John W STRANGE William STRANGE James M STRANGE William B STRANGE Sarah STRANGE Sarah LANE John W STRANGE Dontknow JOHNSWIFE Mini tree diagram

James Alexander STRANGE9,2,3,12

also known as James STRANGE5,9,5,11,8

between 1785 and 178710,6 - 18779,7

Life History


Born in North Carolina.4

(less likely)

between 1785 and 1787

Born in North Carolina.1,2,3

(most likely)

about 1787

Born in Virginia.10,6

(less likely)

about 1817

Birth of son James M STRANGE in Jefferson County, Tennessee.13,14,15,16,17,18

about 1821

Birth of son William B STRANGE in Tennessee.19,20

about 1822

Birth of daughter Sarah STRANGE in Tennessee.21

between 1830 and 1877

Resident in District 3, Jefferson, Tennessee.4,5,6,7,8

about 1872

Death of Sarah LANE in Jefferson County, Tennessee.1


Died in Jefferson County, Tennessee.9,7


Buried in Jefferson County, Tennessee.4

Other facts


Married Sarah LANE


  • The relationship of this James Strange as father of the younger James and William is based on information from earlier censuses reporting names of heads of households and age ranges of children.  Names and ages of family members are not given in censuses before 1850, nor birthplace information of parents.

    The male child still at home in 1840 appears to be William Strange.
    This also indicates there was an older daughter whose name we do not know.

    1840 Federal Census, Jefferson County, Tennessee, page 351
    Line 360     Strange, James  40-50 yrs   wife (no name)    60-70 yrs
    In household   1 Male 15-20 yrs   1 Female 10-15 yrs

    Younger James, next door, appears to be son of older James
    1840 Federal Census, Jefferson County, Tennessee, page 351
    Line 361    Strange, James M  20-30 yrs   wife (no name)     15-20 yrs
    In household    Females  1 up to 5 yrs

    The information available indicates that William and James Strange are brothers.  There may be other siblings also, but I have not been able to make a clear identification of others.

    I report Virginia as the birthplace of both parents, James and his wife, whose name is not known.  This is based on the report of birthplaces of the parents of William in the 1880 census.
    William Strange Self M Male  W 59 TN Farmer VA VA

    There is a discrepancy, however, with the 1880 census reporting that James' father was born in North Carolina, not Virginia.
    James M Strange  Self M Male  W 63 TN Farmer NC VA

    It seems likely that these are brothers but one report is in error.  This discrepancy does not seem sufficient to discount the other indications that the younger James and William are brothers.  This kind of error occurs often in the 19th century censuses.

    The North Carolina origin is also supported by entries in the 1850 census of two other older Strange couples living near William:
    James, age 63, born in NC, with wife Sarah., age 60, born in Virginia
    John, age 59, born in NC, and wife Rebecca, age 58, born in Virginia.

    Facts at this point led me to conclude that these two are brothers.  Other genealogies I found later also confirmed this.

    In 1860, James and Sarah are living next door to their son William and his family.  James is reproted as a Laborer.  Both are illiterate.

    1860 Federal Census, Jefferson County, Tennessee, 8 June, PO Not Stated, page 337 (scan 497), Hse #2386, Fam #2430
    Jas Strange 75 M Laborer No Real Estate $100 Personal b North Carolina [abt 1785] Cannot read or write
    S Strange 79 F b Virginia [abt 1781] Cannot read or write

    The 1870 census gives us a report of birthplace North Carolina for James, Sr.  He and Sarah are still listed in their own household.

    1870 Federal Census, Jefferson County, Tennessee, District 3, PO Trion, p. 7, Hse/Fam #44
    James is 86, listed as a farmer, born in NC [b abt 1784]
    wife Sarah is 90, born in Tenn  [b abt 1780].  Living next door to grandson William.

    Since these two entries are consistent with the 1880 report of the younger James Strange's father in North Carolina, this might be the correct place of birth of William's father, and the entry in 1880 is the erroneous one.  It is possible that these other neighbouring Strange families are unrelated, but that seems unlikely, or other factors of their situation and the pattens of rural settlement.

    The likelihood of Virginia as the birthplace of James is strengthened by the report that the mother of both men was born in Virgina.  There is no further evidence at this point for a more definitive determination.  It appears likely that Virginia is the birth location of the father.

    Some sources I found after making the initial correlation report Virginia as the birthplace of the father of James M and William.  Others have NC.  One has his birthplace as Tennessee.  Some leave birthplace blank. It appears that their grandfather and great-grandfather moved across the state lines a lot.

    I later discovered his father John W.  The signs were right that the family had come to Tennessee from Virginia.  However, James Alexander's father John W Strange (III) died in North Carolina.  I do not know when he moved there, but that gives heavy weight to the other reports that JA was born in North Carolina, rather than Virginia.

    I reconstructed the family from the early information with James the elder as the father of both James and William, and John as the brother of elder James.  This has been confirmed by other censuses and other genealogies I later found.


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