Don’t Keep Your Genes in the Closet

Living free is much better than living with secrets, or in secret.

Witness the freedom celebrated and achieved by the LGBT community when those among them can come out of their closet.

Every family has secrets. Secrets are kept about everything, not just about who is gay or straight. The multitude of secrets a family keeps is never discovered. Usually, they are strictly enforced, whether by one or by many. Wherever secrets exist, harm exists also.

Usually, those who create, maintain, or propagate secrets, knowingly or unknowingly, rarely are aware of what harm they inflict. The harm is left for the victim of a secret to suffer, and if fortunate to discover.

Some secrets can inflict violence of a significant magnitude upon families and their members for generations, if not centuries, as occurred among the family of Frank and Jesse James. This is particularly true about secrets that are taken to the grave.

For others, like this world famous geneticist, the discovery can provide humor, but, more importantly, answers, explanations, and his release from the family secret the world knew, but he didn’t.

 


Jesuit Cousin of Jesse James Celebrates Golden Jubilee

Jesse James’ cousin, Rev. James Burns Malley S.J., recently celebrated his Golden Jubilee as a Jesuit priest on June 18, 2014.

Ordained into the Catholic priesthood on June 18, 1964, Fr. Jim has served his vocation faithfully for fifty years. His calling, however, did not come easy to him. When it did, his call to serve the Lord was not an easy ride. Like his infamous cousin Jesse James, Fr. Jim soon found himself the target of military and politicians alike, who perceived his good works as a direct challenge to their political regime.

Fr. Jim’s story is amply told in a recent biographical history of the Jesse James family, Jesse James Soul Liberty. He first aspired to a naval career, but Jim found his math and science skills did not measure up. Attending Dartmouth, Jim’s college thesis won the Jones History Prize. His graduation with “Highest Distinction in History” earned him entry to Harvard Law School, after which he joined a law firm in Boston, not too far from his New Hampshire home.

Fr. Jim’s military service found him on the staff of a Navy Admiral as an intelligence officer, not too unlike his first cousin Donald James Baumel who was an intelligence officer in the U.S. Army, nor unlike Jim’s great grandfather John M. James who was a spy for George Washington in the American Revolution.

When Jim was ordained and joined the Jesuit order, he answered the call of the Second Vatican Council. Committed to social change, Jim went to Brazil. There he found an active Catholic presence, but he also encountered a culture where “the unchurched” were deeply committed in their religion, but not necessarily their practice, particularly among the wealthy and the military.

Working side by side with the Peace Corps, Catholics, Protestants, and Marxists, Fr. Jim laid water pipes and provided running water for the poor. Jim found himself spied upon and branded a Communist priest. Providing food for the hungry, he was accused of “delaying the revolution.”

His reassignment back home landed him at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington D.C. Nearing retirement, he was relocated to Boston College in a ministerial service to students, faculty, and staff. Today, he resides in a home for retired Jesuits, where this past year he took particular delight in the election of his fellow Jesuit from South America, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who was elected Pope Francis I.

MALLEY PEDIGREE

James Burns Malley

. James Francis Malley & Marguerite Hazel Burns

.. Edward Frederick Burns & Mary Louisa James

… Drury Woodson James and Mary Louisa Dunn

…. John M. James & Mary Poor

RELATED STORIES

2012 New Year Prayer from Fr. James Malley S.J.

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Jesse James…Meet Pope Francis I


 


Gee, Clell Miller, we hardly knew ya !

Clell Miller, member of the James Gang

Imagine my surprise, to learn that I live just two blocks from Clell Miller’s grandparents.

Since Henry Logan and Mary Kenley Thurmond died together back in 1866, Clell’s grandparents haven’t gone missing at all. For almost 150 years, they’ve been right here in Danville, Kentucky, in plain sight. And like poor Clell, no one has cared.

Who’s Clell Miller? Hapless Clell was a member of the James Gang. During their robbery attempt of the Northfield Bank in Northfield, Minnesota in 1876, Clell Miller will killed.

Jesse James is reputed to have killed Clell’s brother, Ed Miller.

