When John Sportsman was born on 12 November 1801, in Madison, Kentucky, United States, his father, William Sportsman, was 37 and his mother, Sarah Arnold, was 33. He married Mary Elizabeth Turpin on 3 August 1823, in Chariton, Missouri, United States. They were the parents of at least 3 sons and 8 daughters. He lived in Keytesville Township, Chariton, Missouri, United States for about 10 years and Keytesville, Chariton, Missouri, United States in 1880. He died on 23 February 1881, in Chariton, Missouri, United States, at the age of 79, and was buried in Musselfork Township, Chariton, Missouri, United States.
Possibly an altered form of Flemish Sportmans: patronymic from Poortman (see Portman 2), genitivized by the initial s (from des ‘of the’) and the suffix -s.