The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

The Big One!

Family History Research Report

Holbrook 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 of Bicknell and Robson have been identified.

Holbrook Family

Progress To Date

Great Great Grandparent: Ellen Maria Holbrook
- Her Parents: William Thomas & Sarah Maria Holbrook
- Her Grandparents: -

Mini Family Tree (Direct Ancestors)

The Holbrook Family Tree to date may be summarised:

William Thomas Holbrook b c 1807/8
married ? 3.6.1828
Sarah Maria ? Bicknell b c 1803/4

Ellen Maria Holbrook b 1831 bp 28.8.1831
Married 10.10.1847
James Seabourn b c 1824 Gt Hallingbury d 6.8.1866

(Ellen married John George Robson 16.6.1872)

Emma Mary Seabourn b 06.11.1853
Married 26.09.1876
Charles Herbert Saunders b 17.04.1844

Ellen Elizabeth Curran Saunders b 6.11.1877
Married 25.12.1899
Arthur Brecht b 28.01.1877

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

Link to Family Tree

Emma Mary Seabourn(e) & Descendants

Summary of Research To Date (also see Appendices below)

The Holbrook Family is closely linked to the Seabourn(e)/Saban Family and information was collected as one file until the papers were separated in 2023.

Tha main interest was Ellen Maria Holbrook who married James Seabourn and remarried a Robson after James died.

Parish Records

Potential bp for William Holbrook
Potential marriage 1828 - William Thomas Holbrook
bp Ellen Maria Holbrook 1831

Birth Marriage & Death Certificates Held

- Births: 1 - Emma Mary Seabourn 1853
- Marriages: 1 - Ellen Maria Seabourn 1872
- Deaths: 2 - William Holbrook 1847 & Sarah Holbrook 1864

Census Records Obtained

- 1841 West Ham, William & Sarah Holbrook & family
- 1851 West Ham, Sarah Holbrook Widow & family
- 1861 West Ham, Sarah Holbrook Widow & family
- 1871 West Ham William & Hannah Holbrook & family
- Arthur & Emma Holbrook & family

Other Research Undertaken

- IGI -
- Wills
- Businesses - Shoemaker (William Thomas Holbrook)
- Correspondence - with 2 cousins, 1 related to James Seabourn and 1 related to Ellen Holbrook, his wife
- Visits - Gt Hallingbury Church
- Photographs - same
- Misc Info/Documents

Progress 2005

I received correspondence from a distant cousin related to the Holbrooks via the Seabourns.

Progress 2006


Progress 2007

My great grandfather James Seabourn died in 1866. I was able to obtain the marriage certificate for the second marriage of Ellen Maria Seabourn (formerly Holbrook) to John George Robson in 1872.

My cousin traced the Holbrook Family (1841-1871)  in some of the censuses and obtained the death certificates of Ellen Maria Holbrook's parents. 

Progress 2008

I received corrspondence from a distant cousin who was related to William Holbrook and his daughter Ellen.

Progress 2009- 2011


Progress 2012

Seabourne/Holbrook/Robson Family

A distant relative sent me a charming photo of Ruth Elizabeth (Robson) Wright born 1873 - parents George and Ellen Maria (born Holbrook late Seabourne) Robson.She is holding my correspondent's grandmother:

Progress 2013-22


Progress 2023

The Holbrook Family are closely linked to the Seabouurn(e)/Saban Family and any information obtained had been filed withe Seabourn papers.

I decided to set up a separate set of records for the Holbrooks:

- Where they were and what they did
- Parish Records
- Certificates held
- Census Entries

I also found a potential christening and marriage:

All Saints, West Ham

William Thomas Holbrook
b 31.1.1809 bp 26.2.1809
(Parents John& Mary Holbrook)

Lee, Kent

William Thomas Holbrook
married 3.6.1828
Sarah Maria Bicknell

While I had the papers out, I went on to prepare this report in the Big One! format.

