James Hunter was born February 22, 1818 to John and Jean Finlayson Hunter who married on June 3, 1817 at Muirkirk.
James married Mary Holdsworth on August 21, 1851. Mary died November 21, 1867, and he married his second wife, November 1, 1870 to Gertrude Leslie Craufurd, daughter of James Craufurd, Lord Ardmillan. He and Mary had no children, but in 1872 he and Gertrude had daughter Gertrude Theodosia Jane Hunter and six other children followed: John Leslie born January 10, 1873, James Craufurd born October 1, 1874, Henry born November 7, 1876, died 1876, Mary born 1877, Norman McDonald Lockhart born January 20, 1880,(twin) died 1888, and Charles Finlayson born January 20, 1880.(twin)
James had retired from management at Coltness Iron Works in 1885, but died October 5, 1886 at his winter residence in Edinburgh.
At Muirkirk New Cemetery there is a large monument to the Hunter family: with James Hunter of Glenapp, together with his two wives, Mary Holdsworth and Gertrude L. Crawford, his son Henry Hunter who died an infant of 19 weeks, Norman McDonald Lockhart Hunter, one of the twins who died at the age of 8, and also his father John Hunter and mother Jean Finlayson.