Great-grandchild of Jesse James has 3 Lines of James Ancestry

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Betty Barr- 3 lines of James ancestry
Elizabeth Ann Barr, aka Betty Barr, Great Granddaughter of Jesse James

Only one great-grandchild of Jesse James has three distinct lines of James ancestry. The three lines offer indisputable evidence that the ancestry of the Jesse James family is more extensive and permeating than formerly known. Moreover, it is a sure guarantee that Elizabeth Ann Barr is none too happy about it.

Betty Barr’s father, Lawrence Henry Barr, never was happy about his kinship to the Jesse James family, even though he married Jesse’s daughter. When the James family’s genealogist Joan Malley-Beamis sent letters to Lawrence to learn about the kinship that her research showed they shared, Lawrence stonewalled her. On numerous occasions, Lawrence rudely provided Joan no reply whatsoever. Betty’s mother, Thelma Duncan Barr, took it upon herself to intervene, to restore courtesy and civility among the James family’s descendants. Thelma wrote to Joan Beamis, pleading for Joan’s understanding about her husband’s inexplicable silence.

“Dear Mrs. Beamis, My name is Thelma Duncan Barr. My husband is Lawrence Barr…I am sorry he did not see fit to answer your letter. You have no idea how many inquiries he gets through the mails.. He simply did not want to be bothered. I told him he should have answered your letter. However, he does not know very much about the historical facts of the family. Mother Barr [Jesse’s daughter Mary Susan James-Barr] would not let it be ‘talked about’ in her home.”

Lawrence Barr and Thelma Duncan-3 lines of James ancestry
Thelma Duncan and Lawrence Henry Barr, Parents of Betty Barr


Without a doubt, Betty Barr is her father’s daughter. From her father’s sense of protection and self-insulation, Betty inherited and maintains the bar to interest in the James family that her father erected.

Years later, when Stray Leaves publisher Eric F. James queried Betty about her family history, word came back through a longtime family friend Marjorie Highley-Best, “Tell Eric James to mind his own business.” Unlike her father with Joan Beamis, at least Betty had the courtesy to provide a reply, albeit an indirect one.

When Judge James R. Ross, another third great-grandchild of Jesse, personally invited Betty to attend the James Gang & Family Reunion in Paso Robles, California in 2002 to celebrate Drury Woodson James, Betty declined. She cited the recent attack of 9/11 as her reason not to fly, although she could have traveled safely and more comfortably by train. Her attendance at the family reunion would have been a historic event in itself, bringing together all of Jesse’s third generation in one place, in one photo, for one last time.

Donald James Baumel, James R. Ross, James Curiis Lewis
Three great grandsons of Jesse Woodson James attend the James family reunion in 2002. Donald James Baumel, Judge James R. Ross, James Curtis Lewis. Not in attendance is Diane June Baumel Fairchild and Elizabeth Ann “Betty” Barr

Among most of the James family, escaping the notoriety of Jesse James, and their kinship to him has become a genetic obsession. Across several generations, being a direct descendant of Jesse James, as is Betty Barr, has not been without pain and difficulty. Despite the family stigma, for the most part, the family phobia remains self-inflicted.

More significantly, today such avoidance and aversion are needless and unwarranted. Now, a blanket of James family exists to give comfort to the stigmatized James. The broader James family of teachers, preachers, educators, and poets, together with a gallery of public servants, politicians, and community builders as Jesse James Soul Liberty documents, asserts a family reputation the isolated Jesse James family never before could claim.

Betty Barr may hide in a citadel of silence, but never can she escape the inviolate facts of her genetic genealogy. In the 135 years since the assassination of her great-grandfather, new research into genealogical facts of the Jesse James family makes it clear that Betty Barr has more than one line of James ancestry. She has three. When compiled together, Betty’s three lines offer her more than ample reason to escape her Barr family citadel, which has imprisoned her.


If “Mother Barr” (Jesse’s daughter Mary Susan James-Barr) elected not to talk about her infamous father Jesse, she had ample reason for not doing so. Jesse’s firebrand burned fiercely throughout the lifetime of Mary Susan James-Barr. The burn and sting transferred easily to Jesse’s grandchildren and beyond.

