The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

The Big One!

Family History Report

The Pitts Family

Introduction - Bower/Collier Family Tree

When I set out to study the Bower/Collier Family Tree, my initial aim was to identify my 8 Great Grandparents (Bower) and my wife Chris’ 8 Great Grandparents (Collier). Though I have tended to study the Family History of the 16 Great Grandparents, I have also sought to find out the additional 16 Great Great Grandparents’ family names, and any 3 x Great Grandparents along the way!

The names that I have identified to date are:

Bower/Brecht Family Tree

Great Grandparents



2 x Great Grandparents

Pitts (Bower)
Counter (Jones)
Bradbrook (Hayes)
Tunstell/Tunstill (Gardner)

Somes/Piper (Brecht)
Hutley (Walland/Worland)
Neville (Saunders)
Holbrook (Seabourn(e)/Saban)

3 x Great Grandparents

Pinnion (Pitts)
Spence (Jones)
Mason (Hayes)
Robinson (Bradbrook)
Shocke (Brecht)
Reynolds (Walland/Worland)
Hunt (Piper)
Howard (Seabourn(e)/Saban)

4 x Great Grandparents

Bates (Pitts)
Smithers (Pinion)
March (Jones)
Venice (Robinson)
Juliane (Brecht)
Adamson (Neville)
Siggins (Walland/Worland)

5 x Great Grandparents

Cook/Cock (Jones)
Wyat (Robinson)
Jahns (Brecht)
Odell (Walland/Worland)

6 x Great Grandparents

Amears (Robinson)

7 x Great Grandparents

Amore/Mills (Robinson)

Collier/Hunt Family Tree

Great Grandparents



2 x Great Grandparents

Adams (Collier)
Goodchild (Gardiner)
Mitchell (Peryer/Perrier)
Nye (Smith)
Sheldrake (Hunt)
Smith (Farrow)
Rookyard (Marjoram)
Aldous or Alhous/Ollis (Ransome(e))

3 x Great Grandparents

Mason (Collier)
Ridett (Adams)
Sly (Nye)
Snelling (Peryer/Perrier)
Spall (Hunt)
Shepherd (Farrow)
Allen (Ransome(e))
More (Aldous/Aldis or Alhous/Ollis)

4 x Great Grandparents

Trigg (Peryer/Perrier)

My research has included a One-Name Study into the name Brecht, my mother’s maiden name.

Names Index

The additional surnames in this Report have been listed in the Names Index below.

Pitts Family

Progress to date

2 x Great Grandparent: Mary Pitts
- Her parents: James Benjamin Pitts & Louisa Pinnion
- Her Grandparents: John Pitts & Elizabeth Bates

Mini Family Tree (Direct Ancestors)

The Pitts Family Tree to date may be summarised:

John Pitts b c 1765
Married c 1788
Elizabeth Bates b c 1765

James Benjamin Pitts Smith b c 1790/1 d 1839 (age 48)
(1) Louisa Pinnion 30.8.1812
(2) Kezia Plume (born Purser) 19.4.1829

Mary Pitts b c 1816/7 bp 12.1.1817 d 12.1.1875
married 24.11.1842
Benjamin Bates Bower c b 1819/20

George Christopher Bower b c 1841/2
married 13.08.1864
Martha Hannah Jones b c 1845

William Bower b 23.10.1867? d 2.12.1948
married 6.06.1897
Charlotte Hayes b 15.08.1876

Frederick Bower b 12.09.1910
d 10.09.2006
married 11.07.1936
Doris Ivy Brecht b 15.03.1912
d 29.6.2003

Colin Malcolm Bower
married 15.10.1966
Christine Elizabeth Collier

Pitts Family

Summary of Research To Date

Mary Pitts was my 2 x Great Grandmother who married Benjamin Bates Bower in 1842.

