James Family

Lydia Wilson James and her parents

When Lydia died the newspaper announcement gave her name as “Calyer-Mrs. Lydia James” and when her daughter Kate Losey died in 1945 it was recorded that her mother’s maiden name was James.  In all census returns Lydia stated that she was born in England. Using this information in ancestry.co.uk we are lucky to find:

  • Lydia Wilson James was baptised on 29 Feb 1820 at Corby, Lincoln, England. Her father was James Edward James and mother Lydia. Therefore Lydia could have been born in late 1819
  • A Trans-Atlantic passenger list farmer James E. James, his wife Lydia and 5 year old daughter, name indecipherable and 3 year old Lydia travelling on SS Meteor from Liverpool arriving New York 21 August 1822.

When James James died in early 1846 he was not solvent and administration was given to his son-in-law James Calyer. Eventually estate had a shortfall of $376.96 and the creditors received about 27c for every $ owed. All his possessions, including a house were sold but the following were “sent off to a minor child of J.E.James deceased. All the school books belonging to the family; 1 Bed and Bedding; 1 Cook stove and furniture; 1 Parlor stove; 6 Chairs, 1 Table, 6 knives, 6 forks, 12 spoons; 6 cups and saucers, 1 large dish, 1 milk pot and 1 tea pot.”  This ‘minor child’ may have been one of James and Lydia Calyer’s offspring. There is no mention of a widow of James James so his wife Lydia must have predeceased him.

In the accounts is the entry “By cash collected of the church, balance of salary” and others indicating that James James worked at Ist Presbyterian Church and the house he owned was on the west side of Ontario Street near the church.  The outstanding bills included books and The Plain Dealer so he was probably an assistant to pastor Samuel Aiken who was at the church from 1834 to 1861.

This church is of historical importance, and the second building on the site, erected during the 1850s is still a landmark on Public Square, Cleveland. See image of first church.

There are many more references to the church on the internet including this extract from:

 About 1830 the site was purchased for $400.00 with the gifts of ten early settlers. There is no record of any use of this site (for building purposes) prior to 1832, when the first church building (55′ x 80′) was erected. This original gray sandstone structure had Tuscan pilasters. It was the first stone building used exclusively as a church in Cleveland. Eventually it was known as “The Stone Church,” and later “The Old Stone Church” as the sandstone darkened. The popular appellation was later transferred to the new sanctuary, which was erected on the same site in 1854.

Just before James E. James death two significant events were held at the church:

1843: Cleveland’s first medical school organized in the church parlors by Dr. John Delamater, and first classes were held there.
1844: The Western Convention of Presbyterian and Congregational ministers met at The Old Stone Church. Eleven states sent 300 representatives. They appealed for church unity and condemned slavery.

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