Where they were and what they did

Information obtained to date may be summarised:

Potential Entries


Darenth, Kent

Sarah Maria Bicknell bp 13.6.1802
(Parents Thomas & Mary Bicknell)

All Saints, West Ham

John Holbrook
married 28.1.1803
Mary Maywell

William Holbrook born 31.1.1809 bp 26.2.1809
(Parents John & Mary Holbrook)

Robert Holbrook born 11.12.1819 bp 5.3.1820
(Parents John & Mary Holbrook)

John Holbrook buried 5.5.1833 (age 64)

Mary Holbrook buried 2.1.1842 (age 66)

Lee, Kent

William Thomas Holbrook
married 3.6.1828
Sarah Maria Bicknell (see Note above)

Confirmed Entries

All Saints, West Ham

Ellen Maria Holbrook b 1.8.1831, bp 28.8.1831
(Parents William Thomas & Sarah Maria Holbrook)

1841 Census

Chapple St, Stratford

William Holbrook (age 35) Shoemaker
Sarah Hobrook (age 35)
Ellen Holbrook (age 9)

William Thomas Holbrook Shoemaker, died 18.3.1847 (age 39)

St Mary's, Plaistow

Ellen Maria Holbrook
married 10.10.1847
James Seabourn

1851 Census

West Ham

Sarah Holbrook & Family, Widow (age 46)

1861 Census


Sarah Holbrook & Family, Widow (age 54)

Sarah Maria Holbrook died 30.7.1864 (Age 60)

James Seabourn died 6.8.1866 (age 42)

1871 Census


Ellen (Holbrook) Seabourn & Family, Widow (age 39)

St Mary's, West Ham

Ellen Maria (Holbrook) Seabourn, Widow
married 16.6.1872
John George Robson

1881 Census

West Ham

Ellen M. Robson & Family (age 49)

1891 Census

Ellen Maria Robson& Family (age 59)
Canning Town

Son Thomas Arthur Seabourn & Family at same address

Things we wish we knew

  • Birth Place, Birth, Christening of William Thomas Holbrook
    Died 18.3.1847 (age 39) born c 1807/8
    Potential Parish Record (as above):

    All Saints, West Ham

    William Thomas Holbrook
    b 31.1.1809 bp 26.2.1809
    (Parents John & Mary Holbrook)

  • Birth of Sarah Maria Bicknell 1803/4
    Potential Parish Record:


    Darenth, Kent

    Sarah Maria Bicknell bp 13.6.1802
    (Parents Thomas & Mary Bicknell)

  • Confirmation of Marriage of William Thomas Holbrook and Sarah Maria Bicknell 1828
    (see evidence collected to date:

    Information on the Holbrooks/Bicknells

Colin Bower
12 October 2023

Links to:
Seabourn(e) Family - Main Links
Family History - Main Index


Parish Records

Potential Entries

Lee, Kent

William Thomas Holbrook
Married 3.6.1828
Sarah Maria Bicknell

All Saints, West Ham

John Holbrook
married 28.1.1803
Mary Maywell

William Holbrook b 31.1.1809 bp 26.2.1809
(Parents John & Mary Holbrook)

Robert Holbrook b 11.12.1819 bp 5.3.1820
(Parents John& Mary Holbrook)

John Holbrook buried 5.5.1833 (age 64)

Mary Holbrook buried 2.1.1842 (age 66)

Actual Parish Record

All Saints, West Hame

Ellen Maria Holbrook b 18.1.1831, bp 28.8.1831
(Parents William Thomas & Sarah Maria Holbrook)

Certificates Held

Asterisk* denotes direct ancestor

Full Name: William Holbrook* of: Plaistow (Age: 39)
Occupation: Shoemaker
Died at: Plaistow (Date: 18/3/1847)
Cause: Died in a natural way & not from violence
Informant: Coroner

Full name: James Seaborn* (usually spelt Seabourn)(of: Jerusalem Square)
Occupation: Labourer (Age: Full)
Father: John Seaborn*, Labourer
Married at: Parish Church, Hackney (Date: 10/10/1847)
Spouse: Ellen Maria Holbrook* (of: Jerusalem Sqaure)
Occupation: (Age: Full )
Father: William Holbrook*, Labourer
Relevant Witnesses:

Full name: Emma Mary Seabourn*
Born at: 1 Langthorne Street, West Ham (Date: 6/11/1853)
Father: James Seabourn* (Occupation: Coal Heaver)
Mother: Ellen Maria Seabourn* (Maiden Name: Holbrook)

