This imposing picture of Grandfather Clarke and the even more imposing one of his wife are some of our earliest photos. My mother has only been able to identify her as “Mrs Joe Clarke” – no first or maiden names. From the census we know she was called Mary Hannah. The tradition within the family is that she was Jewish, hence the lack of details.
They are taken at the Barkerend Studio of J. Wilson on Barkerend Road and printed on postcards some time between 1902 and 1918. (Thanks to the very useful website Early Photographers (Rosemary and Stan Rodliffe) for help with this.)
In spite of the air of prosperity in these photos, Joe was only ever a working man. By the time this picture was taken he would probably have been a night watchman. Previously he had been a labourer, a boiler firer and, as a young man in Horsforth, a hand-loom weaver.
Joe and Mary had nine children. The first four – including our ancestor Maria – were born in Horsforth. In the late 1870s the family moved to Bradford, where the next five children were born.
Born Joseph Clark (sometimes spelled Clarke) in about 1843 in Horsforth near Bradford, Yorkshire
Married Mary Hannah, no further information found
No record of his death but he was alive for the 1911 census