James Family Archives


•  Researching the Past

•  Education for the Present

•  Preservation for the Future



Children of Robert James (1816-1869) and Winifred Simpson (1814-1885) of Loudoun County, Virginia:


1.    John Thomas James:  born October 4, 1842 in Loudoun County, Virginia; first marriage to Frocine Goodrich; second marriage to Isabelle Simpson (1855-1923), daughter of Henson Simpson (1829-1903) and Mary A. Hoge (1835-1908); died May 19, 1908 (aged 65); buried at Thornrose Cemetery, Section 7, Staunton City, Virginia; known children include: Mary Wesley James.


2.    Charles Fenton James:  born November 13, 1844 in Loudoun County, Virginia; married October 28, 1873  in Loudoun County, Virginia to Mary Alice Chamblin (1848-1912), daughter of Leven Powell Chamblin (1809-1886) and Julia Ann Furr (1819-1893); died December 5, 1902 (aged 58); buried at Green Hill Cemetery, Danville City, Virginia; known children include: Mayo Chamblin James, Evelyn James, Charles E. James, Julia Winifred James, John William James and Robert Lee James.


3.    Emily Anne James:  born 1846 in Loudoun County, Virginia; died February 15, 1942 (aged 95–96) in the District Of Columbia; buried at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Suitland, Prince George's County, Maryland.


4.    Mary Jane James:  born October 9, 1848 in Loudoun County, Virginia; married to Samuel Withers, Sr. (1840-1926), son of John R. Withers and Saddie Smarr; died June 26, 1937 (aged 88) in Marion County, Missouri; buried at Providence Cemetery, Marion County, Missouri; known children include: John Francis Withers, Emma G. Withers, Robert Fredrick Withers, Sarah Agnes Withers, William James Withers, Samuel Withers, Charles Cleveland Withers and Clifton Ellis Withers.


5.    Eliza Pleasant James:  born 1850 in Loudoun County, Virginia; died September 11, 1851 in Loudoun County, Virginia; buried at North Fork Baptist Church Cemetery, North Fork, Loudoun County, Virginia.


6.    William Hughes James: born 1852 in Loudoun County, Virginia; never married; died August 23, 1876 in Hall Sound adjacent to Yule Island off the coast of Papua New Guinea; buried on the sandbank of Papua New Guinea opposite Yule Island; no issue.


7.    Mayo James, Sr.:  born January 26, 1855 in Loudoun County, Virginia; first marriage January 5, 1885 in Red River County, Texas to Addie Due (1866-1898); second marriage Jun 3, 1900 in Red River County, Texas to Mary Susan Fulton (1869-1932), daughter of William F. Fulton (1839-1912) and Sarah W. Fulton (1844-1892); died 1933 (aged 77–78) in Oklahoma; buried at Madras Cemetery, Madras, Red River County, Texas; known children through Addie Due include: Mayo James, Jr.; known children through Mary Susan Fulton include: Winifred James.


8.    Elizabeth “Eliza” Simpson James:  born November 25, 1856 in Loudoun County, Virginia; married to Maurice Nichols (1858-1915); died January 2, 1944 (aged 87) in Loudoun County, Virginia; buried at Hillsboro Cemetery, Lot 179 in Hillsboro, Loudoun County, Virginia; known children include: Winifred Simpson Nichols, Hubert Erskine Nichols, Leola Lee Nichols, Fenton Lacewell Nichols, Naomi J. Nichols and  Rowena B. Nichols.


9.    Hannah Elizabeth “Lizzie” James:  (twin) born November 25, 1856 in Loudoun County, Virginia; married to Octavius Osburn (1850-1930), son of Richard Osburn (1798-1852) and Patcy Osburn (1805-1875); died September 13, 1940 (aged 83) in Loudoun County, Virginia; buried at Hillsboro Cemetery, Lot 179 in Hillsboro, Loudoun County, Virginia; known children include: Randall Harrison Osburn, Leola James Osburn, Winifred Simpson Osburn and William Hughs Osburn.





Robert James (1816-1869) was the son of Thomas James (1768-1839) of Upper Merion Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania and Mary Russell (1786-1861) of Loudoun County, Virginia.


Rev. John Thomas James (1842-1908) is mentioned in the following 1893 news article entitled, Irish Liquor Exhibit Demolished. Rev. J.T. James, of Virginia, Smashes a Tower of Whisky Bottles,”  This article was published in “The Catholic Telegraph” of Cincinnati, Ohio, Volume 62, No. 30 on July 27, 1893 and reads, “Rev. John T. James, a Methodist clergyman, demolished the liquor exhibit in the Agricultural Building, World’s Fair, belonging to Sir John Powers, of Dublin, Ireland. Power’s exhibit was arranged in the form of a round tower. The round tower has been and is to-day one of the dear loves of the Irish people, and that a whiskey exhibit should be fashioned after it has made many Irishmen yearn to smash the device in Agricultural Hall into smithereens. ¶ Since Sir John Powers caused to be erected his exhibit at the World’s Fair eminent men of Irish birth have declared it a disgrace and a sacrilege.  Archbishop Ireland, has been particularly severe in denouncing the form of the exhibit. So has Rev. Jas. Cleary, the noted temperance advocate. The newspapers of Ireland have scored the exhibitor for building his whisky bottles in the form of the sacred tower.”


