The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

Brecht One-Name Study

Progress 2011

Death of Mary Somes, Wife of Heinrich/Henry Brecht

In 2011, I made a major discovery in my research into the Brechts, my mother's maiden name. Browsing the internet for other names, I chanced upon a fascinating entry for Christ Church, Spitalfields:

The burial of Mary (Somes) Brecht, Fashion Street  (age 35) 3.1.1819 - per the New Family Search web-site.

This has partially solved a mystery that we have been trying to solve for 20-25 years! Now we have to prove if Harriet Piper is the mother of Henry's children born after 1819.

Fashion Street, Spitalfields

There must have been appalling and desperate conditions at Fashion Street, Spitalfields where Henry had a colour maker's facility. He lost his wife and 3 young children perhaps to infection which may have been rife in this crowded area of London:

- Maria Brecht buried 16.11.1814 (age 2)
- Charlotte Brecht buried 15.1.1819 (age 9) 
- Elisabeth Catharine Brecht buried 17.6.1821 (age 5)

Even after Mary died in 1819, Henry lost another daughter at a young age:

- Eleanor Brecht buried 24.10.1824 (age 17 months)

Now the search is on for more information about Harriet Piper!

Mary Somes & Harriet Piper

George Brecht in Pentonville Prison 1911

The publication of the Household Questionnaire for the 2011 Census may have solved a mystery over why George Brecht's name appears to have been included twice in the 1911 Census:

HM Prison, Pentonville

George Brecht Inmate 31

51 Hermit Road, Canning Town

Henerina Brecht Widow 56 born Plaistow, Essex
George Henry Brecht Married Son 30 Ships Fireman born Plaistow, Essex
Oliver Brecht Son 29 Labourer born Plaistow, Essex
Roseretta Brecht Daughter 28 Shop Assistant born Limehouse, Middlesex
Alf Brecht Son 21 Labourer born Bromley, Middlesex

George Henry Brecht's wife was living with her children:

1 Oak Road, Canning Town, Essex

Lucy Ann Brecht Head Married 29 Factory Hand Bottle Fillers born Millwall, Middlesex
Albert Earnest Brecht Son 10 born Tidal Basin, Essex
George Henry Brecht Son 8 born Tidal Basin, Essex
Alf Brecht Son 5 born Plaistow, Essex
Frank Bert Brecht Son 15 months born Plaistow, Essex

On page 2 of the 2011 Census questionnaire are the instructions:

It is important to include visitors staying overnight in this household to make sure no-one is missed. Visitors who usually live elsewhere in the UK must also be included on a census questionnaire at their usual address.

On page 31 are the instuctions:

Anyone who is temporarily away from their permanent or family home on (census day) should be included at their home address.....This includes people who are in prison on remand (for any length of time) or sentenced to less than 6 months imprisonment.

If similar instructions were in place in 1911, prisoner George Brecht may also have been included by his mother in her census entry as well as the prison entry.

John Christopher Brecht

A while ago my cousin turned up the following entry:

St Mary's Church, Whitechapel

Marriage 25.5.1795
Between John Christopher Brecht and Susannah Pardom, Widow

We have still not established who John was, whether he was related to my ancestor Heinrich Brecht and what happened to him. I have found out a little more about Susannah Pardom though:

Search for John Christopher Brecht & Susannah Pardom

Heinrich Fridrich Ludwig Brecht

There is an entry in a database of sugar refiners and bakers:

for Jurgen Christoph Brecht who was a sugar refiner in London possibly between 1784-1822.

The correspondent in Germany, who was the source of this information, advised me that Jurgen Christoph Brecht was the uncle and godfather of Heinrich Fridrich Ludwig Brecht who was christened on 7 July 1784 in Germany, when Jurgen was said to be in London.

Jurgen Christoph Brecht was buried on 1 April 1822 (age 70 and 18 days) in Germany (when it was noted that he had been a sugar refiner in London.)

It is possible that Heinrich Fridrich Ludwig Brecht came to England and may be one and the same as my ancestor Heinrich (Henry) Frederick Ludewig Brecht born 1783/4. If so we would be able to add 2 more generations to the Family Tree:

Brecht Family


Jurgen Friedrich Brecht bp 13.11.1725, buried 23.5.1778
married 2.12.1738
Anna Maria Juliane

Johann Friedrich Brecht bp 5.8.1742
married 19.1.1769
Maria Catharina Schocke

Heinrich Fridrich Ludwig Brecht bp 7.7.1784 Bodenfelde, Lower Saxony
may have followed his Uncle Jurgen Christoph Brecht to London
where Jurgen was a sugar-refiner


Heinrich/Henry Frederick Ludewig Brecht b c 1783/4 d 28.5.1838 (age 54)
(1) Mary Somes b c 1780 d 3.1.1819
married 14.07.1808
(2) Harriet Piper b 6.1.1802 bp 24.1.1802 d 1.10.1871
married 21.04.1837

George Frederick Brecht b c 1834/5 d 19.8.1909
Married 12.12.1856
Mary Ann Walland b 17.11.1838

Arthur Brecht b 28.01.1877 d 22.12.1946
Married 25.12.1899
Ellen Elizabeth Curran Saunders b 6.11.1877 d 19.3.1960

Doris Ivy Brecht b 15.03.1912
d 29.6.2003
Married 11.07.1936
Frederick Bower b 12.09.1910
d 10.9.2006

Colin Malcolm Bower b 12.01.1944
Married 15.10.1966
Christine Elizabeth Collier b 26.03.1946

Christiana Piper Brecht

I was contacted by the 2 x Great Granddaughter of Christiana Piper Brecht the daughter of Heinrich (Henry) Brecht and sister of my ancestor George Frederick Brecht.

This was the first contact that I had received from a descendent of a sibling of George Frederick Brecht.

Christiana married Charles Waterman at Kings Somborne, Hampshire on 29.9.1857.

On a vist to Romsey in 2009, we drove out to King's Somborne to see the church:

Christiana died in Kings Somborne on 13.10.1889.

Colin Bower
1 January 2012

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