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William and James Clark Salford 1800's

Hi all
I REALLY need your brains and expertise with this one!
I cannot find a birth for my G Grandad William Clark B 1873/74 in Salford (according to all his census records).
I have his marriage cert to Edith CROOK on 24/2/1892 at St Simons Church Salford. His age is given as 18, Edith's as 19. They both give address as 4 Back Davies St. I found a birth for her Salford Dec 1873. His father is James Clark a cotton spinner. The census reports were taken usually in April and on some census records they are the same age, which may mean he lied, or looking at the marriage cert,he had a birthday between 25th Feb and April when the census was taken. I searched FreeBMD, UKBMD, A...y and even googled him. My puzzle is that his grandad(?) was also called James Clark b1825. He had a son also called James b1849 which is more realistically William's dad but on 1881 census the James born 1849is not present and William is listed as his SON?On the original image scanned, there is a small smudge mark on the left of SON - possibly a g? He would have been 50 when William was born. I know this is possible, but his other children start with James in 1849 through to 1881 with a 7 year gap between child 3 and child 4. The youngest child on the census Mary, is a baby (perhaps William's sister?) and James b1825 occupation is 1861 skinner, 1871 carter, 1881 hawker? I cannot find him in 1891 and have trudged through heaps of censuses looking for a cotton spinner. This is driving me nuts so I thought if I get a birth cert for William's parents I can establish if the elder James is his grandad?
I have obtained:
grandad's birth cert -7/7/1904 (William Clark) Salford
nanna and grandad's marriage cert (William Clark and Doris Procter) 25/7/1931 at Sacred Trinity Salford
His parents - marriage cert - William ClarkE and Edith Crook 24/2/1892 at St Simons Salford. This is definately his parents although there is an E at the end of Clark. I cannot go any further because I am unsure if the vicar wrote an E in error or if they dropped the E with their children? Hence my problem - how do I know I have the correct lineage? mmmmmmmm
Mum and her siblings are spelt Clark There are so many Clark's and Clarke's in Manchester at the time I am searching for William senior's family - 1873-1901, I am going crazy. Maybe I am overlooking something simple here from brain drain??
Karen :(

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