Mr James Billows was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England at the close of 1892.
He was the son of Joseph Billows (b. 1855) and his wife Ellen (1855-1929) who were wed around 1872. His father, a dock labourer, hailed from Shirley, Southampton whilst his mother was native to Droxford, Hampshire.
He was one of nine children, eight surviving infancy, and his known siblings were: William (1873-1921), Joseph/Josiah (b. 1876), Thomas (1879-1946), Ellen (1884-1957, later Mrs John Brander), Henry (1888-1922), Norah (1890-1947, later Mrs Albert Henry Norman), Andrew (1895-1935)
His parents had initially settled in Bournemouth, Hampshire but had moved to Southampton around the time of the mid-1870s. Prior to his birth James' family appeared on the 1891 census as residents of 7 Castle Gardens, St Michael, Southampton and the family would still be listed there at the time of the next census in 1901. The 1911 census shows the family as residents of 28 Bell Street, Southampton and James was then described as an unmarried ship's scurfer.
When James signed on to the Titanic as a trimmer, he gave his address as 28 Bell Street, Southampton. His previous ship had been the Olympic and as a trimmer he could expect to receive wages of £5, 10s per month.
James Billows was lost in the Titanic disaster and his body, if recovered, was never identified.
His family largely remained in Southampton and his mother died there in 1929 although what became of his father is not clear. His last known surviving sibling was his elder sister Ellen who died in Southampton in 1957.