Any clue who his birth parent were? I researching A John Owens who seems to have lived with other families - in 1870 census lived in Swansboro with the Morton's from memory. There were two John Owens in Swansboro with DOB very close. One was John S. Owens, Mine is John Enos Owens DOB abt 1856.
Will be out of town this week, but will look into your James when I get back.