This was not a name that I spent a lot of time researching. But the first big breakthrough was obtaining an entry for Mary and her grandmother Elizabeth (Bates) Bower in the 1841 Census, when looking for Christopher & Elizabeth Bower & Family.

Since then a distant relative in Australia has provided a great deal of information about the Pitts & Bower families.

It tunrned out that Mary& Benjamin were cousins and shared the same grandmother Elizabeth (Bates) Pitts.

Progress 2005

The person conducting a One-Name Study into the Pitts name provided me with some miscellaneous information listed below including a Benjamin Bates Pitts with a similar middle name to my Great Great Grandfather - Benjamin Bates Bower.

Progress 2009

A contact in Australia sent me an extraordinary amount of additional information:
• The Wills of John Pitts, Elizabeth (Bates) Pitts and Elizabeth (Pitts) Bower
• James Benjamin Pitts, Widower’s marriage to Kezia Plume (Widow) in 1829
• James death in 1839
• Kezia’s emigration to Australia in 1853
• The whereabouts of Benjamin & Mary (Pitts) Bower in 1851 and
• Mary’s death in 1875

She also provided me with some additional information from Parish Records including the marriage of George Henry Pitts (at which Elizabeth Bower was a witness).

Progress 2010

My contact in Australia sent me more remarkable information:

- The marriage of James Pitts & Louisa Pinnion and
- The baptisms of their children James, Elizabeth, Mary & Louisa
- The marriage of Elizabeth Pitts and Christopher Bower

I wrote this report as part of the Big One! project.

Progress 2011

I visited London and walked the streets my ancestors walked and took photo's I went in 3 churches:

- St Giles in the Fields.
- St Martins in the Field
- St George, Hanover Square

where there were family services particularly the marriages of Christopher Bower and Elizabeth Pitts in 1817 and Benjamin Bower & Mary Pitts in 1842 at St George Hanover Square:

Visit to London January 2011

Progress 2012

A regular correspondent in Australia sent me the deatils of 2 burial in the Holborn/Drury Lane area of London:

St Giles in the Fields

Louisa Pitts of Great Wild Street
buried 31.10.1838 (age 44)

Benjamin James Pitts of Queen's Court, Holborn
buried 15.1.1839 (age 47)

(Benjamin was born James Benjamin Pitts)

I tried to find the bp of Loiusa Pitts nee Pinnion but found one potential entry only:

West Clandon, Surrey

Louisa Pinion bp 28.4.1793
(Parents William Pinion & Mary)

Pinion/Pinnion is a relatively uncommon name and if this is "our" Louisa, it would mean an unexpected link for the Bower/Pitts/Pinnion family with West Clandon that we know from my wife Chris' ancestors in the Peryer/Perrier and Smith families:

The Big One!- Peryer/Perrier Family

The Big One! - Smith Family

Progess 2013-2019


Progress 2020

There are a number of gaps remaining that I thought I would gradually work through.

When I discover new information, I will change my records including the records of individuals.

An example of this is the Bower/Pitts family where I have set up a new record for Louisa Pinion/Pinnion:

Louisa Pinion/Pinnion

The parents of my 2 x Great Grandparent Mary Pitts were James Benjamin Pitts and Louisa Pinnion.

I did not know any more information about Louisa, so I did a few searches on Ancestry and found:

1. James Benjamin Pitts (1791-1839)
married 30.8.1812
Louisa Pinnion (1793-1838)
at Parsons Green, Fulham

2. Louisa Pinion bp 28.4.1793
(Parents William Pinion (1759-1826) and
Mary Smithers (1764-1830)
at St Peter& St Paul Church, West Clandon
- This came as a real surprise with the Bower Tree because Chris and I have been to the Chuch when researching the Collier/Peryer/Smith Tree (see below):

Visit to West Clandon

James Benjamin Pitts (Parents John Pitts and Elizabeth Bates) had a sister Elizabeth who married Christopher Bower