Rev. John Thomas James (1842-1908) is also mention in the following 1940 news article entitled, “Marquis Memorial Methodist Church.”  This article was published in “The News Leader” of Staunton, Virginia in Section 4 on April 16, 1940, and reads, “Marquis Memorial Methodist church had its beginning in 1887, as a missionary outpost of Central Methodist church.  In that year a Sunday School was organized in an upper room of a store building, in what was then known as Plunkettsville, by Rev. J.T. James and Mr. A. Lee Knowles.  The Rev. Mr. James, whose health had failed, making him retire from the active work of the ministry, preached occasionally, and Mr. Knoles was superintendent fo the Sunday school.  Some time later a society was organized with a regular membership, and joined in a circuit with East End church, under the name of East End and Plunkettsville.  The name was later changed to Epworth and in 1898 the present brick structure, located on the corner of Beverley and Straith streets, was erected and dedicated to the memory of Captain J.C. Marquis, by whose widow the work was largely financed.  The parsonage, also a gift of Mrs. marquis, occupies a part of the same lot. ¶ The growth of Marquis Memoria has been slow, but substantial.  When the work began, the community was outside the coporation of Staunton and was sparsely settled. But farsighted men and women realized that some day it woud be an integral part of the city of Stuanton. ¶ The present church building has an auditorium for worship, and extra rooms for church school classes.  While the equipment was modern when built, and adequate for the needs of the church school, it was not sufficient for the nees of the growing church school. The need for better equipment was temporarily satisfied when Wesley Hall, an annex, was built in 1927 to take care of the overflow from the church and to provide a place for entertainments.  This building, likewise, was soon too small, and in 1937 a modern two-story brick Religion Education Building was constructed.  In this building was provided an assembly room and separate classrooms for each age-group, a kitchen, a banquet hall, a stage and a study for the pastor. ¶ During the fifty-three years of its history, Marquis Memorial has been served by seventeen ministers: J.T. James, Mr. Brown, R. L. Fultz, P.W. Jefferies, A.P. Boude, J.C. Granbury, Jr., B.D. Harrison, W.M. Compton, WP.C. Coe, George W. Staples, A.L. Harnesberger, M.P. Weikel, G.D. Kidner, L.H. Smallwood, M.L. Fearnow, F.L. Baker, and the present pastor, J.H. Blakemore, Jr. Under the able guidance of these men, the membership has grown to its present total of approximately 350. ¶ Throughout the years Marquis Memorial has been anxious to provide the the best opportunity for the boys and girls of the its community.  With this in mind, in 1939 Troup No. 9 of the Boy Scouts of America was sponsored by the Board of Stewards. ¶ With the increase in the size of the congregation, the inadequacy of the present auditorium and the need for a new church building is apparent.  Far-seeing members of the church are looking toward the construction of a building which will be a commodious and fittting sanctuary for the community which it serves. ¶ Officers - John Haywood Blakemore Jr., minister. ¶ The board of stewards - A.S. Farrar, chairman; Hershey Campbell, F.A. Dull, George Grove, R.W. Harvill, W.D. Hiner, C.N. Landes, R.E. Lee, Bernard Parrish, F.C. Reid, John Rodgers, I.E. Trainum, R.S.Woodall. ¶ Trustees - F.B. Cooper, J.L. Hnderson, W.F. Huffman, J.R. Rohr, H.B. Webb, S.M. Wiseman. ¶ The church school - J.L. Hdnerson, general superintendent. ¶ The Woman's Missionary society - Mrs. Jennie B. Cooper, president emeritus; Mrs. W. Graham Snyder, president. ¶ Council of missions and church extension - J.L. Henerson, Mrs. R.E. Lee, Mrs. F.E. Burns, F.C. Reid, Phyllis Snyder, Ella Loudin Harril, A.S. Farrar. ¶ Youg people's division - Young People's department, Elsie Huntly, president, Intermediate department, Jane Cook, president."


