My husband is a descendant of Jesse James and we have been searching for the James-Howard connection, and I finally found the info below. My husband is Thomas Howard James, and Jesse rented a home under the name of Thomas Howard when he was supposedly shot and killed.
The song goes "Bob Ford, that dirty coward that shot Thomas Howard"
Jesse James was a descendant (on his mother's side) of Mathew HAYWARD or HOWARD, of Lower Norfolk, VA.
Mathew HAYWARD (c1600-bef 1659), m Anne __; their children all moved to AA Co, MD.
John HOWARD (c1635-1696), m Susanna __ (said to be NORWOOD but my memory is that this is a presumption), all of AA Co
John HOWARD (c1667-1704), m (2nd) Catherine GREENBERRY (widow of Henry RIDGELY Jr), all of AA Co
Catherine HOWARD (c1701-1783), m Orlando GRIFFITH, all of AA Co
Sarah GRIFFITH (1718-1794), m Nicholas DORSEY of Balto Co, MD
Rachel DORSEY (1737-1805), m Anthony LINDSAY, moved to KY; the great-grandparents of Zerelda COLE, Jesse James' mother.
As a sideline, Jesse was a descendant of Nicholas GREENBERRY (c1627-1697) of AA Co, MD, who was rumored in his own time to have been "a highwayman in England" before emigrating to America. Relatively few GREENBERRY descendants have been active in criminal enterprises, however, so it's probably not genetic. ("Do you want your friend to be bad like Jesse James? Get you two big pistols, highway some passenger train." -- Blind Lemon Jefferson.)
If anyone is researching this line or knows anything please let me know.
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