PART FIFTY-NINE

 

The Colletts of Kingham in Oxfordshire to the USS Collett

 

Updated August 2015

 

The destroyer USS Collett (DD-730) was named in honour

of Lieutenant Commander John Austin Collett

and rather fittingly, the vessel’s first captain was

Commander James Dahlman Collett, his brother

 

And this is the story of their family from the Oxfordshire village of Kingham

 

At the moment, and in the absence of more accurate information, the first three generations of this family line are very much an early estimate based on very little evidence.  The real and confirmed story starts in the village of Kingham close to the Oxfordshire county boundary with Gloucestershire.

 

 

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Richard Collett was born at Notgrove around 1748, and on 29th May 1773 he married Elizabeth Cook at Notgrove.  Eight years later Richard and Elizabeth were living in Churchill in Oxfordshire, one mile from Kingham, when their son William was born.

 

 

 

New information received in 2013 from Stuart Miles, an honorary member of the Bledington Local History Society, provides the detail that Sarah Collett, a spinster, married bachelor William Brooks of Kingham on 26th October 1790 at Bledington, the nearest village to Kingham.  The witnesses at the wedding ceremony were Samuel Collett, who may have been Sarah’s father or brother, and Eliza Hailes.  This might place Sarah’s date of birth around 1765 to 1770 and therefore not the child of Richard and Elizabeth.  In addition to this, another Elizabeth Collett, perhaps the wife of William (below), was one of the witnesses to the marriage of George Sims of Shipston-on-Stour and Sarah Hathaway at Bledington in 1828.

 

 

 

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William Collett

Baptised on 04.11.1781 at Churchill

 

 

 

 

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William Collett was baptised at Churchill on 4th November 1781 and by the time of the census in 1851 he had been married and raised a family, and at the age of 72, he was a widower living in Kingham, when his place of birth was confirmed as nearby Churchill, and his occupation was that of a sawyer.  Living in the same dwelling in the village with him was his youngest daughter Elizabeth Partloe who was a widow at the age of 31.  In addition to Elizabeth’s three Partloe children, Daniel, James and Mary Ann, also living there was Sarah Collett, William’s eight years old granddaughter, the child of one of his sons.  Elizabeth and her three children, and Sarah Collett, were all recorded as having been born at Kingham.

 

 

 

With no other alternative found at this time, it has been assumed that the three brothers Joseph, William, and John, must be the sons of William Collett and the older siblings of Elizabeth Partloe nee Collett, and that his granddaughter Sarah Collett was the eldest child of his youngest son John.

 

 

 

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Joseph Collett

Born circa 1805 at Kingham

 

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William Collett

Born circa 1808 at Kingham

 

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John Collett

Born circa 1816 at Kingham

 

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Elizabeth Collett

Born circa 1820 at Kingham

 

 

 

 

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Joseph Collett was born at Kingham around 1805.  He later married (1) Jane towards the end of the 1830s, following which he remained living in Kingham where his children were born and where he and his family was living in June 1841.  His rounded age in that year’s census was curiously 30, rather than 35, while his wife Jane was 32.  Joseph was a labourer at that time in his life and the census return confirmed that he had been born within the county of Oxfordshire, while his wife had not.  Living with the couple in Kingham were the first two of their children, Henry Collett who was two years old, and Austin Collett who was only four months old.

 

 

 

Supporting the young family on that occasion was Sarah Butler who was 13 and not from Oxfordshire who was described as an f s – family servant perhaps.  Living just eight dwellings from Joseph and his family, was the family of his brother William Collett (below).  On 22nd July 1844 Joseph and Jean (sic) Collett from Kingham were the witnesses at the wedding in Bledington of Thomas Keen, a mason of Kingham, and Ann Huckin of Bledington, the daughter of George Huckin, farmer.  This is of interest because the eldest son of Joseph and Jane Collett married Louise Keen in 1866.

 

 

 

During the next decade Jane presented Joseph with at least another two children, although there may have been others who did not survive.  By the time of the census in 1851 the family living at Kingham comprised Joseph Collett, age 45 and from Kingham, who was a farmer of 38 acres, employing two men, his wife Jane, age 42 and from Longborough in Gloucestershire, and their four children.  They were Henry Collett, age 11, Austin Collett who was ten and attending school, as was his sister Jane who was seven, and completing the family on that occasion was Ann Collett who was three years old.

 

 

 

It was shortly after the census in 1851 and during the next few years that Joseph’s wife Jane died.  Sometime after that sad event he married (2) Elizabeth, as confirmed by the census in 1861.  On that occasion Joseph Collett, age 56 from Kingham, was still a farmer living in the village, although his holding by then had reduced to only 21 acres.  Listed with him was his second wife Elizabeth, who was 47 and from Shipston-n-Stour, and just two of his four known children.  Henry Collett was 21, and Ann Collett was 13.  The only other person staying with the family was described as a visitor, and she was Hanna Sheppard, age 47 from Great Coxwell, who was married but with no occupation.

 

 

 

Who she was, and how she came to be staying with the family, is not known.  What is known is that in the census for 1851 Hannah Sheppard, age 35 and from Great Coxwell, was the wife of inn keeper Robert Watson Sheppard, age 39 and from Witney, who were managing an inn at Charlbury, with four servants, but no children of their own.

 

 

 

Over the next ten years Joseph’s last two children left the family home in Kingham, so by 1871 it was just Joseph Collett, age 65, and his wife Elizabeth, age 56, who were living there alone.  Also during the past decade Joseph had given up working on the land and had taken over the inn at Kingham, because in the census of 1871 he was described as a retired victualler. 

 

 

 

It was nearly the same situation ten years later when the census return for 1881 recorded the couple still living in Kingham, but living with them at that time was their niece Emily Piracy who was 11 and from Cheapside in London.  Joseph, age 75 and from Kingham was a retired publican, and his wife Elizabeth was 66 and born at Shipston-on-Stour.  No record of either of them has been found after that, so it seems highly likely they both passed away during 1880s.

 

 

 

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Henry Collett

Born in 1838 at Kingham

 

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Austin M Collett

Born in 1841 at Kingham

 

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Jane Collett

Born in 1843 at Kingham

 

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Ann Collett

Born in 1847 at Kingham

 

 

 

 

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William Collett was born at Kingham around 1808.  Around 1836 he married Catherine from Kingham and in the census of 1841 the couple already had two children.  William Collett, age 30 from Kingham, was a sawyer, as had William Collett from Churchill, his most likely father.  Catherine was 25, and their two children were Elizabeth Collett, who was two, and Charles Collett who was three months old.  During the 1840s three more children were added to the family.

 

 

 

According the census in 1851 the family living at Kingham was made up of William, who was 43, Catherine, who was 39, and their five children, Eliza who was 12, Charles who was 10, Alice who was six, George who was three, and Jane who was one year old.

 

 

 

By the time of the following census in the family had been extended by a further two children.  All the members of the family had been born at Kingham and, with her absence from the 1861 census it seems likely that the couple’s eldest daughter was married by then.  The remaining members of the family were William, 52, Catherine, 49, Charles, 19, Alice, 16,  George, 13, Jane, age 11, Thomas who was nine, and Henry who was seven years old.

