many people had children at older ages: Say Charles at age 31 in 1696 has fourth child Alexander, who at ages 35 and 36 in 1731 and 1732 has sons Alexander and William; William at age 34 marries in 1768, and brother Alexander at age 32 to 35 in 1764 to 1767 has daughter Martha, who at age 19 to 22 in 1786 has daughter Catherine.

    Neither alternative theory is clearly more likely, nor disproven.

Citations

  1. [S254] Letters from John A. Biles (1858-1929), Wyalusing, Penn. to Warren S. Ely, dated 4 April 1927 & 9 May 1927, relating conversations he had 22 Feb 1883 with brothers Thomas Jefferson Biles, Israel Biles and Charles Biles, residents of Trenton New Jersey. The letters are contained in the section entitled "Biles and allied families of Tindall", from the "Ely Collection, by Warren S. and Josephine I. Ely", call number "FC Bi", at Historical Society of Pennsylvania. See key note under Thomas Jefferson Biles., April 4, p. 2, and April 9, p. 1.
  2. [S254] Letters from John A. Biles (1858-1929), Wyalusing, Penn. to Warren S. Ely, dated 4 April 1927 & 9 May 1927, relating conversations he had 22 Feb 1883 with brothers Thomas Jefferson Biles, Israel Biles and Charles Biles, residents of Trenton New Jersey. The letters are contained in the section entitled "Biles and allied families of Tindall", from the "Ely Collection, by Warren S. and Josephine I. Ely", call number "FC Bi", at Historical Society of Pennsylvania. See key note under Thomas Jefferson Biles., April 9, p. 1.
  3. [S254] Letters from John A. Biles (1858-1929), Wyalusing, Penn. to Warren S. Ely, dated 4 April 1927 & 9 May 1927, relating conversations he had 22 Feb 1883 with brothers Thomas Jefferson Biles, Israel Biles and Charles Biles, residents of Trenton New Jersey. The letters are contained in the section entitled "Biles and allied families of Tindall", from the "Ely Collection, by Warren S. and Josephine I. Ely", call number "FC Bi", at Historical Society of Pennsylvania. See key note under Thomas Jefferson Biles., April 4, p. 2.
  4. [S254] Letters from John A. Biles (1858-1929), Wyalusing, Penn. to Warren S. Ely, dated 4 April 1927 & 9 May 1927, relating conversations he had 22 Feb 1883 with brothers Thomas Jefferson Biles, Israel Biles and Charles Biles, residents of Trenton New Jersey. The letters are contained in the section entitled "Biles and allied families of Tindall", from the "Ely Collection, by Warren S. and Josephine I. Ely", call number "FC Bi", at Historical Society of Pennsylvania. See key note under Thomas Jefferson Biles.