James was born about 1750, the son of unknown parents. The place is not known.
His wife was Janet Penman, who he married in 1779. The place has not been found. Their only known child was Cowan (c1780-?).
!P: Aug 8th. At a constitute Meeting of the Session compeared Janet Penman who had been cited to appear on a Report of her being with Child. Upon her being interrogate as to the truth of that Report she acknowledged in the affirmative and being seriously exhorted to be ingenuous her ddilating a person as the father as the father of her Child, she gave up James Cowan, Workman in Dun, as the father of it.
!P: Aug. 22nd/. At a constitute Meeting of the Session compeared Janet Penman, who still adhered to her former Accussation of James Cowan as the father of her Child. Said James Cowan being called compeared also & acknowledged his having been guilty with said Janet.