Tag Archives: Janice Malley

Another Brother of Joan Beamis is Gone

Another brother of Joan Beamis has died. John Crohan “Jack” Malley passed away at the age of 90 on Saturday, March 5, 2016.  Among Joan’s other siblings, her brother Fr. Jim Malley died last June. Her sister Janice died in 2012. Joan was the first of her siblings to pass in 1990.

John Crohan Malley, brother of Joan Beamis
Jack Malley, brother of Joan Beamis & Fr. Jim Malley

In 2009, Jack Malley provided substantial information about his family and their kinship with the family of Frank & Jesse James to Stray Leaves publisher Eric F. James. Much of what Jack provided ended up in James’ first volume of the history of the Jesse James family – Jesse James Soul Liberty, Behind the Family Wall of Stigma & Silence.

About his family, Jack Malley informed Eric F. James, “My mother  (Marguerite Hazel Burns-Malley) was the only one who would not talk about the James brothers. She was somewhat of a Boston socialite in her pre-marital years. We, her children, thought it was terrific, and our grandmother Mary Louise James-Burns was “pumped dry” for stories.” Mary Louise James-Burns, a daughter of Frank and Jesse’s uncle Drury Woodson James, lived with the Malley siblings as they grew up.

Malley Boys Farm, girlhood home of Joan Beamis
The Malley family home, Somersworth, New Hampshire, and childhood home of Fr. James B., John Crohan, Mary Joan, and Janice Ann Malley. Formerly the Malley Boys Home. Now the Sober Sisters Recovery Transitional Home for women.

As Jack Malley stated, “It is ironic that D.W.J. (Jack’s great-grandfather) was a rancher and cattleman. I spent my life in agriculture. First, running a 100 cow dairy herd with my father in New Hampshire and then 30 years as a soil conservationist with the Soil Conservation Service, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture in New Hampshire and Maine, working with farmers.

“Grandmother Mary Louise James-Burns (Jack’s grandmother) lived with our family until her passing. She and I shared a great love of farming and she maintained a great interest in our farm and herd. My Dad provided her a home from the day he married her daughter Marguerite. They were great friends and rabid Democrats! Our Mother was somewhat ashamed of her James cousins and did not care to discuss the subject with anyone – even family!!!”

J. Mark Beamis, son of Joan Beamis
J. Mark Beamis, son of Joan Beamis and nephew of Jack Malley.

News of Jack’s passing was provided to Stray Leaves by his nephew, J. Mark Beamis. Mark informed Eric about Jacks’ final days. “He was getting hospice at home for congestive heart failure since January. On Friday, they moved him to a nursing home and he wasn’t there 24 hours before he left. I think he ‘planned’ it that way.”

An extensive and loving obituary of Jack Malley outlines in detail his personal life and interests, as well as his accomplished career in conservation and preservation. The obituary is well worth reading.

In recent  news, the Malley family farm where Joan and her siblings grew up now will become a women’s recovery center. The Malley family farm is the place where the first discovery was made by Joan Beamis, leading to her researching and writing the first genealogy of the Jesse James family, Background of a Bandit. Following the death of the Malley siblings’ parents, Rep. James Francis Malley and Marguerite Hazel Burns in 1974 and 1983, the Malley home then became the Malley Boys Farm. With Jack’s passing, the family home now enters a new stage, becoming the Sober Sisters Recovery Transitional Home for women.

Siblings of Joan Beamis - Fr. Jim, Janice, and Jack Malley
Siblings of Mary Joan Malley-Bemis – Fr. Jim, Janice, and Jack Malley

Janice Malley, Sister of Jesse James Genealogist Joan Beamis, Has Died


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.

James, Janice, John Malley
Fr. Jim, Janice, & Jack Malley


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 Francis 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


Obituary for Janice Malley-Donovan-Hawkins