Tombstone of Henry Logan Thurmond & Wife Mary Kenley, Bellevue Cemetery, Danville, Kentucky

Moving here twelve years ago to write my histories of the Jesse James family, I made Danville my home base, because Danville’s the geographic center of the James family’s history in Kentucky, ever since 1782 when Jesse’s grandfather, John M. James, arrived with his Traveling Church. The Youngers, Pence, Scholls, Chinns, Hites, Vardemans, etc. – and now Clell Miller’s family – lived among one another first around Danville, before moving to Clay County in Missouri. These families left an abundance of history in plain sight, still waiting today for the arrival of serious historians.

Often I take a refreshing walk over to Bellevue Cemetery after long hours of writing. Bellevue is an historic, tree-filled place, where Victorians went for Sunday picnics, courting, and family recreational diversions. Since Danville is where Kentucky separated from Virginia in 1792, Bellevue is populated also by countless blue blood figures of the Commonwealth’s frontier. I commune with them, just as I do with those in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Kearney, Missouri.

Now that I know I have Clell Miller’s grandparents for neighbors, I think I’ll write a story about them for the James-Younger Gang Journal. I believe Jesse James fanatics know just about as much about Clell’s family as they know about Clell Miller himself.


High School Photos of Jesse James Great Grandchildren

For the James family, high school photos become really interesting when they are newly discovered photos of Jesse James’ great-grandchildren. The class photos increase in interest when they’re discovered to be provided by a previously unrecognized cousin.

Twin siblings, Don & Diane Baumel, are direct descendants of America’s iconic outlaw. From the history of the Jesse James family, Jesse James Soul Liberty, we learn the following about Don and Diane, and more:

In high school in Los Angeles, Don and Diane Baumel both were considered “joiners.” If a group existed, they joined. Years later in 2007, Barbara Clemens, a classmate from their high school class, confirmed the fact. Diane and Don were elected by their classmates and by school faculty to the Ephebian Society, “on the basis of outstanding character, leadership ability, demonstrated service, and high scholastic achievement.” Don was Vice-President of the student body Diane was class President.

 

Barbara Wenzel-Clemens

These class photos are provided by Don and Diane’s classmate, Barbara Clemens, now age 81. Until Barbara provided these images, she did not know herself that she shared a common ancestor with Don and Diane in the famed explorer Daniel Boone, making all three of them cousins.

Being a great granddaughter of Daniel Boone, also makes Barbara a cousin to several of Boone’s descendants who also were among William Clarke Quantrill’s Raiders. Those are: John M. Ross, Daniel Boone Scholl and George Thomas Scholl, plus James Overton Hinde and Thomas W. Cassell.

Of continuing interest and research is the question of whether Barbara’s ancestry to a Link family also connects her to the Link family of William Link, the owner of Link farm that Jesse and Zee James rented in Waverly, Tennessee, where their children Gould & Montgomery James were born and died.

The class photos of Don & Diane no doubt intrigues other James family members who perceive all the common physical features they share with Don & Diane. Notably evident is the single arched eyebrow that continues to plague James women whenever they do their makeup. Don’s flat sided ear, addressed elsewhere on Leaves of Gas, is an unmistakable James birthmark, as are the evident jawlines, lips, nose, eyelids, forehead, and overall spatial formations.

If all this isn’t exciting enough, Barbara’s married name of Clemens also links her husband to the family of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known to America as Mark Twain.

