James was born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
He married Isabella Hadden (born at Aberdeenshire in 1854) in 1872.
They had one son in Scotland & then travelled to NZ in 1874 to Dunedin.
They had 7 more sons, two of whom died in infancy, all but the last two were born in Dunedin, the last two in Blenheim.
Two sons, James (Jnr) & William served in WW1.
James was an engineer & bridge builder. From around 1901 till he died he was the Horowhenua County Engineer.
See the obituary Horowhenua Chronicle 27 Sep 1921.