PART ONE

 

The Gloucestershire Main Line - 1830 to 1880

 

This is the third of four sections of the first part of the Collett family line

 

Updated July 2017

 

 

1O75

Susanna Collett was born at Siddington on 1st April 1837 and was baptised there on 7th May 1837, the first child born to John Collett and his wife Mary Ann Dent.  It is assumed that she died before 1851 since there is no mention of her in the census for that year.

 

 

 

 

1O76

Sarah Ann Collett was born at Siddington on 6th October 1839 and it was there that she was baptised on 23rd October 1839.  She was 11 in the Siddington census of 1851 and, although it would appear that she never married, she gave birth to a base-born son at Siddington, the father’s name likely to be Haines from the name given to the child.

 

 

 

1P47

Edward Haines Collett

Born on 27.10.1861 at Siddington

 

 

 

 

1O77

Alice Collett was born on 23rd July 1842 at Siddington and was eight years old in 1851 when she was living at Siddington with her family.  It is understood that she was later married at Cirencester during March 1862.

 

 

 

 

1O78

Charles Iles Collett was born on 2nd August 1846 at Siddington and was four years old by the time of the Siddington census in 1851.  His second christian name was the same as the surname of the father of William Collett (Ref. 2N15) who was the base-born son of Elizabeth Collett (Ref. 2M9) of Bibury, who was born in 1806 and who was baptised on 11th March 1809 in Bibury.  No record of any member of his family has been found in 1861, but by the time of the census in 1871 Charles Collett from Siddington was living and working in Wales, where he was already married with two children.  The young family was residing at 5 Minus Road in the village of Taibach within the parish of Margam near Port Talbot.  Charles, age 25, was employed as a labourer in a copper works, his wife (1) Catherine from Taibach was 33, and their two children, also born there, were Robert Collett, who was three, and Mary J Collett, who was only eleven months old.

 

 

 

During the next ten years three more children were added to the family while they were still living in Taibach, which was where they were living in 1881, albeit Taibach within the Margam registration district.  The census that year placed the family living at 1 Woodfield in Taibach where Charles Collett, age 34, was a general labourer who was curiously recorded as having been born at ‘Sylingbury in Gloucester’, although there is no record of such a place.  Residing there with Charles was his wife Catherine, age 43, and their five children who were Robert Collett, age 13, Mary J Collett, age 11, Hannah Collett, who was eight, William J Collett, who was five, and Charles Collett who was two years old.  However, no further record of this family has been found after that time, which may be because they emigrated to one of the colonies.

 

 

 

It was at Taibach in the parish of Margam that the family was living in 1891, at which time the family was recorded in error under the Collet spelling of the surname.  The family comprised Charles Collet, age 42 and from Siddenston (sic) in Gloucestershire, Catherine Collet, age 53, Mary Jane Collet who was 20, labourer Robert Collet who was 23, and Charles Collet who was 13.  During the next decade the couple’s eldest daughter was married and the family left Margam, when they moved to the village of Cwmdu to the east of Maesteg.

 

 

 

According to the census in 1901 the family was residing at 44 Castle Street in Cwmdu and had living there with them, their married daughter Mary Jane, her husband, and their two children.  Charles Collett, age 52 and from Liddington (sic) in Glos, was a water filter with the local council, his wife Catherine was 63, unmarried son Robert was 33 and a labourer, while nine-year-old Alice Collett was described as the daughter of Charles and Catherine, which seems implausible when Catherine would have been 54 at the time of her birth.  Apart from Charles, all of the other members of his family had been born at Taibach and couple speak English and Welsh.

 

 

 

With Charles’ wife being that much older than him, it was inevitable that she died shortly after the census in 1901, and it was around 1905 or 1906 that he was re-married to (2) Jane.  By April 1911 the pair was residing at 51 Maesteg Road, Maesteg in Middle Llangynwyd, just south of Cwmdu, the home of Thomas and Elizabeth Davies.  Still with Charles was his eldest unmarried son Robert.  Once again the surname was incorrectly recorded, on that occasion, as Callett.  Charles Callett from Siddington was 64 and a water hewerman, Jane Callett was 58, and they had been married for five years, and with them was Robert Callett who was 43.  Charles survived for another fifteen years, when his death was recorded at Bridgend in 1926.

 

 

 

1P48

Robert Collett

Born in 1867 at Taibach, Wales

 

1P49

Mary Jane Collett

Born in 1870 at Taibach, Wales

 

1P50

Hannah Collett

Born in 1872 at Taibach, Wales

 

1P51

William John Collett

Born in 1875 at Taibach, Wales

 

1P52

Charles Collett

Born in 1878 at Taibach, Wales

 

 

 

 

1O80

ROBERT COLLETT was born at Siddington in 1854 where he was baptised on 15th July 1855, the son of John Collett and Mary Ann Dent.  The baptism entry in the parish register recorded the occasion as 'Privately Baptised', which very likely indicates that the baptism was carried out at his home, since Robert may not have been well enough to attend St Peter’s Church in the village.

 

He was married twice, the first time to (1) Rosanna King of Eastcombe near Bisley, whom he married at Bisley Church on 7th September 1878.  Page 8, Entry No. 16 of the parish register at Bisley recorded the marriage as follows:

 

Robert Collett 24, bachelor and labourer of Eastcombe and Rose Hannah 27,

 

spinster of Eastcombe.  Robert’s father was listed as John Collett, labourer and Rose Hannah’s father was listed as Levi King, waterman (the Severn & Thames Canal passes close by Eastcombe).  The witnesses were Robert’s brother William Edward Collett and Louisa King, the sister of Rosanna and nine years her junior.

 

 

 

All of the children came from that first marriage, the first two children being born at Eastcombe, with the remainder being born at Siddington.  Robert’s occupation was that of a stonemason employed on the Earl of Bathurst's Estate at Cirencester where he worked for most of his life, building and repairing dry stone walls.  He and his family lived in Siddington up until the death of his wife Rosanna.  She was baptised Rose Anna on 29th August 1862, when she was twelve years of age.

 

 

 

The census in 1881 recorded the family as living in Church Road at Ashton Keynes, just across the boundary in Wiltshire.  The family at that time comprised Robert, age 25, who was an agricultural labourer, his wife Rosanna, who was 28, and their two daughters Lily H Collett, who was two, and baby Alice Louisa Collett, who was just ten months old.  The place of birth for both children was confirmed as Eastcombe, which is near Bisley.  The only other person living with them at that time was lodger William Eggleton who was 23 years old and a shepherd from North Leach.

 

 

 

Within the next two years the family left Ashton Keynes and moved the four miles north, to settle in the village of Siddington.  By 1891 a further five children had been added to the family, which then comprised Robert, who was 36, Rose Anna, who was 38, Lillie Harriett Collett, age 12, Alice Louisa Collett, age 10, John Levi Collett, who was nine, William Robert Collett, who was seven, Bertie Henry Collett, who was five, Ernest Collett, who was three, Walter Collett who was one year old.

 

 

 

Ten years later, some of the children had left the family home in Siddington when, according to the census in March 1901, Robert Collett was 47 and was working as a navvy for the Great Western Railway.  His wife was recorded as Rosannah Collett, age 46, and just five of their children were still living with them on that occasion.  They were William, age 17, Ernest, age 13, Walter, age 11, Robert, who was nine, and Mabel R Collett who was six years old.  Tragically Robert’s wife died almost exactly one year later.  Rose Anna Collett died of cancer of the liver while still living at Siddington on 28th March 1902. 

 

 

 

It was around one or two years later that Robert then married (2) Annie at Stratton near Cirencester.  Following the wedding Robert moved to Albion Street in Stratton, where he lived with Annie up to 1910.  According to the census in April 1911 Robert Collett, age 56 and from Siddington, and his wife Annie, age 53, were living at 49 Baunton in Cirencester, less than one mile north of the centre of Stratton, the dwelling described as having two bedrooms and a kitchen.  The census return, which was signed by Robert, indicated that he and Annie had been married for seven years, and that she had been born at Sopworth in Wiltshire, while Robert’s occupation was that of a mason.

 

 

 

Still living with the couple was Robert’s son Robert Collett, age 19 from Siddington, who was employed as a general farm labourer.  One other person was living at the address, and that was Percy Collett who was 15 months old and born at Stratton, who was described as grandson to head of the household Robert Collett senior.  Whilst Robert Collett junior was not recorded as being married or unmarried, is it known that his full name was actually Robert Percy Collett.  Therefore there is a strong possibility that baby Percy Collett was his base-born son, and the absence of the child’s mother may indicate that she had died during the birth.  If this was proved to be true, then Robert Percy would have been only 17 when the child was conceived.  However, he was the only sibling still living in Stratton at the time of the birth, whereas all of his brothers had long since left Cirencester and were all married some years after 1911.  It is also known that there was a rift between Robert Percy Collett and his father, so this might have been the reason for their disagreement which resulted in Robert Percy eventually leaving his father when he moved to the Forest of Dean with his brother Walter.

 

 

 

The only other member of Robert’s family still living in the Cirencester area was his youngest daughter Mabel Rose Collett who was 16 and was confirmed as having been born at Siddington.  At the time of the death of his son William in 1914, and according to his military records, his father Robert Collett was living at 3 Quarry Villas in Stratton in Cirencester, while his mother, simply named as Mrs Collett, the husband of Robert, was residing at 171 Gloucester Street in Cirencester.  Three years later in 1917, Robert Collett had moved again, and on that occasion his address was No. 2 Quarry Villas in Stratton.

 

 

 

Twenty years on, in 1937, when Robert was 82, his wife Annie had already passed away and he was living alone.  However, despite his advanced years he was still managing to continue with his work building and repairing dry stone walls.  In the summer of 1945 at 90 years of age he was known to have travelled from Stratton to Cinderford, on the edge of the Forest of Dean, to attend the funeral of his ‘long lost’ son Walter Collett who died there on the seventh of July.  By that time in his life Robert Collett was in a poor state of health and his daughter Alice Louisa Collett, who had accompanied her father to the funeral, persuaded him to return home with her to 7 Bathampton Street in Swindon.  And it was there that he spent the last four months of his life, eventually dying of pneumonia on 18th November 1945.

 

 

 

Details of Rosanna King’s family are provided in Part 10 - Other Branch Lines

commencing with the reference 10O2/King

 

 

 

1P53

Lily Harriett Collett

Born in 1879 at Eastcombe

 

1P54

ALICE LOUISA COLLETT

Born in 1881 at Eastcombe

 

1P55

John Levi Collett

Born in 1883 at Siddington

 

1P56

William Robert Collett

Born in 1883 at Siddington

 

1P57

Bertram Henry Collett

Born in 1885 at Siddington

 

1P58

Ernest Collett

Born in 1887 at Siddington

 

1P59

Walter Collett

Born in 1889 at Siddington

 

1P60

Robert Percy Collett

Born in 1892 at Siddington

 

1P61

Mabel Rose Collett

Born in 1894 at Siddington

 

 

 

 

1O82

Henry John Collett was born at Siddington in 1865, the youngest child of John Collett and Mary Ann Dent.  He later married Martha Annie Maisey at Black Bourton near Faringdon in Oxfordshire in the second quarter of 1886, which was registered at Witney.  Martha was born at Black Bourton in the first quarter of 1862 and the birth was again registered at Witney, where she was recorded as the daughter of James Maisey and Annie Yeatman of Alvescot.

 

 

 

It is also possible that Henry and Martha were perhaps married at Alvescot, where their first two children were born before they moved to Black Bourton, where their next child was born.  By April 1891 the family was living within the Bampton & Witney registration district and comprised Henry John Collett, age 25, Martha Ann Collett, who was 29 and most likely pregnant with her next child, and their two daughters Alice Mary Collett, who was four, and Elsie Collett who was one year old.

 

 

 

The couple’s third child was born while the family was still living at Black Bourton later that same year, but shortly after Henry returned to live in Cirencester with his family, where the couple’s last three daughters were born.  Following a period of about five years at Cirencester the family moved again, that time to the Bristol area.  The move took place in either late 1900 or within the first couple of months of 1901, since the census for that year placed the family as living at Almondsbury, just north of Bristol, where Henry was a carter on a farm.

 

 

 

Henry Collett was 35 and from Siddington, his wife Martha Annie was 38 and from Alvescot, as were daughters Alice 13 and Elsie 11, Edith, age nine, was from Black Bourton, while the youngest three girls were confirmed as having been born at Cirencester.  They were Ethel, who was six, Winifred, who was three, and Elizabeth who was just one year old.  It is possible that both Henry’s wife and his youngest daughter died shortly after the census day that year.

 

 

 

According to the next census conducted for the Bristol area in April 1911, Henry J Collett of Cirencester was 45 and a carter on a farm who was residing at a dwelling on Harry Stoke Road in Stoke Gifford with his wife and three of their daughters.  Martha Collett from Alvescot was 48, Elsie was 21 and also born at Alvescot, Ethel Collett was 16 and Winifred Collett was 14, both of whom had been born at Cirencester.

 

 

 

1P62

Alice Mary Collett

Born in 1887 at Alvescot, Oxon

 

1P63

Elsie Collett

Born in 1889 at Alvescot, Oxon

 

1P64

Edith Annie Collett

Born in 1891 at Black Bourton, Oxon

 

1P65

Ethel Lillian Collett

Born in 1894 at Cirencester

 

1P66

Winifred Maisey Collett

Born in 1897 at Cirencester

 

1P67

Elizabeth Collett

Born in 1899 at Cirencester

 

 

 

 

1O83

Martha Collett was born at Stonehouse and was baptised there on 24th May 1844, the daughter of Martin Collett and Elizabeth Taylor.  However, she suffered an infant death shortly after.

 

 

 

 

1O84

John Martin Collett was born at Stonehouse in 1845 and was five years old at the time of the census in 1851, when he and his parents were living at Wheatenhurst to the south of Gloucester.  Ten years later, when John M Collett was 15, he and his parents were living in the St John the Baptist district of Gloucester.  By 1871 bachelor John M Collett, age 25, was living within the census registration district of Gloucester, Hamlet South, but four years later, during the first three months of 1875 he married Sarah Ann Dosson at Staines in Middlesex where the event was recorded (Ref. 3a 15).  The witnesses at the wedding were Elizabeth Edney, William Lake and Emily Steele.

 

 

 

Just four years after they were married, according to the Gloucester Almanac of 1879, John Martin Collett was living at Regent Street.  However, by the time of the next census in 1881, John and his young family were living at 2 Hawkesbury Villa, Weston Road in Longford St Mary in Gloucester.  The census return recorded that J M Collett was 35 and had been born at Stonehouse.  His occupation was that of a chemical manufacturer.  His wife was confirmed as Sarah A Collett, age 32, who had been born at Neath in Glamorganshire.  Their children at that time were John Collett, who was four years old, Agnes Collett, who was two, and Gilbert Collett who was one year old, all three of them having been born in Gloucester.

 

 

 

The company of J.M. Collett & Co Ltd, Chemical Manufacturers of Gloucester, was founded by John in 1869.  The company’s premises at Priory Factory, appears to have been established in St. Luke's Street, just off Southgate Street, as indicated in the 1883 Gloucester Almanac.  Some years later, a subsidiary company, Malt Products Ltd was established to produce photo-chemicals for use in warfare.  In 1898 Llanthony Abbey Farm, the former Augustinian Priory of Llanthony Secunda at Longtown, was sold to J. M. Collett, chemical manufacturer, who intended to build a factory there.  However, the farm was appropriated by the Great Western Railway in 1906.

 

 

 

From around 1903-1904 the company was base at 50 Bristol Road, on the left towards Bristol, before the canal bridge, and three-hundred yards beyond Tuffley Avenue.  In 1922 the company of J M Collett was listed as an exhibitor at a national show [Stand A53] where on display was such produces as Sulphite and Bisulphite of Soda, Meta Bisulphites, Sulphurous Acid, Bisulphite of Lime, and Glaubers Salt.  It was between 1948 and 1952 that the company was sold to Associated British Maltsters Ltd, with the site then being occupied by Contract Chemicals Ltd until 1998 to 2001, when it was sold for redevelopment.

 

 

 

By 1891, the census that year revealed that two further sons had been added to the family within the three years after previous census in 1881.  Head of the household John was listed as John M Collett, age 45, when he was living at South Hamlet in Gloucester with his wife Sarah who was 43, their daughter Agnes who was 13, and their two new sons Leopold G Collett, who was eight, and Seymour Collett who was seven.  The couple’s eldest two sons, John Henry Collett, age 14, and Gilbert Faraday Collett, age 11, were attending school at Axminster in Somerset at that time.

 

 

 

Just after the turn of the century, according to the next census in 1901, John M Collett was living in Gloucester at the age of 55, where he was continuing to work as a chemical manufacturer, while still living with him was his wife Sarah who was 53.  Also still living at the family home in Gloucester with them was their daughter Agnes who was 23, and two of their four sons, John who was 24 and Leopold who was 18, who were working with their father as chemical manufacturers.  Their address was Hillfield, 101 Great Western Road, off the London Road, the house being a Victorian-Italianate style property, standing in its own grounds, next to the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene.  In 2011 the same building, Hillfield House on the renamed Denmark Street, is the Trading Standards Office for Gloucestershire County Council.

 

 

 

The couple’s second son Gilbert F Collett, age 21, was living and working away from home at Cowley, to the south of Cheltenham.  Upon completing his initial education Gilbert entered Pembroke College at Cambridge University, when his father was described as John Martin Collett of Guy’s Cliff in Wolton, Gloucester, and later of Wynstone Place, Brookthorpe-with-Whaddon near Gloucester.

 

 

 

According to the Gloucester census of April 1911, John Martin Collett of Stonehouse was 65, and his wife Sarah Anne Collett from Neath in Glamorgan was 63.  At that time the couple was living at Kimsbury House in the parish of Upton St Leonards in Gloucester, from where John was confirmed as a chemical manufacturer.  The census return also confirmed that the couple had been married for 35 years.  Still living with John and Sarah were two of their five children.  Their unmarried son, named as ‘Gilbert Farady Collett’ age 32, was a chemical manufacturer like his father, while their daughter Agnes Sophia Collett was recorded in error as being only 30 years of age, when in fact she was nearer 33.  Both of the children were confirmed as having been born at Gloucester.

 

 

 

The family of four living at Kimsbury House was supported by three domestic servants.  They were widow Rose Annie James 43 who was from Worcester and who was the cook, Miss Alice Maud Williams from Newent in Gloucestershire who was the housemaid aged 30, and Miss Jamie Hale who was 20 and from Taynton near Newent who was the under housemaid.

 

 

 

John Martin Collett was residing at Wynstone Place, Brookthorpe in Gloucestershire when he died on 25th November 1924 at the age of 78, his death recorded at Wheatenhurt register office (Ref. 6a 371).  Probate of his considerable personal effects, valued at £88,291 14 Shillings 2d, was granted jointed to John Henry Collett CMG and Gilbert Faraday Collett DSO, chemical manufacturers, and to the Reverend Seymour Collett, a clerk.

 

 

 

1P68

John Henry Collett

Born in 1876 at Gloucester

 

1P69

Agnes Sophia Collett

Born in 1877 at Gloucester

 

1P70

Gilbert Faraday Collett

Born in 1879 at Gloucester

 

1P71

Leopold George Collett

Born in 1882 at Gloucester

 

1P72

Seymour Collett

Born in 1883 at Gloucester

 

 

 

 

1O85

Sarah Ann Collett was born at Leonard Stanley where she was baptised on 26th December 1835.  In the 1841 Census she was five years old and living with her family at Leckhampton near Cheltenham.  However, ten years later, there was no record of her living with her family, nor has any record been found of her thereafter.

 

 

 

 

1O86

Mary Collett was born at Leonard Stanley in later 1836 or early 1837 and was baptised there on 14th May 1837.  At the age of four years she was living with her family at Leckhampton but by the time she was fourteen she and her family were living at Colnbrook in Buckinghamshire.

 

 

 

 

1O87

John William Collett was born at Leonard Stanley on 4th January 1839 and it was there that he died three days later on 7th January 1839, the son of George Collett and his first wife Jane Packer.

 

 

 

 

1O88

Harriet Collett was born in the early part of 1840 and was baptised on 1st September 1840 at Leckhampton just south of Cheltenham.  She was recorded as being aged one year old in 1841.  By 1851 she was aged 10 and she and her family had moved to Colnbrook.  It was also at Colnbrook over six years later that she married Isaac Rendrey on 23rd December 1857.  In 1866 Harriet gave birth to a daughter Rhoda who was born to the couple while they were still living at Colnbrook.  However, some major tragedy befell the family in the years after that resulted in the deaths of both Harriet and Isaac.  By the time of the 1881 Census their daughter was an orphan aged 14 living at St John’s Orphanage in the Clewer district of Windsor where she was being educated by the Sisters of Mercy.

 

 

 

 

1O89

Charles George Collett was born in 1845 at Wick in Wiltshire, where he was baptised on 25th May 1845, the son of George Collett and his first wife Jane Packer.  He was six years old in the census of 1851, by which time he and his family were living at Colnbrook in Buckinghamshire, where he was also living in 1861 at the age of 16.  He later moved to Ham in Surrey where he married Ann who was born at Chertsey in 1837. 

 

 

 

By the time of the next census in 1871 Charles was listed in error as Charles G Collet, age 26 and from Wiltshire, who was residing within the Kingston-on-Thames registration district, which included Ham, one mile north of Kingston.  Living there with him was his wife Ann Collet, age 32, and their two children Walter C Collet, who was two, and Edward Collet who was one year old, both of them born at Ham.  However, tragically the couple’s son Edward did not survive beyond childhood since he was missing from the family by 1881, when no record of him has been found anywhere within Great Britain.

 

 

 

Over the next couple of years the family was still living in Ham, when Ann presented Charles with the first two of their three daughters.  Sometime after the birth of the second daughter, Charles took his family to nearby Kingston, where the couple’s last child was born.  And it was at Acre Road in Kingston-on-Thames, that the family was recorded in the census of 1881.  In the census return for that year Charles George Collett, age 36 from Wiltshire, was a carpenter like his father and two of his brothers.  His wife Annie Collett from Chertsey was 43 and their four children were Walter Charles Collett, age 12, Alice Collett who was nine, Lucey Collett who was eight, and Louisa Collett who was five years old.

