Honestly, I only found him in trees on Ancestry while searching for info on Rebecca; I am related to the Ackerman and Hallenbeck families through a daughter of hers and Hendrick's. That's why I asked about how the connection was made, [not that anyone has to show me proof], I just wonder how anyone knows that Rebecca's father is Garrit/Gerritt (who was the son of Isaac) but no one seems to know her mother's name. It's just odd.
Part of the problem always is information being available for such a long time ago...I've been doing this for a few years off and on but still have a lot to learn about where to look.
One thing I can tell you - if you haven't already come across this - is that not all the info on a census record is necessarily correct. So many times it'll say a state where someone was born and I know absolutely that it wasn't right. It makes me wonder how it got confused, was it given wrong by the person; or someone else or what. When was your James born? How many census records have you found him in?
Have you tried tracking him through a wife's name? I sometimes use the children's name as a way to find a family too.
Thanks for replying, good luck with your search! I'll email you with my address, if you ever want to bounce ideas off me.