Oh I'm so happy you responded! I recently saw, and responded to, a post on genealogy.com referring to Elias in OH and wondered if this could be some relation to my James. I wonder if that was your post?
I have thought that the most reasonable solution was that the Elias in Darke County was James' father but since the censuses which could help prove this are pre-1850 (no names of children in the households) I haven't had the proof. Only the geographically random Randolph County marriage certificate for James and Mary J. Braden (although now that you've tied in Randolph Co a bit for me, it's not so random) and James' occupation, that of a printer, to help fuse the two together. A very kind researcher from Jay Co recently found a Civil War pension application filed by his widow in 1880 so I ordered it yesterday. I'm hoping there will be the proof I need to prove James' parentage but I won't have it for a good two weeks.
So the Elias in Darke Co is a son of an earlier Elias? Could this be the Elias m. Martha from VA and later OH?
Also, you said the info you have on James was from a family bible? Would there happen to be any further info on James and Elias and Cassandra? Also, you mentioned a branch of the family in Randolph Co and I've been wondering why James and Mary J were married there and when you mentioned there was other family living there at the time (1855) I figured that must be why they chose that location as I have been unable to find any of Mary J. Braden's family there.
Thanks Very Much!