John was born in about 1840, perhaps at Ballymoney in Ireland or Kirkintilloch, Scotland. He journeyed to Greenock, the Glasgow Port, and lived at 32 Inverskip Street where he met his future wife.
"The Record of the Marriage can still be s een at Greenock as follows:- "23rd September 1864 at Partick Street, Greenock after Banns according to the forms of the Roman Catholic Church. John Mclaren, Ships' Carpenter, aged 24, of 32 Inverkip Street, Greenock and son of James McLaren, Farmer, and wife Agnes Murray (deceased) and Ellen Mullan, aged 20, of 13 Inverkip Street, Greenock, the daughter of Peter Mullan, labourer, and, Margaret Lennard." (quote in David M. Mclaren's book "The Mclarens of Dunedin" self-published 1984)
Ellen was pregnant with their fifth child when, for whatever reasons, the couple and their children made sail for the colony of New Zealand aboard the ship 'Invercargill' in 1875. A journey of ninety days brought them to Port Chambers, Dunedin in New Zealand.
He passed away in 1898, after several years as an invalid, due to a work place accident. He was buried in Dunedin's Northern Cemetary on 8 August 1898.
Of his ten children who reached adulthood, only Andrew, Margaret, James and Andrew produced no issue. 
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