John was traveling with his sister and her husband. They arrived in New Orleans on 2 May 1854 via the ship John M. Wood. It is possible that they crossed the plains with the 1854 Daniel Garn company, as many who were also passengers of the John M. Wood are documented in that overland company. However, further research is needed to confirm that.
His birth date is confirmed by Salt Lake 19th Ward records at the time of a rebaptism on 17 February 1855.