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CLARK, Heke or Aheke: Who is she please?  


New Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 1
14 October, 2013 11:53 am  

Our families have been told our tupuna is Riria Parata (Ngai Tahu) and we have just discovered that she died without issue so our tupuna is not Riria Parata and all that has been stable over the last 50 years crumbles as we are displaced ......
We do know that Jessie Clark married William Harris and Jessie was the daughter of a Maori mother whom David Clark calls Aheke on his death certificate. On Heke's Clark's 1885 death certificate she is married to David Clark and dies with 1 female issue age 39 who is clearly Jessie Harris (nee Clark). But whom is Heke Clark? (I write Heke as we have discovered a letter she wrote to the House Of Representatives in 1882 asking for her Kaikoura lands to be returned and signs herself as Heke Clark.)
Whakapapa has taught us that Jessie Clark is the daughter or Riria Parata and as I say, we have discovered she is not. Riria Parata and Rena (Rina) Parata had a half brother Taare and only Rena had a son Parata Pita Kere who is Maakawhio and Riria Parata in the Blue Book appears in Canterbury land lists. Riria Parata is passionate that her land and succession goes to Parata Pita Kere as she dies without issue.
This is theory now! We so far believe that Wiremu Parata (Parata Tiraahiahi) (father of Ririra and Rena and Taare) had two siblings Tirahiahi and Riria Taihakihaki or Riria Taihekeheke (Ngai Tahu list these as parents of Wiremu?). We also know that (Heke Clark born 1812) -if she was Riria Taihekeheke - was 15 at the time of the Te Rauparaha raids, taken captive to Kapiti and at age 34 married whaler turn farmer David Clark having one child Jessie Clark. We have a photo of Heke. The family lived at Pauatahanui farming until their deaths. Jessie Clark and her husband from Scotland, William Harris had 10 children and William Harris and his 4 siblings arrived in New Zealand 1842 - a few more were born here too, making 9 English Harris siblings. Over the years captive on Kapiti, Riria Taihekeheke shortens her name living among Europeans to Heke, her lands in Kaikoura are sold as no one has heard from her for 18 years and this leads to her passionate plea in 1882 just before her death for her Kaikoura lands to be returned to her. As I say theory .....
Can anyone add any evidence to support who our tupuna really is? She is the mother of Jessie Harris (nee Clark) and we want to honour our rightful tupuna and her correct name. It is not Riria Parata so who is our tupuna? Kia ora