James Family Archives

 

•  Researching the Past

•  Education for the Present

•  Preservation for the Future

 

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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 fled Wales in the Summer of 1682 because of religious persecution due to their membership in the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and left Bristol, England in August of that same year on board the sailing ship Bristol Factor captained by Roger Drew.  Following a two-month voyage at sea across the Atlantic Ocean they arrived in Upland, present day Philadelphia on October 28, 1682 with Sir William Penn.  In that same year David and Margaret 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 this James family would come to be known as Radnor Township. Under the inspiration and leadership of William Penn and his associate Richard Davies a Welsh colony was built.  The James Family Archives website is dedicated to the history of this James family and their descendants identified in the Genealogy Section.

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The James Family of Radnorshire, Wales

339 Years in North America!

October 28, 1682 - October 28, 2021

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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  Whimble Mountain (Elevation 1800 feet).

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Scientific Advances in James Family Genetic Historical Research

 

In the Summer of 2010, Lee Allyn James of Olympia, Washington published his findings of the ongoing genetic research of the male descendants of David James (c1660-1739) of Radnorshire, Wales who immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1682, through the James Y-DNA Surname Project hosted by Family Tree Labs.  Lee’s essay was published in the July 2010 edition of the Olympia Genealogical Society Quarterly and analyzed the Y-DNA test results of over a dozen different known and suspected male descendants of David James. Lee’s work confirmed many of the known genealogical lines and identified previously lost lines of the family.  It also refuted errors in the family’s history that had developed since the late 1970’s. “What We Have Learned From A Y-DNA Surname Project”  

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The James Family  Virtual Cemetery by Find-A-Grave

 

Take a quiet stroll through the well maintained grounds of our very own virtual cemetery maintained by our family sexton, Marty Rutledge of Loveland, Colorado, hosted by Findagrave.com. Here you will find memorials to over 300 confirmed members of the James family, many containing images of their tombstones and precise biographical information. As with all cemeteries we ask that you be respectful, leave a few virtual flowers and please, mind you step. The James Family Virtual Cemetery.

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James Family Archives News and Developments

wp311dfba0.png Larry James, Senior Research Historian - Friday, July 16, 2021:

We have just identified a fourth Revolutionary War ancestor in the James Family - Griffith James, born in the late 1730’s in Radnor Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania to Evan James (1715-1794) and Margaret Jones (-1790), Griffith was reportedly a signatory to the “Association Test” in 1779.  As such, Griffith was given the designation of “Patriotic Service” by the Daughters of the American Revolution (“DAR”) in 1909 and assigned Ancestor No. A061503 in their official registry. The Association Test began in New Hampshire in 1773. It was a boycott designed to cripple commerce between the American Colonies and the British Empire. By the time of the Revolutionary War, Great Britain had become dependent on the Colonies for high quality raw materials such as pig iron. Signatories to the Association Test agreed to engage in economic warfare against the British Empire until independence was achieved. The Association Test also served as a declaration of loyalty to the American cause. Among those prominent founding fathers who were also signatories to the Association Test include George Washington, John Adams, and Peyton Rudolph, who was President of the First Congress. This information was provided to the DAR by James family historian, Mrs. Mary Isabelle James de Gozzaldi (1852-1935), pictured on the right, in 1909 at the time of her application for membership (National No. 26432).  Mary was the daughter of Dr. Thomas Potts James (1803-1882), the granddaughter of Rev. Dr. Isaac James (1777-1874), and the great granddaughter of Griffith James. Mary’s lineage and Griffith’s participation in the Revolutionary War are recorded on Page 159 of the Lineage Book of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Volume 27, published in Washington, D.C. in 1909.

wp311dfba0.png Larry James, Senior Research Historian - Friday, May 14, 2021:

Eureka, they found it!  As reported in the Powys County Times on May 12, 2021, in a report prepared by Jack Butler entitled, “Rare Manuscript Purchased by Powys County Council,” the 1682 indenture of Margaret James of Newchurch, Radnorshire, Wales for 200 acres of land in the Welsh Tract of Pennsylvania that would later come to be known as Radnor Township of Chester County was recently acquired by the Powys County Council.  Margaret James, spinster and sister of David James (circa 1669-1739) of Glascwm and Llandegley parishes in Radnorshire, purchased rights to 200 acres of Pennsylvania wilderness from William Penn through his land agent, Richard Davies.  Within a week of this purchase, Margaret James would marry Samuel Miles and then follow her brother David James and his wife Margaret Jane Mortimer in the Fall of 1682 to the New World, arriving on October 28 of that same year at Philadelphia together with William Penn.  The James Family Archives is now pursuing a high resolution, archival photograph of this document to add to our collection above.  Thank you David Rees for bringing this discovery to our attention!