********************

DON & DIANE’S DESCENT FROM JESSE WOODSON JAMES

Jesse Woodson James & Zerelda Amanda Mimms

. Jesse Edward James Jr. & Estella Frances McGowan

.. Mervyn Baumel & Jessie Estell James

… Donald James Baumel

DON & DIANE’S’S DESCENT FROM DANIEL BOONE

Daniel Boone & Rebecca Ann Bryant

. Nathan Boone & Olive Van Biber

.. Alfred M. Hosman & Mary Boone

… Luther Alfred McGowan & Mary Frances Hosman

…. Alfred Monte McGowan & Martha Ann Wood

….. Jesse Edward James Jr. & Estella Frances McGowan

…… Mervyn Baumel & Jessie Estell James

……. Donald James Baumel

BARBARA’S DESCENT FROM DANIEL BOONE

Daniel Boone & Rebecca Bryant

. Jemima Boone & Flanders Callaway

.. Susannah Callaway & Thomas Howell

… John Francis Howell & Sarah Ann McCourtney

…. John Martin Howell & Caroline Virginia Link

….. Vella Martina Ashby Howell & William Percy Carver

…… Mary Vella Carver & Robert Alfred Wenzel

……. Barbara Wenzel-Clemens

RELATED STORIES

Great Grandson of Jesse James & Daniel Boone, Donald James Baumel, is Dead

Surprise Discovery for a Contributor to Jesse James Soul Liberty

Attention James Family…Send Me Your Ears


This map gets you to the Jesse James family ancestral lands

Here’s a map, crucial to identifying the early settlement in Kentucky of John M. James, following the American Revolution and his entry into the Western frontier.

What this map reconstructs is some original military land grants distributed by Virginia to participants who served in the American Revolution. Virginia set aside these lands about 1783 and began to be dispense them about 1790. John M. James was among the first of the Kentucky pioneers to acquire land here. In his lifetime, John leased, owned, sold, and controlled most all of the land on this map.

The principal grant holder here was Col. Nathaniel Welch, who acquired most everything west of Buck Creek, identified on the right. On another map not shown here, Welch also acquired about 3,500 acres east of Pitman Creek. From the land at Pitman Creek to the land at Buck Creek, most al of it intermittently fell under the control of the James family. These are the lands that formed the foundations of Pulaski County, Kentucky, of which John M. James was a founder.

Looking more closely in the upper center, Fellowship Knob identifies the first acquisition by John M. James.  Following the road, upper center of Fellowship Knob, takes you to the site of John’s Flat Lick Baptist Church, founded in 1799, and still operational today. John’s land extended further, well beyond the top boundary of this map to adjoin the military grant of Robert McAlister, another family relation.

Flat Lick Baptist Church, founded 1799

From Fellowship Knob on the road extending to the lower left is a black square identifying the Mansion House of John M. James, built sometime in the1790s.

Mansion House of John M. James

Proceeding from the Mansion House around the corner and downward brings you to the intersection of Dahl Road & Shopville Road at Flat Lick Creek. The black square here identifies the stone house of the “talented, but erratic” Rev. Joseph Martin James.

The Stone House of Rev. Joseph Martin James

The open space below Shopville is the big Flat Lick, still in the possession of James descendants today. A buffalo trail originally came down the center of this map from Crab Orchard to Flat Lick, where the buffalo then, and still do today, gorge themselves on its abundant salts, adjacent to Flat Lick Creek.

This map is part of a recent two-volume history Dawning of the Cumberland by Charlene Adkins who is 93 years old. The old military surveys were drafted by surveyor Bobby Hudson, and identified by D. E. Coates, a Pulaski County historian. Their work has proved critical in putting the James family lore about John M. James’ lands into clearer perspective, while adding definition that is plainly identifiable today.

This map arrives just in time for the publication of Volume II of Jesse James Soul Liberty, This Bloody Gound, which tells the story  of the first arrival and settlement on the Western frontier of Frank and Jesse James’ grandfather, following the service of all of these patriots and first military grant holders after the American Revolution.


Count me in!

I’m in! This morning I sent my literary submission for the Penned 2014 – 7th Annual Writer’s Showcase to Kentucky Monthly magazine.

The piece was finished a couple weeks ago. It’s been fermenting since. I checked my creative non-fiction entry this morning, and it hadn’t gone stinky on me since I wrote it. Creative writing can do that, a lot. In fact, the work was smelling so sweet, I decided now’s the time to get it in, well before deadline.

Kentucky offers some of the stiffest writing competition outside of New York. Kentucky writers, like Kentucky Derby contenders, know this is the place to compete and be judged. Watch for the results in October.

 


Still WANTED…Francis Lawrence “Jimmy” Keating

For those who read about Jimmy Keating on page 196 in Volume I of Jesse James Soul Liberty, here’ s some supplemental information. The first is the fingerprint card for Francis Lawrence “Jimmy” Keating from Leavenworth Prison where he was incarcerated, following his train robbery with Jimmy Holden. The second is Keating’s FBI WANTED bulletin, issued by J. Edgar Hoover following Keating’s escape from Leavenworth Prison.

