Clark family of New South Wales conflicts

+1 vote

I cannot make sense of this family.

Emma West married James Clark in 1839. There are no children born to James & Emma in NSW BDM.

1876 Hannah the 4th daughter of the LATE James Clark married a Priestman. So James is dead by 1876.

1890 John Clark died of TB listing James & Emma as his parents.

1904 Emma died at the home of her married 4th daughter, Mrs Priestman.

Thanks for help

WikiTree profile: Emma Clark
in Genealogy Help by Graeme Rose G2G6 Mach 1 (11.2k points)
edited by Graeme Rose
There are 6 "candidates" for the John Clark who died in 1890 at age 45 -- only one of whom has a father James.  Unfortunately, the mother is Margaret, not Emma.

The 1873 death of Robert Clark, father of James and William -- if he died in Edinburgh, Scotland, he was born after the James born about 1800. If he died in NSW, of the two deaths in that year -one is registered for Liverpool, the other for Kiama.

There seems to be only one possible birth about that time (1800-ish) in Midlothian -  James son of James and Elizabeth, born mid-1799.

No Hannah Clark born in NSW in the time frame to be old enough to marry in 1876 has a father named James.

There do not seem to be any children born to James and Emma in New South Wales, Victoria, or Queensland.  So, IF there are any children born to this James and Emma, have you considered they were born outside Australia?

I think there are multiple James Clark males, and it is too easy to mix them all together and make them all into a single person who never existed.
Thank you for your thoughts,

Here is John's 1890 death

Once you have excluded all possibilities ...


Presuming the children were born in New South Wales --

One possibility is that the records for this family are either not digitalised, or have been lost or destroyed somehow.

Another possibility is that none of the children were baptised.  (Those early church records were not birth registrations, so were not mandatory.  The mandatory registrations came later.)

I have had no luck finding them born in Scotland.  Next is to try England, seeing Emma was from there.
Hi Graeme,

Just a side note to what looks like success in your family searches here.

... How were you able to search out John's certificate like that (through
Hello Ken,

Good luck mainly, but here are the steps.

1) Emma (West) Clark is a distant aunt.

2) Every six months I use the FamilySearch matches option (under Find) and focus on any discrepancies.

3) I disagreed with the Clark entries so went into each profile on FamilySearch to see if there was any evidence plus searched Trove for newspaper articles of births deaths marriages.

4) At the top of each FamilySearch profile is a heading Sources. I did this for son John and SURPRISE Sandra Howcroft had uploaded John Clark's death certificate.

5) I have written to Sandra to see if she can help with conflicts.



Thank you Graeme for the advice. 

I confess I've never searched through FamilySearch in that depth, Impressive, although in many ways I've found it to be a helpful reference. I have used it sometimes as a guide (I prefer to personally confirm their details) when I find records that are also in my Wikitree.

 Not certain how you "use the FamilySearch matches option (under Find) and focus on any discrepancies." Do you mean you might say ... from the home page Click 'find' enter the record you want to verify say 'John Clark, death, 1890, Australia' . That gives me an extensive list of records. What then do you do? 

1 Answer

+1 vote
Hi Graeme, I'm wondering if it would be useful to purchase Emma's death certificate - I gather you haven't done that yet. Hopefully it might include enough details about her parents, immigration and husband to confirm if she is your Emma, rather than a different Emma Clark altogether.
by Gillian Thomas G2G6 Pilot (187k points)
Hi Gillian,

You are correct, I am too mean for sideways relatives' certificates.

I do believe the newspaper clipping locks the Priestman surname into the Clarks too well.
I totally understand :) You can spend a small fortune on certificates.

The death certificate for the son John is great. That confirms quite a lot. You are lucky with that one!

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