In 1907 he was the marriage witness for Eliza Jane (Crooks) Burns (abt.1855-), his mother's cousin via James Bell.
James was a member of Ballybriest Purple Star No. 277. (An Ulster unionist organization). At a special meeting on 14 Sep 1908 he and Eakin Shirlow (1888-) were presented with certificates as they were about to emigrate to New Zealand. 
In 1912 in New Zealand he married Eliza Milne Fowler, daughter of Joshua Fowler (engineer) and Louisa Godby McKay. Witnesses were James Jamison, inspector, and Louisa Fowler, tailoress. 
In 1919 the couple travelled on the Ruahine to the UK. Their son James was born in Ireland that year, and Louis born in Belfast the following year. 
The family arrived back in New Zealand aboard the Ruahine on 10 October 1922. 
James returned to Ireland at some point. This may have been after 1928 (as he does appear in the 1928 NZ Electoral Roll, but not the 1935) and before 1931.
In 1935, James attended the funeral of Thomas James Bell (1868-1935) at Dunmore. Thomas James was a nephew of James's grandmother Mary Jane (Bell) Graham.
In about July 1937 he sold his farmland at Mabuoy in preparation for a return to New Zealand.
With wife Eliza and the two children , he boarded the Rangitane at London on 22 July 1937 bound for New Zealand.  Eliza passed away in 1941.
James was a company manager of Auckland, but adjudged bankrupt in May 1942. 
In 1951 in New Zealand he married Adelaide Rose Perry. 
"James Crooks" was a common name for Dunmore and surrounding townlands; it is not clear at this stage which of those was his father. No birth record has been found. His mother Mary Jane lived at Dunmore, County Tyrone. James Crooks (1865-1908) is the only unmarried James Crooks of the area that I have a profile for so far.
Mary Jane did adopt a child Thomas that wasn't hers and may have been her sister's; so we should keep open the possibility that James Bell Crooks is not Mary Jane's biological child either; and if so, that James may or may not have known.
James being the marriage witness for Eliza Jane (Crooks) Burns (abt.1855-) is a bit odd, if she was only his 1C1R , normally it is a closer relative. Is it perhaps possible that James's father was James Crooks (abt.1828-1915) ??
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Categories: Ruahine '1' (1891) | Mobuy Townland, Lissan Parish, County Londonderry | Ballybriest Townland, Lissan Parish, County Londonderry | County Tyrone, Emigrants to New Zealand | Dunmore Townland, Lissan Parish, County Tyrone | Waikumete Cemetery, Glen Eden, Auckland | Orange Order