wp311dfba0.png Larry James, Senior Research Historian - Sunday, April 25, 2021:

Thanks to the help of Patrice McCullough Thomas of Benbrook, Texas, we have just added a new page entitled, “Children of Laura Elizabeth James (1847-1917) of Elbert County, Georgia and Ruben McCullough (1848-1916) of Neshoba County, Missouri” located on Page 235 in the Genealogy Section.

wp0e3ec906_0f.jpg Patrice McCullough Thomas, Benbrook, Texas, Sunday, April 18, 2021:

I just discovered your James Family website.  What a wealth of information!  And very well done! Laura Elizabeth (James) McCullough (1847-1917), daughter William Elias James (1823-1881) and Martha (Emma) Gains (1828-1912) of Elbert County, Georgia, was my great, great grandmother in Comanche County, Texas.  She married Reuben McCullough, my great, great grandfather.  They had 12 children, 8 boys and 4 girls. They named their second oldest son, my great grandfather, “Luther Sanford” McCullough. I had always wondered where my great grandfather’s name, “Luther Sanford” McCullough came from.  Now I know.  I learned from your website that Laura and Reuben named their second oldest son after Laura’s brother, Luther Sanford James.  I was thrilled to learn that. And then I looked further back to Laura’s father’s family and discovered that the “Sanford” came from her father’s brother, Sanford Augustus James, who died at Vicksburg in 1862 at the age of twenty. I also learned who TA James was.  All I had was a picture of his tombstone in Shiloh Cemetery, in Comanche County, and I had no idea who he was.  I learned from your website that TA James was Thomas Alvin James, another one of Laura’s brothers. And that he went by “TA” James.  Another mystery solved for me. I have a few stories, anecdotes about Laura and how she ended up in Texas.  I could send you those to add to your website.  She was a red head and well loved.  And I also have more pictures of Laura and Reuben’s family and kids when they were young that I would like to share.  I also learned from your website that her family originally came from Wales.  I guess that explains my 6% DNA from Wales. Thanks so much to all those who contributed to your extraordinary website.  A lot of hard work and effort!

wp311dfba0.png Larry James, Senior Research Historian - Saturday, April 17, 2021:

We are deeply saddened to report the passing of our dear cousin Jennifer Barrett of Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Jennifer or “Jenny” as she was known by friends and family was born April 2, 1971 to Judy Ann James (1943-2011) and Robert Barrett. Jenny was a very talented artist and dancer. She possessed a warm, compassionate spirit and youthful charm. Never married, but beloved by all her family on both the James and Barrett sides of her family, she will forever be lovingly remembered. Jennifer was preceded in death by her mother Judy Ann (James) Barrett. She is survived by her father Robert Barrett, her brother Chris Barrett, brother and sister-in-law Mr. & Mrs. Jeff Barrett, nephews Jonathan and Ryan, her uncle Gary James and hundreds of cousins on the James side of her family. Funeral services for Jenny will take place on June 4, 2021 at Oakwood Memorial Park in Chatsworth, Los Angeles County, California. There will be a 10:00 a.m. viewing followed by a 10:30 a.m. service at the mortuary and then a 12:00 p.m. service at the gravesite.

wp52da46cf_0f.jpg Mary Patricia Patterson, Washington, Iowa, Friday, April 16, 2021:

I have recently found another family album with photos I had not seen before. Included are a photo of David James (1816-1900) of Jefferson County, Ohio; son of George & Sarah Barber James, son of Samuel & Hannah Smith James of Radnor Township, Pennsylvania.  There is also a photo of his second wife, Rachel Carson. These two photos were produced by the same photographer, A.W. Warrington of Oskaloosa, Iowa, probably at the same time, though perhaps not since the style is different - one vignette and one three-quarters view. Warrington had a studio in Oskaloosa, Mahaska County in the 1860s through 1880s. He married Rachel Carson in Ohio; they moved to Iowa in 1864.

wp4bc2d715_0f.jpg Kathleen Dooley Wolfe, Senior Research Historian, Wednesday, March 24, 2021:

Today, while cleaning a glass covered oil painting by Page Wright, I discovered an old black and white photograph hidden behind the canvas. I wanted to clean the glass behind the frame so when I opened the back there it was.  The old photograph is of a sketched portrait of Isaac Daniel James, Sr. (1770-1853).  His name, “Isaac James I” is faintly written in pencil on the back of the photograph.  Page Wright was the great grandson of Isaac Daniel James, Sr. I am so pleased to make this find and share it with the family.