Jimmy Keating is still a wanted man. I continue to research for new information about him. For years, I’ve been trying to learn more about his Keating genealogy. In recent weeks, I was contacted by one of his cousins and have been able to expand my knowledge about this silent and elusive criminal, who by chance became related to the James family. As the James-Keating family cousins were unaware of the cousin who contacted me, the contact cousin was also un-knowledgeable about his James-Keating cousins. I don’t foresee a family reunion in their futures, however.

I have enough material to write a book about Frances L. Keating, but my accumulated research is far from complete to tell Keating’s entire story. Presently in particular, I’ve been looking for information about one of Keating’s brothers, Robert “Bob” Keating, who died in Kansas City, according to a letter Jimmy Keating wrote when he learned in prison about his brother’s passing while reading the Kansas City Star.

From the documentation I have in hand, it’s clear Keating had outside support, both in the political community and among organized labor. Keating’s retirement was spent as president of a boilermaker’s local. I don’t believe more information about Keating will lead to where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. I don’t care about that. I do believe, though, from an historical point of view that James L. Keating was as interesting an outlaw as Jesse James.

One noticeable difference between Francis Keating and Jesse James is that Keating had the superior penmanship, and he could spell correctly. That’s the difference between graduating 8th grade and being home schooled.


AUCTION ALERT – Fake Frank & Jesse James Image

The claimed authenticity of an auction item today can fall under very critical, and perhaps more professional, analysis. Technology itself and the internet, now truly being world-wide, have brought a host of analytical skills to bear. No longer can a claim be made that an item is what it’s claimed to be. Of course, a claim can still be made, but people of serious intent want to know the underlying facts for the claim – particularly if you expect to reap a windfall of $40,000 to $60,ooo for a simple photographic image.

You’d think auction houses would have become aware of this by now. But they seem to be the last to get the message.

J. Levine Auction & Appraisal in Scottsdale, Arizona, has an image it claims is that of Frank & Jesse James. The auction house expects to sell the image at auction on July 21, 2014. The image, the auction house claims, has been in the possession of Edward Ziebarth and family for over 100 years, implying the image came into the family’s possession about the time Frank James died. Just how that occurred and under what circumstances are not stated. It is implied the image had been displayed at the Ziebarth Family Museum in Adams County, Nebraska.

To help a prospective purchaser believe in the claim of the auction house, auctioneer Josh Levine has posted the following two videos. The videos are vaguely reminiscent of the old familiar con game of a pea placed under three cups. The videos are intended, not to provide any substantive information, but instead to trick the eye.

 

 


 

 

If the image is authentic as its owner and auction house claim and is, in fact, worth as much money as they expect someone to pay, it would seem the wise course of action would have been to spend $5,000 to subject the image to formal forensic analysis, and provide the forensic report as evidence of authenticity. As it is, prospective bidders are expected to bring only lots of cash and lots of ignorance.

In my estimation, the auction image is not what it’s claimed to be.

I see nothing in this image, or in the countless images from the James family files, that resembles these two individuals, or that produces a physical similarity with Frank & Jesse James, or any other member of their family.

Jesse James at age 14

Without executing any mathematical analysis of the images, or going further into sub-strata flesh analysis, or anything more, a simple comparison test should have sufficed.

The auction house claims its image for auction was taken before Frank entered Confederate service, placing Jesse at about age 15. The image of Jesse that should have been employed for comparison should have been the image of Jesse at age 14. It doesn’t take an expert then to perceive the difference between the authentic image and the fake one. Instead, what the auction house has done is to compare one fake image of Jesse James to another fake image of Jesse James. That, if purposeful, would amount to fraud.
 
ERIC F. JAMES
 

UPDATE: July 31, 2014
Gay Mathis reports this image sold at auction for $12,000.


Jesse James – Your Guide to Child Care & Parenting

Who knew Jesse James would be a guide for child care and parenting? Somebody thinks so. But who that somebody is remains to be discovered.

An alert from Amanda Palmer, a performance artist I like and follow, said she had just sent off her finished book manuscript for publication. She invited me to her book’s pre-order page at Powell’s Books. While there, I checked out how my own book appeared on Powell’s website.

