James F. Kirkland was born in February 1835. He was the son of John Kirkland and Elizabeth Weeks. He learned the cabinet making trade from his father, though in later years his occupation is more often listed as "painter". He was also a preacher, according to son William's birth certificate.
James married Jenet Cairns on February 22, 1859. James and Jenet had 11 children. They moved around between Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Maine. It is difficult to ascertain where each child was born, as it differs from census to census.
James and Jenet began their marriage in Prince Edward Island, in Lot 4 (west of Summerside). Their first four children, Agnes (1859), Alice (1861), Thomas (1863) and Aubrey were born in Prince Edward Island. 
In 1870, the family was living in Houlton, Maine. At this point, they had 6 children. It is uncertain whether child #5, George, was born in PEI, NB or Maine. Child #6 Maude (1869) was most likely born in Maine. In addition to their children, James's sister Emma was living with the family as domestic help, as were several boarders (including Emma's future husband)
Between the 1870 US Census and the 1871 Canada Census, the family moved from Houlton to St. Stephen, NB, possibly via Calais, Maine. Child #7, William was born one month before the 1871 Census. That census says he was born in New Brunswick, but his birth certificate says he was born in Calais, Maine
Over the ensuing decade, James and Jenet had 4 more children. According to the 1881 census, Henrietta (1874), Nancy (1876) and Willard (1877) were born in New Brunswick, and the youngest, Albert (1879) was born in Prince Edward Island. Jenet died on October 23, 1880, leaving James a widower with 11 children. They were living in Summerside, Prince Edward Island in 1881.
James married Martha Kenney (or Kinney) on May 3, 1882 in Salisbury, New Brunswick. They lived in Havelock, New Brunswick where their first 2 children were born. They then moved to Bangor, Maine and had 3 more children.
James died on September 3, 1900 in Bangor, Maine and was buried in Mount Hope Cemetery.
↑ "Prince Edward Island Marriage Registers, 1832-1888," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVBJ-2SBG : accessed 25 October 2015), James Fredrick Kirkland and Janet Cairns, 22 Feb 1859; citing , Prince Edward Island, Canada, Public Archives, Charlottetown; FHL microfilm 1,630,092
↑ normally a birth certificate is more reliable than a census, but given that William was married 4 times using different variations of his name and giving different ages and birth locations, and his birth certificate was issued in 1938, it is suspect.
1870 US Census; Place: Houlton, Aroostook, Maine; Roll: M593_538; Page: 190B; Image: 386; Family History Library Film: 552037. – James F & Janette J Kirkland and 6 children, plus boarders (available on Ancestry)
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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with James by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA.
However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line.
It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with James: