The Story of the Family of the Father of Federation

On 30 May 2015 more than 250 Parkes descendants gathered in Centennial Park in Sydney, to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Sir Henry Parkes.  The occasion honoured the extraordinary political and social legacy of the man. 

It also celebrated Henry's 'family' and his 686 descendants, with the unveling of a 35 metre family tree.

Of course Henry was three times married, and fathered seventeen children, twelve of whom survived.  First in 1836 he wed Clarinda, and together they raised Menie, Robert, Mary, Annie, Gertie, Varney and Lily.  Following Clarinda's death in 1888, Henry married his mistress Nellie. The couple already had three children, Sid, Ken, and Aurora, and two more followed, Henry (jun) and Cob.  

This is the story of Henry's family - his children and their descendants.

Ian Thom (far right) among four generations of Parkes descendants, with the 35 metre family tree. Photo: Sydney Morning Herald.

Ian Thom (far right) among four generations of Parkes descendants, with the 35 metre family tree. Photo: Sydney Morning Herald.

Prior to his planting a pair of Port Jackson fig trees, the Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott, spoke of Parkes' achievements and legacy at Centennial Park on 30 May 2015.

Prior to his planting a pair of Port Jackson fig trees, the Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott, spoke of Parkes' achievements and legacy at Centennial Park on 30 May 2015.

The Parkes family tree, star attraction at the Parkes family reunion.

The Parkes family tree, star attraction at the Parkes family reunion.

Cartoon by Cathy Wilcox, Sydney Morning Herald.

Cartoon by Cathy Wilcox, Sydney Morning Herald.