James Benjamin Pitts

Elizabeth Pitts

Things we wish we knew

- The death of Elizabeth (Bates) Pitts c 1842 (Mary Pitt’s grandmother)

Also see Summary of Records Held (Completed & To Do):

Summary of Records Held - Pitts Family

Research Undertaken

Birth Marriage & Death Certificates Held (see 1. below)
- Births:
- Marriages: 1 – Mary Pitts & Benjamin Bates Bower (1842)
- Deaths: 1 – James Benjamin Pitts (1839)

Census Records Obtained (see 2. below)
- 1841 Elizabeth (80*) & Mary (20*) Pitts, Kezia Pitts (40*)
- 1851 Benjamin & Mary (Pitts) Bower & family
- 1861 Benjamin & Mary (Pitts) Bower & family
- 1871 Benjamin & Mary (Pitts) Bower

*nearest 5 years below

Other Research Undertaken
- IGI -
- Parish Records – see 3. below
- Wills – John Pitts, Elizabeth (Bates) Pitts, Elizabeth (Pitts) Bower
- Businesses – Some of the Pitts Family were Smiths but also licensed victuallers and tailors as was Christopher Bower (see 4. below)
- Correspondence- Exchange of Correspondence with John Pitts re his One-Name Study
- Correspondence- Exchange of Correspondence with contact in Australia re James Benjamin Pitts & Kezia (Purser) Plume who married in 1829 (see 5. below)
- Visits – Visits to Fulham & London (see Progress 2011)

Visits to Fulham

- Photographs - Parsons Green and London
- Miscellaneous Info/Documents (see 6. below)

Where they were & what they did

The attached tables summarises the name of my ancestors, where they lived and their occupations:

Pitts Family - Where they were & what they did

Pitts Family - Where they were & what they did (Contd)

Family Tree Maker Sheets

The family details of John Pitts and his son James BenjaminPitts have been summarised in the attached Family Tree Maker sheets which I may enter in to the relationship database, Family Tree Maker:

Family Tree Maker Sheet - John Pitts

Family Tree Maker Sheet - James Pitts

Names Index

The following surnames appear in this Report in addition to the names at the start of this Report.


Colin Bower
25 May 2017


The names of Direct Ancestors have been highlighted

1. Birth, Marriage & Death Certificates Held

Full Name: James Benjamin Pitts of: 4 Queens Court (High Holborn)
Occupation: Coach Smith
Died: 8/1/1839 age: 48 at: 4 Queens Court
Cause: Consumption
Informant: Kezia Pitts

Full name: Benjamin Bates Bower (of: Knightsbridge)
Occupation: Tailor (Age: Full)
Father: Christopher Bower, Tailor
Married at: St George, Hanover Square (Date: 24/11/1842)
Spouse: Mary Pitts (of: Knightsbridge)
Occupation: (Age: Full)
Father: James Benjamin Pitts, Smith
Relevant Witnesses:

2. Censuses Records Obtained


Peterboro Lane, Fulham (next to Duke’s Head)

Elizabeth Pitts 80* Independent born Fulham
Mary Pitts 20* born Fulham

Sarah Lawrence 13 not born Fulham
Benjamin Bower 20* Tailor born Fulham
Alfred Bower 15*
Christopher Bower 46 Tailor born Fulham
Elizabeth Bower 44 born Fulham

Elizabeth Bower 12 born Fulham

* In the 1841 Census, a number of adult ages were rounded to the nearest 5 years below

Queens Court, High Holborn

Kezia Pitts 40 Independent
Robert Pitts 17 Journeyman Smith
James B Pitts 10


Broom House Cottage, Broom Lane, Fulham

Benjamin Bower 31 Tailor born Fulham, Middx
Mary (Pitts) Bower 34 born London

Elizabeth Bower 5 born Fulham


1 Felix Street, Bethnal Green

Benjamin Bower (41) Tailor born Fulham, Middx
Mary (Pitts) Bower (41) born Holborn, Middx

