Featured Photo Above: the family of William George James (1832-1908), elder man seated
in center, of Bedford County, Virginia and the great, great, great grandson of David
James (circa 1660-1739). From left to right, William’s son Braxton Leftrich James
(1864-1923) of Fannin County, Texas; daughter-in-law Flora Alice Johnson (1874-1960);
granddaughter Flora Agnes James (1900-1982); granddaughter Vera Blanche James (1892-1989);
grandson Manson Leon ”Cap” James (1902-1974); daughter Alice James (adult woman standing
in back); granddaughter Elizabeth Alice James (1904-1972); grandson William Jackson
“Bill” James (1894-1974); and, grandson Marvin Leftrich James (1895-1969) of Hunt
County, Texas. This photo was taken in 1906 in front of the James family home, a.ka.,
“the old rock house”, located near the town of Trent in Jones County, Texas between
the towns of Abilene and Sweetwater
Welcome to the James Family Archives - a repository of historical, archaeological
and genealogical information pertaining to the family of David James (circa 1660-1739)
and Margaret Jane Mortimer of Llandegley and Glascwm parishes in Radnorshire, Wales.
This particular James family left Bristol, England in August of 1682 on board the
sailing ship Bristol Factorcaptained by Roger Drew and arrived in Upland, present
day Philadelphia on October 28, 1682 with Sir William Penn. In that same year this
family settled lands in the Pennsylvania wilderness outside of Philadelphia forging
William Penn’s vision of a Welsh barony known as the Welsh Tract. During America’s
colonial period following the mass migration of Quakers between 1682 and 1684, the
community settled by the James family would come to be known as Radnor Township,
Pennsylvania. Under the inspiration and leadership of William Penn and his associate
Richard Davies a Welsh colony was built. This site is dedicated to the history of
this James family and its descendants identified in the Genealogy Section.
In James Family Archeology: The Search for the Origins of the James Family of Llandegley
and Glascwm ...
The James Family of Llandegley and Glascwm Parishes of Radnorshire, Wales (1582-1713)
by Larry P. James - An in depth analysis of the work of Archivist R. Morgan of Llandrindod
Wells, the Deeds from the Practice of Messieurs. Green and Nixson of Presteigne &
Knighton; the Parish Registers of Glascwm, Radnorshire; the last will and testament
of David ap Rees ap Jevan Athro; and the work of Joseph Besse’s “Sufferings.” In
this essay the James family is traced back five generations prior to the arrival
of the immigrant David James in Pennsylvania in 1682. Also explored are the direct
paternal ties between the families James, Davies, Rees, Griffith, Lewis and John.
Picture above is of the Welsh countryside in Radnorshire circa 1890 looking from
the castle at New Radnor toward
Scientific Advances in James Family Historical Research:
Read -“What We Have Learned From A Y-DNA Surname Project” by Lee Allyn James of
Olympia, Washington published in the July 2010 edition of the Olympia Genealogical
Society Quarterly. This is an outstanding essay, the culmination of many years research
and scientific analysis. Click on the link above or find Lee’s essay in the Library
Section. If you are interested in learning more from Lee about James family DNA
research please contact our resident geneticist at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take a quiet stroll through the well maintained grounds of our very own virtual
family cemetery maintained by Marty Rutledge of Loveland, Colorado and hosted by
Findagrave.com. To enter, simply click on the image to the right. For internment
of James family relatives please contact our sexton at: email@example.com and
please, mind you step.
Retracing the Gozzaldi Expedition of 1890...
In 1890 Mary Isabella James de Gozzaldi (1852-1935) led the James family on its first
documented return to Wales since the family’s arrival in North America in 1682. An
experienced traveler and devout family historian, Mary led a team of family members
on an expedition back to the original homeland of the James family rooted deep within
the inner recesses of rural Radnorshire, Wales. The Gozzaldi Expedition took along
with it the most advanced and sophisticated technology of the day and captured amazing
images of pre-twentieth century rural Wales including some of the rarest photographs
ever taken of pre-1900 Radnorshire. Her priceless collection of photographic images
taken when the technology was in its infancy are now safely kept at the Brinkler
Library of the Cambridge Historical Society in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Now, for
the first time ever, these priceless photographs taken more than 100 years ago have
been assembled for review by the public and the James family at large with full historical
analysis and pinpoint geographic descriptions thanks to Google Earth. Prepare yourself
for a leap back in time as the James Family Archives proudly presents, the Gozzaldi
Expedition of 1890!
Larry James, Senior Research Historian - Friday, February 19, 2021:
The James Family Archives has scheduled its Virtual Winter Family Meeting via Zoom!
This will be a nationwide gathering of the family over Zoom on Sunday, February 28,
2021, 4PM Pacific Time (7PM Eastern Time - U.S. & Canada). Special guests include
Reverend Joseph DiPaolo, Senior Pastor of Wayne United Methodist Church in Pennsylvania
and David Debelius, Inspector and Owner of AmeriSpec Inspection Services who will
be providing us an update on our ongoing efforts toward the historic preservation
of Radnor United Methodist Church. We will also have reports on fundraising efforts
and special projects being pursued by the James Family Archives. If you wish to receive
an invitation with an online address and passcode, send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the subject box enter, "Me Too." Instructions on how to join our nationwide meeting
will then be sent to you!