 

 

 

After a further ten years it was only three sons who were still living with William and Catherine within the Chipping Norton & Charlbury registration district.  William Collett was 64, Catherine was 60, their eldest son Charles Collett was 30, and the two youngest ones were Thomas Collett who was 19, and Henry Collett who was 17.

 

 

 

From the census return in 1881 it is evident that one of the couple’s three daughters married into the Beecham family, since living with the family that year was their grandson Henry John Beecham who was five years old and attending school in Kingham where he was born.  Tragically though by that time, Catherine Collett of Kingham was a widow at the age of 68, and was being kept by her two unmarried sons Charles and Henry

 

 

 

Further investigation has revealed that Henry John Beecham was the son of Henry Beecham of Kingham, who was 31 and a domestic steward living at Broadwell, Gloucestershire in 1881.  Listed there with him was his wife Annie Beecham, age 24 from Oddington, and their children Daisy Beecham, age five years and born at Kingham, Richard who was two and Jessica who was one year old, and both of them born at Broadwell.  This might indicate that Henry John was the twin brother of Daisy, or the child from a previous marriage of Henry Beecham, his first wife having died during the birth.  Therefore the mother of the child may well have been Catherine’s youngest daughter Jane, who would have been the same age as Henry Beecham. 

 

 

 

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Elizabeth Collett

Born in 1838 at Kingham

 

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Charles Collett

Born in 1841 at Kingham

 

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Alice Collett

Born in 1844 at Kingham

 

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William George Collett

Born in 1847 at Kingham

 

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Jane Collett

Born in 1849 at Kingham

 

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Thomas Collett

Born in 1851 at Kingham

 

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Henry Collett

Born in 1853 at Kingham

 

 

 

 

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John Collett was born at Kingham around 1816.  It would appear that around 1840 he married Jane and the two of them, plus two of their first three children, were recorded at Kingham in the census of 1851.  On the day of the census Jane may well have been expecting the couple’s fourth child, and so their eldest daughter Sarah, who was eight, was staying with John’s father William nearby in Kingham.  The census confirmed that the four members of the family had been born at Kingham, as had missing daughter Sarah, and they were John who was 33, Jane who was 29, their son Thomas who was six, and their youngest daughter Emma who was one year old. 

 

 

 

Over the next decade a further five children were added to their family which was still living at Kingham in 1861.  John Collett was 46, Jane was 41, and the seven children living there with them were Thomas age 16, Emma age 12, Ellen who was nine, Dinah who was seven, Lucy who was four, Elizabeth who was two years old, and Fanny Collett who was still under one year of age.  No record has been found in 1861 of John’s daughter Sarah Collett, who would have been 18.

 

 

 

There was further confirmation of the family living in Kingham in 1871, but by that time four of their children had already left the family home in the village.  John was 54, Jane was 50, and the four remaining children were Thomas 25, Elizabeth who was 12, and Fanny who was 10 years of age.  Eldest daughter Emma, who would have been 22, may have been married by then, while sisters Ellen age 20, Dinah age 17 and Elizth Jane Collett age 16 (?) were all living and working within the Stow-on-the-Wold registration district in 1871.  Of the couple’s younger daughter, Lucy was still living within the Chipping Norton & Charlbury registration area where she was working at the age of 14.

 

 

 

In 1881 John and Jane were still living in Kingham, but with just two of their children.  John Collett was 64 and was still working as a farm labourer, while his wife Jane was 61.  Curiously their son Thomas was recorded as being 28, when in fact he was around 36, and he too was a farm labourer probably working with his father.  Their daughter Elizabeth was correctly listed as being 22, and she was described as a domestic servant who was out of employment.  All four members of the family were verified as having been born at Kingham.

 

 

 

No record of either John or Jane has been found after 1881, so it may be safe to assume that they both died at Kingham during the 1880s.

 

 

 

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Sarah Collett

Born in 1842 at Kingham

 

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Thomas John Collett

Born in 1844 at Kingham

 

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Emma Collett

Born in 1849 at Kingham

 

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Ellen Collett

Born in 1851 at Kingham

 

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Dinah Collett

Born in 1853 at Kingham

 

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Lucy Collett

Born in 1856 at Kingham

 

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Elizabeth Jane Collett

Born in 1858 at Kingham

 

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Fanny Collett

Born in 1860 at Kingham

 

 

 

 

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Elizabeth Collett was born at Kingham around 1820, possibly the youngest child of William Collett from the neighbouring village of Churchill, and his so far undiscovered wife.  Elizabeth was married around the time she was twenty years of age, when she became Elizabeth Partloe.  And it was under that name that she was recorded in the census of 1851, although there was no one with that name listed in the earlier census of 1841.

 

 

 

By 1851 Elizabeth was a widow at the age of 31 and was working as a laundress, while she was living at the home of her father William Collett in Kingham, where it was confirmed she was born.  Living there with her were her three Kingham born children, Daniel Partloe, age nine years, James Partloe who was seven, and Mary Ann Partloe who was four years old.  From the names of her sons it may be safe to assume that one of them was named after her late husband.

 

 

 

No record of Elizabeth Partloe has been found after that time, which might suggest that she was married for a second time during the 1850s.  There is also some unresolved business involving her son Daniel of Kingham.  As her eldest child, for which she would have been under age when she fell pregnant, there is a possibility that he was a base-born child who later took her husband’s name.  However, with no further record of a Daniel Partloe, but a record of a Daniel Collett born at Kingham in 1841 it has been assumed here that he continued his life using his mother’s maiden name.

 

 

 

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Daniel Collett

Born in 1841 at Kingham

 

 

 

 

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Henry Collett was born at Kingham in 1838, the eldest child of Joseph and Jane Collett.  He was two years old in the June census of 1841, and was 11 and 21 respectively in the next two census returns, when, on both occasions, he was still living at Kingham with his parents.  At the time of the later in 1861 Henry was working as a carter, and may have even been working for his father who was farming 21 acres of land in the village, having previously had 38 acres.

 

 

 

From the later census records it is evident that Henry left Kingham during the 1860s, when he moved to the Stretton-on-Fosse area where he met and later married Louisa Keen on 22nd February 1866.  The parish record at Stretton confirmed that the father of Henry Collett was Joseph Collett, while Louisa’s father was Joseph Keen.  Both the bride and the groom were recorded as being 22 years of age, which was incorrect, since Henry would have been 27, and Louisa would have been around 21.

 

 

 

Initially the newly married couple resided in Stretton-on-Fosse for a few years, where their first three children were born, and before they settled in Aston Magna two miles north of Moreton-in-Marsh.  And it was there that the family was living when the 1871 census took place, although yet again they gave incorrect ages.  Henry said he 30 and Louisa said she was 28, when they would have been 31 and 25 respectively, as confirmed ten years later.  Their three children on that occasion were William, who was five, Joseph, who was three, and Austin who was under one year old.  Five more children were added to the family while they were living at Aston Magna, but then another move for the family took place.

