The known family history only traces back up to John's father, who was born on the boat from Scotland to New York. John says that, "If you ever spoke to him, you'd think he only ate haggis and wore a kilt", which implies that he either had a heavy accent, or knew his culture very well. He also hated the English for what they did to his (John's father's) great-grandparents.
Not much is known about John's mother, except that she was a prostitute, and died while giving birth to John in 1873. Sometime early in John's childhood, his father was "blinded in a bar fight, south of Chicago". When John was eight years old, his father died and he was then sent to an orphanage.
However, he soon ran away from the orphanage, and eventually met Dutch van der Linde, who would take him in and serve as a father figure to him, along with Hosea Matthews. It was Dutch who taught John how to read, and 'the ways of the world'. For a long time, John was an outlaw alongside Dutch, until he was shot, and almost killed during a train robbery in 1899, where Dutch and the gang left him to die.
Abigail, while with the gang, served as a prostitute. She slept with most of the gang's members until she eventually fell in love with John.
John and Abigail had two children together, Jack Marston (born in 1895) and an unnamed daughter; the latter of whom passed away sometime before 1911. Jack grew up amongst the gang, oftentimes referring to Dutch, Bill, Hosea and Arthur as uncles.
After the robbery, John gave up the life of an outlaw, and moved to the Yukon temporarily with his family to participate in the ongoing gold rush, but didn’t make much from it. During Jack's childhood, the Marston family moved around for a lot of the time. They were temporarily stationed at Pronghorn Ranch in 1907, although Abigail and Jack left after the former became unhappy with John's recent actions and apparent inability to settle into family life. Wishing to convince her that he’d changed, John bought a ranch in the Great Plains area called Beecher's Hope. He meets Uncle, an old drunk he knew during the gang, and reluctantly accepts his help. He also finds Charles Smith, a friend from the gang, and the three manage to construct a ranch at Beecher's Hope. Soon afterwards, Abigail and Jack reunite with John, with a new dog, Rufus.
In 1911, John is forced to take up the role of gunslinger once again when Edgar Ross and Archer Fordham find him at his ranch and force him to hunt down and capture or kill his former gang members by capturing his son and wife. He eventually succeeds in this task, and reunites with his family at the ranch. However, the Bureau secretly betray John and a large group of US Army soldiers attack the ranch at some point afterwards. Uncle is shot dead during the assault, and John eventually follows - to allow the rest of his family to live in peace, John sacrifices himself for them, and is shot multiple times by a large firing squad which includes Ross. Abigail and Jack return to the ranch soon after, only to find that John had been killed. They bury John and Uncle on the hill overlooking the ranch.
Three years later, in 1914, Jack is seen standing near the graves of John, Uncle and Abigail, with the latter having died of an unknown cause. He turns around and walks away, before deciding to track down Ross, in vengeance for his family. He eventually succeeds in killing Ross in a duel, and walks away, with the realization that he's about to become an outlaw, the very thing his parents tried to prevent him from being. The only surviving member of the Marston family, the rest of Jack's life is elusive.
The Family Members
- John Marston - Father of Jack Marston and an unnamed daughter. Son of unnamed Scottish man, and unnamed prostitute. Husband of Abigail Marston. Died in 1911.
- Abigail Marston - Mother of Jack Marston and an unnamed daughter. Wife of John Marston. Died in 1914.
- Jack Marston - Son of John and Abigail Marston. Older brother of unnamed Marston child.
- Unnamed Marston daughter - Daughter of John and Abigail. Younger sister of Jack Marston. Died prior to 1911.
- Uncle - Though Uncle is (most likely) not related to the Marston family, he is treated as a family relative and friend. Died in 1911.
- Unnamed Scottish male - Father of John. Died in 1881.
- Unnamed female prostitute - Mother of John. Died in 1873.
- Unnamed Scottish great-great grandparents of John - Possibly murdered by the English government.
- Rufus - Family Dog.
- Although Dutch van der Linde, Hosea Matthews, Arthur Morgan, Susan Grimshaw, Bill Williamson, and Javier Escuella weren't actually John's family, they served as one as he grew up, as they did with Abigail, and later, Jack until he left the gang.