Larry James, Senior Research Historian - Monday, February 15, 2021:
Larry James, Senior Research Historian - Tuesday, February 9, 2021:
We have been informed by Sean James of San Antonio, Texas of the passing of his mother,
Laura Jane Lollar James on January 21, 2021. Laura, or “Jane” as she was known by
her immediate family, was born November 25, 1941 in Abilene, Texas to Grover Loyal
Lollar (1911-1977) and Ruth Pauline Merritt (1914-2011). She was also the wife of
the late Carlton Dwayne James (1936-2011) of Trent, Taylor County, Texas. Jane was
a beloved wife and mother. She was very active in her Church and is survived by
her biological son Michael Sean James and her three adopted children, Tamara James
Doty, Shara Joann James Ozuna and Christopher Johnathan James; by her siblings, Gene
Lollar, David Lollar, Sallie O’Carroll and Paul Lollar; by her grandchildren, Ashlynn
Long, Corey, Natalia, and Tiffany James; by her great-grandchildren, Claire, Piper,
and Blake Long; and by her loving family members and friends. Jane’s husband, Carlton
Dwayne James, was the son of Marvin Leftrich James (1895-1969) and Eula Georgia Maynard
(1898-1959). This James family’s genealogy can be located on Page 81 of the Genealogy
Section, Children of Marvin Leftrich James (1895-1969) of Hunt County, Texas and
Eula Georgia Maynard (1898-1959) of Forrester, Terry County, Texas. Laura Jane James”
virtual memorial can be located on the Find-A-Grave website at Memorial ID No. 222518462.
There, members of the family can pay their respects, read her obituary, place virtual
flowers or leave a message.
Larry James, Senior Research Historian - Monday, February 8, 2021:
Steve James, Senior Research Historian - Friday, February 5, 2021:
The lady in the photo that is referred to [on Page 56] as the “mother of George,
Jr. and Noah” is not correct. She is Sarah (James) Tindle (1834-1913). She was the
sister of George, Jr. and Noah. She died at Arcadia, Kansas but is buried with her
husband in Andrew County, Missouri. I am somewhat familiar with [Al McLemore], the
person who has corresponded with you. He is the cousin of Reba Ward whom I corresponded
with many years ago . I am glad we have another cousin who has located the Archives.
Hope everything in going well with you.
Larry James, Senior Research Historian - Friday, February 5, 2021:
Thank you for your letter Al. We am familiar with your line and aware that your
mother, Alice Ann James, was the daughter of Walter William James (1896-1963) of
Mulberry, Crawford County, Kansas. The picture you are referring to is believed
to be that of George Washington James, Jr. (1846-1919), his wife Alice Ann Burcham
(1865-1944) and brother Noah James (1850-1928) standing behind their mother Elizabeth
West. This photo appears on Page 56 of the Genealogy Section in our website under
the Children of George Washington James, Sr. (1812-1864); Elizabeth West of Bedford
County, Virginia; and, Martha Patsy Whoberry (1829-1879) of Mercer County, Kentucky.
It was provided to us by Steve James of Fort Worth, Texas. Based on the period
clothing and the manner in which the four are groomed, we estimate the photo to have
been taken between 1890 and 1900. This means that George is likely to be between
the ages of 44 and 54. Alice is likely to be between the ages of 27 and 37; and
Noah is likely to be between the ages of 40 and 50. Elizabeth is estimated to be
between the ages of 70 and 80. You are correct there is a striking resemblance between
this photo and the photo of Mary Susan (James) Claunch (1836-1905), the older sister
of George Washington James, Jr., appearing on the same page. You raise a very good
question whether the photo of Elizabeth West with her children is, more likely than
not, a photo of Mary Susan Claunch with her younger siblings. You rightly point
out that Elizabeth West is reported to have died circa 1850 before the family reached
Missouri. Furthermore, George Washington James, Sr. had already entered into his
second marriage by 1855 to Martha Patsy Whoberry (1829-1879) of Mercer County, Kentucky.
It's highly unlikely that G.W., Sr. would have brought an ex-wife with him from
Kentucky along with his second wife to Missouri. I will forward your inquiry to
Steve for his opinion. Steve is much more knowledgeable about this side of the family
and the photos in question.
Al McLemore - Edmond, Oklahoma - Thursday, February 4, 2021:
Hello. My mother was Alice Ann James, grandfather was Walter William James, great-grandfather
was George Washington James Jr. While researching my family history, I came across
this photo [Genealogy Section, Page 56] in the James Family Archives. The picture
identifies George Washington James Jr. and Alice Ann Burcham, my great-grandparents.
