21 January 1824
In 1842, James emigrated to New Zealand with his parents. The voyage, aboard the sailing ship New Zealand, lasted 123 days. The family settled in Nelson but owing to difficulties over land tenure and with Maories, moved to Dunedin in 1848 when the Otago settlement was formed.
In partnership with James Chapman Smith, James opened a general store and bakery on Bullen's corner but at that time Dunedin's population was few and mostly content with home-made bread. The partners disposed of the store and instead ventured into agriculture, leasing 13,000 acres of land in the Tokomairiro district. Increasing local settlement deprived the partners of most of their run and after he married, James purchased the freehold of some land in the Taieri district to found Hopehill Farm.
James built a strong reputation for himself as a successful, knowledgeble and hardworking farmer and breeder of stock. He also took considerable interest in the community, serving as a local politician, an Elder at the East Taieri Presbyterian Church and as Captain of the East Taieri Rifles. He was esteemed by all who knew him as a man of sterling worth, ever ready, when asked, to give advice or assistance.
- Notes: Partnership with James Smith; community service and reputation.
- Event (death): Date and location.
- Notes: James Chapman Smith's full name and partnership with James Allan.
- Event (marriage): Date, location and partners.