Barron’s, Dorsett’s, James’ and Shelton’s: How I Connect To the James Family of America

The Outlaw Jesse James

Betty Dorsett Duke © February 19, 2014

For as long as I can remember I’ve heard old family stories that claim my paternal great-
grandfather, known as James L. Courtney in Texas, was really Jesse Woodson James. I’ve
dedicated the past two decades to determining the truth of the matter. The findings of my
research, as well as the research of many others, resulted in convincing me that the old family
stories are true – Jesse James lived in Texas from 1871 until his death in 1943 under the alias of
James L. Courtney. Y-DNA testing is the final step of my investigation and is currently
underway. From this point forward I’ll refer to James L. Courtney as the real James L. Courtney
in order for the reader to differentiate him from Jesse James.

Jesse James was the son of Robert Sallee James and Zerelda Elizabeth Cole. The real James

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