It also identifies the older woman seated as Elizabeth West, their mother. This
would make her my great-great grandmother. However, my previous research led me
to believe that Elizabeth West died in about 1854 during the family’s move from Virginia
to Missouri. So my question is “how sure are you that the woman pictured is, in
fact, Elizabeth West? (the mother of George Washington James Jr. and the wife of
George Washington James Sr.) Thank you for any help that you can provide. Regards,
Larry James, Senior Research Historian - Wednesday, February 3, 2021:
Thank you Jean for sharing with us the passing of Dorothy Seibel Davidson (1923-2021),
the daughter of Dorothy Dudley Seibel (1896-1989), and the granddaughter of Lena
Thompson James Dudley (1871-1952). Dorothy was born in Hannibal, Missouri on August
14, 1923 to Dorothy Dudley and Frank Seibel. She served during World War II in the
Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) and lived a remarkable life
following the war. Dorothy died in Estero, Lee County, Florida on January 21, 2021
at the age of 97. She was buried at Providence Cemetery in Marion County, Missouri.
Her virtual memorial can be located on the Find-A-Grave website at Memorial ID No.
221502081. There, members of the family can pay their respects, read her obituary,
see her grave and place virtual flowers or leave a message. Dorothy was a descendant
of Major Asa James (1821-1909), Confederate States Army, of Loudoun County, Virginia
and Susan Virginia Clayton (1828-1908) of Marion County, Missouri. She was also
the niece of U.S. Navy Rear Admirals James Rogers Dudley (1898-1993) and Clayton
Rodes Dudley (1904-1995). Her James family genealogy can be traced beginning at
Page 228 of the Genealogy Section of our website under Children of Lena Thompson
James (1871-1952) and Claudius Cabell Dudley (1870-1933) of Marion County, Missouri.
Jean Powers, Senior Research Historian - Sunday, January 31, 2021
Dear RUMGC members, It looks like our best source of written information is Phillip
Manley and probably a trip to Pennsylvania if we can actually see the records. While
I thought I’d have lots of computer time, it looks like it may be March before I
can accomplish much. We lost another James descendant this past week. Dorothy Davidson,
the niece of Rear Admiral James Dudley, passed away at age 97. Due to covid restrictions,
there was just a graveside burial service at a small rural Baptist church cemetery
here in Marion County. In this day and age when families are so scattered, it was
touching to see she was buried within feet of her parents, grandparents and great
grandparents, Asa and Susan Virginia (Clayton) James. P.S. Your newsletter was impressive.
You accomplished a tremendous amount this past year.
Philip Manley, Trustee, Radnor United Methodist Church - Friday, January 29, 2021:
That information exists in three forms: a map, a book, and an index card file.
Larry James, Senior Research Historian - Friday, January 29, 2021:
Thank you Lynn for inquiring with Pastor Jack whether he is aware of a written record
at Radnor UMC of those buried in the graveyard surrounding the Church that corresponds
to the numbered plots on the graveyard map you previously provided us. It was very
kind of Pastor Jack to respond so quickly. From Pastor Jack's reply, it appears
that Philip Manley is in charge of managing the graveyard. If such a record exists,
Philip may know where it is located. I will reach out to Philip. Perhaps he may
be of assistance.
Lynn Ellis, Vice President, Radnor Historical Society - Thursday, January 28, 2021:
Hello, James Family! I think former Pastor Jack Ross would be of great help [locating
records of the graveyard at Radnor UMC] since he was there when there was an active
congregation. Let me know how you make out, Lynn.
Randi Randolph, Senior Research Historian - Thursday, January 28, 2021:
The Gift Shop is well done and the links work perfectly! Thank you for promoting
our James family's creativity. I also would like to promote our family's talents.
I send out email campaigns of up to 200 people, two or three times a month which
has increased my business. I was thinking of doing one email blast each month, just
to promote a James family member and their creations. Every cousin could ask to
be promoted at anytime. I hope the musicians can promote their talents as well, perhaps
with CDs. The interested buyer could be referred to our Gift Shop and to my website
where they can order and pay online. I know from years of experience, there are
many talented people who have no way to market their great creations. This idea
began when our dear cousin, Kathleen Dooley Wolfe, promoted Connie's pies and others.
Wishing you well, dear Cousin. Randi.
Larry James, Senior Research Historian - Thursday, January 28, 2021:
Natalie Belotti - Madera, California - Thursday, January 28, 2021:
Oh my goodness! You have been busy! I read through all the updates in your latest
email. I really appreciate the updated page which includes my great-grandmother,
Marion. It's so fulfilling to see her name and her children's names. My travel plans
just keep getting longer and longer. I also must travel to Radnor Township, Pennsylvania.
This is going to be one amazing road trip! Thank you for all you've done. Your cousin,
Larry James, Senior Research Historian - Wednesday, January 27, 2021:
Last Spring a collection of photos of the Children of Jesse K. James (1814-1896)
were sent to us beginning on April 20, 2020 by David P. Curtis of Dousman, Wisconsin,
the great, great grandson of Evan James (1842-1938) of Washington County, Pennsylvania
and Rebecca Pickering (1789-1848). He inherited a great collection of photographs,
correspondence and documentation through his mother Anne E. (Landis) Curtis who passed
away on March 11, 2020. This material originates from the old Jesse K. James farm
near Lincolnville, Indiana. David has invited anyone in the family who would like
to obtain copies of these old photos or to ask him questions to contact him. Simply
email us and we well forward his address to you.
