The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

Brecht One Name Study

Things We Wish We Knew

Major Problems

There were fundamental problems in developing the earliest information that we obtained to establish the origins of the Brecht Family.

What we know

John Christopher Brecht

We now know that:

1841 Census

(# denotes age to nearest 5 years)

Bonner Street, Green Street, Bethnal Green

Henry Colvin (age 25#) Colour Manufacturer
Harriet Colvin (age 35#)
Catherine Brecht (age 15) Dress Maker
Caroline Brecht (age 15) Bonnet Maker
Rose Brecht (age 14)
Elizabeth Brecht (age 12)
Eleanor Brecht (age 10)
Henry Brecht (age 8)
Christiana Brecht (age 6)
George Brecht (age 4)
Henry Colvin (infant)

1851 Census

10/11 Mint Street, Southwark

Henry Colvin Head Victualler (age 40) born Midx, Bethnal Green
Harriet (Brecht) Colvin (born Piper) Wife (Age 46) Collar (Colour?) Maker born Middx, Bethnal Green
Henry (born and later died as Brecht) Colvin step son (age 20 ) Collar (Colour?) Maker born Middx, Bethnal Green
Elizabeth (born and later married as Brecht) Colvin step daughter (age 24) Seamstress born Middx, Spitalfields
George (born and later married as Brecht) Colvin step son (age 17) born Middx, Bethnal Green
Christiana (born and later married as Brecht) Colvin step daughter (age 16) Seamstress born Middx, Bethnal Green
Harriet Colvin daughter (age 10) born Middx, Bethnal Green
William Colvin son (age 5) born Middx, Whitechapel


Thomas King (age 24) a Brushmaker born Brentwood, Essex was also staying at 10/11 Mint Street
who, it appears, became Elizabeth Brecht's husband in 1854.

1861 Census

17 Wapping Wall, Shadwell (next to the George & Vulture)

Henry Brecht Head (48) Coffee House Keeper born Bethnal Green, Middx
Harriet Brecht Wife (53) born Newington, Surrey
Harriet Brecht Daughter (19) born Bethnal Green, Middx
Rosina Page Boarder (19) Dress Maker born Wapping, Middx
William Colvin Son (15) Briclayers Labourer born Whitechapel, Middx


Henry & Harriet had adopted Brecht (a name well-known in those parts) rather than use their married name Colvin. They were living near Harriet's son George Brecht
William Colvin was indexed in Find My Past as Calvin and the surname Brecht was difficult to read.

IGI Entries for Brecht

The IGI has the following entries:

Heinrich/Henry Brecht's Family


1. At St Dunstan, Stepney (2 christenings on same day)

2. At St Matthew, Bethnal Green

3. At Christ Church, Spitalfields

4. At St Mary's Church, Whitechapel

Parish Records

Christ Church, Spitalfields

I have obtained details of entries from a number of sources:

12.7.1812 Bp of Maria Catran Brecht (born 16.6.1812 - Parents Heinrich & Mary Brecht)- per Parish Records on microfilm

16.11.1814 Burial of Maria Catherine Brecht - per IGI & Parish Records on microfilm

15.10.1815 Bp of Elisabeth Catharine Bracht (should be Brecht) - per Parish Records on Ancestry

28.6.1818 Bp Charlotte Bracht (should be Brecht) - per Parish Records on Ancestry

3.1.1819 Burial of Mary Brecht (Heinrich/Henry Brecht's wife)- per New Family Search web-site

15.1.1819 Burial Charlotte Brecht, Fashion Street (age 9 years 7 months) - per Parish Records on microfilm

17.6.1821 Burial Elisabeth Catharine Brecht, Fashion Street (age 5 years 9 months)- per Parish Records on microfilm

24.10.1824 Burial Eleanor Brecht, Fashion Street (age 17 months)- per Parish Records on microfilm

Main Aims

We need to establish (All good assumptions):

- Whether Heinrich/Henry is related to John Christopher Brecht:

Search for John Christopher Brecht

- Whether Heinrich/ Henry Frederick Ludewig Brecht is the same person as Heinrich Fridrich Ludwig Brecht born Germany 1784

- Whether Harriet Piper is the mother of Henry's children born after 1819.

Whether Henry Brecht knew he was dying and married Harriet Piper in 1837 so that she would look after the children.

Search for Harriet Piper

It would also be good to know:

- To which industries Henry Brecht was supplying colour products

Colin Bower
5 April 2021

Link to:

Brecht Family - Main Index

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