PART THIRTY-EIGHT

 

The Oxford Stonemasons Line

 

Updated August 2016

 

 

This is the family line of Anthony Collett from Earls Barton in Northamptonshire,

the line of descent denoted by the names in capital letters.

 

By May 2010 the size of this file was such that it was too large for emailing, so

it was therefore decided to separate the details and provide two files,

one for the village of Wolvercote and one for the village of Combe.

 

As the title indicates, this line is inextricably linked to the prominent family occupation of being stonemasons and affects the families in the Oxfordshire villages of Wolvercote and Combe.  There are clues that perhaps suggest the families in these two villages are related but for now they are shown as two separate families.

 

The information in the revised version is issued in May 2010 has been kindly provided by Brian Taylor

and relates to Mary Anne Collett (Ref. 38N8), about whom nothing was previously known

 

It is thanks to Sue Massen, the daughter of Helen Annie May Collett (Ref. 38R7), that

this file was previously updated with new details going back to Henry Collett (Ref. 38P4)

 

Part 37 – The Oxford City Line is the family line of Kevin Mark Collett (Ref. 37S4) who, on 2nd September 2006 married Lynda Davies whose own family had early Collett ancestors.  This second Oxford Line is therefore an attempt to prove the earlier link between the two families

 

Thanks therefore go to Lynda’s father Martin Davies (Ref. 38Q34) of Stourton in the West Midlands who provided the initial family information that has enabled this line to be developed, the line denoted by the underlined names.

 

 

SECTION ONE – WOLVERCOTE   (1784 to 1945)

 

 

 

 

 

James Collett (Ref. 38M8), who starts this family line, was the youngest son of Thomas (Ref. 38L1) and Elizabeth Collett of Combe, whose complete Combe family feature in Section Two – Combe

 

 

 

 

38M8

JAMES COLLETT was born at Combe in 1784 and it was there that he was baptised on 7th November 1784.  He was a stonemason, a trade that was passed along to at least four of his five sons.  He married Mary Ladson at St Ebbes in Oxford on 16th April 1809.  Mary was born at Wolvercote in 1786 where she was baptised on 26th March 1786.  Wolvercote lies immediately to the north of the City of Oxford and it was there that the couple set up home and where all nine of their children were born and baptised. 

 

 

 

In the first national census of 1841 the family living at Wolvercote was recorded as James Collett who was 57, his wife Mary Collett who was 55, and just four of their nine children.  They were Matthew, who was 19, Charles, who was 15, Mary, who was 13, and Emma who was eight years old.  Over the next decade all bar one of their child left the family home in Wolvercote, so in 1851 it was just James, age 66, with his wife Mary who was 65, and their youngest child Emma who was 18.  Sadly it was four year later in 1855 that their daughter Emma died and was buried at Wolvercote.

 

 

 

Unfortunately it would seem that no records for Wolvercote, and in particular for any member of the Collett family, are available from the census conducted in 1861 when it is well established that there were many of them living there on that occasion.  However, it is known that James Collett had been killed in a tragic accident just three months before the day of that census, although his wife Mary may still have been alive.  James was still working as a stonemason when he fell to his death from scaffolding on which he was still working.  He died during December 1860 and the Wolvercote parish burial record stated that he was buried in the parish churchyard on 19th December 1860 at the age of 76.

 

 

 

38N1

Elizabeth Collett

Baptised on 15.04.1810 at Wolvercote

 

38N2

James Collett

Born in 1812 at Wolvercote

 

38N3

Joseph Collett

Baptised on 02.12.1815 at Wolvercote

 

38N4

Ann Collett

Baptised on 05.05.1818 at Wolvercote

 

38N5

William Collett

Baptised on 31.10.1819 at Wolvercote

 

38N6

Matthew Collett

Baptised on 01.09.1822 at Wolvercote

 

38N7

CHARLES COLLETT

Baptised on 18.09.1825 at Wolvercote

 

38N8

Mary Anne Collett

Baptised on 22.06.1828 at Wolvercote

 

38N9

Emma Collett

Born in 1832 at Wolvercote

 

 

 

 

38N2

 

James Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1812 where he was baptised on 17th May 1812 and where he worked as a stonemason like his father and his brothers.  He married Sarah Woodward at Wolvercote on 7th October 1833.  Sarah was also born at Wolvercote in 1812 and it was there that they lived all of their life and where their eight children were born and baptised.

 

 

 

That was just one of four marriages between the Collett and the Woodward families, the other three being listed in SECTION TWO - COMBE.  They were Phoebe Woodward, who was born in 1801, who married (1) William Collett (Ref. 38n5), who later married (2) Richard Collett (Ref. 38n9), and Rachel Woodward, who was born in 1822 who also married the aforementioned Richard Collett (Ref. 38n9)

 

 

 

In 1841 James, a mason, and Sarah were both 29 when they were living at Wolvercote with their first three children, William who was six, Joseph who was four, and Ann who was just one year old.  According to the same census record, living in the house next door to James and Sarah were William Collett (below) and his wife Sarah, William being James’ brother.

 

 

 

By the time of the 1851 Census for ‘Woolvercott’ the family was still living there and had increased in size by the addition of four more children.  Head of the household was named as Jas Collett, age 39, who was a mason, and his wife Sarah was also 39.  Six children were living with them and they were Wm Collett, who was 16, Jos Collett, who was 13, Jas Collett, who was seven, Anne Collett, who was five, Eliza Collett, who was three, and Emma Collett who was only eleven months old.  Every member of the family was listed as having been born at Woolvercott (sic). 

 

 

 

Sometime during the year following the 1851 Census Sarah gave birth to the couple’s last child Julia.  However, it seems very curious that no member of the family has been positively identified within the next census of 1861, particularly as they were back living in ‘Woolvercott’ in 1871.  On that occasion James Collett was 59 and a stone mason, Sarah was also 59, and by then just two of their children were still living with them.  They were Sarah A Collett, who was 25 and a domestic servant, and Julia Collett who was 18.  Ten years later the census in 1881 confirmed that all of the children of James and Sarah had left the family home except for their youngest child Julia.

 

 

 

The census return that year stated that stonemason James Collett and his wife Sarah were both 69.  Both were confirmed as having been born at Wolvercote, while they were living in a house on the main road through the village simply referred to as ‘village street’.  Living with them was the aforementioned daughter Julia Collett, who was unmarried at 28, who appeared to be looking after her elderly parents as she was not credited with an occupation.  Also listed in the 1881 census with them were two grandchildren of head of the household James.  Joseph Collett was 21 and a stonemason, while his sister Mary A Collett was 16, and both of whom had been born at Wolvercote.

 

 

 

Joseph Collett (Ref. 38P3) and Mary A Collett (Ref. 38P6) were two of the fourteen children of James’ and Sarah’s eldest son William Collett who lived close by in Wolvercote.  It was very likely due to overcrowding in William’s home, together with the fact his wife was due to give birth to the couple’s last child, that had forced Joseph and Mary to go and live with their grandparents.

 

 

 

Over the following entries in this family line it will be noted that eight individual Collett families were recorded as living in houses along the main ‘village street’ in Wolvercote in 1881, indicating the prominence of the family within the local community.

 

 

 

38O1

William Collett

Born in 1834 at Wolvercote

 

38O2

Joseph Collett

Born in 1836 at Wolvercote

 

38O3

Ann Collett

Born in 1839 at Wolvercote

 

38O4

James Collett

Born in 1843 at Wolvercote

 

38O5

Sarah Anne Collett

Born in 1845 at Wolvercote

 

38O6

Eliza Collett

Born in 1847 at Wolvercote

 

38O7

Emma Collett

Born in 1850 at Wolvercote

 

38O8

Julia Collett

Born in 1852 at Wolvercote

 

 

 

 

38N3

Joseph Collett was baptised at Wolvercote on 2nd December 1815.  And it was there that he died and was buried on 22nd March 1835, nine months before his twentieth birthday.

 

 

 

 

38N4

Ann Collett was baptised at Wolvercote on 5th May 1818 and where, later that same year she died and was buried on 22nd September 1818.

 

 

 

 

38N5

William Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1819 and was baptised there on 31st October 1819.  His occupation was that of a stonemason just like his brothers.  It was just prior to June 1841 that he married Sarah Ann Langford, a young lady who was a year older than William having been born at Wolvercote during 1818.  The couple lived the majority of their life in Wolvercote, where all of their children were born and where in 1841 William and Sarah were living right next door to William’s brother James Collett (above) and his wife Sarah.

 

 

 

The 1851 Census revealed that William was 37, while his wife was recorded as S A Collett who was 32.  By that time their marriage had produced three children, daughter M Collett who was four, J W Collett who was two, and F Collett who was ten months old.  Over the next decade three more children were added to their family and they were Daniel, Henry and Rhoda, although as with William’s older brother James (above), no record of either family has been located within the census of 1861.  After a further ten years stonemason William Collett was 51, Sarah A Collett was 52, and the only children living with them Wolvercote were Daniel, who was 18 and also a stonemason, Henry who was 13, and Rhoda who was nine years old.  Living just one house away at that time was William’s brother Matthew (below).

 

 

 

The couple’s three oldest children Mary, James and Frederick had already left the family home by April 1871.  By 1881 William was 61 and Sarah was 62, while their two youngest and unmarried children were Henry who was 23 and Rhoda who was 19, when they were living at ‘village street’ right next door to their son Frederick R Collett and his family.  Also living with the family at Wolvercote in 1881 were two of the couple’s grandchildren and they were Lydia Robinson, who was nine and the child of their daughter Mary, and Horace J Collett who was one year old and the child of their son Frederick Collett, both of the grandchildren having been born at Wolvercote.

 

 

 

Sadly it was five years later that Sarah Ann Collett nee Langford died at Wolvercote, the event recorded at Woodstock register office (Ref. 3a 583) during the first quarter of 1886 when her age was noted as being 67.  William Collett survived his wife and was still living at Wolvercote in 1891 at the age of 71, while his absence from the next census suggests that he died before the end of the century.  The only record of a William Collett of the right age within the census of 1901 was residing in the Headington area of Oxford at the age of 81, and it seems unlikely that that he was this William Collett since his place of birth was Oxford and he was described as a retired farmer.

 

 

 

38O9

Mary E Collett

Born in 1846 at Wolvercote

 

38O10

James William Collett

Born in 1848 at Wolvercote

 

38O11

Frederick Robert Collett

Born in 1850 at Wolvercote

 

38O12

Daniel Collett

Born in 1852 at Wolvercote

 

38O13

Henry Collett

Born in 1857 at Wolvercote

 

38O14

Rhoda Collett

Born in 1861 at Wolvercote

 

 

 

 

38N6

Matthew Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1822 where he was baptised on 1st September 1822, the son of James Collett and his wife Mary Ladson.  He was 19 in the census of 1841 when he was the oldest of the four children still living at Wolvercote with his parents.  He too followed in the family tradition by becoming a stonemason and it was just over six years later that he married Ann Collett from Combe between October and December 1847, as recorded at the Headington Oxford Register Office which included Wolvercote.

 

 

 

For details of the family of Ann Collett of Combe see Section Two – Combe (Ref. 38o11)

 

 

 

Ann Collett was born at Combe and was baptised there on 29th October 1820, her marriage to Matthew Collett of Wolvercote proving to be another link between the two villages.  Ann was the daughter of Thomas Collett and Sophia Smith who were married at Combe just nine days before Ann was baptised and presumably just prior to the birth.  Matthew and Ann lived all their life in the village of Wolvercote where all of their children were born.  By the time of the census in 1851 Ann had presented Matthew with their first two children.  The census return that year recorded the young family as Mathew Collett, age 28, Ann Collett, who was 30, T Collett who was two, and J Collett who was three months old.

 

 

 

With no census information available for Wolvercote in 1861, the family had greatly increased in size by 1871, even though the couple’s eldest daughter, who was 17, was living and working within the city of Oxford by then.  Still together in Wolvercote were Matthew, age 48 who was a stonemason, his wife Ann who was 50 and of Combe, Thomas J Collett, age 22, Joseph, age 20 and a stonemason, Alfred, age 15 and a servant, Annie S Collett, who was 13, John who was 10, and Edwin who was eight.  Their youngest son Benjamin, who was four years old, was not with his family that day but was with them in 1881.  The census in 1871 also revealed that Matthew and his family were living just one house away from his brother William (above) and his family in Wolvercote.

 

 

 

Within the next ten years another three of their children left the family home so, by the time of the 1881 Census, the family had reduced to being just Matthew and Ann and their four youngest sons.  At that time in April 1881 the family was living at ‘village street’ just a few doors along the road from Matthew’s brother William and his son Frederick.  Matthew was 59, Ann was 60, while their sons were Alfred who was 25, John who was 20, Edwin who was 18 and Benjamin who was 14 years of age.

 

 

 

Matthew and Ann were still together in 1891, by which time all of their children had left the family home in Wolvercote and Matthew was 68 and Ann was 70.  Ann must have died sometime during the last decade of the century, since Matthew was still living at Wolvercote in March 1901 when he was a widower and a retired stonemason at the age of 78.  It was not long after that when Matthew Collett also passed away.

 

 

 

38O15

Thomas J Collett

Born in 1848 at Wolvercote

 

38O16

Joseph Collett

Born in 1850 at Wolvercote

 

38O17

Elizabeth Mary Collett

Born in 1853 at Wolvercote

 

38O18

Alfred Collett

Born in 1855 at Wolvercote

 

38O19

Annie Sophia Collett

Born in 1858 at Wolvercote

 

38O20

John Collett

Born in 1860 at Wolvercote

 

38O21

Edwin Collett

Born in 1862 at Wolvercote

 

38O22

Benjamin Collett

Born in 1866 at Wolvercote

 

 

 

 

38N7

CHARLES COLLETT was born at Wolvercote in 1825 and it was there that he was baptised on 18th September 1825.  He was 15 at the time of the census in 1841 when he was still living with his parents in Wolvercote, by which time he had left school and had taken up the occupation of a stonemason.  It was very likely around nine years later that Charles married (1) Anne.  Sadly not much more is known about Anne, except that by 1851 she had given birth to Charles’ son and namesake, and then in the mid-1850s she died during the birth of their second child.  It 1851 Charles and Anne were both 25, while their son Charles was under one year old. 

 

 

 

At least one more child was added to their family in 1854, although it is possible that another child may have been born to the couple during the intervening years.  Anne certainly died between 1855 and 1859, following which Charles then married (2) Elizabeth Simms, a widow who already had a one year old son.  Elizabeth was originally an Oxford girl, having been born at St Giles in 1836, who had been living at Camden Town in London when her son John Simms was born in 1860.

 

 

 

In 1871 Charles Collett from Wolvercote was still living there at the age of 45, when his occupation was confirmed as being that of a mason.  Living with him was his much younger wife Elizabeth from Oxford who was 35, with her son John Simms who was 10 years old and described as son-in-law to head of the household Charles.  Also living with the family was Charles’ two sons, Charles junior, who was 20 and a mason, and Walter who was 16 and a carpenter and a joiner.  The family was completed by Eliza Collett, who was nine years old and the daughter of Charles and Elizabeth.

 

 

 

Living in the adjoining dwellings, one on either side of Collett home, were other members of the Collett family.  On one side was Frederick Robert Collett with his wife Elizabeth and their son Frederick junior, while on the other side was James Collett and his young wife Elizabeth.  Frederick senior (Ref. 38O11) and James (Ref. 38O4) were cousins and the nephews of Charles Collett.

 

 

 

After a further ten years, according to the census in 1881, Charles Collett was 55 and a stonemason of Wolvercote who was living at ‘village street’ with wife Elizabeth, age 44.  Living with them was Charles’ son-in-law John Simms, age 19, who was working at one of the university colleges as a domestic servant.  Also listed with them was one year old Alfred Collett who had been born at Wolvercote and was described as the grandson of Charles Collett.  He was in all probability the base-born son of Charles’ and Elizabeth’s unmarried daughter Eliza who was 21 and a domestic servant in Oxford.  Alfred continued to live with his grandparents until he was old enough to make his own way in life.

 

 

 

Ten years later Charles Collett was 65 in the Wolvercote census of 1891 and he and his wife Elizabeth, age 54, still had their grandson Alfred Collett, who was 11, living with them.  In March 1901 Charles and Elizabeth were still living at Wolvercote.  Charles was then 76 and Elizabeth from the Parish of St Giles in Oxford was 64, but by then the couple’s grandson had left their home only a few years earlier.  Charles Collett died during the next ten years so, by the time of the census in 1911, Elizabeth Collett, age 74, was a widow living at Lower Wolvercote.

 

 

 

38O23

CHARLES THOMAS COLLETT

Born in 1850 at Wolvercote

 

38O24

Walter Collett

Born in 1854 at Wolvercote

 

The following child was born to Charles Collett by his second wife Elizabeth Simms:

 

38O25

Eliza Collett

Born in 1861 at Wolvercote

 

 

 

 

38N8

Mary Anne Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1827 where she was baptised on 22nd June 1828, the daughter of James Collett and Mary Ladson.  It was simply as Mary Collett, age 13, that she was just one of four children still living with her parents at Wolvercote in 1841.  Ten years later Mary was 23 when she was again living in the village, although by then her father had been dead for just three months.  Mary Anne Collett was 24 when she married William Saxton at Wolvercote on 29th November 1852.  William was a blacksmith and a farrier and worked at the paper-mill in the village.

 

 

 

The marriage produced ten children for the couple, one of whom was Annie Saxton who was born in 1865, who later married Charles Taylor at Wolvercote on 18th September 1897.  This is the family line of Brian Taylor who kindly provided the details of the life of his great grandmother Mary Anne Collett and her family.  At the time of the census in 1871 the family was listed as William Saxton, age 46, Mary who was 41, and their children William Saxton, age 18, Henry Saxton, age 17, Eliza Saxton, age 11, Sarah Saxton, who was eight, Edith Saxton, who was seven, Annie Saxton, who was five, and Kate Saxton who was three.  During the following year Mary Anne presented William with their last child Albert.

 

 

 

By 1881 the majority of the children had left the family home which, by that time was at Mill Road in Wolvercote.  William was 56 and was described as a blacksmith at the paper-mill, his wife Mary was 53 and was a paper sorter at the mill, and just three of their children were still living with them.  They were Mary Saxton 23, an unemployed domestic servant, Kate Saxton 13, and Albert Saxton who was nine.

 

 

 

During their later life together at Wolvercote, Mary Anne and William lived at 93 Godstow Road where William had a forge in the outbuildings.  Mary Anne Saxton nee Collett died during April 1889 and was buried at Wolvercote on 22nd April 1889.  William survived for another seventeen years, but on his death in 1906 the house at 93 Godstow Road was taken over by Charles and Annie Taylor nee Saxton who raised their family there.  Curiously the census in 1901 placed William Saxton of Wolvercote living in the Cowley area of Oxford at the age of 76.

 

 

 

At a later time, on the occasion of the marriage on Charles’ and Annie’s son, the outbuildings were demolished and replaced with a new home that was 95 Godstow Road, which today stands on the corner of Rowland Close.  In addition to the forge at 93 Godstow Road, the Saxon family of blacksmiths also operated a forge at the Red Lion Public House in Wolvercote.  All of the above information on the life and family of Mary Anne Saxton has been kindly provided by her great grandson Brian Taylor.

