I have that in Apr 1766 this James was a witness to the will of Valentine Dellinger of Mecklenburg County, NC [src: will book C, p. 18-19, Mecklenburg Co, NC] and in Apr 1768 he was witness to a deed in Mecklenburg Co., wherein Adam Sides sold land to George Sides [src: Brent Holcomb's "Mecklenburg County, NC Deed Abstracts 1763-1779", pub Southern Historical Press, Inc, Greenville, SC, original src Deed Book B. p. 67-68].
I also have notes to the effect that James Abernathy bought the Bissell, Rumfelt and Farrar places in one tract from Moses Bonner and his wife Charity in 1778, [src: Book 17, p.21]. I haven't verified that one yet. And Dr. A. B. Pruitt's "Abstracts of Deeds, Lincoln County, NC, 1793-1800" is said to cite Book 3, p. 129 to the effect that on 10 Nov 1799 The heirs and widow of James sold 100 acres of land to John Rockett. Again, I haven't verified that one yet either.
I really need to devote more research time to the actual wills and deeds and not rely on abstracts which often leave out important clues and sometimes add info that's not in the actual originals being abstracted but could have come from probate records.