John and his family crossed the Atlantic on the Falcon in 1853. He was a slater from Scotland. His family received financial assistance for their journey from the Church Perpetual Emigrating Fund. John was re-baptized on 2 December 1854 in the Salt Lake City Nineteenth Ward. Although the Falcon records indicate that he was from Glasgow, Scotland, his rebaptism record indicates that he was born in Ireland. In 1855 his name appears in the Public Works Account Books as a plasterer. At the time of the 1856 Utah Territorial Census his family was still in the Salt Lake Nineteenth Ward.