Descendants of Thomas Brockett d 1897
and Margaret RYAN
Thomas and Margaret were the progenitors of a South London clan.1 Many of the clan lived in impoverished circumstances in London leading up to and during the two world wars with the Great Depression in between, so are sometimes difficult to track down, especially in censuses. Also a number of them were Roman Catholics so may not have always been recorded in the common system.
Contents of this page:
- Thomas 1842-1922 and Louisa MILLS
- George 1844-1900 and Elizabeth WHEELER
- John Philip c 1846- and Mary Ann FAZLER
- Edward 1851-1915 and Phoebe JEPSON
- George 1867-?1944 and Susan HARMER
- Edward/James 1869-1953 and Emma FARRANT
- Joseph Thomas 1875-1944 and Dinah GUNNER
Oldest surviving son of Thomas and Margaret RYAN, Thomas was born 22 Dec 1842 at 5 Edmont St, Camberwell, London,2 bap 9 Jan 1843 (St George’s). Birthplace given as City of London in 1851 and Brixton in 1861.3 Thomas was probably already working more or less full time aged 13, when his elder brother died. With 8 or more mouths to feed in a Labourer’s family he would have been expected to contribute to the family income as soon as he was able.4 School, although legally compulsory, would not have been the family’s priority for him. He could sign his name,5 but other times signed with his mark. Wife Louisa signed with her mark on all the various certificates found.
He married Catherine Louisa MILLS 19 Aug 1861 in St Mary’s Church in the Parish of St Mary the Virgin, Strand, he aged 20, Bachelor, Labourer, she 19, Spinster, both residing 19 Porter Street.6 Thomas’ name was incorrectly recorded on his MC—and in the GRO—as Brockell. In most records she was called Louisa, sometimes Catherine: 1867,7 sometimes both: 1875.8
Thomas’ occupation: Bricklayer 1864, 67, 69, 75, 82,9 Bricklayers Laborer 187810 and Nightwatchman 1910.11 This last occupation can be explained by Thomas’ age, almost 68, by which time he would no longer have been up to the hard physical demands of bricklaying.
Census records for Thomas and Louisa: Read more
|1871||At 132 Tot Rd, Beauvoir Town, Hackney, Thomas, aged 29, Bricklayer; wife Louisa, 29; children Eliza, 4; George, 2; Edward, 1—all b Stokewenton, ie Stoke Newington. Parents were at 89 Tot Rd.|
|1881||At 77 Tabard St, Southwark St George Martyr, Surrey, Thomas, aged 39, Bricklayer, b Camberwell; wife Louisa, 40, b Lambeth; sons Edward, 13, b Stoke Newington, at school; Joseph, 5, b Lambeth, at school; William, 2, b Westminster, at school (!)|
|1891||No apparent record—nor with variants Brackett, Breckett, Brockell, Burrett, etc. A search through all Louisa B…s in London aged 45-55 didn’t succeed, nor all Thomases 40-60 in Lambeth and Southwark. They were no longer residing 10 Castle Street, Southwark.|
|1901||Probably in London St Lukes, Thomas, Bricklayer, b Camberwell; Lousia [sic], Charwoman, b Lambeth; Alice, aged 16, b Bermondsey. The problem is that Thomas’ age was given as 36, ie b c 1865, and Louisa’s as 32, ie b c 1869. Arthur, 20, b London Southwark, Single, was a Private in the RMLI [Royal Marines Light Infantry], and a member of the crew of a Royal Navy ship.|
|1911||At 32 Olney Street Walworth, St Mary Newington, Thomas, aged 68, Widower, Bricklayer, b London, Walworth (added by a later hand), Lodger (changed to Head by a later hand); Auther (Arthur), 30, Single, b London, Walworth (added by a later hand), General Labourer, Lodger (changed to Son by a later hand). Surname mistranscribed as Brackett. Married 40 years, 6 children still living, 8 children died. 1 room in the dwelling. Entry possibly written and signed by Thomas.|
With Thomas in the building trade, the family moved frequently, presumably to rent accommodation near new work:
