It was James Rankin who d. in 1780 at Ramsour's Mill - the husband of our mysterious Miss Alexander, sister of James Alexander b. 1749 in Pennsylvania.
Ellen Rankin (aka Eleanor) was the daughter of James Rankin and his wife, Ann. She was named in her father's will found in Iredell Wills (I have a copy of the original). He died in 1753.
It's impossible to know at this point whether or not there was a connection between the families of this James d. 1753 and our James b. 1749. I would imagine the older man could have been the uncle of our James.
James d. 1753 mentioned his children including a James and a John. Only problem, the James was "of age" (21 yo in 1753) and that rules out our James as his son!Too bad! Also - this older James was already in North Carolina in 1753 and we know from our James' pension application that he didn't arrive in North Carolina until 1778.