John Gardiner was born at Chappelgarry, Aberdeenshire Scotland about 1815. He arrived in Tasmania in the ship Augustine in 1843 and went as overseer to Samuel Martin of Exton. Later he worked as overseer for Blythe and De Little. In 1850 he was moved to Victoria to work at De Little's station at Hamilton. He was still at Hamilton on Black Thursday. He kept newspapers printed in Geelong in 1851 describing the suffering after the fire.
When gold was discovered at Ballarat he decided to try his luck and he was there at the time of the Eureka Stockade.
He selected land in Connewarre on the corner of Charlemont and Lower Duneed Roads about the mid 1850s.
He enjoyed reading and was still doing this within a few days of his death. He liked reading about politics and once rode seven miles to record his vote after he was ninety.
He married Isabella, daughter of Alex and Jaen Abernathy in Aberdeenshire in 1842. They had the following children:
Isabell — born about 1846. died 10 January 1919 at Strathbogie aged 73
Jane — born 1848 in Tasmania, married William Spencer in 1869, died 13 March 1887 at Connewarre, buried in the Methodist section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery
Susannah — born at Black Hill Tasmania, married James Theophilus Mallett on 22 April 1873 at Aberdeen Street Baptist Church, died 1927 at Canterbury
Flora Gilchrist — born 1855 at Ballarat, married John Green in 1882 died 10 December 1893 aged 38, buried in the Church of England section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery
Helen — born 1852 at Geelong, married James Hill in 1876, died 1926 at Murtoa
John Arthur — born 1858 at Connewarre, married Emma Thomas Folks on 31 March 1885 at Dry Creek
A number of John's family and friends selected land at Strathbogie after 1882 and many stayed for the rest of their lives.
Isabella died on 17 April 1900 aged 85 at Strathbogie and was buried at Bonnie Doon. John died in October 1908 at the age of 93 years and 9 months and was buried with Isabella on 29 October 1908.
At the time of John's death he had 5 children, 31 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren.
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