The Alford American Family Association
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For more information about this family, see AAFA’s published genealogies, Known Descendants of John Alford and Jane McElhattan.
His lineage: Thomas 1802 VA1, William 1775 VA2, Thomas 1736 VA3, John 1696 ?? 4.
1801 VA – 1892 OR
Source: ILLUSTRATED HISTORICAL ATLAS MAP: MARION AND LINN COUNTIES OREGON. San Francisco:, 1878.
Pages 55 & 58:
Was born in Wythe County, Virginia in 1802. His ancestors were Irish, and came to this country prior to the Revolutionary War. They were among the first families in Virginia, and were engaged in the Indian wars, and other troubles of their state. When Mr. Alford was two or three years old, his father died; but his mother continued to live at the old home until he was about 8 years old, when she removed to East Tennessee, where he remained until her death, in 1812. At this time Mr. Alford was 10 years old. He distinctly remembers the war of 1812, the appearance of the soldiers, etc., and often heard canonading forty miles away. During his boyhood he received but little education, but he was worked hard, and is now one of the most successful men in the county. At 19 years of age he went to work for himself. About this time he also married Miss Kesia Cupp, who was born in Virginia in 1802. She was the daughter of Jacob Cupp, who was a prominent man of his time.
In five years after marriage, Mr. A. had accumulated considerable means, and he took up a piece of land, and lived on it five years, when he sold out and bought another and better place, in another county. On this second farm he remained until 1831, meeting with good success. He then sold out and removed to Sheridan County, Missouri, where he remained until the Spring of 1850. In 1842 his wife died. Two years later he married a Mrs. [Polly Williams] Mansfield. While in Missouri he met with his usual success, accumulating a considerable sum.
In 1850 he removed to Oregon, going overland; and was some six months on the road, suffering many hardships. The cholera broke out among them, and many died—among others Mr. Alford’s wife and child.
In the Fall of 1850, he arrived in the Willamette Valley, Oregon. He rented a farm during the first six months. In 1851 he took up the farm which he still owns, and upon which the Village of Liverpool now stands. In the Summer of 1853 he married Miss Emeline Galey.
He occasionally added to his farm, until at one time it comprised about 600 acres of the finest land in Linn County. It lies about four miles northeast of Harrisburg, and has a depot, post-office and school-house on the place.
Mr. Alford is the father of 19 children. The eldest, William, born in Tennessee, in 1822. He now lives about two miles from Harrisburg; Russell, born in Tennessee, in 1824. He resides about three miles north of Harrisburg; Elizabeth, born in Tenn., in 1827; Matilda, born in Tenn., in 1831; Albert, born in Missouri in 1833; Minerva, born in Missouri in 1835; Thomas, born in Mo. in 1839; Lucinda, born in Mo. in 1841; Calvin, born in Mo. in 1846; James, born in Mo. in 1849; George, born in Oregon in 1854; Isaac, born in Oregon in 1856; Sarah, born in 1857; Eliza, in 1859; Delila, born in 1860; Susan, born in 1863.
Mr. Alford has lost six children, three of whom have not been mentioned. One of these died in Missouri, one on the plains, and one in Tennessee, and three in Oregon. His children are all grown,—most of them married and settled near him. Mr. A. is now enjoying well-earned repose, after a long and useful life; and enjoys the respect and esteem of all who know him.