Randi Randolph, Senior Research Historian - Wednesday, January 27, 2021:
I was so interested in your last update. So informative and I was excited to see
the photo of the family of Jesse K. James. From David and Margaret James, can you
tell me this family's direct lineage? I believe they are fairly close cousins. Thank
you for all that you do. Cousin Randi.
Lynn Ellis, Vice President, Radnor Historical Society - Tuesday, January 26, 2021:
Larry - It's always great to hear from you! I'm so happy with your family's response.
Larry James, Senior Research Historian - Tuesday, January 26, 2021:
Thank you for your positive feedback Steve. That means a lot coming from you. Yesterday
we mailed out our Winter Newsletter & Report including a review of our work over
the past year with some of our goals for 2021. Our James Family Archives newsletters
are free. Anyone who would like to request a copy, simply drop us a line at email@example.com.
In the subject box write “I would like a copy.” It’s that simple.
Steve Brannon, Senior Research Historian @ Carson Archives - Tuesday, January 26,
Larry: Thanks once again for your love for our family history and keeping us informed.
Larry James, Senior Research Historian - Monday, January 25, 2021:
We have just added the historic James Family Proposal for Radnor United Methodist
Church Property In Conjunction with the GAR Museum and Library of Philadelphia dated
October 28, 2020to the Library Section of our website. This historic proposal for
the preservation of Radnor United Methodist Church in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania was
voted upon and signed by 63 members of the James family and submitted to the Board
of Trustees of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church
for their consideration. In response the James family was informed by District Superintendent
for the Southern District, the Reverend Evelyn Kent-Clark that the historical landmark
would not be put up for sale, rather the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference would seek
a way to preserve the historic nature of the Church and the land upon which it rests
that marks the location of the original James family homestead following the arrival
of David and Margaret James with William Penn on October 28, 1682.
Larry James, Senior Research Historian - Saturday, January 23, 2021:
That sounds absolutely wonderful Barbie! Kathleen can be reached by email at Kathleendwolfe@gmail.com.
She will provide you with instructions on how and where to mail in your check. We
will be announcing all contributors for the the month of January at the end of the
month. Thank you so much for your contribution. I would also like to announce that
with the help of Natalie Belotti of Madera, California whom we have been working
with since this past summer, we have uncovered and added the genealogical information
concerning the Children of Mary Ann “Polly Ann” James (1843-1907) of Bedford County,
Virginia & Jasper Newton Terry (1834-1908) of Illinois. Natalie first made contact
with us on July 25, 2020 and has provided the Archives with precious information
and priceless photographs concerning the children of her great, great grandmother
Mary Ann “Polly Ann” James. During this past summer, the following pages were also
added to the Genealogical Section of our family history website:
Barbie James, Senior Research Historian / Archival Custodian - Saturday, January
Hi Larry, I am trying to find an email for Kathleen who is collecting money for the
Radnor church fundraiser. Hope you and you family are well. Best regards.
Larry James, Senior Research Historian - Friday, January 22, 2021:
That is terrific news Kathleen! We raised $225 during the month of December towards
our Friends of Radnor United Methodist Church Fundraiser. This Church marks the location
where our family settled in 1682. It’s preservation as an historic landmark is absolutely
essential to the family. It looks like this month is off to a great start. Thank
you so much cousin Jean Powers for your generous contribution. We are still waiting
on the appraisal of the cost to replace the wood shingle roof of the old historic
Church building. Please remember folks, we have two ways to contribute to the fundraiser.
You can either make an online donation to the fundraiser hosted by PayPal by clicking
the link above, or by sending your check in to Kathleen, our Treasurer who will make
sure in gets added to the pool of money we are assembling.
Kathleen Dooley-Wolfe, Senior Research Historian / Treasurer - Friday, January 22,
Wanted to let you know I received a $100 check from Jean Ellis Powers for our Radnor
Larry James, Senior Research Historian - Tuesday, January 19, 2021:
So pleased to announce the Winter 2021 update to the James Family Archives website!
This is the largest update to the website since it’s inception in 2009. We have
reformatted each page to improve readability and ease of access to supporting documents
and resources. Links have been coded in blue font for ease of location. We have
also expanded our partnership with the Find A Grave website with more links to memorials
of James family ancestors in the Genealogical Section. If you wish to have a message
posted to our blog, simply e-mail your post to firstname.lastname@example.org. In
the subject box write, “Post for J.F.A. Chat.” You are also welcome to attach a
photo of yourself and we will set up an icon next to your name.
Larry James, Senior Research Historian - Sunday, January 17, 2021:
We are kicking off this year with the addition of three new generations of James
family ancestors from the line of Phillip James of John Day, Oregon. I had the chance
to visit Phillip this past October and spent a few wonderful days with his family.
