James was born sometime late in the year of 1809, likely in December, in York County, Pennsylvania.
James is likely found in the household of William Flanagan, near York Borough, in the 1810 Federal Census.
February 25, 1810Christening
James was christened within the York Presbyterian Congregation on a Sunday, the same congregation in which his parents were married only a year earlier.
November 19, 1835Marriage
James married Miss Frances Magdalena Griggs, daughter of the elite John Griggs of Jefferson County. The couple was married on a Thursday by the Rev. Septimus "Septs" Tuston, a Presbyterian Clergyman who two years later would serve as Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives.
November 1, 1836Birth of Child
James and Frances' first child, Laura Frances, was born on a Tuesday in Jefferson County.
June 6, 1839Birth of Child
James and Frances' second child and second daughter, Martha Elizabeth, was born on a Thursday in Jefferson County.
February 2, 1842Birth of Child
The couple's third child and third daughter was born on a Wednesday in Jefferson County. They named their little girl Mary Catherine.
April 4, 1844Birth of Child
The couple's fourth child and first son, William McClanahan, was born on a Thursday in Jefferson County. William was likely named after his grandfather, James' father, William and took his maternal grandmother's maiden name of Clanahan.
February 27, 1846Birth of Child
The couple's fifth child, Nancy Rebecca, was born on a Friday in Jefferson County. Nancy was the couple's fourth daughter.
October 16, 1847Birth of Child
The couple's sixth child, and second son, was born on a Saturday in Jefferson County. They named their son James Smith. The little boy took his father's name and his paternal grandmother's maiden name.
September 13, 1849Birth of Child
Frances gave birth to James' seventh child and third son on a Thursday. They gave their son his maternal grandfather's name, John Griggs.
July 24, 1850Census
August 12, 1852Birth of Child
The couple's eighth child and fourth daughter was born on a Thursday in Jefferson County. They named their little girl Alice Lee.
April 14, 1856Birth of Child
The couple's ninth child, Charles Fenton, was born on a Monday. Charles was the fourth son of the couple.
1855Death of Family Member
James lost his father in September of 1855 due to bilious dysentery. His health had been failing for many years, causing him to become blind. James was named executor of William's estate, and took over the family quarrying and farming businesses.
August 13, 1856Death
James was murdered on a Wednesday by a disgruntled employee, less than a year after his father died. His murder left his wife with many young children to care for.