John Rowland Eather 1843-1923
John Rowland EATHER, the twelfth child and youngest son of Thomas EATHER 1800-1886 and Sarah, nee McALPIN, was born at Richmond on 14 November 1843. He was baptised at St Peter's Church on 10 December 1843 and his name was recorded in the baptism register of the Church as John Rowling. His father was at that time a publican in Richmond.
In his adult life John tended to dispense with the "w" in his name and most written records show his name as John Roland. He spent his early years with his numerous brothers and sisters at Richmond, where his parents resided in the "Union Inn" in Windsor Street. His father had a farm near the town, which he ran as one of his business activities, and John learned the skills of riding horses and attending to farm chores at an early age.
By 1868, when he was 25, he had left the Hawkesbury district and had joined his elder brothers Charles. Peter, William and James on the family station "Henriendi" on the Namoi River on the Liverpool Plains.
Little is known of John Rowland EATHER's life over the next decade or so. Presumably he worked on "Henriendi" and other stations in the north-west and may have done some droving. By the early 1880's he was working in the Goodooga district some thirty kilometres or so south of the Queensland border and north-east of Bourke. Goodooga was then a tiny township on the Bokhara River, which winds it way down from Queensland to join the Barwon River about fifteen kilometres west of Brewarrina. Somewhere in the Goodooga district John Roland EATHER was married on 29 June 1882 to Hannah Annie CROTHERS. Apparently the nearest Church to Goodooga at that time was at Brewarrina, a township on the Barwon River about 95 kilometres to the south. The record of the wedding is in the register of the Brewarrina Church of England. It states that the wedding was held in the home of the bride's parents. John Rowland EATHER was age 38 years and Hannah Annie CROTHERS age 23 years had been born at Maitland, the daughter of Henry CROTHERS and Jane IRWIN
When the birth of their first child was registered in 1884, John Rowland EATHER was a shopkeeper in the tiny town of Goodooga. This occupation didn't last for very long, as their second child Rowland was baptised at Brewarrina in 1885 and by then John was a grazier residing at "Estherville." When his fourth child was born in January 1888 at "Barlowbie," Goodooga, John was a storekeeper again, but in 1889 when his fifth child Colin Roscoe was christened at Brewarrina, he was a selector on a property in the Goodooga district. In these Church records at Brewarrina his second forename was recorded with the "w".
At some time during his life a family heirloom was passed down to John Rowland EATHER. It was a book, "The Life of Christ", which had been given to his father in 1824 when he married Sarah McALPIN. The book bore the signature of the Reverend SELKIN, who officiated at his parents' wedding. This book was later passed down to John and Hannah's son William Irwin EATHER.
In all John Rowland EATHER and Hannah Annie EATHER had ten children, of whom three died in infancy.
The children of John and Hanna were:-
Bessie Hilton Eather 1884 1965 m. Winsleigh Alexander MURRAY 1885-1917 ANZAC killed in action
Roland C Eather 1885 1885
Jeanie Irwin Eather 1886 1954 m. Samuel Lawrence GOLDMAN 1878-1974
Richmond Cornwallis Eather 1888 1966 ANZAC m. Mary Jane McFarlane LONGMORE 1905-1974
Colin Roscoe Eather 1889 1936 m. May RENNIE 1879-1944
McAlpine Eather 1890 1966 ANZAC m. Mary Janetta De Evelyn
Hutchinson Eather 1892 1892
Kate Eather 1893 1970 Never married
William Irwin Eather 1897 1981 m. 1.Nita Marion CAMPBELL 2. Doris??unknown
Kenneth S Eather 1900 ?? unknown
Following the death of his father in 1886, John Rowland EATHER inherited his father's farm near Richmond; a portion of a house that his father owned in Francis Street, Richmond (his brother Peter EATHER 1831-1911 was to receive the other portion; and half of the residue of his father's personal estate which at the probate was sworn as being under £390 ($780).
John Roland EATHER died in the District Hospital at Tamworth on 15 January 1923 at the age of 79 years.
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