Eric F. James will focus on the genealogy research produced by the Jesse James family covering 1882 to the present day. He will address its genesis, methodologies, participation, DNA study, discoveries, challenges, peer review, financial costs, continuing burdens, privacy issues, publication and resulting new ancestry, new history and new family.
Much of the James family’s history was lost as the family disintegrated following the assassination of Jesse James. Interest in the family genealogy revived in 1950, through one family member’s slip of the tongue that broke the family’s wall of silence.
Eric F. James will cover what new and unexpected discoveries arose since and the new history that now compels the genealogist to write a five-volume history of the Jesse James family. Eric will preview This Bloody Ground, Volume II of Jesse James Soul Liberty. His second volume focuses on Frank and Jesse’s grandfather, John M. James, his origins in the American Revolution with the Youngers and Pence, and his self-exile into Kentucky with the Traveling Church, which became a predicate to socio-religious communities and political structures of today. Eric will discuss the Spanish Conspiracy that first ruined the James reputation at a point when John M. James had become a political catalyst against bankers and predatory lenders of the early 19th century. Within John’s witness to the Danville conventions, statehood and his founding of Pulaski County, associations were formed that would lead to the infamous James Gang and confrontations of the Civil War era.
The author and genealogist also will sign his Volume I of Jesse James Soul Liberty. Eric last visited the Louisville Genealogical Society in October of 2014.