John was born on 11 April 1844 at Portsmouth, Hampshire, to parents Robert Thomson, a warrant officer in Royal Artillery (1851), and Martha Fraser. He was baptised on 21 April 1844 at St Thomas, Portsmouth.
In 1871 John was an apprentice at the Royal Arsenal. The family emigrated to USA in 1883. The 1900 census return places him at Platteville, Wisconsin, working as a minister – denomination unspecified.
He married Eliza Bond (1843-1933) in the summer of 1872 in the Stepney Registration District, London. Census returns identify three children.
- Evangiline (1873-)1975) – married Romanzo Bunn Davis, a farm labourer, in 1898
- Caroline Mary (1880-1910) – a dry good clerk (1900); married Charles Arthur Pugh, a liveryman (1910)
- Robert John (1882-1974) – a farm labourer (1900); a sawmill conveyor operator (1920)
John died on 10 March 1905 at Marshall, Dane County, Wisconsin.
- 1871 Maldon
- 1872 Maidstone
- 1873 Plymouth
- 1875 Torquay
- 1878 Aldershot
- 1879 Richmond
- 1881 Brighton
- 1882 disappears
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers