Michael was born in 1840, not long after his father’s discharge from the 28th Regiment. He journeyed to Toowoomba with a family from Booral around 1860, and on his return, he went to the Macleay where his brothers were already establishing their properties.
He married Mary Ann Hayes in 1867. Her family moved from Millers Forest in the Hunter Valley, not long before the Clarke boys arrived on the Macleay. Mary Ann gave birth to nineteen children. Four died when young and the other fifteen reached adulthood and married. Sadly, Mary Ann died in her forties in 1893 when her youngest children was two years old.
A few years later, Michael married Sarah Menary, Mary Ann’s widowed sister. They did not have children. Michael died in 1908 and was buried at West Kempsey Cemetery. Sarah died in 1921.
Mary Ann and Michael’s family is the largest family by far, with over 3500 descendants.