What a surprise! There was Jesse James Soul Liberty listed under the category of “Child Care & Parenting.”  Who knew?

Child care and parenting also appears to cost more. The book is listed at a two dollar premium above the suggested retail price.

In writing and proofing the book, I read the book so many times; but never did I come away from the book with that perspective. This clearly informs me that Jesse James means much more in American culture than anyone ever knew. The boy continues to confound expectation.

UPDATE: August 1, 2014

The following email has been received:

Eric F. James,

Thank you for contacting us. Our records indicate on ipage the following:

BISAC Categories:
- Biography & Autobiography | Historical | General
- Biography & Autobiography | Criminals & Outlaws
- History | United States | 19th Century INGRAM Categories:
- Chronological Period | 19th Century
- Geographic Orientation | Kentucky
- Geographic Orientation | Missouri
- Cultural Region | Western U.S.

We are unable to locate anywhere that it is listed as Child Care & Parenting”. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Regards,

Susan
Ingram Content Group
Customer Care


Surprise Discovery for a Contributor to Jesse James Soul Liberty

UPDATED SOURCE CITATION…In the past few days I reconnected with Barbara Wenzel-Clemens, now age 81. It was several years ago when Barbara first contacted me to inform me she had been a high school classmate of Diane and Don Baumel, great grandchildren of Jesse James. Some of the information Barbara provided at the time now appears on page 288 of Jesse James Soul Liberty, V.I.

What doesn’t appear in my book is my citation of Barbara as being the source of the information, which I now acknowledge here. Barbara wasn’t identified because her identity got locked up in that pesky external hard drive of mine you’ve heard me mention before, that got damaged when a light fell on it after a TV interview. The cost of retrieving the hard drive’s information has been cost prohibitive since. I was happy to apologize to Barbara in recent days for the neglect. When JJSL next appears in a revised edition, I assured her, she will be acknowledged properly in the book.

Then Barbara and I got to talking about her own family ancestry and a couple of surprises in store for her. The slim genealogy that Barbara gave me before, and what I was able to add to it since, already appears in our SURNAMES database on Stray Leaves. With her contact info locked up, I never could tell Barbara about it in the past. This week, I did.

My research into Barbara’s past showed that she is a 4th great granddaughter of Daniel Boone, just like her classmates, Diane and Don Baumel, were 5th great grandchildren of the famed explorer.

The surprise here for Barbara is that their shared relationship to Boone also makes cousins of all three of the former classmates. It also makes Barbara a cousin to Jesse James.

If that isn’t enough, when I last worked on her husband’s familiar family name of Clemens, there was an additional discovery.

I informed Barbara last week about Jeremiah Clemens who appears on page 84 of JJSL. Joseph McAlister James purchased the Clemens hotel that was built in Danville, Kentucky, as the Black Horse Inn. When the hotel burned, Joseph McJames rebuilt it in brick. Jeremiah Clemens, I told Barbara, is a cousin of her husband. Not only that, her husband is a cousin of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, aka Mark Twain.

Barbara assured me she was going to look into all that, and what I said certainly explained some stories that circulated among her family in the past.

I told her I could save her the time. I directed Barbara to the SURNAMES database on Stray Leaves first. Then I sent her ancestral reports for both her and her husband, which can be downloaded HERE for her husband and HERE for her.

Rounding out almost two decades of research, I can cite numerous stories like Barbara’s. The surprise of discovery is always thrilling. And no matter how old Barbara may be, I know she’ll be looking at her past with a richness never fully grasped when she was living it.

 


James-Younger Gang Past President Deceased

Janet H. Goodman, long-time James-Younger Gang member, died suddenly on June 30, 2013 at her home in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Janet was 73 at the time of her death.

Jan Goodman, days before her passing

Jan was a native of Minneapolis and was preceded in death by her parents, Julius and Lucile Nielsen, brother, Julius Jr. and close friend Jack Koblas. She is survived by her three children, Bret, Troy (Annette) Goodman, and Holly (Lannie) Segebarth. Also by three grandchildren, Avery, Davis and Vaughn, and a sister, Joan Nims. Memorial services were held Monday, July 7 at the Washburn-McReavy Funeral Home.

