John Stewart Macdonald was born in Darlington, Co Durham, in 1884, son of Stewart Muir Macdonald (B1865 in Cardiff) a Bank Cashier and Lillian Ada Macdonald (nee Charnley) (B1865 in Preston, Lancs). He was the eldest of three children.
John was Baptised on 17th September 1884, at St Cuthbert's Church, Darlington, Co Durham.
1891 Census records John aged 6, living with his parents and brother Walter 4, in Formby, Lancs.
1901 Census records the family are now living at 1 Beechcroft Road, Bushey, Herts. John is working as a "Dry Goods Clerk"
1911 Census records John aged 28, and single, he is employed as a "Clerk in a Drapery Warehouse" and lodging with Mr Browton at "The Laburnham" 50 Aldenham Road, Oxhey, Herts.
John married Constance Agnes Gay, the daughter of Robert and Luisa Gay, in Lewisham, London, in 1917.