Full name: James William Seabourne
Born at: 7 Green Gate Street, Plaistow (Date: 23/6/1857)
Father: James Seabourne* (Occupation: Coal Porter)
Mother: Ellen Maria Seabourne* (Maiden Name: Holbrook)

Full name: William Seabourn
Born at: Alley, Plaistow (Date: 16/3/1861)
Father: James Seabourn* (Occupation: Coal Dealer)
Mother: Ellen Seabourn* (Maiden Name: Holbrook)

Full Name: Sarah Maria Holbrook* of: 11 Balaam Street, Plaistow (Age: 60)
Occupation: Widow of Holbrook, Shoemaker
Died at: 11 Balaam Street, Plaistow (Date: 30/7/1864 )
Cause: Typhoid Fever
Informant: Mary Ann Smith

Full name: John George Robson (of: Plaistow)
Occupation: Butcher (Age: Full)
Father: George Robson, Butcher
Married at: St Mary's Church, Plaistow (Date: 16/6/1872)
Spouse: Ellen Maria Seabourn*, Widow (of: Plaistow )
Occupation: (Age: Full)
Father: William Holbrook*, Shoemaker
Relevant Witnesses: William Holbrook, Hannah Holbrook


1841 Census

Chapple Street, Stratford

William Holbrook 35 Shoemaker
Sarah Holbrook 35
Ellen Holbrook 9
Emelia Holbrook 10
John Holbrook 8
Mary Holbrook 7
Thomas Holbrook 7
Allis Holbrook 3
William Holbrook 1

1851 Census

Langthorn Street, West Ham

Sarah Holbrook 45 Widow Laundress born Kingston, Surrey
Amelia Holbrook 21 born Stratford, Essex
Thomas Holbrook 18 Labourer born Stratford, Essex
Mary A Holbrook 16 born Stratford, Essex
Alice Holbrook 14 born Stratford, Essex
William Holbrook 11 born Stratford, Essex
Arthur Holbrook 6 Born Startford, Essex
Lewis Holbrook 6 born Stratford, Essex

1861 Census

17 Pigwell Lane, Plaistow

Sarah Holbrook 54 Widow Supported by children born Kingston, Surrey
Amelia Flack 4 Visitor born London, Middlesex
Wm Holbrook 21 Servant (Public House) born Stratford, Essex
James Holbrook 16 Coal Dealer born Stratford, Essex

5 Market Place, West Ham

Thomas Holbrook Head 27 Grocer born Stratford, Essex
Ellen Holbrook Wife 27 born Beauchamp, Essex

25 Channelsea Street, West Ham

John Holbrook Head 28 General Dealer born Stratford, Essex

1871 Census

4 Charles Street, Plaistow

William Holbrook 34 Labourer born West Ham, Essex
Hannah Holbrook 35 born Perth, Scotland
Sarah M Holbrook 2 born Plaistow, Essex
Amelia I Holbrook 2 born Plaistow, Essex
Emma M Holbrook 1m born Plaistow, Essex

3 Charles Street, Plaistow

Arthur Holbrook 20 Labourer born West Ham, Essex
Emma Holbrook 19 born Dagenham, Essex
Alfred A Holbrook 1 born Plaistow, Essex

1881 Census

35 Anne Street, West Ham

Ellen M Robson (formerly Holbrook late Seabourn) Head 49 born Stratford, Essex
William Seabourne Son 20 Bricklayers Labourer Unemployed born Plaistow, Essex
Thomas A Seabourne Son 18 Bricklayers labourer Unemployed born Plaistow, Essex
Charles F J Seabourne Son 14 Bottle Labourer Cellarman born Plaistow, Essex
Ruth Robson Daughter 8 Scholar Canning Town, Essex

1891 Census

42 Trinity Street, Canning Town

Ellen Maria Robson (formerly Holbrook late Seabourn), Widow Head 59 born Stratford
Charles Frederick Robson (formerly Seabourne) Son 25 Labourer born Stratford
James Porter Visitor 45 Yorkshire

Her son Thomas Seabourn was living at the same address

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