McELVANE, James Nelson

Photos Courtesy of California Historical Society, MSP 3800

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Last Name
Given Names
James Nelson
Better known as
Date of Birth
Age at Death
Place of Birth
San Antonio, Texas
Family Tree
  Nelson Family Tree
Birth Mother
Birth Father
Enola Marthenya (Kay) Nelson
Juanell Smart (niece); Tinetra La Dese Fain aka Tinetra Johnson, Teri Lynn Smart (great-nieces); Alfred Laufton Smart, Scott Cameron Smart (great-nephews)
Non-Temple Relatives
Body Identification Number
Burial Location
Remains claimed by next of kin; burial location unknown
Source of Death Information
House Foreign Affairs Committee report; FBI document 89-4286-1302 (prepared 12/78)
Entry into Guyana
Residence (US)
Ukiah, California 95482
Residence (JT)
Not Known
Occupation in U.S./Skills, Talents & Interests
Community development/ housing specialist/ office worker
Occupation in Jonestown (Temple Records)
(arrived in Jonestown a few days before deaths)
Jonestown Roles (FBI Records)
Head of security (FBI Report 89-4286-1681)
Government Income
“Jim was very tall and a very knowlegable and good person. Soft-spoken and could handle any situation. Kind and always had a quiet laugh and smile for those who knew him as a friend. Always working for to help others. ” - Don Beck

“I honor you and my friendship with your niece. I know, you are loved. ” - Susan White Hicks

“This man was my grandfather and unfortunately I never got the opportunity to meet him. I'm sorry for all the families and descendants whose lives are forever tarnished due to this tragedy. ” - Anonymous

“Uncle Jim, I met the daughter you never knew. You would be so proud of her and she looks so much like you. What a remarkable person you were. I remember as a child how much I looked up to you and how proud I was as an adult that I could say "This is my uncle". I miss you. Love, Nell ” - Juanell Smart

“This man is my father, who I didn't know. I am his first born. If you would like to meet me, contact me by email. ” -

“I met Jim briefly through friends. Spent an evening in Topanga Canyon, talking, exploring my past. He was an impressive, incredible spiritual man who I later dreamed about. So sorry to have confirmed his passing. ” - Barbara Ann Chestnutt

“This man was my father, too, and I too, never met him. I did have the honor of meeting my wonderful cousin, Juanell. Please contact me, if you are another relative, or knew my mother, Thelma. ” - Anonymous

“All I can say is WOW. I just found out today that this may be my father after doing some extensive research since I was adopted and didn't know either of my biological parents name. To find out his name, then to find out he died at Jonestown and now that I may have two other siblings that didn't know him either is quite a lot in one day. I pray he was at peace when he passed.” - Coylette James