Elizabeth Bower (16) born Fulham, Middx
Louise Bower (4) born Whitechapel, Middx

1871 Census

20 Bath Place, Whitechapel

Benjamin Bower 50 Tailor born Fulham, Middlesex
Mary (Pitts) Bower Wife 53 born London, Middlesex

3. Parish Records

St Martins in the Fields

John Pitts
Married 1788
Elizabeth Bates

All Saints Church, Fulham

Amelia Pitts bp 17.1.1802
(Parents John & Elizabeth Pitts)

John Smith
married 17.9.1810
Mary Pinnion
Witnesses: James Mason & Louiza Pinnion

James Pitts
married 30.8.1812
Louiza Pinnion
Witnesses: George Blakey & Elizabeth Pitts

St Giles in the Fields

James Pitts bp 15.10.1815
(Parents James Smith, Coach Smith & Louisa, Blenheim St, St James)

St James, Westminster

James Pitts of Blenheim St buried 10.3.1816 (age 5 months)

St Giles in the Fields

Mary Pitts bp 12.1.1817
(Parents James Pitts Coach Smith & Louisa, Oxford Market, St Mary le bone)

St George, Hanover Square

Christopher Bower
Married 3.11.1817
Elizabeth Pitts

Witnesses: (?) N.G.Bower & M. Pitts

St Martins in the Field, Westminster

Louisa Pitts bp 19.5.1822
Parents James Pitts, Coach Smith & Louisa, 5 Hanover Street)

St James, Pentonville

James Benjamin Pitts b 19.12.1824 bp 9.1.1825
(Parents James Benjamin Pitts, Coach Smith & Louisa, High Street)

St Luke, Chelsea

George Henry Pitts
married 17.12.1827
Sophia Mensforth
Witnesses included Elizabeth Bower

Christ Church, Newgate Street, City of London

James Pitts, Widower
Married 19.4.1829
Kezia Plume, Widow

St George, Bloomsbury

James Benjamin Pitts bp 31.3.1831
(Parents: James Benjamin Pitts, Coach Smith & Kezia, Holborn)

4. Businesses run by Pitts


1839 per Pigot’s

George Pitts, White Horse, Parsons Green


George Pitts, Parsons Green


Sophia Pitts, Parsons Green


Benjamin B Pitts, 13 Bread St Hill, City of London


Benjamin Bates Pitts, formerly Ship Tavern, Horseferry Road, Westminster


1811 per Holden’s

Pitt F, Silversmith, 105 Bishopsgate
Pitts Wm, Silversmith, 14 St James’s-street,Lambeth marsh

1822 per Baptism

James Pitts, Coach Builder, 5 Hanover Street

1825 per Baptism

James Pitts, Coach Builder, High Street (?Pentonville/Clerkenwell/Holborn)

1831 per Baptism

James Benjamin Pitts, Coach Builder, Holborn

1839 per Death

Benjamin James Pitts, Coach Smith,4 Queens Court


Robert Pitts, Jy Smith, Queens Court, High Holborn

1842 Per Marriage

Father James Benjamin Pitts, Smith

1846 per Kelly’s

Pitt, Benjamin, Smith & bellhanger, 1 Little George St, Westminster


Benjamin Pitt, Smith, 10 Little George St, Westminster
Robert Pitts, Wheelwright, (Mother Sarah Pitts) Peterboro Lane, Fulham