wp311dfba0.png Larry James, Senior Research Historian - Friday, March 19, 2021:

We have just added a new page to the Genealogy Section entitled, “Children of Charlene James (1924-2001) of Trent, Taylor County, Texas and Joseph Peter Hellinghausen (1925-1999)” identified as Page 233 on this website.

wpb503a3c0_0f.jpg Marty Rutledge, Research Historian & Virtual Sexton, Wednesday, March 17, 2021:

Larry, please send an appeal to our family members to link up their departed family members on Find-A-Grave. Most new graves are added by Find-A-Grave volunteers as soon as someone passes. It’s difficult for me to search for those that are in my immediate family line as the names are not familiar. A while back I had a somewhat negative comment by a family member who saw none of his line and he was kind of offended. However, he gave the name of his line and once I had that info I was able to add a bunch of family - the cemetery grew by over 100 pretty quickly. If people drop me the names by email (mottyrutt@hotmail.com) I will link them up as I can do it quickly out of familiarity of the system where someone else would have to get into the help section of the site. If they mention James in the subject line the message will reach me as I created a rule for outlook to keep those emails out of the spam files. It would help if they gave a birthdate, death date and a “son of” just for verification. Our virtual cemetery is at 311 members now and I know there are many more out there. To find them I’d have to do a search on each member of the family one at a time which gets super time-consuming. Thanks cousin. (Original date of letter November 13, 2020).

wp0a509de6_0f.jpg Barbie James, Senior Research Historian / Archival Custodian - Saturday, March 13, 2021:

Hi Larry, that video was fantastic.  So clear for its time and it is now more safely on a DVD. Great news. Thanks for sharing, Cousin Barbie.

wp311dfba0.png Larry James, Senior Research Historian - Saturday, March 13, 2021:

Wow!  Thank you Lynn Ellis, Vice President of the Radnor Historical Society for sharing the link to the video footage commemorating the 150th Anniversary of Radnor United Methodist Church on October 25, 1931.  How amazing to think this celebration occurred three days before the James family's 249th Anniversary in North America!  This video is further proof the Methodist congregation in Radnor Township was formally established in 1781 in the home of Evan and Margaret James at the old stone mansion constructed by Evan's parents David and Margaret James in 1700.  We know that the property upon which the Church is located, "Methodist Hill," was donated to the Church by Evan and Margaret in October of 1783, one month following the conclusion of the Revolutionary War and is located on the site where David and Margaret James originally settled in October of 1682.  The present Church that stands on top of Methodist Hill was constructed in 1833.  This indicates that the original cedar shingle roof on the Church may have lasted 98 years. In November of 2005, members of the James family including Kathleen Dooley Wolfe of Bedford County, Virginia and myself were present at Radnor United Methodist Church with Janita Mahoney for the celebration of the congregation's 225th Anniversary.  In ten years (2031) the Church will be celebrating its 250th Anniversary!  That's a quarter of a millennium. This 1931 video of Radnor United Methodist Church prepared by Janita Mahoney and provided to us by Lynn Ellis has been embedded on the Home Page of our James Family Archives website for the whole world to enjoy.  All one need do is click on the old postcard of the Radnor Church above to view it.  The video will also be circulated to the family in our next newsletter and report.  I can't thank you enough Lynn for locating this footage and providing us with a copy.

wp56c0cb1e_0f.jpg Rev. Evelyn Kent Clark, District Superintendent, United Methodist Church, Wednesday, March 3, 2021:

On behalf of The Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church, I wish to thank you and the rest of the James family for your long history of generosity and support of Radnor UMC.  It is neither unappreciated nor unnoticed. We understand that you have been in contact with a contractor regarding repairs to the church building and that the James Family is interested in helping fund these repairs.  Under the United Methodist Book of Discipline, the trustees of a local church are responsible for the coordinating the physical upkeep and for entering contracts on behalf of the local church. I would encourage you to be in contact with – and to put any contractors in direct contact with – Rev. Johnson and the trustees at Radnor UMC to discuss the timing and cost of any repairs.  Ultimately, Radnor UMC’s trustees will need to review, approve and sign off on any proposed projects to the church building and, therefore, need to be involved in the discussion and negotiation process. Once again, I wish to thank you and your family for your long history of supporting Radnor UMC. We look forward to working with you to preserve the important legacy of Methodism and the James family in Radnor and Pennsylvania.  Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.  Blessings.

