The family moved soon after he was born to Boston Ward I, where they were living at the time of the 1850 US Federal Census.
In 1865, when John W. was 18 years old, his father passed away from consumption, leaving John and his brother Archelaus to care for their mother and two younger siblings. He seems to have started work as a labourer.
However, it seems he got his future wife into a bit of trouble and had to remedy it; they were married seven and a half months before the birth of their child.
He married Ann S. Thompson, who was only 17 at the time (he was 20), on 12 May 1867, in Charlestown. They had:
that same year on the 23rd of December, while Ann was still just 17. They were living at Walker’s Wharf, just a few blocks away from the Charlestown Prison.
No other information has been found about the family, possibly complicated by the fire that destroyed the 1890 US Federal Census (see Nettie’s entry).
I have been unable to find any information about John W.’s death.