These are all abstracts from Timothy W. Rackley's "Granville County North Carolina Tax Lists 1747-1759"
1752 tax list has Robert Abernathy on it 1753 tax list has Robert Abernathy on it 1754 tax list has Robert Abernathy Jr, Robert Abernathy Sr 1755 tax list has Robert Abernathy and son Robert 1757 tax list has Robert Abernathy Jr, Robert Abernathy Sr, and James Abernathy
Apparently they did not do a 1756 tax list or they just doubled up. Timothy Rackley sent me a photo copy of the original 1757 tax list that has James Abernathy on the Granville tax list for the first time and he would have been 14 years old. I think anyone looking at those tax records above would say that this James Abernathy was the son of Robert Abernathy and this is the James who married Elizabeth Cox. This is the first record that I have of any James Abernathy being in America. I believe Robert Abernathy and wife Mary who may or may not be a Harwell was maybe exempt from taxes because of old age on some of these lists.
What I have in my family tree is: Robert Abernathy 1st in America from Scotland in 1652 and wife Sarah Cubisha, Robert Abernathy 2nd generation in America born 1660 and wife Christian Tillman or Parham, Robert Abernathy 3rd generation in America born 1689 and wife Mary - some people have Harwell, Robert Abernathy 4th generation in America born 27 Mar 1719 and wife Sarah Abernathy, then Robert Abernathy 5 and the James Abernathy in the above Granville tax records.
I did not say in my message that James Abernathy was the son of Robert Abernathy the 3rd generation in America and wife Mary, I said he was the son of the Robert Abernathy who was the 4th generation in America and wife Sarah Abernathy.
I have one more thing and I'm probably forgetting something. James Abernathy was on Robert Abernathy's - 3rd generation and wife Mary - will. He was a grandson and the jurat and the only one who actually signed his own name. I think he wrote the will. A jurat is someone who certifies that the will is accurate. About all of the abstracts of the 1772 will that I have seen posted on the internet have James listed as a witness. Where they got that from I don't have a clue.
Robert Abernathy's - 4th generation and wife Sarah - will had James Abernathy's son James and son-in-law John Rockett as witnesses. James drowned in 1785 so was not on his father's will.
I have not seen Birdie Abernathy Jamison's papers but if she found anything in 1953 she must have been living next door to the courthouse. I have a lot of respect for the genealogists who came before me. They made a few mistakes but we are still making mistakes now and we have lots more to work with including your work. I am completely amazed when I find something that I haven't seen before. I use other people's work all the time - I might change a date or something if I see it a little differently.