 

 

 

 

38N9

Emma Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1832 or 1833 and was baptised there a little later during June 1834, the youngest child of James Collett and Mary Ladson.  She was eight years old in the census of 1841, and was 18 in 1851 when she was still living at Wolvercote with her elderly parents.  It was just over four years later that she tragically died at Wolvercote, where she was buried on 29th October 1855.

 

 

 

 

38O1

William Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1834, the eldest child of James Collett and his wife Sarah Woodward.  As Wm Collett, age 16, he was still living with his family in 1851, following which he eventually entered the family business and became a stonemason.  He married Mary Ann Jones at Wolvercote on 5th January.1856, where Mary had also been born during 1836 the daughter of shoemaker William Jones.  The marriage produced sixteen children for the couple, although only fifteen are listed below.  All of the children were born at Wolvercote, and they all lived at ‘village street’ in Wolvercote until they left the family home, as confirmed by the census returns for 1871, 1881 and 1891.

 

 

 

According to the census of 1871 William Collett was 36 and Mary A Collett was 34.  Their children at that time were William, age 14, Ellen, age 13, Joseph, age 11, Henry, age 10, George, who was eight, Mary A Collett, who was six, Edward, who was five, Vincent, who was two, and Emma who was one year old.  Ten years later Mary was pregnant with the couple’s last, having already given birth to a further five children during the 1870s.  The census therefore recorded the family in 1881 as William, who was 46, his wife Mary A Collett, who was 44, together with ten of the fourteen children up to that time.  They were Henry, age 20, George, age 18, Edward, age 15, Vincent, age 12, Emma, age 11, Ellis, who was nine, Lydia, who was seven, Edith, who was five, Thomas, who was four, and Agnes who was two.

 

 

 

The two eldest children, William and Ellen, had already left the family home prior to April 1881, William to be married, and Ellen who was employed in domestic service in Oxford.  The other two missing children were Joseph and Mary A Collett who were both living nearby in Wolvercote with their grandparents to ease the overcrowded Collett household.  Ten years later in 1891 the family was somewhat reduced.  William was 56 and Mary was 54, and the only children still living with them at Wolvercote were Edward, who was 24, Ellis, who was 19, Lydia, who was 18, Thomas, who was 13, Agnes, who was 11, and latest arrival Gertrude who was nine years old.  By that time William’s daughter Emma had given birth to a base-born son during 1889, but was married by 1891, although she had not married the boy’s father.

 

 

 

By March 1901 William was 66 and was still working as a stonemason at Wolvercote.  There was no record of his wife in the census that year, so it is assumed that William had been widowed sometime during the 1890s.  It would appear that William passed away sometime during the next few years since no record of him has been found in the census of 1911.  It is interesting that the brother of Mary Ann Collett nee Jones, Henry, was living with her eldest son William James Collett from before 1891 until after 1911, first at Wolvercote and then at Bampton.

 

 

 

38P1

William James Collett

Born in 1856 at Wolvercote

 

38P2

Ellen Collett

Born in 1858 at Wolvercote

 

38P3

Joseph Collett

Born in 1859 at Wolvercote

 

38P4

Henry Collett

Born in 1860 at Wolvercote

 

38P5

George Collett

Born in 1862 at Wolvercote

 

38P6

Mary A Collett

Born in 1864 at Wolvercote

 

38P7

Edward Collett

Born in 1865 at Wolvercote

 

38P8

Vincent Collett

Born in 1868 at Wolvercote

 

38P9

Emma Collett

Born in 1869 at Wolvercote

 

38P10

Ellis Collett

Born in 1871 at Wolvercote

 

38P11

Lydia Collett

Born in 1873 at Wolvercote

 

38P12

Edith Collett

Born in 1875 at Wolvercote

 

38P13

Thomas Herbert Collett

Born in 1876 at Wolvercote

 

38P14

Agnes E Collett

Born in 1878 at Wolvercote

 

38P15

Gertrude Doris Collett

Born in 1881 at Wolvercote

 

 

 

 

38O2

Joseph Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1836, the son of James and Sarah Collett, who by 1851 was 13 and was recorded with his family as Jos Collett from Wolvercote.  It is more than likely that he was a stonemason like his father, the profession also being taken up by his eldest son.  When in his early twenties he met and married Lavinia Lindsey who was born at Witney in 1836.  The wedding ceremony took place around 1858 and by 1871 the marriage had produced four children for Joseph and Lavinia and all of them born while the family was living at nearby Summertown in north Oxford. 

 

 

 

In April 1871 Joseph and Lavinia were living in the Headington & St Clements area of Oxford where they were both 33 years old.  Lavinia was expecting the imminent birth of their fourth child on the day of the census, while their three previous children were listed as Henry J Collett, who was 11, Samuel T Collett, who was seven, and Ernest H Collett who was five years old.  Tragically for the family, it was around his fortieth birthday, that Joseph Collett died on 13th November 1876 from cirrhosis of the liver while living at Rose Cottage on Banbury Road in Summertown. 

 

 

 

Approximately one year after the death of her husband, Lavinia married another stonemason, Richard Stroud.  Richard was fifteen years older than Lavinia and had been born at Wootton, north of Woodstock in Oxfordshire.  Shortly after they were married Richard and Lavinia were living within the Iffley area of south Oxford, where their son Frank Stroud was born in 1878.  Just after he was born the family had moved again, that time to Howard Street in the Cowley district of the City of Oxford where they were living in 1881.  Howard Street runs between Iffley Road (A4158) and Cowley Road to the east and is virtually the same today as it was at that time.

 

 

 

Living with Richard, age 59, and Lavinia Stroud, age 44, and their son Frank Stroud, who was two years old, were two of the children of the late Joseph Collett, they being his son Samuel Collett and his daughter Lavinia Collett.  Of his other two children missing from the 1881 census return, his son Ernest was serving in the navy, but it is not known what had happened to Henry.

 

 

 

Lavinia was expecting the birth of Richard Stroud’s second child on the day of the census in 1881, which was confirmed in the following census of 1891.  The family was still living within the Headington St Clements district of Oxford where Richard Stroud was 71, Lavinia Stroud was 53, and their two sons were Frank R Stroud, age 12, and George W Stroud who was nine.

 

 

 

38P16

Henry J Collett

Born in 1859 at Summertown, Oxford

 

38P17

Samuel Thomas Collett

Born in 1863 at Summertown, Oxford

 

38P18

Ernest Henry Collett

Born in 1865 at Summertown, Oxford

 

38P19

Lavinia J Collett

Born in 1870 at Summertown, Oxford

 

 

 

 

38O3

Ann Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1839 but died in 1842 and was buried at Wolvercote on 3rd September 1842, the daughter of James and Sarah Collett.

 

 

 

 

38O4

James Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1843 and as Jas Collett he was seven years old in the census of 1851.  Unlike other members of his family who had entered the traditional family business of being a stonemason, James took up the profession of clock and watch maker.  It was around 1870 that he married Elizabeth who was eight years younger than James, who had been born at Woodstock in 1851.  Once married they settled in Wolvercote, where they were living in 1871 when James was 27 and a watch and clock maker and his wife was 19.  Elizabeth was already awaiting the birth of their first child who was born shortly after the census day that year.

 

 

 

The two adjacent dwellings on one side of the home of James and Elizabeth Collett were occupied by the families of James’ uncle Charles Collett (Ref. 38N7) right next door, and James’ cousin Frederick Robert Collett (below).

 

 

 

At least two more children were born to the couple during the following decade, with the larger family still living in Wolvercote in 1881.  According to the census that year James was 37 and Elizabeth was 29 when they were living with their three children at Woodview Cottages in Wolvercote, where Elizabeth was employed at the local paper-mill in Wolvercote as a rag cutter.  Their children on that occasion were their daughters Blanche, who was nine, and Evelyn, who was seven, and their son Charles James who was one year old.  The fact that no further children were added to the family for almost another ten years raises an interesting possibility, bearing in mind what happened next to the family.

 

 

 

With Elizabeth being eight years younger than James, there is a chance that a liaison with another man resulted in the birth of her last child.  On discovering that his wife had been unfaithfully, James may have assaulted the gentleman concerned, and it may have been that action which caused him to be jailed during the first few years of the child life.  All of this is purely supposition in the absence of anything more positive.

 

 

 

What is known for sure, is that by the time the child was born in 1889, Elizabeth had been moved to the Oxford Union Workhouse following the family’s eviction from the house in Woodview Cottages, when her husband was incarcerated in jail.  Due to his misdemeanour, hereto not confirmed, James Collett spent time in the Oxford H M Prison on New Road in the city and was recorded as still being there at the time of the census of 1891 when he was 47. 

 

 

 

At that same time in their lives James’ wife Elizabeth was an inmate at the Oxford Union Workhouse, where she was recorded as Elizabeth Collett who was 39.  Listed there with her at the workhouse in the St Clement area of the city was her son Roland who was two years old, who was described as Rowland of Summertown. 

 

 

 

Of the couple’s other children, their eldest child Blanche Collett was 19 and was employed as the only general domestic servant at the home of baker William Lanburn and his seamstress wife Elizabeth at 3 St Mary's Road in the Cowley district of Oxford.  Rather curiously, the couple’s eldest son Charles J Collett, who was only nine years old, was also listed in the census of 1891 as living with another family in Oxford.

 

 

 

Just after the start of the new century James and Elizabeth were living at Littlemore to the west of Oxford.  According to the census return for 1901 James Collett, age 57 and from Wolvercote, was continuing to work as a watch and clock matcher, while Elizabeth was 49 and a laundress also from Wolvercote.  Still living with the couple were two of their children and they were Evelyn Collett, who was 27 and from Wolvercote who was a packer at a laundry, and Roland H Collett who was 11 and born at Summertown in Oxford.  During the next decade Elizabeth passed away, and her death may have been the reason why the family returned to Oxford.  By 1911.  James Collett of Wolvercote was 67 when he was living at New Marston with his unmarried daughter Evelyn, who was 37, and his youngest son Roland who was 21.

 

 

 

38P20

Blanche Collett

Born in 1871 at Wolvercote

 

38P21

Evelyn Collett

Born in 1874 at Wolvercote

 

38P22

Charles James Collett

Born in 1880 at Wolvercote

 

38P23

Roland Herbert Collett

Born in 1889 at Summertown

 

 

 

 

38O5

Sarah Anne Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1845, the daughter of James and Sarah Collett.  At the time of the Wolvercote census in 1851 her parents informed the census enumerator that she was Anne Collett who was five years old and born Wolvercote.  No record of the family has so far been found in 1861, but they were still living in Wolvercote in 1871, when Sarah A Collett, age 25, was a domestic servant and one of only two children still living there with their parents.  It seems very likely that she was married prior to 1881, since there was no record of a Sarah Anne Collett of Wolvercote at that time.

 

 

 

 

38O7

Emma Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1850 and was baptised there on 19th May 1850.  She was eleven months old in the census of 1851.  Her location in 1871 has not been determined, but when she was 30 she was unmarried and was working as a live-in housemaid and servant at the homes of 68 year-old master draper John C Cavell at his extensive properties at 11 to 12 Magdalen Street and 1 to 2 Friars Entry in the St Mary Magdalen district of Oxford.  Both addresses were just off Cornmarket Street and Broad Street in the centre of the city centre and are still there today - see note below.  In the mid 1900s, and perhaps for many decades earlier, there was a large and very grand departmental store in the centre of Oxford at the intersection of Cornmarket Street, Broad Street and George Street that was Ellison & Cavell.  It can therefore safely be assumed that draper John Cavell may have been the co-founder of the emporium, which was later taken over by Debenhams.

 

 

 

At the age of 39 in 1891 and 49 in 1901 Emma Collett was still a spinster, but at that time she was a shopkeeper selling dairy produce in the St Giles district of Oxford.  The census return for 1901 described Emma as the aunt of head of the household Joseph F Richardson from Leake in Lincolnshire who was only 20 years of age and a civil engineer.  A third person living at the property was Emma’s niece Lydia Robinson from Wolvercote who was 31 and also a shopkeeper selling dairy produce, the daughter of Emma’s sister Mary Robinson nee Collett (below).  However, no record has been found for Emma after that time which might mean that she had married late in her life, or that she had died during the years between 1901 and 1911.

 

 

 

 

38O8

Julia Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1852 and was 18 years old in 1871 when she was just one of two children still living with her parents in Wolvercote.  It was the same ten years later in 1881 when she was still living with her parents at their home in ‘village street’ in Wolvercote.  The census that year indicated that she was 28 and was unmarried with no stated occupation or employment.  It can perhaps therefore be assumed that her role in life was to care for her elderly parents James and Sarah Collett who were both approaching their seventieth birthdays. 

 

 

 

Sometime during the following twenty years her parents James and Sarah passed away and by the time of the census of 1901 Julia Collett was listed as being unmarried at 47, while being a boarder at a house in Wolvercote from where she was working as a paper sorter at the Wolvercote paper-mill.  Early in the new century Julia Collett of Wolvercote married John Carey of Launton near Bicester and by April 1911 the couple were living within the Woodstock area where Julia was 57 and John was 54.  In 1901 John had been living at Launton and was employed as a platelayer on the railway.

 

 

 

 

38O9

Mary E Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1846.  She later married Mr Robinson, probably in Wolvercote, with whom she had a son and a daughter before he died prior to 1881.  Both of the children were born at Wolvercote.  According to the 1881 Census, Mary E Robinson, a widow of 34, was still in Wolvercote where she was living and working at the vicarage for the unmarried Reverend Henry A Redpath who was 32 and of Forest Hill in Kent.  Living at the vicarage with Mary was her son Frederick W Robinson age 12 who, whilst still at school, was listed in the census record as being a servant at the house, supporting his mother with her domestic and general servant duties.

 

 

 

Mary’s other child, Lydia Robinson who was nine years old, was living with her grandparents William and Sarah Collett in ‘village street’ in Wolvercote.  From other information within the census of 1881 it is likely that Mary’s husband was the brother of cattle dealer and farmer of 56 acres William Robinson, age 29 of Ramsden north of Witney, who was living with his wife Fanny in ‘village street’ in Wolvercote at that time.  By 1901 Mary’s daughter Lydia was 31 and was still a spinster living and working with her maiden aunt Emma Collett (above) in the St Giles area of the City of Oxford, where they were both described as shopkeepers selling dairy produce.

 

 

 

 

38O10

James William Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1848 and was the second child and eldest son of stonemason William Collett and his wife Sarah Ann Langford.  In the 1851 census for Wolvercote he was simply listed with his family as J W Collett aged two years.  No record of James or any member of his family has been identify in the following census of 1861 and by 1871 James was no longer living in the family home at Wolvercote and may have been living and working in the Aston district of Birmingham where a James Collett from Oxfordshire was 23.  Ten years later stonemason James Collett, age 33 and from Oxfordshire, was single and a lodger at 12 Market Place in Hinckley, the Leicestershire home of cowman John Linney and his family.  What happen to him after that time is not yet known.

 

 

 

 

38O11

Frederick Robert Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1849, the second child and eldest son of William and Sarah Collett.  By the time he was 21 he was married with a child of his own.  His occupation was that of a stonemason like many of the members of the Collett family of Wolvercote.  And also like many of the Colletts he lived in ‘village street’ in Wolvercote.  It was when he was around 20 that he married Elizabeth Ann who had also been born at Wolvercote, where they settled and where all of their children were born.  The Wolvercote census in 1871 included Frederick Rbt Collett, age 21, who was a stonemason, his wife Elizabeth A Collett who was 19, while their son Frederick C Collett was just five months old.  Living in the dwelling next door to the family in 1871 was Fredrick’s uncle Charles Collett (Ref. 38N7) with his second wife Elizabeth Simms, and in the dwelling next door to them was Frederick’s cousin, watch and clock maker, James Collett (above) who had only just married his much younger wife Elizabeth.

 

 

 

Ten years later in the Wolvercote census of 1881 the family was listed as Frederick R Collett, who was 31, Elizabeth A Collett, who was 29, and their children Fredrick C Collett, who was 10, Walter Collett who was six, Philip Collett who was two, and an unnamed Collett baby who was just one month old.  With the arrival of the new son, later named Arthur, the couple’s slightly older baby son Horace was staying at the house next door belonging to Frederick’s parents William and Sarah Collett.  Even though she was the mother of five children, Elizabeth earned income for the family by working as a rag sorter for the nearby paper-mill.  It seems very likely that she carried out her duties at home, enabling her to care for her young family at the same time.

 

 

 

By 1891 the family was made up of Frederick R Collett, age 41, his wife Elizabeth K (sic) Collett, age 39, and six of their nine children who were Frederick C Collett, who was 20, Walter Collett, who was 17, Philip Collett, who was 12, Arthur Collett, who was 10, Ralph Collett, who was six, and Ernest E Collett who was three years old.

 

 

 

Stonemason Frederick R Collett was 51 in the March 1901, while his wife Elizabeth Ann was 49, when both of them were still living at Wolvercote with the five youngest members of their family.  Arthur was 20, George was 17, Ralph was 16, Ernest was 13, and Leah was six.  It would appear that Frederick died during the first ten years of the new century since, by April 1911, his wife was a widow living in the neighbouring hamlet of Godstow with three of her children.  Elizabeth Ann Collett of Wolvercote was 59, Ralph Collett was 26, Ern Edward Collett was 23, and her daughter Leah was 16.

 

 

 

38P24

Frederick Charles Collett

Born in 1870 at Wolvercote

 

38P25

Walter Collett

Born in 1874 at Wolvercote

 

38P26

Philip Collett

Born in 1878 at Wolvercote

 

38P27

Horace J Collett

Born in 1880 at Wolvercote

 

38P28

Arthur Collett

Born in 1881 at Wolvercote

 

38P29

George Mitchell Collett

Born in 1883 at Wolvercote

 

38P30

Ralph Collett

Born in 1885 at Wolvercote

 

38P31

Ernest Edward Collett

Born in 1887 at Wolvercote

 

38P32

Leah Collett

Born in 1894 at Wolvercote

 

 

 

 

38O12

Daniel Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1852, the son of William and Sarah Collett.  He was 18 in 1871 by which time he had entered the family business as a stonemason.  Two years later when he was around twenty years old he met nineteen-year old Ellen Trinder who was born in Abingdon-on-Thames the youngest child of William and Martha Trinder, to whom he was married around 1874.  Like the vast majority of the Colletts of Wolvercote, the couple lived in a house in ‘village street’ where all of their children were born.  At the time of the 1881 Census Daniel was 28, Ellen was 27, and by then they had four sons.  They were William, who was five, Albert, who was four, Percy, who was three, and Sidney who six months old. 

 

 

 

Ten years later more children had been added to the family.  Daniel was 38, although his wife Helen was recorded in the census of 1891 as Ellen Collett, who was 37.  Their children that year were listed as William J Collett, age 15, Albert E Collett, age 14, Percy T Collett, age 13, Sidney H Collett, age10, Ethel M Collett, who was seven, Augustus D Collett, who was five, Helen E Collett, who was four, and Lilian M Collett who was just one year old.  No further mention has been made of their daughter Ethel M Collett in any later records, so there is a likelihood that she died before the end of the century.  An alternative source gave her name as Ellen N Collett.

