Tag Archives: Donovan

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

Home » Donovan

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes


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

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

See MoreSee Less

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

Comment on Facebook

Thank you for sharing this story.

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