52 Ancestors #14: Griffith Joseph James

Griffith Joseph James was born on March 4 in either 1864 or 1865, in Washington County, Missouri, the son of Lewis Linneus James and Mary Teresa Reynolds James.

He married Winifred Pashia on April 11, 1894, at Fredericktown in Madison County, Missouri. They lived in Washington County for most of their marriage. The couple had six children.

The 1900 census lists his occupation as a merchant, but I know nothing about what he might have sold. I have a hunch that he was a fur trader, but I can’t be certain. (There’s a book recounting one ancestors days with fur traders and Native Americans, but I can’t remember if it’s him — my dad has the book.)

Griff James lived in Washington County for most of his life. He died May 3, 1923. Because I can’t be certain of his age, there also are some discrepancies about his age at the time of his death. He was about 58, depending.

Like most of my paternal ancestors, the story of Griffith James isn’t one I know much about. I do have the basic facts because those are the documents I can find online and in quick searches. The details are lacking because I’ve not dug deeper and connected with him as the head of a family group — more work ahead, I suppose.

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I’m finding that the more I write these weekly blog posts, the more I want to spend time getting organized  — outlining my research goals for each family group and determining what I want to accomplish next. My biggest priority right now is learning more about how to properly cite my sources. (I’m working my way through Elizabeth Shown Mills’ book “Evidence.)

Another challenge is to write a case study for James Clymer as one of Missouri’s First Families. I’ve received documents from the National Archives about his Civil War service and simply need to spend time organizing what I have and tracing my connection to him, which shouldn’t be difficult since I know quite a lot about his children and grandchildren, who include my great-grandmother.

I’ve also got a stack of genealogy resource books that I need to read and begin to apply to my research.

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