Henry Lafayette Barr & Mary Susan James-3 lines of James ancestry
Betty Barr’s grandparents, “Mother Barr” Mary Susan James, the daughter of Jesse Woodson James, with her husband Henry Lafayette Barr

Three generations of the outlaw’s progeny would have to pass before the flame would subside sufficiently for the James family to escape the stigma of disgrace. Joan Beamis made ample note of this in her essay “Unto the Third Generation,” now published in Volume I of Jesse James Soul Liberty. Betty Barr is a great-granddaughter of Jesse James, making Betty one of the third generation whom Joan Beamis addressed. With more than a century of time now passed since Jesse’s assassination, Betty should live completely free and unfettered from her great-grandfather’s notorious past.

Betty’s descendant line from Jesse James is as follows:

1. Jesse Woodson James & Zee Mimms
2. Mary Susan James & Henry Lafayette Barr
3. Lawrence Henry Barr & Thelma Duncan
4. Elizabeth Ann “Betty” Barr


Background of a Bandit by Joan Beamis-First line of James ancestry
Background of a Bandit by Joan Beamis

Since 1970, when Joan Beamis published the first genealogy of the Jesse James family, Background of a Bandit, Betty Barr knew only six generations of her James ancestry beyond herself. Joan Beamis was not able to identify any James ancestry beyond that, although she suspected there was much more to be found, as she stated in “Unto the Third Generation,” now published in Volume I of Jesse James Soul Liberty.

Betty’s James ancestry as compiled by Joan Beamis is as follows:

1. William James Sr. & Mary Hines
2. John M. James & Mary “Polly” Poor
3. Rev. Robert Sallee James & Zerelda Elizabeth Cole
4. Jesse Woodson James & Zee Mimms
5. Mary Susan James & Henry Lafayette Bar
6. Lawrence Henry Barr & Thelma Duncan
7. Elizabeth Ann “Betty” Barr


Stray Leaves expanded the ancestry of the Jesse James familyFor twenty-five years from 1970 to 1995, Betty satisfied herself with the genealogy that Joan Beamis produced. Meanwhile, claims continued to assault the established kinship of the Jesse James family that remained for the most part as small, confined, and isolated.

Stray Leaves was hot on the trail to discover Betty’s hidden past. Other genealogists also were on her ancestral trail. Stray Leaves started to publish its new research, starting in 1995. The  findings have been peer reviewed by over two hundred genealogists and historians since. As Joan Beamis suspected, a deeper and broader James ancestry was found.

Betty’s ancestors in her James line now extend five generations beyond what Joan Beamis could find.

1. John James, the Immigrant & Unknown
2. Thomas James & Sarah E. Mason
3. George James Sr. & Mary Wheeler
4. Esther James & Henry Field Sr.
5. Mary Field & Joseph James, the Elder
6. William James Sr. & Mary Hines
7. John M. James & Mary “Polly” Poor
8. Rev. Robert Sallee James & Zerelda Elizabeth Cole
9. Jesse Woodson James & Zee Mimms
10. Mary Susan James & Henry Lafayette Bar
11. Lawrence Henry Barr & Thelma Duncan
12. Elizabeth Ann “Betty” Barr


John Q.A. Capps-ancestry of Betty Barr
Another third great-grandfather of Betty Barr is John Quincy Adams Capps, aka “Sweet Potato” Capps. Capps was born in Crab Orchard, Lincoln County, Kentucky on August 20, 1784. At the time, his family were neighbors with John M. James, Betty’s 4th great-grandfather. The Capps family exited Kentucky for Missouri in the early 1820s. In 1827, Capps acquired a 160-acre farm about 4 miles northwest of Liberty in Clay County, Missouri. There, “Sweet Potato” Capps became widely known for his sweet potato seeds. Each year on April first, Capps opened his seed pit, attracting farmers from miles around. John Quincy Adams Capps died in Clay County, Missouri on September 14, 1857.

From the ancestry of Betty’s mother Thelma Duncan-Barr, Betty possesses yet an additional line of surprising ancestry that connects Betty to her James family’s first immigrant to America, John James in the early 1600s.