 

Archived Posts from 2010-February 2021 can be found in Blog Section.

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Contact us by E-mail at:  info@jamesfamilyarchives.net

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Joel L. James of Bedford County, Virginia and the Generation that Headed “West”

 

In 1849, Joel L. James (1811-1875), the son of 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.

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James Family Founding Documents:

 

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 Documents.

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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

 

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“Building America”

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.

 

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The James-Alspaugh Expedition of 2001

 

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.

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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 photo.

 

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.

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In Search Of The Lost Line of Enoch

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….

The Lost Line of “Enoch.”

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David James (c1660-1739)

Of Radnorshire, Wales

Who Arrived in Pennsylvania October 28, 1682

Thomas James

(1690-1753)

Evan James

(1715-1794)

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Enoch

James

(1739-?)

Daniel

James

(1750-1817)

Samuel

James

(1754-1812)

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Elias

James

(1775-1840)

Thomas

James

(1781-?)

Jonathan

James

(1785-1843)

Joshua

James

(1778-1823)

Evan

James

(1784-1844)

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Isaac

James

(1797-1880)

Thomas

James

(1803-1850

David

James

(1807-1889)

Otey

James

(1813-1907)

Joel

L. James

(1811-1875)

George

W. James

(1812-1864)

Oliver

James

(1819-1880)

Jonas

K. James

(1812-1905)

Joel

E. James

(1826-1904)

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William

E. James

(1823-1881)

Elias

W. James

(1836-1917)

Andrew

J. James

(1844-1902)

Isaac

T. James

(1844-1888)

David

S. James

(1850-1909)

William

G. James

(1832-1908)

La Fayette

James

(1864-1942)

William

W. James

(1866-1927)

Thomas

K. James

(1848-1926)

John

C. James

(1856-1939)

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Ralph

E. James

(1859-1937)

William

A. James

(1860-1923)

Alfred

C. James

(1870-1936)

Edward

N. James

(1901-1982)

Albert

L. James

(1871-1948)

David

B. James

(1879-1968)

Braxton

L. James

(1864-1923)

Joseph

A. James

(1899-1945)

Howard

W. James

(1906-1950)

Lester

W. James

(1893-1969)

James

O. James

(1911-2001)

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Harvey

M. James

(1884-1973)

Clarence

B. James

(1896-1955)

Joe

C. James

(1896-1985)

Malcolm

W. James

(1928-2017)

William

T. James

(1908-1974)

David

B. James

(1908-2004)

Marvin

L. James

(1895-1969)

Robert

J. James

(1925-2016)

Lee

A. James

#39245

Warren

K. James

#35874

James

O. James

#80909

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William

R. James

(1920-1982)

Truett

C. James

(1925-2011)

Joe

M. James

#40303

Edward

L. James

#750520

Wilbur

G. James

#37879

Richard

D. James

Eldon

L. James

(1940-2014)

Steven

B. James

#914135

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William

R. James

(1942-)

John

James

#656536

Timothy

D. James

#294214

Larry

P. James

#74812

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Jonathan

C. James

#108350

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R1B/R-1M269 Y-DNA Halogroup

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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 family Bible:

 

· The father of David James was Thomas;

· David James married Margaret Jane Mortimer on November 27, 1680 at Radnorshire, Wales;

· Margaret Mortimer was the daughter of Edward Mortimer (1631-1704);

· Edward Mortimer was born in Fyfield, Wiltshire, England near Marlborough;

· 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 Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland;

· John Henderson married Janet Bairdie in 1682.

· John Henderson died April 25, 1746 in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland;

· The father of John Henderson was John Henderson born October 17, 1626 at Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland.

· 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.

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Isaac

D. James

(1770-1853)

Elias

James

(1797-1870)

Thomas

M. James

(1861-1936)

Jesse

James, Sr.

(18921978)

Paul

James

(1927-2001)

Brian

R. James

#919098

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Elias

James

(1744-1789)

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Isaac James

(unknown)

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Uncovering The Ohio Line

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 info@jamesfamilyarchives.net.

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George

W. James

(1807-1880)

John

W. James

(1843-1914)

William

E. James

(1878-1933)

Glenn

P. James

(1919-1993)

Glenn

P. James

#419418

 

 

?