Robert Pitts, Goldsmith, 6 Holland Terrace, Brixton


1811 per Holden's

Pitt, George Tailor, 54 Well St, Oxford St

1824 per Pigot’s

Pitts Chas, Tailor, 2 Clement’s Inn

1839 per Pigot's

Pitt, Ephraim, Tailor, 1 Little James St, Westminster

1846 per Kelly’s

Pitts, Charles, Tailor, 27 Tavistock st, Covent Garden

5. Family Tree of Kezia Pitts born Purser late Plume

John Purser
Elizabeth Chambers

James Benjamin Pitts b 1798/9 d 1839 (age 48)
(1) Louisa Pinnion
(2) Kezia Plume

Children by Louisa
James Pitts bp 1815 but died 1816
Elizabeth Pitts bp 1815
Mary Pitts b 1819/20
Louisa Pitts b 1822 bp St Martin in the Field
Robert Pitts b 1823/4
James Benjamin Pitts b 1824 bp St James, Pentonville

Children by Kezia
James Benjamin Pitts b 1831 bp St George, Bloomsbury

Kezia (late Plume born Chambers) Pitts

- Age 40 Widow Queens Court, High Holborn

- Age 53 Holly Green, Ripple (with Mother: Elizabeth (Chambers) Purser)

- Emigrated to Australia with 2 children (Kezia Plume & James Pitts)

- Married (3) John Skinner in Australia

6. Miscellaneous Information Obtained

Miscellaneous Information from John Pitts

George Henry Pitts (d c 1847 Kensington)
Sophia Mensforth at St Luke’s Chelsea

Benjamin Bates Pitts b 1838 Kensington
d 1876 Croydon (age 36)
- formerly Licensed Victualler, Ship Tavern, Horseferry Road, Battersea
- brother George Pitts, Clerk in HM Customs of 47 Speke Road

Misc. Entries in the Censuses

Some misc. entries in the Censuses show other families of Pitts in the Fulham area:


Parsons Green

George Pitts 35 Victualler Born in same county
Sophia Pitts 35 do (birth)
Amelia Pitts 5 do (birth)
Caroline Pitts 6 do (birth)
George Pitts 5 do (birth)
Benjamin Pitts 2 do (birth)
Henry Pitts 10 months do (birth)
Louisa Pitts 20 do (birth)

King St, Hammersmith

Sophia Pitts 14 (at a school)
Sarah Pitts 40
Robert Pitts 17
John James Pitts 16


Parsons Green

Sophia Pitts 47 Licensed Victualler b London, Middx
Sophia Pitts 22 At home b Fulham, Middx
Amelia Pitts 18 do (birth)
Caroline Pitts 16 do (birth)
George Pitts 14 do (birth)
Henry Pitts 10 Scholar do (birth)
Alfred Pitts 6 do (birth)

10 Little George St, Westminster

Benjamin Pitt, 18 Lodger/Smith b Westminster, Middx


13 Cambridge Villas, Fulham

Edmund Marston 32 Colonial Agent b Norwich, Norfolk
Caroline Marston 25 b Fulham, Middx
Edmund G Marston 2 b Fulham, Middx
Sophia Pitts 56 Formerly Licensed Victualler b Clerkenwell, Middx Mother in law
Sophia Pitts 30 b Chelsea, Middx Sister in law
George Pitts 24 Clerk to Silk Manufacturer b Fulham, Middx Brother in law
Henry Pitts 20 Apprentice to Plumber & Glazier do (birth)
Alfred Pitts 16 Clerk to Builder do (birth)
Hannah Bateman 31 House Servant b Newington, Surrey

13 Bread St Hill (City of London)

Benjamin B Pitts 22 Licensed Victualler b Fulham, Middx
Elin (?) Pitts 28 b Hanwell, Middx
John Dale 27 Potman
Mary Connor 27 General Servant
William Crouch 39 Waiter


47 Speke Road, Battersea*

Caroline Marston 36 Widow/Manufacturer b Fulham, Middx
Edward Marston 12 Scholar do (birth)
Alfred Marston 5 Scholar do (birth)
Sophia Pitts 42 Sister/No occupation b Chelsea, Middx
George Pitts 34 Brother/Clerk HM Customs b Fulham, Middx

* Address at which Benjamin Bates Pitts died in 1876 (age 36)

The Big One! Index

The Big One! Introduction


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