 

 

 

Living with the family at that time was Julie Vincent, age 17 and from Ham, who was described as Charles’ niece, and Frederick Trotter, age 12 and also born in Surrey, who was described as his nephew.  It is interesting that Charles’ father George Collett, who was widowed during the 1870s, was re-married around 1876, when he married the widow Mrs Emma McCann, whose maiden name was Vincent.  This in itself raises the question, was the wife of Charles George Collett actually Ann Vincent.

 

 

 

The family of six was once again recorded together within the Kingston registration district in 1891, when Charles G Collett was 46, Ann Collett was 52, and their four children were Walter Chas Collett, age 22, Alice Collett, age 19, Lucie Collett, age 18, and Louisa J Collett who was 14.  However, it was five years after that when Charles George Collett died in October 1896 at the age of 50.  At that time he and his family were residing at Bloomfield Road in Kingston-on-Thames, and it was at All Saints Church in Kingston where he was buried on 15th October 1896, burial reference P33/1/38.

 

 

 

No record of his widow Ann has so far been found in the census of 1901, although their two youngest children were staying as boarders at a house in Kingston.  However, by 1911 the widow of Charles George Collett was 74 when Ann Collett from Chertsey was still living in Kingston-on-Thames but at the home of her married daughter Alice Daysh.  Living there with her was her youngest and unmarried daughter Louisa Collett from Kingston.

 

 

 

1P73

Walter Charles Collett

Born in 1868 at Ham, Surrey

 

1P74

Edward Collett

Born in 1870 at Ham, Surrey

 

1P75

Alice Collett

Born in 1872 at Ham, Surrey

 

1P76

Lucy Collett

Born in 1873 at Ham, Surrey

 

1P77

Louisa J Collett

Born in 1876 at Kingston-on-Thames

 

 

 

 

1O90

Oliver Collett was born at Colnbrook in 1850 where he was baptised on 29th August 1852.  In the 1851 Census he was listed as one year old.  However, there is no record of him living with his family ten years later, so it may be that he was baptised shortly before he died.

 

 

 

 

1O91

Walter William Collett was born at Colnbrook in late 1852 or early 1853 and was baptised there on 28th August 1853.  The parish record indicated that he was baptised as William Walter, which contradicted the name he used during all of the later census records.  In 1861 he was eight years old, when he was living with his family at Colnbrook, and was 18 in 1871 by which time he was still living with his family in Colnbrook.  By 1881 Walter, age 28, was working as a carpenter like his father before him.  He was still a bachelor when he was a lodger at the home of railway porter Ephraim Skinner at Church Lane in Edgware.  Walter gave his place of birth as Windsor.

 

 

 

It would initially appear that Walter was never married, since in 1891 he was still single and living at West Hackney, where he was listed as Walter William Collett, age 38 and born at Colnbrook.  However, the census in March 1901 revealed that he was a married man at the age of 48, when he was working as a carpenter while living in Tottenham area of London.  On that occasion his name was recorded as Walter W Collett and his place of birth was confirmed as Colnbrook in Buckinghamshire.  Listed with him was his wife, Mary Ann Collett, age 40 and from Pimlico in London.  Ten years later the couple had left London and were settled in the Maidstone area of Kent, where Walter Collett was 58, and Mary Ann Collett was 50.

 

 

 

 

1O92

George Collett was born at Colnbrook in 1855, where he was baptised on 28th June 1857, the son of George Collett and his first wife Jane Packer.  He appeared in the 1861 Census as being six years of age when he was still living with his family at Colnbrook.  Ten years later when George Collett was 16 he was still living with his family at Colnbrook within the Stanwell registration district.

 

 

 

His mother died during the 1870s, following which his father married Mrs Emma McCann nee Vincent, while George married Lucy around the same time.  Once married the couple moved to Bromley in Kent, where they appear to have lived for the rest of their lives together.  According to the 1881 Census George and Lucy Collett were living at 8 Park End in Bromley where George, age 26 and from Colnbrook, was working as a carpenter like his father and older brothers Charles and Walter (above).  His wife Lucy was 27, and her place of birth was recorded as Poyle, a village near Colnbrook.  Being only very recently married, the couple had not yet started a family by that time.

 

 

 

It was during the next decade that Lucy presented George with two children, both of them born at Bromley, as listed in the Bromley census of 1891.  By then George and Lucy were aged 36 and 37 respectively, while their two children were Helen A Collett, who was four years old, and Percy Collett who was two years of age.

 

 

 

By the turn of the century the family living in Bromley was missing their daughter, who would have been around 14 years of age.  The fact that she has not been identified anywhere within the census of 1901 may suggest that she did not survive.  However, her absence from the family at that time had been offset against the birth of a second son for the couple.  Head of the household was George Collett, age 46 and from Colnbrook, whose occupation was that of a carpenter, his wife Lucy Collett was 47 and also from Colnbrook, and their two sons were Percy Collett, who was 12, and Walter Collett who was eight years old, both of them born at Bromley.  Also residing in Bromley at that time was George’s half-brothers Arthur Collett and Frank Collett (below), who were living with their widowed mother Emma.

 

 

 

In April 1911 George Collett of Colnbrook was 56 and was living at Sevenoaks in Kent.  With him at that time was his wife Lucy Collett, age 57, and their youngest son Walter Collett who was 17.  The couple’s older son Percy George Collett was also living within the county of Kent, but at Cranbrook.

 

 

 

1P78

Helen A Collett

Born in 1886 at Bromley, Kent

 

1P79

Percy George Collett

Born in 1888 at Bromley

 

1P80

Walter Collett

Born in 1892 at Bromley

 

 

 

 

1O93

Caroline Jane Collett was born at Langley in Buckinghamshire on 30th April 1859, but was baptised at Colnbrook on 16th August 1859, the daughter of George and Jane Collett.  By the time of the 1861 Census for Colnbrook she was aged one year and ten years later, when she was 11 years old, she was again living with her family at Colnbrook, within the Stanwell registration district.  By the time of the census in 1881 Caroline Collett, age 22 and from Colnbrook, was living and working at the home of solicitor William H Withall at Hatfield House, Portinscale Road, Wandsworth in Surrey, where she was employed as a kitchen maid.  Three and a half years later she married William Pratt on 18th October 1884 at Kingston upon Thames.

 

 

 

This is the family line of Dorothy Hilda Ellis nee Pratt, the wife of Ron Ellis, who was born

at Dagenham 5th June 1930 and who died at Selby in Yorkshire on 28th November 2014

 

 

 

 

1O94

Herbert William Collett, formerly Herbert William McCann, was born at Kingston-upon-Thames around 1867, the youngest child and only surviving son of mariner Herbert MacCann and his wife Emma Vincent.  Although no record of his family has been located in the census on 1861, by 1871 and at the age of four years, he was living with just his mother Emma McCann of Chertsey and his two older sisters in Kingston-on-Thames.  One of his sisters, Ann McCann, was born at Ham near Kingston in 1861, and it was at Ham that a member of the Collett family was also living in 1871, and it may have been through that link that Herbert’s widowed mother was introduced to George Collett who had just lost his wife

 

 

 

From this chance meeting Emma McCann married George Collett around 1876, and by 1881 Emma’s son Herbert McCann was recorded in the census as Herbert Collett, age 14 and from Kingston.  The census that year listed the family’s address as a large cottage called King John’s Palace in Colnbrook, where Herbert’s father was recorded as George Collett, age 66 and from Minchinhampton, and his mother was Emma Collett, age 46 and from nearby Chertsey. Also by that time Herbert had a half-brother, who was Arthur Collett who was three years old, who had been born at Colnbrook.  His adopted father George Collett died during the 1880s and not long after Herbert married Elizabeth Lile Mills on 21st September 1890, by which time Herbert had already fathered a son, and his bride was due to give birth to their second child over the coming months.

 

 

 

The wedding took place at the Church of St James The Great on Bethnal Green Road, following the posting of banns, and the details extract from the parish register are as follows:  Herbert Collett, 23 and a bachelor, married Elizabeth Lile Mills, 23 and a spinster.  He was a baker of Bethnal Green and his father was named as Herbert Collett deceased, while his bride, also of Bethnal Green, was the daughter of compositor John Mills.  The couple both signed the register, and the witnesses were Alfred James Mills and Ada Jessie Mills.  It is curious that his father was named as Herbert Collett, rather than Herbert McCann, but it may have simply been that his gave his father’s name as Herbert and the registrar made the mistake of assuming it was Collett.

 

 

 

The witness Alfred James Mills was Elizabeth’s younger brother, and in 1891 he was still living with his family in Clerkenwell, just two doors from the recently married young Collett couple.  Elizabeth’s parents were printer John George Mills, age 52, and Sophia Mills, age 57, and living at No 23 Rounall (?) Buildings with them were their three unmarried children Florence 21, Alfred 18, and Ernest who was 11.  Sophia, Florence and Alfred, like Elizabeth herself, were all recorded as having been born in Hertfordshire.

 

 

 

The same census recorded Herbert Collett, age 24, as a pastry cook living at No 21 Rounall (?) Buildings with his wife Elizabeth Collett, age 23, and their son Herbert Wm Collett who was two years old.  Both Herbert senior and Herbert junior were listed simply as having been born in London.

 

 

 

The registration of the birth of Herbert’s two sons has been found at Holborn, where the birth of his daughter Louisa May was also registered some years later – see details below.  First to be registered, prior to his wedding day, was the birth of his son Herbert William Collett during the last quarter of 1888, around two years before he married Elizabeth, while just over five years later the birth of his only other son Frank was also recorded at Holborn, during the first quarter of 1894.

 

 

 

Between the two boys, Herbert’s and Elizabeth’s daughter Ada was born on 12th December 1891, and she was baptised six weeks later at St James’ Church in Clerkenwell on 24th January 1892 as Ada Elizabeth Collett, the daughter of pastry cook Herbert William Collett and his wife Elizabeth.  Unfortunately the address at which the family was living at that time is not clearly written, but looks something like 5 Wherlin Street.

 

 

 

In 1894 there is a record of a son by the name of Herbert Collett attending Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, while his home address was noted as being 9A Rosamund High Street at Clerkenwell in the Holborn district of London.  It was in 1899 that the couple’s penultimate child was born, following which she was baptised as Sarah May Collett at the Church of the Holy Redeemer in Clerkenwell on 12th November 1899, the daughter of Herbert and Elizabeth Collett of 12 Easton Street.  Sadly she died not long after she was baptised.

 

 

 

By the time of the next census in 1901 Herbert Collett from Kingston in Surrey, was living at 12 Easton Street in Clerkenwell with his wife and their six surviving children, having already suffered the loss of their youngest child.  Herbert was 32 and a journeyman baker, his wife Elizabeth was 36 and from Hertford, and their children were Herbert Collett, age 13, Ada Collett, age 10, Frank Collett who was eight, Annie Collett who was six, May Collett who was three, and Jessie Collett who was three months old.

 

 

 

According to the census return all of the children had been born at Clerkenwell within the Finsbury district of London.  The birth of the couple’s third daughter, Louisa May Collett, was registered on 9th March 1898 at Holborn for the sub-district of Goswell Street, while the child was actually born on 24th January 1898 at 23 Rawstorne Street, just of Goswell Street [the A1].  At that time her parents were described as Herbert Collett, a pastry cook, and his wife Elizabeth Collett formerly Mills, and it was the latter who registered the child’s birth.

 

 

 

It was also at Clerkenwell between March 1901 and 1903 that both Herbert and Elizabeth died.  A record of the death of a Herbert Collett has been found in London in 1902, and that may be this Herbert William Collett.  Whether it was a double-death in some accident or other for the couple is not known.  What is known is that their six surviving children were then taken into care, with Ada and Frank being taken to live in Canada by the Doctor Barnados Children’s organisation during 1904.  They were subsequently followed to Canada by their sisters Louisa May and Jessie who made the same journey in 1911. 

 

 

 

The three sisters, Ada, Jessie and May, were eventually reunited in Canada and lived in the same town in Ontario for the remainder of their lives, while sadly all contact was lost with the remaining members of their family.  Louisa May Collett later married to become Louisa May Collett Rylett, and it was her granddaughter Marilee Rylett Magder of Whitby in Ontario who kindly provided the sad details of her family, together with this photo of sisters Jessie and Louisa May taken during the 1980s.

 

 

 

1P81

Herbert William Collett

Born in 1888 at Clerkenwell

 

1P82

Ada Elizabeth Collett

Born in 1891 at Clerkenwell

 

1P83

Frank Collett

Born in 1893 at Clerkenwell

 

1P84

Annie Collett

Born in 1895 at Clerkenwell

 

1P85

Louisa May Collett

Born in 1898 at Clerkenwell

 

1P86

Sarah May Collett

Born in 1899 at Clerkenwell; infant death

 

1P87

Jessie Collett

Born in 1900 at Clerkenwell

 

 

 

 

1O95

Arthur Charles Collett was born at Colnbrook on 29th December 1879.  Curiously his age in the following census returns appears to have been incorrectly recorded, and the only one to accurately reflect his real age was in 1911 when it was stated he was 31.  In the first of them, in 1881, he was listed as being aged three years (sic), when he was living with his parents George and Emma Collett at King John’s Palace in Colnbrook, together with his older brother Herbert (above).  Sometime during the 1880s Arthur’s parents took him and his younger brother Frank (below) to live at Bromley in Kent, where they were living in 1891 when Arthur was 14 (sic).  Shortly thereafter Arthur’s father passed away, so in the census of 1901 Arthur was still living with his widowed mother Emma and his brother Frank at Bromley.  At that time in his life unmarried Arthur Collett, age 23 (sic) and from Colnbrook, was working as a domestic gardener with his brother.

 

 

 

Around 1908, according to the census of 1911, Arthur married Laura Emma, a fact that seems not to have been known by members of the family until the release of the census details.  In the census return the childless couple was living at 15 Tynley Road in Bickley in Kent where Arthur Collett of Colnbrook was 31 and a domestic gardener, while his wife of two years was Laura Emma Collett who was 31 and from Knockholt, near Sevenoaks.

 

 

 

What happened next to Arthur and Laura is not known at this time, but they were either divorced, or Laura died giving birth to the couple’s first child.  What is known for sure is that Arthur married Beatrice Isobel Manchester at the parish church of St John in Hampstead just six months later on 8th October 1911.  Beatrice was born at Chelsea in 1884, the daughter of clicker and boot cutter William Manchester who was born at Hamilton in Quebec in 1851 and who died in London in 1905.

 

 

 

Her mother was Annie Reason who was born at Twickenham in 1852 and who had died during the year before Beatrice was married.  The Manchester family name was closely linked to the boot and shoe trade over many generations.  William’s father George Manchester was a leather cutter in London and his uncle’s John and Henry were both boot and shoe makers of Kensington and Hammersmith respectively.  All of the children of these gentlemen also worked in the shoe business.

 

 

 

The marriage certificate for Arthur and Beatrice confirmed their ages as 32 and 27 and their address at that time was stated as being 18 Gardnor Road in Hampstead.  Gardnor Road was a short distance from Hampstead Heath and still exists in the early part of the twenty-first century.  The certificate confirmed Arthur’s father as George Collett deceased and Beatrice’s father as William Manchester deceased.  The witnesses at the marriage were Beatrice’s brothers William and Sydney Manchester.

 

 

 

At sometime during the first eight years of their married life together Arthur and Beatrice moved from Gardnor Road on the west side of Hampstead Heath the fairly short distance to 44 Hollingsworth Street in Holloway on the east side of Hampstead Heath.  It was at that address that they were still living at the end of the Great War at a time when Beatrice’s younger sister Vera Frances Louise Manchester (1896-1983) was living with the family immediately prior to her marriage to Mark George Penn (1897-1959).  The couple’s marriage certificate in early 1919 gave 44 Hollingsworth Street as both Vera’s and Mark’s place of residence.

 

 

 

And it was Vera’s and Mark’s son Ronald Mark Penn, born at Chiswick in 1927 and now living in Australia, who kindly provided the vital linking information to enable this Collett family line to be extended.  New information received from Ron in early 2017 reveals that when his mother Vera made her Will in 1962 she left £100 to Arthur Collett (junior) of 20 Church Lane in Finchley.  He was the only known child arising from the marriage between Arthur Charles Collett and Beatrice Isobel Manchester.  Although the actual date of birth of their son is not known.  What is known is that Arthur and Beatrice continued to live at Hollingsworth Street until towards the end of the 1930s.

 

 

 

This fact was confirmed within the 1939 Register, which placed Arthur, with his wife Beatrice and their son Arthur W L Collett, as living at 44 Hollingsworth Street in Islington, London.  The occupation of Arthur (senior) was that of a coal trimmer, heavy.  His nephew Ron Penn has vivid memories of visiting the family as a child in their two-up and one-down Georgian terrace house with an outside toilet in a small backyard.  It was very likely Arthur’s work which probably explains why Ron’s childhood impression of his uncle was of a rather unkempt sort of man.

 

 

 

Family members recall Arthur having a large moustache and wearing a peaked cloth cap, a collarless shirt, grey serge trousers, and a black waistcoat.  All of this coupled, with the fact he had a hunched-back, gave him a most fearsome appearance.  His hunched-back was the result of an industrial injury when he was seriously burnt removing ashes from a boiler.  Thanks to the aforementioned Ron Penn, it is now known that Arthur Charles Collett died during 1946.  His widow Beatrice survived him by twenty-five years when she passed at Islington during in 1971 at the age of 87.

 

 

 

During the information gathering process for Arthur Collett, another Collett family has been found that was in residence at the aforementioned Gardnor Road in Hampstead.  That family comprised Henry A Collet(t) born at Marylebone in 1862, his wife Annie who was born in 1863 at St Pancras, and their six children.  Henry was Henry Augustus Collett and in 1940 he and Annie were living at18 Temple Grove in Golders Green in London where Annie Collett died on 8th June 1940.  Her estate of £444 0 Shillings 10d was administered in London on 20th July 1940 in favour of her husband Henry Augustus Collett, a retired grocer’s manager.  Not long after the death of his wife Henry Augustus Collett was still living at 18 Temple Grove when he died there on 22nd January 1942.  Surprisingly one month later his Will was proved at Llandudno on 27th February 1942 when the executor of his estate of £578 13 Shillings 3d was named as Frederick Arthur Collett, a civil servant, who was his youngest son.

 

 

 

The couple’s children living at 15 Gardnor Road with them in 1901 were all born at Hampstead and they were Henry T Collett 16, Ethel Collett 14, Annie L Collett 12, Daisy S Collett 10, Augustus Collett, who was seven, and Frank Collett (see Frederick Arthur above and below) who was five.  Also living with the family was Henry’s younger brother Arthur Collett, age 23, a goods porter who was also born at Hampstead.  Further research is needed to see where this family might be placed.

 

 

 

Ten years later the census in 1911 placed the family still living at 15 Gardnor Road in Hampstead when shop assistant Henry A Collett from London was 48 and his wife of twenty-seven years was Annie who was 47.  During their life together, the census return revealed that, they had six children, of which five were still living with them, their eldest son Henry having left home by that time.  They were Ethel Collett, age 24, Lilian Collett, age 22, Daisy Collett, age 20, Augustus, age 17, and Frederick who was 15.

 

 

 

It has now been discovered that Henry Augustus Collett who was born at Marylebone in London around 1862 was the son of Thomas Collett and Maria Louisa Bryant.  In 1871 the family was residing within the Christchurch sub-district of Marylebone under the name of Collet, where Thomas Collet was 37, his wife Maria Louisa was 34, and living with them and their six children was Thomas’ mother-in-law Maria Bryant aged 64.  The six children were George Henry Collet who was 12, James Collet who was 10, Henry Augustas (sic) Collett who was eight, Maria Louisa Collet who was six, and twins Thomas George and Alfred John Collet who were three years of age.

 

 

 

By 1881 the family had been enlarged by the birth of a further three children, although tragically by then the couple’s three youngest children in 1871 were not listed with the family and may therefore have died while still very young.  Also by 1881 the family was living at 8 Upper Park Road in Hampstead where head of the household Thomas Collett was a lamplighter.  He was 47, Maria L Collett was 44, Thomas G Collett was 23 and a solicitor’s clerk, George H Collett was 22 and a goldsmith’s improver, Henry A Collett was 18 and a porter employed by a china dealer, Albert W Collett was six, Jane C Collett was four and Arthur C Collett was two years of age.  Every member of the household had been born at Marylebone.

 

 

 

1P88

Arthur William L Collett

Born in 1912 at Hampstead, London

 

 

 

 

1O96

Frank Collett was born at Colnbrook in 1881, but after the April census day that year, and by 1891 he and his brother Arthur (above) were living with their parents at Bromley in Kent.  His given age in the census that year was 10 years, while after a further ten years, and following the death of his father, Frank Collett from Colnbrook was 18 when he was still living at Bromley with his widowed mother and his brother Arthur.  The 1901 Census gave his occupation as being that of a domestic gardener, as was his brother.  Ten years later in April 1911, Frank Collett from Colnbrook was 28 and a married man living within the Croydon area of Surrey with his wife Annie Collett who was also 28.  It is not known at this time whether there were any children resulting from their marriage.

 

 

 

 

1O97

James Nathaniel Collett was born at Woodchester on Saturday 1st July 1837 at ten minutes before two o’clock in the afternoon.  He was baptised at Woodchester three weeks later on 23rd July 1837, the eldest child of Thomas Collett and his wife Elizabeth Rogers.  He was four years old in the Woodchester census in 1841, and was James N Collett, age 13, when he was still living there with his family in 1851.  His father died during the cholera epidemic in 1854 and, with no further record of James Nathaniel Collett after 1851 it is possible that he too died from the illness.

 

 

 

 

1O98

Adelaide Collett was born at Woodchester on Monday 17th September 1838 at twenty minutes past seven o’clock in the morning.  She was nearly one month old when she was baptised at Woodchester on 14th October 1838, where she later married Isaac James on 2nd January 1857.  Adelaide was a dressmaker and Isaac was a baker by trade.  Prior to the marriage Adelaide was living at Selsey Road in Woodchester where, in 1851, she was listed as a dressmaker’s apprentice.  Isaac was born at Berkeley in Gloucestershire in 1835.  Selsey Road was also home to other members of the Collett family at the time of the 1851 Census – see Hannah Collett nee Land (Ref. 1M39) - Adelaide’s grandmother, her parents Thomas and Elizabeth Collett, Edwin Collett (Ref. 1N58) her uncle, Susannah Collett (Ref. 1N61) her aunt and Henry Albert Collett (below) her brother.