Janet worked for thirty years at the Fairview University Hospital in the accounts receivable department. She was also active in a number of fundraising activities at the hospital. She retired in 2006. She developed an interest in the James-Younger Gang when she went to a book signing by Jesse James book author Jack Koblas. Janet and Jack were high school classmates and she soon became Jack’s publicist. Jack suffered from Parkinson’s disease for the last decade of his life and Janet often drove him to his book signings. Speaking engagements, and other activities connected with his writing. She also often assisted in getting him to medical appointments and with other aspects of his medical care.

Jan Goodman with author John Koblas

Janet became one of the movers and shakers in the James-Younger Gang organization. She was a lady who always knew how to get things done. From 2006 to 2010 she served as the secretary and treasurer, and from 2012 to 2013 as the president of the organization. Janet was a selfless and caring person , she will be sadly missed by family and many, many friends.


Roy Rogers, a Cousin of Jesse James

Did you know the cowboy singer Roy Rogers is a cousin of Jesse James?

You can download the ancestry & kinship of Leonard Slye, aka Roy Rogers, HERE.

 


In Defense of a Birther

Singer Pat Boone’s recent birther claim has turned on him. Against all evidence, Boone has claimed he will produce proof that President Barrack Obama was born in Kenya. Boone, it appears, now is called upon to produce evidence that he himself is a descendant of Daniel Boone, as he claims. The challenge for Boone is to produce bona fide proof of ancestry connecting him to Kentucky explorer Daniel Boone, or fall suspect that his own perma-dark complexion indicates that Pat Boone also may be foreign born.

Los Angelinos recall Pat Boone in his semi-retirement during the 1970’s. Boone was a periodic guest on the daytime television show of former L.A. mayor Sam Yorty.

Sam Yorty & Ronald Reagan

The mayor, an arch Republican like Pat Boone, was proudly tickled any time Boone claimed to be descended from the famed frontier woodsman Daniel Boone, which Pat Boone did fairly regularly.

Yorty was fond of associations like that. He eagerly friended many of Hollywood’s celluloid products. Favorites were California Senator and actor George Murphy and actor and later Governor Ronald Reagan.

George Murphy, Judy Garland, Gene Kelly

Evelle J. Younger

 

Yorty also was a Republican Party associate of Evelle J. Younger, whom Yorty assisted in electing as California State Attorney General, following Younger’s service under Yorty as Los Angeles County District Attorney.

Younger never claimed his kinship with the Younger brothers of the James-Younger Gang. Had Yorty known of it, everyone else might have known it. Yorty was a master promoter.

 

Presently, internet challenges claim Pat Boone is NOT a descendant of Daniel Boone. Like birthers, however, the faux genealogists making such claims can only point to error laden internet databases to support their charge.  It is doubtful any of the genealogy bloggers has ever smelled a musty public records book, or have descended into any dank, dimly lit courthouse basement to conduct physical research of their own.

Here at Stray Leaves, Charles Eugene Patrick Boone’s genealogy and link to Daniel Boone is accepted, as is the word of Pat Boone, until proven any different. This acceptance has withstood publication for 15 years or more, leaving ample room for any disproof to appear in that time. Despite America’s rampant enthusiasm for genealogy, and especially celebrity genealogy, no proof has surfaced.

Who’s to say, though, if genealogists approached Pat Boone’s ancestry from a political perspective? Having been born in Florida a descendant of Daniel Boone may not be acceptable to some beliefs. A more desirable attitude would be to discredit Pat Boone, his ancestry, and his birthroot. He’s not a descendant of Daniel Boone at all. His perma-complexion indicates Pat Boone is the native of a foreign Caribbean country instead, and Pat Boone’s U.S. citizenship should be under consideration as revocable, together with his recording royalties. Stray Leaves eschews such unethical genealogy practice, as it also eschews the birtherism practiced by Pat Boone among others.

In the practice of genealogy, birtherism holds no place. One’s family claim is respected until proved otherwise by reputable research. When disproved, the genealogy stands corrected.

The only defense of birtherism among genealogists is to be factual, prove your own, and produce the proof of those you claim is false. Ante up your own factual record first, Pat Boone, before attacking others.

 

 


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