Philip is a descendant of David James (c1660-1739) through his grandson Enoch James
(born 1739) and belongs to the Alabama Line in our particular James family. The
first additions made were children of Phillip’s grandfather, the Children of Robert
James (1906-1968). From there we worked up to the generation of Philip’s great grandfather
with the Children of Elias Golden James (1885-1937) and the generation of his great,
great grandfather, the Children of Robert David James (born 1862). Below you will
find links to these three new generational levels added to our genealogical database:
Joel L. James of Bedford County, Virginia and the Generation that Headed “West”...
In 1849, Joel L. James (1811-1875), the son of the late Jonathan James (1785-1843)
and Polly Bandy of Bedford County, Virginia led three brothers and their families
by covered wagon out of the safety of rural Virginia for the vast and still largely
unexplored North American interior. By this time the James family had resided in
North America six generations, the last four of which in the State of Virginia. The
journey “West” during the great North American migrations of 1849 marked the family’s
first major exodus since leaving Wales in 1682. The great, great grandson of David
James (circa 1660-1739) of Radnorshire, Wales - Joel and the James brothers shared
that same pioneering spirit that thrust their ancestors into the wilderness of Pennsylvania
167 years earlier. Joel was accompanied by his younger brothers George Washington
James (1812-1864) and John James (1814-1863) leaving the youngest brother Jonathan
James to carry on the family’s interests in Bedford County and to look after their
widowed mother. For the next four years the James family wandered through the North
American interior before planting their new roots in Texas. Follow along as we explore
the last great pioneering generation of the James family and its journey half way
across a continent. Joel L. James of Bedford County, Virginia and the Generation
that Headed West.
“A Measure of Grace - Quakers in Radnorshire” by Trevor Macpherson
An insightful look into the culture and history of the Quaker community of Radnorshire,
Wales prior to and following the James family’s immigration to Pennsylvania in 1682.
Written in 1999 for Radnorshire Society Transactions, Trevor Mr. Macpherson’s essay
identifies three separate James family ancestors including: David James of Llandegley
- the Quaker uncle, founding member of the Radnor Meeting at Pales and likely focus
of much of the James family’s religious persecution. Also mentioned is David James
of Glascwm, the “mariner” and nephew of David James of Llandegley, who crossed the
Atlantic to Pennsylvania in August 1682. Margaret James - the Quaker sister of David
James the immigrant is also clearly identified. Mr. Macpherson’s unbiased and exemplary
description of the rise and subsequent decline of the Quaker movement in Radnorshire
from the 17th century through the 19th century provides further insight into the
circumstances and early history of the James family of Glascwm and Llandegley. The
James Family Archives is proud to present: A Measure of Grace - Quakers in Radnorshir
by Trevor Macpherson.
In May of 2012 the James Family Archives made direct contact with Barbara James of
Wilmington North Carolina, the wife of David Bushrod James, III, a direct patrilineal
descendant of Evan James (1715-1794) of Radnor Township, Pennsylvania and David James
(c1660-1739) of Radnorshire, Wales. Barbara revealed that the original James family
founding documents, dating back more than 300 years and spoken of by Isabella Batchelder
James in her 1874 work, “Memorial of Thomas Potts, Junior” were, in fact... still
in existence! Amazingly, these documents are still in the possession of the James
family, handed down nine generations from David James (c1660-1739) to Evan James
(1715-1794) to Griffith James (?-1812) to Isaac James (1777-1874) to David James
(1805-1873) to William Henry James (1841-1893) to David Bushrod James, Sr. (1874-1933)
to David Bushrod James, Jr. (1905-1960) to David Bushrod James, III.
These three historic documents consist of William Penn’s 1682 Grant of Land to Welsh
Settlers including David James signed in July of 1682 in Welshpoole, Wales; the 1704
Confirmation of Land in Radnor Township, Pennsylvania to David Meredith by William
Penn’s Land Commissioners in Philadelphia; and, the 1718 Indenture for Land in Radnor
Township by David Meredith and Rees Prees to David James. All three of these priceless
historic documents predate the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of
the United States of America and formally memorialize the acquisition by David James
(c1660-1739) of 100 acres of land in Radnor Township, Pennsylvania in 1682 and the
acquisition of an adjoining 153 acres in 1718.
After two years of formal transcription and analysis and nearly 300 years of total
obscurity, the James Family Archives is proud to present the James Family Founding
When examining the early history of David James (ca 1660-1739) and the James family
of Pennsylvania between the years 1682 and 1718 one quickly encounters several questions
concerning the family’s early years in the Welsh Tract. For example, if David James
acquired rights in 1682 to the 100 acres of land he would settle in Radnor Township,
Pennsylvania through the purchase of an “indenture” from Richard Davies in Welshpool,
Wales, why then was he compelled to re-purchase this same land in 1718 from David
Meredith at the time he expanded his holdings to 253 acres? Another interesting
question is whether or not David James ever occupied the lands in Radnor Township
his daughter Mary James, as his executrix, disposed of between 1695 and 1702. And
perhaps the most perplexing question of all is why William Penn’s land commissioners
would report David James as dead in 1702?
