Daniel Lewis James Jr. co-wrote The Great Dictator with Charlie Chaplin. The two were neighbors in Hollywood and often played tennis together. Dan James is a cousin of the notorious Civil War partisan and outlaw Jesse James. The British Chaplin needed an American who could translate Chaplin’s ideas into American colloquialism to be better understood by Chaplin’s American audience.
Like most warriors of democracy, Dan James found himself persecuted for his speech. He was blacklisted by the House on Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). His career was forced underground to write B-movies based on allegories and metaphors for social justice.
In August of 1860, Francis Marion James Sr. and his brother Daniel Ephriam James entered open court at Boyle County Courthouse in Kentucky, to either declare their father Joseph McAlsiter James as their guardian or to declare themselves as independent of their family. They chose to remain with their father.
The boys’ mother, Elizabeth Vardeman James had died sometime about 1846, a year after D. E. was born. She probably died giving birth to a stillborn child. Their father promptly remarried in October of that year to Margaret Wood. By the time Marion and D. E. appeared in court, the boys had five additional siblings, Thomas William, Mary Ellen, Martha Jane, George Thomas, and John Robert James who would become a respected Baptist minister.
Francis M. James, a minor over 14 years of age…into open Court and made choice of Joseph McJames, Guardian, which is certified by the appointment of…Guardian aforesaid by the Court. And said Joseph McJames…pon took the required oath and together with Thomas Barbee…surety entered in and acknowledged a bond to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, conditioned according to law which…proved by the Court.
Daniel E. (Ephriam) James, a minor over the age of 14 years this day…into open Court, and made choice of Joseph McJames, Guardian, which is ratified by the appointment of…James as Guardian aforesaid by the Court. And said Joseph McJames thereupon took the required oath and together with Thomas Barbee his surety, entered into and acknowledged a bond to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, conditions according to law, which is approved by the Court.
On November 20, 2011, Kansas City native Col. Stewart Boone McCarty Jr. died. Like the grandchildren of Jesse James, Col. McCarty was a direct descendant of Kentucky explorer Daniel Boone, making him a cousin to the grandchildren of Jesse James, who also are directly descended from Daniel Boone. (See Pedigree below.) Unlike the outlaw’s grandchildren who suffered under the stigma of their heritage, Col. Boone suffered no such stigma. He actively pursued his family history to the joy of reveling in it.
Little joy came, though, to Joan Malley Beamis, who was the first of the Jesse James family to pursue the James family heritage. Joan was a great granddaughter of the infamous outlaw’s uncle, Drury Woodson James. Joan sought her own membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).
Her family strictly warned Joan to avoid any contact with her cousins in Missouri. Writing to the New York City Library, instead, Joan was dismayed to learn that the great repository of east coast history knew nothing about her family and nothing whatsoever about the family of Frank & Jesse James.
Col. McCarty had no such difficulty. For many years he served the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR) as President General. Out of its membership of 28,000, Col. McCarty was one of six to receive the Society’s Minuteman Award. He had graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles with an AB in Economics. At George Washington University, he completed an MA in Management and Personnel Administration; and then he completed graduate studies in Archaeology at Worcester College of Oxford University and the Catholic University of America.
Despite receiving an excellent education herself, Joan struggled for years simply to make contact with her family of cousins who didn’t even know of her or her kinship with them. Joan wrote a number of times to Lawrence Barr, the outlaw’s grandson. He ignored her letters. Finally, his wife, Thelma Duncan Barr responded to Joan, but only after Thelma had been urged to do so by a cousin in the Mimms family, who already was a member of the DAR.
Joan Beamis learned her cousins in the Jesse James line of her family knew little, if nothing at all, about their family history and lineage. Joan was left to perform the difficult research that took years to restructure the skeleton of her James family genealogy. What little she learned, Joan published as a book titled, Background of a Bandit, through the Kentucky Historical Society.
Col. Stewart Boone McCarty Jr. pursued a lifelong career in the U.S. Marine Corps. He commanded units from platoon to battalion, in combat and in garrison, interspersed with staff assignments and attendance at military schools. He was awarded the Legion of Merit; Bronze Star Medals with combat “V” in Korea and Vietnam; the Purple Heart; the Meritorious Service Medal; and other United States and foreign military awards.
He retired from military service in 1974. Knowledge of his family history merited him membership in multiple lineage societies in which he avidly participated.
General Society of Colonial Wars (past Deputy Governor General and past Governor of the Washington D.C. Society)
National Gavel Society (past President)
National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (past President General; Minuteman Award Recipient; Patriot Medal Recipient)
One Hundred Living Descendants of Blood Royal
National Society Americans of Royal Descent
Order of the Crown of Charlemagne in the United States of America
Order of the Merovingian Dynasty
Hereditary Order of Descendants of Loyalists and Patriots (past Governor General)
General Society Sons of the Revolution (past President of the Washington D.C. Society)
Huguenot Society of Washington D.C. (past President)
St. Andrew’s Society of Washington D.C. (past President)
Society of the War of 1812 (past President of the Washington D.C. Society)
Society of Descendants of Knights of the Garter (Treasurer of the American Friends)
Ancient Heraldic and Chivalric Order of Albion
Baronial Order of the Magna Charta
Society of Boonesborough
The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem (Officer Companion)
Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem (Grand Cross, former Grand Prior, Priory of St. King Charles the Martyr, Washington, D.C.)