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David

James

(unkown)

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We are pleased to announce the James Family Archives has launched a fundraiser for the continued historic preservation of Radnor United Methodist Church in Pennsylvania.  The Methodist Church in Radnor was originally founded in 1781 by the James family.  Their home in Radnor Township served as the original meeting place of Radnor’s Methodist congregation.  In October of 1783, Evan and Margaret James donated the land upon which their parents David and Margaret James of Radnorshire, Wales settled in October of 1682 for the construction of a permanent Methodist Church.  The location was known as “James Hill” but following the donation of land upon which the permanent Church was constructed, the location came to be known as “Methodist Hill.” The current Church standing on the site was constructed in 1833. It is the second oldest Methodist Church in the United States.  In 1931 the congregation of Radnor United Methodist Church celebrated its 150th Anniversary as a continuing congregation.  In 2005, the Church celebrated its 225th Anniversary.  In 2031 the Church will be celebrating its 250th Anniversary. Presently, Radnor United Methodist Church is 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.  Please consider partnering with us and making a donation today. 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 “Friends of Radnor UMC 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 its 250th Anniversary and for generations to come.

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James Family Y-DNA Research

 

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.

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Isaac Daniel James, Sr., of Upper Merion Township, Pennsylvania and The Last of the Colonial Generations

 

Born October 15, 1770 to Elias James (1744-1789) and Anna Matson (1746-1827) of Upper Merion Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania - Isaac Daniel James, Sr. was among the last of the James family to be born in Colonial Pennsylvania, a subject of the British Crown under King George, III.  Isaac was also the grandson of Thomas James (c1690-1753), the first son born to David James (c1660-1739) and Margaret Jane Mortimer who immigrated from Wales and arrived in North America with William Penn on October 28, 1682.  At the age of four Isaac witnessed the outbreak of the Revolutionary War and watched as his father Elias and uncle Daniel James (1750-1817) marched off to serve under General George Washington in the Continental Army.  Isaac’s entire childhood was consumed with the war. As a child Isaac grew up between British occupied Philadelphia and the entrenched Continental Army in Valley Forge.  The Revolutionary war would not conclude until one month before his 13th birthday.  Following the war, Isaac would accompany his uncles Daniel and Jonathan James (1751-1843) and migrate south to Bedford County, Virginia.  On March 24, 2021, the image of Isaac Daniel James to the left was discovered by Kathleen Dooley Wolfe of Vinton, Virginia hiding behind a very old oil painting handed down through the family many generations.  The account of how Kathleen discovered this amazing picture can be found on Page 37 of the Genealogy Section, Children of Elias James (1744-1789) and Anna Matson (1746-1827) of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

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Bushrod Washington James, Spotlight on an Historical Family Member

 

Born August 25, 1836 in Byberry, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania to David James (1805-1873) of Radnor Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania and Amanda Worthington (1809-1885) of Somerton, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, Bushrod was the great, great, great grandson of David James (c1660- 1739). Devoted to medical research, Bushrod was an accomplished surgeon, writer and philanthropist who lived in Philadelphia.  Never married, Bushrod graduated from medical school in 1857 and served as president of the Homeopathic Medical Society of Pennsylvania.  After the United States fell into Civil War in 1861, Bushrod served as a volunteer surgeon at the Battles of Antietam and Gettysburg. Prior to his death in 1903, Bushrod 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. He also 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, “The Biography of Bushrod Washington James” in the Library Section.

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James W. James and the James Family in “Bleeding Kansas!”

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), pictured to the left, headed west to the Kansas-Missouri 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... “Bleeding Kansas!”

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Retracing the James de Gozzaldi Expedition of 1890

 

Mary Isabella James de Gozzaldi was born September 19, 1852 in Burlington County, New Jersey to Thomas Potts James (1803-1882) of Radnor Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania and, Isabella Batchelder (1810-1901) of New Ipswich, New Hampshire, author of “Memorial to Thomas Potts, Jr.” (1874) containing the first documented account of James family history. In 1890 Mary 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 James de 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 James de Gozzaldi Expedition of 1890!

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Settling Texas

 

In 1852, the first of the James family led by Joel L. James (1811-1875) [pictured above} arrived in Texas.  First settling Grayson County, the family moved on to Fannin County just prior to the beginning of the Civil War.  Following the conclusion of the war, the family migrated south to Hunt County where they remained until the turn of the century at which point the family headed West to Jones County, near the town of Abiline.  Pictured below is the family of William George James (1832-1908) of Bedford County, Virginia, son of Joel, the elderly man seated in the center. William was also the great, great, great grandson of David James (c1660-1739).  From left to right are pictured 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 near Trent, Texas, also known as “The Old Rock House.”  The town of Trent is located between the towns of Abilene and Sweetwater.

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.
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