The Walker family of Alexandria

By Chris Clark -- revised March 27, 2002
[see also W.R.Clark story]

Our Walker forebears arrived in Virginia before 1800. James Walker, an Alexandria shoemaker, is our first known Walker ancestor. His parents were foreign-born, most likely Scottish. James and his wife, Catharine had five sons, all shoemakers, and two daughters. The Walkers were either Methodists or Presbyterians, and one of the sons, Ethelbert, served in the Confederate army.

Scottish settlers founded Alexandria in the mid-1700s. As early as 1791, the city directory includes “Henry Walker, schoolmaster.” Between 1801 and 1847 the city was part of the District of Columbia. During part of that time Alexandria was home to Walker and Edison, a business that made boots and shoes. Perhaps it is more than just a humorous coincidence that so many Walkers made shoes. When Virginia seceded at the beginning of the Civil War, Union troops took possession of Alexandria. The city birthplace of Robert E. Lee, was physically spared but economically devastated by the war.

Levin Walker was born about 1832, the youngest son of James and Catharine Walker. Another Levin Walker lived in Alexandria earlier; he may have been James Walker's brother.* On May 3, 1853, our Levin married Virginia Luziere, the adopted daughter of Helen Gary Gallet. Virginia was born in South Carolina about 1836. Levin died August 18, 1864, and Virginia must have died close to that time, because on July 3, 1866 their four surviving children became the wards of Levin's prosperous brother, Andrew.

On July 18, 1865 Andrew J. Walker married Jane Beard of Charles County, Maryland, and during the 1870s and 1880s the family lived in the Harris Lot area of that county. Andrew was active in county politics and had a liquor license for a business in Jacksonville, on the west side of the county.

Virginia Camilla Walker (photo at left), was born October 23, 1860 in Alexandria, the youngest child of Levin and Virginia. She married William Randall Clark on December 27, 1881 at Christ Church, Wayside, Maryland. Virginia's uncle Andrew died in 1882, and ten years later she named her second son Andrew Jackson Clark. Virginia's older sister, Aradenia, married William Simpson; they lived in Charles County and had six children. We do not know what happened to the other Walker children.

William and Virginia took up residence in Newburg, and after 1889 moved to La Plata. They had seven children, including my grandfather, William H. Clark, Sr.. Virginia Walker Clark died of a stroke on July 18, 1929. She is buried in La Plata with her husband and four of their children at Mount Rest Cemetery.

*Yet another Levin Walker from Virginia was a Revolutionary War sailor who reached the rank of captain in the navy. In 1781 he carried a letter to Thomas Jefferson, who was at that time governor of Virginia