 

 

 

In 1881 the family was living at a dwelling referred to as Number 15 in the village of Blockley, two miles west of Aston Magna.  By that time in his life Henry was working on the railway as a platelayer, and coincidentally his brother Austin (below) was in America at that same time, and was also working on the railway there.  Henry Collett from Kingham was 41, and his wife Louise was 35 and from Stretton.  At that time in their lives, their marriage had produced seven children, and they were Joseph Collett age 13, Austin Collett age 10, John Henry Collett who was nine, Thomas Collett who was seven, Alice Collett who was five, Annie Collett who was three, and James Collett who was one year old.  The couple’s missing son William was already working on a farm at Quinton by then.

 

 

 

Henry Collett of Kingham was 51 at the time of the Blockley census in 1891, and by then he only had his wife and three of their ten children still living with him.  Louise Collett was 45, Annie Collett was 13, Albert Collett was eight, and Jane Collett was four years old.  The couple’s two older sons Austin and John were both living and working together at Duffield, to the south of Belper in Derbyshire.

 

 

 

Curiously in the census of 1901, when Henry was living within the Blockley registration district and still working as a labourer on the railway at the age of 61, he gave his place of birth as Aston Magna.  Living there with him was his wife Louisa Collett, age 55 and from Stretton, and his youngest child Jane Collett who was 14 and from Aston Magna.

 

 

 

It was the same situation ten years later when, according to the census in 1911, Henry Collett from Kingham was 72 when he was living within the Aston Magna and Blockley area with his wife Louisa who was 67, and their daughter Jane Collett who was 23.

 

 

 

Also living in Aston Magna in 1911 was the family of Frederick Collett, age 40, and his wife Eliza Collett who was 36.  Their four children were Frederick Collett, age 15, Florence Collett, age 12, Ethel Collett, who was eight, and Annie Collett, age six years.  Who they were and where they were from is not known at this time.

 

 

 

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William Collett

Born in 1866 at Stretton-on-Fosse

 

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Joseph Collett

Born in 1868 at Stretton-on-Fosse

 

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Austin Collett

Born in 1870 at Stretton-on-Fosse

 

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John Henry Collett

Born in 1872 at Aston Magna

 

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Thomas Collett

Born in 1874 at Aston Magna

 

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Alice Collett

Born in 1876 at Aston Magna

 

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Annie Collett

Born in 1878 at Aston Magna

 

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James Collett

Born in 1880 at Aston Magna

 

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Albert Collett

Born in 1882 at Aston Magna

 

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Jane Collett

Born in 1886 at Aston Magna

 

 

 

 

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Austin M Collett was born at Kingham during March in 1841, the second son of Joseph and Jane Collett, and was recorded as being four months old on the fourth June, the census day in 1841.  He was simply listed as Austin Collett, when his family was living in Kingham, where his father was a labourer.  During the next few years his father became a farmer of 38 acres in Kingham, for which he employed two men, all as recorded in the census of 1851, when Austin Collett was 10 years old.

 

 

 

It would appear that as he approached his twentieth birthday Austin left England and emigrated to America, since there is no record of him anywhere in Great Britain at the time of the census in 1861.  What is known is that on 20th July 1867 Austin M Collett married Mary Ann Kriebs at Omaha, Douglas in Nebraska.  Mary Ann was a similar age to Austin, having been born in 1842 in Germany.  For some reason the records in America gave his place of birth as Moreton-in-Marsh, which is five miles north of Kingham, and his year of birth was stated as being 1839.

 

 

 

Austin and Mary Ann were still living in Omaha when the US Census of 1880 was conducted.  By that time the couple had three children living with them.  The census return listed the family of five as A M Collett from England, who was 37 rather than 39, his wife Mary A Collett from Prussia, who was 36 instead of 38, their two daughters Minnie Collett, age 12, and Pauline Collett, who was nine, and their son Austin Collett who was two years old.  The children’s father was described as a foreman working on a car department for the U P Rail Road (Union Pacific Railroad).

 

 

 

And it was at Omaha that Austin and Mary Ann were still living on 27th April 1906 when Austin M Collett died, just two years before the birth of his grandson John Austin Collett.  He was buried at Prospect Hill Cemetery in Omaha, and it was there also, over twenty-six years later that his widow Mary Ann Collett nee Kriebs was buried, following her death at Omaha on 28th July 1932.

 

 

 

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Minnie Collett

Born in 1868 at Omaha, Nebraska

 

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Pauline Collett

Born in 1871 at Omaha, Nebraska

 

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Austin John Collett

Born in 1877 at Omaha, Nebraska

 

 

 

 

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Charles Collett was born at Kingham during February 1841, since he was three months old at the time June census in 1841.  It would appear that Charles never married and was recorded in subsequent Kingham censuses in 1851 as 10 years old, in 1861 at the age of 19, and 30 in 1871.  His father William, whose occupation was that of a sawyer, died during the 1870s, so by 1881 Charles and his unmarried brother Henry (below) were caring for and supporting their mother Catherine.

 

 

 

The Kingham census that year listed the three of them as the widow Catherine Collett, age 68, who was being kept by her general labourer sons Charles, age 42 - as opposed to being 39, and Henry who was 34, when he was actually 27.  All three of them had been born at Kingham, as was Catherine’s grandson Henry John Beecham, age five years, who was the son of one of Charles’ sisters. 

 

 

 

It was a similar situation ten years later, when Charles and his brother were still living with their elderly mother.  The Kingham census in 1891 listed them as Catherine Collett, age 79, Charles Collett, age 49, with his brother Henry referred to as Harry Collett aged 36.

 

 

 

In the March census of 1901 once again the age of Charles Collett from Kingham was incorrectly stated as it had been twenty years earlier when, on this occasion he said he was 56, and at that time in his life when he was 59 and was still working as a general labourer in Kingham.

 

 

 

 

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William George Collett was born at Kingham in 1847, one of the seven children of William and Catherine Collett.  It was as George Collett, aged three years, that he was recorded in the Kingham census of 1851, and again as George Collett once more in the next census of 1861, when he was still living there with his family at the age of 13.

 

 

 

Where George was in 1871 has not been determined, but it may have following the death of his father during the 1870s that George took up the name William George Collett.  It was also just after the census in 1871 that he married Caroline who was also born at Kingham in 1848, and where the couple’s children were born.  According to the Kingham census of 1881, William George Collett of Kingham was 33 and a platelayer working on the railway, as was his eldest brother Henry (above).

 

 

 

His wife Caroline was 32, and their four children were Eliza Collett, who was six and attending the local school, William Collett, who was four, James Collett, who was two, and John Collett who was just four months old.  Every member of the household was confirmed as having been born in Kingham.

 

 

 

With his non-appearance in any census return after 1881, it has been assumed that William George Collett died during the 1880s.  The Kingham census in 1891 included his widow, and his four children.  Caroline Collett was 40 (sic), William G Collett was 14, James Collett was 12, and John Collett was 10.  Caroline’s daughter Eliza was not living with her family, because by then she had start work as a servant at another dwelling in Kingham at the age of 16.

 

 

 

Also in 1891 the census that year revealed that Caroline and her three sons were living at Kingham in a dwelling that was almost next door to her brother-in-law Thomas Collett (below) and his family, with just the Andrews family separating the two groups.

