An Elias James was born in Southwest Pennsylvania about 1744, reportedly a son of Thomas and Mary (Jones or Johns) James.Elias had full siblings Enoch and Leah.Their mother Mary died, and their father remarried, to a Miss Henderson, and had two more sons, Daniel and Jonathan.Later, as adults, Elias moved to Loudoun County, Virginia and Daniel moved even further South, to the area of Botetourt and/or Bedford County, VA.
The issue that I think needs attention is the first name of Miss Henderson.Some Latter Day Saints church member submitted to the LDS database that Miss Henderson was Sarah Henderson.That information got picked up by various researchers, one or more of whom turned around and re-submitted it to the LDS Pedigree Resource Files.Now numerous trees posted on the internet, including those posted on World Connect (www.rootsweb.com), have repeated that information, apparently without any independent verification or research.Miss Henderson's name was actually ANN, not Sarah.Here is the evidence.
Researcher David Luke has reported that someone has found and transcribed the Last Will of Thomas James, dated December 8, 1750.Mr. Luke has posted that the Will provided as follows: "I give and bequeath unto Ann James, wife free and full use of this real estate during her natural life. And at her decease to Lewis James in fee." David Luke also has posted that the widow, Ann James, executed a deed dated February 23, 1753 in which she conveyed 322 acres of land to a John Kinkade.I have not seen this Will.Does anyone know if there are extant copies?Is the Thomas James of this 1750 Will the same man as the Thomas James of Upper Merion?
David Luke also posted that a researcher named Mr. Buxton discovered an eight-page document in the Pennsylvania Orphans Court records in Philadelphia (at City Hall??), dated September 11, 1762, that concerned the children of the late Thomas James.Essentially, the document reported that Enoch James submitted to the court a document signed under seal by Benjamin Davis, by Andrew Crawford and by Sarah Crawford, Andrew's wife.Benjamin Davis and Sarah Crawford were the duly appointed guardians of Leah, Elias, Daniel and Jonathan James, minor orphans of the late Thomas James of Upper Merion Township.
Now consider the following Last Will of Alexander Henderson of Upper Merion.
Will of Alexander Henderson-Philadelphia County, PA Will Book P, #60, pp 87-89
"In the name of God Amen this third day of June in the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty Nine I Alexander Henderson of Upper Merion in the County of Phiadelphia & Province of Pensilvania[sic] Yeoman being weak of Body but of Sound & disposing Mind & Memory thanks be to God therefore and calling to mind the Mortality of this Body, and knowing it Appointed for all Men once to die do make and Ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner & form following Vizt. . . . .
"Item I give & bequeath to my Son John the Sum of Five pounds, to my Son in Law Andrew Crawford five Shillings, to my Daughter Sarah Crawford the Sum of Five pounds, to my Son in Law William Long One hundred pounds, to my Grand Son Alexander Crawford Five pounds & to my Grand Daughter Sarah Crawford Five Shillings. . . . . .
"Item I do Will & Give the Sum of Fifty pounds to my Grand Son Jonathan James and the Sum of Forty pounds to my Grand Son Daniel James to be paid them by my Executors on the day of their Respective Marriages and if they or either of them Dye [sic] before Marriage the Money of both if both should Die or the Share of such of them as may Die before Marriage shall be divided equally among all my Grand Children."
Alexander Henderson's Will was probated March 31, 1771.
Note that Alexander Henderson's daughter Sarah married Andrew Crawford and had at least two children with him, Alexander Crawford and Sarah Crawford ("junior").Sarah (Henderson) Crawford was appointed one of the two guardians for the minor children (and step-children) of her late sister, ANN (Henderson) James.The most logical inference is that Sarah (Henderson) Crawford was the aunt of Daniel and Jonathan, and the step-aunt of Elias and Leah.
It seems clear to me that Alexander Henderson did NOT have two daughters both named Sarah, one who married Alexander Crawford and one who married Thomas James.That would be nonsensical.Some researchers have tried to "solve" this conundrum by claiming that Sarah Henderson first married Thomas James, and, after his death, married a second time, to Andrew Crawford.While this is not impossible, the submissions to this effect in the LDS PDF have some inconsistencies.For example, they claim that Sarah Henderson was born in 1720, and yet was the mother of Sarah and Alexander Crawford, born 1763 and 1767 (when Sarah would have been 47, and that's pushing it).Furthermore, these PDFs report that widow Sarah (Henderson) James married Andrew Crawford as early as 1753, but did not have any children until 1763.This "theory" in the PDF files is far from airtight, and has serious flaws.
First, it seems clear that Alexander Henderson made bequests to his grandsons Daniel and Jonathan James because their mother was dead before Alexander wrote his Will, but Sarah (Henderson) Crawford was still very much alive at that time.Furthermore, Alexander Henderson's Will did not "group" the two grandsons surnamed James in with the two grandchildren surnamed Crawford (as he likely would have done if Daniel and Jonathan had somehow been sons of Alexander's daughter Sarah).Alexander treated them separately from the Crawfords, permitting a reasonable inference that the James boys were NOT sons of Sarah (Henderson) Crawford.Finally, IF Sarah (Henderson) Crawford had been the mother of Daniel and Jonathan, why would their have been any need to appoint her their guardian?And why would Benjamin Davis be the other guardian, rather than Sarah's husband, Andrew Crawford?Under the PDF theory, Andrew Crawford would have been the step-father of Daniel and Jonathan, and an obvious candidate to become their guardian.But he was not.
I think the evidence is reasonably clear that Daniel and Jonathan James were the sons of Thomas and ANN (Henderson) James.Alternatively, if the 1750 Will of Thomas James turns out to be some other Thomas, nonetheless, Miss Henderson's first name was NOT Sarah.
Does anyone have any evidence (from primary sources, rather than copied gedcoms or downloaded mis-information), to support the notion that Miss Henderson's name was Sarah?If so, please share by posting here.