John McNiesh (Sr.) was born a native of Scotland sometime around 1777. At the age of 35, he immigrated to New York city in 1812. At this time, he had been trained as a clock and watchmaker. He was married to Janet (Drisdale) McNiesh and had six children. Their first child, Jane, died in Scotland in infancy. Their second child, also named Jane, grew up in New York and married John Phyfe of that city. The third child, Elizabeth did not marry. She lived to be 86 years old. The fourth child, Janet married John Ferguson of New York City. John, the fifth son, was educated in New York and was trained by his father as a clock and watchmaker. His first shop was located on Wall Street and the corner of William Street. Successful, he remained there until 1842 when he relocated to Brooklyn and emerged himself in the mercantile trade. In 1844 he retired the family homestead at Woodrow in the Borough of Richmond. He died on January 12, 1882 at Huguenot Park. Their last child, James died at Woodrow in 1851. He did not marry. John (Sr.) is listed in the NYC Directories as a Watchmaker in 1820 and 1835. He became a naturalized citizen on February 5th, 1828. His occupation was listed as a merchant. He and Janet resided on Water Street for a number of years. They later moved to Woodrow, borough of Richmond, where the family purchased a farm and homestead. John passed away in 1846.