 

 

 

Caroline Collett of Kingham was still living there in 1901 when she was 52 and a widow with no stated occupation.  And still living there with her were her three sons.  William was 24, James was 22, and John was 20.  Caroline’s daughter by then was living at working in the Great Faringdon area where she was described as Eliza A Collett, age 25 and from Kingham, who was a housemaid and a domestic servant.

 

 

 

Ten years later it was the same situation.  By the time of the April census in 1911 Caroline was 62, and still was living at Kingham with her three sons, William, James and John.

 

 

 

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Eliza A Collett

Born in 1874 at Kingham

 

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William George Collett

Born in 1876 at Kingham

 

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James Collett

Born in 1878 at Kingham

 

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John Collett

Born in 1880 at Kingham

 

 

 

 

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Jane Collett was born at Kingham in 1849, the youngest of three daughters of William and Catherine Collett.  In 1851 she was one year old, and was 11 years of age in 1861, when she was still living with her family at Kingham.  However, by the time of the next census she may well have been married to Henry Beecham from Kingham, since no record of her as Jane Collett has been found in 1871.

 

 

 

It is very likely that upon the birth of her son Henry John Beecham around 1875, Jane did not survive resulting in the child being looked after by her parents.  The only evidence for suggesting this is that in 1881 Henry John Beecham, aged five years and from Kingham, was living there with his widowed grandmother Catherine Collett.

 

 

 

 

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Thomas Collett was born at Kingham in 1851, the son of William and Catherine Collett.  He was nine years old in 1861 and 19 years of age in 1871 when he was still living with his family at Kingham on both occasions.  Shortly after that he married local girl Mary Ann from Kingham who was about five years older than Thomas.  The couple continued to live in Kingham after they were married, and it was there that their children were born.

 

 

 

Thomas’ elder brother Henry married Louisa Keen in 1866, and by the time of the census in 1881 Thomas was referring to himself as Thomas Keen Collett.  Whether this was anything to do with his brother’s in-laws is not known at this time.  As with other members of his family, the Kingham census in 1881 recorded an error in Thomas’s age by reducing it by two years, which is slightly odd being in mind his wife was the older partner.

 

 

 

According the census return general labourer Thomas Keen Collett was 27, instead of 29, his wife Mary Ann was 34, eldest daughter Alice was seven, sons James and Thomas were five and three, and the couple’s youngest daughter Mary Ann was only three weeks old, and all of them born at Kingham

 

 

 

Two more daughters were added to Thomas’ family after 1881, the first possibly being born towards the end of that same year.  So at the time of the census in 1891 the family was still living at Kingham, but with some changes.  Firstly the couple’s eldest daughter Alice, who would have been 17, was no longer living with them, and secondly son James and daughter Mary Ann were using other names, although their ages were consistent with ten years earlier.

 

 

 

The Chipping Norton & Charlbury census in 1891 therefore recorded the family as Thomas Collett, age 39, Mary A Collett, age 45, and their children Louis Collett, age 14 – instead of James, Thomas Collett, age 12, Emily Collett, age 10 – previously Mary Ann, plus the two new daughters Elizabeth Collett who was eight, and Rose Collett, who was five years old.  Living just two doors away from Thomas and his family in 1891 was his sister-in-law Caroline, the widow of his late brother William George Collett (above).  Either on that occasion or shortly thereafter, Mary Ann was pregnant with the last of her children, resulting in the birth of Albert later that same year or very early in the following year.

 

 

 

Just after the start of the new century, Thomas and Mary were still living in Kingham at a dwelling in Duck End with just their sons Thomas and Albert for company.  Thomas Collett senior was 46, his wife Mary A Collett was 54, while their sons were Thomas Collett, who was 22, and Albert Collett who was only nine years old, all four of them born at Kingham.  By that time their daughter Emily Collett from Kingham was employed as a general domestic servant in a house at Neithrop in Banbury, where she was also listed as being 22, while daughter Rose was away working in London at 16 years of age.

 

 

 

By April 1911 Thomas Collett gave himself a more accurate account of his age when he said he was 60.  His wife Mary Ann Collett stated she was 68, rather than 64 which would have been more consistent with the age given in the previous census returns.  Living with the couple at Kingham at that time was just their youngest son Albert, who was 19, plus their daughter Rose Collett, age 25, who had returned from a period working in London.

 

 

 

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Alice Collett

Born in 1874 at Kingham

 

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James [Louis] Collett

Born in 1876 at Kingham

 

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Thomas Collett

Born in 1878 at Kingham

 

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Mary Ann [Emily] Collett

Born in 1881 at Kingham

 

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Elizabeth Collett

Born in 1883 at Kingham

 

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Rose Collett

Born in 1885 at Kingham

 

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Albert Collett

Born in 1891 at Kingham

 

 

 

 

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Henry Collett was born at Kingham in 1853 and was seven years old in 1861, when he was living there with his family.  Ten years later Henry was still living at his parents’ home in Kingham when he was 17.  Not long after that Henry’s father William passed away, so by the 1881 it was just Henry and his brother Charles (above) who were looking after their widowed mother.  This was another of the family who had trouble remembering their correct age, since in the census return for Kingham in 1881 general labourer Henry was recorded as being 34, rather than 37.

 

 

 

 

59O13

Thomas John Collett was born at Kingham in 1844, the eldest child of John and Jane Collett.  He was six years old in 1851, 16 years old in 1861, and 25 years old in 1871 when, on each occasion of the census he was living with his family in Kingham.  By the time of the next census in 1881 he was no longer living with his parents, instead rather mysteriously no record of him at all his been found away in Great Britain on that occasion.  However, it is established that he was a married man by the time of the census in 1891.

 

 

 

What the actual date of his wedding was it still to be found, but sometime prior to the start of April in 1891 Thomas Collett married Julia who was born in the village of Salford, near Chipping Norton.  And it was also at Salford in Oxfordshire that the childless couple was living, according to the census that year, when Thomas Collett from Kingham was 47, and his wife Julia was 32.

 

 

 

Just after the start of the new century Thomas, age 56 and from Kingham, was a carter on a farm at Oddington in Gloucestershire, where he was living with his wife Julia who was 42 and from Salford.  The only other Collett living in Oddington at that time was Emma Collett of Oaksey in Wiltshire who was 50 and a domestic housekeeper.

 

 

 

Ten years later, the census in April 1911 again confirmed that Thomas and his wife were still living in Oddington.  He was recorded as Thomas John Collett, age 66 and from Kingham, while Julie Collett from Salford was 52.  Also by that time, the aforementioned Emma Collett from Oaksey was 62 and she was living within the Northleach area of Gloucestershire.

 

 

 

 

59O16

Dinah Collett was born at Kingham in 1853, and in 1861 when she was seven years old she was living at Kingham with her parents John and Jane Collett.  Upon leaving school Dinah entered into domestic service and, although she has not be located in the census of 1871, by 1881 she was a domestic cook living and working with the Spooner family at 7 Clapham Cross in the Wandsworth & Clapham area of London.  Sidney Spooner, age 61, from Streatham in Surrey was a retired eating house chef, and he and his wife Dinah Spooner, age 66, from Kingham had their one year old granddaughter Mary A Spooner of Clapham living with them.  Whether an error in transcription Dinah Collett from Kingham was said to be 23 rather than 27 or 28.

