William was born at Gortin, County Tyrone, Ireland.
He traveled to Australia in 1861 with 3 brothers & then to Dunedin, New Zealand in 1862.
he married Ann Cradock (born in Sydney, Aus, in 1847) in 1865.
They had two sons & one daughter. One son, John was a clergyman in Levin and the Principal of Otaki Native College & Te Aute College.
William was a carter then a gardener in Dunedin. By 1903 he was in Levin as a gardener. The family was on the unofficial census in 1905 for the Levin township petition.