Knight of Grace of the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem
Joan Beamis finally achieved her membership in the DAR. Her lineage link to the American Revolution came through her ancestry descended from the Patriot Robert Poor. Joan also learned she was eligible, if invited, for membership in more lineage societies. Among them are:
The Sons & Daughter of the American Revolution
The Daughters of the American Colonists
The Daughters of the Colonial Wars
The Jamestowne Society
In all her research, Joan never did identify the Patriots among her James lineage. They existed, as the new history of the James family will show in Jesse James’ Soul Liberty; but they eluded her.
Eric James, Danville, Ky. January 6, 2012
Pedigree of Col. Stewart Boone McCarty Jr.
. Stewart Boone McCarty Sr. & Vivian Myers Simmons
.. Ernest P. McCarty & Elizabeth Josephine Stewart
… Samuel L. Stewart & Delila L. Boone
…. Daniel Boone Jr. & Mary Constance Philabert
….. Daniel Morgan Boone & Sarah Griffin Lewis
…… Daniel Boone & Rebecca Ann Bryant
Pedigree of James Randall Ross
James Randall Ross
. Ronald Munro Ross & Josephine Frances James
.. Jesse Edwards James Jr. & Estella Frances McGowan
David Ralph James, and his son Christopher David James, know one thing for certain about their DNA. They don’t possess the Y-chromosome DNA proven to be that of their paternal James ancestors.
The problem rests with David’s great grandmother, Mary Ellen James, who was born in 1856. She also is Sam Walton’s grandmother. As most of America knows, Sam Walton founded Walmart.
When Mary Ellen James left the home of her father Reverend Daniel Field James in Pulaski County, Kentucky, she took her only child with her. William Otho James was four years old when a history of Fayette County, Kentucky, reported in 1882 that his mother was unmarried and living in Missouri.
Unknown is whether or not Mary Ellen James left her Kentucky home in disgrace. No marriage record can be found for her. Nor can any record be found to identify the father of Will Otho James. Mary Ellen made sure her son bore her own name of James.
Leaving home, Mary Ellen took Will Otho first to Joplin, Missouri. Shortly after the report in Kentucky appeared, she then moved to Johnson County, Kansas, east of Kansas City and Lee’s Summit. There Mary Ellen married Reuben Moore Lawrence. He, too, had been born in Pulaski County, two years before she was. Together, the couple then moved to Corbin, Kansas, south of Wichita, where they started a family.
After Mary Ellen bore Reuben Moore Lawrence the second of their four children, Will Otho James struck out for Indian Territory. It was 1892. He was only fourteen. He’d be twenty-one before Sam Walton’s mother, Nancy Lee Lawrence was born. It would be almost a decade before Will Otho married and started a family himself.
Will Otho and his family lived in Kingfisher and Bartlesville, Oklahoma. When his children were grown, he settled in Norman. He was a charter member of the Assembly of God church. He operated a hotel, and the Log Cabin Restaurant, where he became a local celebrity among school kids who called him Dad.
David Ralph James is the grandson of Will Otho James. His aunts and uncles visited occasionally with the Lawrence family, and knew Sam Walton personally.
Knowing his DNA is not that of his James ancestry, David and his son Chris James cannot help but wonder if their DNA isn’t that of the Lawrence family, or even that of Sam Walton’s father, Thomas Gibson Walton.
ANCESTRY OF SAM WALTON
Samuel Moore Walton, aka Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, is a great grandson of Mary Ellen James. His pedigree is as follows:
Reuben Moore Lawrence Sr. and Rebecca Moore
. Reuben Moore Lawrence Jr. and Mary Ellen James
.. Thomas Gibson Walton and Nance Lee Lawrence
… Samuel Moore Walton
IS THE FATHER OF THIS LAWRENCE MAN THE UNKNOWN PARTNER OF MARY ELLEN JAMES ?
Robert H. Lawrence shares a physical resemblance with Will Otho James, as well as with Will’s sons Otho Junior and Vern Reuben James, his nephew David Ralph James, and grandson Christoper James. Like theirs, his life has its own mysteries.
Sometime between 1886 and 1890, Lawrence killed a person in a family feud. He was convicted and sent to jail. Within a year, he escaped. He changed his name to Robert Edward Goff and fled to Oklahoma Indian Territory, where many migrants from Pulaski County, Kentucky had settled. He married, settled in Sapulpa, had six children who carried the Goff surname, after which he mysteriously died.
The grandparents of Robert H. Lawrence are Reuben Moore Lawrence Sr. and Rebecca Moore, the same as the great grandparents of Sam Walton. William T. Lawrence, who may be Mary Ellen James’ mystery man, is his father.
W. T. Lawrence was eighteen years older than Mary Ellen James. He had served the Confederacy in the Civil War. Right before the war started, W. T. married Almira Griffin, a very distant cousin of the James. When Almira died around 1884, W. T. promptly remarried to Elvira Cash by whom he had two more children, Gopher and Iona. A third child is known to have been born to W. T. Lawrence, but that child has never been able to be documented. The only information about the mystery child that the descendants of W. T. Lawrence know is that the child bore the name James.
For the Goff descendants of William T. Lawrence, knowing the DNA of the Lawrence family would be as helpful to them as it would be to the family of David Ralph and Christopher James.