John Williams was born in Massachusetts on August 6, 1790, and lived in Chester, where he worked as a farmer. He often attended local town meetings, school board meetings, and church services. He married Sophia Mallory on May 9, 1816. They had several children, including Lucretia (b. February 26, 1818), a daughter (b. March 22, 1819), Ann Olive (b. May 21, 1820), William (b. August 28, 1821), Sophia (b. December 1, 1822), Betsey (b. June 8, 1824), William (b. February 20, 1826), and a son (b. June 27, 1827). Lucretia married William E. Moore and had at least one son, F. W. Moore.