James was born about 1883, the son of unknown parents. The place is not known.
His wife was Marjory Odam, who he married in 1907 in Lanark, Scotland. They had no known children.
!Source: Mary P Odam's website at www.odam.org. Mary says: "Most of our information about the Penmans was bequeathed to us when my father in law died. A gentleman called Eric Edwards [another Penman descendant] had done most of the hard work, presumably, like you, poring over registers." She has verified most of it with www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk.