James was born at Fulwood, Yorkshire, England.
He married Ann/e Hart (nee Marson, born at Bingham, Nottinghamshire, England in 1841) at Shannon in 1898.
Anni/e's first husband died in 1885 by which time she had two daughters. James & Anni/e did not hav enay children.
James started out as a labourer at Waitotara around 1880. In 1896 through to around 1901 he is described as a settler in Levin.
He owned Suburban Block 46 (5.3 acres) from 1896 to 1901 & Suburban Block 49 (7 acres) from 1889 to 1901. Both blocks are in the Cambridge St, Bath St area.
In 1905 he is at Makirikiri as a farmer. However from then on he is described as a labourer or farmhand at Palmerston Nth.