Saturday, September 25, 2010

John Gunn 1843 - 1930

John Gunn son of George and Ann (Cook) Gunn, was born 7 Jan 1843 in County of Caithness, Scotland.  He married 25 April 1870, Matilda Gardiner, daughter of James and Ann (Gall) Gardiner.  She was born 3 Apr 1850 at Dundee, Scotland.  At the time of her marriage she was a power loom weaver in a linen factory in Dundee, age 20.  

John Gunn served 14 years in the British Army in the Scottish Highlanders’ brigade. He was in India seven years, returning from India in a sailing vessel, he was thirteen weeks at sea.

John and Matilda Gunn immigrated to Canada about 1875 with their first three children, James, Anna and Matilda.  Matilda was an infant at that time, born Sep 4, 1874 in Glasgow.  Anna, the next oldest was born Dec 15, 1872 in Dumbarton.  She was a child of about three, and James, the oldest, would have been about four.  

Judging by the birth dates and places of the other five of their children it can be seen that the family moved a lot, no doubt because the father was finding it difficult to support his growing family and went where he could find work.  It is not known whether Matilda's mother and father came with them to Canada, or whether they were already there at St. Catherine’s.  Her two brothers, Robert and Alfred had joined the Mormon church in Scotland and emigrated to Utah seven years earlier, in 1868.  And some time later Robert Gardiner had send money to his parents for their passage.  However, they did not like their life there and decided not to stay, and either returned to Scotland, or went directly to Canada.  Their father, James Gardiner died in St. Catherine’s, Canada, 10 Sep 1878.  Baby Jean was born in St Catherine’s in 1879, and in 1880 a baby (John) was born in Chamdoss County Peterboro, Canada. By 1885 they were in Minneapolis, Minnesota. where George Arthur was born on 21 May.

Apparently Matilda's mother, Ann Gall Gardiner had moved with them from Canada, as she died in Minneapolis in 1886 although by one account she had died at the home of her son Ralph Gardiner, Matilda's brother who was apparently living in Minneapolis at that time also.

The next move was to Muskegon, Michigan, where another baby was born, Robert, who only lived 6 weeks.  He was b March 18 1893.

We next find the family in Chicago where Anna was married to Dr Ernest Aiston, a dentist, in 1894 and Matilda married his brother, also a dentist, Dr Robert T. Aiston, a year or two later.

Eventually John and Matilda Gunn moved to Salt Lake City where Matilda's two brothers Robert and Alfred Gardiner had pioneered with the Mormons in 1868 and were well established by this time with growing families.  John and his sons found work with the railroad there.  One of his sons, John, joined the Mormon Church, but the rest of the family did not.  They seemed to prefer the church of their fathers in Scotland.  They had a modest home in Salt Lake City and spent their retirement years there, in close touch with their Gardiner relatives.

John Gunn died 5 April 1915, and his wife, Matilda Gunn died June 14, 1930.  Both are buried in Salt Lake City Utah.