James Ross was born in 1827 in Kincardine, on the southern side of Dornoch Firth. His childhood was spent in the highlands. The 1841 census records him as living with his parents in Gledfield, which is at the inland (western) end of Dornoch Firth. His father was a blacksmith. Sometime between 1841 and 1851 he left Scotland for England. His granddaughter, who was my grandmother (Winifred Ross – Holford), later wrote that he lived in Ferintosh opposite Dingwall, so he may have lived there before he left for England. His wife Mary grew up in Wales, where they seem to have lived briefly before they eventually settled in Birkenhead, near Liverpool. In 1870 the family migrated to Australia.