 

 

 

Following the retirement, or the possible death of her employ, Dinah was later employed by the son of Sidney Spooner at his coffee shop and restaurant at 4 Southside, Clapham Common where she was working as his domestic housekeeper in 1891.  Possibly out of respective, and following the death of Dinah Spooner, Dinah Collett was henceforth known as Alice Collett.  And it was as Alice Collett, age 34 and born at Kingham, that she was a ‘boarder’ with Sidney and Emily Spooner and their four children, where she was managing three domestic housemaids, two of them from Kingham.  Completing the census return were three female waitresses, who were employed in the restaurant.

 

 

 

It may be of interest that the two girls from Kingham were Ada Keen, age 18 and the kitchen maid, and Kate Peattey who was 22 and a housemaid.  It is possible that Ada Keen was in some way related to Louisa Keen who married Henry Collett (Ref. 59O1) in 1866.

 

 

 

It would appear that Alice’s work with the Spooner family must have been well rewarded, because in March 1901 the census for the Clapham area of London provided the following description of her.  Alice Collett from Kingham was 45, at a time in her life when she was living on her own means.

 

 

 

During the next few years Alice finally ceased to be employed by the Spooner family, when she retired to Warwickshire.  By April 1911 she was living in the Rugby area of the county, and by then she had reverted to her real name of Dinah Collett.  The census confirmed that she was born at Kingham in Oxfordshire, and that she was unmarried at the age of 56.

 

 

 

 

59O20

Daniel Collett was born at Kingham in 1841, the base-born son Elizabeth Collett later to be Elizabeth Partloe.  In the census of 1851 his mother, as Elizabeth Partloe, was a widow at 31 and she and her three children were living with Daniel’s grandfather William Collett in Kingham.  On that occasion Daniel was listed as being Daniel Partloe aged nine years.  With no record of his mother ten years later it seems highly likely that she remarried and, upon her change of name, Daniel chose to be known as Daniel Collett.

 

 

 

He married Elizabeth around 1864 and his occupation was that of a labourer.  The two of them were living at Enstone to the east of Chipping Norton at the time of the baptism of their first child ‘Charley Collett’, and just over a year later they were living in the nearby hamlet of Lidstone for the baptism of their daughter Annie.

 

 

 

At the time of the census in 1871 the family was still living in Lidstone, at Lidstone Hill, where Daniel Collett, age 29 and from Kingham, was working as a labourer.  His wife Elizabeth from nearby Taston was 30, and their two children were described as scholar Charlie Collett, who was six, and Annie Collett who was four years old, both of them born at Lidstone.

 

 

 

According to the next census in 1881 the family was still residing in Lidstone, when Daniel was listed as being 39 and of Kingham, at a time in his life when his occupation was that of a corn miller’s labourer.  His wife Elizabeth was 40 and born at Taston, the hamlet next to Spelsbury, and their two children were listed as son Charles Collett, age 16, a gardener’s labourer born at Lidstone, and Annie Collett who was 14 and also born at Lidstone.

 

 

 

After a further ten years had passed Daniel’s son Charles had left the family’s home in Lidstone, leaving just Daniel, who was 49 and from Kingham, Elizabeth, who was 50, and daughter Annie who was 24.

 

 

 

By 1901 Daniel of Kingham was 59 and was a farmer living at Enstone and with him was his wife Elizabeth aged 60 of Spelsbury.  The couple were still living at Enstone ten years later, when Daniel Collett from Kingham was 69, and his wife Elizabeth from Spelsbury was 70.  Staying with them on that occasion was their granddaughter Dorothy Collett, who was ten years old, the daughter of their son Charles who was living nearby with his second wife.

 

 

 

59P25

Charles Collett

Baptised on 21.05.1865 at Enstone

 

59P26

Annie Collett

Baptised on 23.09.1866 at Enstone

 

 

 

 

59P1

William Collett was born at Stretton-on-Fosse towards the end of 1866, following the Stretton wedding of his parents in February that year.  It must have been around the time he was four years old that his family moved south to Aston Magna, near Moreton-in-Marsh, where they were living in 1871 when William was five years old.  Ten years later, and after William had finished his schooling, he was taken on by farmer Thomas M Fisher at Lower Meon Farm, near Meon Hill at Quinton.  William was 15, and was described as an indoor farm servant, although his employer stated he was born at Aston Magna, rather than Stretton-on-Fosse, since that was where his parents were living.

 

 

 

Where he went or what he did after that is not known, since no positive trace of him has been found within the census returns for 1891, 1901, or 1911.

 

 

 

 

59P2

Joseph Collett was born at Stretton-on-Fosse in 1868, the son of Henry and Louisa Collett.  By 1871 he and his family were living in Aston Magna when he was three years old.  In 1881 he was 13 and was already working as a farm labourer while still living with his family which, by then, was living in nearby Blockley.  By 1891 Joseph Collett was 22 and was living and working in the Alcester registration district, and very shortly after that he became a married man.

 

 

 

His marriage to Beatrice from Inkberrow, to the west of Alcester, produced at least nine children before the census in 1911, there being a five year gap between their first and their second child.  Initially the couple lived for a short while at Temple Grafton near Alcester, where their first child was born, before settling in Alveston, just two miles north-east of Stratford-on-Avon.  At the time of the Alveston census of 1901Joseph Collett, age 32 and from Stretton-on-Fosse, was employed as a domestic coachman.  Living there with him was his wife Beatrice C Collett, age 29 and from Inkberrow, and the couple’s first four children.  They were Elsie B Collett, who was eight, Hilary V Collett, who was three, Wilfred H Collett, who was one year old, and baby Gertrude M Collett who had only just been born.

 

 

 

It would appear that the family was still living in the Alveston area when the couple’s next child was born, but shortly after that that family moved away from Stratford and headed for Bromsgrove in Worcestershire, where their four remaining children were born.  So by the time of the census in April 1911 the family comprised Joseph, who was 42, Beatrice from Inkberrow who was 39, and their nine children.

 

 

 

Within the census return the four children born while they were living at Alveston were recorded as having been born at Stratford.  Eldest daughter Elsie Beatrice Collett, from Temple Grafton was 18, Hilary Violet Collett was 13, Wilfred Henry Collett was 11, Gertrude Mahalah Collett was 10, and Alice Louise Collett was eight years old.  The four later children were Bernice Mary Collett, age five, Victor Frederick, age four, Reginald Clarence, who was two, and Phyllis Norah Collett who was three months old.

 

 

 

59Q1

Elsie Beatrice Collett

Born in 1892 at Temple Grafton

 

59Q2

Hilary Violet Collett

Born in 1897 at Alveston

 

59Q3

Wilfred Henry Collett

Born in 1899 at Alveston

 

59Q4

Gertrude Mahalah Collett

Born in 1901 at Alveston

 

59Q5

Alice Louise Collett

Born in 1903 at Alveston

 

59Q6

Bernice Mary Collett

Born during 1905 at Bromsgrove

 

59Q7

Victor Frederick Collett

Born during 1906 at Bromsgrove

 

59Q8

Reginald Clarence Collett

Born during 1908 at Bromsgrove

 

59Q9

Phyllis Norah Collett

Born in Jan.1911 at Bromsgrove

 

 

 

 

59P3

Austin Collett was born at Stretton-on-Fosse in 1870, the third child of Henry Collett from Kingham and his wife Louisa Keen from Stretton.  Almost immediately after he was born his parents moved the two miles south to the village of Aston Magna where they were living in 1871, where Austin was recorded in the census that year as being under one year old.  Ten years later he and his family were living at dwelling 15 in Blockley to the west of Moreton-in-Marsh, where Austin Collett was 10 years old and still attending the village school.