 

 

 

At the time of the Census of 1881 Adelaide and Isaac were still living in Selsey Road but the family had grown to six boys and four girls, all born at Woodchester.  There was also a seventh and eldest son William aged 20 who had left the family home before April 1881.  The only other surviving family member was Elizabeth Collett, Adelaide’s widowed mother.  She was listed as a retired landlady and was living next door to Adelaide and Isaac at The Lodge, which was also home to five other families.

 

 

 

The census recorded that Isaac was now a baker and a butcher, son Henry was a carpenter aged 18, daughter Louisa was a pupil teacher aged 16, and that son Edward aged 14 was a baker’s assistant – presumably working with his father in the family business.  The other children listed with them were Arthur 12, Charles 11, Lavinia (Minnie) 9, Catherine (Kate) 6, Florence 5, George 3 and Frank aged 2.  Also listed with the family was Charles Burford a 16 years old baker of Minchinhampton and 21 years old Ellen Sherborne of Tetbury who was employed as a general servant.

 

 

 

Just about a year after the census Adelaide and Isaac sailed from Liverpool to America on the ship Assyrian Monarch which arrived at New York on 20th May 1882.  Accompanying the couple on the journey were sons Edward, Arthur, Charles, George and Frank, and daughters Louisa, Minnie, Catherine and Florence.  Only their two eldest sons William and Henry stayed behind in England.  Also accompanying the family on the trip was 42 years old labourer Samuel James who was very likely Isaac’s younger brother.  It is also interesting to note that Jane James aged 29 completed the same journey on the same ship which docked at New York on 9th January 1882.

 

 

 

By the turn of the century the US Census of 1900 identified Adelaide and Isaac as living at San Antonio Ward 7 at Bexar in Texas and living with them were Charles aged 30, Minnie 28, Catherine 26, George 22 and Frank 20, none of whom were married.  As sons Edward and Arthur were missing from the list, it might be assumed that they had left home and were married.  The reason for the absence of daughters Louisa and Florence may have been more significant (see below).

 

 

 

Adelaide James nee Collett died on 14th August 1907 and was buried at San Antonio in Plot 39 in the north north-east quadrant of the city cemetery.  Just about a month after her death Isaac passed away and was buried next to his wife, where two of their daughters were also buried.  They are likely to have been the missing Louisa and Florence (see above).

 

 

 

Back in the 1880s the couple’s eldest son William J James married Fanny Doel who was born near Trowbridge in 1858/59.  That marriage produced at least three children, one of which was daughter Ruby Adelaide James who was born around 1891.  Ruby later married Arthur Reeves and they had a daughter Valerie.  And it was Valerie’s son Bill Radford of Norbury in south-west London who kindly provided this new information relating to his ancestor Adelaide Collett (above).

 

 

 

 

1O99

Henry Albert Collett was born at Woodchester on Tuesday 1st March 1842 at five minutes past eleven o’clock in the morning.  It was also there that he was baptised on 27th March 1842, the third and last child of Thomas Collett and his wife Elizabeth Rogers.  In 1851 he was nine years old and living at home with his parents in Selsey Road.  He married Mary Ann Thomas in 1865 at Christchurch, Newport in South Wales.  Mary Ann Thomas was born in 1848, and up to 1876 their children were born at Newport and thereafter at Weston, near Bath in Somerset, although it is notable that the couple’s second son was born and baptised at Stonehouse, in the area were Henry was born, and where his family was recorded for a short time in 1871.  Over the years Mary Ann presented Henry with a total of thirteen children of which only twelve are listed below, the missing child presumably being an infant death.  The other three not to survive were James, who died at 18, Diana, who died shortly after 1881, and Maria who died before 1891.

 

 

 

According to the census that year, for the Stroud & Stonehouse district, the family comprised Henry A Collett, age 29, his wife Mary A Collett, age 24, and their two sons Henry T Collett, who was two, and James E Collett who had been born at the Noah’s Ark Inn in Stonehouse during that January.  The couple’s eldest child was Elizabeth H Collett, aged four years, who was staying with her widowed grandmother Elizabeth Collett nee Rogers at nearby Woodchester.  This was very likely so that Mary Ann could give birth to her latest son without needing to worry about Elizabeth.

 

 

 

Despite returning to South Wales for the birth of their next two children around 1877 the family left finally Wales when they moved to the bath area of Somerset.  At the time of the next census in 1881 Henry and his family were living at 11 Alexandra Buildings in Weston with Mary’s widowed mother Anna Thomas aged 75, a retired grocer.  Henry Collett was listed as a railway porter of Woodchester aged 39, while his wife Mary was aged 33 and from Newport, and the absence of their son James may indicate that he had suffered an infant death.

 

 

 

Their children living with them at that time were Elizabeth Collett 14, Henry Collett 13, William Collett, who was nine, Robert Collett, who was six, Frances Collett, who was three, and Diana Collett who was just two months old.  The family was residing within the Batheaston district of Bath in 1891, when Harry Collett was 49, Mary A Collett was 42, and their seven children were Elizabeth, age 24, William, age 19, Robert, age 15, Frances, age 13, Ethel, who was eight, Lillian, who was five, and Nellie who was under one year old.

 

 

 

Twenty years later according to the census of 1901 Henry was aged 60 and was still working for the Midlands Railway Company as a ticket collector, Mary Ann was 54 and the couple still had living with them six of their children.  They were William 28, Frances 23, Ethel 18, Lillian 16, Nellie 13 and Rosaline W Collett who was eight years old.  Their son Robert was married and was also living in Weston at that time.  By the time of the census in 1911 the family still living with seventy years old Henry Albert Collett at Weston near Bath included his wife Mary Ann who was 64, son Robert Edward 35, and daughters Lillian May Collett who was twenty-four and seventeen years old Rosaline Winifred Collett.

 

 

 

Sometime after 1911 Henry Albert Collett passed away, while his widow Mary Ann Collett nee Thomas was still alive around 1932 when she was living with her youngest child Rosaline and her husband Edward George Townsend and their daughter Joan, at their home in Bath.  As the youngest of her grandchildren, Mary Ann would tell family stories to Joan, one such story related a noble ancestor who has a stained-glass window in the church near Stroud, although no memorial to an earlier Collett has been found during the many visits by the family to that area.  It is now believed that the person in question was actually a member of Mary Ann’s Thomas family, and not a Collett after all.

 

 

 

1P89

Elizabeth Hannah Collett

Born in 1867 at Newport, Wales

 

1P90

Henry Thomas Collett

Born in 1868 at Newport, Wales

 

1P91

James Edward Collett

Born in 1871 at Stonehouse

 

1P92

William Albert Collett

Born in 1872 at Newport, Wales

 

1P93

Robert Edward Collett

Born in 1875 at Newport, Wales

 

1P94

Frances Adelaide Collett

Born in 1878 at Weston near Bath

 

1P95

Diana Collett

Born in 1881 at Weston near Bath

 

1P96

Ethel Gertrude Collett

Born in 1883 at Weston near Bath

 

1P97

Maria Collett

Born in 1885 at Weston near Bath

 

1P98

Lillian May Collett

Born in 1887 at Weston near Bath

 

1P99

Nellie Edith Evelyn Collett

Born in 1888 at Weston near Bath

 

1P100

Rosaline Winifred Collett

Born in 1893 at Weston near Bath

 

 

 

 

1O100

Charles Collett was baptised on 3rd May 1846 at Frampton-on-Severn, the only known child of John Collett and his first wife Sarah Harrison.  In 1851 he was five years old and in 1861 he was 15 when, on both occasions, he was living with his parents within the Wheatenhurst & Frampton registration district.  After that he joined the navy and was presumably away at sea when the census was conducted in 1871. 

 

 

 

On 31st August 1868 at St Mary de Lodes in Gloucester Charles married Mary Catherine Boucher who was born in 1850 at Whitminster, near Gloucester.  Mary brought to the marriage her base-born daughter Martha Boucher who was also born at Whitminster, presumably when Mary was only sixteen.  After they were married the couple settled in Frampton where all of their children were born and baptised, although Charles’ wife was named as Ann for the second and third child.  Tragically their first three children died before 1881, while the whereabouts of their youngest son at that time, Arthur, has not yet been discovered.

 

 

 

According to the census of 1881 the greatly reduced family of Charles Collett was living at Leather Bottle Lane in Frampton.  As Chas Collett, age 35 and from Frampton, his occupation was that of a mariner.  His wife was named as Catherine Boucher who was 30, and she was working as a char woman.  Living there with the couple was Matthew Boucher, age 14 from Whitminster like his mother, and Margaret Collett who was two years old.  Five years later the couple’s last child was born, and in 1891 the family was still living in Frampton, but at Rosamonds Green.  On that occasion they were recorded in the census as Charles Collett who was 45 and a general labourer from Frampton, Mary Catherine Collett who was 43 and from Whitminster, Margaret Esther Collett who was 12, Arthur Stanley Collett who was 11 and William George Collett who was four years old.

 

 

 

On the same census return and boarding with the Collett family, but with the entry crossed out, was William Boucher from Whitminster who was 28 and a bachelor and an ostler.  His age suggests he may have been Mary Catherine’s younger brother.  Having already suffered the loss of three of his five children Charles Collett died and was buried at Frampton two years later during 1893.  Sadly his youngest daughter Margaret Esther Collett and his wife Mary Catherine Collett both passed away in 1898 and were buried at Frampton-on-Severn with him, while nothing further is known about the couple’s other two sons Arthur and William. 

 

 

 

In addition to the burials of four of the children of this family, plus those of parents Charles and Mary, there are also four other Colletts whose burial took place at Frampton-on-Severn around that time.  It seems highly likely that they too were the children of Charles and Mary, all suffering infant deaths. They were Sarah Collett in 1874, Albert Collett in 1882, John Collett in 1883, and Frank Collett in 1888.  The dates of their passing would appear to sit comfortably within the known six children listed below.

 

 

 

1P101

Henry Charles Collett

Born in 1869 at Frampton-on-Severn

 

1P102

Albert James Collett

Born in 1872 at Frampton-on-Severn

 

1P103

Sarah Collett – to be confirmed

Born in 1873 at Frampton-on-Severn

 

1P104

Louisa Elizabeth Collett

Born in 1874 at Frampton-on-Severn

 

1P105

Margaret Esther Collett

Born in 1878 at Frampton-on-Severn

 

1P106

Arthur Stanley Collett

Born in 1880 at Frampton-on-Severn

 

1P107

Albert Collett - to be confirmed

Born in 1882 at Frampton-on-Severn

 

1P108

John Collett - to be confirmed

Born in 1883 at Frampton-on-Severn

 

1P109

William George Collett

Born in 1886 at Frampton-on-Severn

 

1P110

Frank Collett - to be confirmed

Born in 1888 at Frampton-on-Severn

 

 

 

 

1O101

William Henry Collett was very likely born in the Gloucestershire village of Amberley, but was baptised in the nearby town of Woodchester on 28th October 1849, the first child born to Edwin Collett and his wife Martha Ann Baston.  Sadly it was there also that he died during the first three weeks of 1851, following which he was buried at Woodchester on 19th January 1851.

 

 

 

 

1O102

William Edward Collett was born at Woodchester where he was baptised on 12th October 1851, the second child of Edwin and Martha Collett.  He was five years old when he and his parents arrived in Australia on 9th February 1857.  Nothing much more is known about him at this time, except that it is established that William Edward Collett died on 15th November 1937 at the age of 86, and was buried at Stone Quarry Cemetery within the Jeebropilly district of the City of Ipswich in Queensland, where his parents were buried forty years earlier.

 

 

 

 

1O103

Wallace Edwin Collett was born at Ipswich in Queensland on 19th March 1857, just over a month after his parents Edwin and Martha Collett arrived in Australia from England.  He was also known within the family as Wallace Henry Collett, most likely in honour of his eldest brother who died six years before Wallace was born.  All of his early life was spent at Ipswich, although he later moved the few miles west to Rosewood.  However, many years later he was buried with his parents at Stone Quarry Cemetery in Jeebropilly, just a short distance from Rosewood.  He was also known to have been married to Harriet Perrem with whom he had at least the two children listed below.  Wallace H Collett died in Lockyer Hospital in Rosewood on 26th July 1944 at the age of 87.  His wife was also 87 when Harriet C Collett nee Perrem passed away on 11th March 1944.  Two adjacent headstones in Stone Quarry Cemetery mark their joint grave.  The last few months in the life of widower Wallace Collett were spent living at the home of his married daughter Mrs R Henning.

 

 

 

1P111

R Collett

Born in 1881 at Rosewood, Qld.

 

1P112

William Henry Collett

Born in 1885 at Rosewood, Qld.

 

 

 

 

1O104

James Fords Collett was born at Cadargra in Queensland on 27th April 1861, the last of the four sons of Edwin Collett and his wife Martha Ann Baston.  He was twenty-five when he married Elizabeth Elliott during 1886 with whom he had four children.

 

The photograph on the right was generously provided by Lyndsay Bauman and shows James in his army uniform, perhaps indicating that he served in South Africa.

 

James Fords Collett died in Queensland on 13th August 1936.

 

 

 

1P113

Leila Collett

Born in 1887 in Australia

 

1P114

Ivy Collett

Born in 1888 in Australia

 

1P115

Annie Collett

Born in 1893 in Australia

 

1P116

Hector Elliott Collett

Born in 1900 in Australia

 

 

 

 

1O105

Eliza Ann Collett was baptised at Coln St Aldwyns on 15th May 1842, the eldest child of Charles and Eliza Collett.

 

 

 

 

1O106

Charles Christopher Collett was baptised on 10th February 1844 at Coln St Aldwyns.  In the Census of 1861 he was living with his parents Charles and Eliza Collett and the rest of the family, when he was described as being 17 and ‘afflicted from birth’.

 

 

 

 

1O107

Francis Collett was born at Coln St Aldwyns and baptised there on 2nd November 1845.  In 1861 he was aged 15 and a carpenter living at Coln St Aldwyns with his parents.  It was around 1868 or 1869 he married Harriet who was born circa 1841 at Butleigh Wootton near Glastonbury in Somerset.  All of their children were born at Coln St Aldwyns.

 

 

 

According to the 1871 Census Francis was now 25, a carpenter and grocer, Harriet was 29, and the couple had a daughter Alice aged 1 and born at Coln St Aldwyns.  Living with them was a cousin Caroline Higgins aged 12 also of Butleigh Wootton.  The same birth place as Harriet could indicate that Harriet was also a member of the Higgins family prior to her marriage to Francis.  Interestingly Francis’ parents also had a member of the Higgins family with them at Coln St Aldwyns in 1871. This was nephew Thomas Higgins aged 14 who would appear to be the brother of Caroline Higgins and very likely the brother of Harriet as well.

 

 

 

By the time of the 1881 Census Francis was listed as being 35 of Coln St Aldwyns and a draper and grocer.  Living with him at Coln St Aldwyns was Harriet who was 40, Alice who was 11, Lydia who was nine, Charles who was seven, Herbert who was two, and one year old Walter.  Also living with the family was general servant Matilda Griffin 15.  During the next decade Francis died so by 1891 Harriet was listed as a widow and a draper and grocer indicating that she had taken over the family business from her husband.  Also in 1891 eldest daughter Alice Collett, age 21, was listed as a school teacher, Lydia Collett, age 19, was a draper’s assistant, Charles Collett, age 17, was a carpenter’s apprentice, Herbert Collett, age 12, was an errand boy for the post, Walter Collett was 11 and a scholar, and Percy Collett was eight years old.

 

 

 

By 1901 all of the male members of the family had left home and did not even appear in the census for that year anyway in Gloucestershire.  The only remaining members of the family still living in Coln St Aldwyns were widow Harriet who was 60, and her unmarried daughters Alice 30 and Lydia 28, all three of them described as seamstresses.  Ten years later in April 1911 Harriet Collett was seventy, and the only member of her family still living with her at Coln St Aldwyns was her eldest daughter Alice Maude Collett who was still a spinster at 41.

 

 

 

1P117

Alice Maude Collett

Born in 1870 at Coln St Aldwyns

 

1P118

Lydia M Collett

Born in 1872 at Coln St Aldwyns

 

1P119

Charles William Collett

Born in 1874 at Coln St Aldwyns

 

1P120

Herbert F Collett

Born in 1878 at Coln St Aldwyns

 

1P121

Walter Louis Collett

Born in 1879 at Coln St Aldwyns

 

1P122

Percy Allen Collett

Born in 1881 at Coln St Aldwyns

 

 

 

 

1O108

Eleanor Collett was born at Coln St Aldwyns where she was baptised on 21st April 1848.  It would appear that she never married as in both 1881 and 1891 she was still a spinster at the age of 33 and 43 respectively, while living with her parents Charles and Eliza in 1881.  By 1891 her mother had died and so she was performing the role of housekeeper for her widowed father in 1891.  Eleanor Collett was living alone within the Northleach registration district in 1911 where she was confirmed as being 63 and from Coln St Aldwyns.

 

 

 

 

1O109

Aaron Thomas Collett was baptised on 28th April 1850 at Coln St Aldwyns, the son of carpenter and builder Charles Collett and his wife Eliza.  At the time of the census in 1861 Aaron Thomas Collett was 11 when he was still attending the local school in Coln St Aldwyns, while living there with his family.  Ten years later, at the age of 21, he was a carpenter very likely working with his father.  It was just over one year later that he became a married man.

 

 

 

It was as Aaron Collet (sic) that he married the slightly older Louisa Adams at Eastleach Turville in 1872, the marriage being recorded at Northleach register office (Ref. 6a 659) during the second quarter of that year.  Louisa was born at Eastleach Turville around 1844 where the couple settled following their wedding day and where all of their children were born.  In 1881 Aaron, age 31, was a carpenter by trade living at Eastleach Turville.  The census return that year listed the other members of his family as his wife Louisa, who was 36, Eliza Collett, who was eight, William Collett, who was six, George Collett, who was four, and Francis Collett who was two years old. 

 

 

 

Aaron and Louisa were only married for ten years when Aaron Thomas Collett died at Eastleach Turville just over a year after the 181 Census.  That tragic event was recorded at Northleach register office (Ref. 6a 227) during the months of April to June in 1882 when Aaron’s age was once again recorded as being 31.  Around two and a half years later Louisa remarried when, during the last three months of 1882, she married Thomas Hall.  The wedding was recorded at Northleach (Ref. 6a 811) when the witnesses were named as Thomas Margetts and Sarah Mustoe.  It seems highly likely that Louisa was already with-child on the day of the wedding since the first of her two sons with the much younger Thomas Hall was born around the end of 1884 or during the early months of 1885.  The couple’s second son was born at Eastleach Turville in 1886.

 

 

 

The census of 1891 still placed Louisa Hall of Eastleach Turville living in the village and not just with her new husband, but also with their two young children, although none of her Collett children were with her on that occasion.  Thos Hall was 34, Louisa was 46, and their two sons were Fredck Thos Hall who was six, and Clement Wilfred Hall who was four, both of them born at Eastleach Turville.  On that same day Aaron’s son George Collett from Eastleach Turville, who was 14, was living with and working alongside his widowed grandfather Charles Collett at Coln St Aldwyns, when he was described as a carpenter’s apprentice.  His eldest son William was 16 and was living and working in Croydon by that time, while her eldest had become a school teacher, although not identified in the census of 1891.

 

 

 

By the time of the census in March 1901 Louisa Hall, age 55 and from Eastleach Turville, was living at The Bell Inn at Langford in Oxfordshire.  Her husband Thomas Hall was only 45 and was a blacksmith with his own account who had been born at Westwell in Oxfordshire.  Her marriage to Thomas had produced a son who was born two years after the couple had married.  He was Clement W Hall who was 14 and born at Eastleach Turville.  Living with the Hall family was the stepson of Thomas Hall, he being Francis C Collett who was 23 and a labourer also born at Eastleach Turville.

 

 

 

Louisa’s eldest Hall son Frederick Thomas Hall was 15 years old and was already employed as a domestic page at a house in the village of Marcham near Abingdon-on-Thames.  It was around four and a half years after the 1911 census that Louisa Hall, formerly Collett nee Adams, died at the age of 70, her death being recorded at Gloucester register office (Ref. 6a 315) during the third quarter of 1951.

 

 

 

1P123

Eliza Jane Collett

Born in 1872 at Eastleach Turville

 

1P124

William Collett

Born in 1874 at Eastleach Turville

 

1P125

George Collett

Born in 1876 at Eastleach Turville

 

1P126

Francis Charles Collett

Born in 1878 at Eastleach Turville

 

 

 

 

1O110

Raymond John Collett was born in 1854 at Coln St Aldwyns.  By the time of the 1881 Census he was still living at home with his parents Charles and Eliza Collett, and his older sister Eleanor Collett (above).  However shortly after, perhaps in the mid 1880s, he married Emma who was born in 1849 at Oaksey south of Cirencester.  In the next census of 1891 Raymond was 37 and Emma was 42, and they were still living in Coln St Aldwyns but without their son Oaksey Collett who had been named after his mother’s birth place in Wiltshire.  As in the previous census, Raymond was listed as a carpenter of Coln St Aldwyns and, in addition to that, he was also the enumerator for the 1891 Census at Coln St Aldwyns.  It was the same situation ten years later when the census conducted at the end of March in 1901 recorded the childless couple as Raymond Collett, age 47 and a builder and a timber merchant, and his wife Emma who was 52.

 

 

 

Ten years later the census in 1911 confirmed that Raymond Collett, age 57 and from Coln St Aldwyns, was still living there, with just his wife Emma Collett who was 62.  The census return also confirmed that by that time he was a wheelwright, a carpenter, and an undertaker, that he and Emma had been married for twenty-four years and that their only child was not still living.  It seems highly likely that his slightly older wife Emma died during the next decade or so, leaving Raymond to marriage Alice Maud, although this still needs to be verified.  It is just that, upon the death of Raymond John Collett of Coln St Aldwyns on 17th June 1928, his widow was named as Alice Maud Collett during the probate for his Will.  The Will was proved in London on 3rd August 1928 when his personal effects were valued at £426 1 Shilling 6d.

 

 

 

1P127

Oaksey Collett

Born in 1889 at Coln St Aldwyns

 

 

 

 

1O111

Victoria Maude Collett was baptised at Coln St Aldwyns on 11th February 1858, the youngest child of Charles and Eliza Collett.