Dr. Charles Fenton James (1844-1902), son of Robert James (1816-1869) was only 15 years of age in 1859 when he joined a volunteer cavalry unit raised in response to John Brown’s Raid at nearby Harper’s Ferry.  At the outbreak of the Civil War he joined Company “F” of the 8th Virginia Infantry Regiment (Pickett’s Division) of the Army of Northern Virginia (CSA).  He was promoted to lieutenant in 1863, to captain in 1864 and company commander. In 1866, following the war, Charles entered Columbian college in Washington, D.C.  He graduated from Richmond collage in 1870 with a baccalaureate degree and in 1873 he obtained a graduate divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  On October 28, 1873, he married Mary Alice Chamblin of Loudoun County, Virginia.  Thereafter Charles became a pastor of churches in Buchanan, Virginia (1873-1882) and Culpeper, Virginia (1882-1889).  In 1882 Richmond College elected him a trustee and in 1884 awarded him an honorary doctorate of divinity.  In 1889 Allegheny Institute hired him as president, the position he held before coming to Roanoke Female College in Danville, Virginia in 1892.  In 1898, while serving as president of Roanoke Female College Dr. Charles Fenton James wrote Documentary History of the Struggle for Religious Liberty in Virginia, a book that documented the struggle for religious liberty in Virginia from the time before the American Revolution through the intolerance period then into the toleration of “certain” religions.  Attempting to stay the rewrite of history by those who took a disposition to religious influence on history, Dr. James looked to the Baptist fathers who were “the foremost, most zealous, and most consistent and unwavering champions of soul liberty.”  He was drawn to the original information - the Journal of the Virginia House of Burgesses, or General Assembly.  In his work, Dr. James put into chronological order the various letters from men like Madison and Jefferson and outlined the steps and struggles religious freedom endured in Virginia, which ultimately was placed in the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States.  His work has been cited in hundreds of thesis, dissertations, and scholarly works all over the world.


Dr. William Hughes James (1852-1876) was a medical doctor and a naturalist from Loudoun County, Virginia.  He traveled from San Francisco, California to Australia in 1875 and from there with William Macleay's scientific research team known as the Chevert Expedition to Papua New Guinea.  During this 1875 expedition Dr. James assumed dual roles as ship's surgeon and collector/taxidermist. The expedition collected specimens of animal, plant and insect life in northern Queensland, the Torres Strait Islands and New Guinea. At the conclusion of the expedition Dr. James returned to New Guinea and continued collecting, and while doing so was murdered by indigenous natives. Many of his specimens were never recorded under his own name, but at least 99 birds, three mammals and some invertebrates were. They are now in the Natural History Museum within the Walter Rothschild Building in Tring, Great Britain; and the Macleay Museum at the University of Sydney, Australia. In 2017 Graham Fulton of the University of Murdoch and the University of Queensland published a biography of Dr. William Hughs James focusing on his participation in Australia’s first international scientific expedition. Mr. Fulton’s work entitled “Dr. William H. James 1852-76: Medical Doctor and Naturalist” was published in the Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club, Volume 137, pages 71-87 in March, 2017. A condensed version of this biography can be found on Page 174 of the James Family Archives website.


Mary Jane Withers, nee James (1848-1937), was born in Loudoun County, Vriginia and died at Withers Mill. When but a child she came to Marion County, Missouri with her parents, Robert and Winifred Simpson James. The family settled in the vicinity of Withers Mill and since that time made her home in that community. On May 2, 1871 she was married to Samuel Withers who with his father founded the village, Withers Mill, so named because of the prosperous mill which the two men operated for a number of years at that location. For 65 years, Mrs. Withers made her home at the Withers’ family homestead. She was active in work in the community and served faithfully in the Mt. Zion Christian church as long as her health permitted.




Family Records of William Osburn James (1910-1986), grandson of Hannah Elizabeth “Lizzie” James, and his wife Frances James of Purcellville, Loudoun County, Virginia provided to the James Family Archives.


“Documentary History of the Struggle for Religious Liberty in Virginia” by Charles Fenton James, published by J.P. Bell Company of Lynchburg, Virginia, Copyright 1899, Published 1900.


“The Lamp and the Cross: A History of Avert College, 1859-2001” by Jack Irby Hays, Jr., published by Merger University Press of Macon, Georgia, pages 47-50 (2004).


“Dr. William H. James 1852-76: Medical Doctor and Naturalist” by Graham R. Fulton, published in the Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club, Volume 137, pages 71-87 on March 13, 2017.


Rev. John Thomas James (1842-1908), Find A Grave Memorial, ID No. 39834945, by JMB, added July 24, 2009.


Isabelle (Simpson) James (1855-1923), Id., Memorial ID No. 39834944, by JMB, added July 24, 2009.


Dr. Charles Fenton James (1844-1902), Id., Memorial ID No. 14314941, by Scott Hutchison, added May 17, 2006.


Mary Alice (Chamblin) James (1848-1912), Id., Memorial ID No. 102188593, by Ed Townsend, added Dec. 14, 2012.


Emily A. James (1846-1942), Id., Memorial ID No. 85131079, by Fred Sanford, added February 17, 2012.


Mary Jane “Mollie” James Withers (1848-1937), Id., Memorial ID No. 9345216, by Tom C., added: 21 Aug 2004.


Eliza Pleasant James (1850-1851), Id., Memorial ID No. 74061769, by Betty Frain, added July 28, 2011.


Mayo James (1855-1933), Id., Memorial ID No. 35830944, by Ron & Myrna Cooper, added April 13, 2009.


Addie (Due) James (1866-1898), Id., Memorial ID No. 7370807, by MB, added April 20, 2003.


Elizabeth Simpson (James) Nichols (1856-1944), Id., Memorial ID No. 53735914, by Betty Frain, added June 15, 2010.


Hannah Elizabeth (James) Osburn (1856-1940), Id., Memorial ID No. 53735935, by Betty Frain, added June 15, 2010.


Updated:  May 19, 2021