James initially traveled to the Salt Lake Valley as Captain of the Guard in the John Tidwell Company in 1852. He should not be confused with David James Ross, born in 1822, who also traveled in this company.
He served a mission in England from 1853-1860 and traveled home as captain of his own company in 1860 with his wife and two children.
In some cases, James Darling Ross has been erroneously credited with being one of the men who assisted in rescuing the pioneers stranded on the plains of Wyoming the winter of 1856. British Mission records clearly document him as serving in England during this time.