JAMES ROACH was born in Pennsylvania in February of 1857 to William and Eliza Roach. His father worked as a ship carpenter. Besides James the family included older siblings Samuel and Georgianna. The family came to Camden after the Census of 1870 was taken, and settled in South Camden. 

The 1878 Camden City Directory shows living at 311 Atlantic Avenue and working as a bricklayer. His older brother Samuel had gotten involved in local politics and was a constable when the Directory was compiled. The 1880 Census shows James H. Roach, his older brother Samuel and his parents all still living at 311 Atlantic Avenue. James H. Roach was still at this address in 1882, when City Directory also shows he was working as a bricklayer for Isaac Budd.


On April 26, 1882 James Roach married Clara Buzine, daughter of Camden Fire Department member Samuel S. Buzine, who in time would rise to the position of Assistant Chief of the entire department. In the spring of 1884 James Roach was appointed to the Camden Fire Department to serve as an extra man with Engine Company 1, taking the place of James H. Brown. When the Fire Department reorganized on July 1, 1885 James Roach was one of the eighteen extra men who were laid off.

City Directories show that James Roach lived at 1320 South 3rd Street from 1883 through 1885, at 284 Sycamore in 1887 and in 1888, and at 292 Sycamore from 1890 through 1896. He worked as a bricklayer throughout the 1880s and most of the 1890s. The 1897 and 18989 Camden City Directories lists James H. Roach at 1103 Baring Street.

The 1899 Camden City Directory shows that James and Clara Roach had moved to 1006 South 4th Street, and that James Roach was working as a policeman. When the Census was taken the following year, the Roach family, which included children Mary, 15; James, 12; and Emma, 8 was still at 1006 South 4th Street. By 1907 they had moved to 1008 South 4th Street.

The 1910 Census shows James Roach at 1008 South 4th Street. he was then working as a constable. In July of that year he was appointed by the Bridge Committee of the Camden County Board of Freeholders to the position of bridge tender at the State Street Bridge. 

The 1918-1919 City Directory lists James and Clara Roach at 507 Chestnut Street. He was still working as bridgetender. James Roach appears to have let Camden shortly after the Directory was compiled. By April of 1930 James and Clara Roach had moved to Somerdale, where he worked as a janitor in a public school as late as 1930.

As stated above, James Roach's father-in-law was Assistant Chief Samuel S. Buzine of the Camden Fire Department. His brothers-in-law through his marriage into the Buzine family were Camden Fire Department members William Buzine and Joseph Ernest, and Camden policeman Edward Hyde, who served as Chief of Police in the early 1920s. Clara Buzine Roach's uncle, Lewis Buzine, was also a Camden Fire Department member.

Camden Daily Courier
August 2, 1898

Cooper B. Hatch
George Nowrey
James Roach
Thomas Brothers
Alfred Hayden
John Reader
John Anderson
Harry Hope
Alfred Meyers
Hugh Boyle
Edward Cooper

Camden Daily Courier
March 13, 1899
Joseph Nowrey - Archie Robinson - Wilhelmina Robinson - James Roach
William Butts - Kate Green - J. Oscar Weaver 
George Ritter - John Miller - Harry Watson - Alfred Porter - Harry Curtis - Albert Knox 

Philadelphia Inquirer * April 28, 1907

Philadelphia Inquirer * December 5, 1909

Harry Prevost
William Sofield
William Buzine
Edward Hyde
Joseph Ernst
James Roach
Samuel Buzine
Click on Image to Enlarge

Philadelphia Inquirer * July 12, 1910