James Ward Clark b. 1884 d. 1884
I was poking through the Geelong Eastern Cemetery records recently looking for burial records of the Tamo clan. I found a grave with four people in it. One person was Stephen Tamo's first wife Agnes, buried with their baby daughter Agnes Smail Tamo. Elizabeth, Stephen Tamo and Ellen Clarke's infant daughter makes three. And also buried in this grave was a James Ward Clarke.
Never having heard of James Ward Clarke before, I set about researching. He was buried on 13 June 1884, at the Geelong Eastern Cemetery. I found his birth details in the index. Year: 1884, the same year he died. So James Ward Clarke was an infant. Mother's name: Johanna Clarke.
Johanna Clarke is Ellen Clarke's sister.
Father's name: unknown
So Johanna refused to name the baby's daddy but with such a specific name as James Ward Clarke I figured there was a strong likelihood that the daddy's name was James Ward. Was there a James Ward in Geelong at that time?
There certainly was.
Now I must preface all this research about James Ward with the disclaimer that the only basis I have for searching him is the baby's name. There's no real proof. But here is what I have found out:
James Ward was born in Geelong in 1863 (Johanna was born in 1864.) His father was Michael Ward and his mother was Ann Holt. This made James 21 years old and Johanna 20 years old when baby James Ward Clarke was born and died in 1884.
My search turned to Trove and the Geelong Advertiser, in 1884, the year the baby died. I didn't find the baby's death notice. What I found was that James' father Michael Ward had died in December of that year. What a tragic year that would have been for James! His son James Ward Clarke died in June 1884, and his father Michael Ward died six months later in December 1884.
Next I searched the death index for James Ward, and was surprised to find that he died on 1 October 1887, just three years later. He was only 25 years old. I wondered why such a young man died, and in what circumstances. I went back to Trove and found James Ward's death notice in the Geelong Advertiser.
I also wondered what Johanna had been doing at that time. I found out...Johanna had married Edward William Kellaway on 11 June 1887. So James Ward had died only three months after her marriage to somebody else.
I go back to the Geelong Eastern Cemetery once more and find the burial of James and his father Michael and his mother Ann all in the same Roman Catholic grave. Ann had died only two years after her son.
Next step - go to PROV and see if there was an inquest into James Ward's death. Any other suggestions or comments from readers gratefully received.
Thanks to Tania Shalders for providing the Kellaway marriage date information.
Citation for James Ward death notice: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article150733764
Citation for Michael Ward death notice: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article150164927