 

 

 

 

1O112

Thomas Collett was born at Eastington in 1845, the eldest child of George Collett and Harriet Frape.  Thomas was 15 when he was still living with his family in 1861 within the Wheatenhurst & Frampton registration district of Gloucestershire.  Not long after that it seems likely that it was his father’s work as a carpenter that was the cause of the family’s move to Wybunbury, just south of Nantwich in Cheshire, where Thomas’ family was recorded in the next census of 1871.  Whether Thomas initially travelled to Cheshire with his family is not known for sure, but by the time the census was conducted in 1871 Thomas was a married man living in London with his with Lucy and had taken up the same profession as his father, that of a joiner.  The census for Shoreditch St Leonards listed the couple as Thomas Collett from Eastington who was 25, while his wife Lucy A Collett was 30 and gave birth to the couple’s first child in London during the following year.  The birth of Mildred Louise Collett was recorded at Shoreditch during the first three months of 1872.

 

 

 

Lucy was a daughter of Samuel Andrews Hall and she was born around 1839 being seven years older than Thomas at the time of the marriage.  The record of their marriage has been found at Marylebone in London (Ref. 1a 934) which took place during the third quarter of 1871, when Thomas Collett married Lucy Andrews Hall in front of witnesses William Robert Bruce and Florence Helen Osborne.  Two years after the birth of the first child Lucy gave birth to a second daughter whose birth was recorded at Hackney during the third quarter of 1874.  Clara was one year old when Thomas and Lucy and their two daughters emigrated to New Zealand.  It was on 17th July 1875 that they sailed from England on the sailing ship Zealandia which arrived at Otago on the South Island on 27th October that same year.  The immigration documentation confirmed that Thomas Collett was married and from Gloucestershire, and that his occupation was that of a joiner.  The family initially settled in the North Valley of Dunedin and it was during the following year the Lucy presented Thomas with a son, and in following year their last child was born.

 

 

 

Tragically Thomas had only enjoyed less than two years in New Zealand when he died on 2nd May 1877 at the family home at Lambeth Road in Dunedin.  Two days later he was laid to rest in Plot 17, Block 115, in the Dunedin Northern Cemetery, where he was reunited with his eldest child almost exactly three years later.  His burial record confirmed he was a carpenter from England and a resident of New Zealand for just two years.  Buried in the same plot are Mildred Louise Collett, aged eight years in 1880, and Susan Harris who was only four months old when she died on 31st January 1878.  She was the daughter of Alexander Joseph Harris and Mary Ann Pearce of Union Street in Dunedin who was very likely related to Susan Harris from Ireland, the wife of Thomas Collett (below), the two Thomas Colletts being first cousins.  In 1880, at the time of the death of Mildred Louse Collett, the widow Lucy Andrews Collett and her three surviving children were residing within the Kelvin Grove area of Dunedin.

 

 

 

The short time Thomas was in Dunedin was not wasted as, at a dinner to celebrate the first anniversary of the Dunedin Branch of the Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners, where seventy members were present, it was Thomas Collett who occupied the position of chairman, which showcased his undoubted organisational skills.  Following his death Lucy continued to raise her three surviving children on her own, she remaining a widow for a further forty-one years.  Little is known about Lucy’s life after Thomas passed away, but at a meeting in January 1892 of creditors of the estate of Charles Allen senior, settler of North East Valley, Lucy Collett was amongst the unsecured creditors and was owed £74 15 Shillings.  Perhaps her income came from some sort of business venture.  In April 1917, less than two years before she died, Lucy was living in Stoke in Nelson, where she was recorded as the next-of-kin for her son Harry Bertram Collett in his Army Personnel File.  The death of Lucy Andrews Collett nee Hall, at eighty years of age, was recorded at Karori Cemetery in Wellington, New Zealand, on 6th January 1919, the same grave being used over twenty years later following the death of her son.

 

 

 

1P128

Mildred Louise Collett

Born in 1872 at Shoreditch

 

1P129

Clara Emmeline Collett

Born in 1874 at Hackney

 

1P130

Harry Bertram Collett

Born in 1876 at Dunedin, NZ

 

1P131

Thomasina Martha Harriet Collett

Born in 1877 at Dunedin, NZ

 

 

 

 

1O113

James Henry Collett was born at Eastington in 1853 and was seven years old at the time of the 1861 Census for the Wheatenhurst & Frampton registration district where he was living with his family.  During the next few months the family left Gloucestershire and moved to Cheshire where they were living in 1871.  James was 17 at that time and shortly after he left the family home and moved to Manchester to seek work.  According to the 1881 Census, James Henry Collett aged 27 of Eastington was living at 48 Warwick Street in the Hulme area of Manchester.  He was described as head of the house and lodger.  His occupation was that of an ironmonger’s shop-man which may indicate that the accommodation where he was lodging came with the job, and that he was living in rooms above the shop.

 

 

 

 

1O115

Emma Collett was born at Nantwich in 1862 and was eight years old at the time of the census in 1871 when she was living with her family in the Wybunbury area of Nantwich.  Ten years later she had left the family home at 35 Oxford Road in Altrincham and was living and working as a confectioner’s apprentice in Nantwich.  The 1881 Census placed Emma, age 18 and from Nantwich, as living at the home of twenty-nine years old spinster Ann Fitton at 4 High Street in Nantwich.  Ann Fritton, whose occupation was that of a confectioner, had been born at Wybunbury so it seems likely that it was from there that she knew the Collett family and so arranged the work for Emma.

 

 

 

 

1O116

Reuben Henry Collett was born at Coln St Aldwyns in 1847 and was baptised there on 6th February 1848, the eldest child of Edward and Sarah Collett.  It was as Henry Collett aged three years, that he was recorded with his family at Hatherop in 1851.  It seems likely that he was still an infant when his family settled in Hatherop, since he later gave his place of birth as Hatherop, rather than Coln St Aldwyns.  Upon the death of his mother, following the birth of his sister Lucy (below), his father remarried and took the family to live in Ireland, and it was at Piltown in County Kilkenny that Reuben’s half brother Edward William Collett was born.  Because the family was residing in Ireland in 1861 there was no record of any member of the family living on mainland Britain that year.

 

 

 

However, it would appear from the next census in 1871 that Reuben and his brother Thomas had returned to England by then, with Reuben, under the name of Henry Collett, living and working at Stratton St Margaret near Swindon.  Also by that time he had just married Elizabeth Roach who was only 17, compared to Henry who was 23.  During the next decade Elizabeth presented Henry with three children, and all of them born at Stratton St Margaret where the family was still living in 1881.

 

 

 

The census that year listed the family living at Upper Stratton where Henry Collett, age 33, was a carpenter from Hatherop, his wife Elizabeth was 27, and their three children were Annie who was six, Bessie who was five, and Amy who was one year old.  All four female members of the family had been born at Stratton St Margaret, as had Elizabeth’s widowed mother Jane Roach, age 54 and a laundress, who was living with the family.

 

 

 

The couple’s eldest daughter was christened Susan Annie Collett when she was baptised in Swindon on 7th January 1875, the child of Henry and Elizabeth Collett.  Tragically Reuben Henry Collett appears to have died during the 1880s since his wife and daughters were living alone in Stratton in 1891.  Elizabeth was 37, Susan A Collett was 16, and Bessie Collett was 11, while close by was Annie who was 15.  Susan may have been married by 1901, at a time when he two younger sisters aged 25 and 21 were domestic servants at a house in the Ealing area of Brentford in London.

 

 

 

1P132

Susan Annie Collett

Born in 1874 at Stratton St Margaret

 

1P133

Amy Collett

Born in 1876 at Stratton St Margaret

 

1P134

Elizabeth (Bessie) Collett

Born in 1879 at Stratton St Margaret

 

 

 

 

1O117

Thomas Collett was born at the village of Hatherop, midway between Bibury and Fairford, during December 1850.  He was baptised at Hatherop on 2nd February 1851, and the baptism record confirmed that he was the son of Edward and Sarah Collett.  At the end of March 1851 the census return for Hatherop listed Thomas Collett as being four months old, when he was living there with his carpenter father, mother and older brother Henry (above).

 

 

 

When Thomas was around five years old his mother died and when he was seven years old his father remarried, following which the family left Gloucestershire and sailed to Ireland.  It was for that reason that no member of Thomas’ family has been found in England in 1861.  However, by 1871 when Thomas was 20, he had already joined the Royal Navy and was assigned to a vessel based at Plymouth.  It was also in Devon three years later that Thomas Collett married Susan Harris who had been born at Piltown in County Kilkenny, Ireland around 1850.

 

 

 

Once married Thomas and Susan made their way to Ireland, perhaps to be with Susan’s parents at Piltown, where their first child was born, but who tragically died shortly thereafter.  Susan’s surname was also used as a forename for one of the couple’s later children.  It is speculated that Susan Collett nee Harris may have been related to Alexander Joseph Harris and his wife Mary Ann Pearce of Union Street in Dunedin, since their four-month old daughter Susan Harris died on 31st January 1878 and was buried in the same grave as Thomas’ cousin Thomas Collett of Eastington (above) who died in Dunedin on 2nd May 1877.  Why else would a complete stranger being buried in the same grave, where Thomas’s eldest daughter Mildred was buried with him in May 1880.

 

 

 

Thomas and his wife Susan returned to England from Ireland after their loss of daughter Lucy during the latter half of 1870s and it was at Devonport in Plymouth that Thomas resumed his naval career.  Furthermore it was while he was based at Devonport that his next three children were born, before the family settled in Swindon upon completion of his naval service some years later.  By the time of the census in 1881 Thomas was attached to HMS Royal Adelaide which was based at Devonport.  He was described as being 30 years old and a married man from Hatherop in Gloucestershire, although he was not living with his wife and their first child.  His rank at that time was that of Ship’s Corporal First Class.

 

 

 

On that same occasion his wife Susan Collett, who was 29, was living nearby at 23 Clowance Street in Stoke Damerel, a parish in Devonport, which was simply referred to as Stoke in later years.  She was described as an R N Seaman’s wife and living with her was her son Henry J Collett who was two months old.  During the next decade a further three children were added to the family.  The first two were also born at Devonport but, on leaving the Royal Navy around 1888, after having completed twenty years services, Thomas and his family moved to Swindon where their last child was born.  It was probably the promise of work and a house with the Great Western Railway that persuaded Thomas to make the move.

 

 

 

According to the census of 1891, the family was living at 4 York Terrace in Swindon, where Thomas Collett, age 43 and of Hatherop, was a manager and a time-keeper.  The census also confirmed that his wife Susan, who was 39, was born in Ireland.  Their four children at that time were Henry J Collett age 10, Thomas G H Collett, who was eight, Herbert E Collett, who was three, and Mabel E Collett who was one year old.

 

 

 

Ten years later in March 1901 the complete family was still living together in Swindon where Thomas Collett, age 50 and from Hatherop, was a railway clerk working for the GWR.  His wife Susan was 49, and on that occasion she stated that she was from Kilkenny in Ireland, where Thomas had lived as a child.  At that time their children were recorded as Henry Collett, who was 20, Thomas G Collett, who was 18, Herbert Collett, who was 13, Mabel Collett, who was 11, and Frances Collett who was six.

 

 

 

It was also in Swindon that the family was still living in 1911 when Thomas, age 60 and from Hatherop, was still employed as a railway clerk, in addition to which he was described as a naval pensioner.  Susan from Kilkenny in Ireland was 59 and had been married to Thomas for thirty-six years.  The census returned also stated that the marriage had produced a total of eight children, or whom only five were still alive in 1911.  Two of those were still living with the couple, and they were Mabel, who was 21 and working as a draper’s clerk, and Frances who was 16, both of them born in Swindon.  Therefore there are two children missing from the list below who did not survive, since all three named sons did.

 

 

 

1P135

Lucy Anne Collett

Born in 1875 at Piltown, Ireland

 

1P136

Henry James Collett

Born in 1881 at Stoke Damerel, Devonport

 

1P137

Thomas George Harris Collett

Born in 1883 at Stoke Damerel, Devonport

 

1P138

Herbert E Collett

Born in 1887 at Stoke Damerel, Devonport

 

1P139

Mabel E Collett

Born in 1889 at Swindon

 

1P140

Frances Collett

Born in 1894 at Swindon

 

 

 

 

1O118

Lucy Maria Collett was born at Hatherop in 1855 and was baptised there on 22nd July 1855, the daughter of Edward and Sarah Collett.  Either during the birth or not long after, Lucy’s mother died and in 1858 her father remarried.  Perhaps looking for a new life with his second wife, Lucy’s father took the family to Ireland, where they lived at Piltown where Lucy’s half-brother Edward William Collett (below) was born.  When Lucy and her two older brothers Henry and Thomas were old enough, all three of them returned to England and according to the census in 1881 Lucy Collett from Gloucestershire was 26 and was working as a live-in general servant at The Rectory at Ridley in Kent, the home of Thomas P Phelps of Oxford who was the Rector of Ridley.

 

 

 

 

1O119

Edward William Collett, who was known as William, was born at Piltown in County Kilkenny in Ireland during 1859, the only known son of Edward Collett and his second wife Mary Ann Bracknell.  Piltown has a unique place in English history as it was the location of the only battle during the Wars of the Roses to take place on Irish soil.  The name Piltown means the town of blood, as it was the river there that ran red with blood after the battle.

 

 

 

In 1876 when Edward was 17 years old it seems likely that his uncle Samuel Collet (Ref. 1N69), his father’s younger brother, had written about how good life was in New Zealand, and that may have been enough for Edward to leave Ireland for a new life in New Zealand.  It is also interesting that when his uncle sailed from Gravesend to Lyttelton in 1858, among the other passengers on the sailing boat ‘Indiana’ was farmer Joseph Bates and his family, Edward’s future employer and father-in-law.  Another passenger on board the ‘Indiana’ in 1858 was George Checkley, who together with Joseph Bates and one other man named Newton, built the Church of St Peter in Akaroa which is still there to this day.

 

 

 

Edward sailed out of Gravesend aboard the three-masted sailing ship ‘Waitangi’ on 24th June 1876 bound for New Zealand.  An uneventful journey was enjoyed by all on board, the ship eventually arriving at Lyttelton on 16th September 1876.  The ship’s passengers numbered 337, the majority of whom were Irish.  Edward William Collett’s occupation was recorded as being that of a farm labourer, while his age upon departure 17.  The ‘Waitangi’ was towed into Lyttelton by the steamship ‘Akaroa’.  Six days later, on 22nd September 1876, Edward made his way to Akaroa on board the ‘SS Akaroa’ which, along with its towing duties, was also used as a passenger service between Lyttelton and Banks Peninsula.

 

 

 

Upon Edward’s arrival in New Zealand he was offered a job working on Joseph Bates’ farm at Wainui, Banks Peninsula, just across the harbour from Akaroa.  It was therefore through that contact with the Bates family that Edward eventually married (1) Sarah Louisa Bates the daughter of Joseph Bates and his wife Annie Clarke.  Sarah was born at Akaroa on 21st February 1862 and the wedding took place at the home of her parents in Wainui, Akaroa on 13th June 1882.  Once they were married the couple made their home at Akaroa, to the south of Christchurch, where all of their children were born.  One year later, during June 1883, it was recorded that Mr Edward Collett assisted Mr Bussell and Mr Schmidt in the sports day events at Wainui School which commenced after lunch and continued into the evening with concert for the children’s parents.  At the start of the proceedings the children were presented with tin whistles, donated by Joseph Bates, which were described as instruments of torture by the adults who were present.

 

 

 

During the concert that same evening the parents were entertained by a number of musical turns including a duet entitled ‘Hunting Tower’ which was performed with great effect by Edward Collett and Miss Bates.  Although the record is not clear which Miss Bates she was, it is possible that she was the former Sarah Bates, and therefore Edward’s wife.  Exactly one year later in June 1884 Sarah’s parents left Wainui when they moved to Christchurch where they set up home at 450 Madras Street which they renamed ‘Wainui’.  And it was there that Joseph Bates died on 3rd October 1892, following which he was buried at Linwood Cemetery, Block 22, Plot 61.  The informant of his death was his son-in-law Edward William Collett, and four months later it was his daughter Jessie E Louise Collett who was buried in the same grave with her grandfather.  Jessie, who was also known as Vida, was just five years old.

 

 

 

After a time employed on the farm of his father-in-law, Edward was leased a block of land on the property as confirmed in the minutes of a meeting of the Akaroa and Wainui Road Board held in 1888, when Mr Bates of ‘Wainui’ 450 Madras Street, Christchurch stated that he had let his property in blocks to Messrs C. McDonald, Jno. Bullock, E. Collett, Jas. Wright and August Wilson.  Three years later, on 17th April 1891, a carriers’ licence was awarded to F. Renaud and on 10th December of that year Edward William Collett had acquired a business from the aforementioned Francois. Renaud.  Subsequently on 23rd June 1894 a carriers’ licence was granted to E. Collett by the Akaroa Borough Council and on 23rd November 1895 a carriers’ licence was awarded to Mrs Collett.  Less than two years after that, on 1st May 1897, two further carriers’ licenses were granted to Mr Collett by the Council, as reported in the Akaroa Mail and Star Newspaper.  It might be assumed from the above, that the business involved the carting of people and goods, but sadly nothing has been found to confirm this.  Instead it is possible that the business purchased by Edward William Collett from F. Renaud was a Drapery Shop, which later became Collett’s Store.

 

 

 

An unexpected event took place during 1893 when Edward disappeared, leaving Sarah Louisa on her own to support the family.  At that time she was running a business on the corner of Rue Jolie and Selwyn Avenue in Akaroa, which sold mostly drapery lines, but also included knick-knacks and sweets.  The business had been established as early as 1891 and the operation was certainly known as Collett’s Store by 1896.  That year two adverts were placed in the Akaroa Mail stating that David Bates, Lawyer, had sums of money for investment at lowest rates and that Mr Bates could be consulted at Mrs Collett’s Store in Akaroa on the first Thursday in each month and at the Somerset Hotel in Duvauchelle the Friday following.  David Bates was the brother of Sarah Louisa Collett nee Bates.

 

 

 

Published in the Akaroa Mail on 10th December 1907 was the following notice.  ”Sale of Drapery on my premises at Jolie Street, Akaroa.  I beg to announce that I have decided to offer my well-selected Drapery Stock at greatly reduced rates, and invite all residents to inspect the goods and note the bargains to be obtained.  The stock includes dress material and linings of all kinds, sateens, hollands, prints, ribbons, hats, flowers, laces, embroidery, flannelettes (white and coloured), Christmas cards, toys, etc, etc.  All new and well selected goods.  Sale now proceeding. — L. Collett, Drapery Store, Jolie Street, Akaroa.”  Just one month later on 14th January 1908 a further notice was published in the newspaper as follows.  “Drapery Sale: Mrs Collett, who is leaving Akaroa, is selling out at her drapery store in Jolie Street south.  As she wishes to dispose of all her complete stock of drapery and sundries, there is an opportunity for those who are anxious to get good materials for the most reasonable prices.  The sale, which is a bona fide clearing one is now proceeding and will be continued for the next few weeks”.

 

 

 

Three months later the following notice appeared in the newspaper on 10th April 1908.  Drapery Notice: Mrs Collett wishes to inform Peninsula residents that her Clearing Sale of Drapery at Jolie Street North is being continued.  Genuine bargains in all lines.  An inspection is cordially invited”, which was re-printed again in the same newspaper on 27th May 1908.  Sadly for Sarah the sale was not successful and the shop eventually re-opened in September, following an announcement in the newspaper on 7th September 1909.  “Notice: Mrs Collett wishes to inform her many Peninsula friends that she will shortly re-open her shop in Jolie Street, and hopes all her old customers will give her their patronage.”  However, the shops closed two weeks later.

 

 

 

It was on 9th May 1911 that a final notice was printed in the Akaroa Mail on behalf of Mrs Collett by W. D. Wilkins & Sons which stated that there would be a public auction on May 18th at 12 noon on the premises at Jolie Street of the contents of the shop which included stock, furniture, a safe, etc, etc.  Many decades later a public notice in the Akaroa Mail on 18th March 1958 announced the satisfactory tender to demolish Collett’s Store on the corner of Rue Jolie and Selwyn Avenue, following which it became part of the Akaroa Area School playing field.

 

 

 

The marriage of Edward William Collett and his wife Sarah Louisa Bates ended when the Wellington Evening Post published the following announcement on Monday 20th December 1920.  The report stated that “Sarah Louisa Collett sought a dissolution of her marriage with Edward William Collett on the ground of desertion.  She stated that she married the respondent in 1882 and had continued to reside with him until 1893, when he had deserted her. There were three children of the marriage, all of whom were now grown-up.”  The reference to just three of Sarah’s five children was because her two eldest daughters Lucy and Jessie had both died by then.  Following the judgement at the Wellington Supreme Court, a report appeared in the local press which said “Sarah Louisa Collett (Mr. T. M. Wilford), asked for a divorce from Edward William Collett on the grounds of desertion.  The parties were married in June ’82, and they set up home at Akaroa.  Twenty-seven long and weary years ago it was since the day respondent biffed off.  The papers were served on him at Maranui (Manunui near Taumarunui), where he was living with a lady.  A decree absolute was granted on 10th November 1921.” 

 

 

 

It was at Wellington Supreme Court on Saturday 18th December that the case of Collett v Collett was heard, one of nineteen undefended petitions processed during a busy one-and-a-half-hour session.  In every case the petitioner was presented with the desired decree nisi.  At the conclusion of that particular case it was recorded that the papers were served on Edward William Collett at the home of Joseph Bates (deceased) with his sons David (Bates) and Joseph William (Bates).

 

 

 

It was five months after the divorce that Edward married (2) Mary Jane Hamley on 18th April 1922 at the registrar’s office in Taumarunui.  According to their marriage certificate Mary Jane was a spinster at 60 and had been born at Lifton in Devon, England, the daughter of farmer Richard Hamley and his wife Margaret Ann Hamley nee Uglow.  The certificate also confirmed that Edward, age 63 and from Piltown was a timber worker and the son of carpenter Edward Collett and his wife Mary Ann Collett nee Bracknell.  The certificate also confirmed the date of his divorce.

 

 

 

Back in England in 1881 Richard Hamley, age 46 and who was also born at Lifton, was a farmer.  His wife Margaret Ann Hamley from Egloskerry in Cornwall was 45, and their daughter Margaret (Mary Jane) Hamley was 16 and was one of eight children living with the family at Riscombe Farm in Lifton.  Her younger brother was named as Edwin Uglow Hamley, so confirming the link to Margaret Ann Uglow.

