Category Archives: Sift

SIFT – Summer Stockpile 2019

Unwelcome Caboodle: Guess who mortgaged the farm?

Now at the end of summer comes this news from Clay County, Missouri. Finances of Clay County are so bad that the County has been forced to mortgage its properties. The Jesse James Farm & Museum in Kearney is owned by Clay County since it was formerly donated to Clay County by the Jesse James family. The County’s new blanket mortgage covering all property owned by the County apparently will include the property of James Farm.

James Farm prior to the addition Frank James built from the Sears Roebuck catalog.

Every mortgage hangs a veritable sword of Damocles over the property being mortgaged. The threat and cloud of foreclosure will remain above James Farm until Clay County can pay its debt.

Here is something to ponder. Would it be a good thing or a bad thing if James Farm fell into foreclosure? Some say it would be a good thing.

Under foreclosure, James Farm & Museum could be rescued from the clutches of judgmental politicians who presently administer it. Most of them would rather be rid of the obligation anyway. Under fresh, new, and invigorated administrators, James Farm could restore itself to its original purpose – to be a primary research facility for the history of Frank & Jesse James, the James family, and the history of the Civil War era. What are your thoughts?

Coming Together: Choctaw in the James Family

Family photo of Carrie Gardner and George Ward Tyler circa 1904
George Ward Tyler 1873-1927 and wife Carrie Gardner 1887-1919, with firstborn William Ward “Bunk” Tyler 1904-1908. Photo circa 1904.

Carrie Gardner-Tyler is the 5th great-granddaughter of our James family immigrant John James. From that early era, Carrie’s inheritance is an Anglo-European ancestry. Carrie also is a member of the Choctaw Nation, born of Native-American ancestry.

Carrie’s grandfather Noel Gardner attended Choctaw Academy in Georgetown, Kentucky adjacent to Georgetown College where Frank & Jesse James’ father Rev. Robert Sallee James was schooled.

Carrie’s great-grandfather Thomas LeFlore was a Chief of the Choctaw Nation and a grandson of Jean Baptiste LeFleur, of Versailles, France who immigrated to Spanish Territory, Florida.

Here’s Carrie’s pedigree in the James family:

. John James, Immigrant

. . Thomas James & Sarah Mason

. . . Capt. John James & Dinah Allen

. . . . Benjamin James Sr. Esq./Indian Trader & Unknown Choctaw

. . . . . Benjamin James Jr “of the Choctaw Nation” & Mary Ann Unknown – of the Trail of Tears

. . . . . . William Abraham “Ab” James & Phoebe Unknown

. . . . . . . Jerry L. Gardner & Jennie “Jincy” James

. . . . . . . . Carrie Gardner

Cache of Accolades: James Convocations in Tennessee

Jean Anne Carter Wilson

Jean Anne Carter Wilson was sworn in as a chapter officer of Gen. William Lee Davidson Daughters of the American Revolution. Jean’s membership in the Tennessee DAR comes from being a descendant of Robert Poor, the Cornet & Elizabeth Mimms, the same as Joan Beamis whose pursuit of DAR membership lead to the discovery of the first Jesse James family tree Background of a Bandit. You may remember Jean from her appearance on the Genealogy Roadshow program when Roadshow genealogists confirmed Jean’s kinship to Jesse James. Jean also is a Davidson descendant.

Sarah Elizabeth Head

Sarah Elizabeth Head graduated from Vanderbilt University at the beginning of summer with a Masters in marketing. Sarah is a 7th great-granddaughter of Thomas James Sr. & Mary Bruce. Stray Leaves will be featuring profiles of her James ancestral line soon. Among them are Sarah’s 5th great-grandfather Dr. John Robinson James, her 4th great uncle Jefferson Gilbert James, and her 1st cousin 5 times removed Maude Strother James. Sarah also is the 6th great-granddaughter of Gov. John “Nolichucky Jack” Sevier, the first governor of Tennessee.

