The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

Brecht One-Name Study

London Metropolitan Archives

London Electoral Roll 1832-1965

1. Introduction

Many of our ancestors lived in the London area. The London Metropolitan Archives has been one of the main sources that I have used over the years. Firstly, visiting the Archives and using directories on open shelves for physical research and now searches online of transcribed and digitised records.

Because of the rarity of the Brecht name in England, I have been able to access entries in London’s Electoral Roll by simply keying in the word Brecht. Though there are hundreds of entries in the name Brecht there were just 31 people named Brecht eligible to vote in the London Metropolitan area during 1832-1965.

The residents (all eligible to vote) are listed in the attached Names Index and Families list. Because some of the families adopted the surname Brett, there were additional members of the family named Brett, eligible to vote, shown in Appendix 3.

The Electoral Roll is valuable in that it gives properties with all the inhabitants eligible to vote as against a Census which gives the names of all inhabitants and the 1939 Register which does not give the names of children.

For one reason and another, according to these records, not all the entries for the Brecht Family have been picked up, e.g. I have not been able to trace any entries for 3 of George Frederick & Mary Ann Brecht’s children: Charles Brecht, George Henry Brecht and Walter Frederick Brecht

Two families lived in the same property or road for many years: Albert Henry & Ada May Brecht, Coventry Cross, Poplar, and John King & Louisa Mary Brecht & family, 105 Ceres Road, Woolwich

London was severely bombed during the Blitz and my Grandma’s house was destroyed (see Appendix 3).

2. Prefixes In the Electoral Rolls

A few of the residents are listed with a prefix:

J = eligible for Jury Service
Y = Young people eligible to vote in the following year

Eligible for Jury Service

Albert Brecht (1958-1964)
Doris R. Brecht (1965)
John George Brecht (1963/5)
Leslie H. Brecht (1965)
Patricia F. Brecht (1963)
William E. Brecht (1964/5)

Eligible to Vote the following year

Joan Brecht (1953)
Jacqueline Brecht (1962)

People were eligible to voite age 21. This was reduced to 18 in 1969.

The Family of George Frederick Brecht

A handful of people named Brecht came to this country in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Chief among them was Heinrich Brecht aka Henry Brecht.

?The sole surviving son of Heinrich/Henry Brecht, George Frederick Brecht and his wife Mary Ann Brecht (My Great, Great Grandparents) provide the foundation of the Brecht Family in England. All the other 30 Brechts and 7 Bretts in this article are descendants of George Frederick & Mary Ann Brecht. Here are the children of George Frederick and May Ann Brecht (* denotes those who have entries in these Electoral Rolls):

1. George Henry Brecht born 14.6.1857

2. Edward William Brecht born 1859*

3. Mary Ann Brecht born 1861
Married and changed her surname so entry in 1906 will be her mother

4. Henry Brecht born 1863

5. Margaret Brecht born 1866
Married and changed her surname

6. William Thomas Brecht born 1869 - see Appendix 3 The Bretts

7. Charles Brecht born 16.2.1872 (no entries found)
Born 67 Pancras Square – see entries for George Frederick Brecht

8. Albert Edward Brecht born 18.7.1874*

9. Arthur Brecht (my grandfather) born 28.1.1877 – see Appendix 3 The Bretts Born 40 Wentworth Road, Mile End – see entries for George Fredrick Brecht

10. Walter Frederick Brecht born 1879 (no entries found)

11. John King Brecht born 1882*
Born 14 Baggally Street – see entries for George Frederick Brecht

4. Areas of London in which the Brechts lived 1832-1965

Heinrich Brecht settled in Spitalfields before moving to Bethnal Green.

During 1832-1965 the family was still very much based in the East of London, but there had been some moves to other parts of London during the period in question:

East London

Bow& Bromley
Harold Wood
Mile End
Tower Hamlets
West Ham

North London


South London


West London

Baron's Court
St Pancras

Colin Bower
12 February 2021

Appendix 1 Names Index

Appendix 2 Families

Appendix 3 The Bretts

Appendix 4 The Brett-Rutters

Brecht One-Name Study - Main Index

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