 

 

 

It can only be assumed that the marriage of Edward and Mary did not endure, since a few years later a message came to David Edward Leonard Collett of Lyttelton informing him that his father was living rough and was in poor health.  As a consequence, Leonard travelled to the North Island to see his ailing father and brought him back with him to Lyttelton where he and his wife Harriet nursed him until his death in 1929.  When it became known by his former wife Sarah Louisa Collett that her son Leonard was caring for the husband, who had deserted her and the family, she was extremely angry and never forgave him.

 

 

 

Exactly when Sarah Louisa left Akaroa is not known, although it is reasonable to assume that, as her three surviving children grew up and moved away, she would have wanted to be closer to them and so, together with unmarried daughter Eileen, she moved to Christchurch.  There she first purchased a valuable property at 30 Armagh Street and later also acquired 28 Armagh Street. The two adjoining properties were used as a Boarding House with Sarah Louisa and Eileen residing at No. 30.

 

 

 

Edward William Collett died at Lyttelton during 1929 and was buried in the Lyttelton Anglican Cemetery.  His first wife Sarah Louisa Collett nee Bates died at Christchurch on 29th May 1941 and was buried in Bromley Cemetery, Block 12, Plot 171, where her unmarried daughter Eileen Adele Collett was buried following her earlier death in 1936 at the age of 44.  All that is known about Edward’s second wife is that it is believed she died in New Zealand around 1955.

 

 

 

1P141

Lucy May Ann Collett

Born in 1883 at Akaroa, New Zealand

 

1P142

David Edward Leonard Collett

Born in 1884 at Akaroa, New Zealand

 

1P143

Jessie E Louise Collett

Born in 1888 at Akaroa, New Zealand

 

1P144

Leslie Joseph Charles Collett

Born in 1890 at Akaroa, New Zealand

 

1P145

Eileen Adele Collett

Born in 1892 at Akaroa, New Zealand

 

 

 

 

1O120

Ernest Collett, who was one half of a set of twins, was born at Quenington in 1852, where he was baptised on 19th September 1852, the son of Samuel Collett and Elizabeth Gander.  In 1858 Ernest’s family emigrated to New Zealand on board the barque ‘Indiana’, when he was simply recorded on the ship’s passenger list as Ernest Collett, age five years.

 

 

 

Ernest later married the widow Martha Varcoe in 1874 who had been born Martha Main on 18th September 1848.  Six years earlier Martha had first married Alfred Varcoe in New Zealand during 1868, but tragically he died that same year.  One of the children of Ernest and Martha was Herbert Frank Collett, the grandfather of Brian Gregory Collett of Cairns in Australia, who kindly provided the details of his family during 2011.  Ernest had hoped to become a doctor and was apprenticed to several early medicos, including Doctor Turnbull in 1866, Doctor Foster in 1867, and in 1868 he assisted Doctor Christy who paid him Seven Pounds 16 Shillings the three months.

 

 

 

However, a career as a medic was not realised, following which Ernest took up the occupation of a maltster [a brewer], while later in his life he was a farmer, and even later still, a gardener.  He and his family lived at 15 Angus Street in Christchurch, but around 1900 Ernest and Martha were legally separated, following which Ernest was ordered to pay maintenance to Martha by the Court.  It was not long after that when Martha died in 1907, while Ernest survived for another thirty-two years, when he died on 15th May 1939, at the age of 86.

 

 

 

1P146

Ernest Walter Raymond Gordon Collett

Born in 1874 at Christchurch

 

1P147

Herbert Frank Collett

Born in 1876 at Christchurch

 

1P148

Robert George Victor Collett

Born in 1878 at Christchurch

 

1P149

Eleanor Mabel Collett

Born in 1879 at Christchurch

 

1P150

Arthur Samuel Gordon Collett

Born in 1882 at Christchurch

 

1P151

Harriet Clara May Collett

Born in 1884 at Christchurch

 

1P152

Leonard Ransom Collett

Born in 1886 at Christchurch

 

 

 

 

1O121

Amanda Elizabeth Collett was born at Quenington in 1852 and was a twin with her brother Ernest (above).  She was baptised in a joint ceremony with her brother at Quenington church on 19th September 1852, the baptism record confirming that they were the children of Samuel Collett and Elizabeth Gander.  Amanda and her twin brother Ernest were both recorded as being five years old when their parents emigrated to New Zealand on board the barque ‘Indiana’ in 1858.  When she was sixteen years of age, Amanda entered finishing school with Miss Thornton on 4th February 1868 at a cost of Seven Pounds Ten Shillings a quarter term, payable in advance. 

 

 

 

On completing her education and commencing employment it would appear that she was known as Amy Collett, with the following recorded in a book about the settlement at Broomfield.  "Amy Collett was employed April 10th 1869 to September 1870 at 20 pounds per annum.  She was supplied with seven pairs of boots in that time, of kid and of leather, priced between 10/6 and 16/-; a pair of slippers at 6/-; 18 yards of winsy; a dress 1 pound 3/4; braid 2/-; 2 dress pieces at 9/- and 7/-."  It was while she was working in Broomfield that she met Robert Wilson whom she eventually married on 16th January 1871.  The wedding took place at the Register Office in Mount Grey Downs, conducted by the Deputy Registrar, although an alternative source gives the date of their wedding as 20th March 1871.

 

 

 

The New Zealand ‘Intention to Marry’ register entry [Ref. BDM20/16 p439/66] states that Robert Wilson, occupation Station Manager, was age 37 years old and was living at Leithfield for one month prior to his marriage to Amanda Elizabeth Collett, a spinster, occupation servant, age 21 years old, who had been living at Broomfield [Amberley] for the previous two weeks.  Leithfield is a small town in North Canterbury, three miles south of Amberley to the north of Christchurch.  It is worth noting that Amanda was very likely persuaded to say she was 21, when in fact she was only 18 and therefore could not have married without her parents’ consent.  The couple’s first child was born nine months later and was baptised on 13th December 1871.  The child’s birth certificate confirmed that the parents of Esther Elizabeth Wilson were Amanda Elizabeth and Robert Wilson, although the baptism record named them Robert and Amy Wilson of The Terrace in Leithfield, Robert's occupation being that of a shepherd.  [The Terrace was later renamed Terrace Road]

 

 

 

The records also show that the name of Robert Wilson was included on a Jury List in 1860 as a stockholder at Waimakariri, as well as being on the 1860 Militia List.  He later lived at Oxford, a small town serving the farming community of North Canterbury, about 25 miles north-west of Christchurch in the Waimakariri District, and in the Ashley Electoral Roll for 1865-66 Robert Wilson was a leaseholder at Woodstock Run 109.  He remained on the Ashley Electoral Roll tight up until 1869, meaning that he was a land owner or lease holder, having land in that area, although there is no evidence that he was actually living there.  It was while he was at Woodstock that Robert was in partnership with another man, but in 1866 he left Woodstock and settled in Broomfield Station, next to Mount Grey Downs, where he apparently designed the Yards, and where he met his future wife. 

 

 

 

During the first three months of 1870 Robert Wilson was involved in two court cases.  The first was brought by Harriet Ann Edlin who claimed to have had a son by Robert Wilson who was born at Mount Grey Downs in December 1869.  He admitted intimacy with the young girl but produced another witness who also admitted intimacy with her.  That case was dismissed in February 1870, following which Robert then had Harriet charged with perjury, although the jury found her not guilty in March that same year. She was only 15 years old at the time and had her baby son with her in the court.  That son is now believed to be the great grandfather of Mrs Andrea Hill of New Zealand who kindly provided these new details.  Later that same year Harriet Ann Edlin was also involved in an inquest into the death of a baby, not hers, at Woodend in June 1870.

 

 

 

Robert Wilson was a very common name in Canterbury in the 1800's, with three easily identifiable in North Canterbury. However, Robert Wilson a shepherd, stockholder, and a farmer with connections to Woodstock Run, Broomfield, Glenmark, Mount Grey Downs, and Leithfield, looks the most likely.  The common thread with this Robert Wilson is that he is very difficult to trace.  So far, Andrea Hill has not been able to identify his parents or any siblings, when or where he was born or died, or even when he might have arrived in New Zealand.  The Collett family has no records of Amanda after her marriage to Robert Wilson, after which it seems very likely that she was known as Amy Wilson, while research continues on Robert Wilson, who was granted a slaughterhouse licence at Amberley in 1879.

 

 

 

 

1O122

George William Collett was born at Quenington on 11th December 1854 and was baptised there on 14th January 1855.  He was the third child of Samuel Collett and his first wife Elizabeth Gander.  When he was only three years old his family sailed to a new life in New Zealand on board the barque ‘Indiana’ which arrived at Christchurch in 1858.  Later on, when George was nine years old, he attended Mr Jones’ Private School from February 1864 to August 1866, the weekly fee being Two Shillings.  Upon leaving school George went to work for a Mr Urquhart, where he learned to be a painter.

 

 

 

It was in Christchurch that he married Margaret Coutts on 26th October 1874, the marriage producing two children for the couple.  Their grandson was Grahame Collett who married Fay and visited England to research his family line.  Tragically George William Collett died in New Zealand during 1878 less than four years into his marriage and not long after the birth of his second child.  His widow Margaret, who was born on 25th November 1853 at Glenmuick in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, survived him by forty-four years, when she died at Dunedin on 7th June 1922, following which she was buried at Andersons Bay Cemetery in Dunedin two days later on 9th June.

 

 

 

On 26th March 1865, and nine years before her marriage to George Collett, Margaret Coutts had sailed from Scotland to Lyttelton in New Zealand on board the vessel ‘Rachel’ with her father and her three sisters.  Upon the death of her husband, Margaret continued to care for her baby daughter Amanda, while her son George was raised by his grandfather Samuel Collett and his second wife Esther Lennard. 

 

 

 

Previously written here, it was suggested that Margaret gave birth to a third son James Mann Collett who was born in 1887, when the parents were curiously recorded as George and Margaret Collett.  James, who was also known as James Howard, died in 1967 and may have been the illegitimate son of Henry Roger Howard.  Lorraine Rowe in New Zealand is currently pursuing this particular angle during 2014.  However, new details subsequently provided by Kelvin Parker and added here in early 2015 present a different story.  Firstly, he confirms that James M Collett and James M Howard are two different people who both served in World War One, with the latter being killed in action in France on 21st April 1918 aged 30.  Rifleman James Mann Howard, service number 52610, served with the 3rd Battalion of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade.  Curiously both of the James' had the same birth dates according to their respective Army Files, but different parents.  It is interesting that the James M Howard is also listed as John in his Army Record, while there is a John Mann Collett who was born in 1888 on New Zealand BDM Database, although his mother is named as Mary, rather than Margaret, with the father's name ‘Not Recorded’, perhaps suggesting he was base-born.

 

 

 

In addition to this, when James was married at Geraldine in South Canterbury on 2nd November 1915, he did so as James Mann Collett, his wife being Ina Myrtle Pierce, the daughter of Leonard Pierce and Elizabeth Ann Fifield who was born in New Zealand in 1895.  But then in the Army Personnel File of James Mann Howard, born on 18th December 1887, a self-employed coach painter residing at Geraldine prior to enlistment, his wife was named as Ina Myrtle Pierce.  All very confusing!  One solution might be that the illegitimate son of Mary Collett, who may have been Margaret, was raised by Henry Rogers Howard and his wife Eliza Hannah Kirby, with possibly Henry actually being the father of the child.

 

 

 

The corresponding Army Personal File for James Mann Collett can now be found under his own reference, as he has now been placed here as the third child of this family, even though he was not the son of George William Collett.

 

 

 

1P153

George William Collett

Born in 1875 at Christchurch

 

1P154

Amanda Elizabeth Collett

Born in 1877 at Christchurch

 

The following is the likely base-born son of Margaret Collett nee Coutts after she was made a widow:

 

1P155

James Mann Collett

by an unnamed father

Born in 1887 at Christchurch

 

 

 

 

1O123

Thomas John Collett was born at Christchurch in New Zealand during the month of October in 1859, just eleven months after his parents Samuel and Elizabeth Collett had arrived in the country from England.  Tragically Thomas John Collett died on the 3rd March 1860, at the tender age of just four months.

 

 

 

 

1O124

Edith Amy Eleanor Collett was born at Christchurch on 22nd May 1872, the eldest of the two daughters of Samuel Collett and his second wife Esther Lennard, but sadly she died later that same year of 17th December 1872.

 

 

 

 

1O125

Alice Mabel Matilda Collett was born at Christchurch on 16th October 1873, the second of the two daughters of Samuel and Esther Collett.  It was during 1907 that Alice married William Benjamin Freeman who had been born around 1870 with whom she had three children.  George Randel Freeman was born in 1907, John Molloy Freeman was born in 1911 and Doris Esther Freeman was born in 1912, whilst it is possible the family was further extended after 1913. The only other known fact about Alice is that she died in 1954, having lost her husband twenty-two years earlier, when William Benjamin Freeman died in New Zealand during 1932 at the age of 62.

 

 

 

 

1O126

Charles Hook Collett was born at Kings Stanley in 1856.  It was as Charles Hook Collett that he was baptised at Kings Stanley on 26.10.1856, the son of John Collett and Jane Hook.  It was simply as Charles Collett aged four years old that he was listed in the census of 1861, when he was living with his parents in the Parish of St Thomas in Birmingham.  In all of the subsequent census returns he was referred to as Charles H Collett.  He was fourteen in 1871 when still living with his family in Birmingham St Thomas.

 

 

 

During the 1870s his father’s work as a builder took the family the few miles south to Kings Norton in Worcestershire, where they were living in 1881.  Charles had obviously taken a keen interest in the type of work undertaken by his father, since at the age of twenty-four his occupation was that of an architect.  The census in 1881 confirmed that Charles H Collett from Kings Stanley was still living with his family at 59 Clevedon Road in Kings Norton.  Sometime during the next few years Charles’ father died, so by 1891 Charles was living with his widowed mother Jane when he was still a bachelor at 34.

 

 

 

Before the end of the century Charles left the family home in Kings Norton when he moved to nearby Kidderminster.  And it was there that he was living in March 1901.  He was still a bachelor at the age of 43 and was still working as an architect, his place of birth was once again confirmed as Kings Stanley.  It would appear that Charles Hook Collett never married since he was still a bachelor in April 1911, by which time he was living in the Shirley area to the west of Solihull at the age of 54.

 

 

 

Charles Hook Collett died just over four years later at 4 Coppice Road in Moseley on 4th September 1915.  Whose address that was is not known because during the processing of his Will he was referred to as being of 16 Ashfield Road in Kings Heath and also an architect of Carlton House on the High Street in Birmingham.  Probate was granted at Birmingham on 17th December 1915 to Joseph Jennens, a mortgage and insurance broker, and Alfred Tidsall, a solicitor’s clerk.  His personal effects were estimated to be worth £2,440 8 Shillings 8d.

 

 

 

 

1O127

Amy Georgina Collett was born at Birmingham in 1861 and was baptised at the Church of St Thomas in Birmingham on 13th October 1861.  It was also in the Parish of St Thomas that she was living with her family in 1871 when she was nine years old.  A few years later her family moved to Kings Norton where they were living at the time of the census in 1881.  At that time in her life Amy was 19 and was living at 59 Clevedon Road in Kings Norton.  It was very likely at that address that her father died during the 1880s, and where her widowed mother Jane spent the rest of her life.

 

 

 

For some reason Amy G Collett was recorded at Stroud in the census of 1891, which was close to the area where her father’s family originated.  The census that year placed Amy as 29 and unmarried living with the older sister of her mother Jane Collett nee Hook.  Amy G Collett from Birmingham was the niece of Isaac and Emma Groves of Middle Yard on a farm in Kings Stanley, where Isaac was a farmer living on his own means.  Amy’s aunt Emma Groves nee Hook was sixty-five and born at Kingswood in Gloucester where her mother Jane had also been born.

 

 

 

By the start of the new century Amy was back living with her mother Jane and sister Florence (below) at Kings Norton.  The census in 1901 confirmed that Amy G Collett from Birmingham was unmarried at the age of 39.  Amy and her sister Florence were still living with their elderly mother Jane Collett in April 1911.  Apart from her baptism record, the census return that year was the only other time that her full name of Amy Georgina Collett was used.  By then she was 49 and still living at Kings Norton.

 

 

 

 

1O128

Hubert Edward Collett was born at Birmingham on 11th April 1864 and was baptised there in the Church of St Thomas on 26th June 1864, the son of John and Jane Collett.  Although he was baptised as Hubert Edward Collett his name was more often than not recorded in error by subsequent census enumerators as Herbert.  It was as Herbert C Collett aged six years that he was recorded with his family in the census of 1871 when they were still living at York Road in the St Thomas parish of Birmingham.

 

 

 

During the next decade his family left Birmingham and moved to Kings Norton where they were living at 59 Clevedon Road in 1881.  Herbert E Collett was 16 by that time and had left school and was working as a jeweller’s clerk, while he was living with his family at Kings Norton.  Over the next few years Hubert entered into a partnership with Frank Spencer and began trading as Collett & Company, wholesale jewellers and factors, working out of premises at 65 Caroline Street in Birmingham.  For whatever reason the joint venture was not successful and, according to an item in the Birmingham Daily Post on Wednesday 20th July 1887 (issue 9067), the partnership of Hubert Edward Collett and Frank Spencer had been dissolved on 30th June by mutual consent.  The formal notice issued on 14th July stated that all debts due to and owing by the said later firm will be received and paid by the said Hubert Edward Collett.

 

 

 

It was almost two years later when Hubert Edward Collett married Susan (Susie) Eliza Cugley at St Luke’s Church in the City of Gloucester on 5th June 1889, where Susan had been born on 15th January 1865.  By the time of the census in 1891 Hubert and his wife had returned to Kings Norton where there were recorded living at 23 Woodstock Road.  Hubert Collett was 26, as was his wife Susan E Collett, and by then they were wealthy enough to employ a servant.  It would appear the couple never had any children; perhaps it was Hubert work as a diamond merchant that took up all of his time. 

 

 

 

Six months prior to the next census in March 1901 Hubert’s name was amongst those listed in the Application for Debtor’s Discharge published in The London Gazette.  The date of the hearing was 31st October 1900 at 11 am and it took place at the High Court of Justice in the Bankruptcy Buildings at Carey Street in London.  Hubert Edward Collett of 1 Holborn Circus in the City of London, residing at Ravenspurn in Finchley was described as a Diamond Merchant and importer of precious stones.  The following census recorded the childless couple as the only Colletts living in Finchley.  Hubert E Collett from Birmingham was 36, as was his wife Susie Collett from Gloucester.

 

 

 

Sometime during the next decade the couple left London and set up home at Gerrards Cross in Buckinghamshire, and it was there at a property named Thorncroft on Parkhouse Road that they were living in April 1911.  On that occasion Hubert Edward Collett was 46 while his wife Susie Eliza Collett was 45.  Four years after that Kelly’s Directory listed Hubert Edward Collett as a resident at Uplands on Kingsway in Chalfont St. Peter, Buckinghamshire.  In 1933 Hubert was a member of the United Preceptory of Kemeys, Tynte and Temple Cressing – the Order of Knights Templar.  At the time of his death in June 1940 Hubert and Susan were living in Surrey, his passing recorded at the Surrey North Eastern register office.  And it was five years later that the death of Susan Eliza Collett was also recorded there in 1945.

 

 

 

Appendix - Alternative Herbert Edward Collett from Birmingham

 

 

 

Previously written here in error was information about another Herbert Collett from Birmingham who was married to Emily and with whom he had five children over the next fourteen years, all of them born in Birmingham, as was his wife.  Rather curiously no record of him and wife and family has been found anywhere in Britain in 1901.  By 1911 Herbert’s and Emily’s eldest son had left home to be married and had started a family of his own, also in the Aston district of Birmingham.  The rest of the family at that time comprised Herbert Collett, who was 47, his wife Emily, who was 48, and their children Jane Collett who was 22, Harold Collett who was 13, Beatrice May Collett who was 11, and Frederick Collett who was nine years old.  It was many years later that the death of Herbert Edward Collett was recorded at the Birmingham register office (Ref. 6d 119) during September 1945 under the name of Herbert Collett who was 81.

 

 

 

1P156

Jane Collett

Born in 1888 in Birmingham

 

1P157

Herbert Collett

Born in 1890 in Birmingham

 

1P158

Harold Collett

Born in 1897 in Birmingham

 

1P159

Beatrice May Collett

Born in 1899 in Birmingham

 

1P160

Frederick Collett

Born in 1901 after 31st March in Birm’ham

 

 

 

 

1O129

Florence Jane Collett was born at Birmingham in 1866.  It was on 17th February 1867 at St Thomas’ Church in Birmingham that she was baptised, the daughter of John Collett and Jane Hook.  Florence was four years old at the time of the Birmingham St Thomas census in 1871 and just after that it would appear that her family moved to Kings Norton, and it was there that Florence and her family were living in 1881.  Florence was fourteen and was still attending school while living with her family at 59 Clevedon Road.  She was still living with her widowed mother Jane at their Kings Norton home ten years later when Florence was 24.  From the next two census returns it was apparent that Florence never married and remained living with her mother and her older sister Amy (above) until their mother passed away.  In the Kings Norton census records for 1901 Florence J Collett from Birmingham was thirty-four and ten years later she was listed as Florence Jane Collett, age 44.

 

 

 

 

1O130

John Harvey Collett was born at Birmingham in 1869.  He was baptised at the Church of St Thomas on 5th June 1870 and was one year old in the Birmingham St Thomas census in 1871.  Shortly after his brother Arthur (below) was born John’s parents left Birmingham and moved to Kings Norton where his mother and two sisters lived for the remainder of their life.  According to the census in 1881, John H Collett from Birmingham was eleven and was living with his family at 59 Clevedon Road in Kings Norton.  He was still there ten years later at the age of 21, by which time his father, the builder John Collett, had died and he was one of just three children still living with his widowed mother Jane.

 

 

 

As the end of the century approached, John married Alice who was born in Staffordshire in 1871, and by March 1901 the marriage had produced the couple’s first child.  The census that year listed the family of three living at Kings Norton as John H Collett, age 31 and from Balsall Heath in Birmingham, his wife Alice who was 30, and their son John C Collett who was not yet one year old and born at Kings Norton.  Also still living in Kings Norton at that time was his mother and sisters Amy and Florence, and it would appear that John had obviously taken up the family business there left by his father when he died, since he was described as a building contractor.