Although these questions are not specifically answered in the following
essay written by Franklin L. Burns in 1982 for the benefit of the Tredyffrin Easttown
Historical Society, his analysis of the management and distribution of the lands
within the Welsh Tract by William Penn’s land commissioners goes far to help us understand
exactly what was going on in the early days of settlement within the Pennsylvania
wilderness that came to be known as the Welsh Tract. Mr. Burns analysis of the first
three decades within this region clearly demonstrate that many of the first settlers
within the colony, especially the Welsh Quakers, quickly found themselves at odds
with Penn’s surveyors, land commissioners and the speculators who sought to use their
influence to turn a quick profit. Many early settlers found themselves intentionally
and deliberately disenfranchised from their lands as well as the communities they
sought to establish.
David James and his family were, undoubtedly, Welsh Quakers upon their
arrival in Penn’s colony. They were among the very first to settle the wilderness
that would be known as the Welsh Tract and that portion later laid out and identified
as Radnor Township. As such they were required to contend with the evolving religious,
political and financial aspirations of their fellow immigrants as they arrived. The
aspirations of David James and his fellow Welsh Quakers were not always the same
as the land commissioners William Penn left behind to manage his colony after his
departure in 1684. As Mr. Burns’ article vividly describes, many of the prejudices
and politics of the old world quickly crept into the life of the colonists in Penn’s
grand experiment. The James Family Archives is pleased to present: The Welsh Tract
In Pennsylvania Especially in Regard to the Causal Inclusion Therein of Easttown
and Tredyffrin by Franklin Burns.
The Welsh Tract in Pennsylvania Considered Especially in Regard to
The Causal Inclusion Therein of Easttown and Tredyffrin
By Franklin L. Burns
The Colonial History of David James (c.1660-1739) of Radnorshire, Wales
By Larry P. James
For the first time ever... the “story” of David James (c. 1660-1739) of Radnorshire,
Wales is told all the way through, beginning with his arrival in Pennsylvania in
1682, and ending with his passing in 1739. The Colonial History of David James represents
more than thirty years of continuous research and the culmination of the combined
research efforts of multiple James family historians. Never before have all the
obscure and archaic details of the life and times of David James been assembled in
one place setting forth the mosaic of the James family’s first generation in North
America. The James Family Archives is proud to present “Building America” The Colonial
History of David James of Radnorshire Wales.
In the Spring of 2001 a team of James family researchers met in San Antonio, Texas
for the purpose of retracing the line of Joel L. James (1811-1875) who departed Bedford
County, Virginia in 1849 along with his brothers George Washington James (1812-1864)
and John James (1814-1863). Two of those brothers, Joel and John would settle in
north eastern Texas in 1852 while George Washington James would migrate further north
to La Fayette County, Missouri. This intrepid team of James family researchers consisted
of Dwayne James of San Antonio, Texas; Larry James of Sacramento, California; George
Alspaugh of Columbia, Tennessee; Ruth Alspaugh of Columbia, Tennessee; and, Eldon
James of Madera, California. The team crisscrossed the state of Texas working backwards
in time tracing the migrations of the descendents of Joel L. James from their arrival
in the 1850’s, their migration to Fannin County during the 1860’s, the turn south
to Hunt County in the 1870’s and the family’s movement westward to Jones County at
the turn of the century. During the expedition, the team documented many important
points of historical interest including homes and property occupied by the James
family in Texas as well as the tombstones and final resting places of many James
family ancestors. Please join us now as the James Family Archives proudly presents:
The James-Alspaugh Expedition of 2001.
Photo Above: the Lost Line of Enoch, the family of Elias Walter James (1836-1917)
of Pogo, Franklin County, Alabama - Back Row left to right: Daniel Johnson James
(1868-1998) holding rifle, Joe Guyton James (1878-1902), Nancy Catherine “Kate” James
Grissom (1875-1938), Naomi Samantha “Dobe” James George (1880-1933), Marthie Melisey
“Mattie” James Culligan, “Lula” James Thomas, Jennie Burton James (Enoch James’s
daughter), Lula James (nee Grissom).
Front Row left to right: Modena Alice “Dena” James (1883-1969), Elias holding unidentified
grandson, Cynthia Richardson, Cynthia (behind), Nannie, Amos James holding Elmer,
Letha James (back), Mollie James (front), Elias “Shug” James, Thomas Enoch “Tom” James
holding Floy James, Edna James, John James holding Myrtle James, Lillie James and
Bertha James. People in the photograph were identified by Joe Clark James (1896-1985),
son of “Ab” Alfred Clark James; son of Elias and Cynthia but not pictured in the
Elias James fought as part of the valiant Company “E” of the 4th Alabama “Roddey’s”
Calvary, CSA in the War of Northern Aggression. Elias James married Cynthia McGary
Richardson, (b. 4 Mar 1847, d. 18 May 1915). They settled at Pogo, just West of Pleasant
Site, where they resided in a log cabin that had a “beautiful cold water spring”
and a “milk house where milk was kept cool in the running water”. This is at the
base of the Freedom Hills, overlooking the beautiful valley. The buildings are now
gone but the James cemetery is still there, hidden in the woods above where the cabin
once stood. The cabin is the backdrop for the family photograph.