 

 

 

Upon leaving school Austin and his brother John (below) bid farewell to their family when they set off together for a new life in Derbyshire, where they were both recorded as living and working in 1891.  The census that year listed them as the only two people with the Collett surname residing within the Duffield registration district of Belper.  Austin Collett from Aston Magna was 20, while his brother John was 19.

 

 

 

Around five or six years later while Austin was still living in the Duffield area of Derbyshire he met and married Adelaide and by the end of the century they had two children.  The family of four was still living in Duffield where Austin Collett was 28 (sic), his wife Adelaida Collett was 23, and their two sons were Albert A Collett, who was two, and Harry Collett who was one year old.  It would appear that Austin, who was a labourer working on the railway, had reduced his age out of embarrassment for the near ten-year age difference between himself and his wife.

 

 

 

The family celebrated the birth of a daughter during the following year but tragically, either during that birth, or the birth of a later child, Austin’s wife died.  By the time of the next census in 1911 it was just Austin and his three children living at Duffield.  Austin Collett was 40, sons Albert Collett and Harry Collett were 13 and 11 respectively, and his daughter Nellie Collett was eight years old, all three children confirmed as having been born at Duffield.

 

 

 

59Q10

Albert Austin Collett

Born in 1897 at Duffield

 

59Q11

Harry Collett

Born in 1899 at Duffield

 

59Q12

Nellie Collett

Born in 1902 at Duffield

 

 

 

 

59P4

John Henry Collett was born at Aston Magna in 1872 and was nine years old in 1881, by which time his family was living at number 15 in Blockley not far from Aston Magna.  On leaving school he, together with his brother Austin (above) travelled north to the county of Derbyshire, most likely for work reasons, and it was at Duffield near Belper that the two brothers were living in 1891 when John Collett from Aston Magna was 19.

 

 

 

While he was living there he met and married Fanny Elizabeth who was born in Belper in 1872, but once they were married the couple settled in the Derbyshire village of Mackworth on the north-western outskirts of Derby.  And it was there that the childless couple were living in March 1901 when John Henry Collett, age 29 and from Aston Magna, was a waggoner on a local farm.  His wife Fanny Elizabeth Collett from Belper was also 29.

 

 

 

Whether the couple had any earlier child who did not survive is not known, but in February 1911, when Fanny was 40 years old, she presented John with a daughter, and two month later the family living in the Belper area was recorded in the census as John Henry Collett from Aston Magna who was 39, his wife Fanny Elizabeth Collett from Belper, who was 40, and their daughter Kathleen Janet Collett who was two months old.

 

 

 

59Q13

Kathleen Janet Collett

Born in Feb. 1911 in Derbyshire

 

 

 

 

59P5

Thomas Collett was born at Aston Magna in 1874 but was living with his family in the adjacent village of Blockley in 1881 when he was seven years old.  No record of Thomas has been so far found in the census of 1891 when he would have been 17.  However, it would appear that, like his two brothers Austin and John (above), Thomas also moved north to Derbyshire where he met and married his wife Emily.

 

 

 

Within the first five years that they were married the couple was living at Quarndon, just south of Duffield where his brothers had been living in 1891 and where Austin Collett was living at that same time in 1901.  The census that year confirmed the family living at Quarndon was Thomas Collett from Aston Magna who was 26 and a general labourer, his wife Emily A Collett, age 26 and from Quarndon, and their two children George T Collett, who was three, and Frank Collett who was one year old.  Emily was most likely with-child on the day of the census, since later that year she gave birth to her third son.  Boarding with the family that day was Joseph Taylor who was a cab driver from Long Eaton who was 18 years of age.

 

 

 

In total four more children were added to their family over the following nine years, and all of them born while they were living in Quarndon, where they were still living at the time of the census in April 1911.  Thomas Collett of Aston Magna was 36, Emily Collett was 37, George Collett was 13, Frank Collett was 11, Arthur Collett was nine, Annie Collett was six, Joseph Collett who was three years of age, and Mary Collett who was only eleven months old.

 

 

 

59Q14

George Thomas Collett

Born during 1898 at Quarndon

 

59Q15

Frank Collett

Born during 1899 at Quarndon

 

59Q16

Arthur Collett

Born during 1901 at Quarndon

 

59Q17

Annie Collett

Born during 1904 at Quarndon

 

59Q18

Joseph Collett

Born during 1907 at Quarndon

 

59Q19

Mary Collett

Born in May 1910 at Quarndon

 

 

 

 

59P13

Austin John Collett was born at Omaha, Douglas in Nebraska on 5th September 1877, the only known son of Austin M Collett from England and his Prussian born wife Mary Ann Kriebs. 

 

He attended the University of Nebraska and in 1906 he was hired as an engineer with the Union Pacific Railroad in Omaha, Nebraska.  It was during 1907 that he married Ruth Dahlman, and the following year their first child was born at Omaha.  Their two sons were referred to as Jim and Jack.

 

In 1912 he became the Director-General of Public Works for the Dominican Republic, and by 1922 he was working for the Texas Oil Company in Havana, Cuba.  He died on 2nd May 1934 and was buried at Prospect Hill Cemetery in Omaha with his parents.

Collett 4733195082 45c40d3505 o.jpg

 

The father of Ruth Dahlman was Jim Dahlman who was the Mayor of Omaha in Nebraska for twenty years.  He was a very colourful person and was a cowboy and a frontier sheriff.  Ruth's mother, Harriet Abbott, came from a very old New England family who have managed to trace their family back to 1634, which is a tremendous achievement.  Harriet Dahlman was later divorced from Jim Dahlman and inherited the house of her father, Doctor Charles Abbott.

 

 

 

59Q20

John Austin Collett

Born in 1908 at Omaha, Nebraska

 

59Q21

James Dahlman Collett

Born in 1909 at Omaha, Nebraska

 

 

 

 

59P14

Eliza A Collett was born at Kingham in 1874, the eldest of the four known children of William George and Caroline Collett.  In 1881 she was six years old when she was living with her family, but by 1891 she was still living in Kingham although she was already working and living with another family at the age of 16.  It was her work that eventual took Eliza to Great Faringdon, where she was working in 1901.  The census that year confirmed that she was Eliza A Collett, age 25 and from Kingham, who was living and working there as a domestic housemaid.

 

 

 

 

59P15

William George Collett was born at Kingham in 1876, the second child but eldest son of William and Caroline Collett.  By 1881, as William Collett, he was attending the village school at the age of four years, and it was there in Kingham that he appears to have lived as a bachelor for much, if not all, of his life.  Not long after that his father, who worked on the railway, passed away and it may have been as a result of that sadly event which resulted in his allegiance to his mother, with whom he lived until her death.

