James Family Archives


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1.   Mary James:  born in Radnorshire, Wales prior to October 1682; married circa 1705 to John David/Davies, son of Ellis David; accompanied her mother and father from Wales in 1682 to Pennsylvania; nominated as executrix over her father’s estate in 1702; known children include:  Elizabeth Davies, David Davies, Jane Davies and Susannah Davies.


2.   Thomas James:  born circa 1690 in Radnor Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania; first married in 1738 to Mary Jones (1716-1745), daughter of Griffith and Catherine John of Tredyffrin, Pennsylvania; second marriage in 1749 to Sarah Henderson, daughter of Alexander Henderson; baptized in 1733 at the Great Valley Baptist Church and given lands by his father David and step-mother Jane in Upper Merion Township, Montgomery County in the vicinity of Mount Joy; died in January 1753 in testate; custody of his surviving children determined by the Philadelphia Orphan Court; known children through Mary Jones include:  Enoch James, Leah James and Elias James; known children through Sarah Henderson include:  Daniel James and Jonathan James.


3.   Rebecca James:  born circa 1705 in Radnor Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania; married circa 1730 in Pennsylvania to John Miles, son of Richard Miles and Sarah Evans; known children include:  Rebecca Miles, Catherine Miles, Jane Miles, Sarah Miles, Enos Miles, James Miles, John Miles and Hannah Miles.


4.   Sarah James:  born February 13, 1710/11 in Radnor Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania; married February 18, 1736/37 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania to John Thomas (1713-1790), Baptist minister, son of William Thomas and Ann Griffith; died April 2 or 5, 1805 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania; buried at Hilltown Baptist Churchyard, Bucks County, Pennsylvania; known children include:  Anna Thomas, Rebecca Thomas, Leah Thomas and Sarah Thomas.


5.   Isaac James:  born in Radnor Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania.  Isaac is known to have at least one son:  David James.


6.   Evan James:  born circa 1715 in Radnor Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania; married June 8, 1739 to Margaret Jones (-1790), daughter of Griffith and Rachel John of Tredyffrin, Pennsylvania; baptized in 1733 at the Great Valley Baptist Church; inherited James family homestead in Radnor from his father David and donated a portion thereof for the construction of the Radnor United Methodist Church; died circa 1794; known children include:  Rebecca James, Griffith James, Samuel James, Hannah James and Rachel James.





Last Will and Testament of David James (1739) Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, Will Book F, Page 117.


Last Will and Testament of Jane James (January 19, 1750/1) Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, Will Book J, Page 348.


Autobiography of Reverend Isaac James, M.D. (1869) Transcribed by Reverend Joseph F. DiPaolo, February 2006.


Early History of the James Family as Recorded by Isabella Batchelder James (1810-1901), wife of Dr. Thomas Potts James (1803-1882) in her seminal work “Memorial of Thomas Potts, Junior Who Settled in Pennsylvania With An Historic-Genealogical Account of His Descendants To The Eight Generation,” Privately Printed in Cambridge 1874; Page 251, Fourth Generation, No. 59, Henrietta Potts.


Welsh Founders of Pennsylvania” by Thomas Allen Glen; originally published in Oxford, England 1911-1913.


Welsh Settlement of Pennsylvania” by Charles Browning; published in Philadelphia, 1912.


Marriage Record of Mary James from List from Haverford Records (now Radnor MM):  “John Davies of Gwynedd and Mary James of Radnor, 4, 5 mo., 1705 at Radnor MH. Witnesses, Col 4 under bride and groom: David Meredith, Stephen Evans, John Evans, Richard Moore, John Moore, David Jones, Mary Meredith.” [JQ], Historical Collections Relating to Gwynedd, by Howard M. Jenkins, Second Edition, 1897, Chapter 12. Early Monthly Meeting Records of Marriages:  Other Lists of Marriages and Deaths.

James/Claunch Family Bible of Violet Nadine Negus (1929-2013) a descendant of Mary Susan James (1836-1905) of Bedford County, Virginia who married John J. Claunch (1836-1877) in Johnson County, Missouri.


Updated:  July 12, 2019

Children of David James (circa 1660-1739) and Margaret Jane Mortimer of Llandegley and Glascwm Parishes, Radnorshire, Wales:


  David James was born circa 1660 to a Quaker family between the parishes of Glascwm and Llandegley in the county of Radnorshire, Wales.  He was the son of Thomas James and the grandson of James ap David of Llandegley.   On November 27, 1680 David married Margaret Jane Mortimer, the daughter of Edward Mortimer (1631-1704) of Fyfield, Wiltshire, England and Catherine Houston.


   In 1681 David purchased rights to 100 acres of land from William Penn.  This followed the sale of the James family’s water-powered grist mill called Bettws Mill near Hundred House in 1680 and in the face of growing religious persecution because of the family’s membership in the Society of Friends.  David and Margaret departed Wales in the Fall of 1682 and arrived at Penn’s Landing in present day Philadelphia on October 28 that same year aboard the sailing ship Bristol Factor, captained by Roger Drew.  David and Margaret, along with their newborn daughter Mary were permitted to sail to Pennsylvania on the certificate of passage issued to Evan Oliver.

  Upon arrival, David and Margaret settled approximately 100 acres of land within the region known as the Welsh Tract that later came to be known as Radnor Township.  David also purchased another 100 acres of “head land” which his daughter Mary sold to Stephan ab Evan in 1702.  In 1718 David James increased his land holdings in Radnor Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania to 253 acres through the purchase of an additional 153 acres from David Meredith who also possessed a prior claim dating back to 1704 to the lands settled by David in 1682. This plot of land would originally be named “James Hill” for the prominent hill in the center of the property upon which was constructed Radnor United Methodist Church by David’s son Evan in 1783.