Jim’s tombstone says he was born in 1790 and died 6 Dec 1886. It’s doubtful that James was born before 1800. John and Elizabeth were married 1797. Also, various census records estimate James’ birth in a number of different years but very likely he was born about 1806 in Halifax County, Virginia.
Jim can be detected in the John Turpin household in Marseilles, Halifax County, Virginia in the 1820 census by his age – there is a son listed who is 10-16 years old. In 1827, he married Jane Mills. By 1830, he is listed as living next to John Turpin with his wife and a son under five years old. At this point, Jim is 20-30 years old. Within a few years, his wife Jane and his son appear to have died. I’ve found no death or cemetery records for Jane or the son. Then Jim and others in the family leave Virginia to settle in Owen County, Indiana sometime in the 1830s.
In Owen County, Indiana, Jim met Jane Carter and they marry in 1837. Nancy Jane Carter was born 10 Mar 1813 in Virginia. (I'm guessing that she ties into all the other Carters in the family.) The 1840 census lists him as 30-40 years old, with his wife who is 20-30 years old, and a daughter under five years old. By the time of the 1850 census, Jim’s family had grown with children Susa, William, Luke and Isaac N. Janey’s mother, Sucky Carter also is living with them. (Sookie, Suky is a nickname for Susan or Susanna.)
Now is when the Turpins begin to drift out of Owen County. Newt Turpin goes to McLean County, Illinois and then on to Iowa. Newt is in Greene County, Iowa in 1860 but Jim is not. He isn’t on a census in 1860 (that I can find). It’s said that around 1864 Jim and Janie moved from Indiana to Iowa, then to Arkansas in about 1869. Three years later they returned to Rippey in Greene County, Iowa. However, Jim is listed in Greene County, Iowa in the 1870 census. It seems the estimated years of James’ travels may be off by a few years but the details of where he went are probably accurate.
Jim stayed in Greene County the rest of his life. He and Janey added Henry, Samuel, George, and John to their family. Jim died 6 Dec 1886 and Janey died 23 May 1910. Both are buried in Greene County, Iowa. Janey’s tombstone has her name engraved as Nancy J. Turpen.