 

 

 

Four further children were added to the family over the following ten years, and by April 1911 John and his family had moved from Kings Norton south to Pershore midway between Worcester and Evesham.  At this time in his life, and for the first time in the census returns, John was identified by his full name of John Harvey Collett.  He was 37 and his wife Alice was 39.  Their five children living with them at Pershore were John Charles Collett, age 10, Rose Elizabeth Collett, who was seven, Frank William Collett, who was five, Bernard Stanley Collett who was two, and William Edward Collett who was two months old.

 

 

 

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John Charles Collett

Born in 1901 at Kings Norton

 

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Rose Elizabeth Collett

Born in 1903

 

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Frank William Collett

Born in 1905

 

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Bernard Stanley Collett

Born in 1908

 

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William Edward Collett

Born in January 1911 at Pershore

 

 

 

 

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Arthur Ernest Collett was born at Birmingham in 1871.  However, by the time of the census in 1881 his family was living at 59 Clevedon Road in Kings Norton south of Birmingham where Arthur was listed as Ernest A Collett aged nine years.  Ten years later in 1891, and following the death of his father John Collett, he was recorded as Arthur E Collett of Birmingham who was 19 and who was living at Kings Norton with his widowed mother.

 

 

 

In 1901 Arthur was in Hornsey in North London, not far from Finchley, where his diamond merchant father was on that occasion.  With only three miles between their two locations it seems likely that both of them were on a business trip to the capital.  The census return described Arthur E Collett, age 28 and from Birmingham, as a traveller for a brass foundry, which may indicate that he was a travelling salesman for the company that employed him.

 

 

 

It may have been while Arthur was on his travels that he met Ada whom he married during the first few years of the new century and with whom he had two children prior to the census in 1911.  At that time in April that year, Arthur Ernest Collett from Birmingham was 39, and his wife Ada Collett was 36.  They and their family were living within the Brentford registration district on that occasion, where their two sons were recorded as John Arthur Collett who was five, and Charles Thomas Collett who was three years old.  Arthur’s first son was named after his grandfather and his father, while his second son was named after Arthur’s eldest brother, the architect Charles Hook Collett (above).

 

 

 

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John Arthur Collett

Born in 1905 in London

 

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Charles Thomas Collett

Born in 1907 in London

 

 

 

 

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James Artemas Collett was possibly born around the start of the 1850s and at Summerside on Prince Edward Island like his two known siblings (below).  However, unlike them, no baptism record for James has been located.  So far the only other detail known about him is that he was still alive at the time of the death of his brother William Charles Collett (below) in 1929, when Mr J Artemas Collett of Bedeque was described as his only surviving family member.

 

 

 

 

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Sarah Jane Collett was born at Summerside on Prince Edward Island on 5th September 1853, and was baptised in a joint ceremony with her brother William (below) on 18th June 1857, the daughter of James and Henrietta Collett.  From her younger brother’s death notice (below) we know that Sarah Jane had died before 1929.

 

 

 

 

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William Charles Collett was born at Summerside on Prince Edward Island on 10th February 1855, and was baptised in a joint ceremony with his sister Sarah Jane (above) on 18th June 1857, the son of James and Henrietta Collett.  By 1881 William C Collett, age 25, was working as a carpenter, while residing at Lot 27 in the Queens district of Prince Edward Island.  That same year he travelled to Boston in Massachusetts, where he remained for the rest of his life.  Later in his life William Charles Collett became an accomplished architect in Boston.  He may also have been involved in the design and building of two properties on Hanover Street in Summerside which were owned by the Collett family and occupied by William Charles and his father James.  Those same two houses were both destroyed by fire in 1906.

 

 

 

During the previous year the following article was published in the Agriculturist magazine on 19th August 1905.  “The Boston Sunday Herald of Aug. 6th has the following regarding a former Summerside boy:

William C. Collett of Boston, leading candidate for the office of grand warden, was born in Summerside, P.E.I. in 1856 [sic] of English parentage.  He received his early education in the common schools of that place, and afterwards went to work on a farm.  He was not more than eighteen when he began the study of various branches of the building trade.  In 1881 he came to Boston to work as a carpenter.  The next year he was advanced to the position of foreman.  He attended evening drawing school for three terms and came out at the head of the class.  In 1887 he went into the office of Charles Brigham, the well-known Boston architect.  He had the supervision of several important public buildings in Maine, and some of the more important of the H. H. Rogers memorial building in Fairhaven.  Mr. Collett began business for himself a few years ago, with offices of Bromfield Street.  His architectural work includes the magnificent home of Mrs. E. Carlisle of Brookline, the school at Fairhaven, almshouse at Essex, Sherbourne and Fairhaven, the largest apartment house of J. W. Woodward, Mt. Pleasant Avenue, and the Rhodes Bros. building, Warren and Copeland Streets, Roxbury.  Mr. Collett is a past grand of Tremont lodge of Odd Fellows, past chief patriarch of Massosoit encampment, I.O.O.F.; is a member of Washington lodge of Rebekahs, and grand herald of the grand lodge I.O.O.F. of Massachusetts

 

 

 

William Charles Collett died at his home in Boston on 25th January 1929, and a month later the following tribute was printed on page eight of the Summerside Journal on 25th February 1929.

 

 

 

Tribute to Memory and Talents of Gifted Son of P.E. Island Who Has Gone to His Rest

 

William Charles Collett, noted architect, passed away at his beautiful home on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, Massachusetts on January 25th.  He was born in Summerside on Prince Edward Island on February 10th 1856, and removed to Boston on May 27th 1881.  Soon after he entered the office of Charles Brigham, architect, where he was soon advanced to the position of Supervising Architect.  The early struggle of successful men is always intensely interesting, and by some instinct they seek the field in which their ability will find the sphere of action to which they are best adapted. 

 

 

 

Mr. Collett occupied an honoured position in his chosen vocation and the addition to the Maine State Capital at Augusta was constructed under his able supervision, as well as the Rogers Memorable Library and other prominent buildings at Fairhaven in Massachusetts.  In Boston and Montreal the Walton Restaurants are lasting monuments to his skill and ability.  The beautiful scenery on the tiles of the Boston Restaurant are sketched from the Lynn Marshes down to Maine, and in the Montreal Restaurant the scenery is taken from the banks of the St. Lawrence River and all carefully sketched to a scale. 

 

 

 

In banking circles, he occupied the position of Vice-President of the Wiley Savings Bank of Boston and was the valued appraiser of real estate for the various Boston banks.  No man ever had keener eyes or surer judgment of men; a mind so keen, so alert, so penetrating in the affairs that engaged his thoughts.  He was, indeed, very human, but he was also very true and gracious.  Prominent in fraternal circles, a Past Master of the Grand Lodge of Oddfellows of Massachusetts and a Past Grand Officer of the Sovereign Grand Lodge of Oddfellows; in Masonry, a respected member of Columbian Lodge and an officer of the same at the time of his death.

 

 

 

His funeral was held at the chapel at Mount Auburn on January 27th and was one of the largest for many years, the service being conducted by Rev. Frank G. Potter, a Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Oddfellows and a Past Master of Columbian Lodge A.F. & A.M. of Boston.  In a very real sense he was a credit and an honour to his native town of Summerside and departing has left behind him footprints in the sands of time.  The immortality of his influence lives on as an inspiration and cheer to others.  He leaves to mourn his loss one brother, Mr. J. Artemas Collett of Bedeque, the only surviving member of the old family circle.

 

 

 

 

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William Henry Collett was born during 1857 at Westmorland Settlement on Prince Edward Island, and was baptised at Crapaud on 4th May 1858, the first child born to Aaron and Eliza Collett.  In other records his mother was referred to as Margaret and she tragically died around the end of the 1860s or even during the birth of her fourth child in 1867.  By the time of the Canadian census in 1881 William K (sic) Collett, age 23, was one of the four children still living with his widowed father, when he was working with his father on their farm at Lot 29 in the Queens district of Prince Edward Island.

 

 

 

It was after the census in 1891 that William married Alice who was born on Prince Edward Island, with whom he had a daughter and an adopted son by March 1901.  The census that year recorded the family of four residing at Prince Edward Island, where William H Collett was 42, his wife Alice was 35, their daughter Aggie E Collett was six years old, while their adopted son was Arthur Simmons who was 12.

 

 

 

1P168

Aggie Eliza Collett

Born in 1894 at Prince Edward Island

 

 

 

 

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Sarah Jane Collett was born at Richmond, west of Summerside, on Prince Edward Island during 1862, where she was baptised on 14th April 1862, the eldest of the five children of Charles Collett and Annie McLeod.  The baptism record incorrectly gave the family name as Cillett.  Sarah was nine years old when her mother died and was ten years of age when her father passed away, in whose Will she was named together with her four younger siblings.  Upon being made an orphan she and her brothers and sisters were placed in the care of other families, and according to the Canadian Census in 1881 Sarah Jane Collett, age 19, was staying with the McKinon family at Lot 29 in the Queens district of Prince Edward Island.

 

 

 

 

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Eliza Caroline Collett was born at Richmond near Summerside on Prince Edward Island and was baptised on 21st October 1864, the second child of Charles and Annie Collett.  Her mother died in 1871 and her father died exactly one year later during February 1872, and it was in his Will that Eliza was named as one of his five children.  What immediately happened to her and her four siblings when they were made orphans is not known, as no record of Eliza or her sister Harriet and her youngest brother James has been found within the census of 1881.  However, her other two siblings, Sarah Jane and Charles Frederick, were living with two separate families in the Queens district of Prince Edward Island where Eliza and her missing siblings are also thought to have been residing.

 

 

 

Seven years later on 25th August 1888 Eliza married Thomas Simmons who was born on Prince Edward Island around 1862.  It was at Queens that she and her husband were living in 1891 when she was expecting the couple’s first child.  A total of four children were born into the family, although by the time of the census in 1901 only three were listed with Eliza and Thomas at Lot 29 Canton Township on Prince Edward Island.  The couple’s last child was born towards the end of that same year. 

 

 

 

By 1911 the complete Simmons family was living at Queens, Prince Edward Island, and they were Thomas, his wife Eliza, and their four children Wasel M Simmons (1891-), Mildred S Simmons (1895-), Everet B Simmons (1898-), and Lona P Simmons (1901-).  After thirty-two years of married life Eliza Simmons nee Collett died on 28th September 1920.

 

 

 

 

1O141

Harriet Peters Collett was born at Summerside on Prince Edward Island during the first four months of 1866.  She was also baptised there on 6th May 1866, the third daughter of Charles and Annie Collett.  She was made an orphan upon the death of both her parents in 1871 and 1872, following which no record of her or two of her four siblings has been located in the census of 1881, even though she is believed to have been living on Prince Edward Island on that occasion.  Harriet was however confirmed as one of the five children of Charles Collett in his Will of 1871.

 

 

 

New information received in March 2014 from Pat Finkle, the great granddaughter of Harriet Peters Collett who was known as Hattie, has revealed that upon the death of her parents Hattie went to live with Walter Maxfield Lea, within whose family she was raised.  It would therefore appear that it was through her association with the Lea family that she met her future husband.

 

 

 

Harriet eventually left Prince Edward Island in the autumn of 1885 and arrived at Boston in Massachusetts on 12th October 1885.  It was just over six years later that she married John Reid Lea on 15th February 1892.  He had been born in 1863 and he died in 1943.  During the first eight years of the married life together Hattie presented John with three sons.  They were Herbert Rexford Lea, the grandfather of the aforementioned Pat Finkle, Harry Windsor Lea and Crilly M Lea.  Tragically it was just one year after the birth of her third son that Harriet Peters Lea nee Collett died during 1901.

 

 

 

Herbert Rexford Lea, known as Rex, married Gertrude Murray and had three daughters.  They were Edith Marie Lea, Dorothy Harriet Lea, and Marjorie Gertrude Lea.  Harry Windsor Lea, known as Hal, had no children even though he was married twice, the first time to a Mary and after to a Marion.  Hattie’s youngest son Crilly M Lea was born in 1901 and he died in 1967.  During his life he was twice married, with the first marriage producing a son Jack.  Upon later being made a widower Crilly married Mary MacLennan.

 

 

 

Both Rex and Hal served during World War One, for which Rex won the Distinguished Conduct War Medal.  Hal served some of his time as a pilot with the Royal Flying Corps.  Both survived the campaign and both returned home after the conflict.  Hal graduated from McGill’s engineering School in Montreal and became a civil engineer who, in 1942, was appointed Director of the Maritime Bureau of Technical Personnel from his position as the bureau’s Chief Executive Officer.

 

 

 

 

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Charles Frederick Collett was born at Prince Edward Island during August 1869 and possibly at Summerside where his three older sisters (above) were both born.  Tragically it was just five days prior to the death of his mother that he was baptised at Crapaud on 9th February 1871, the eldest of the two sons of Charles and Annie Collett.  Like his four siblings, Charles too was taken into care following the deaths of his parents in 1871 and 1872, when he too was named in his father’s Will.  However, unlike three of his siblings Charles, and his sister Sarah Jane, have been identified within the Canadian census of 1881.  He was 12 years old and was living at Lot 29 in the Queens district with elderly Esther Pearson from England, age 75, who also had living with her Mary McKinon, age 14, who was the eldest child of Angus McKinon.  Both Charles and Mary McKinon were still attending school within the Queens area of Prince Edward Island.  The McKinon family was living nearby and had living with them Charles’ sister Sarah Jane Collett (above). 

 

 

 

Ten years later the census in 1891 included Charles Collett from Prince Edward Island at the age of 21, when he was still unmarried and residing in the sub-district of Lot 29 in Queens County.  Not long after that census day, and later that same year Charles Collett married Ella Mae MacPhee who had been born at Prince Edward Island on 13th November 1869.  Once married the couple followed Charles’ sister Harriet to Massachusetts, where they settled in Norfolk in 1893, just in time for the birth of the couple’s first child. 

 

 

 

A further five children were added to the family before the end of the century, although it seems curious that the same christian name was used for more than one child.  Even more curious, was the fact that five of them were recorded in the census of 1920 in the Boston Ward 23, Suffolk in Massachusetts, with only Florence M Collett missing.  She was alive at the time of the census in 1910, so it is possible that she was married by 1920.

 

 

 

According to the census in 1910 the family was living in the Hyde Park area of Norfolk, Mass.  Charles died there three years later in 1913, and seven years later the remainder of his family, less his daughter Florence M Collett, was recorded living within the Boston Ward 23 in Suffolk in 1920.  Charles’ widow Ella lived a very long life and died on 29th January 1967 at Weymouth, Norfolk, Massachusetts.

 

 

 

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Edla Collett

Born in July 1893 at Massachusetts

 

1P170

Edla Collett

Born circa 1894 at Massachusetts

 

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Daisy Collett

Born in May 1896 at Massachusetts

 

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Florence M Collett

Born in November 1897 at Massachusetts

 

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Florence Collett

Born circa 1898 at Massachusetts

 

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Florence Collett

Born circa 1899 at Massachusetts

 

 

 

 

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James Bradford/Beaufort Collett was born at Prince Edward Island on 13th December 1870, the youngest child of Charles and Annie Collett.  Sadly before he was two years old he was an orphan, following the death of his mother in 1871 and his father in 1872, as a result of which he was then raised by his uncle Aaron Lot Collett his father’s older brother.  Curiously in his father’s Will of 1871 James was named as James Beaufort Collet, rather than James Bradford Collett.  This then raises the question as to whether he changed Beaufort for Bradford later in his life.

 

By the time he was nineteen James had left Prince Edward Island, when he moved to California on 3rd February 1889, where he took up American citizenship in 1896.  He was a blacksmith and it is believed that he made the cycle, he is shown riding here, in his workshop.

James Bradford Collett

 

 

 

It was two years later at Bishop, Inyo in California on 16th March 1898 that he married Janey Truscott, the daughter of Sidney and Sabina Truscott, who had been born at Gold Hill in Nevada on 9th October 1873.  The marriage is known to have produced four children for the couple.

 

 

 

At the time of the US Census in 1900 James and his wife and their first child were living in Township 1 in Inyo, where he was also living in 1910 with his family completed by then.  After a further ten years, the 1920 census placed the family as living at Warms Springs in Inyo, although some time between then and 1936 James and Janey eventually moved to Sacramento, where they lived out the remainder of their lives. 

 

 

 

James Bradford Collett died while a resident of Sacramento, California on 23rd December 1944, when his parents were confirmed as Charles Collett and Annie McLeod.  It was rumoured within the family that he died at sea – his father being a ship builder/owner, although there was no stated cause of death on his death certificate.  His wife Janey died at Sacramento fifteen years later on 14th July 1959.  He was the great grandfather of Cherie Mosher, the granddaughter of his own daughter Beatrice Evelyn Collett, who was still alive and living in America in 2011.  Cherie is the mother of Sarah Ahlstrom who grew up in North California but who now lives in Utah.  Sarah kindly provided additional information that was used in updating this family line in July 2012, while in 2015 she completed research into the Colletts of Prince Edward Island which we hope to publish here sometime in the future.  A travelogue written by James, and now in the possession of Cherie Mosher, mentions his visits to Prince Edward Island to see his Uncle Aaron Collett, his sisters Eliza and Hattie, and his brother Charles Collett (all above).

 

 

 

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Maudie Leona Collett

Born in 1898 in California

 

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Florence H Collett

Born in 1903 in California

 

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Mabel Berniece Collett

Born in 1906 in California

 

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Beatrice Evelyn Collett

Born in 1908 in California

 

 

 

 

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Hannah Lowther Collett was born at Prince Edward Island on 6th April 1857, and was baptised at Bedeque on 22nd November 1857, the eldest daughter of Anthony and Mary A Collett.  It is possible her mother’s maiden name was Lowther, after whom Hannah was named.

 

 

 

 

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William Collett was one half of a set of twins born in 1866 at Prince Edward Island, to parents Anthony Collett and Mary A Lowther.  He and his twin sister Elizabeth were both 14 at the time of the census in 1881 when they were still attending school from their home at Lot 29 in the Queens district of Prince Edward Island.  William later married Margaret in his early twenties, and by the time of the census in March 1901 their marriage had produced five children for the couple living with the Queens district.  Wm Collett was 66, Margaret was 26, and their Prince Edward Island born children were George A Collett, who was nine, Wm Brady Collett, who was seven, Emma J Collett, who was five, Jesse F Collett, who was three, and James Allin Collett who was only seven months old.  It is possible that Margaret’s maiden name was Brady, the second forename of her second son.

 

 

 

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George A Collett

Born in 1891 on Prince Edward Island

 

1P180

William Brady Collett

Born in 1893 on Prince Edward Island

 

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Emma J Collett

Born in 1895 on Prince Edward Island

 

1P182

Jesse F Collett

Born in 1897 on Prince Edward Island

 

1P183

James Allin Collett

Born in 1900 on Prince Edward Island

 

 

 

 

1O147

Charles William Collett was born at Summerside on Prince Edward Island, where he was baptised on 10th March 1860, the son of Mary Matilda Collett from England who shortly after married Henry Croswell, or Chaswell as she was named in her father’s Will of 1861.  The lack of a named father, coupled with the fact that Mary was only 19, may suggest that he was base-born.  Once his mother was married to Henry the couple settled in Summerside where their large family was living in 1881 when Mary’s first-born child was named as William Charles Crowell.

 

 

 

 

1P1

Frederick Collett was born at Highworth in 1878 and was two years old at the time of the 1881 Census when he was living with his parents at Westrop in Highworth.  Ten years later Frederick was still living in Highworth when he was 12 years old.  It would appear that on leaving school he joined the Royal Navy and by March 1901, when he was 22, he was an able seaman based in Dorset, although he has not been traced within the next census in 1911.

 

 

 

 

1P2

Edith Collett was born at Highworth in 1879, the eldest child of Thomas Collett and his wife Sarah Ann Comley.  It is possible that Edith suffered an infant death shortly after she was born because she was not listed with her family in the census of April 1881.

 

 

 

 

1P5

Harriet Collett was born at Highworth in 1883, the last child of Thomas Collett by his first wife Ann Sarah Comely.  It was odd that she was recorded as being aged 11 in the 1891 Census.  No trace of her has been so far found in 1901 so she may have been married by then.

 

 

 

 

1P6

William Thomas Collett was born at Highworth in 1886, the eldest child of Thomas Collett by his second wife Doras Cockhead.  It was at Highworth that he was living with his family in 1891 at the age of four years, and was 15 in 1901 when he was working as an ordinary agricultural labourer with his father Thomas Collett while still at Highworth.

 

 

 

 

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Ernest F Collett was born at Highworth in 1890 and, although he was listed as being under one year old in 1891, no trace of him has been found in 1901 so he may have died while still a child.

 

 

 

 

1P12

Louisa Naomi Collett was born at Highworth in 1896, and it was as Louisa Naomi Collett, age 14, that she was still living with her parents Thomas and Dorcas Collett at Highworth in April 1911.

 

 

 

 

1P13

Matilda Ruth Collett was born at Highworth on 2nd September 1898, and it was as Matilda Ruth Collett, age 12, that she was still living with her parents Thomas and Dorcas Collett at Highworth in April 1911. It was on 21st May 1923 at Sydenham in Kent that Matilda Ruth Collett married Henry William Stroud the base-born son of Emily Stroud.  The original marriage record was corrected on 24th September 1924, when W H Warren, an authorised person for the Wesleyan Chapel, High Street in Sydenham, wrote for Stroud read Hobden.  It is now evident that Emily Stroud married Henry William Hobden after the birth of her son.

 

 

 

The marriage was recorded at Lewisham register office (Ref. 1d 2012) during the second quarter of 1923, when Matilda Ruth Collett, a spinster and domestic servant residing at 34 Bishopsthorpe Road in Sydenham within the London Borough of Lewisham, whose father was Thomas Collett, a farm labourer, married grocer’s assistant Henry William Hobden.  It was also at Lewisham register office that the birth of Henry William Stroud was recorded during the third quarter of 1900 (Ref. 1d 1176).

 

 

 

By the time of the census in 1911 Henry was the eldest child of the Hobden family of Henry and Emily living in Sydenham.  Henry William Hobden was 42, Emily was 39, while their children were Henry who was 10, Walter who was nine, Cyril who was six, Arthur who was four and Leonard who was five months old.  Also living with the family was eighty-year old Jane Hobden, the mother of Henry William.  However, it is apparent from the later records (below) that Henry William Hobden the younger eventually reverted to his birth name.

