William Atkins and Margaret Gray

William Atkins was born on 22 January 1843 in the Horton district, the fifth child of Samuel Atkins and Jane Ayres and the first of their children to be born in Tasmania, or Van Diemen's Land as it was known then.1 William's parents had arrived in Van Diemen's Land just two years earlier along with their four children on the Emu.

William Atkins, recorded as age 21 and a farmer, married Margaret Louisa Gray, recorded as age 18 and a farmer's daughter, on 6 February 1864 in the Church of St. Mary's, Circular Head. It was a Catholic ceremony, paying honour to the religion of the Gray family. The witnesses were Thomas and Clorinda Gray.2 Margaret was born on 26 May 1845 in the Horton district, the daughter of Thomas Gray and Mary McGuire, both Irish immigrants to Tasmania.3 William and Margaret had the following children.

  • Ada Jane Atkins, born on 2 December 1864 in the Horton district.4
  • Eve Eleanor Atkins, born on 1 June 1868 in the Horton district.5
  • William Lewis Lemurt Atkins born on 31 October 1871 in the Launceston district.6
  • Thomas James Atkins, born on 15 January 1873 in the Horton district.7
  • Eliza Mary Atkins born on 14 September 1874 in the Horton district.8
  • Peter Albert Atkins, born on 25 August 1876 in the Horton district.9
  • Margaret Louisa Atkins, born on 18 October 1878 in the Horton district.10

William Atkins did not live to see his children grow up however, as he died on 10 August 1879 in the Horton district. The cause of death was consumption, or tuberculosis as we call it now. He was recorded as age 36, a shoemaker, and the informant for the event was his mother Jane.11

Ada Jane Atkins married George William Clough on 28 January 1880 in the Horton district.12

Margaret Louisa Atkins died on 26 April 1880 in the Horton district.13

Eve Eleanor Atkins married Henry Anthony on 13 August 1890 in the Stanley district.14 Henry Anthony was born on 28 July 1859 in Stanley, Tasmania, the son of Henry Anthony and Elizabeth Smith.15 Eve and Henry had seven children that have been traced.

Eliza Mary Atkins married Joseph Thomas on 10 January 1895 in Zeehan, Tasmania.16 Joseph Thomas was born on 21 April 1857 in Ballarat, Victoria, the son of Daniel Thomas and Mary Jones.17

William Lewis Lemurt Atkins married Ellen Cecelia O'Sullivan on 3 July 1895 in Forest, Tasmania.18

It has been suggested online that in the early 1900s George William Clough fathered a child by another woman, triggering his wife Ada Jane Atkins to leave him and migrate to New Zealand (with some of her 10 children).19

Peter Albert Atkins married Charlotte May Walters on 5 June 1911 in Waratah, Tasmania.20 Charlotte was born 18 December 1883 in the Horton district, the daughter of Alexander Ainslie Walters and Phoebe Elizabeth Abblitt. Peter and Charlotte had four children that have been traced.

Margaret Atkins, nee Gray, the wife of William Atkins, died on 22 December 1912 in Cheltenham, Victoria. Margaret's parents were recorded as Thomas Grey and Maria Dwyer.21

Joseph Thomas, the husband of Eliza Mary Atkins, died on 23 August 1919 in Wallsend, New South Wales.22

Thomas James Atkins died on 23 October 1926 in East Melbourne, Victoria.23


Mr. Thos Atkins, a brother of Mrs. Harry Anthony of Western Plains, died in Melbourne on Saturday. He owned a hotel at Waratah and one in Melbourne. He was a son of the late Mr. W. Atkins and was born in Circular Head. One brother has a hotel, at Somerset and another one in Melbourne. His sisters, Mesdames Clough and Thomas, live in West Australia and New Zealand respectively. He leaves a widow and an adopted daughter. He was a successful business man, very popular, and a good sport.24

George William Clough, the husband of Ada Jane Atkins, died on 7 August 1933 in Cygnet, Tasmania.

CLOUGH. On August 7, 1933, at the residence of Mrs. J. A. Devlyn, Cygnet, George, relict ot the late Ada Clough, of Zeehan, West Coast, aged 72 years. At rest.

CLOUGH. Funeral of the late Mr. George Clough (late of Zeehan) will move from the residence of Mrs. J. A. Devlyn, Cygnet, on Tuesday (This Day), at 2.30.p.m., for Church of England Cemetery, Cygnet, when friends are respectfully invited to attend.25

Strangely, that notice referred to Ada as the late wife of George. A month later, a more truthful notice was published.

CLOUGH.-On August 7, 1933, at Cygnet, George, husband of Ada Clough of Karamea, New Zealand, aged 72 years. At rest.26

Peter Albert Atkins died on 16 September 1940 in Wynyard, Tasmania. Peter was buried on 18 September 1940 in Somerset, Tasmania.

ATKINS. On Soptemhcr 16, at the Spencer Hospital, Wynyard, Peter Albert, dearly beloved husband of Charlotte Atkins, loving father of Warden (Melbourne), Mavis (Mrs. (Ken Clingeleffer), and Margaret and Peter, Somerset; aged 64 years. R.I.P.

ATKINS. The funeral of the late Peter Atkins will leave the Catholic Church, Somerset, on WEDNESDAY, September 18, at 3.30 p.m., for interment in the Somerset cemetery.27

Eliza Mary Thomas died on 10 September 1945 in Randwick, New South Wales.28

William Lewis Lemurt Atkins died on 23 January 1947 in Echuca, Victoria.29

Ada Jane Clough died on 28 January 1949 in Karamea, Nelson, New Zealand.30

Eve Eleanor Anthony, nee Atkins, died on 27 May 1955 in Tasmania.31

John Horton
John Horton's picture
Rootschat Discussion

From Rootschat by Elizabeth Marie Stokes:

I am the only grandchild of Kathleen Lillias Eva Clough. My mother was Ada Elizabeth and my name is Elizabeth Marie. I live in Christchurch NZ. Joseph Clough (only 8 years younger then me) is the only son of Sterle who was the youngest child of the ten from that marriage. I remember my great grandmother Ada who had a very large goitre ( before the days of iodised salt!) and seemed extremely 'proper'.

Grandma married John Patrick Callanan ( known as Jack) and they were such kind and wonderful grandparents who died ( both in space of 5 weeks) in 1977.

My daughter Kate (with husband Simon and two young boys) have just gone to spend a week in Tasmania which inspired me to 'Google' Clough - hence leading to this. I have many photos which may be of interest.

Marie Stokes1