 

 

 

According to the 1901 Census most of Daniel’s and Helen’s children were still living in the village of Wolvercote, although the three oldest sons had left the family home there by then.  Still living with mason Daniel, age 48, and his wife Helen from Abingdon who was 47, were Sidney H Collett, age 20, Augusta (sic) D Collett, age 15, Helena E Collett, age 14, Lillian M Collett, age 11, Harry T Collett, who was nine, Merrick F Collett, who was eight, and Rose E Collett who was five.

 

 

 

By April 1911 the family had moved the very short distance from Wolvercote to Godstow on the banks of the River Thames.  Daniel was 58, Helen was 57, Sidney was 30, Augustus was 25, Lillian was 21, Harry was 19, Merrick was 18, and Rose was 15.  Only Daniel’s daughter Helena had left home during the previous decade.  Daniel Collett was still living in Wolvercote, at Providence House, when he died on 29th April 1933 at Whitehouse Road in Oxford.  Probate for his estate of £1,816 7 Shillings 1d was granted at Oxford on 7th June 1933 in favour of his two sons Sidney Henry Collett and Augustus Daniel Collett, both of whom were described as stonemasons.

 

 

 

38P33

William John Collett

Born in 1874 at Wolvercote

 

38P34

Albert Ernest Collett

Born in 1876 at Wolvercote

 

38P35

Percy Thomas Collett

Born in 1877 at Wolvercote

 

38P36

Sidney Henry Collett

Born in 1880 at Wolvercote

 

38P37

Ethel M Collett or Ellen N Collett

Born in 1883; died before 1901

 

38P38

Augustus Daniel Collett

Born in 1885 at Wolvercote

 

38P39

Helena E Collett

Born in 1886 at Wolvercote

 

38P40

Lillian M Collett

Born in 1889 at Wolvercote

 

38P41

Harry T Collett

Born in 1891 at Wolvercote

 

38P42

Merrick Frederick Collett

Born in 1892 at Wolvercote

 

38P43

Rose E Collett

Born in 1895 at Wolvercote

 

 

 

 

38O13

Henry Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1857 and was 13 in 1871.  Ten years later he was a master carpenter at the age of 23 when he was unmarried and still living at home with his parents at ‘village street’ in Wolvercote.  Curiously though, no record of him has been found after 1881, when he may have emigrated to one of the colonies.

 

 

 

 

38O14

Rhoda Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1861 and was nine years old in 1871.  On leaving school she became a dressmaker, as confirmed in the census of 1881 when Rhoda was 19 and was still living at home with her parents at ‘village street’ in Wolvercote.  Ten years later she was still unmarried and was still living in Wolvercote, thereafter it is highly likely that she was married.

 

 

 

 

38O15

Thomas J Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1848, the eldest child of Matthew and Ann.  In the census of 1851 it was only his father whose name was recorded in fully, whereas his mother and himself and his brother were simply included with the initial letter of their first names.  So T Collett was two years old.  However, in the census of 1871 he was recorded as Thomas J Collett, age 22, when he was still living at the family home in Wolvercote from where he was working as a compositor for a printing company.  Where Thomas was in 1881 and thereafter has not been determined.

 

 

 

 

38O16

Joseph Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1850 where he was baptised on 29th December 1850, the second child of Matthew and Ann Collett.  He was three months old in the census of 1851 when he was listed with his family as J Collett.  The next census in 1871 confirmed that Joseph Collett, age 20, was a stonemason who had been born at Wolvercote, when he was still living there with his family.  Although he continued to follow in the family tradition of being a stonemason, for some reason he left home in Wolvercote at an early age and moved to the neighbouring county of Buckinghamshire.

 

 

 

Towards the end of the 1870s he met Ellen who was born at Waddesdon, west of Aylesbury, and who was eleven years younger than Joseph.  That difference in their ages may have been the reason for the split from his family.  And it was at Waddesdon Joseph Collett married Ellen Marlow, the daughter of Benjamin Marlow and Alice Saunders, on 14th April 1879 when she may have been only seventeen years old.  However, it is known that the liaison produced a daughter who was born at Bow in London in 1880.  So perhaps the couple may have fled to London immediately after they were married for Ellen to have the baby in secret.

 

 

 

Either way, by the census conducted on the third of April in 1881, all three of them were living at Wharf Row in the village of Buckland between Aylesbury and Tring.  Wharf Row backs onto the Grand Union Canal and is still in existence today.  The census return listed stonemason Joseph Collett as 30 and of Wolvercote in Oxford, Ellen his wife was 19 and from Waddesdon, while their daughter Alice was just one year old.  It was seven years later that their second child was born, although there may have been other between who did not survive.

 

 

 

The subsequent census returns for 1891 and 1901 indicate that Joseph had returned to live in London and that he was still married but, on both occasions, neither his wife nor his children were listed as being with him, when he was described as a ‘lodger’.  In 1891 as Joseph Collett from Wolvercote he was 40 when he was living within the Mile End Old Town area and ten years later he was 50, a stonemason from Wolvercote, living in the Battersea area of London.

 

 

 

Joseph’s younger brother John Collett (below) was a journeyman stonemason and in April 1911 the two brothers were staying at a boarding house in Monmouth, from where they were most likely working somewhere in the near vicinity.  Joseph Collett from Wolvercote was 60 and his brother John Collett from Wolvercote was 50, while the family of John Collett was at home in Summertown in Oxford.

 

 

 

38P44

Alice Collett

Born in 1879 at Bow, London

 

38P45

Frederick J Collett

Born in 1888 at Bow, London

 

 

 

 

38O17

Elizabeth Mary Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1853 and she would have been seven years old in the census of 1861, even though no records that year have been found for Wolvercote or the Collett families who lived there.  On completing her schooling Elizabeth found work in domestic service within the city of Oxford, where she was recorded as Elizabeth M Collett who was 17 and from Wolvercote.  Rather curiously no record of her has been found within the census of 1881, but by 1891 she was still unmarried when she was living and working in Grantchester, just outside Cambridge.

 

 

 

According to each of the three census returns in 1891, 1901 and 1911 she was confirmed as having been born at Wolvercote, albeit noted in error as Wolvercot in 1911, when she was still unmarried and living and working in Grantchester.  She was named as Elizth Collett, age 37, in 1891, as Elizabeth M Collett, age 47, in 101 when she was employed as a domestic housekeeper, and as Elizabeth Mary Collett, age 57, in 1911.

 

 

 

Just over thirty years later Elizabeth Mary Collett was residing at 348 Banbury Road in Oxford when she was taken into the North Oxford Nursing Home where she died on 2nd January 1942.  Administration of her personal effects amounting to £105 15 Shillings 1d was granted at Oxford on 23rd March 1942 in favour of John Collett, a retired stonemason, Elizabeth’s younger brother (below).

 

 

 

 

38O18

Alfred Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1855 and was baptised there on 19th August 1855.  He was 15 in the Wolvercote census of 1871 when he was still living in the village with his family.  By the time he was 25 he was a carpenter and a joiner, but was not married and was still living at the family home in Wolvercote.  About seven or eight years later, towards the end of the 1880s, Alfred married Alice who was born at Burgh near Louth in Lincolnshire in 1865.  The marriage produced three children for Alfred and Alice and all of them were born at Wolvercote.

 

 

 

He and his young family were recorded in error in the Wolvercote census of 1891 when their surname was incorrectly written as Colletts.  Alfred Colletts was 35, his wife Alice Colletts was only 25, and their daughter was Dorothy F Colletts who was still under one year old.  Alice may well have been with-child on the day of the census because she presented Alfred with a son later that same year.  By 1901 Alfred was 45 and Alice was 34, when they were living with their three children at Wolvercote.  Alfred was continuing with occupation of a carpenter and a joiner and was working for a local building company, while his three children were Dorothy Collett, who was 10, Herbert Collett, who was nine, and Wilfred Collett who was two.

 

 

 

During the next ten years the family moved to nearly New Marston within the Headington district of Oxford, where they were living in 1911.  Alfred Collett was 55, his wife Alice Collett was 45, and their three children were confirmed again as Dorothy Collett, age 20, Hubert Collett, age 19, and Wilfred S Collett who was 12.

 

 

 

38P46

Dorothy F Collett

Born in 1890 at Wolvercote

 

38P47

Hubert Collett

Born in 1891 at Wolvercote

 

38P48

Wilfred S Collett

Born in 1898 at Wolvercote

 

 

 

 

38O19

Annie Sophia Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1858 where she was baptised on 14th March 1858.  It was as Annie S Collett, age 13, that she was living at Wolvercote with her family in 1871.  After a further ten years, and at the age of 23, she was working as a cook for the Vicar of St Philip & James Church the Rev. Edward C Denner of Lambeth in Surrey at his home in 24 Leckford Road in the St Giles district of Oxford.  Leckford Road is situated about two blocks to the north of the Radcliffe Infirmary on the west side of the Woodstock Road (A4144) and is still today as it was at that time.  By the time of the next census in 1891 Annie was very likely married.

 

 

 

 

38O20

John Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1860 and was baptised there on 9th September 1860, the son of Matthew and Ann Collett.  He was 10 years old in the Wolvercote census in 1871 when he was recorded with his family, and according to the new census in 1881 he was 20 and an unemployed stonemason who was still living at ‘village street’ in Wolvercote with his parents and his two brothers.  In order to secure employment John took up being a journeyman stonemason and in 1891 there was a John Collett at Christchurch in Hampshire who was 30 years old and recorded as a journeyman stone mason.

 

 

 

It was around the middle of the next decade that John from Wolvercote married Ellen from Wye near Ashford in Kent, with whom he had two sons who were born at Wolvercote.  After the birth of their second child the family left Wolvercote when they moved the few miles to Summertown in the St Giles district of north Oxford, where they were living in March 1901.  John Collett was 40 and was confirmed as being a journeyman stonemason from Wolvercote, his wife Ellen from Wye in Kent was 41, and their two sons were David Collett, who was two, and Christopher B Collett who was six months old.  Their address at that time was 26 Thorncliffe Road in Summertown.

 

 

 

John’s work continued to involve travelling round the country and in April 1911 he was working with his older brother Joseph Collett (above), when the pair of them were recorded in the census that month in Monmouth.  John Collett was 50 and from Wolvercote, while his brother was 60 and also from Wolvercote.  Back home in Summertown was his wife Ellen Collett, age 50, together with their sons David John Collett who was 12, and Christopher Bert Collett who was 10.  Once again Ellen’s place of birth was stated as being Wye in Kent, while the birthplace of her sons was Wolvercote.

 

 

 

By the time of the death of his unmarried sister Elizabeth Mary Collett (above) at Oxford in early 1942 John Collett was described as a retired stonemason when he was the sole administrator for his sister’s personal effects.

 

 

 

38P49

David John Collett

Born in 1898 at Wolvercote

 

38P50

Christopher Bert Collett

Born in Sept 1900 at Wolvercote

 

 

 

 

38O21

Edwin Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1862 and was baptised there on 12th October 1862.  He was eight years old in 1871 and was still living in Wolvercote with his family ten years later.  Edwin Collett, age 18, and his family were residing in a dwelling on ‘village street’ when, like his older brother John (above) he too was described as an unemployed stonemason in 1881.  Towards the end of that decade Edwin married Sarah Ann around 1887 and the marriage produced four children for Edwin and Sarah before the start of the new century.

 

 

 

By 1891 Edwin and his wife and their first child were living in the Summertown district of Oxford, when Edwin Collett was 28, Sarah A Collett was 35, and William G E Collett was one year old.  Sarah was with-child on the day of the census that year, and gave birth to the couple’s second son just a few months after.  The family was completed during the next five years following the births or their last two children, all four of them born in Oxford.  The family was residing within the Cowley St john district of Oxford in 1901, when the census listed them as Edwin, age 38 and a stonemason from Wolvercote, and his wife Sarah, who was 45 and from Blackwall in Kent.  Their four children were William, who was 11, Francis, who was nine, Sidney, who was eight, and Florence who was three.

 

 

 

Ten years later the family was living at New Marston still within the Cowley area, where Edwin Collett was 49, Sarah Ann Collett was 55, William George Edw Collett was 21, Francis Arthur Collett was 19, Sidney Thomas Collett was 18, and Florence May Collett was 14 years old.  Midway through the First World War it is established that Edwin and Sarah were living at 50 Argyle Street off the Iffley Road in Cowley.  It was while living here that they received the tragic news that their son Sidney had been killed in action during the Battle of the Somme.

 

 

 

38P51

William George Edwin Collett

Born in 1889 at Oxford

 

38P52

Francis Arthur Collett

Born in 1891 at Oxford

 

38P53

Sidney Thomas Collett

Born in 1893 at Oxford

 

38P54

Florence May Collett

Born in 1896 at Oxford

 

 

 

 

38O22

Benjamin Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1866 and was the youngest child born to Matthew Collett and his wife Ann.  For some peculiar reason Edwin was not recorded with his family in 1871 when he was living in the same area at the age of four.  He was still attending the village school in Wolvercote in 1881 when he was 14 and when he and his family were recorded at ‘village street’ in Wolvercote.  However, having left school shortly after that census day he eventually left Oxfordshire and was living and working in Leicester by the time he was 24, when the census in 1891 confirmed he was from Wolvercote.

 

 

 

Benjamin became a school teacher and in March 1901 he was living and working at a school in Caverswall, near Stoke-on-Trent, where his occupation was that of a school master.  Shortly after the census day that year Benjamin married Nellie by whom he had three children.  According to the next census in April 1911 Benjamin Collett from Wolvercote was 44, and at that time in his life he and his family were living at Calne in Wiltshire.  His wife Nellie Marguerite Collett was 34 and their three children were Eric John Cyril Collett, who was eight, Mary Elizabeth Collett, who was four, and Robert Charles Collett who was three years old.

 

 

 

38P55

Eric John Cyril Collett

Born in 1902

 

38P56

Mary Elizabeth Collett

Born in 1906

 

38P57

Robert Charles Collett

Born in 1908

 

 

 

 

38O23

CHARLES THOMAS COLLETT was born at Wolvercote in 1850 where he was baptised on 20th April 1851, the eldest of the two sons of Charles and Anne Collett.  Around the time his brother Walter (below) was born the boys’ mother died, and around 1858 their father remarried.  That was confirmed by the Wolvercote census of 1871 when Charles was 20 and a mason living with his father and his brother Walter.  Also living at the same abode was Charles’ stepmother Elizabeth Collett with her son John Simms and her daughter by Charles Collett, Eliza Collett, who was the half-sister of Charles junior.

 

 

 

Not long after that Charles Thomas Collett met and married Eliza Cross, who was born on 1st September 1856 at Marcham to the west of Abingdon-on-Thames.  They were married around 1873 and initially lived for a short while at Wolvercote where their first child was born.  Within two years the family had moved into the City of Oxford and was living at 1 Clarendon Buildings on Walton Crescent in the Jericho area of the city within the Parish of St Thomas, and it was there that their next two children were born.

 

 

 

That was confirmed by the 1881 Census in which stonemason Charles T Collett was 30, Eliza Collett was 25, and their three children were Thomas W Collett who was six, Francis C Collett who was four and Clarice L A Collett who was just nine months old.  Also living with the family was lodger and medical nurse, 61 years old Eliza Wood of Oxford.  Further children were added to the family during the following ten years and on the day the census was conducted in 1891 the family was still living at 1 Clarendon Buildings in the Jericho area of Oxford.  Charles Collett from Wolvercote was 40 and a mason, his wife Eliza from Marcham was 36, and their children were named as Thomas Collett from Wolvercote who was 16 and a domestic house porter, Francis Collett was 14 with no stated occupation, Charles Collett was six years old and attending school, as was Bertha Collett who was four.  Lodging with the family was Jane Boyd a widow of 73 from Hinton in Berkshire.  No record of absent daughter Clarice L A Collett has been found anywhere in Britain at that time, nor has she been identified in any later census, so it seems highly likely that she did not survive beyond infancy.

 

 

 

By the end of the century just one more child had been added to the family, which had moved across the city from Jericho in the west to the parish of St Barnabas, to the east of the city centre.  According to the census in March 1901 the Collett family was residing at 35 Union Street which runs between Cowley Road and Morrell Avenue.  Charles Collett from Wolvercote was 50 and employed as a stonemason, his wife Eliza from Marcham was 46, and it was just their three youngest children who were still living with them.  They were Charles Collett who was 16 and an apprentice print compositor, Bertha Collett who was 14 and working as a domestic housemaid, and Agnes Collett who was five.  Still living with the family was boarder Jane Boyd from Hinton, a widow at 83.  Hinton was very likely Hinton Waldrist which lies a few miles west of Marcham, so Jane may have been Eliza’s grandmother.

 

 

 

Charles and Eliza were still living in the 5-roomed dwelling that was 35 Union Street in the St Barnabas area of Oxford in April 1911 and still living there with them were just two of their children.  Charles Thomas Collett from Wolvercote was 60 and a mason working in the building trade.  His wife of thirty-eight years, Eliza Collett from Marcham, was 56 and during their years together Eliza had given birth to nine children, only four of whom were still alive.  The two children still living with the couple were Charles Collett who was 26, unmarried and a compositor working at Oxford University Press, and Agnes M L Collett who was 15 and working as a dressmaker at a business in the local area.  Curiously under ‘Birthplace’, both of the children were said to have been born at 35 Union Street which was incorrect, since it was only between 1891 and 1895 that the family moved to Union Street when Charles would have been around ten years old.

 

 

 

At that same time in April 1911 Charles’ eldest son Thomas was a married man with a family of his own, who was also living in the Cowley area of Oxford, just a few streets away from his parents.  Although only six of their recorded nine children are listed below, the four who were still living in 1911 were Thomas, Charles and Agnes, and Bertha who was employed by an elderly lady to the north of the city centre.  So, in addition to absent daughter Clarice in 1891, it would appear that the couple’s second son Francis had also died by 1911, most likely as an adult and perhaps in military service.  The three previously missing children from the list below could, it would appear, have been born around 1878, 1882 and 1888 or sometime thereafter.

 

 

 

38P58

THOMAS WALTER COLLETT

Born in 1874 at Wolvercote

 

38P59

Francis Charles Collett

Born in 1876 at Oxford

 

38P60

a Collett child – infant death

Born circa 1878 at Oxford

 

38P61

Clarice L A Collett

Born in 1880 at Oxford

 

38P62

a Collett child – infant death

Born circa 1882 at Oxford

 

38P63

Charles Collett

Born in 1884 at Oxford

 

38P64

Bertha Mary Collett

Born in 1886 at Oxford

 

38P65

a Collett child – infant death

Born circa 1888-1892 at Oxford

 

38P66

Agnes M L Collett

Born in 1895 at Oxford

 

 

 

 

38O24

Walter Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1854, the son of Charles Collett by his first wife Anne who died just after he was born.  Upon leaving school he initially became a carpenter and a joiner, which was how he was described in the Wolvercote census of 1871 when he was 16 and was living with his father who had remarried by then.  It was eight years later during the first three months of 1879 that he married Elizabeth Ann Hearn at Brackley in Northamptonshire where she was born in 1852.  Just over a year after they were married Elizabeth gave birth to a son when the couple was living in Oxford. 

 

 

 

The family of three was recorded in the Oxford census of 1881 as living at 43 Nelson Street in the St Thomas district of the city, where Walter was 26 and a carpenter from Wolvercote and his wife Elizabeth was 28 and from Brackley.  Their son Albert Collett was just ten months old having been born in Oxford during the summer of the previous year, and may have been born at 43 Nelson Street.  It is established the at least one other child was added to their family, although there may have been others who did not survive.

