John was born in 1855 in Minnigaff, Kirkcudbrightshire. He married Jessie Gemmell in Creetown in 1876 and died in Kirkmabreck in 1923.
According to the 1881/1901 Census records John and Jessie had at least 6 children.
John's occupation at the time of his marriage and in 1881 was that of a ploughman. According to his Death certificate, he was a Railway Surfaceman when he retired but a Blacksmith according to his son, James's, marriage and death certificates.
Jessie Gemmell had a son, David Gemmell, before she started having children with John Skimming. In the 1871 census, 1 year old David is living with his grandmother, Helen Gemmell, I think Helen's husband, Robert Gemmell is living in Rerrick at the time the census was taken.
In the 1881 census the Gemmell and Skimming families are living next door to each other in Chapelton, Kirkmabreck. In the Gemmell family home, 11 year old David Elliott is living with his grandparents. I assume that this is David Gemmell and "Elliott" may be the surname of his father?
Two of John Skimming and Jessie Gemmell's children were born before John and Jessie married.