Attention Jesse James Kinfolk…Send me your ears

Home » Attention Jesse James Kinfolk…Send me your ears

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

How can you tell a genetic relative of Jesse James?

The answer is simple. Just look at the ears.

Every few weeks I receive photographic images that are claimed to be of Jesse James, or Frank James, or of the two together. More often, they are pictures of some who claim to be a relative of the James. It’s easy to dismiss almost every image promptly. But sometimes, when the physical resemblance appears close, the first thing I look at are the ears.

Zee Mimms James
Zee Mimms, wife of Jesse Woodson James

This image of Jesse James’ wife Zee is one of my most favorite James family pictures because it shows very clearly the physical ear definition that commonly appears among many in the Jesse James family.

Zee Mimms-James is not only Jesse’s wife, but she also is his first cousin. They both share the same grandparents, those being John M. James & Mary “Polly” Poor.

The giveaway in the ear formation of the James is the flattened part of the ear’s perimeter, and the deep peninsula canal located inside the ear at the bottom.

Zee Mimms James
Young Zee Mimms

Evident in this image of a young Zee Mimms is the same ear formation, which will last a lifetime. This architecture rarely appears in both ears, but only in one.

This singular ear pattern would have been familiar to Jesse James. While no image of Jesse shows he possessed the same ear form, it is easy from viewing photographic images of his children that he possessed the formation, too. His children Jesse Edwards James Jr. and Mary Susan James definitely did.

Jesse Edwards James Jr.
Jesse Edwards James Jr.


Mary Susan James
Mary Susan James

Among the Jesse James family, this ear formation appears to be genetic. Generations of the James display the same ear structure through time to present day.

Robert Franklin James
Robert Franklin James

Frank James, son, Robert Franklin James had one. So did Jesse’s cousin Susan Prudence James-Smith.

Prudence James Smith
Susan Prudence James-Smith

Living members of the Jesse James family display the same ear formation today, even among family who do not descend from Jesse James.

Finally, this is J. Mark Beamis. Mark is the son of Joan Malley-Beamis, author of Background of a Bandit, the first genealogy assembled by a James family member. Furthermore, Mark is a second great-grandson of Drury Woodson James, Frank and Jesse’s uncle; and he is a third great-grandson of John M. James and Mary “Polly” Poor.

J. Mark Beamis
J. Mark Beamis

Recently, when these images were presented to living descendants among the James family, some dashed to a mirror to check their ears. What they saw in the mirror was their James family genetic heritage, fully and irrefutably displayed.

To other James family members, only now becoming aware of this genetic characteristic, I’ll ask you to SEND ME YOUR EARS.

Jesse James
Jesse Woodson James


Frank James genetic ear
Frank James

Spot More Ears in Our Video Albums

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Tuesday October 19th, 2021
Stray Leaves Daily

☞Today in Old-West History — On today’s date 119 years ago, Sunday, October 19, 1902, notorious Old-West outlaw & fiddle player James Hardin “Uncle Jim” Younger (1848-1902) met his earthly demise at the age of 54 when he committed suicide by gunshot whilst on parole at Saint Paul, Minnesota.

☞Requiéscant In Pace, Jim Younger.

☞Jim Younger was one of the central figures of a band of the most desperate outlaws the Old West ever knew — the infamous James-Younger Gang, which was formed by Jim’s brother Cole Younger along with Frank & Jesse James.

☞Jim Younger joined the Confederate Army during the War Between the States (1861-1865) & served with Quantrill’s Raiders. In 1864, he was captured by Union troops & was imprisoned until the end of the War.

☞After the War, Younger worked on various ranches until he joined the James-Younger Gang in 1873. When his brother John was killed at Roscoe, Missouri in 1874, Jim left the gang & went out west where he worked on a ranch in San Luis Obispo, California.

☞In 1876, Jim returned to the gang, & on September 7 he participated in a bank robbery that became known as the Great Northfield Minnesota Raid. During that robbery he was shot & captured. The James brothers escaped, but Cole, Jim, & Bob Younger were shot up by a posse, arrested, & sentenced to long terms in the state penitentiary at Stillwater, Minnesota, where they were afforded celebrity status.

☞Jim Younger’s fiddle was one of the few possessions that he was allowed to have with him in prison, & he played it often. As time passed, Jim noticed that a little bird would appear most every day in the window of his jail cell. It seemed as though the bird came to listen whenever Jim played his fiddle. Jim was lonely & he befriended the bird which he named “Swipsy.” The bird would fly into the prison cell & Jim would always try to have crumbs to feed Swipsy. One day, a fellow prisoner killed the little bird just for spite. Jim then painted a picture of Swipsy on the back of his violin to remember his little feathered friend.

☞In 1898, the prison warden allowed the prisoners to throw a Christmas party at his own home, with Cole Younger portraying Santa Claus & Jim Younger playing his fiddle.

☞Paroled in 1901, Jim became engaged to his long-time lover Alix Mueller; however, because of the terms of his parole he couldn’t marry her.

☞On October 19, 1902, after a failed attempt to sell tombstones & then insurance, Jim Younger locked himself in his room, wrote a suicide note to Alix, picked up his revolver, & blew his brains out.

☞In 2013, Jim Younger’s fiddle, which was played by him at the famous 1898 Christmas party at Stillwater Prison, was sold at a Dallas, Texas auction for over $11,000.

☞The left-hand photograph depicts the image of Swipsy the Bird that Jim Younger painted on the back of his fiddle. The right-hand photograph depicts an undated studio portrait of Jim Younger.
See MoreSee Less

Tuesday October 5th, 2021
Stray Leaves Daily

For Drury Woodson James, founder of Paso Robles, CA., and all his descendants, PASO ROBLES FOUNDERS’ DAY 2021. See MoreSee Less