Is the son of Barnett Willsey and Cornelia Willsey (whose maiden name was Kizer). In 1837 his parents moved from New York, their native state, to Ohio, where they remained three years, and then emigrated to Pike county, Illinois, and settled on section 34, in Pittsfield township, where they resided at the time of Mr. Willsey's death, which occurred in 1858, and where Mrs. Willsey still remains.
James G. Willsey was born in the state of New York in 1830, and remained with his parents until 1851, when he married Miss Melinda Rogers, who was born in Green county, Illinois, in 1830. She was the daughter of David and Fanny Rogers, who came to Pike county many years ago, and settled in Martinsburg township, where they remained until 1871, when they died, leaving many warm friends to mourn their loss. Immediately after James married, he settled on forty acres of land that his father gave him, and commenced farming and stock raising. He remained there until 1854, when he purchased a larger and better farm, on section 34, Pittsfield township, where he still resides. He has always made farming and raising, buying and selling stock his business, and has done well. He is considered one of the many good farmers of Pike county, and has always been a good citizen. He is the father of two children, only one of whom is now living.