 

 

 

By 1891 Walter Collett was 36, Elizabeth was 38, and their two children were Albert H Collett who was 10, and Emily M Collett who was six years old.  At that time in their lives the family was recorded in the St Clements area of Oxford.  No more children appear to have been born into the family which, by the time of the census in March 1901, was residing within the St Giles district of Oxford.  Walter from Wolvercote was still working as a carpenter at the age of 46, his Elizabeth from Brackley was 48, and their two children Albert, age 20, and Emily, who was 16, were still living with them.  Walter’s son was very likely working with him, as he too was a carpenter.

 

 

 

Sometime during the first decade of the new century their son Albert left the family home, perhaps to go abroad, since no record of him has been found anywhere in great Britain in 1911.  Instead, at that same time, the remaining members of the family had moved to New Marston in north Oxford, where Walter Collett was 56, Elizabeth Collett was 58, and their daughter Emily Maude Collett was 26.

 

 

 

38P67

Albert H Collett

Born in 1880 at Oxford

 

38P68

Emily Maude Collett

Born in 1884 at Oxford

 

 

 

 

38O25

Eliza Collett was born at Wolvercote around 1860 and was the only known child of Charles Collett and his second wife Elizabeth Simms.  Eliza Collett was nine years old in the census of 1871 when she was living in Wolvercote with her parents, and her stepbrothers Charles and Walter Collett, and her half-brother John Simms.  On leaving school she entered into domestic service and by 1881, when she was 21, Eliza was working as a live-in servant and housemaid at the home of 80 years old widower and clergyman Richard Greswell at 39 St Giles Street in Oxford.  In 1911 Bertha Mary Collett (Ref. 38P64) was a parlour for Helen Margaret Greswell at 70 Woodstock Road in Oxford, not far from St Giles Street.  Bertha was Eliza’s niece, the daughter of her half brother Charles Thomas Collett (above).

 

 

 

Although not proved, it is very likely that unmarried Eliza had given birth to a base-born son just over one year prior to the census day, because living with her parents at Wolvercote in 1881 was one year old Alfred Collett who had been born at Wolvercote, who was described as their grandson.  It is also established that Alfred remained living with his grandparents until he around twenty years of age, when he set out on his own, just before the end of the century.  Both of Eliza’s older half-brothers were already married by the time that Alfred was born, therefore pointing to him being the illegitimate son of the only other member of the family, that being Eliza Collett.

 

 

 

38P69

Alfred Collett

Born in 1879 at Wolvercote

 

 

 

 

38P1

William James Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1856, the eldest child of William Collett and Mary Ann Jones.  William was another member of the family to take up the occupation of stonemason and lived on village street in Wolvercote like many of his relatives.  It was around 1880 that he married Ann Marie Corke who had been born as Ann Marie Collett at Bampton, south of Witney, towards the end of 1856 or early in 1857.  Ann Maria Collett (Ref. 47O8) was one of the four base-born children of unmarried mother Esther Elizabeth Collett of Bampton, the later wife of Alfred Corke.  Further details of Ann’s family can be found in Part 47 – The Fyfield & Eastleach Martin Line.

 

 

 

According to the census in 1881 William J Collett, age 24 and from Wolvercote was a stonemason residing in a dwelling on village street in Wolvercote with his wife Annie M Collett.  She was also 24 and was described as a former domestic servant who had been born at Bampton in Oxfordshire.  On the day of the census that year Annie’s youngest half-sister Edith M Corke, who was nine years old and also of Bampton, was described as a visitor in the Collett household.  It was the stating of Ann’s recent occupation, and the fact that they had no children, which suggests that she and William were only very recently married.  However, it was later that same year that Ann presented William with their first child.

 

 

 

Over the next decade the marriage produced a total of three children.  So by the spring of 1891 the family comprised William J Collett and Annie M Collett, both 34 years of age, and their children Alfred T Collett, who was nine and born at Wolvercote, William H Collett, who was five and born at Sunnymead, and Percy V Collett who was two years old and also born at Wolvercote.  Sunnymead is situated very close to Wolvercote and lies just north of the Summertown district of Oxford.  Also staying as boarders with the family that day in 1891 at their home in Meadow View were (a) Alma L Corke from Bampton who was 25 and the younger half-sister of Ann Marie, (b) Vincent Collett, age 25 from Wolvercote, William’s younger brother (below) and (c) Henry Jones, the brother of William’s mother, who was an army pensioner who was still living with the Collett family ten years later and with whom a reduced Collett family was still living ten years after that.

 

 

 

During the middle of the 1890s the family left Wolvercote and moved away from Oxford to settle in Bampton, where Ann had been born some forty years earlier.  Also during that decade two further children were added to family, the first was born before the move to Bampton, with the second born after the family had settled there.

 

 

 

By the turn of the century William’s and Ann’s eldest son Alfred had already left the family home and was a soldier based in London.  In addition to that, head of the house William was also missing from the Bampton based family according to the census return for 1901.  The family on that occasion, residing at Church View in Bampton, comprised Annie Collett who was 44, her sons William aged 15 of Sunnymead and Percy aged 12 of Wolvercote, and her daughters Marion, who was eight and also of Wolvercote, and Florence who was two and born at Bampton.  For the past ten years the family had living with them, both at Wolvercote and Bampton, Henry Jones who was described as a widower and an uncle, being the brother of William’s mother.

 

 

 

In 1911 it was the reverse situation, insofar that it was Ann who was missing from the family still living in Bampton, while her husband William had returned and was listed in the census that year.  That was because the death of Ann Marie Collett nee Corke, formerly Ann Marie Collett, was recorded at Witney register office (Ref. 3a 729) during the first quarter of 1909 when she was 51.  Her eldest son Alfred was married by then and was living nearby in Bampton, while living with 54 years old widower William Collett in 1911 at Church Street in Bampton were his two daughters Marion who was 17 and Florence who was 13.  On that occasion the head of the household was Henry Jones from Wolvercote who was 67, with the three members of the Collett family described as boarders.

 

 

 

It is assumed that family group remained together until Henry Jones passed away four years later, his death recorded at Witney (3a 1361) during the second quarter of 1915.  It was six years later that the death of William J Collett was recorded at Witney register office (Ref. 3a 1232) during the first three months of 1921 when he was 64.

 

 

 

38Q1

Alfred Thomas Collett

Born in 1881 at Wolvercote

 

38Q2

William Henry James Collett

Born in 1885 at Sunnymead

 

38Q3

Percy Victor Collett

Born in 1888 at Wolvercote

 

38Q4

Marion Collett

Born in 1893 at Wolvercote

 

38Q5

Florence Collett

Born in 1897 at Bampton, Oxon

 

 

 

 

38P2

Ellen Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1858, the eldest daughter of William Collett and Mary Ann Jones.  Like so many young girls at that time, Ellen entered into domestic service upon leaving school.

 

At the age of twenty-two in 1881 she was not married and was working as a live-in servant and cook for forty-five years old annuitant Anne Petch in her home at 6 Wellington Square in the St Giles district of the City of Oxford.

 

It was towards the end of the following year that Ellen married George Giles, a rural messenger, carrier and postman in Wolvercote. 

 

The marriage produced ten children for the couple, the most notable being their first child, Alice Agnes Giles who was born in Headington. 

 

 

 

The couple’s next two children where Henry and George who were both born while the family was living within the St Clements area of Oxford, after which the family moved to Beckley where their family was completed with a further seven children.

 

 

 

Once their children had grown up and left their Beckley home, Ellen and George went to live at St Mary’s Road in Oxford, the same road where Ellen’s niece Blanche Collett was living and working in 1891.  It was while at their St Mary’s Road home that Ellen and George provided a meeting ground for their large extended family and where Ellen always served fresh doughnuts to her grandchildren seated around a table covered with a snowy white cloth.

 

 

 

The family built a theatre in the basement of the house, complete with seating, stage curtains and lighting, for which the children devised endless performances.  Ellen found them hugely entertaining and would laugh soundlessly, her body trembling and with tears rolling down her cheeks.

 

 

 

Such was Ellen’s prominence within the family that it is completely understandable she was seen by all as the real matriarch of the Collett family.  And so, to return to her most notable child, that being Alice Agnes Giles who was born at Headington in 1884.  She married her cousin Henry William Collett who was the eldest son of Ellen’s younger brother Henry Collett.  See Ref. 38Q12 for further details of their life and family.

 

 

 

 

38P3

Joseph Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1859 and was baptised there on 24th July 1859.  According to the census of 1871 he was 11 and was living with his family at Wolvercote.  Joseph was one of a family of fifteen children and prior to being married he was living with his stonemason grandfather James Collett (Ref. 38N2) in Wolvercote.  The reason why may simply have been to relieve the already overcrowded living conditions in the house of his parents.

 

 

 

That was confirmed by the census of 1881 in which Joseph was recorded as being 21 and a stonemason from Wolvercote, living with his grandparents just a few yards from his parents’ house.  Also staying there at the same time was Joseph’s younger sister Mary A Collett (below).  Also in 1881, the family of Joseph’s future wife, Charles and Sarah Gessey and their four children were living next door to Joseph’s older brother William J Collett (above).  Charles’ occupation was that of a general labourer with the railway, while his daughter Esther was a rag cutter at the Wolvercote paper-mill.

 

 

 

On 16th September 1883 at Wolvercote Joseph married Esther Ann Gessey who was born in 1854.  The parish marriage register recorded that Joseph and his father William Collett were both stonemasons and that Esther’s father Charles Gessey was a labourer.  During the first seven years of their marriage Esther presented Joseph with three children as confirmed by the Wolvercote census of 1891.  The census return listed the family as Joseph, age 31, Esther A Collett was 34, while their three children were Berty who was six, Esther A Collett who was four, and baby Joseph C Collett who was not yet one year old.  Over the next decade another three children were added to their family while they were still residing in Wolvercote.

 

 

 

By 1901 Joseph was 41 and was a stonemason living at Cyprus Terrace in Wolvercote with his wife Esther A Collett who was 44.  Living there with them were five of their six children, and they were Bertie, age 16, Joseph, age 10, Fred who was eight, Eliza who was six, and Kate M Collett who was just three years old.  Every member of the household had been born at Wolvercote.  Also staying with the father was esther elderly widowed father Chas Gessey from Hanborough in Oxfordshire who was 81.  Joseph’s and Esther’s eldest daughter Esther, who was 14 and from Wolvercote, had already left school and had begun working for a family in the neighbouring village of Wytham, just over the River Thames from Wolvercote.

 

 

 

The family was still living in Wolvercote in 1911, albeit named on the census return as Wolvercot.  By that time Joseph Collett was 52, Esther Ann Collett was 56, Bertie Collett was 26, Esther Ann Collett was 24, Joseph Charles Collett was 21, Frederick James Collett was 19, Eliza Sarah L Collett was 17, and Lily Mary Collett – previously Kate M Collett was 10, and all of them born at Wolvercote.  Joseph and Esther also had two grandchildren living with them and they were Maggie Collett of Wolvercote who was three, and Mary R Collett who was eleven months old, who were more than likely the base-born children of their daughter Esther Ann Collett who had returned to live with her family after her absence in 1901.

 

 

 

38Q6

Bertie Collett

Born in 1884 at Wolvercote

 

38Q7

Esther Ann Collett

Born in 1886 at Wolvercote

 

38Q8

Joseph Charles Collett

Born in 1890 at Wolvercote

 

38Q9

Frederick James Collett

Born in 1892 at Wolvercote

 

38Q10

Eliza Sarah L Collett

Born in 1894 at Wolvercote

 

38Q11

Lily (Kate) Mary Collett

Born in 1901 at Wolvercote

 

 

 

 

38P4

Henry Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1860.  On leaving school Henry worked with his stonemason father William Collett and was employed as a stone sawyer, as confirmed by the 1881 Census for Wolvercote when he was 20 years old.  It was during the following year that he married Annie Mabel Parsons on 27th May 1882 at St Peter’s Church in Wolvercote.  Annie was the daughter of James Parsons and was born in 1861 at Kennington in Berkshire just to the south of Oxford.  Shortly after they were married Henry and Annie were living at Summertown where their first three children were born. 

 

 

 

In Summertown at that time there was a great deal of building work going on, and it is assumed that Henry was gainfully employed in the building programme.  A little while later, the family moved back to Wolvercote where their next five children were born.  In 1891 Henry was 30 and listed with him in the census return was his wife Annie, age 29, and their five children.  Henry was seven, Agnes was six, Harold was four and Laura was two, while their so far unnamed baby daughter was just three days old, the child later being given the name Ada.  The family was living at Meadow View in Wolvercote from where Henry was employed as a builder’s labourer.

 

 

 

However, towards the end of the 1890s the family had returned to live at Summertown, where their penultimate child was born.  Another family move took place shortly after the birth, since by March 1901 the majority of the family was living at William Street in New Marston, to the east of Summertown.  The 1901 Census recorded the family as Henry, age 40 and a bricklayer’s labourer, his wife Annie, who was 39, and their seven children.  They were Harold, age 14, Laura, age 12, Ada, age 10, Alice, who was eight, Ernest, who was six, Frederick, who was four, and Rose who was two years old.  On the day of the census that year Annie was expecting the couple’s tenth child.

 

 

 

The couple’s eldest son Henry may have been with the British Army, perhaps in South Africa, as he has not been traced in the census of 1901.  The couple’s only other missing child was Agnes who was 16 and who was working as a general domestic servant in the St Peter le Bailey district of Oxford.  From a stone sawyer in 1881 to a bricklayer’s labourer twenty years later might seem a backward step, particularly as most of the other male members of this Collett family had gone onto become fully fledged stonemasons.  This therefore raises the question as to whether Henry and his father had a ‘falling out’.

 

 

 

What may be interesting to note at that time, was that there were no Colletts living at Summertown during the recording of the 1881 Census.  However, in addition to Henry and his family, there was another Collett family living in William Street in New Marston in 1901.  That was the family of Arthur Collett, age 29 and from Banbury, who was a telephone wireman.  His wife was Alice I Collett, who was also 29, and with them was their son Herbert W A Collett who was three years old and from Birmingham like his mother.

 

 

 

It seems very likely that some personal tragedy struck the family during the next decade, and that may have coincided with, or happened not long after, the birth of Henry’s and Annie’s last child in 1904, when Annie would have been in her early forties.  It is certainly known that she physically survived the ordeal, although no record of her has been found in the census of 1911, nor was she living with Henry on that occasion, although his status was still that of a married man.

 

 

 

Members of a later generation of the family recall visiting ‘Grandma Annie Collett’ just before the start of the First World War, and at that time she was living in Wolvercote with her husband.  So it points more to a temporary break-down in their marriage, perhaps resulting from a health issue which required a period of institutional care for Annie.  It was granddaughter Helen Collett who remembered visiting her grandparents at Wolvercote.  From her memory as a very young child she told the tale that Annie wore strangely old fashioned black clothes and a poke bonnet. She also recalled that everything and everywhere in the house smelled of snuff.

 

 

 

What is known for sure is that in 1908, under the powers of the Oxford Board of Guardians, a report was written in which it was recommended that four of Henry’s and Annie’s children be admitted into the workhouse in the Headington area of Oxford.  They were Laura, the eldest at 19, who would have been charged with looking after Rose, who was nine, Leonard, who was seven, and Minnie who was just four years old.  In addition to caring for her siblings, Laura was either with-child or had already given birth to a base-born child of her own in 1908.  At that same time Henry’s two sons Ernest and Frederick were sent to The Boys School in Bath.

 

 

 

By April 1911, Henry Collett was on his own and was recorded in the census as being 50 years old and married, while living at 10 Carters Yard in St Aldates Oxford, with no trace of his wife.  His two youngest children were still living at the workhouse on that occasion, while his daughter Laura had left with her baby daughter, as had Henry’s daughter Rose, who was living with a family in Headington by then.

 

 

 

The only other member of Henry’s and Annie’s family still living in Marston was their daughter Ada Hannah Collett who was 22.  Their daughter Alice Mary Collett, who was 19, was living and working in the Wandsworth area of London, while their son Ernest James was 16 and was living and working in Pembroke, and Frederick was still at The Boys School in Bath.

 

 

 

Annie Mabel Collett may have died at Wolvercote in 1917, although the death was recorded at the Headington Registry Office.  Therefore it must be assumed that she suffered some form of physical or mental break-down prior around 1908 which resulted in her becoming an inmate at an institution, a hospital, or a similar establishment where she was very likely staying at the time of the census in 1911.  Henry Collett was around eighty years of age when he died during 1940.

 

 

 

38Q12

Henry William Collett

Born in 1883 at Summertown

 

38Q13

Agnes Annie Collett

Born in 1884 at Summertown

 

38Q14

Harold Frank Collett

Born in 1887 at Summertown

 

38Q15

Laura Lilian Collett

Born in 1888 at Wolvercote

 

38Q16

Ada Hannah Collett

Born in 1891 at Wolvercote

 

38Q17

Alice Mary Collett

Born in 1892 at Wolvercote

 

38Q18

Ernest James Collett

Born in 1894 at Wolvercote

 

38Q19

Frederick Peter Collett

Born in 1896 at Wolvercote

 

38Q20

Rose Clara Collett

Born in 1898 at Summertown

 

38Q21

Leonard Percival Collett

Born in 1901 at New Marston

 

38Q22

Minnie Lavinia Collett

Born in 1904 at New Marston

 

 

 

 

38P5

George Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1862 and on leaving school, rather than join his father in the stonemason business, he was employed at the nearby Wolvercote paper-mill as a papermaker.  He married Elizabeth Ann during the autumn of 1887, following which they had five children while they were still living in Wolvercote.  By the time of the Wolvercote census in 1891 George and Elizabeth already had their first child, and on the day of the census the couple were expecting the imminent birth of their second child.  Head of the household George Collett was 28, his wife Elizabeth A Collett was 26, and their son George A Collett was two years old. 

 

 

 

Just over five years later, during June in 1896, George Collett was one of the witnesses at the Wolvercote wedding of his younger sister Lydia Collett (below), who married baker Sidney Gardner.  Between 1891 and 1901 Elizabeth presented George with a further three more children, and by March 1901 the census that month recorded George, at the age of 38, still working at the paper-mill in Wolvercote, where he was then employed as a machine minder.  Elizabeth, who was born at South Moreton near Wallingford in 1864, was 36, and their three children were George A Collett, who was 12, Reginald Collett, who was nine, William J Collett, who was seven, and Elizabeth A Collett who was one year old.

 

 

 

Just one more child was added to the family four years later, so by April 1911 George and his complete family were recorded as living at Mill Road in Lower Wolvercote, where George was 48 and was still employed as a paper making machine man.  His wife of twenty-three years and six months was Elizabeth Ann Collett, age 46 and from South Moreton, and their five children were George Alfred, age 22, Reginald, age 19, William J P H Collett, age 17, Elizabeth Ann who was 11, and Cyril Edward who was five years old.

 

The photograph of George, with his family, as supplied by his granddaughter Wendy Rattray nee Collett, was taken in the winter months around 1920, when he would have been in his mid to late fifties.  All of the men were wearing flowers in their buttonholes, so the occasion may have been a wedding.

