John was born on 31 July 1886 at Croxdale, Co. Durham, to parents John Watchman, a coal miner and Mary Ann Turner.
Before entering the ministry John worked as a school teacher (1901). The 1939 register records John as a clerk with Durham County Council.
He married Barbara Hutton Craig (1886-1942) in the summer of 1914 at Durham, Co. Durham. Birth records identify two children.
- John Colin Watchman (1915-2007)
- Alec Craig (1920-1943) – died in Thailand during WW2
He married Margaret Jane Cosker, nee Barnfather (1893-1972) in the spring of 1944 at Durham, Co. Durham.
John died in the summer of 1973 in the Durham South East Registration District.
- 1910 Horncastle
- 1914 Brigg
- 1916 Skegness
- 1920 ceased
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers