The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

Family History

Collier Family in England and Canada


Family knowledge and simple research enabled me to put an intial family tree together quite easily:

Charles Collier Senior, Silk Weaver
his son Charles Collier Junior, Ropemaker
his son Walter James Collier, Chemical Maker
his son Leonard Stanley Collier, Local Builder
his daughter Christine Elizabeth Collier, my wife

Ted Collier

This basic information was expanded greatly by Len Collier's cousin, Ted Collier, who researched and produced the Family Tree in a remarkable handwritten tree in concertina format:

Introduction to Ted Collier's Family Tree completed in December 1983:

Ted Collier's Family Tree - Introduction

I typed up my version of Ted's hand-written Tree:

Ted Collier's Original Family Tree


Ted Collier included in his family tree the extensive Canadian branch of the family. The foundation of the branch was formed by the marriage and emigration of Alice Collier (daughter of Charles Junior) and Edgar Cocker to Canada. We were provided with an article that appeared in a local paper in Canada about the death of  Alice Jane Collier, Pioneer:

Alice Jane Collier, Pioneer

Ted was also provided with photographs of :

Charles, the Ropemaker
Matilda (Gardiner) Collier his wife
Edgar Charles & Alice Jane (Collier) Cocker (Charles & Matilda's daughter)



As a result of Ted's marvellous work, we corresponded with descendants of Edgar & Alice and met them when they visited the UK.

Also Ted took them to see memorabilia of pilot Joan Hughes at a pub in Loughton; there are family links to the Hughes Family there.

Joan Hughes

Our daughter Helen visited Canada and met the family in Saskatoon and later we made a similar visit after a memorable tour of the Rockies.

Visit to Canada June 2006

We had got to know Ted Collier's son Paul and his wife Joanna from Calgary and met them in Banff and the UK.

Charles, The Silk Weaver

There was a family legend that the family had Huguenot links and it took years to prove this though, through 2 of Charles Senior's daughters:

- Emma Collier married William James Cordell

- Elizabeth Collier married James Godier

Charles Senior had 10/11 children with Eliza Adams when there was a family split and
by 1861 he had had 3/4 further children by Maria Sanders

Charles' children

Silk Weavers named Collier

Charles father was James Collier, who was also a Weaver.

I have identified a lot of Silk Weavers named Collier in Spitalfields and Bethnal Green.

Silk Weavers named Collier

It would be great to link James to them and possibly obtain details of earlier Huguenot links.

Charles, The Ropemaker

Charles Junior married Matilda Gardiner at the Parish Church of South Hackney in 1853.

Later he was a ropemaker at Chatham Naval Dockyard and Chris and I made an enjoyable visit there, where the equipmnent and machinery was little changed from Charles' day.


Both Len Collier and his father Walter James Collier lived in the Enfield area for some years and Chris was born there.

Walter was a Chemical Maker at ThomasMorson & Son Ltd for over 50 years.

Colin Bower
24 February 2024

Links to:

Collier Family - Progress To Date

Silk Weavers named Collier - Index

Family History - Index

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