 

 

 

In the census of 1891, as William G Collett he was 14 when he was still living in Kingham with his mother and two younger brothers.  Ten years later it was exactly the same situation, except that by then William Collett, age 24 and of Kingham, was a carter with a horse working on a nearby farm.  After a further ten years the census in 1911 recorded unmarried William Collett of Kingham as still living there with his mother and his two brothers at the age of 34.

 

 

 

What happened to him or his brothers after that time is not known at this time.

 

 

 

 

59P16

James Collett was born at Kingham in 1878, the son of William and Caroline Collett, and was two years old in the Kingham census of 1881.  His father died during the following years, so by 1891 James Collett, age 12, was still living at Kingham with his widowed mother, and his two brother William (above) and John (below).

 

 

 

He was still living there with his mother and two brothers in 1901 when, at the age of 22, he was employed as a platelayer on the railway, as his father had been before his unexpected death.  And it was just the same ten years after that with James Collett, age 32 and from Kingham, still living there at the home of his mother, together with his two brothers.

 

 

 

 

59P17

John Collett was born at Kingham in December 1880, the youngest of the four children of William George Collett and his wife Caroline.  The Kingham census held on the third of April 1881 recorded his age as being four months.  He was only a few years old when his father suffered a premature death, perhaps even as the result of an accident at work, since he was a platelayer with the railway.  So in the next census in 1891 John Collett, age 10, was living at Kingham with his mother and two older brothers.

 

 

 

The two subsequent census returns recorded the same situation.  In 1901 John Collett, age 20 and from Kingham, was still living there with his brothers and their mother at Kingham, by which time he was employed as a general labourer, and again in 1911 when he was still unmarried at the age of 30.

 

 

 

 

59P19

James [Louis] Collett was born at Kingham in 1876, the eldest son of Thomas and Mary Ann Collett.  He has been identified living at Kingham with his family in two consecutive census returns, although his parents entered different names on both occasions.  For the first, in 1881, he was James Collett aged five years, and in the second he was Louis Collett who was 14.  Whether because of the confusion over his name or not, no record of him has been found in any later census.

 

 

 

 

59P20

Thomas Collett was born at Kingham in 1878, the third child of Thomas and Mary Ann Collett.  He was three years of age in the Kingham census of 1881, and was 12 years old ten years after that.  He was still living at Kingham with his parents in March 1901, by which time he was working as a general labourer aged 22.  No record of Thomas Collett of Kingham has been found in the census of 1911.

 

 

 

 

59P21

Mary Ann [Emily] Collett was born at Kingham during the first week of March in 1881, since she was only three weeks old on the third April that year, when she was recorded as Mary Ann Collett.  Ten years later she was still living at Kingham with her family when she was named as Emily Collett, age 10.  Upon leaving school Mary Ann/Emily Collett entered domestic service, and her work eventually took her to work for a family at Neithrop in Banbury.  Curiously in the census of 1901 she was once again recorded as Emily Collett from Kingham, although her age was incorrectly stated as being 22.

 

 

 

With no later record of Mary Ann or Emily Collett it is perhaps safe to assume that she was married by the time of the census in 1911.

 

 

 

 

59P22

Elizabeth Collett was born at Kingham around 1883, and was living with her parents Thomas and Mary Ann at Kingham in 1891 when she was eight years old.  However, she was not living at the family’s home in 1901, but instead it is very likely, although not proved, that she was employed as a domestic servant working at a house in the Clapham area of London.  That person was simply recorded in the census as L Collett, age 19, and from Kingham in Oxfordshire.

 

 

 

 

59P23

Rose Collett was born at Kingham in 1885, the youngest child of Thomas and Mary Ann Collett.  She was five years old in the Kingham census of 1891, but upon leaving school in Kingham, Rose secured work as a general domestic servant with a family at Streatham in Surrey, where she was working at 16 years of age in 1901.  Perhaps because of the advancing years of her elderly parents, Rose returned to Kingham during the next decade and was living with them in the old age in 1911, when she was listed as Rose Collett, age 25 and from Kingham.  It is not known at this time if she was married in the following years.

 

 

 

 

59P25

Charles Collett was born at Lidstone, but baptised at Spelsbury on 21st May 1865, the only son of Daniel and Elizabeth Collett.  It was as Charlie Collett that he was living at Lidstone Hill in Lidstone with his family in 1871 when he was six years old.  Ten years later, according to the 1881 Census, Charles Collett, age 16 and of Lidstone, was a non-domestic gardener’s labourer who was living at the home of his parents in the hamlet of Lidstone.  Charlie Collett of Lidstone was still a bachelor in 1891 at the age of 25, but towards the end of the century he married (1) Susan.

 

 

 

By 1901 he was referred to as Charles Collett, age 36 and from Enstone, where he was living and working as a baker.  Enstone and Lidstone are neighbouring villages that lie midway between Chipping Norton and Woodstock.  Living with Charles was his wife Susan G Collett, age 37 and from Lancaster, and their daughter Dorothy M E Collett who was not yet one year old, who had been born at Enstone.

 

 

 

Tragically it would seem that Susan died shortly after, perhaps even during the birth of a second child who also did not survived.  It may also have been at that time, following the death of her mother, that Charles’ daughter Dorothy went to live with her paternal grandparents.  Around 1904 Charles married (2) Alma with whom he had two children prior to the census in 1911.

 

 

 

The census return that year confirmed that Charlie Collett, age 44 and from Enstone, was still living there with his new wife and their two children, while Charles’ daughter Dorothy, age 10, and from his first married was still living nearby at Enstone with Charles’ parents.

 

 

 

Charles’ wife Alma Ellen Collett was only 34, and their two children were recorded as Eric Charlie Collett who was five, and Frederick Charles Henry Collett who was just two months old, both of them born at Enstone.

 

 

 

59Q22

Dorothy M E Collett

Born in 1900 at Enstone

 

59Q23

Eric Charlie Collett

Born in 1905 at Enstone

 

59Q23

Frederick Charles Henry Collett

Born in Feb. 1911 at Enstone

 

 

 

 

59P26

Annie Collett was born at Lidstone, but was baptised at Spelsbury on 23rd September 1866, the daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth Collett.  At the time of the Lidstone census in 1871 Annie was four years old and as living at Lidstone Hill with her family.  And it was there that she was still living with her family in 1881 when she was recorded as Annie Collett, age 14, and born at Lidstone, and again ten years later in 1891 when she was 24.

 

 

 

Towards the end of the old century Annie appears to have married farmer Leonard Titcomb and by 1901 their marriage had been blessed with the birth of the first of their three children who was born at Chipping Norton.  The census that year listed the family as Leonard Titcomb 34, his wife Annie L Titcomb 35 and from Lidstone, and their daughter Emily Corbett Titcomb who was one year old.

 

 

 

Two further children were added to the family during the next four years, but by 1911 Annie Titcomb was a widow living at Lidstone with her three children.  Annie from Lidstone was 45, Emily Corbett Titcomb was 11, Ivy Melinda Titcomb was nine, and Henry Norman Titcomb was six years old.