 

 

 

38Q23

George Alfred Collett

Born in 1888 at Wolvercote

 

38Q24

Reginald Collett

Born in 1891 at Wolvercote

 

38Q25

William J P H Collett

Born in 1893 at Wolvercote

 

38Q26

Elizabeth Ann Collett

Born in 1899 at Wolvercote

 

38Q27

Cyril Edward Collett

Born in 1905 at Wolvercote

 

 

 

 

38P6

Mary A Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1864 and was recorded as being was six years old in the census of 1871 when she was living in Wolvercote with her family.  Due to overcrowding in the family home Mary and her older brother Joseph (above) moved out during the 1870s and went to live with their grandparents James and Sarah Collett (Ref. 38N2).  And it was with James and Sarah in Wolvercote that Mary A Collett, age 16, was still living in April 1881.

 

 

 

 

38P7

Edward Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1865 and was listed as unemployed in April 1881 even though he was only 15 years of age.  Ten years after that, when he was 24, he was still living with his family in Wolvercote. At the time of the next census in1901 Edward was 35 and was still living at Wolvercote where he was working as a general labourer.  However, by 1911 his absence from the census that year may suggest that he was no longer living in Great Britain, as may have been the case with his brother Ellis Collett.

 

 

 

 

38P8

Vincent Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1868, his birth recorded at Woodstock (Ref. 3a 658) during ther second quarter of that year.  He was two years old and was 12 years of age in the next two census returns when he was living at Wolvercote with his family.  By 1891 he had left the family home and was unmarried at 22 when he was an agricultural labourer living as a boarder with his older married brother William James Collett (above) and his family at Meadow View in Wolvercote.  However, shortly after that he married Prudence Annie Simmonds who had been born within the St Thomas district of Oxford during 1864, the wedding recorded at Woodstock register office (Ref. 3a 933) during the first three months of 1892.  The marriage had produced four children before the end of the decade and according to the census in 1901 Vincent, age 32 and a dairyman’s assistant, stated that he had been born at Lower Wolvercote.  Prudence A Collett was 36, and their four children were Ernest Collett, who was eight, Kate Collett, who was six, Frank Collett who was one, and baby Dora who was under one.  All of the children were also described as having been born at lower Wolvercote.  Living in the house next door to Vincent and his family was his younger sister Lydia Gardner nee Collett (below) and her young family.

 

 

 

The family was also confirmed in the census of 1911 as still living in Wolvercote within the Woodstock registration district when it was made up of Vincent Collett of Wolvercote age 42, his wife Prudence Annie Collett who was 45, and their four children Kate Collett, age 16, Frank Collett, age 11, Dora Collett who was 10, and Leslie Vincent Collett who was eight years old.  The couple’s absent son Ernest had joined the armed forces by that time and was recorded within the St Thomas district of Exeter in Devon, where he was described as being 18 and in the military.  The death of Vincent Collett, aged 77, was recorded at Oxford register office (Ref. 3a 2059) during the first quarter of 1946.

 

 

 

38Q28

Ernest Collett

Born in 1892 at Wolvercote

 

38Q29

Kate Collett

Born in 1894 at Wolvercote

 

38Q30

Frank Collett

Born in 1899 at Wolvercote

 

38Q31

Dora Collett

Born in 1900 at Wolvercote

 

38Q32

Leslie Vincent Collett

Born in 1902 at Wolvercote

 

 

 

 

38P9

Emma Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1869, the daughter of William and Mary Collett, and was just under one year old in the Wolvercote census of 1871.  Ten years later she was 11, and when she was nearly twenty years old she gave birth to a base-born son, the father of whom was probably named Bowman.  However, during the last three months of 1890 Emma Collett married John Mortimer, a bricklayer’s labourer from Stanton St John in Oxfordshire, the event recorded at Woodstock (Ref. 3a 1439).  On the day of the census just a few months later the newly married couple was residing at Godstow Road in Wolvercote when John Mortimer was 23, Emma Mortimer was 21, and Emma’s son Henry J Collett who had been born at Wolvercote and who was one year old.

 

 

 

Emma gave birth to two children during the next few years, so in the Wolvercote census conducted in March 1901 the family was living at Church Road in the village, where John Mortimer was 36 and his wife Emma was 32.  John was confirmed as being a labourer for a bricklayer, while Emma was working as a rag cutter at the Wolvercote paper-mill.  Living with them was Emma’s son Henry J Bowman Collett, who was 11, and the first five of the nine children that she had by her husband John.  They were Annie May Mortimer who was nine, Ellen E Mortimer who was eight, John Alfred Mortimer who was seven, Lydia Louisa Mortimer who was five, and Edith Elsie Mortimer who was four, all of them born at Wolvercote.

 

 

 

Ten years later the couple’s eldest daughter had left the family home in Wolvercote, when she was 19 and living and working in the Headington area of Oxford.  No record has been found of daughter Ellen, whereas the family had been extended by the birth of a further three children.  So the Mortimer family comprised John, age 45, Emma, age 42, John Alfred who was 16, Lydia who was 15, Edith who was 13, Ada who was nine, Cyril, who was seven, Percy Thomas who was five, and Daisy Gertrude who was one year old.  By that time Emma’s base-born son was a married man.

 

 

 

38Q33

Henry Jesse Bowman Collett

Born in 1889 at Wolvercote

 

 

 

 

38P11

Lydia Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1873.  At the age of 18 years she was still living in Wolvercote and five years later it was there that she married Sidney Ernest Gardner on 14th June 1896.  The witnesses at their marriage were Lydia’s older brother George Collett (above) and her younger sister Edith Collett (below).  Sidney was born at Bampton in 1875 and by the turn of the century he and Lydia were living at Wolvercote.  According to the 1901 Census for Wolvercote Sydney E Gardner was 25 and his occupation was that of a baker.  His wife Lydia was 27 and the census confirmed she was born at Lower Wolvercote and that her husband was born at Bampton in Oxfordshire.

 

 

 

Their children at that time were Annie A Gardner, who was four, Sydney T Gardner, who was three, Dorothy May Gardner, who was one year old, and the family’s latest arrival baby Prudence A Gardner who was only a few months.  All four children were born at Lower Wolvercote.  In the house right next door to where Lydia and Sidney were living at Wolvercote in 1901 was her brother Vincent Collett and his family (above).

 

 

 

In the years after 1901 Lydia presented Sidney with a further six children, so by 1911 the family living in the Woodstock registration district comprised Sydney, age 35, Lydia, age 37, Dorothy, who was 11, Prudence, who was 10, Lucy, who was five, Alice, who was three, and Millie who was ten months old.  Lydia Gardner nee Collett died at Oxford during 1950.  It was Lydia’s and Sidney’s daughter Dorothy May Gardner born in 1899 who was the mother of Violet Bell who kindly provide the information about her grandmother’s family that enabled this family’s details to be updated.

 

 

 

 

38P12

Edith Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1875.  In June 1896 Edith was one of the witnesses at the Wolvercote wedding of her older sister Lydia (above) and at the turn of the century she was still living at the family home in Wolvercote, where she had the role of housekeeper.  Edith was later married to William Henry Elger who was many years old than Edith.  In April 1911 she and her family were living within the Cowley area of Oxford where Edith Elger from Wolvercote was 37, her husband William was 55, and their children were William Vincent, who was four, Cyril Henry, who was three, Edith Gertrude, who was two, and Albert Charles Elger who was two months old.

 

 

 

 

38P13

Thomas Herbert Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1876.  He was a general labourer and in 1901 at the age of 24 he was still a bachelor living at Wolvercote.  Sometime during the next few years Thomas married Lucy and in 1911 the childless couple was living at Lower Wolvercote, within the Woodstock registration district, where Thomas Herbert Collett was 34 and his wife Lucy Collett was 37.

 

 

 

 

38P14

Agnes E Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1878.  According to the 1901 Census Agnes was 22 and was not married and was still living with her parents at Wolvercote.  Her occupation at that time was a paper-layer and would have been employed at the local paper-mill in the village.  By April 1911 Agnes was 33 and still a spinster.  Her place of birth was confirmed as Wolvercote but by that time she had left the village and was recorded as living within the Woodstock area.

 

 

 

 

38P15

Gertrude Doris Collett was born at Wolvercote not long after the third of April in 1881 and was nine years old in the Wolvercote census of 1891 when she was living there with her parents.  Ten years later in 1901, and at the age of nineteen, she was working as a general domestic servant in the St Giles district of Oxford.  She later married Thomas Preedy and in 1911 the childless couple were living in Cowley where Gertrude Doris Preedy of Wolvercote and her husband Thomas were both 30.

 

 

 

 

38P16

Henry J Collett was born at Summertown in 1859.  Very little is known about Henry except that he was eleven years old in the Summertown census of 1871 when he was listed as living there with his family.

 

 

 

 

38P17

Samuel Thomas Collett was born at Summertown in 1863, the birth being registered in the three months of April to June that year.  In 1871 he was recorded as living with his family in the St Clements & Headington area of Oxford at the age of seven.  Ten years later at the age of eighteen he was employed as bookseller’s assistant.  At that time he was living at Howard Street in Cowley with his younger sister Lavinia (below) and his mother Lavinia who had married Richard Stroud following the unexpected death of his father Joseph about five years earlier.

 

 

 

On 21st July 1885 Samuel married Catherine Ann Perrin who was believed to have been born around 1860.  Catherine was actually born on 24th November 1859 at Brightwell near Wallingford in Berkshire and was the daughter of police constable William Perrin and his wife Catherine Ann Bishop, both of Rousham in Oxfordshire, which is a village less than four five miles north of Woodstock.  The wedding took place at the church of St Mary and St John in Cowley.  The marriage register confirmed that Samuel Thomas, age 22, was the son of stone carrier Joseph Collett deceased, while Catherine Ann was 25 and the daughter of policeman William Perrin.  The marriage certificate was signed in the presence of William Perrin and Catherine’s sister Mary Emma Perrin and also confirmed that Samuel was living at Howard Street.

 

 

 

For whatever reason, there was no record for Catherine in the 1881 Census, although her parents were living at Bury Lane in Appleton with their daughter Mary Emma Perrin, age 21, a dressmaker who had also been born at Brightwell.  So it is possible that Mary Emma was a twin sister to Catherine Ann.  Furthermore both daughters were listed as living with their parents in the 1861 and 1871 censuses.

 

 

 

By the time of the 1901 Census the marriage had produced a daughter for Samuel and Catherine and the family of three was then living at Lambeth in London where their six years old daughter had been born and where Samuel Collett 37 and from Summertown was a foreman and a stockman for a stationery company.  A further move took the family from Lambeth to Epsom in Surrey where they were living in April 1911.  Samuel Thomas Collett was 47, his wife Catherine Ann was 51, and their daughter Dorothy Lavinia of Lambeth was 16.

 

 

 

Catherine Ann Collett nee Perrin, being older than Samuel, passed away before her husband, sometime after 1911 and up to 1923.  At the time of the death of Samuel Thomas Collett on 2nd January 1924, he was residing at a dwelling named Sunningdale at 4 Woodstock Road in Carshalton, Surrey.  His Will proved in London on 28th February 1924 resulted in his entire estate of £4,372 19 Shillings 1d being bequeathed to clothing buyer Arthur Edwin White.

 

 

 

38Q34

Dorothy Lavinia Collett

Born in 1894 at Lambeth

 

 

 

 

38P18

Ernest Henry Collett was born at Summertown in 1865 and was five years old in the St Clements & Headington census of 1871 when he was living there with his family.  As a young man, after leaving school, he enlisted to join the Royal Navy.  By the time he was seventeen he was serving on board HMS Alexandra as ‘boy’.  The 1881 Census listed him as Ernest H Collett who was 17 and from Summertown in Oxford, who was described as being situated “at sea or in a foreign port”.  His enhanced age may have been for the purpose of him joining the navy.

 

 

 

On leaving the navy, Ernest returned to Oxford and in the census of 1891 he was reunited with his sister Lavinia Collett (below) when they were both living in the St Clements area of Headington.  The census return recorded him as Ernest H Collett age 25 and from Summertown.  Living nearby was their mother who had remarried following the death of Ernest’s father in 1876.

 

 

 

Just after the turn of the century Ernest Collett of Summertown was living in the Cowley St John area of Oxford where he was working as a domestic gardener.  On that occasion he gave his age as being 35, when living with him was his married sister Lavinia Ireland.  Ten years later in April 1911 the same Ernest Collett who was been born at Summertown was living in the Headington registration district of Oxford when he gave his age as being 45.  It would appear that he was not married as he was living alone in the Cowley area of the city.

 

 

 

 

38P19

Lavinia J Collett was born at Summertown in 1871, the birth taking place just after the census day that year which was the second of April.  She was the youngest of the four children of Joseph Collett and his wife Lavinia, and was just five years old when her father died in 1876.  A year later he mother remarried and in 1881 Lavinia Collett, age 10 years, was living with her mother Lavinia Stroud and her brother Samuel Collett (above) at Howard Street in Cowley, the home of her stepfather Richard Stroud.

 

 

 

Ten years later in 1891, when Lavinia was 20, she was living with her brother Ernest (above) within the St Clements area of Headington in Oxford near to where their mother was still living.  By the end of March in 1901 Lavinia had married Thomas James Ireland who was not listed with her in the census that year.  Instead Lavinia Ireland, age 29 and from Summertown, was again staying with her brother Ernest in the Cowley St John area of Oxford.

 

 

 

It seems likely that Thomas James Ireland may have been a soldier and was away in Africa or elsewhere in 1901.  However, on his return the couple moved to London and in April 1911 Thomas and Lavinia were living in the St Olave Bermondsey area, by which time they had two sons.  Thomas James Ireland was 48, Lavinia J Ireland was 41, and with them was Arthur Edmund Ireland, who was five years old, and Alfred Ernest Ireland who was four.

 

 

 

 

38P20

Blanche Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1871, the first child of James and Elizabeth Collett.  In 1881 the youngest family was living at Woodview Cottages in Wolvercote when Blanche was nine years old.  During the next ten years Blanche’s father fell foul of the law and as a result of which he was convicted and was sentenced to spend time in Her Majesty’s Prison at New Road in Oxford.  That would appear to have forced the family out of their Wolvercote home, where upon Blanche’s mother entered the Oxford Union Workhouse.

 

 

 

So by the time of the Oxford census of 1891, Blanche’s father was in prison, and her mother and brother Roland were in the workhouse.  By that time in her life Blanche was nineteen and was working as a general domestic servant at the home of baker William Lanburn and his seamstress wife Elizabeth, and their three children at 3 St Mary’s Road in Cowley.  Over the next few years it must be assumed that Blanche became a married woman, and therefore she has not been located in any later census as Blanche Collett.

 

 

 

 

38P21

Evelyn Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1874 and by the time of the census of 1881 she was seven years old and was living with her family at Woodview Cottages in Wolvercote.  During the latter part of the following decade Evelyn’s family was torn apart, when her father James spent sometime in the Oxford prison and her mother Elizabeth, together with baby brother Roland, left Wolvercote to spend time in the Oxford Workhouse, both as confirmed by the census of 1891.  However, it has not yet been determined where Evelyn was at that time, when she was have been seventeen years old.

 

 

 

According to the next census in March 1901, Evelyn was 27 and was still a spinster, while she was living with her family at Littlemore just south of Oxford.  Her occupation was that of a packer at a local laundry, while her mother Elizabeth was a laundress, so perhaps they worked together.  Following the death of her mother between 1901 and 1911, the family returned to Oxford and New Marston, as confirmed by the census of 1911.  Evelyn was still unmarried at 37 and was then looking after her aging father James who was 67.  Also living with Evelyn and her father was her much younger brother Roland Herbert Collett (below).

 

 

 

 

38P22

Charles James Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1880.  He was listed as being one year old in the census of 1881 when he was living with his family at Woodview Cottages in Wolvercote.  By the time he was nine years old he had been separated from his family, with his father serving time in Oxford prison, and his mother living in the Oxford Workhouse in the St Clements district of the city.  It is possible that he was adopted after that time, since no record of a suitable Charles Collett of Wolvercote has been found in either of the census returns for 1901 or 1911.

 

 

 

 

38P23

Roland Herbert Collett was born at Summertown in 1889, the son of James and Elizabeth Collett.  The fact that his parents had left Wolvercote by the time he was born may be an indication that his family had already been sentenced to serve time in the Oxford Prison.  It is also known that when that happened James’ family was forced to leave their Wolvercote home, with Elizabeth and Roland being recorded in the census of 1891 as living in the Oxford Union Workhouse.  The census return recorded that Rowland Collett of Summertown as just two years old.

 

 

 

By 1901 Roland’s parents were reunited and were living in Littlemore, south of Oxford.  Roland was eleven and was living with them, as was his sister Evelyn (above).  Following the death of his mother during the next decade, the family of three then returned to Oxford.  So by April in 1911 he was recorded as Roland Herbert Collett, age 21, when he was living with his widowed father in the Headington registration area of Oxford.  Also still living with them was Roland’s older unmarried sister Evelyn.

 

 

 

 

38P24

Frederick Charles Collett was born at Wolvercote during November 1870, the first child born to Frederick and Elizabeth Collett, who was five months old in the census of 1871.  It seems likely, although yet to be proved, that he married Amelia Catherine sometime during the 1890s.  Amelia was born at Appleton in Berkshire in 1873, and Frederick and Amelia were both living at Wolvercote in 1901, where Amelia was a paper sorter at the paper-mill in the village and Frederick was a carpenter working in the building trade.  Ten years later, according to the census in 1911, the childless couple was living at Lower Wolvercote, where Frederick Charles Collett of Wolvercote was 40, and his wife Amelia Kate Collett was 38.

 

 

 

 

38P25

Walter Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1874 and was a stonemason still living there by the turn of the century and was 26 in March 1901.  Shortly after that he married Eliza with whom he had two during the years up to the census of 1911.  By April 1911 Walter was 36, Eliza was 37, and their two children were Dorothy, who was six, and Elsie who was three.  At that time the family was living in the New Marston area of north Oxford.  Walter’s wife may well have been the widow Eliza Caroline Collett who died at 46 Stretfield Road in Summertown on 6th June 1952, her Will being proved at Oxford on 21st July that year, when Walter’s youngest brother Ernest Edward Collett (below) was the executor of her £846 9 Shillings 8d estate.

 

 

 

38Q35

Dorothy Collett

Born in 1904 at Oxford

 

38Q36

Elsie Collett

Born in 1907 at Oxford

 

 

 

 

38P26

Philip Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1878.  In March 1901 at the age of twenty-two, Philip was still living at Wolvercote where his occupation was that of a tailor.  During the first decade of the 1900s Philip married Annie Gertrude and their marriage had produced a daughter for the couple by April 1911 when the family was recorded as living at Lower Wolvercote.  Philip of Wolvercote was 32, his wife Annie Gertrude was 28 and was born at Combe, and their daughter Hilda May was two years old.

 

 

 

38Q37

Hilda May Collett

Born in 1908 at Wolvercote

 

 

 

 

38P27

Horace J Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1880 and with another baby due to be born into the family the following year, Horace was looked after by his grandparents who lived next door to his parents in Wolvercote.  The census of 1881 included Horace as one year old and confirmed that he was living with William and Sarah Collett (Ref. 38N5) the parents of his father Frederick R Collett.  Ten years later Horace was 11 and was still living in Wolvercote, but in would appear he was not with his parents yet again.

 

 

 

It is not known where Horace was in 1901 as he has not been identified anywhere in the UK in the census that year when he would have been 21.  However, shortly after the census day in 1901 Horace married Annie with whom he had five children before the first January 1911.