The James Family in...
When the James brothers left Bedford County, Virginia in 1849, the family of George
Washington James (1812-1864) including his son James W. James (1837-1897), to the
left, headed west to the Missouri-Kansas border lands. Little did they know that
their arrival in 1852 would place them directly in the heart of the most brutal and
bloody pre-Civil War conflict in American history. Confronted with the Missouri-Kansas
Border War of 1854, the James family was forced to contend with renegade Indians,
Jayhawkers, Secessionists and Bushwhackers in a brutal fight for survival. Dark
legends swirl around this tumultuous period that became a precursor to the Civil
War. Tales of daring raids, betrayal and revenge abound. Much of this dark history
in the James family has been locked away for over 100 years, but dark takes refuse
to die. After many careful years of research, the historians at the James Family
Archives have carefully sifted through the facts and the fiction to bring you this
account. Caution! You may find what your are about to read very disturbing. So
be careful where you tread and whom you cross as you join the James Family in...
There is a legend in the James family of an orphaned son, a rebel, a misfit who was
among the first of his family to depart the Colony of Pennsylvania following the
family’s arrival in 1682. Where he went has remained a mystery for over 200 years.
This orphaned boy, the first son of the first son, has remained something of an
enigma in the annals of James family history. Not until the recent advent of genetic
research has anyone been able to trace the path of this elusive James family ancestor
or his progeny. For more than two centuries our family has been searching for….
Found! James Family’s Certificate of Removal from the Radnorshire Men’s Monthly
Meeting dated July 20, 1683:
Following the arrival of David James (circa 1660-1739) and Margaret Jane Mortimer
from Llandegley and Glascwm parishes of Radnorshire, Wales with Sir William Penn
on October 28, 1682, the James family was in need of a letter of reference, a record
of good standing from the community in Wales from where they had come. This document
was essential in order for the family to be officially accepted into the community
of Quakers who settled Radnor Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania originally known
as the “Welsh Tract.”
Because of their haste at the time of their departure, the James family was unable
to secure their “certificate of removal” before their departure from Wales in the
Fall of 1682. After their arrival in Pennsylvania a request was made to the Men's
Monthly Meeting of Quakers in Radnorshire, Wales to have a “Certificate of Removal”
prepared and sent to them in the Colony of Pennsylvania. It took eleven months for
the request to reach Wales and for the certificate to be prepared and returned to
David James in Pennsylvania.
The Certificate of Removal contained vital statistical information pinpointing where
the James family came from, the date of their arrival in Pennsylvania and their membership
in Religious Society of Friends. An actual image of this record as recorded in the
Records of the Haverford Monthly Meeting has finally been uncovered and can be found
here: The James Family’s Certificate of Removal dated July 20, 1683.
In February 2008 James family historian Lee Allyn James of Olympia, Washington
began tracking the results of the James Family Y-DNA Surname Project sponsored by
Family Tree DNA Labs. This research tracks the genetic patrilineal descendants of
various men with the surname “James” from David James (circa 1660-1739) of Llandegley
and Glascwm parishes of Radnorshire, Wales who immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1682.
In July 2010, Lee published his findings in the Olympia Genealogical Society Quarterly,
Volume XXXVI, No. 3 at pages 6-13 in an article entitled, “What We Have Learned From
a Y-DNA Surname Project.” The chart below represents the fruit of this scientific
research and those men, identified by their DNA Kit Number, who have been determined
to be male genetic descendants of David James. These men considered to be part of
the R1B/R-1M269 Y-DNA Halogroup for purposes of tracking human migration over the
centuries. These men also share the same Y-DNA chromosome inherited from their father
with a difference of four or fewer “mutations” in their genetic markers. The interactive
chart below includes a link to the genealogy of these men and represents the most
up to date results of the ongoing James family Y-DNA research begun by Lee and documented
within the James Family Archives.
JAMES FAMILY BIBLE DISCOVERED!: On September 27, 2017 Family Historian Steve James
of Fort Worth, Texas made contact with Jeffrey Negus of Blue Springs, Missouri. Mr.
Negus, provided Steve with information concerning our family’s ancestry that had
been handed down to him by his mother Violet Nadine (Julian) Negus (1929-2013), who
had received it from her mother Hazel Juanita (Claunch) Julian (1894-1968), who had
received it from her father George Washington Claunch (1867-1929), who had received
it from his mother Mary Susan James (1836-1905) of Bedford County, Virginia who married
John J. Claunch (1836-1877) in Johnson County, Missouri. According to Mr. Negus,
the information in his possession was originally recorded in a “very old” James/Claunch
family Bible. The following historic information was extracted from the James/Claunch
· The father of David James was Thomas;
· David James married Margaret Jane Mortimer on November 27, 1680 at Radnorshire,
· Margaret Mortimer was the daughter of Edward Mortimer (1631-1704);
· Edward Mortimer was born in Fyfield, Witltshire, England near Mrlborogh;
· Edward Mortimer married Catherine Houston in 1658 in Yatesbury, Wiltshire, England.
