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Orphan Number: 952
Orphan: Adam CLARKE
Mother:CLARKE/CURRY, Mary
Father:CLARKE, Adam
Mother's ship:
Father's ship:
Age when admitted:6yrs
Date admitted:28 Jun 1851
Date discharged:30 Sep 1859
Institution(s):Queens Orphan School
Discharged to: sister
Remarks: mother dead, father murdered
References: SWD28, CSO24/48/1652, CSO24/263/5922


This orphan has been claimed by: Heather Stevens

Adam and his twin sister Eve were born 9 May 1844, parents Adam and Maria Clarke who lived at North West Bay.

Adam Clarke senior was a sawyer. On 13 December 1845 he died after he was bashed and robbed when he visited Hobart Town. His wife Maria Clarke died on 14 November 1848, leaving seven orphaned children.

Adam was baptised 12 May 1846 at Hobart with his siblings John, Daniel and Eve by Father J.J. Therry. The godparent was Mary Jane Clarke, who was probably their older half-sister (a daughter of their mother Maria from a previous marriage).

In 1851 a petition was received from William Hall, Vicar General regarding Adam and his twin sister Eve who were six years old. Since their mother’s death, the twins were living in High Street Hobart Town with another family consisting of a labourer who was a poor man with two children of his own. The petition mentions Adam and Eve’s sister Sarah who was age 13 and in service in Norfolk Island, and another sister age 17 who was receiving £9 per annum and board at Mr Brady’s house. [CSO 24/48/1652 p134]

Adam and Eve Clarke were admitted to the orphan school on 29 June 1851.

When they were age 15, they were discharged to their sister on 30th and 31st September 1859. [CSO 24/280/6187]

Not long after they were discharged, they travelled to Sydney.

Adam was known as ‘Adam Lawrence Clarke’. It is possible that after he moved to Sydney, he worked for his sister Sophia’s foster father Robert Orford who was a builder, and learnt some building skills which later enabled him to build a shop at Burrawang.

Adam was a witness at his twin sister Eve’s wedding in Sydney in July 1871.

Adam opened a general store at Burrawang at about 1872 and he was a hawker as well as storekeeper. He leased one acre at Burrawang, and he constructed the building in lieu of rent. However Adam is listed in the insolvency files for 1874 and when he had to appear at the Supreme Court in Sydney in August, he was staying at the home of his sister Eve’s mother-in-law at 299 Liverpool Street Sydney.

In spite of the insolvency, the business was started again, this time with his brother William (Bill) as a partner (William had been discharged from the orphanage back in 1860 and had been apprenticed to Francis Fox of Jerusalem).


However the business did not last long, and was wound up in 1879. Adam Clarke moved to Sydney soon after the collapse of the business at Burrawang. His brother William stayed at Burrawang where he married and operated a pub by 1880.

Adam married Margaret Collins on 6 Nov 1880 at Saint Patricks Roman Catholic church in Sydney. Margaret was 27, and working as a draper. Adam described himself as a tradesman.

In 1882 Adam and Margaret lived and operated a store at 154 George Street. It was in listed in Sands Directory 1883 as "Clarke, Adam, L, clothier”.

It was at this address that Margaret gave birth to their daughter Eveleen Mary on April 1 1882.

By about 1884 they had moved across the road to 125 George Street, where the business was listed as "Clark, Adam & Co Outfitters" in Sands Directory 1884 and 1885. 125 George Street was part of group of three newly built terraces, next to the new Police station (these buildings are still standing in the Rocks).

At some stage Adam Clarke left his family and he eventually became a gold miner at West Wyalong.

He died 25 November 1912, at the District Hospital Wyalong, and he was buried 27 November 1912 in the Roman Catholic Cemetery at Wyalong.



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 Site last updated February 2020