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.