A second cousin of Frank & Jesse James called at age 99

Mildred Martin Buster
Mildred Pine Martin Buster 1920-2019

Mildred Martin Buster passed away peacefully at her Midway, Kentucky home at Audubon Farm on June 4, 2019.  Mildred was born a 3rd great-granddaughter of Richard James Cole and Sally Yates who operated the Black Horse Inn outside Midway where Frank and Jesse’s mother Zerelda Elizabeth Cole was born. Her grandfather Henry Lewis Martin rode with John Hunt Morgan, together with the brothers David Hunt James and Richard Skinner James, also of Woodford County. Her great-grandaunt is Martha Elizabeth “Mattie” Martin, the wife of Redmond David “Red” Munkers of the James gang, who was killed by Federals. Her great-grandfather Thomas Lewis Martin, husband of Elizabeth Cole, who died at the home of his son Jesse Martin, is a probable namesake for Frank and Jesse’s uncle Thomas Martin James, the millionaire merchant of Kansas City. Mildred’s husband Gen. William Robards Buster, born in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, commanded the 2nd Artillery Division at the Battle of Normandy in World War II. OBITUARY

Auction lot for Frank James’ farm in Fletcher, Oklahoma

Advertising circular announcing the auction of the farm of Frank James in Fletcher, Oklahoma

Genealogy Digest

We have an update regarding Edwin Easley James 1902-1997 & spouse Beulah Chapman. Via DNA matching, Sandy Kassem confirms that Beulah’s maiden surname is Chatman and not Chapman as formerly believed. Edwin Easley James is a 2nd great-grandson of John M. James & Mary “Polly” Poor. Sandy herself is a 2nd great-granddaughter of John M. James & Mary “Polly” Poor, via Susan Prudence James.

Bones of Frank & Jesse James’ 26th great-grandaunt, Emma Beauclerc wife of Aetheldred “The Unready,” have been found in England. Read “Queen’s Bones’ found in Winchester Cathedral royal chests.”

Bob Ford’s Mess: If Jesse were shot face to face

John Alexander McKelvy displays what Jesse James might have looked like had the coward Robert Ford shot Jesse face to face instead of from the back.
John is a 3rd cousin of Jesse Woodson James and the 2nd great-grandson of David Hunt James who fought and was captured with John Hunt Morgan.

Build Up: Brereton C. Jones Honored by Thoroughbred Club of America

Former Kentucky Governor Brereton Chandler Jones (L) is a 4th cousin, 3 generations removed of Frank & Jesse James. His thoroughbred farm Airdrie which he operates with his wife Elizabeth Alexander “Libby” Lloyd and son Bret sits next door to the Black Horse Inn outside Midway, Kentucky where Frank & Jesse’s mother Zerelda Cole was born. The Jones have bred more than 150 stakes winners and earners of nearly $100 million.

Brereton and Bret Jones  (Photo by Anne M. Eberhardt)

According to the Midway Messenger, “As governor, Jones was instrumental in the creation of the Kentucky Breeders’ Incentive Fund, which uses sales tax from Kentucky stallions as awards to benefit all types of Kentucky-bred horses. He is a founding member of the Breeders’ Cup and the Kentucky Equine Education Project. In 2008 he received the Warner L. Jones Horseman of the Year Award for outstanding service to the industry.”

During the Civil War, both Quantrill and Frank James seized Airdrie Farm. They were looking for thoroughbred horses to steal from Libby Jones’ 2nd great-grandfather Robert Atcheson “R.A.” Alexander. Libby’s mother, Lucy Blythe Simms, also is a distant relation of Benjamin Simms, the short-term second husband of Frank and Jesse’s mother.

Accumulation Debris: 15 Botched Decisions of Jesse (Gregory) James

In this article, our James family ranks # 5 among the 17 secrets that Jesse (Gregory) James of Monster Garage doesn’t want you to know. Additionally, Stray Leaves rates # 10 for also calling out this fraudster’s claim of a land speed record.

Taking Inventory: Lithuanian immigrant tops all on Stray Leaves

Separation by breaker boys
Immigrant John Papnick got his start in America as a breaker boy.

Immigrant stories are particularly meaningful today. Just how much became evident on Stray Leaves with the publication of “Breaker Boy – The Separation of John Papnick.” This biographical story went viral internationally, gathering just under 2,000 readers in less than 48 hours. John Papnick became known to more people in that short time than he had in all of his 61 years.

To date, two stories have garnered top readership honors on Stray Leaves. In first place is “Great Grandchild of Jesse James Has Three Lines of James Ancestry.” In second place is “Attention Jesse James Kinfolk…Send Me Your Ears.” Neither of these two stories, however, has gone viral like the present pacesetter.

I think this post is one of the better biographies I’ve written.

