John Tong was the son of James J. and Ann (Bond) Tong and the grandson of John and Sarah (Chastain) Bond, so was a 1st cousin of John Howard Bond, my great-grandfather which makes John Tong my 1st cousin 3 times removed.
John was the only son in the family, having 3 sisters: Sarah, Rachel and Rebecca. He was born 5 Feb 1846, probably in Marion County, Iowa, since they were there in 1850. Some researchers show the Tongs coming to Oregon on the Nelson Davis wagon train in 1853 with many of Ann's family. However, I believe the Tongs came a year earlier in 1852 because: on his Donation Land Claim application James stated they had arrived in Oregon Sep 1852 and settled their claim 30 Sep 1852; the family is not on the 1853 Umatilla listing; and in his 1853 journal George Bond (Ann's brother) wrote on 22 Sep "to Fosters a Cros a deep creek to James Tongs." So the Tongs were already settled when the Nelson Davis train arrived.
The 1850 census showed the James Tong family next door to the Solomon Bond family, both in Marion County Iowa. John was listed as John N, age 5. By 1860 the family had settled in Clackamas County Oregon in Rock Creek Precinct and John was age 14. The name Tong is sometimes difficult to research because the handwritten capital T is misread as an L, so it is indexed incorrectly. But in the BLM General Land Office records of the James and Ann Tong Donation Land Claim, their name is misread as Toug so required a little more work to find. His claim appears to be near what is now (2017) the unincorporated community of Clackamas.
It was near the end of 1868, 10 Dec, when John married Nancy Ann Heater in Marion County Oregon. But they were living in Marshfield precinct Clackamas County in 1870 next to his sister Sarah who was married to George Wise. It must have been soon that John settled his homestead because he received the patent 11 Nov 1875. His father James received a patent for a homestead the same day and his land joined John's on the north, 160 acres each. It seems likely that James had sold his Donation Land Claim and filed for the homestead to be next to his son. They are on the same page in the 1880 census for Clackamas County, still in Marshfield precinct. John's sister, Rachel Emma who was married to Jacob Scott, was also living there.
By the 1880 census John and Nancy had 4 children: Stephen, Nettie, Earl and Mary. They had 3 more children in the next 10 years: Fletcher, Marion and Rachel. The 1900 census shows the family living in Damascus precinct of Clackamas County, but this is probably the same location as before. It was between the 1880 and 1900 census when John's mother died in 1884, then John's father was committed to the Hawthorne Asylum in July of 1887. James died there in that October.
Sometime after 1900 John's family moved to Portland, Multnomah County Oregon, where his wife Nancy died 31 Jan 1909 and was buried in Multnomah Park Cemetery. John had 4 of his children still living at home in the 1910 census and his daughter Mary and her husband Edwin Plasket were living with him in 1920. John died 6 May 1922 in the Oregon City Hospital and was buried next to Nancy. His obituary states that John was survived by all 7 of his children.