 

 

 

By April 1911 Horace’s father had died and his mother Elizabeth, together with his younger siblings, had moved the very short distance from Wolvercote to Godstow.  Horace also made the same move and according to the census return that year he was 31 and born at Wolvercote, while he was living in Godstow with his family.  Horace’s wife was Annie who was 32, and their five children were Ellen, who was eight, Horace, who was seven, Marjorie, who was five, Frederick, who was three, and baby Leonard who was only seven months old having been born around August 1910.

 

 

 

38Q38

Ellen Collett

Born in 1902 at Wolvercote

 

38Q39

Horace Collett

Born in 1903 at Wolvercote

 

38Q40

Marjorie Collett

Born in 1905 at Wolvercote

 

38Q41

Frederick Collett

Born in 1907 at Wolvercote

 

38Q42

Leonard Collett

Born in 1910 at Wolvercote

 

 

 

 

38P28

Arthur Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1881 and was one month old at the time of the census that year, which took place on the third of April.  That would place his month of birth as February or March.  By the time of the census in 1901 Arthur was 20 and was still living at the family home where he was employed as a commercial clerk.  Around 1905 he married Kate Lavinia with whom he had two children prior to the census of 1911.  The census that year recorded the family as living at Lower Wolvercote where Arthur and Kate were both 30.  Living there with them were their two children who were Annie Sophia Collett, who was four, and Kate Lavinia, who was one year old, both of them born at Wolvercote.

 

 

 

38Q43

Annie Sophia Collett

Born in 1906 at Wolvercote

 

38Q44

Kate Lavinia Collett

Born in 1909 at Wolvercote

 

 

 

 

38P29

George Mitchell Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1883 and by March 1901 he was 17 and was working as a stone carter while he was still living in the village of Wolvercote with his family.  It is unclear what happen to George after 1901 since he was not listed anywhere in the census of 1911.

 

 

 

 

38P30

Ralph Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1884 and was six years old in the Wolvercote census of 1891 when he was living there with his family.  He was still there ten years later in 1901 and, at the age of 16, he was working as an apprentice carpenter.  During the next few years Ralph’s father died and the family left Wolvercote and moved the short distance west to the hamlet of Godstow where Ralph at 26 was living with his widowed mother in 1911.

 

 

 

 

38P31

Ernest Edward Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1887 and was three years old by 1891 and was 13 in 1901 when he still living at Wolvercote with his family.  However, following the death of his father the family moved to the neighbouring hamlet of Godstow where in 1911 Ern Edward Collett was 23 and was living with his mother and brother Ralph (above) and sister Leah (below).  It is not known whether he ever married or not, but on 21st July 1952 Ernest Edward Collett, a retired accountant, was named as the executor to the Will of widow Eliza Caroline Collett of 46 Stretfield Road in Summertown who died there on 26th June 1952.  Her estate was worth £846 9 Shillings 8d.  In all probability Eliza was the wife/widow of Ernest’s older brother Walter Collett (above).

 

 

 

 

38P32

Leah Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1894, the last child born to Frederick and Elizabeth Collett.  She was six years old in 1901 when she was still living with her parents in Wolvercote.  It was very likely the subsequent death of her father that prompted a move to Godstow, where Leah was living with her mother in 1911 at the age of 16.

 

 

 

 

38P33

William John Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1875, and was the eldest child of stonemason Daniel Collett of Wolvercote and his wife Ellen from Abingdon-on-Thames.  Unlike others in his family, William did not follow his father by becoming a stonemason but, instead he became a butcher.  It seems highly likely that he married Emma at Wolvercote in 1899 since it was there that she was also born in 1874.  It was also while the couple was still living at Wolvercote that their two sons were born.

 

 

 

The first of their two children was confirmed in the census of 1901, which also confirmed that the family of three was still residing in Wolvercote.  Head of the household William J Collett, age 25, was a butcher from Wolvercote, his wife Emma Collett, age 26, was also from Wolvercote, as was their son William J Collett who was still under one year old.  Three years later Emma presented William with their second son.

 

 

 

The next census in 1911 confirmed that William John Collett, age 35, had been married to Emma, age 36, for eleven years.  Living with the couple at their home in the High Street in Lower Wolvercote on that occasion were their two sons, William John Collett who was 10, and Cyril Sidney Collett who was six years old, both confirmed as having been born at Wolvercote.

 

 

 

38Q45

William John Collett

Born in 1901 at Wolvercote

 

38Q46

Cyril Sidney Collett

Born in 1904 at Wolvercote

 

 

 

 

38P34

Albert Ernest Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1876 where he was living with his family in 1881 aged four years, and again in 1891 when he was 14.  On leaving school he did not follow in his father Daniel’s footsteps by entering the world of stonemasonry, but instead he became a greengrocer.  That was confirmed by the census of 1901 when Albert was still a bachelor at 24 and his occupation was stated as being that of a greengrocer while he was still living within the village of Wolvercote.

 

 

 

Within a year or so of the 1901 Census, Albert married Mary Emmeline who was born in 1877 and with whom he had two children by the time of the next census in 1911.  Both children were born at Wolvercote and by April 1911 Albert’s family was the only one with the Collett name still living in Wolvercote.  However, the census that year revealed the tragic news that Albert Ernest Collett had died sometime during the five years between the birth of the couple’s second child in 1906 and the census in 1911.

 

 

 

The census return for Wolvercote placed his 33 years old widow Mary Emmeline Collett as living with her two children at Abbey View in Upper Wolvercote.  Mary’s place of birth was given as Syresham in Northamptonshire and under occupation it simply read ‘None’.  Mary’s and the late Albert’s two children were listed as Alfred Ernest Collett who was seven, and Arthur Henry Collett who was four years old, both children confirmed as having been born at Wolvercote.

 

 

 

Although relatively young to be a widow while still in her earlier thirties, it would appear from Mary’s son’s military records that she never remarried.  Further tragedy was to strike the family thirty-two years later when Mary received the sad news that her youngest son Arthur had been killed during the Second World War, at which time she was still living in Wolvercote.

 

 

 

38Q47

Alfred Ernest Collett

Born in 1903 at Wolvercote

 

38Q48

Arthur Henry Collett

Born in 1906 at Wolvercote

 

 

 

 

38P35

Percy Thomas Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1877 and was 13 in 1891, another son of stonemason Daniel Collett not to take up the family trade.  Instead he worked as a dairyman in his younger years.  Before the end of the century he married Gertrude Hall who was born in 1876 at Yarnton, just north of Wolvercote.  According to the census of 1901 dairyman Percy T Collett was 23 and was living at Wolvercote with 24 years old Gertrude and their new baby son Vernon V Collett who was still under one year old.

 

 

 

Over the next ten years a further three children were born to Percy and Gertrude while they were still living at Wolvercote, which was where the family was still residing in 1911.  The family at that time comprised Percy Thomas Collett, age 33, Gertrude Collett, age 34, Vernon Victor Collett, who was 10, Edna Elsie Collett, who was eight, Eva Amelia Collett, who was three, and young Percy Thomas Collett who was not yet one year old.

 

 

 

Around the time of the Second World War, and perhaps for all the intervening years, Percy and Gertrude were living at 34 Elmthorpe Road in the village, where Percy Thomas Collett died on 18th October 1948.  He left no Will, so his estate was subject to administration in Oxford on 15th December that same year, when his widow Gertrude Collett was named as the administrator for his personal effects amounting to £1000.

 

 

 

38Q49

Vernon Victor Collett

Born in 1900 at Wolvercote

 

38Q50

Edna Elsie Collett

Born in 1902 at Wolvercote

 

38Q51

Eva Amelia Collett

Born in 1907 at Wolvercote

 

38Q52

Percy Thomas (James) Collett

Born in 1910 at Wolvercote

 

 

 

 

38P36

Sidney Henry Collett was born at Wolvercote in either September or October 1880 and was six months old at the time of the 1881 Census.  Twenty years later he was 20 and was still living at the family home in Wolvercote where he was working as a masoner with his stonemason father Daniel and brother Augustus (below).  Sidney was still a bachelor in April 1911 and was still living with his parents at Wolvercote, where he was listed as being 30.  Sidney Henry Collett and his brother Augustus Daniel Collett (below), were the joint executors of their father’s estate following his death in 1933, when they were both described as being stonemasons.

 

 

 

 

38P38

Augustus Daniel Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1885 and by the turn of the century he had left school and at the age of 15 was working as a mason with his father and his brother Sidney (above).  Augustus was also still a bachelor in April 1911 and like his brother Sidney was still living with his parents at Wolvercote, and where he was listed as being 25.  He and his brother Sidney (above) were both working as stonemasons at the time of the death of their father in 1933.

 

 

 

 

38P39

Helena E Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1886 and was four in the census of 1891 and 14 ten years later, and on both occasions she was living with her parents in Wolvercote.  However, by April 1911 Helena Collett of Wolvercote was unmarried at 24 and living and working in Gloucester.

 

 

 

 

38P41

Harry T Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1891 and in March 1901 he was still living there with his family when he was nine years old.  Over the following few years the family left their long-term home in Wolvercote and moved the very short distance to nearby Godstow where they were living in 1911 when Harry was 19.

 

 

 

 

38P42

Merrick Frederick Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1892 and was the tenth of the eleven known children of Daniel Collett and Ellen Trinder.  He was eight years old in the Wolvercote census of 1901 when he was listed with his family as Merrick F Collett, while ten years later he and his family was living in nearby Godstow where Merrick Collett was 18 and a stonemason like his father.  When the war started in 1914 Merrick enlisted with the British Army, service number 201671, and saw active service with the Oxford & Bucks Regiment but was discharged during 1917 when he was no longer fit for war service.  For his time fighting for King and Country, when presumably his was injured, he received the King’s Certificate.  His stated address at enlistment was Providence House in Wolvercote from where he had worked as a stonemason for the past six years.  His status at that time was that of an employer and a member of the Heart of Oak Friendly Society.

 

 

 

It was just over five years later that Merrick F Collett married Rebecca Esther Sawyer when the event was recorded at Woodstock register office (Ref. 3a 1760) during the first three months of 1923.  The marriage produced a child for the couple although it is not confirmed whether this was a son (Aubrey) or a daughter (Audrey).  Merrick Frederick Collett died at Oxford on 19th January 1951 following which his death was recorded at Oxford register office (Ref. 6b 1325) when his age was incorrectly noted as being 57.  His Will was proved at Oxford on 12th February that year in the substantial sum of £2,377 5 Shillings 7d.  The probate process revealed that Merrick Fred Collett of 19 White Road in Cowley died as a patient at the Radcliffe Infirmary on Woodstock Road in Oxford and that the joint executors of his estate were his widow Rebecca Esther Collett and Audrey Merrick Collett, a timekeeper.

 

 

 

38Q53

Audrey Merrick Collett

Born circa 1925 at Wolvercote

 

 

 

 

38P53

Sidney Thomas Collett was born in Oxford in 1893, although it has not been determined exactly where in the city the birth took place.  In 1901 at the age of eight years he was living with his parents in the Cowley.  By the outbreak of the Great War in 1914 he had not married and enlisted to join the British Army.  He became Private Collett 2868 with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and saw active service on the front line.  Tragically he was just one of thousands of servicemen who were killed during the Battle of the Somme.  He died on 23rd July 1916 and his name appears on the Thievpal Memorial in France.  At the time of his death his parents were living at 50 Argyle Street in Cowley.

 

 

 

 

38P58

THOMAS WALTER COLLETT was born at Wolvercote in 1874, according to the census returns for 1881 and 1891, the eldest of the nine children of Charles Thomas Collett and Eliza Cross.  In the first of these Thomas W Collett was six years of age when he was living with his parents at 1 Clarendon Buildings on Walton Crescent just off Walton Street in the Jericho suburb of Oxford City, within the parish of St Thomas.  It was there also that he was still living with his family in 1891 when he was simply recorded as Thomas Collett from Wolvercote who was 16 and working as a domestic house porter.  Curiously no record of him has so far been located within the census of 1901 when he would have been 26, so he may have been overseas with the military at that time.

 

 

 

However, it was seven years later in 1908 when he became a married man, the same year that the first of his two children was born at 33 Magdalen Road in Oxford when his occupation was that of a labourer.  Earlier that year Thomas Walter Collett had married Emily Bayliss the daughter of college servant Frederick Bayliss from Woodstock and his wife Elizabeth from Cowley.  By the time Emily was 11 she had left school and was already working as a telegraph messenger when she was still living with her family at 45 Princes Street in the Cowley area of Oxford.  It is interesting that Princes Street is adjacent to Union Street where Thomas’ family was living in 1901.  Emily’s father, who was 46 in 1881, appears to have died during the 1880s since, in the census of 1891, it was only Emily’s mother who was still living in the Cowley area with just her two youngest children Arthur Bayliss who was 18 and Walter Bayliss who was 16.  No record of Emily Bayliss has been positively identified in 1891 or 1901.

 

 

 

By the time of the census in April 1911 Thomas and his young family were staying at 38 Stanley Road, which runs between Cowley Road and Iffley Road, the 5-roomed home of house painter George East, aged 34, and his wife and child.  It seems likely that lodger Thomas Walter Collett, aged 36 and a general labourer, may have been working with George East, as they were both described as working in the building trade.  The census return that year also confirmed that he had been married to Emily for just two years, who had presented him with two children, both living.  Emily Collett was 41 years old, and their two children were recorded as Leslie Robert Collett who was two years of age and Hilda Emily Collett who was one year old.  The birthplace of all of the occupants of the house, with the exception of George East’s daughter Dorothy May East who had been born at nearby Abingdon, was simply stated as being Oxford. 

 

 

 

During his later life it is established that Thomas Walter Collett lived at 159 Howard Street within the Cowley district of Oxford, which lies between Cowley Road and Iffley Road and runs parallel with and close to Stanley Road and Magdalen Road, the two previous addresses for the family, which are all still there in 2015.

 

 

 

38Q54

LESLIE ROBERT COLLETT

Born in 1908 at Oxford

 

38Q55

Hilda Emily Collett

Born in 1910 at Oxford

 

 

 

 

38P59

Francis Charles Collett was very likely born at 1 Clarendon Buildings on Walton Crescent in the Jericho area of Oxford during 1876, the second child of Charles and Eliza Collett.  It was there also that he was living with his family in 1881 and again in 1891.  As Francis C Collett he was four years of age in 1881 and was 14 in 1891, by which time he had left school but had no occupation.  That was the last record of him, so it is possible that he may have suffered an adult premature death either while at work or perhaps undertaking military service.

 

 

 

 

38P61

Clarice L A Collett was born during July 1880 at 1 Clarendon Buildings on Walton Crescent in Jericho, Oxford.  She was nine months old by the time of the 1881 Census when she and her family were still residing at 1 Clarendon Buildings.  However, with no trace of her in the census returns for 1891 and 1901 it must be assumed that she died while still very young.  Furthermore, the census in 1911 revealed that her parents had given birth to a total of nine children, with only four of them still living at that time.

 

 

 

 

38P63

Charles Collett was born in 1884 at 1 Clarendon Buildings, Walton Crescent, Jericho in Oxford, from where he was attending school in 1891 at the age of six years.  During the next few years the family left Jericho when they moved to the Headington and Cowley side of Oxford where they were living at 35 Union Street in March 1901.  By that time Charles had left school and was working as an apprentice print compositor at the Oxford University Press.  He was still living with his parents at 35 Union Street ten years later, when the census in 1911 confirmed that he was unmarried, aged 26, and born in Oxford, and that his occupation was that of a compositor with the Oxford University Press.  It has still to be discovered if he ever married.

 

 

 

 

38P64

Bertha Mary Collett was born at 1 Clarendon Buildings, Walton Crescent, Jericho in Oxford during1886.  She was still living at 1 Clarendon Buildings in 1891 when she was four years old, but by 1901 it was at 35 Union Street to the east of the city centre that she was living with her family when she was 14 and working as a domestic housemaid.  After a further ten years, the Oxford census in 1911 recorded her living and working at the 15-roomed home of Helen Margaret Greswell, a spinster of 70 living on her own means at 70 Woodstock Road.  Bertha Mary Collett from Oxford was unmarried at 24 and was employed as a parlour maid, alongside cook Ellen Andrews, a widow of 48, and housemaid Sarah Williamson who was 59.  Thirty years earlier in 1881, Eliza Collett (Ref. 38O25), the half sister of Bertha’s father, was working as a live-in servant and housemaid at the home of 80-year old widower and clergyman Richard Greswell at 39 St Giles Street in Oxford, very close to Woodstock Road.

 

 

 

 

38P66

Agnes M L Collett was born at 35 Union Street in Oxford during 1895, the youngest of the four surviving children from a total of nine born to Charles Thomas Collett and Eliza Cross.  It was simply as Agnes Collett that she was recorded with her family in the census of 1901 while, ten years later when they were still residing at 35 Union Street, she was listed with her parents as Agnes M L Collett aged 15 who was working as a dressmaker.

 

 

 

 

38P67

Albert H Collett was very likely born at 43 Nelson Street in Oxford during June or July in 1880 and was living there with his parents in the census of 1881 when he was ten months old.  Ten years later the next census in 1891 included Albert H Collett, age 10, living with his family in the same St Clements area of the city.  After a further ten years he and his family were living in the St Giles district of the city, where he was working with his father as a carpenter at the age of 20.  However, so far no record of Albert has been found in the census of 1911.

 

 

 

 

38P69

Alfred Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1879 and was most probably was the base-born son of unmarried Eliza Collett, the daughter of Charles Collett by his second wife Elizabeth Simms.  According to the census in 1881 Eliza Collett was a domestic servant living and working in Oxford, while he likely son Alfred was being looked after her his grandparents Charles and Elizabeth at their home in Wolvercote, where Alfred was one year old.

 

 

 

Ten years later Alfred was 11 and was still living with his grandparents at Wolvercote.  Upon leaving school it seems that he entered into the world of carpentry since, by March 1901, he had left Oxfordshire and was living and working on the east coast at Cromer in Norfolk.  That year’s census return recorded him as Alfred Collett of Wolvercote who was 22 and that his occupation was that of a joiner.

 

 

 

Towards the latter half of the first decade of the new century he returned to Oxfordshire as a married man and initially settled in Wolvercote where the couple’s first two children were born.  According the census in April 1911 the family was living in Lower Wolvercote.  Alfred Collett was 31 and his wife Alice was 32.  Living there with them were their two children Alfred Collett who was two and Emily Collett who was one year old.

 

 

 

38Q56

Alfred Collett

Born in 1908 at Wolvercote

 

38Q57

Emily Collett

Born in 1909 at Wolvercote

 

 

 

 

38Q1

Alfred Thomas Collett was born at Wolvercote on 16th January 1882 and was the eldest child of William James Collett and Ann Marie Corke, the former Ann Marie Collett (Ref. 47O3).  By the time of the census in 1891 Alfred T Collett was nine years old and was still living at Wolvercote with his family.  On leaving school he enlisted with the army and by time of the 1901 Census he was listed as 20 year-old Alfred Collett from Wolvercote who was a soldier living at barracks in London with the Coldstream Guards.  While serving in London it would appear that he entered into a relationship with Edith Smith from Lambeth who was born on 10th December 1879.  The couple’s first three children were born out of wedlock, with the second and third child born at Bampton Weald near Witney in Oxfordshire, as confirmed by the census in 1911.