The Leaf Blower explains how the Lithuanian immigrant story went viral. “The announcement of this new post first appeared on my personal Facebook page, mainly because the story is more personal to me than it is to the Jesse James family at large. New posts to Stray Leaves always have been announced first via email to member subscribers of Stray Leaves. After subscribers are informed, a general announcement appears on Stray Leaves’ Facebook page. I’ve purposely strayed from that policy a bit because this post is about my maternal grandfather.”

In the future, the Leaf Blower says, subscribers to Stray Leaves can expect more posts about immigrants to America among the James family and their kin. The Leaf Blower also promises more stories from his personal life. For now, meet Jonas Pupininkas, the maternal grandfather of Stray Leaves‘ Leaf Blower.

John Langford: The Kentuckian Who Shot Quantrill

Missouri Life magazine has a very good article about Kentuckian John Langford who shot William Clarke Quantrill. Langford’s shot resulted in Quantrill’s death. You have to wade through a lot of Missouri boasting in the article first.

From the Goodland Stockpile

Goodland is the subject of Joseph McJames and the James family in Chapter 3 of Jesse James Soul Liberty. Now you can own a piece of Goodland. Very inexpensively, too. This 1896 Victorian fixer sits on Jasper Street directly across from the First Baptist Church of Goodland. Nancy Angeline Logan-Wood-James, the wife of Francis Marion James Jr., was a founder and teacher of First Baptist Church.

HEY, Student Filmmakers…Stash us some Jesse James

Sadly, no young people ever have produced a film history or biography of Jesse James or his cohorts for their age group as these young people have done. In this video, young filmmakers honor a victim of the James gang. Joseph Lee Heywood was killed in the James Gang’s raid on his Northfield bank.

Liquid Source: Our Family Tree

This video animation presents a stunning new way to view the development of our James family and its migration routes into the heartland of America. The video outlines the central river routes and tributaries, located in the heartland center of America. The waterways appear in purple like a family tree.

U.S. waterway in purple as migration routes of the James family tree

Play out the video. Then look at our James family beginning in the East in Virginia. From there you can follow their migration along the Ohio River West into the Mississippi River, up the Missouri River, back down the Mississippi into the deep South, then westward along the Red River into Texas and other tributaries in Oklahoma. These areas became the central population centers established and occupied by our core lines of the James family. Our James family is manifested and represented as the lifeblood of America itself.

Assembly Required: Using True Jesse James Pics in a Fiction Book ???

Sarah Alves-Bruchet is a French fiction writer. She is writing a fiction book about Jesse James. Sarah queried the Leaf Blower about attaching authentic images of Jesse to her fiction story. You may want to visit her Facebook page and provide your own advice for Sarah. The advice of the Leaf Blower to Sarah appears here:

Bonjour, Sarah,

As an author, I understand the principles of fiction writing and what is required to write a good story. However, please understand the principles of the James family.

The James family has been besieged for over 130 years by false history, conspirators, treasure hunters, and disreputable authenticators of historic artifacts. All of these continuously distort the factual history and identity of Jesse James and the James family. For that reason alone, a fictional story about Jesse James is of no interest to us.

There is only one fiction book that merits the respect and support of the James family. The book is The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford by Ron Hansen. The James family supports this book due to its abundant reliance upon factual history. The book also tells a story narrative that is true to fact. No other fiction book about Jesse James has come close to this high standard.

I find your intention to comingle a fiction story with true photographic images of Jesse James confounding. If your story is fiction, so too should be your images. If your images are true, your story also should be true to fact. You will find more false images of Jesse James on the internet than you will find authentic ones.

Copyright law in America states any historic photo over 75 years old is in the public domain and can be used freely by anyone. What cannot be done is to attach a false identity to a true one. To do so is a fraud.

No one, including the James family, has the right to stand in the way of an author’s creative expression. Good luck to you and your project. I will alert our subscribers to your Facebook page. Perhaps they will give you additional insight.

Best regards,


Final Take: Die, and be funny about it

Will people be laughing when they read your obituary? Or, will you only leave them crying? You have a choice.

“Thomas (Tomm) WJ Mulligan of Nashua has passed away at home in his recliner as he had threatened to for years…Tomm had spent the last few years lovingly caring for his wife, Iris, who has advanced dementia. He will be remembered by all who knew him, Except Iris of course. Everyone else though.”

OBITUARY of Thomas Mulligan