 

 

 

 

59Q14

George Thomas Collett was born at Quarndon in 1898, the son of Thomas and Emily Collett who recorded the birth at Belper register office (Ref. 7b 613) during the first quarter of the year.  He was living with his family at Quarndon in 1901 when he was listed in the census at George T Collett, aged three years, and again in 1911 when as George Collett he was 13.

 

 

 

 

59Q20

John Austin Collett was born at Omaha, Nebraska on 31st March 1908, and was the eldest of the two sons of Austin John Collett and his wife Ruth Dahlman.  He was only 17 when he first enlisted with the US Navy and after four years he graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1929. 

 

Jack, as he was known, went into Naval Aviation and it was as Lieutenant Commander John Austin Collett that he was killed in action during the fierce Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands (aka Battle of the South Pacific) on 26th October 1942.  At the time his aircraft crashed into the sea he was in command of Aircraft Torpedo Squadron 10.  This photograph of Jack has been kindly provided by his nephew Jim Dahlman Collett (Ref. 59R2).

 

 

 

On that fateful day, Jack was flying the leading Avenger aircraft when he and the squadron were hit by a surprise attack from eight Japanese Zero fighter planes.  With his Grumman Avenger torpedo bomber being the first plane to be hit, presumably killing the engine, it began to glide down towards the sea.  The last sighting of the stricken aircraft, by the pilot of a following Avenger, was of Jack Collett climbing out of the cockpit onto the wing, from where he jumped before the plane crashed into the sea.  His body was never recovered from its watery grave.

 

 

 

In 1944, two years after his death, the destroyer USS Collett (DD-730) was named in his honour, and the first captain of the ship was Commander James Dahlman Collett, his brother (below).  The vessel was launched on 5th March 1944 by Bath Iron Works Corporation at Bath in Maine, and was sponsored by Mrs. C. C. Baughman as proxy for Mrs James Dahlman Collett (below).  The vessel was commissioned just over one month later at the Boston Navy Yard on 16th May 1944.

 

 

 

Assigned to the Pacific Fleet, the USS Collett reached Pearl Harbour on 16th October 1944.  In February 1945 it sailed daringly close to the Japanese coastline to strike at targets on Honshū, before giving air cover to the invasion of Iwo Jima from 20th to 22nd February.  On 18th April the destroyer joined with four other destroyers and an aircraft carrier, to sink the Japanese submarine I-56.  After patrol duty off Japan, and guarding the carriers as they flew air cover for the landing of occupation troops, the USS Collett entered Tokyo Bay on 14th September 1945, and 4 days later sailed for a west coast overhaul.

 

 

 

 

59Q21

James Dahlman Collett was born at Omaha, Nebraska in 1909, the second child of Austin John Collett and his wife Ruth Dahlman.  Like his older brother Jack (above), Jim, as he was known, also entered the Naval Academy in Nebraska in the Class of 1932.

 

By the time he married Margaret Peyton Calvert of Annopolis, Maryland at St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington D.C in 1936 he was Captain James Dahlman Collett of the US Navy.  Margaret was born in 1913 and her father was a lawyer in Washington where she grew up.  The marriage presented the couple with two sons, George and James.  Jim was the Captain of the destroyer USS Davison, which was participating in the invasion of Sicily, when he heard the news that a new destroyer was to be named after his late brother.

JimCollett (Small)

 

 

 

On hearing the announcement he immediately put in a request to be the first captain of the vessel, which was approved by the navy.  So it was that as Commander James Dahlman Collett that he later took command of the destroyer USS Collett.  Jim served with the navy for a total of thirty years and eventually retired in 1962.  During that time he was a Naval Attaché to Spain in the 1950's and his last assignment was as Base Commander in Newport Rhode Island.  John F Kennedy's son was born in the Naval Hospital under Jim’s command at Newport and the family has an autographed photograph of JFK thanking Jim Collett.

 

 

 

In 1954 Jim was in command of the US Navy Military Assistance Group in Indochina, at a time when the French were still running the country.  He never mentioned anything of this to his family, excepted to say that he considered Ho Che Minh to be a national hero in his efforts to get the French out, and his wife reflected how depressed he was while he was there.  A few years ago, his son James, met with a retired CIA official who covered Vietnam in the late 1950s.  He told Jim that some Navy guy had filed a report strongly recommending that the Americans should not replace the French when they left Southeast Asia.  That report could only have come from one man, James Dahlman Collett.  Being a dedicated Naval Officer, the subject was never raised, but in retrospect, it was a great shame that his report did not get more attention.  His son James is therefore convinced that his father’s depression was caused by what he saw as a huge mistake by his government.

 

 

 

Jim’s wife, Margaret Peyton Calvert, was the daughter of George Henry Calvert from the Lord Baltimore line in Maryland and Cornelia Peyton Russell Calvert from a very old Virginia family.  Her son James has been to both Kiplin Hall in Yorkshire, the house of Lord Baltimore, and to Isleham near Cambridge, where the Peyton family originated.  In the world of brass rubbings, The Lace Lady, Margaret Peyton, is a member of this family line.

 

 

 

James Dahlman Collett died in 1998 and had survived his wife by two years, when Margaret Peyton Collett nee Calvert died during 1996.  The details regarding James Dahlman Collett have been kindly provided by Alan Freer.  Since then family file was first created and displayed on the Collett Family History website in 2011, the two sons of James Dahlman Collett have kindly provided further details and photographs of their family.  The photograph of their father (above) was taken sometime during the latter years of the Second World War.

 

 

 

59R1

George Calvert Collett

Born in 1940

 

59R2

James Dahlman Collett

Born in 1947

 

 

 

 

59R1

George Calvert Collett was born at Washington D C during 1940, the eldest of the two son s of James and Margaret Collett.  He attended Duke University and achieved a Master's Degree in Business from the University of Virginia.  He later went on to work in real estate in Washington D.C.  He married Patricia Lindley who had two sons from a previous marriage.  George and Pat moved to Hilton Head Island in South Carolina during 2005 to be near George’s brother Jim (below).

 

 

 

 

59R2

James Dahlman Collett, who is known as Jim, was born at Washington in 1947, the second son of James Dahlman Collett and his wife Margaret Peyton Calvert.

 

He attended Denison University and was commissioned as an officer in the Air Force and was promoted to Captain before he left in 1973 to go to graduate school at the University of Florida.  After obtaining his Masters Degree he started work in what was the Bell System and spent the rest of his working life in telecommunications, ending with Verizon.

 

It was during 1977 at Birmingham in Alabama that he later married Marcia McGuire, who was born in 1943. 

 

 

 

Jim and Marcia moved to Hilton Head Island in South Carolina during November 2000, where they currently live.  Jim made an unsuccessful run for Mayor of Hilton Head Island in 2010, but despite that he has stayed very active in volunteer activities on the Island.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX

 

 

 

During other investigations an additional member of this family has very likely been discovered and he was Richard Collett who was baptised at Kingham on 11th January 1833.  It is therefore possible that he was the eldest child of Joseph Collett (Ref. 59N1) or his brother William Collett (Ref. 59N2).  Further work needs to be done to resolve this.