This additional line of James ancestry weaves through several generations of other families with various surnames. As the research of Stray Leaves showed since 1997, these families were known to be socially related to the James through several generations in Colonial Virginia. The ancestry of Betty’s mother Thelma Duncan-Barr serves as further confirmation of Betty’s blanket James ancestry.

1. John James, the Immigrant & Unknown
2. Thomas James & Sarah E. Mason
3. Capt. John James & Dinah Allen
4. Sarah James & Peter Hitt Jr.
5. Miriam Hitt & Archibald Holtzclaw
6. Rebecca Holtzclaw & John Quincy Adams “Sweet Potato” Capps
7. Elizabeth Louise Capps & Joseph B. Hart
8. Clarissa Rebecca “Clara” Hart & Louis Fry
9. Louise “Lulu” Fry & Jeholda Duncan
10. Thelma Duncan & Lawrence Henry Barr
11. Elizabeth Ann “Betty” Barr


The fact that both of Betty Barr’s paternal and maternal lines can be traced back to the same set of James ancestors indisputably confirms the identity of the James ancestry of the Jesse James family.

Betty’s ancestry is a unique pedigree peculiar to her alone. Her maternal antecedents confirm her James extraction indirectly, exclusive of her paternal line leading directly to Jesse James. No other great-grandchild of Jesse James’ third generation can claim Betty’s unique pedigree – not Judge James Randall Ross, not Donald James Baumel or Diane June Baumel, and not James Curtis Lewis.

The time is now for Betty to stake her claim in a notable and laudable ancestry that completely outshines the stigma from which her Barr family has been hiding. The time also is now for the ancestry of the blanket James family to recognize and celebrate this uniquely American family for its formidable contribution to society, and not for its legendary sensationalism.


More information about all of Betty Barr’s ancestors can be found in the SURNAMES genealogy database of Stray Leaves.

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Tuesday July 27th, 2021
Stray Leaves


"how comes then,that a slave from the james family,back to jesse james,funeral.who was devoted to jesse.was also by the side of j.frank dalton,who claimed to be jesse james?And also senator clark,really the founder of LA! and jesse and frank,photo evidence of high degree freemasons.Jesse was not killed by bob ford.after the alleged killing of jesse,years later,frank was known to have visited bob ford, who had a saloon near a gold rush route. The jesse body that was photographed,and later buried,that was not jesse.It was charlie bigelow,who had infiltrated the james gang,and was a pinkerton informer,because two older bigelows,sit in graves side by side,and both graves show exact same death date. no-body really knows, but the ages on the grave stones of the 2 bigelows could have been charlies uncle and his father. And maybe killed by the james gang. the DNA evidence in the 80s was doubtful.others were buried buried in the same area,they did not find jesse james body,or grave. all they found was a tooth! I suspect jesse james junior,is the son of charlie bigelow. I dont know who this man is but jesse held a position of power in the US,years after he is dead.And had a hand in the assasination of lincoln, and maybe later US presidents,jesse was not a banker, but paid cash for big railroads,and copper mines,as william c.clark.US senator,and was one of the richest and most powerful men, in the US.J frank dalton told a few months before he died, everything, Dont believe? J for jesse, frank for his brother. Dalton for his mothers maiden name. but jesse james mother was not named Dalton. it was j.frank daltons cryptic clue.his mothers maiden name was cole,but she was adopted by another family,dalton. and its really the same as when jesse was so they say killed.jesse laid his gun down on the table,and bob ford shot him in the head from behind,All his friends knew jesse was not dead.Because jesse always put his guns on when he woke up,all who knew him would know jesse is not dead. so it was someone with the name hines,who went to pay his taxes,and was investigated,and found to actualy be jesse evans, a member of the james gang. who finally told jesse and billy the kid were still alive. jesse i think 12 years older than billy. you can see a picture on line of j frank dalton( as an old man) with brushy bill roberts,who admitted to be billy the kid,had his own story as one of the rough riders,and he is listed in theodore roosevelts rough riders. there is a photo a year or two before dalton died,and you can see his friend billy, and his child hood friend a black slave from his family there too.older than jesse.could it just be a co-incidence,that jesse james mother was attacked and had her arm or hand blown off,in attempts to find jesse,and later in the 1940s,investigations were made into the william c.clarke family,and one of the family screamed because old grandmother clarke,by then dead.Also had the same arm missing? jesse faked his own death twice,as jesse and as william c.clarke. his daughter when he was william c.clarke,became a recluse.she had married a man,but when her father died(jesse), it his rumoured after his death as william c.clarke,he came back after some time and told his daughter the truth,he was jesse james. clarke a rich man who lived in high society,was jesse james.she could not accept it,divorced her husband,and became a recluse. the assasination of lincoln by john wilkes booth was a conspiracy of those who still were true to the south. jesse and frank involved. Lincoln was was shot,but seriously injured,too weak to move him so far,so he was taken to the closest boarding house. And to an empty but rented room. to die. the room was though already rented. the name on the room, was william clark. wilkes booth killed after escaping but not. a soldier was set up to be killed in his place. john wilkes booth was also a freemason. wilkes booth died in 1901,as he had become a drunk and a liability,who could expose the truth,As to who controlled america at that time. jesse arranged a meeting and shot john wilkes protect the brotherhood. "
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That's impossible to read for a whole bunch of reasons.