 

 

 

The census that year recorded the family residing with a two-roomed property in the hamlet of Weald within the parish of Bampton as Alfred Thomas Collett who was 30 (sic) and from Wolvercote who was an agricultural labourer, Edith Collett was also 30 but born in Wiltshire, and their children were Edith Collett who was six and born at Clapham in London, Marion Annie Collett who was four and William Henry Collett who was three, both born at Bampton.  Daughter Marion was named after Alfred’s sister, while William was named after Alfred’s father and his brother who was also another William Henry Collett.  The census return stated that the couple had been married for seven years, during which time Edith had given birth to just the three children living with them that day.

 

 

 

When the First World War began Alfred was 32 years of age and two years later he resurrected his military career with his renewed army record drawn up in 1916.  That document provided the following information.  Alfred Collett born 1882 and aged 34 on enlistment was attached to the Royal Garrison Artillery with the service number 284359.  The same record gave his address as Weald, Bampton and the date of his marriage at Chelsea register office as 15th February 1914.  It also a list of the members of his family, they being Edith Smith (spouse), Edith Collett born Lambeth (?), Marion Annie Collett born 6th June 1906 at Witney and William Henry Collett born 23rd January 1908 at Witney. 

 

 

 

Two years after the war Edith presented Alfred with a fourth child when Doreen Loos Collett was born at Bampton on 9th January 1920.  Edith Collet nee Smith passed away during the second quarter of 1956, while her husband Alfred Thomas Collett died twelve years later, his death recorded during the second quarter of 1968.

 

 

 

38R1

Edith Collett

Born in 1904 at Clapham, London

 

38R2

Marion Annie Collett

Born in 1906 at Bampton, Witney

 

38R3

William Henry Collett

Born in 1908 at Bampton, Witney

 

38R4

Doreen Loos Collett

Born in 1920 at Bampton, Witney

 

 

 

 

38Q2

William Henry James Collett was born at Sunnymead in Summertown in 1885 and by 1901 his family had moved to Bampton near Witney where William’s mother had been born.  William was a baker at the age of fifteen and was living with his family in Bampton, although his father was not listed with the family.

 

 

 

 

38Q3

Percy Victor Collett was born at Wolvercote on 9th September 1888, the son of William James Collett and his wife Ann Marie Corke, formerly Collett.  His birth, using his full name, was recorded at Woodstock (Ref. 3a 822) during the last three month of 1888.  In 1891 he was living with his family at Meadow View in Wolvercote and was listed as Percy V Collett who was two years old, and by 1901 he was recorded simply as Percy Collett aged 12 and of Wolvercote, who was living with his family which, by that time, were residing at Church View in Bampton.  On leaving school Percy chose the occupation of butcher and, according to the census in April 1911, unmarried butcher Percy Victor Collett from Oxford was 21 and a boarder at Priory Street in Burford, the home of tailor Frank Elijah Eley and his wife Louisa.

 

 

 

Percy remained a bachelor for another ten years, but eventually the marriage of Percy V Collett and Celia K Smith was recorded at Witney register office (Ref. 3a 1662) during the first three months of 1922.  Percy was approaching his ninetieth birthday when he passed away, his death recorded at Chipping Norton register office (Ref. 20 2276) during the second quarter of 1978.

 

 

 

 

38Q6

Bertie Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1884 and was six years old in April 1891 and was 16 and without a stated occupation by the time of the Wolvercote census of 1901.  On both occasion he was living with his family, as he was ten years later at the age of 26.

 

 

 

 

38Q7

Esther Ann Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1886 and was four years old at the time of the Wolvercote census of 1891.  By the time she was 14 she had completed her schooling and in March 1901 she was working as a domestic servant for a family in the nearby village of Wytham.  Some years later Esther returned to live with her parents in Wolvercote by which time it seems highly likely she had already given birth to two base-born children.  The census in 1911 placed her with her family at Wolvercote as unmarried Esther Ann Collett, age 24.  Also listed with the family on that occasion were her parents two grandchildren who were Maggie Collett, who was two years old and had been born at Wolvercote, and Mary R Collett was one year old. 

 

 

 

38R5

Maggie Collett

Born in 1908 at Wolvercote

 

38R6

Mary R Collett

Born in 1909 at Wolvercote

 

 

 

 

38Q8

Joseph Charles Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1890 and was under one year old for the census of 1891 and was 10 in March 1901.  His family left Wolvercote during the next few years and in 1911 when Joseph was 21 he was still living with his parents within the Woodstock registration district.

 

 

 

 

38Q12

Henry William Collett was born at Summertown in 1883, the eldest son of Henry Collett of Wolvercote and his wife Annie Mabel Parsons.  By 1891 Henry was seven years old and he and his family were living at Meadow View in Wolvercote.

 

No record of Henry has been found anywhere in Great Britain in March 1901 when he would have been seventeen years old.  So he may have been abroad with the army.

 

What is known is that seven years later he married his first cousin Alice Agnes Giles of Beckley at Oxford on 22nd May 1909.

 

 

 

This photograph of Henry was taken around 1926 and has been extracted from the larger family picture presented below.

 

 

 

Alice was the daughter of George Giles and Ellen Collett and was born at Headington in 1884.  Ellen Collett was the sister of the father of Henry William Collett.  In 1901 Alice was 17 when she was living and working in the Cowley St John area of Oxford, where she was employed as a housemaid.

 

 

 

By the time of the census in April 1911 Henry William Collett of Summertown was twenty-seven and was living in the Cowley area of Oxford with his twenty-seven years old wife Alice Agnes Collett.  During the two years since their wedding day, Alice had presented Henry with the first two of their four children.  They were Alice who was one year old, and baby Helen who was only one month old.  At that time Henry was working as a labourer and he and his young family were living at 1 Pipemakers Yard within the Parish of St Aldates near the Oxford city centre.  Three years later, when his younger brother Harold (below) joined the army at the start of the war, it was his brother Henry William Collett, a builder in Wales, who was named as his next-of-kin, rather than the boys’ parents.

 

 

 

However, with the start of the Great War Henry joined the Royal Engineers and was away from home and fighting in France for the duration of the campaign.  His absence therefore meant that the couple’s following two children were born many years later.

 

The photograph on the right shows Henry’s wife Alice Agnes Collett nee Giles, together with his daughters Alice Dorothy Collett (standing) and Helen Annie May Collett (seated).

 

The youngest child would appear to be around three years old and that therefore places the timing of the photograph to be in 1914, and most likely it was a ‘keepsake’ for Henry, as a reminder of his family back home, while he was away fighting for his country.

 

 

 

During his time in the army, Henry specialised in the communication networks used in the trenches.  He took part in the First Battle of Ypres in September 1916 and was injured and was sent to recover in the Military Convalescent Hospital at Clifton Park in Blackpool.  From there he wrote a letter about his youngest brother, which is reproduced below.  Henry was eventually demobbed from the army at the end of the war, when he received his campaign medals, irreverently referred to as ‘Pip, Squeak and ‘Wilfred’, so named after the cartoon strip in the Daily Mirror.  The three medals were in fact the ‘The Mons Star’, ‘The British Military Medal’, and the ‘British Victory Medal’.

 

 

 

Many young men took up the call to arms in 1914 to fight for King and Country, and many of them were under the required age, but were accepted by giving a false date of birth.  One such of these was Henry’s younger brother Leonard.  The letter from sapper Henry Collett of the Royal Engineers to Leonard’s regiment was sent on 12th November 1916 and read as follows: “Sir, I enclose the birth certificate of my brother No 9504 Private Leonard Percival Collett of your battalion.  He is only fifteen years of age and I should esteem it a great favour if you could send him back to England.  I remain, Sir, your obedient servant, H Collett.”

 

 

 

Following the declaration of peace in 1918, Henry Collett returned to civilian life, and for about two or three years worked in the building trade as his father had before him.  But that did not give him the life he craved, so in 1920 he utilised his communications experience and joined the newly created Royal Air Force.  As a result he was posted to the North-West Frontier on what is now the Pakistan-Afghan border, but was then India.  He was a wireless communications instructor and since he would be there for at least six years he was allowed to have his wife and family join him.  Although initially reluctant to take her four children off to a foreign land, Alice Collett was eventually persuaded by the family doctor, who informed her that the climate would be beneficial for her daughter Dorothy who suffered with valvular disease of the heart

 

 

 

And so it was during 1922 that Alice and her four children, ranging from Alice who was thirteen to baby Henry who was still under one year old, boarded the troopship HMS Glengorm Castle at Southampton and headed off for India.

 

The voyage took two weeks, passing through the Suez Canal and stopping at Iraq, before arriving in Karachi.

 

The family rested at the Karachi Cantonment at Drigh Road at the same time that Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) was working there, following which they then set off for the Royal Air Force base at Bharian in the foothills of the Himalayas.

 

 

 

The photograph (above), possibly taken around 1926, shows the complete Collett family on the verandah of their bungalow in India (now Pakistan) on the North-West Frontier.  Eldest daughter Alice is on the left, with Helen on the right.  Standing with his father is son Henry, and with her mother is daughter Ethel.  Included in the picture is the family’s head servant.  The family eventually returned to England in 1935.

 

 

 

Henry William Collett of 12 Surrey Road in Dagenham, Essex, died there on 3rd February 1952, following which the administration for his personal effects of £517 3 Shillings 6d was processed at Oxford on 18th March that year.  It was his daughter Ethel Margaret Barnard, the wife of Percy Francis Barnard, who was named as the administrator for her father’s estate.

 

 

 

38R7

Alice Dorothy Collett

Born in 1909 at St Aldates, Oxford

 

38R8

Helen Annie May Collett

Born in 1911 at St Aldates, Oxford

 

38R9

Ethel Margaret Collett

Born in 1919

 

38R10

Henry Collett

Born in 1922

 

 

 

 

38Q13

Agnes Annie Collett was born at Summertown in 1884.  When she was around three years old her family left Summertown and moved the very short distance back to Wolvercote where her father had been born.  And it was there they were living in 1891, at Meadow View, when Agnes A Collett was six years old.  Ten years later she had left school and had also left the family home, which by then was at New Marston in Headington.  Instead Agnes was living in the St Peter le Bailey district of Oxford, where she was 16 and was working as a general domestic servant.

 

 

 

It was during the last three months of 1908 that the marriage of Agnes Annie Collett and Ernest Bateman was recorded at Oxford register office (Ref. 3a 1886), when the witness were named as Walter Charles Cranmer and Ethel Kate Margetts.  By the time of the next census in 1911 Agnes had already presented Ernest with two children.  On that occasion the family of four was residing within the Summertown area of Oxford where Samuel Ernest Bateman was 32, Agnes Bateman was 26, Ernest Leonard Bateman was two, and Violet Annie Bateman was nine months old.  Agnes was the only member of the family born at Summertown.

 

 

 

Agnes Annie Bateman nee Collett was eighty years of age when she died at Oxford, where her death was recorded (Ref. 6b 1303) during the first three months of 1966.

 

 

 

 

38Q14

Harold Frank Collett was born at Summertown on 24th January 1887, and shortly after he was born his parents left Summertown and settled in nearby Wolvercote.  In 1891 he and his family were living at Meadow View in Wolvercote when he was four years old.  Nearly ten years later his family moved again, that time to William Street in New Marston where they were living in 1901 when Harold was 14.  No positive record of Harold has been found so far in the next census in April 1911 when he would have been twenty-four.

 

 

 

At the outbreak of war Harold Frank Collett enlisted with the British Army and joined the 3rd Battalion Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light infantry with the service number 16465.  His age on 23rd November 1914 was recorded as being 27 years and 10 months and his place of residence was 4 Rowe Place in the St Aldates district of the City of Oxford.  Whilst it is established that both of his parents were still alive in 1914, it is curious that he gave as his next-of-kin his eldest brother Henry William Collett, a builder living in Wales, perhaps a result of the earlier break-up of the family.  Upon his discharge from the army on 27th March 1919 as a lance corporal his address was recorded as Mrs Scarrett at New Marston in Oxford.  Eight years later, when he was thirty, Harold F Collett married Lilian Jacques at Oxford (Ref. 3a 2548) during the second quarter of 1927.  Whether they had any child is not known at this time.  What is known is that the death of Harold Frank Collett was recorded at Oxford register office (Ref. 6b 3098) during March 1971 when he was 84.  For the last thirty years of his life he was a widower, following the death of Lilian Collett nee Jacques at Oxford (Ref. 3a 3379) during the first quarter of 1941.

 

 

 

 

38Q15

Laura Lilian Collett was born on 10th October 1888 at Wolvercote shortly after her parents had moved there from Summertown.  Her birth was recorded at Woodstock register office (Ref. 3a 524) during the last quarter of that year.  Laura Collett was two years old in 1891 when she was living with her family at Meadow View in Wolvercote and after another ten years she was again simply named as Laura Collett who was 12, by which time she and her family were living at William Street in New Marston.  Upon leaving school she took up duties as a domestic servant, as confirmed in 1908 by the Oxford Board of Guardians Reports when she was 19 years old.

 

 

 

The family was placed in turmoil that year, resulting from health problems for her mother, at which time the family was split up.  Laura was admitted into the workhouse in the Headington district of Oxford where she was charged with looking after three of her younger siblings, Rose, Leonard, and Minnie.  In addition to caring for her three siblings, Laura also gave birth to a base-born daughter in 1908 and that may have been the real reason why she was admitted into the workhouse, rather than just to look after her brothers and sisters.  However, so far no record of daughter Laura Collett has been identified within the census of 1911, which may be because she did not survive.

 

 

 

Also by that time in April 1911 Laura Collett from Wolvercote was 22 and was employed as a servant at the home of elderly William Parker and his wife Sarah Jane at 36 Airedale Road in Balham within the Wandsworth area of south-west London.  Also on that same day Laura’s three younger siblings were still living at the workhouse in Headington.  Shortly after the census in 1911 Laura married Frederick Charles Floyd with whom she had a daughter Cynthia May Harriet Floyd who was born in 1913 and who died in 1987, a son Frederick W Floyd who was born in 1915, who died in 1949, and a second daughter Margaret Minnie Floyd who was born in 1916 and who passed away in 2011.  Frederick Charles Floyd died in 1949 at the age of 76, his death recorded at Abingdon register office (Ref. 6a 2) during the second quarter of 1949.  By the time of the death of Laura Floyd nee Collett she was once again living in Oxford, and it was there that she died on 5th May 1962.

 

 

 

38R11

Laura Collett

Born in 1908 at Oxford

 

 

 

 

38Q16

Ada Hannah Collett was born at Wolvercote on 2nd April 1891.  The census that year took place on the fifth of April at which time she was recorded as being three days old, but with no name yet chosen for her.  She was around nine years old when her parents left Wolvercote and moved to nearby New Marston, where the family was living at William Street in March 1901.  Seven years later the family was split apart when four of her siblings were admitted into the local workhouse in Headington.  That did not apply to Ada who, as Ada Hannah Collett, age 22 (sic), was still living and working in the Marston area in April 1911.

 

 

 

 

38Q17

Alice Mary Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1892.  Toward the end of the century her parents left Wolvercote and moved to the New Marston area of Headington, and it was there that she was living with them at William Street in 1901 at the age of eight years.  Ten years after, according to the census of 1911, Alice had moved to London and, at the age of 19, she was living and working in the Wandsworth area of the city.

 

 

 

 

38Q18

Ernest James Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1894 and by 1901 he was six years old and was living with his family at William Street in New Marston to the north of Oxford city centre.  It was around 1908, on the occasion of the breakdown of his mother, that Ernest and his brother Frederick (below) were sent from Oxford to attend The Boys School in Bath.  However, by April 1911 when Ernest was 16 he was living and working in the Pembroke area of Wales, where he was later joined by his brother Frederick (below).

 

 

 

 

38Q19

Frederick Peter Collett was born at Wolvercote on 12th March 1897 and by the time he was four years of age his family had lived at Meadow View in Wolvercote, Summertown, and William Street in New Marston.  At the time of the census of 1911, Frederick Collett who was 14 and was born at Wolvercote, was recorded as residing at The Boys School in Bath.  His move from Oxford to Bath took place in 1908, when he was accompanied to Bath by his older brother Ernest (above).  It was also at that same time when another four of his siblings were admitted into the workhouse in the Headington area of Oxford in 1908, following a breakdown by Frederick’s mother.

 

 

 

Also listed at the school was a Thomas Collett who was 60 and from Somerset, and an Ellen Collett who was 47.  So far their identity has not been linked to any known Collett family.

 

 

 

On completing his education Frederick was reunited with his brother Ernest working on a farm in Pembrokeshire.  At the outset of the war in 1914 he was enlisted into the British Army and eventually joined the Welsh Regiment as Private F P Collett 45551, with whom he was later sent to France.  During his frontline action, and towards the end of the conflict, he was shot by a sniper, as a result of which he lost a leg.  He was discharged from duty on 19th November 1919.  After the war he trained as a carpenter, from which he progressed to being a cabinet maker.  However, having a peg-leg and being unable to stand for long periods, he subsequently re-trained as a tailor, a job he held until he retired.

 

 

 

It was at Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, during the first three months of 1921, that Frederick married Bridget Mary O’Mara who was born in Ireland on 24th June 1897.  It was at the end of that same year when the first of the couple’s two children was born at Pensons Gardens, just across the River Cherwell from Magdalen College, and just off St Clements Street (A420) in the Headington district of Oxford.  Seven years later their second child was also born in the Headington area of the city.  By 1945 Frederick and his wife were living at Cumberland Road in the Cowley area of Oxford, where they stayed for virtually the rest of their lives and where his wife died, following which Frederick Peter Collett moved into a residential home in nearby Horspath.  It was on 21st March 1973 that Frederick Peter Collett died at the Cowley Road Hospital in Oxford at the age of 76.

 

 

 

38R12

Annie Bridget Collett

Born in 1921 at Headington

 

38R13

Frederick James Collett

Born in 1928 at Headington

 

 

 

 

38Q20

Rose Clara Collett was born at Summertown in 1898 and was just two years old at the time of the census of 1901.  By that time her family had left Summertown and had moved the short distance to New Marston, where they were living in William Street.  In 1908 and after the birth of her younger sister Minnie (below), Rose’s mother was taken ill, and that may well have been the reason why Rose, Minnie, and their brother Leonard (below), were admitted into the workhouse in the Headington area of Oxford under the care of their older sister Laura (above).

 

 

 

The Oxford Board of Guardians Reports, (reference OPI-46311), confirmed that the three young Collett children, together with their older sister Laura, who was 19, were admitted into the workhouse.  By the time of the census in April 1911, Laura and Rose were no longer with her younger siblings, who were listed as Leonard who was 11, and Minnie who was seven.  Instead Rose Clara Collett was residing at 242 William Street in Old Headington in Oxford, when her age was given in error as 14.

 

 

 

 

38Q21

Leonard Percival Collett was born at William Street in New Marston in Oxford on 4th August 1901.  Within the next six years the family was pulled apart by a health problem for his mother, at which time Leonard and three of his sisters, Laura and Rose (above) and Minnie (below), were taken into the local workhouse in the Headington area of Oxford.  His older brothers Ernest and Frederick (above) were also sent away around that same time and ended up in a home in Bath.

