John was born at Larne, County Antrim, Ireland.
He married Emma Crowther (born at Wainuiomata in 1832) in 1873.
They did not have children.
John arrived in NZ in 1856. By 1876 he was the County Clerk for the Manawatu County Council. By 1887 he was the County Clerk for the Horowhenua County Clerk, based firstly in Otaki and then Levin. He died still in the role.
John owned several properties in Levin, including Salisbury St, where he was living when he died.
It is probable that a younger sister (Isabella) came & lived with John & Emma from 1894 to 1910 when she returned to Ireland.