In recent days I was inserting this image of Janice Malley-Donovan-Hawkins into my forthcoming history of the Jesse James family, Jesse James Soul Liberty. As I did so, I was unaware Janice had died in Portland, Maine.
Just a few days ago I contacted Janice’s brother Jack. Joan had been suffering with Alzheimer’s for years. Jack said nothing about Janice. I received the news of Janice’s passing today from Gabrielle Sullivan, the daughter-in-law of Joan Beamis. Gabrielle informed me Janice’s brother Jim and Joan’s son Mark Beamis attended Janice when she passed.
The chapter in my book about Joan Beamis highlights the Malley siblings and their shared love and affection. From the book, here’s the amusing story of how Janice was named by her grandmother Mary Louisa James-Burns whom the Malley children called Nanna, a daughter of Drury Woodson James, as Joan Beamis told the story.
When Marguerite Burns married James Frances Malley in New Haven, Connecticut, the couple established their residence in Beverly, Massachusetts. Their first born child was Joan’s oldest brother James Burns Malley, who entered the law profession but later became a Jesuit priest. Joan’s next oldest sibling, John Crohan Malley, practiced farming. Joan herself, a teacher, was the next born; followed by her younger sister, Janice Ann Malley, also a teacher.
Naming Joan and her siblings became a family amusement. “We were four: Jimmie, Joan, Jack, and Janice, born in that order and all named by Nanna because Mom and Dad could never agree on a name. He was adamant against a ‘junior,’ and Nanna finally solved the dilemma with James Burns Malley. With me,” Joan continued, “every girl’s name seemed to remind Dad of some peculiar character, and when Mom threatened to name me ‘California’…he quickly acquiesced to Mary Joan. When Jack came along, it was decided to name him after Daddy’s father, Crohan Malley, but Dad thought that was unusual and would lead to unpleasant nicknames; but Nanna’s suggestion of ‘John Crohan’ met with instant approval. By the time Janice arrived, we already had three ‘J’s, so Nanna thought it would be nice to continue the alliteration, and named the beautiful, blue-eyed baby after her favorite book Janice Meredith, a Story of the American Revolution.” The book contained sixty-five chapters. Nanna was well armed with more name recommendations from Janice Meredith, should her daughter bear any more children.
Janice Ann Malley
. James Francis Malley + Marguerite Hazel Burns
.. Edward Frederick Burns + Mary Louisa “Nanna” James
… Drury Woodson James + Mary Louisa Dunn
…. John M. James + Mary “Polly” Poor
… Rev. Robert Sallee James + Zerelda Elizabeth Cole
.. Frank & Jesse James