Saturday July 24th, 2021
Stray Leaves

MOST PEOPLE DON'T KNOW THEIR COUSINS, let alone stay in touch with them. Frank & Jesse James have more than 70,000 actual cousins documented in Stray Leaves' "Genealogy Search" database. Most living people who appear in the database as their cousins don't even know they are related to Frank & Jesse. But here's an important cousin clue. If someone strenuously or vociferously claims to be related to Frank & Jesse James, the likelihood is, they are not. Happy National Cousin’s Day, cousins! ... See MoreSee Less

MOST PEOPLE DONT KNOW THEIR COUSINS, let alone stay in touch with them. Frank & Jesse James have more than 70,000 actual cousins documented in Stray Leaves Genealogy Search database. Most living people who appear in the database as their cousins dont even know they are related to Frank & Jesse. But heres an important cousin clue. If someone strenuously or vociferously claims to be related to Frank & Jesse James, the likelihood is, they are not. Happy National Cousin’s Day, cousins!
Sunday July 18th, 2021
Stray Leaves

DO YOU KNOW THIS LOCATION? Cole Younger was an occasional visitor here. But Cole's host was not named Warden.Every day is a great day to come to the Warden’s House, but today we have balloons! 🎈⭐️ Tours every Thursday-Sunday at 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm. Come see us! ... See MoreSee Less

DO YOU KNOW THIS LOCATION? Cole Younger was an occasional visitor here. But Coles host was not named Warden.
Thursday July 15th, 2021
Stray Leaves

UNDERSTANDING THE TRAIL OF TEARS AS CHICKASAW & CHOCTAW HISTORY . . .NOT AS U.S. HISTORY. First, we stray leaves must grasp the fact that the ancestral Anglo blood that flows in our veins from the time of our arrival in America in the early 1600s through the American Revolution is the same blood that directed the course of the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations among the descendants of Benjamin James Sr. the lawyer and Indian trader and his children Benjamin James Jr. "of the Choctaw Nation" and his sister Susannah James who married James Holmes Colbert, a Chief of the Chickasaw Nation. This, too, is our story.

In this, our story, we see our enthusiastic defense for a growing nation in the War of 1812 betrayed and deceived by expulsion to the Trail of Tears. We see the separation of our Choctaw and Chickasaw families in the West and the surrounding turmoil that engulfed them. We learn how our distrust of the U.S. Government folded us into the Confederacy. Lastly, we perceive ourselves as men of fortitude and women of power. We possess an enduring ancestral skill to put intelligence in the service of leadership, education, and conflict resolution. Our story is a legacy for peace and progress. | Winter Fire | Episode 2: Arrival In Indian Territory
Amidst Chickasaw removal to Indian Territory, the crucial Fort Washita was constructed and leaders such as Cyrus Harris emerged.
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