 

 

 

As a result of that name change the marriage of Matilda Ruth Collett and Henry William (Hobden) Stroud produced two children, and they were Bernard Stroud and Ruth Stroud.  In addition, the death of Henry William Stroud aged 73 years was recorded at Lambeth register office (Ref. 5d 154) during the final three months of 1973, when his date of birth was confirmed as 18th July 1900.  Matilda Ruth Stroud nee Collett only survived her husband by a few months, when her death at the age of 75 was recorded at Lewisham register office (Ref. 5d 813) during the first three months of 1974.

 

 

 

 

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Bernard Collett was born at Highworth in 1900 and was less than a month old at the time of the 1901 Census of Highworth.  Tragically he was kicked by horse while out playing one day in the fields near Highworth and died of his injuries.  After that sad event, which happened during the first decade of the new century, Bernard’s mother Dorcas insisted that whenever Bernard’s namesake, Victor Jesse Bernard Collett (below) went out to play that he wore something red so that she could see him from the house.

 

 

 

 

1P15

Alice Belinda Collett was born at Highworth after 1902, and it was as Alice Belinda Collett aged nine that she was still living with her parents Thomas and Dorcas Collett at Highworth in April 1911.  In her account of life in rural Wiltshire she stated she was born in a thatched cottage at Fresden, while previously the family had lived at Starvall Farm.  Fresden was apparently two isolated cottages a mile and a half from Coleshill to the east of Highworth.  A little later she recalled living at Eastrop Hill in Highworth.  The abridged account of her early life story is presented at the end of this section.  Alice Belinda Collett later married Mr Winchester at Epsom Registry Office and the couple initially lived at Pound Street in Carshalton where they had two rooms in the house of widow Mrs Simmons. 

 

 

 

 

1P16

Gladys Elsie Collett was born at Highworth in 1904 and her existence has only come to light following the release of the 1911 Census, since she was previously unknown to the more recent family members.  The census return recorded her as Gladys Elsie Collett aged seven and that she was still living with her parents Thomas and Dorcas Collett at Highworth.  The lack of any later knowledge of her might suggest that she too suffered an infant death.

 

 

 

 

1P17

Beatrice Maria Collett was born at Highworth sometime after 1905.  She was referred to as Ri by her sister Alice (above) in her story of life in Highworth.  She was later known as Beatie and Auntie Beatie by the younger members of the Collett family, although in the story told by her sister Alice Belinda Collett (see Appendix at the end of this section) she was named as Ri, a shortening of Ma-RI-a.  It was as Beatrice Maria aged five years that she was still living with her parents Thomas and Dorcas Collett at Highworth in April 1911.  While still very young Beatrice and her brother Jesse (below) were taken by their mother Dorcas, when she left the children’s father Thomas Collett to make a new life with a coalman at Rodbourne on the other side of Swindon.  Beatrice later married a clergyman and it was he that officiated at the funeral of her younger brother Jesse (below).  Upon his retirement, Beatrice and her husband settled in a village in Oxfordshire which was renowned as a community for retired vicars.

 

 

 

 

1P18

Victor Jesse Bernard Collett was the youngest and last child of Thomas Collett and Dorcas Cockhead and was later given the additional name of Bernard in memory of his dead brother (above).  He was born at Highworth in 1908 and was two years old in the Highworth census of 1911 when he was still with both of his parents and the rest of his family.  He was listed simply as Victor Jesse Collett.

 

 

 

In the story of village life in Highworth written by his sister Alice (above), she referred to him as Jess and during his later life he was known as Jesse, pronounced Jessie.  Apart from his early days at Highworth he, and his sister Beatrice (above), were brought up by their mother Dorcas who left the children’s father Thomas Collett to live with a coalman in Rodbourne.  It may be of interest that Jess always referred to the fact that he was “brought up on the wrong side of the tracks”, his reference to Rodbourne.

 

 

 

At some time in his life Jesse was a fireman with the Great Western Railway and used to drive the fire engine to crash scenes and accident.  He was married to Daisy Woodward with whom he had a daughter.  Daisy was born at Purton, which lies approximately four miles north-west of Rodbourne.  Following his death, Victor’s funeral was conducted by the husband of his sister Beatrice (above).

 

 

 

1Q1

Valerie Joyce Collett

Date of birth unknown

 

 

 

 

1P19

Frederick John James Collett was born at Berkeley in Gloucestershire during 1895, the eldest of the four children of John and Elizabeth Collett.  By March 1901 he and his family were living at Tortworth near Wotton-under-Edge, where Frederick was five years old.  During the first decade of the new century the family moved again, that time to Monmouth in South Wales, where the family was living in April 1911 when, incorrectly he was described as Frederick J S Collett who was 15.  Three year later at the outbreak of the First World War Frederick was eighteen when he enlisted with the army.  He was eventually assigned to the 2nd/8th Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment where he became Corporal Collett 242131.

 

 

 

During the period from July to October 1917 Frederick and his battalion were involved in the conflict in the area of the Ypres Salient.  And it was there on 28th August 1917 that he died at the age of 22.  His army records confirmed that he was the son John and Elizabeth Collett of the Post Office Christchurch near Coleford in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire.  The name of Frederick John James Collett appears on the Wieltje Farm Memorial, reference B17, which is situated within the Wieltje Farm Cemetery and which was established and used by fighting units, in particular by the 2nd/4th Gloucestershire Regiments.

 

 

 

There are only 115 Commonwealth servicemen from the First World War buried or commemorated at this small cemetery.  Ten of the burials are unidentified and there are special memorials to twenty casualties whose graves were destroyed by shell fire.  The site also contains the grave of one German soldier.

 

 

 

 

1P22

Charles Ernest Collett was born at Tortworth in Gloucestershire during 1904, the son of John and Elizabeth Collett.  Not long after he was born his father’s work as a policeman took the family to Monmouth in South Wales where Charles was six years old in April 1911.  Some years later the family returned to the Coleford area of Gloucestershire in the Forest of Dean where they were living in 1917 when the family received the tragic news of the death of Charles’ older brother Frederick (above).

 

 

 

Also living in Coleford was Charles’ cousin Isabel Ellen Collett, the daughter of his uncle Albert Collett, the younger brother of Charles’ father John.  As intimate relationships between cousins were not socially acceptable, it seems likely that the couple ‘ran away to Wales’ to be together, since it was at Monmouth register office (Ref. 11a 45) that their marriage was recorded during the third quarter of 1928.  That record confirmed Charles E Collett married Isabel E Collett the daughter of police inspector Albert Collett and his wife Elizabeth Cullis.

 

 

 

During 2012 the Will of the aunt of Charles Collett was discovered in which he was named.  That document proved in Gloucester on 20th April 1948 revealed that spinster Rosa Emma Collett of 31 Staunton Road in Coleford, and younger sister of Charles’ father, named motor engineer Charles Ernest Collett as her sole executor.

 

 

 

It was just over two years later that Charles Ernest Collett died, his death recorded in the City of Gloucester register office (Ref. 7b 444) during the last three months of 1950.  Following his death on 4th November 1950 at the Royal Hospital in Gloucester administration of his personal effects, valued at £4,440 9 Shillings 2d, was granted to his widow Isabel Ellen Collett and Simon Vincent William Thomas, a motor mechanic.  The couple’s address at the time of the passing of Charles Ernest Collett was, The Post Office in Christchurch near Coleford, Gloucestershire, and it was at Christchurch that he was laid to rest.

 

 

 

 

1P23

Isabel Ellen Collett was born at Coleford after 1902, the year that her parents Albert Collett and Elizabeth Cullis were married there.  In 1928 she married her cousin Charles Ernest Collett (above).

 

 

 

 

1P27

Arthur Dudley Collett, whose date of birth is not known but was likely to be around the turn of the century, was born in Australia where his only son was also born. 

 

 

 

1Q2

John D Collett

Born on 31.05.1940 in Australia

 

 

 

 

1P29

Emily Collett was born at Picton in New Zealand on 31st December 1874, the eldest child of William Giles Collett from Cirencester and Janet McLean from Dunedin in New Zealand.  It would have been around the end of the century that she married Robert Wallace who was born at Glasgow in Scotland on 27th July 1878.  Emily and Robert had four children before she died at Napier in 1936, and was followed much later by Robert who passed away on 27th April 1959.

 

 

 

Emily presented Robert with five children including sons Peat, Robert and James Bruce who are all living in 2012.  The couple’s two daughters were Myrtle Isabella Wallace, who was born at Whakapapa in King Country NZ, on 24th July 1904, who died at Napier on 10th October 1978, and Olive Wallace who was born on 24th February 1912, who died at Dunedin on 17th February 2007.

 

 

 

 

1P30

Janet Collett, who was known as Jessie, was born in New Zealand on 18th December 1876 the second child of William Collett and his wife Janet McLean.  Jessie later married Harold Percy Charles McLean who was born at Kaituna in New Zealand on 16th September 1885, the son of Peter McLean and Kate O’Dell.  It seems highly likely that Harold was in some way related to Janet’s mother’s family.  Janet and Harold had three known children, Peter Frederick McLean born in 1905, Harold Bernard McLean born in 1906 and Janet Emmie McLean born in 1910, all three being born in New Zealand, and perhaps had more children after 1913.  The following article appeared in the Auckland Star on 12th July 1918, with the heading “Mail Contractor Bankrupt”.

 

 

 

“Harold Percy Charles McLean, mail contractor and motor-car proprietor, of Te Kuiti, in a statement furnished to the Official Assignee in Bankruptcy, says he took up a Crown section about nine years ago, and at the end of five years he was practically insolvent, and had to sell his farm to a brother.  With the proceeds, he paid off his liabilities excepting sums of £20 and £23, and with £100 left leased a boarding house.  He could not make this pay and was left with £80 when he went out, being owed also about £27.  Since then he had run a motor mail car between Te Kuiti and Pio Pio for £3 12 Shillings per week.  He bought a Daimler car for £300 in Auckland, and of that money about £80 was still owing.  That was before the mail car started.  He had paid another man £57 cash for his share of the mail contract in January this year, and took over an Overland car.  He had been unable to pay £93 instalments due on this car.  The contract was in an unsatisfactory state, and the Government subsidy was being paid to another man for good and sufficient reasons.”

 

 

 

Following this, in 1920, at the Hamilton Supreme Court among the “Motions for Discharge” listed was Harold Percy Charles McLean and it is interesting that William Henry Collett (below), Harold’s brother-in-law, was also applying for a Discharge, both parties being represented by Mr Hine.  Harold Percy Charles McLean died during June 1947 and was buried at Omaka Cemetery in Marlborough on 1st July 1947.  His widow survived for a further twenty-five years, when Janet McLean nee Collett passed away in New Zealand during 1972 at the ripe old age of 95.

 

 

 

 

1P31

William Henry Collett was born in New Zealand on 11th February 1879, the eldest son of William Giles Collett from Cirencester and Janet McLean from Dunedin in New Zealand.  Thanks to new information received from Betty Florence Hobday during the summer of 2013 it is now confirmed that William Henry Collett married Ellen Elizabeth Nettell early in 1906.  William was Betty’s grandfather, with his eldest daughter Florence Verbena being Betty’s mother.  Betty has confirmed the names of the four original children credited to William and Ellen, but also recalls an Uncle Dan Collett, whose year of birth has been confirmed by Kelvin Parker in 2014.

 

 

 

As with his brother, Francis Albert Collett (below), William had trouble financially and in a report in the King Country Chronicle on 23rd April 1910 under Local and General News it is mentioned that “William Henry Collett, labourer, of Six-Mile Peg, near Te Kuiti, a bankrupt, states that his liabilities amount to £76 1s 6½d and assets £6 10s, leaving a deficiency of £69 11s 6½d. There was litigation between the brothers [himself and Francis Albert] between December 1908 and July 1909, and bankrupt was successful on the third occasion they went to court — once for money due to him on account of board and lodging, then in defending an action brought by the brother for money due on an alleged account, and again in obtaining an order on a judgment summons.  The amount due to him was £27 4s, of which he had received no part.  Then his wife had suffered from a continuous illness, and this was a source of additional expense.  He was employed on road work at 8s a day.  His failure he ascribed to the loss of money owing by his brother, who became bankrupt on being pressed to law costs in connection therewith, and to his wife's illness”.

 

 

 

Over six years later the New Zealand Herald, published on 13th September 1916, reported that “The case of William Henry Collett, a farmer of Tangitu would be further held over to enable the official assignee to obtain more evidence”.  His honour commented that the bankruptcy was a bad one as Collett had twice been bankrupt in five years and that his assets were nil and liabilities were £156”.  No further information has been found on this case.

 

 

 

Later in her life William’s wife was known as Nellie and the New Zealand Herald of 19th May 1919 reported on a libel case over a postcard sent by some residents to Mr W Collett, Squatter, Mokauiti, a small settlement near Te Kuiti in which it was inferred that Mrs Collett had been unfaithful to her husband.  Evidence given was that feelings in the settlement at the time were strained and, as one of the residents had had an argument with Mrs Collett, that the sending of the postcard would be a way of getting one back on her.  The magistrate ordered judgment in favour of Mrs Collett against all the defendants for £100 and costs of £23.

 

 

 

After another four years, the New Zealand Truth of 24th November 1923 included an article headed "Curious Collett Case" in which "Hubby Pleads Destitution" and "Wants Wife To Support Him”.  This related to William H Collett, a farmer of Mokauiti, who had applied for a maintenance order against his wife, Nellie Collett, on the grounds that he was destitute and she had the means to support him.  He also applied for the custody of their 16-year-old daughter [that would be Alice Evelyn].  He claimed that he was unable to do more than two days work a week owing to his health and while his wife was in the Hamilton Hospital he managed the farm.  While in hospital his wife had written to him intimating that she did not intend to return.  Nellie, in telling her story, said she was milking 27 cows but could not afford to employ any labour until she paid off the debts and during the past few years she had been forced to do all the work, including fencing and scrub-cutting.  Under cross-examination she admitted that her husband had done a good deal of work about the farm.  The Magistrate said the case was a difficult and unhappy one, but dismissed the case and, as the husband had claimed he was destitute, he would be refused custody of the child.

 

 

 

In 1927 Mrs Nellie Collett applied for and was granted a divorce from William and later that year married Albert Edward Williams.  The only other detail known about William Henry Collett senior was that he died during 1969 when he was 90.

 

 

 

1Q3

Florence Verbena Collett

Born in 1906 in New Zealand

 

1Q4

Alice Evelyn Collett

Born in 1907 in New Zealand

 

1Q5

Nellie Dorothy Collett

Born in 1909 in New Zealand

 

1Q6

Daniel David Collett

Born in 1911 in New Zealand

 

1Q7

William Henry Collett

Born in 1917 in New Zealand

 

 

 

 

1P32

Francis Albert Collett was born in New Zealand on 1st September 1881, the fourth child and second son of William and Janet Collett.  When Francis was in his late teenage years or early twenties, and perhaps after his mother had deserted the family, he left New Zealand for the homeland of his father in England, where he married Rhoda Charlotte Simons during 1905 at West Ham in Essex.  Rhoda was also known as Rose and was born at West Ham during 1885, the third child of William and Emma Simons.  In the census of both 1891 and 1901 the Simons family was still living in the West Ham area of London when Rhoda Charlotte was six years of age in 1891 and was 16 years old in 1901 when she was a factory worker with an India Rubber Company.  In that latter census return her place of birth was recorded as Silvertown in Essex, a district of West Ham.  The marriage of Francis and Rhoda produced just one child, who was born at Hamilton in New Zealand but many years after the couple had married.  Those first fifteen years of their life were fraught with financial troubles, which may have been the reason for the delayed start of their family.

 

 

 

Francis was plagued with money problems and he, along with older brother William Henry (above) was adjudged a bankrupt, as was their brother-in-law Harold McLean.  At a meeting of creditors held at Te Kuiti in August 1909 Francis Albert Collett of Aria, labourer, had two unsecured creditors.  They were his brother William Henry Collett, a farmer of Te Kuiti, to whom he owed £27 4 Shillings, and his father William Giles Collett, a farmer of Aria, to whom he owed £30 15 Shillings.  Francis returned to New Zealand from England in June 1908 (having worked his passage out there) without paying a fare.  On his return he worked with his brother post-splitting for which he received no wages.  That did not help them pay their way, so they then took on bush-felling.  Later that same year, in December, his brother William sued him for 17 weeks board at £1 per week, and when Francis countered sued his brother for £6 the judgment went against him.  Also during that time Francis had been sending £3 a month to his wife, who was still living in England (possible at West Ham with her parents), and that money, together with legal and living expenses represented all he earned.

 

 

 

At some time after that Francis returned to England to be with his wife and in April 1911 he and his wife were recorded residing in the Woolwich district of London, just across the River Thames from West Ham.  The census that year confirmed that Francis Albert Collett was 29 and had been born at Woodville (to the east of Palmerston North) and that Rhoda Charlotte Collett of West Ham was 26.  It must therefore have been during the next nine years that Francis and Rhoda sailed to New Zealand, where it would appear they settled in Hamilton as it was there where their only known child was born.  Rhoda Charlotte Collett nee Simons died at Hamilton on 10th July 1945 and was buried at Hamilton East Cemetery three days after.  Eight years later Francis Albert Collett was still living in Hamilton when he died on 20th November 1953 aged 72, following which he was buried with his wife.

 

 

 

1Q8

Maud Alice Collett

Born in 1920 at Hamilton, New Zealand

 

 

 

 

1P33

Florence Abenia Collett was born at Koromiko in New Zealand on 8th May 1884, the daughter of William and Janet Collett. 

 

She was 24 when she married Robert Riddle on 28th April 1909 at the home of her father in Aria.  Robert was 28 and was the eldest brother of Patrick Alexander Riddle who married Florence’s younger sister Alice (below).  He was born at Southland on 9th November 1879, the son of Walter Riddle and his wife Marian Campbell Stevens. 

 

 

 

Florence and Robert had five children and they were (a) Robert Walter Campbell Riddle (born on 2nd June 1912, died on 1st January 2003) married Vera Eunice Sharples (born on 9th August 1922, died on 2nd January 1998), (b) John Riddle (born on 17th August 1915, died 10th May 1993) married Isabella Hodge (born 31st December 1913, died 1st July 2005), (c) Jean Lucy Riddle (born 29th September 1917, died 25th January 2012) married William Albert Henderson who died on 5th December 1995, (d) Myrtle Ruby Albenia Riddle married Thomas Martin Aichison, and (e) Tui Riddle married Bertram Hall.

 

 

 

Florence’s son John Riddle and his wife Isabella had a son John Riddle who was born in 1941 who later married Patricia Ethel Prestage (1946-1992), and it was the younger John Riddle from Whitianga in New Zealand who kindly provided much of the detail for the latest edition of this Collett family line in 2013.

 

 

 

Robert Riddle died at Papakura on 2th April 1971, and just seven months later his wife Florence Abenia Riddle nee Collett also passed away on 14th November 1971.

 

The headstone shown here is at their grave in the grounds of Papakura Cemetery where they were buried together.  The baby Robert Sanders who was buried with them five years later on 12th August 1976 aged just three months was very likely one of their grandchildren.

 

 

 

 

1P34

Sarah Catherine Collett was born in New Zealand on 17th September 1886 the sixth child of William and Janet Collett.  She was only three years old when she died on 3rd March 1889, although an alternative source suggests that the year was in fact 1899, which may be just a typing error.

 

 

 

 

1P35

Mary Rebeccah Collett was born in New Zealand on 22nd November 1888, the daughter of William and Janet Collett.  She married Joseph Webster Alker during 1905 when she was only seventeen, with whom she had four children.  They were Richard Seddon Alker (born 21.06.1906), Ida Alker (born in 1907), Joseph Alker (born 04.11.1908, died 14.08.1993), and William Robert Alker (22.11.1910).  Mary Rebecca Alker nee Collett she died at Hamilton, Waikato in 1977 at the age of 89.  Her husband Joseph, who was ten years older than Mary having been born at Pemberton in Lancashire, England during 1878, had died over twenty years earlier, when he passed away at Hamilton during 1956.

 

 

 

 

1P36

Alice Collett was born in New Zealand on 27th September 1891, the eighth of the nine children of William Giles Collett from Cirencester and Janet McLean from Dunedin in New Zealand.  She later married Patrick Alexander Riddle who was born at Pahia in Southland New Zealand on 30th August 1886 with whom she had seven children.  Patrick, the brother of Robert Riddle who married Alice’s sister Florence (above), died in Auckland on 14th November 1964.  Their children were Alexander Riddle, Eric Keith Riddle, Marian Riddle (born 16.05.1912), Doris Riddle (born 09.08.1915), Dora Riddle (born 18.02.1920), Audrey Riddle (born 03.02.1923), and Jack Riddle (born 10.12.1924).  Alice Riddle nee Collett passed away in New Zealand during 1968 at the age of 76.

 

 

 

 

1P38

George Collett was born at Gloucester in 1854, the eldest child of William and Jane Collett.  He was six years old in 1861 and was 16 in 1871.  According to the next census in 1881 George Collett was living at the home of his parents at 33 Barlow Street in the Barton St Mary district of Gloucester and was a general labourer aged 26.  He was still living with his elderly parents at 33 Barlow Street in Barton St Mary ten years later in 1891.  However, the census that year also revealed that he had been married during the 1880s, but that tragically, his wife had died before the fifth of April in 1891.  The census return recorded George Collett, age 36, was a widower and a plate layer with the Great Western Railway.  It therefore seems highly likely that his wife probably died during childbirth, from which the child also did not survive.

 

 

 

With the deaths of both of his parents during the 1890s, George took responsibility for his two much younger siblings Laura and Joseph, who were still living with him and his parents at 33 Barlow Street in 1891.  According to the Gloucester census of 1901, George Collett was 46 and a railway porter with the GWR, and living with him was his younger brother Joseph Collett (below) of Gloucester who was a railway labourer with the GWR at the age of 27.  By April 1911 George was 57 and was living alone in Gloucester.

 

 

 

 

1P39

Elizabeth Collett was born in Gloucester in 1856 and was four in 1861 and 14 in 1871 when she was living with her family in the South Hamlet district of Gloucester.  At the age of 24 she was living with her family at 33 Barlow Street in the Barton St Mary area Gloucester from where she was working as a dressmaker.  It is possible that she later married into the Apperley family.

