The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

What was new in 2014?

Brecht One-Name Study

In 2011 a solicitor in Germany provided me with the following German Family Tree, when I followed up the entry for Jurgen Christoph Brecht in the Sugar Bakers database.

German Family Tree

Generation 8
Jurgen Friedrich Brecht 1715 - 1778
Anna Maria Juliane

Generation 7
Johann Friedrich Brecht 1742 - 1800
Maria Catharina Shocke 1750 - ?

Generation 6
Heinrich Friedrich Ludwig Brecht 1784 - 1838


1. Johann Friedrich Brecht had a brother Jurgen Christoph Brecht (the sugar refiner).
2. Heinrich had a brother Ernst Friedrich Brecht

Additions to the German Family Tree

In 2014, one of my cousins discovered that Edgar Culp had also researched the Brechts (amongst others) and published the results in Family Tree Legends (My Heritage). From this we were able to add more ancestors:

Generation 11
Andeas Brecht 1597 - ?

Generation 10
Hans Brecht

Generation 9
Hans Jurgen Brecht 1653 - 1725
Ilse Maria (geb Jahns) 1676 - 1725

It is quite extraordinary to think back to my mother (Doris Ivy Brecht) and her sister my Aunt Ellen (Ellen Gertrude E. Brecht) telling me about their 2 brothers that I never met. Then setting off on this trail, which brought me into contact with cousins that I had never heard of (some Brecht, some Brett) leading back to Andeas Brecht in Germany in 1597.

Silk Weavers Named Collier

Taking a View

After years of research, I decided to assume that there was one weaver named James Collier born c 1765 and somewhere there is a connection with William & Phoebe Collier. I have set out my rationale for this bold step in the attached timeline.

Error in a Marriage Certificate

A correspondent wrote to query the groom's father' name in the marriage certificate dated 25.12.1853 in which Eleanor Collier married William Thwaites. A search of the Parish Records confirmed that William Thwaites' father was John Thwaites not Thomas Thwaites. A very unusual error (in my experience).

Eleanor Collier

The correspondent also pointed out that Eleanor's parents were William Collier and Charlotte Robelon and searches of Parish Records showed that the family had a settled existence then suffered a setback:

St Matthews, Bethnal Green

William Collier
married 3.8.1818
Charlotte Robelon
Witnesses/Parents (?) Wm & Ann Collier

Sarah Delves Collier born 26.9.1818 bp 18.10.1818
(Parents William Collier, Weaver of Brick Lane, & Charlotte)

Elinor Collier born 29.1.1820 bp 27.2.1820
(Parents William Collier, Weaver of St John St, & Charlotte)

William Collier born 18.2.1821 bp 18.3.1821
(Parents William Collier, Weaver of the Workhouse, & Charlotte)

Holywell Mount Independent, Shoreditch

Charlotte Collier born 6.5.1826 bp 18.8.1826
(Parents William Collier & Charlotte Roblean)

The Delves Connection

The use of the middle name Delves crops up in a number of Collier baptisms and marriages, for example Sarah Delves Collier (above) and:

St Matthews, Bethnal Green

Matthew Delves Collier born 11.8.1820 bp 3.9.1820
(Parents Matthew Collier, Weaver Hope Town & Elizabeth)

Christ Church, Spitalfields

William Delves Collier
married 9.11.1795
Eleanor Evitt
(Witnesses: Matthew Collier, Ann Collier)

In 2013, I found that a William Delves Collier was the beneficiary of the will of William Collier who married Phoebe Booth and died in 2008 when he owned a house in St John Street which is another possible link to William & Charlotte (above):

Colin Bower
11 May 2015



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