John Hannington Thurston was born in Ipswich, son of John Thurston and his wife Elizabeth Mary nee Hannington, who married at St George's, Hanover Square, London on 19 November 1861. His father died in Islington, London in 1866, and in 1869 his mother remarried, to Charles Smith in Brighton. In 1871 John was a 6-year old, living at Rose Villa, Keymer, Sussex with his stepfather (a wine merchant), his 30-year old mother, his 4-year old sister Beatrice (1866-1872), and a 10-month old stepsister, Bessie May.
By 1881, young John was a 16-year old learning the wine business, and the enlarged family were now living at High Street, Henfield, Steyning, Sussex. In 1891, a 26-year old draper's clerk, living at Whaphams Freehold, Henfield, Sussex with his stepfather Charles, now a retired wine merchant, his 50-year old mother and four step-siblings.
In 1901 John was a 35-year old painter, lodging at Tregenna Place, St Ives. His sending-in address was Green Court. In 1904 he married Annie Morrisset (1878-1938). He died in Plymouth in 1928, aged 63.
1901 Census returns
Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall (p349)
Whybrow St Ives (1901-10 list pp 213-5)
The Year's Art 1902