John Andrew Taylor was born in Turnchapel, on the south side of the river Plym opposite Plymouth, the son of John Taylor, a Shipwright, and his wife Priscilla, neé Glinn. He was baptised in the Anglican Parish Church of Charles the Martyr in Plymouth, Devon, on 7th May 1848.
He never married and lived in Plymouth most of his life - a Grocer Shopkeeper by trade. On his retirement in the early 1900s he removed to Worthing, West Sussex. He is buried in the Broadwater Cemetery, Worthing.
He is referred to in Noel's History of the Brethren to distinguish him from J. Taylor, of New York.