John Clark

ID# 172, (17 Apr 1883 - 1 Aug 1883)

John Clark was born on 17 Apr 1883 at Dog Island Lighthouse Keepers Residence, Bluff, Southland, New Zealand ,

John Clark
17 April 1883
Dog Island Foveaux Strait

Parents: Margaret Clark, 16 years

Informant: Harriett Clark, Dog Island, Grand-mother of child.1,2

He was the son of Harriett Margaret McGraw/ Clark.

     Research Note:
Margaret stated a number of times that William Harper, the other Lighthouse Keeper on Dog Island was the father of her child.
This is recorded in the transcripts that Yvonne Chisholm researched in the Marine Department Records, and some details in the newspapers regarding James Clark's death.
William Harper denied this, but the Marine Department did issue him with instructions to leave the Island after James Clark notified them of serious breach had accorded.

We will never know if William Harper was the father of Margaret's child or some other person visiting the Island via the steamers.
Seemingly the Harper descendants had not heard of any of the stories handed down.

John died on 1 Aug 1883 at Port Chalmers, Otago, New Zealand , at age 3 months and 15 days

John Clark
4 months
Died 1st Aug 1883, Port Chalmers
Born: Dog Island NZ

Parents: Margaret Clark.1,3

John's cause of death on 1 Aug 1883 was from Tabies Atropia 4 months (wasting disease)
Convulsions 24 hours.
(it is suspected that Margaret either did not know she was pregnant or had hidden it well, as it appears that nobody knew about it until the baby was born. If she had hidden the pregnancy, perhaps she did not look after herself during this time and the baby was undersized when born, and hence did not thrive, also the grief of her fathers death and the shame associated with having a child, perhaps both Harriet and Margaret were too distressed to take great care of the baby - all just theories to consider.)

John was buried on 4 Aug 1883 at New Port Chalmers Cemtery, Port Chalmers, Otago, New Zealand ,

John Clark
4 months
Last Address: Kaio Lane, Port Chalmers
Place of Birth: Dog Island Bluff

Harriet Clark was the purchaser of the plot.
In same plot as:
Emily Elizabeth Clark.4

Emily Elizabeth Clark and John Clark Gravesite
New Port Chalmers Cemetery
MotherHarriett Margaret McGraw/ Clark (30 Dec 1866 - 12 Oct 1942)


  1. [S1] Certificate held on file, Held by Ailsa Corlett, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Hereinafter cited as Certificate held on file.
  2. [S2] NZRGO, Lower Hutt, New Zealand, NZ BDM Indexes, Held by Ailsa Corlett, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 1883 NZ Online Database: 1883/9634 - 1883 Folio No 2169, June Qtr. Hereinafter cited as NZ BDM Indexes.
  3. [S2] NZRGO, Lower Hutt, New Zealand, NZ BDM Indexes: 1883 NZ Online Database: 1883/4642 - Aged 4 Mths - 1883 Folio No 1464, Sept Qtr.
  4. [S3] NZSG, NZ Cemetery Records (Auckland, New Zealand & Online Council Databases: NZSG, 1988), Dunedin City Council Online Database: New Port Chalmers Cemetery - Block DB Plot 156. Hereinafter cited as NZ Cemetery Records.