Monday, February 20, 2012

Thomas Clarke

Thomas was christened on June 30, 1850, three years before William. He was William's closest sibling in age and apparently William had a closer relationship with him than with his other siblings. In 1871, not long before William left for America, Thomas and William were living under the same roof.
Thomas married Hannah Illston in about 1874. Hannah was from Aylestone, Leicestershire, about 20 miles from West Haddon. Thomas and Hannah had ten children. Their family is a striking example of the poor health regulations in England in that era, as all of the children but one died by the year 1915. Thomas himself died in 1916, and Hannah in 1920. Two of the older children survived long enough to marry and have one child each, but their children also died at young ages. Thomas and his family wrote to the Clarks in America more often than the rest of William's family in England. The last letter we have from family in England is from Lois Clark Morley in December 1930. Lois was the only surviving child of Thomas Clarke, and her children were the only surviving grandchildren.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mary Clarke Collins

Mary Clarke was John and Temperance Clarke's fifth daughter, and William's closest sister in age. She was christend on September 29, 1844, and married Isaac Collins in about 1865. Isaac was from West Haddon, and he and Mary lived in West Haddon throughout their married lives. Isaac was a farmer and so fit in with the agricultural community.
Isaac and Mary had ten children, seven of whom grew to adulthood: Samuel, Mary, John, Thomas, Alice, Ruth, and Rebecca. Mary died in 1930 at the age of 86 after being a widow for 13 years.

Monday, February 6, 2012

John Clarke, Jr.

John Clarke, Jr., christened on August 8, 1841, was the oldest son of John and Temperance Clarke to grow to adulthood. He married Emma Fellows in 1865 at the age of 31. Emma was born in Thornby, about 5 miles away from John Clarke's home village of West Haddon. The earliest census record available for John and Emma together is from 1871. At the time, they were living in West Haddon and had three children: William H., Harry, and Susan. By the time the 1881 census was taken, they had four more children: Thomas, George, Fred, and Walter J. Apparently all of these children lived to adulthood, although by 1911, according to the census, one of them had died.

John and Emma lived in West Haddon all or most of their married life. John worked as a laborer on farms and then sometime before 1901 opened a Beerhouse and Boardinghouse in West Haddon.

John was about 6 years older than his brother William and married Emma just 6 years before William left for America. Contact between William and John fell off when William left, and we had to learn about John and Emma's family only through research, as we have little record in the family of these cousins.