John Parry was born on February 10, 1789, in Newmarket, North Wales. He married Mary Williams at the age of 19 and they had seven children. Their family was converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and were baptized on September 13, 1846. John had been a Campbellite preacher and a Baptist.
John and Mary and their son Caleb immigrated to Utah on February 25, 1849. Three of their other children followed a few years later. John and Mary and Caleb traveled with the first company of Latter-day Saint emigrants from Wales with Dan Jones as their captain. Mary died on the journey and was buried at Council Bluffs, Iowa. John and Caleb arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on October 27, 1849.
As a mason by trade, John worked on various buildings in Salt Lake City, including the Salt Lake Temple and the old Tabernacle.
He was also a professional musician and was leader of the church choir in Salt Lake City when meetings were held in the “Old Bowery,” which stood on or near the site of the Large Tabernacle, and also in the “Old Tabernacle” where now stands the Assembly Hall. This was the beginning of the Tabernacle Choir.
In 1854, he married Harriett Parry and they had five children, including Edwin F. Parry Sr.. He died on January 13, 1868.