JAMES RESEARCH SUMMARY
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The purpose of this paper is to summarize my information
concerning John L. James, his apparent brother Henry James, and their possible
It should be borne in mind that a handwritten "James" is easily confused with
"Jones." James and Jones are common surnames. Both are patronymics, James
originally being applied to someone who was the son of a father named James and
Jones referring to someone whose father was named John. James is particularly
common among the Scotch and Scotch-Irish. Jones is particularly common among the
Welsh. Based on 1990 census data, James is the 71st most common surname in the
United States, borne by 0.105% of the population. Jones is the 4th most common
surname, used by 0.621% of the population. In short, James is a difficult name
to work with genealogically, due to the probability of unrelated James families
being present in a given area by coincidence, and the near impossibility of
tracing migration routes by reference to places where the surname occurs. To the
extent scribes unclearly or inaccurately recorded the name as Jones, forcing the
researcher to also consider Jones families, the problem is compounded.
I. Early James families of White County,
II. John L. James
III. Henry James
IV. William A. James, a hypothesis
V. Other Buchanan County, Missouri James
VI. Potentially relevant
North Carolina James families
Questions to be followed up (as of May 2003):
1. Could the 1830 census reference to Hampton James and Janice
Taylorís report that the parents of Thomas D. Hampton (m. Elizabeth James 1857)
were Andrew Hampton and Laticia Sharp (in other words, as in "Sharp R. Whitley")
suggest that the Hampton, James and Whitley families may have had connections
prior to their arrival in White County?
2. Check for records of the Usery family in White County. Connections exist
between this family and both John L. James and Sharp Whitley. Could it be the
birth family of Sharp's first wife?
3. Since Cynthia James bought property in 1872, there could be a conveyance by
her heirs sometime after her death, i.e. after 1891.
4. Check for John Jones in KS in 1870 census.
5. Check for records in Van Buren County, based on the statement that the
Whitleys lived in the mountain town of Spencer there, and the statement that the
James family had a summer place in the mountains.
6. Anson County, North Carolina James families.
7. Check for William Jones in White County 1840.
8. Why did Cynthia James buy the house in Halleck in 1872 in her own name, given
that John James did not die until 1875, according to his tombstone? Is this
related to the familyís apparent absence from the 1870 census? Could John James
have been living elsewhere?