 

 

 

Leonard was still living at the workhouse at Headington in April 1911 when his age was stated as being as 11, rather than 10.  By that time his older sister Laura had left the workhouse, but Leonard still had with him his two sisters Rose and Minnie.  It would appear that Leonard remained at the workhouse for another four years and only left in 1915 to join the army.  He travelled down to London and presented himself at the Southwark Army Recruitment Office where he enlisted on 30th July 1915.  He was not yet fourteen years old and was therefore a little more than four years below the minimum entry age.

 

 

 

According to the website www.1914-1918.net/recruitment the recruit had to be taller than five feet three inches and be aged between eighteen and thirty-eight, although he would not be eligible to be sent overseas until he was nineteen.  In his enlistment statement Leonard gave his age as nineteen, and said he was living at 279 Old Kent Road in Bermondsey in London.  He also stated that he was working as a barman, when in fact he had only left school two weeks earlier and had probably never yet completed a day’s work.

 

 

 

Desperate for recruits to fight in France and Belgium, Leonard was taken on and joined the 10th Queens Battalion of the Royal West Surrey Regiment on the third of August 1915.  He gave his next-of-kin as Henry Collett of Penroych (?) in South Wales, the same next-of-kin used by his older brother Harold Frank Collett (above).  While it is known their mother had been hospitalised by then, their father was still alive, although contact with him may have been severed by then following the break-up of the family a few years earlier.

 

 

 

During the following year, and upon completion of his basic training, Leonard was sent to France where he served on the front-line for just over six months from the fifth May to the twenty-first November 1916.  It was during that six month period when he passed his fifteenth birthday.  It was on 12th November 1916, from his sick bed in the Military Convalescent Hospital at Clifton Park in Blackpool, that Leonard’s eldest brother Henry wrote a letter to Leonard’s regiment to inform then that his younger brother was only fifteen (see letter above).  As a result, on 21st November 1916, Leonard was withdrawn from the regiment, so ending his six months and two weeks on the front-line.

 

 

 

However, on being discharged, Leonard did not leave the army but instead he transferred to the D Corps, 4th Battalion, 2/4th The Royal Scots Guard.  That took place just six days after his discharge, when he joined The Royals on the 27th November 1916.  Whatever his duties were, they did not result in Leonard making a return to the front-line because he was still under the age of nineteen years and therefore not permitted to serve on overseas duty.  What happened to him after the war is not known at this time, although the death of Leonard Percival Collett was recorded at Ipswich register office (Ref. 10 2342) during the month of September 1981 when he was 80 years of age.

 

 

 

 

38Q22

Minnie Lavinia Collett was born at William Street in New Marston on 7th January 1904.  Sadly within the next few years it would seem a tragedy hit the family which resulted in Minnie and three of her older siblings being placed in the workhouse.  According to the census of 1911, Minnie who was seven, and her sister Rose and brother Leonard (above) were all still residing at the workhouse within the Headington registration district of Oxford, although by then their older sister Laura had left.  Minnie Collett married John E Cox at Eton during the Spring of 1928.  Eton was in Buckinghamshire at that time but today, and following the local government reorganisation that took place in 1974 which affected most county boundaries, it lies within the Royal County of Berkshire.

 

 

 

 

38Q23

George Alfred Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1888, the eldest of the five children of George and Elizabeth Ann Collett.  In 1891 he was recorded with his parents at Wolvercote as George A Collett, age two years.  Ten years later he was 12 years old and was still living with his family in Wolvercote.

 

According to the next census in 1911, George Alfred Collett, age 22 and born at Wolvercote, was living at Mill Road in Lower Wolvercote, the home of his parents, from where he was employed as a grocer’s assistant.

 

Photograph supplied by Wendy Rattray nee Collett

 

 

 

The above photograph of George in his army uniform was taken after the First World War, and possibly as late as the winter of 1920.  By that time in his life George Alfred Collett was married, and standing next to him in the larger family group picture was his wife Margaret (Maggie) Collett.  The flowers being worn by the men, in their buttonholes, suggest that the occasion was a family wedding.

 

 

 

 

38Q24

Reginald Collett was born at Wolvercote on 4th September 1891.  He was nine years old in March 1901 when he was living with his family at Wolvercote.  Just over five years later he commenced employment with the Great Western Railway on 27th August 1906 but that only lasted for less than three months when he was discharged from his duties on 15th November that same year.  In 1908 he enlisted with the British Army at the age of 17 and was assigned the service number 7067 with the Oxfordshire Infantry.  At that time in his life his occupation was that of a fishmonger.

 

 

 

By the time of the census in 1911 Reginald and his complete family were living at Mill Road in Lower Wolvercote when, at the age of 19, Reginald was simply recorded as being a labourer, so perhaps he was a part-time soldier prior to the start of hostilities.  Two years later on 30th April 1913 Reginald Collett was married to Florence Pyke at Bicester and their son was born just over five months after at Woodstock, although the couple’s address when the birth was registered was 3 Godstow Road in Wolvercote.  During the First World War he saw active service in France and was wounded in the shoulder and back while advancing through ‘no man’s land’.  His injuries resulted in his early discharge from duties on 10th May 1915 when it was stated he was no longer fit for war service.  Curiously he was the only member of the family of George and Elizabeth Collett who was missing from the family photograph taken after the war, around 1920.

 

 

 

38R14

Gilbert Collett

Born on 11.10.1913 at Woodstock

 

 

 

 

38Q25

William J P H Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1893 and was recorded as William J Collett, age seven years, in the census of 1901.  On leaving school William took up work as a draper’s apprentice, as confirmed in the census of 1911 when he was 17 and still living at the family home in Mill Road, Lower Wolvercote.  It was on that occasion when he was recorded as William J P H Collett of Wolvercote.

 

It seems likely that he saw active service during the Great War, and this picture of him in his uniform was taken after the war, and perhaps even as late as 1920.  Apart from this, nothing more is currently known about William J P H Collett, at this time.

 

 

 

 

38Q26

Elizabeth Ann Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1899 and was one year old in the census of 1901 when she was living there with her family.  Ten years later, at the age of 11, Elizabeth Ann Collett was living at the family home in Mill Road in Wolvercote.

 

The photograph of Elizabeth on the right has been extracted from a larger family group picture in which the men are wearing flowers in their buttonholes, and which may have been taken around 1920.

 

The larger photograph was provided by Wendy Rattray nee Collett, the daughter of Cyril Edward Collett and Kathleen Grace Ellen Collett (below).

 

 

 

It would therefore seem that Elizabeth Ann Collett may have been around twenty years of age when the picture was taken, although no more recent information about her later life is available at this time.

 

 

 

 

38Q27

Cyril Edward Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1905, the youngest of the five children of George and Elizabeth Ann Collett.  At the time of the census in 1911, Cyril was five years old, when he was already attending school, while living at Mill Road in Lower Wolvercote with the rest of his family.

 

 

 

Upon leaving school nearly ten years later, Cyril took up employment with Webbers on the High Street in Oxford.  This photograph (from a larger family picture) was very likely taken after the First World War, and included two of Cyril’s older brothers in their military uniforms, plus his parents and sister Elizabeth (above).

 

Webbers of Oxford Limited was established in 1905 at No. 11 High Street in the city centre, and remained in business until 1971.  Over the years, the successful business of drapers, milliners, furriers, costumiers, outfitters, and house furnishers was extended both ways along the High Street, eventually taking up premises from No. 9 to No. 15.

 

 

 

It was in Oxford on 4th December 1930 that Cyril Edward Collett, age 25, married Kathleen Grace Ellen Collett, age 24, from Cowley in Oxford.  Kathleen’s Collett family originated in the Oxfordshire village of Combe, the same village where Cyril’s ancestors had lived.  For more details on Kathleen Grace Ellen Collett (Ref. 38q61) and her family go to Part 38 – The Oxford Stonemasons Line (Combe).

 

 

 

Once married Cyril and Kathleen initially settled in the Headington area of Oxford, where their daughter was born in 1933.  The family later moved to Fairacres Road in Oxford where the couple were blessed with a second daughter who was born there in 1943.  Fairacres Road is situated on the east side of the River Thames, and is off Iffley Road (A4158), not far from Stanley Road (off the Iffley Road) where Kathleen was living with her parents in 1901 and 1911. 

 

 

 

Later in his life, Cyril had his own radio and television business which operated out of Summertown in north Oxford.  In addition to this he later he became very interested in photography and became a freelance photographer.  Cyril Edward Collett died from a heart attack while he was at home in 1977, at the age of 72.  His widow survived him by twenty-six years, when Kathleen Grace Ellen Collett nee Collett died during May 2003 at the age of 97.

 

 

 

38R15

Wendy Kathleen Collett

Born in 1933 at Headington, Oxford

 

38R16

Hazel Margaret Collett

Born in 1943 at Iffley, Oxford

 

 

 

 

38Q30

Frank Collett was born at Lower Wolvercote in 1899 and was one year old and 11 years of age respectively in the Wolvercote censuses of 1901 and 1911 when he was living there with his parents Vincent Collett and Prudence Simmonds.  It was just nine years later that Frank, aged 21, married Annie M Pratley at Chipping Norton where the wedding was recorded (Ref. 3a 2033) during the first three months of 1920.  Twelve months later their son was born at Wolvercote, the child named after Frank’s younger brother (below).

 

 

 

38R17

Leslie Vincent Collett

Born in 1921 at Wolvercote

 

 

 

 

38Q32

Leslie Vincent Collett was born at Wolvercote during 1902 and was eight years of age in the Wolvercote census of 1911, the son of Vincent and Prudence Collett.  It was during the second quarter of 1925 that Leslie married Miss Knight at Wolvercote, with whom he had three children.  The marriage was recorded at Woodstock register office (Ref. 3a 2590), where the birth of the couple’s first child was also recorded (Ref. 3a 1785), while the births of the two later children were recorded at Headington register office (Ref. 3a 1745 and 3a 1730).  The death of Leslie V Collett was recorded at Oxford register office (Ref. 6b 1261) during the first few days of 1961 when he was fifty-eight, following which he was buried at Rose Hill Cemetery in Oxford on 4th January 1961.

 

 

 

38R18

Leonard Frederick Collett

Born in 1926 at Wolvercote

 

38R19

Donald Collett

Born in 1929 at Wolvercote (3rd Qrtr)

 

38R20

Mary E Collett

Born in 1932 at Wolvercote (1st Qrtr)

 

 

 

 

38Q33

Henry Jesse Bowman Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1889, the base-born son of unmarried Emma Collett.  When he was around one year old his mother married John Mortimer with whom he was living in 1891, the census that year confirmed that Henry J Collett was one year old.  Ten years later, at the age of 11, Henry J Bowman Collett was still living at Church Road in Wolvercote with his mother, his stepfather and one half-brother and four half-sisters.  It was exactly ten years later when Henry J Collett married Eunice J Godwin during the first three months of 1911, the event recorded at Headington register office (Ref. 3a 1291).  On the day of the census that year Jesse Collett from Wolvercote was 22 and a brick maker at the local brick works, living at Church Lane in Upper Wolvercote with his wife of less than one year, Eunice Collett from Oxford who was also 22.

 

 

 

 

38Q34

Dorothy Lavinia Collett was born at Lambeth in London in 1894 and was living there with her parents in 1901 at the age of six.  Ten years later the family of three were living in the Epsom area of Surrey where Dorothy Lavinia Collett was 16 and her parents were confirmed as Samuel and Catherine Collett.  Dorothy’s second name was given to her in honour of her grandmother Lavinia and after her father’s sister of the same name.  She was the grandmother of Martin Davies whose daughter Lynda June Davies married Kevin Mark Collett (Ref. 37S4) in 2006.  Kevin’s family line is the subject of Part 37 – The Oxford City Line 1820 to 2006.  It was Kevin’s wife Hazel who provided the sad news of his premature death on 8th January 2016, just three weeks before his sixtieth birthday on 30th January.

 

 

 

 

38Q37

Hilda May Collett was born in 1908 to Philip and Annie Gertrude Collett.  Hilda May later married Mr M Gardiner with whom she had two children Joan and John.  Daughter Joan Gardiner went on to marry Clifford (Cliff) Francis.

 

 

 

 

38Q48

Arthur Henry Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1906, but within a short time of his birth his father Albert Ernest Collett of Wolvercote died leaving his mother Mary Emmeline Collett in her early thirties to bring up two young boys.  The April census of 1911 confirmed that Arthur, who was four years old and of Wolvercote, was living at Abbey View in Upper Wolvercote with his mother and his older brother Alfred Ernest Collett.

 

 

 

It is not known whether Arthur ever married, although it would appear that perhaps he did not.  Tragically he was captured by the Japanese during World War Two while serving with the Royal Artillery in the Far East.  He died on 17th August 1943 at the age of 40 (sic) when he was Gunner Arthur H Collett 1094173 with 148th Field Regiment of the Bedfordshire Yeomanry.  He was buried at Chungkai War Cemetery and his next of kin were recorded as being his parents Albert Ernest and Mary Emmeline Collett of Wolvercote.  Chungkai War Cemetery is one of three war cemeteries at Kanchanaburi on the River Kwai which were built for the 13,000 prisoners of war that died during the construction of the Burma to Sian Railway.

 

 

 

 

38Q49

Vernon Victor Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1900, the eldest of the four known child of Percy Thomas Collett and his wife Gertrude Hall.  He was not yet one year old and named as Vernon V Collett when the census was conducted at Wolvercote at the end of March 1901, which was where he was still living with his family in 1911 when he was 10 years of age and recorded under his full name of Vernon Victor Collett.  It was during the third quarter of 1921 that Vernon V Collett married Cecilia Wells, the event recorded at Oxford register office (Ref. 3a 2857).  The marriage produced two sons who were both born at Barnstaple in Devon, the first of them born only a few months after they were married who tragically died at Barnstaple at the age of three years.

 

 

 

His parents were still living at 34 Elmthorpe Road in Wolvercote when Vernon’s father died in 1948, and it was at 35 Elmthorpe Road that his brother Percy James Collett was living when he died in 1955.  On that occasion it was Vernon Victor Collett, a printer’s storekeeper, who was named as the joint executor with his sister Eva (below).  Five years later the death of Vernon Victor Collett was recorded at Oxford on 22nd December 1960.  Probate for his Will was granted at Oxford to his widow Cecilia Collett on 3rd March 1961, when it was revealed that Vernon Victor Collett of 17 Rosamund Road in Wolvercote had died as a patient at the Radcliffe Infirmary.  He was 60 years old and his personal effects were valued at £2,518 8 Shillings 3d.

 

 

 

38R21

Basil Victor Collett

Born in 1921 at Barnstaple, Devon

 

38R22

Roy Vernon Collett

Born in 1925 at Barnstaple, Devon

 

 

 

 

38Q51

Eva Amelia Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1907 at Wolvercote and was three years old in the Wolvercote census of 1911.  Later in her life she was married to become Eva Amelia Warmington, which was how she was named as one of the joint executors of her younger brother Percy James Collett’s Will in 1955, the other being her older brother Vernon Victor (above).

 

 

 

 

38Q52

Percy Thomas (James) Collett was born at Wolvercote in 1910, the youngest of the four known children of Percy Thomas Collett and his wife Gertrude.  In 1911 as Percy Thomas Collett junior he was under one year old.  Later in his life it would appear that he was known as Percy James Collett, since that was how he was recorded at the time of his premature death on 21st November 1955.  Although it was at the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford where he died, his home address was 35 Elmthorpe Road in Wolvercote, the next house to where his parents had been living seven years earlier.  His Will was proved on 21st December 1955 when his older brother Vernon Victor Collett, a printer’s storekeeper, and his married sister Eva Amelia Warmington were named as the executors.  This very likely indicates that Percy never married, and was perhaps he was still living with his widowed mother at Elmthorpe Road.

 

 

 

 

38Q54

LESLIE ROBERT COLLETT was born at 33 Magdalen Road in Oxford on 27th December 1908, the only son and eldest child of Thomas Walter Collett and Emily Bayliss.  Magdalen Road lies between Cowley Road and Iffley Road and runs parallel with Stanley Road where Leslie and his parents were living when his sister Hilda (below) was born and where the family was staying on the day of the census in 1911.  Leslie later worked as a shop manager and on 24th July 1937 he married Norah Florence Selway in Brill on the Oxfordshire border with Buckinghamshire.  She was the daughter of Henry James Selway deceased.  After they were married the couple settled in St Albans where all three of their children were born.  Leslie Robert Collett died on 17th April 2001 aged 92.

 

 

 

38R23

PETER COLLETT

Born in 1938 at St Albans

 

38R24

Sheila Collett

Born in 1943 at St Albans

 

38R25

Geoffrey Collett

Born in 1948 at St Albans

 

 

 

 

38Q55

Hilda Emily Collett was born at 38 Stanley Road in the Cowley area of Oxford on 19th March 1910.  She was the second child and only daughter of Thomas Walter Collett and Emily Bayliss, and was one year old in the census of 1911 when she and her family were lodging with the East family at 38 Stanley Road.  She later married Leslie Hornblow and suffered a premature death in 1944 when she was only 34.

 

 

 

 

38R4

Doreen Loos Collett was born at Bampton Weald near Witney on 9th January 1920, the last child of Alfred Thomas Collett by his wife Edith Smith.  It was at Summertown in Oxford where she married Herbert Edwin Kitching on Saturday 5th April 1947 and to whom she was married until she was widowed nearly twenty-nine years later.  Herbert Edwin Kitching died at Oxford on 15th February1976.  After twenty years as a widow Doreen Loos Kitching nee Collett passed away at Bampton on Friday 23rd February 1996 at the age of 76.  It would appear that there was no issue from their marriage since, nor had Doreen made a Will.  So, upon her death, an official government notice was published seeking anyone who may have been related to Doreen to contact Bona Vacantia (Ref. BV9601406/1).

 

 

 

 

38R8

Helen Annie May Collett was born at 1 Pipemakers Yard in the Parish of St Aldates in Oxford, either in later February or early March 1911, since she was just one month old at the time of the census on the second April that year.  From the age of eleven she lived on the Royal Air Force base at Bharian in India where her family was a communications engineer.  Her time in India enabled her to become fluent in Urdu, and she happily conversed with people in that way whenever she could.

 

 

 

Helen died in 1993, but in the years prior to her passing she was very interested in family research and often spent time with her sister, and her daughter Susan Massen talking over their life and their ancestors.  It is thanks to Helen’s daughter Sue that the story of her family back to Henry Collett (Ref. 39P4) has been included in such detail in this family line.

 

 

 

 

38R9

Ethel Margaret Collett, who was known within the family as Peg, was born during 1919 and very likely at Oxford like her older sisters.  She later married Percy Francis Barnard and, around the time of the death of her father Henry William Collett of Dagenham in Essex, she was possibly still living in Oxford where the administration of his personal effects was processed on 18th March 1952.  It was as Ethel Margaret Barnard, the wife of Percy Francis Barnard, that she was named as the administrator for her father estate.

 

 

 

 

38R12

Annie Bridget Collett was born on 9th November 1921 at Pensons Garden off St Clements Street within the Headington area of Oxford.  She was the eldest of the two children of Frederick Peter Collett and his wife Bridget Mary O’Mara.  She was twenty-four when she married Arthur Soilleux at St Peters Church in Shipton Bellinger, Hampshire on 26th December 1945.  The marriage produced a daughter, Jean Mary Soilleux, who was born during December 1946, and she later married to become Jean Newman.  And it was Jean who kindly provided the details of her family.  Annie Bridget Soilleux nee Collett died in 2008.