· Edward Mortimer died on November 2, 1704 at Wiltshire;
· Catherine (Houston) Mortimer died in 1702 in Philadelphia at age 62;
· Sarah Henderson, the second wife of Thomas James (1690-1753) and the daughter of
Alexander and Jane Henderson died on November 9, 1800 in Pennsylvania;
· Alexander Henderson was born in 1696 in Scotland and died in 1771 in Pennsylvania
at age 75;
· Jane Henderson died November 25, 1775 at age 78;
· The parents of Alexander Henderson were John Henderson, born April 12, 1660 at
Dunfemline, Fife, Scotland;
· John Henderson married Janet Bairdie in 1682.
· John Henderson died April 25, 1746 in Dunfemline, Fife, Scotland;
· The father of John Henderson was John Henderson born October 17, 1626 at Glasgow,
· John Henderson, Sr. married Margaret Hamilton in 1653;
· Margaret Hamilton was born in 1635 in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland and died there
on March 28, 1671;
· John Henderson, Sr. died January 26, 1683 at Fife, Scotland.
Here at the Archives we are tremendously excited about this treasure-trove of historical
information provided to us by Jeffrey Negus. Not only does the information expand
our knowledge of the family prior to its immigration to Pennsylvania, it also independently
confirms much of the research that has taken place over the past 30 years. With
these records we have confirmation that David James of Glascwm and Llandegley, Radnorshire,
Wales was the son of Thomas ap James ap David of Llandegley Parish as previously
identified in the Records of Mssrs. Green & Nixon. We are also able to now trace
the genealogy of David’s wife Margaret Mortimer back to Edward Mortimer (1631-1704)
of Wiltshire, England.
Bushrod Washington James, A.M., M.D. (1836-1903)the great, great, great grandson
of David James (circa 1660-1739) of Radnorshire, Wales was an American surgeon, writer
and philanthropist who lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Bushrod graduated from
medical school in 1857 and served as president of the Homeopathic Medical Society
of Pennsylvania. He bequeathed properties in Philadelphia to establish the Washington
James Eye and Ear Institute, a free hospital for the treatment of diseases of the
eyes, throat, and lungs. Bushrod was a volunteer surgeon at the battles of Antietam
and Gettysburg during the Civil War. He donated three houses, books, jewels and
relics to the establishment of a library for children and the elderly that eventually
became the Bushrod Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia. Bushrod also donated
land to the city of Oakland, California for the establishment of Bushrod Park and
land in Coronado, California for the establishment of the Bushrod Washington James
Institute. See Bushrod’s life story in the Library Section under biographies.
The photograph below was presented to the James Family Archives during the Summer
of 2020 by David P. Curtis of Dousman, Wisconsin. It is believed to have been taken
circa 1910 on the occasion of a reunion of the descendants of Jesse K. James (1814-1896)
and Mary Elizabeth (Harvey) James (1813-1900) of Jefferson County, Ohio. David Curtis
is the great, great grandson of Evan James (1842-1938), the son of Jesse K. James.
Evan is the bearded elderly gentleman with his grandchild, Ruth E. Tweedy (1906-1970),
seated on his lap appearing fourth row down and in the fourth position from the right.
The elderly man seated directly to the right of Evan is his brother David Ridgeway
James (1847-1930). The couple in the third row down, second and third position from
the right appear to be Mary Pearl (James) Tweedy (1873-1961) and her husband Allen
Luther Tweedy (1870-1942). There are approximately 77 individuals in this photo.
Here at the Archives we are endeavoring to identify as many as possible. If there
is a family member in this photo you recognize, do not hesitate to contact us at
“NEW” - Friends of Radnor United Methodist Church Fundraiser
We are pleased to announce the James Family Archives has launched a fundraiser
for the historic preservation of Radnor United Methodist Church in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.
“Radnor UMC” was originally founded in October of 1783 when the land upon which
our ancestors David and Margaret James settled in 1682 was donated for the purpose
of building a Methodist Church. The current Church standing on the site was constructed
in 1833. It is the second oldest Methodist Church in the United States and in need
of repair to protect its historic integrity. We are reaching out to members of the
James family, friends, fellow supporters of the Church and historic preservationists
everywhere to help us save this historic landmark. Won’t you please consider partnering
with us and making a donation. Simply click on our PayPal fundraiser link: “Friends
of Radnor United Methodist Church” or, mail a check to our Treasurer, Kathleen Dooley-Wolfe,
at 1055 Chinquapin Hill Road in Vinton, Virginia 24179. If you choose to donate
by check, please be sure to make your check payable to “Kathleen Dooley-Wolfe.” In
the memo line write “FRUMC Fundraiser.” Radnor United Methodist Church represents
the oldest and longest legacy (“238 years”) of the James family in North America.
With everyone pitching in we can save this historic landmark for generations to come.