JOSEPH JAMES was the grandson of Christopher and Lucy (Thompson) James, a wealthy Virginia Planter who lived near Jamestown. His father was John James (1750-1819), their son, and his mother was Lucy (Mosby) James, his father's second wife. He was born on February 5, 1791, and died on May 12, 1866, in Ohio County, Kentucky. His birthplace was in Buckingham County, Virginia. His father came to Kentucky and settled in Mercer County, in 1796. He later removed, before 1800, to Ohio County. He died on September 24, 1819, and is buried in the old Beaver Dam Church Cemetery. He owned a farm on the Ohio-Butler County line on Green River.
Joseph James married ELIZABETH ROGERS, the daughter of Jonathan and Elizabeth (Ray) Rogers on September 20, 1822, in Ohio County. Both of them became Charter Members of the Green River Church on July 16, 1836. He was elected as one of the first Deacons of the Church on September 17, 1836. He was ordained on June 16, 1838. Fifteen years later, in April, 1853, he was excluded from the membership for leaving the Baptists and uniting with the "Reformers" or "Campbellites". His wife was excluded for doing the same thing, in August, 1853. He is buried in the Green River Cemetery. She married twice, after the deaths of the first husband and second husband, and is buried elsewhere.
A Sesquicentennial History of the Green River Missionary Baptist Church 1836 - 1986, Written and Compiled by Wendell Holmes Rone, Sr., For the One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Founding of the Church, 1987.