 

 

 

 

1P40

Mary Jane Collett was born at Gloucester in 1859.  She was recorded as Mary J Collett in both 1861, when she was one year old, and again in 1871 when she was 11.  Ten years later she was 21 at the time of the 1881 Census.  Her occupation at that time was that of a domestic servant when she was living with her parents at 33 Barlow Street in Gloucester.

 

 

 

Shortly after the 1881 Census, Mary married Frank Ashmead and the couple settled in East Dean where all of their children were born.  In 1901 the Ashmead family was still living at East Dean and was made up of Frank, age 44, who was a coal miner and hewer from Upton St Leonards, Mary Jane, who was 42, Harriet, age 16, Horace, who was 13 and an office boy, Bessie who was six, and George who was five.

 

 

 

By 1911 the couple were living still at East Dean where Mary Jane Ashmead from East Dean was 52, her husband Frank was 54, and the two children still living with them were Harriet, age 26, and Bessie who was 16.

 

 

 

 

1P41

William Henry Collett was born at Gloucester in 1862 and, as William H Collett, was eight years old in the Gloucester Hamlet South census in 1871.  By the time he was 18 he was an engine cleaner, most probably with the Great Western Railway.  The census of 1881 confirmed that he was living at 33 Barlow Street in Gloucester with his family.  Around nine years later William married Elizabeth from Weymouth and a year after they were married, Elizabeth presented her husband with a daughter. 

 

 

 

According to the census return for 1891, William and his young wife were living in the South Hamlet district of Gloucester.  William was 27, and Elizabeth from Weymouth was just 20 years old.  Elizabeth was very likely with-child on the day of the census, since later that year she gave birth to the couple’s only known child.  Ten years later, in March 1901, William and his wife and their daughter were living in Gloucester, where William’s occupation was that of a pavior.  William from Gloucester was 36, his wife Elizabeth from Weymouth was 30, and their daughter Lillian Collett was nine years old.

 

 

 

At the end of the next decade in April 1911, the family of three was living within the Gloucester registration district when William Henry Collett from Gloucester was 46, his wife Elizabeth Martha Collett from Weymouth was 40, and their daughter Lillian Violet Collett was 19.  On that occasion Lilian’s place of birth was given as Nettleton, which is the Wiltshire village adjacent to Castle Combe.

 

 

 

1Q9

Lilian Violet Collett

Born in 1891 at Nettleton after 5th April

 

 

 

 

1P42

Laura Jane Collett was born in 1871 but after the census day on the second of April.  There is a slight confusion over where she was born and even who her parents might have been.  At the time of the 1881 Census, Laura was nine years old and was described as being from Cheltenham, while she was living at 33 Barlow Street in Gloucester with the family of William and Jane Collett, where she was listed as niece.

 

 

 

Ten years later, when she was 19, she was still living with the same family at 33 Barlow Street in Gloucester from where she was working as a laundress.  On that occasion her place of birth was given as Gloucester and she was referred to as the daughter of William Collett, although by the time of the next census in 1901, Laura Collett from Gloucester, age 30, was living in Birmingham where she was a laundress.

 

 

 

Shortly after that Laura returned to Gloucester where she married law student Francis Hawkins Bretherton, who was born at Gloucester in 1870.  Over the following years the marriage produced two sons for the couple at Gloucester, where the family was living in 1911.  Laura was listed as Laura Jane Bretherton, age 39, while her husband was 40, and their two sons were Wilfred George Bretherton, who was four, and Leonard Francis Bretherton who was just one year old.

 

 

 

 

1P43

Joseph G Collett was born in 1873 and was the brother of Laura Collett (above).  By the time he was seven years old he was living at 33 Barlow Street in Gloucester where he was described as the nephew of the head of household William Collett, and his place of birth was given as Cheltenham.  Ten years later in 1891 when he was 17, he was still living with the same family at 33 Barlow Street in Gloucester.  However, on that occasion he was described as son the son of William Collett, and his birthplace was Gloucester.  His occupation was that of a wagon fitter, probably on the railway.

 

 

 

In 1901 and following the death of William Collett and his wife Jane, Joseph’s assumed parents, he was living with his older brother George Collett (above) and was working with him on the Great Western Railway as a labourer at the age of 27.  Once again his place of birth was given as Gloucester.  No record of Joseph Collett of Gloucester or Cheltenham has been found living anywhere in the United Kingdom in 1911.

 

 

 

 

1P44

Esther Collett was born at Clydach, Llanelly in 1858 and was the eldest of the three children of George Collett from Gloucestershire and Rachel Edmunds from Clydach, Llanelly.  It seems highly likely that she was named after her late maternal grandmother Esther Edmunds.  Her birth was recorded at Crickhowell (Ref. 11b 127) during the third quarter of 1858.  Esther was two years old in the census of 1861 when she and her family were living at Cuckoo’s Nest in Llanelly.  Ten years later the family was still residing at Cuckoo’s Nest when Esther was 13.  On leaving school she became a dress-maker and in 1881 at the age of 22 she still living with her family which, by then, was recorded at the Railway Inn at Clydach.  Tragically it was over four and a half years later that she died, the death of Esther Collett recorded at Crickhowell (Ref. 11b 92) during the last three months of 1885.

 

 

 

 

1P45

James Collett was born at Clydach, Llanelly in 1860, the only known son of George and Rachel Collett.  He and his family lived their early life at Cuckoo’s Nest in Llanelly, where they were living in 1861 when James was one year old, again in 1871 when he was 11 years old.  By the time of the census in 1881 James was 21 years of age and was working as a coal miner when he was living with his family at the Railway Inn at Clydach.  It is possible that James was married twice in his short life since, on 21st July 1882 he married (1) Elizabeth Mason as recorded at Crickhowell (Ref. 11b 236).  However, by the time of the next census in 1891 for Llanelly his wife was named as (2) Sarah Ann who had already given birth to a son by then.  James Collett was 31, his wife Sarah Ann was 33, and their son Beignalt James Collett was one year old.  His son was just eight years old when the death of James Collett was recorded at Crickhowell (Ref. 11b 77) during the final quarter of 1898.

 

 

 

1Q10

Beignalt James Collett

Born in 1890 at Llanelly

 

 

 

 

1P46

Harriet Collett was born at Clydach, Llanelly in 1862, the youngest of the three known children of George Collett of Painswick and Cirencester and his wife Rachel Edmunds from Clydach.  It was at Cuckoo’s Nest in Llanelly that the family was living in 1871, when Harriett Collett was eight years old.  Rather curiously, ten years later in 1881, when Harriet’s parents were living at the Railway Inn in Clydah, Harriet Collett, age 18 and from Llanelly, was working as an inn keeper at 27 New Market Inn in nearby Brecknock St John Evangelist.  Head of the household was unmarried Elizabeth Collett (Ref. 1N14) from Cirencester who was also described as an inn keeper.  However, the relationship between the two was given as sisters, which they definitely were not.

 

 

 

 

1P48

Robert Collett was born at Taibach near Port Talbot in Wales in 1867 and it was there also that he was baptised on 15th September 1867, the eldest child of Charles Iles Collett and his first wife Catherine.  It was at 5 Minus Road in Taibach that Robert, age three years, was living with his family in 1871, and by 1881 he and the family were living at 1 Woodfield in Taibach, when he was 13.  At the age of 23 he was working as a labourer while still living with his parents at Cwmdu.  After a further ten years he was still unmarried at 33 when he was a colliery labourer living at 44 Castle Street in Cwmdu with his parents.  It was later that same year when his mother passed away, following which his father re-married around 1905.  By 1911, when he was 43, he was with his father and his stepmother when the three of them were staying with the Davies family at 51 Maesteg Road in Maesteg in 1911.  It would therefore appear that Robert never married.

 

 

 

 

1P49

Mary Jane Collett was born at Taibach in 1870, where she was baptised on 12th May 1870, the daughter of Charles and Catherine Collett.  She was eleven months old when the census was conducted in April 1871 when she and her family were living at 5 Minus Road in Taibach.  The family later moved to 1 Woodfield in Taibach where they were living in 1881 when Mary was 11 years of age, and they were still there ten years later when she was 20 when she was recorded as Mary Jane Collet (sic).

 

 

 

Mary Jane Collett married Thomas Shaw Roberts, a labourer from Taibach, around the middle of the 1890s and in March 1901 Mary and her husband and her first two children were living at 44 Castle Street in Cwmdu near Maesteg, the home of her parents.  Thomas was a labourer at 31 years of age, Mary Ann Roberts from Taibach was 31, and their two children were George Drew Roberts, who was two years old and born at Aberavon, and Catherine Maria who was three months old and born at Maesley in Glamorganshire.  Sadly it would appear that baby Catherine did not survive, as she was not listed with her family in 1911.

 

 

 

During the first decade of the new century Mary Jane presented Thomas with three more children after they had returned to live in Aberavon, where the larger family was living at 3 Isaac Place in 1911.  Thomas Shaw Roberts was 40, as was Mary Jane Roberts from Taibach, his wife of eighteen years, George Roberts was 13, Thomas Roberts was eight, Hannah Roberts was five, and Frederick Thomas was three years old.

 

 

 

 

1P52

Charles Collett was born at Taibach during 1878, the youngest child of Charles Iles Collett and his first wife Catherine.  He was two years old in the census of 1881 when he and his family were listed at 1 Woodfield in Taibach, just south of Port Talbot, and by 1891 the family had settled in Cwmdu near Maesteg where Charles was 13.  His whereabouts in 1901 are not known, although it is known that he was married by then and had a daughter who was one year old.  Curiously also, no record of mother and daughter has been found.

 

 

 

Two more children were added to their family during the following decade which was residing at Higher Llangynwyd on the occasion of the census in 1911.  Charles Collett from Taibach was 32, his wife Mary Hannah Collett from Morriston was 30, and their three children were Dorothy Leanore Collett who was 11, Muriel Dorine Collett who was six, and Victor Campbell Collett who was two.  Dorothy had been born at Maesteg, while the two younger children had been born at Nantyffyllon near Maesteg.  Other children may have been added to their family after 1911, but all that is currently known is that Mary Hannah Collett died during March in 1946 and was buried at Llanelli on 16th March that year.

 

 

 

 

1P53

Lily Harriet Collett was born in 1878 at Eastcombe near Bisley, the first child of Robert Collett and his first wife Rosanna King.  The census in 1881 recorded her and her family living in Church Road at Ashton Keynes, just across the boundary in the Cricklade district of Wiltshire.  The family at that time comprised her father who was an agricultural labourer, her Rosanna, Lily H Collett who was two, and her sister Alice Louisa Collett, who was just ten months old.  The place of birth for both children was confirmed as Eastcombe.

 

 

 

In 1891 she was listed as Lillie Harriett Collett, age 12, when she was living with her family in the village of Siddington near Cirencester.  Around the end of the century she married James Clifford who was born at Cricklade, the son of blacksmith Thomas Clifford and his wife Sarah.  James was a farrier, and he and his father Thomas had already given employment to Lily’s younger brother Bertram Henry Collett with whom he learned the trade of a blacksmith and a farrier which he developed in his later life (see section four for details).

 

 

 

At the time of the census in 1901 farrier James Clifford, age 23 and from Cricklade, was living at Tenby Villa on Avondale Road in Bristol.  Residing there with him was his wife Lilly Clifford who was 22 and also from Cricklade (sic).  The only other people listed at the dwelling were brothers Herbert Clifford and Sidney Clifford who were 15 and 11 respectively, who were very likely the younger brothers of James, even though they were described as his sons.  No record of the family has been found in 1911.

 

 

 

 

 

Alice Belinda Collett (Ref. 1P15) - My Early Life

 

The first home I really remember was at the bottom of Eastrop Hill in Highworth.  It was two houses knocked into one, with a huge great living room, kitchen, and a parlour.  There were two bedrooms upstairs.  The front door opened into the scullery, with a red and black tiled floor, coconut matting, a big copper, and a big open fireplace with two hobs: one an oven and the other a hot water tank with a tap.  There was a large pantry, a great big scrubbed table, and a whacking great dresser.  The parlour became a bedsitting room for Grandma Cockhead, the only grandparent I knew, when she came from Bishopstone to live with us.

 

Lighting was by oil lamps, and sanitation was an outhouse at the end of the garden, a one-and-a-half-holer over a pit which had to be emptied out by Father every so often.  Father had no education and could not read or write.  He was a farm labourer and head cowman.  In later years he worked for Mr Wolfe Barry, the son of Sir John Wolf Barry the architect of the Barry Docks and of Tower Bridge.

 

Father wore a milking smock to work and earned fourteen shillings a week.  Mother worked in the Vorda mat factory making coconut matting for which she received sixteen shillings each week.  She wore a “palm” of leather with a steel patch to push the needle through the mats and she often had to bring work home to finish off some mats and I had to help her.  The mats came in rolls with lengths of the fibre connecting the mats and this had to be cut and woven back in.  When I was old enough I had to do a dozen before I went to bed.

 

Food included rabbits, chicken, meat, a weekend joint and pieces for stews.  Vegetables included cabbages, savoys, broccoli, cauliflower, parsnips, onions, turnips, swedes (from the fields), runner beans, broad beans, peas and potatoes, all grown in the garden.  For a while Father also had an allotment, although that may have been just an excuse for him to stop off at the pub and have a drink.

 

In Highworth the pubs were the Fox, the Fishes, the Red Lion, the White Horse, and the Saracen's Head.  For “afters” we had tapioca and rice puddings, pancakes, fruit and custard on Sundays, suet puddings boiled in a cloth, either “currant duff” or plain with jam.  Jam was always home-made; plum, blackcurrant, goose-berry, redcurrant, and rhubarb.  I was twelve years of age before I tasted marmalade.

 

Mother went shopping into Swindon and brought a jar back, but it was bitter and I did not like it.  She and a couple of other women would go into Swindon on a Saturday afternoon and on one occasion they bought some margarine at a Maypole shop and that was my first taste of margarine.  I had my first tomato when I was about ten or eleven and I did not like it.

 

You got to Swindon on a cheap train from Highworth by way of Hannington, Stanton Fitzwarren, and Stratton St. Margaret.

 

There were three houses together where we lived.  At the back, there was a concrete yard with a big brick shed and coalhouse.  In the shed, there were “prongs” - T-bar digging forks and pitchforks, spades, dutch and draw hoes, rakes, and dibbers including a special long one four inches in diameter with a one inch cross grip used for planting potatoes.  There was a large front garden and a huge back garden.  There were all flowers in the front, lilies, michaelmas daisies, and Granny nightcaps.

 

Father looked after the front garden and some kids often played in the lane and kept kicking their ball into the front garden.  Eventually he would not let them have their ball back, so young Charlie Southam went bawling home to his father.  Pretty soon the father came to our front door saying “Please I be come to ax thee civil, ut thee gi’e I my boy's ball” to which Father replied “No I usn’t” which was met by the retort “Thee rotten bugger” and so on.

 

This is the way people used to speak: “Her be a lazy wench” and “Tha’s needn't come home with that sart of talk, tha bist the same wench as when tha went” and “Tha bisn’t in Lunnon now, tha bist at ‘ome” and one of Dad's favourite sayings when it was raining was “There en’t nobody out partickler while I be in”.

 

My old Father was a plodder.  He would plod on and on and do what he had to do.  He would not just knock off.  If there was something on the farm he thought needed doing he would stay and do it.

 

At the Coronation in 1911 we had Coronation mugs, a holiday from school, and a party on the front lawn of Highworth School.  We were usually only allowed onto the back grass, sitting on the grass with bread and butter and currant buns.  We were all given flags to wave.  We were all lined up and we marched around the centre of the town and then back to the school.  We had combs with tissue paper and played them going around the town.

 

We wore red, white and blue sashes and carried flags.  The headmaster of the school was a Mr. Booth and we used to call him “Featherlegs” because his trouser legs used to flap as he walked.  He always carried a walking stick on his arm.  He would cane children for the least thing.  I remember being caned across both hands.

 

Our teacher was Miss Wise.  She was very short and wore high heels.  She was a bitch and I hated her.  In the 6th form I was top of the class.  One day I was sent to buy some writing paper and envelopes from the stationer, because I was top of the class.

 

Mr. Gale, another teacher, and an elderly bachelor was a very nice man.  He lodged with the Woodbridges - I think Mr. Woodbridge was a harness-maker.

 

There were 6 or 7 classes; the infants were in a very old-fashioned school on the other side of the road.  Now and again we used to walk to Faringdon to Mr. Goddard's shop, the draper.  He sold clothing, materials, bed-linen, and shoes and often came around with his van.  You paid one or two shillings a week.

 

I can remember when the first car drove through Highworth.  It belonged to the Pleydell-Bouveries.  People would say “People will be getting run over with these yer motors”.

 

The shops in Highworth included Marsh's the draper, Smith's for sweets tobacco, oil and groceries, Mr Reason the butcher, Mr Baldwin the coalman, and Tovey's the bakers who made lardy cake.  At Christmas, or some certain time in the year, there had been a bequest left by some lady that there should be a pound of bread from Tovey's for each family member, and the same with a butcher for half-a-pound of beef for each person.  That made our Christmas joint, being a big family.

 

On the afternoon of Christmas Eve there would be quite a to-do getting the bread and the beef.  Every so often there was some money distributed under another bequest.  Our Christmas dinner was beef and vegetables, and Christmas pudding with custard made from packets.

 

At teatime there would be bread, butter and jam, Christmas cake and mince pies.  Christmas stockings were our ordinary black woollen stockings.  There were always a few nuts in the toe such as cob nuts, walnuts, almonds and brazil nuts, then an apple and an orange and sometimes a banana, and a little packet of fruit-drops, a small book, some pencils, a pair of stockings, a sugar watch made of icing with a paper face on it.  The main present was nearly always a doll - eventually a china-headed one that closed its eyes when laid down to sleep, which I thought was wonderful.

 

My Mother was Methodist at one time, but I suppose she rowed with some of the Methodists so we went to the Congregational Chapel.  As children, we went to Sunday School morning and afternoon, and chapel in the evening.

 

When Mother went off with another man she took Ri and Jess, the two youngest children, with her.  My sister Flo then took over running the house.  Elsie and I stayed with Dad and we were far better dressed than before.  He took us to a Miss Smith in Westrop Hill.  She was dressmaker and made us some beautiful blue dresses with a white tucked yoke - I felt quite posh.  My other sister Eva was in service at a boys' college beyond Faringdon somewhere.  She was very good and would come home as often as she could, get clothes for us, and must have spent nearly all her month's money on Elsie and me.

 

I first travelled by train at about the age of twelve years and went to Swindon for a Christmas treat given by the Buffaloes at a swimming baths, all covered up, of course.  They served the food, then cleared the tables away and we had a film show.

 

At school we learned writing with copy books, lots of dictation, arithmetic (getting up to algebra in the top two classes), history, geography, nature study and drill (physical jerks).  There was some sort of day with tea on the grass and games at least once a year, but I could not tell you what it was for. 

 

I worked for a little while at Bidemill Farm in Hannington, working on the farm and in the house, including driving the horse with a swath-turner.  The farm was owned by a Mr. and Mrs. Brinkworth.  They had cows and some hunting horses which Mr. Brinkworth bred.  There was a son, Freddy, about ten years old, and a girl of about seven.  They went to Miss Someone's School, a private school in Highworth.  He was a swine, that boy.  He would hit me around the legs with a riding crop.  I only stayed there a year.  You had to stay in a job for a year to get a reference.

 

My family moved to live at Castle Eaton after Hannington, so I left Bidemill Farm.  I then went into service at Keble House in Fairford, the home of the deceased brother of the late John Keble.  The household was made up of old Mrs. Keble who was bedridden, two spinsters Miss Edith and Miss Grace, and one of the daughters, Mrs Kestell-Cornish, wife of an army officer who had two children, the boy being at Keble College.

 

Some people who lived next door to us at Castle Eaton had a daughter who worked as cook at Keble College, who told us that they needed a girl to train as parlour maid.  They kept a cook, a housekeeper, a kitchen maid, a nursemaid, and a parlour maid.

 

I had to walk five miles home to Fairford on half-days.  I might have one Sunday in four at home; the weekly half-days started after lunch had been washed up, perhaps around 2 o'clock, and I had to be in by 8 or 9 o'clock.  Eventually I got a second-hand bike and I cycled both ways.  There were a lot of soldiers billeted in Fairford.  The cook's husband was overseas in the Army.  This was Ruth Card whose mother lived next door or next but one to us in Castle Eaton.  The kitchen maid had a soldier boyfriend.  I stayed there for a year.

 

The baker who delivered at Castle Eaton came from Water Eaton near Oxford and had a daughter, Miss Akers, who was housekeeper for the Swinsteads.  They needed a general housemaid at their Holmwood home at Cedar Road in Sutton.  Mr. Swinstead had been art master at Christ's Hospital in Horsham and his wife had been needlework mistress at the girls' Bluecoat School in Hertfordshire.  Cedar Road runs parallel to the railway and is only a few yards south of Sutton station off the Brighton Road (B2230).

 

At Sutton the only exciting thing for me was that in Cedar Road there were some very large houses, 10-bedroomed houses.  There were soldiers billeted in the empty houses and they would form them up at the end of the road and then all march down.  I would often be cleaning the hammered copper nameplate on the front door and there would be all kinds of whistles.  I gave them a wink now and again.

 

At Swinsteads you were lucky to get out by 3.30 pm on your half-day and then you had to get in by 9.00 pm.  I met Elsie Benham who worked in the cab office in Sutton and used to go to her house on my half-day.  She and her parents lived in Church Lane.  Mrs. Benham was very good to me, better than my own mother in fact.  Although I was only the maid, after I had left and was working at the Wallington County School, Mrs. Swinstead invited me to go and have a cup of tea with her.  Wallington County Grammar School is on the Croydon Road (A232).

 

In about 1919 I moved to a better-paid job with Mr. and Mrs. Pope at Holland Park in Sutton. They also had a large house in Norfolk.  One daughter, an old maid of about 50 years old, lived at home and she was exceptionally nice to work for.  Even after I was married she came to Carshalton to tea and to lunch one day.  I went home for a while because my Mother was ill, then I went to work for Wallington County School for Girls.  I knew Alice Truman from Swindon who worked there and I worked there for about two and a half years.  Wallington High School for Girls is on the Woodcote Road (A237) in Woodcote Green.

 

I was married at Epsom Registry Office (south-west of Sutton) and we lived at Pound Street in Carshalton.  Today Pound Street is a section of the A232.

 

Written in 1982 by Alice Winchester nee Collett who was born in 1902