James Illingworth was born in Longford, Tasmania, the ninth of seventeen children of George Illingworth, labourer, (1825-1907) and his wife Sarah Dent (1835-1926). James was employed as an ironmonger when he married Maria Wallace at St John's Church of England on 23 Jun 1897. Maria's parents were James Wallace, a blacksmith, and Margaret nee Keogh. James and Maria had one son, James Wallace, born 16 Sep 1901. The family moved to Melbourne. James died at East Melbourne in 1953, aged 82.