1861: 19 Porter Street 12
1864 Mar: 4 Crozier Street, Lambeth 13
1867 Jun: 42 South Street, Lambeth 14
1869: 6 Sandringham Rd, Kingsland, W Hackney 15
1875: 10 Frances St, Westminster Rd, Lambeth 16
1878: 5 Champions Alley, Horseferry Road, Westminster 17
1881: 77 Tabard St, Southwark 18
1882: 10 Castle Street, Southwark 19
1908 Oct: 43 Webber St, Waterloo, Lambeth 20
1911: 32 Olney Street Walworth, St Mary Newington 21
1922 Jul: 112 Blackwell Buildings, Fulbourne St, Stepney 22
Louisa died 11 Oct 1908 at 43 Webber St, Waterloo, Lambeth, aged 68, of a cerebral haemorrhage.23 Thomas died 21 Jul 1922 at 72A East Dulwich Grove, Camberwell, aged 81, of Senectus [old age], Occupation Bricklayer (Journeyman) residing 112 Blackwell Buildings, Fulbourne St, Stepney, dau A[lice] Symondson in attendance.24 Children:
- Catherine Louisa b 1862 Strand, Middx;25 d 1862 Lambeth.26
- Catherine Elizabeth b 20 Mar 1864, 4 Crozier Street, Lambeth.27 ‘Eliza’ in the 1871 census. Not at parental home for the 1881 census, aged 17, nor apparently elsewhere. Married 1884 St Saviour Southwark28 either to Thomas GLOVER or William Oliver PRICE. But not apparently in the 1891 census with either.
- George b 1867, Lambeth; d 1944. Coalworker. Married Margaret LEGG 1890 in Clerkenwell and 2nd Susan HARMER probably in Southwark 1907.
- [James] Edward b 1869 W Hackney. Married Emma FARRANT 1910 in Southwark. He died 1953, Hornchurch, Essex.
- Robert Charles b c 1871—not registered. Died 27 June 1875 at 10 Frances St, Westminster Rd, Lambeth, scarlatina convulsions, aged 4.29
- Joseph Thomas b 1875 Waterloo, Lambeth; d 1944 Lambeth. He married Dinah Martha GUNNER1905 in Newington.
- William b 24 Jun 1878 at 5 Champions Alley, Horseferry Road, St John Westminster.30 No further suitable record after 1881 in the GRO. The William aged 12 in St Pancras, London for the 1891 census was the son of Henry Larkins Brockett and Mary PERKS. The William on his own aged 24 in West Ham, General Labourer, for the 1901 census was the son of William Daniel Brockett and Mary Ann PINKHAM.
- Arthur b 3 Nov 1882 at 10 Castle Street, Kent Rd, Southwark.31 In March 1901 recorded as a Private RMLI, member of crew on board ship, single, born Southwark, aged 20; and as a General Labourer living with his father in 1911.32 Arthur Thomas, son of Thomas, Bricklayer, married 19 Mar 1917 Winifred Frances KERWIN in Christ Church Parish Church, Spitalfields, Whitechapel, London, he aged 36, Bachelor, Carman, she 30, Spinster, both of 6 Wilkes St, sister Alice SYMONDSON a witness.33 He is said to have worked in the Docks—at Mark Brown’s Wharfe in the East End—and was killed there. Did he die 1932 Southwark, aged 49, as Arthur J?34 His wife had previously been committed to a mental asylum. Winifred died 1947 Ilford, Essex, aged 60, ie b c 1887.35 No issue.
- Alice Louisa, b c 1885—not registered. Resided Waterloo. Married 28 Aug 1907 Albert Arthur SYMONDSON in St John’s Parish Church, Newington, Southwark, she aged 22, Spinster, Lithographer, he 22, Bachelor, Printer, residing 7 Brandon St—where Alice’s brother George had resided 6 months before.36 Neither apparently in the 1911 census. Witness to brother Arthur’s marriage 1917. Alice resided 38 Webber St, Southwark 1922.37 Alice died c 1950. No issue. Oral recollections of an 85-year-old grand daughter in 1999:Read more
• George and his 3 brothers and only sister Alice were all Catholic. [Catherine and William weren’t known about].
• When the brothers got together they always ended up fighting. It was due to ‘the Irish in them’.
• All the sons worked at one stage with their father on the building line. They helped build Elstead Street.
• Alice worked in print. Her husband SYMONDSON died from shrapnel wounds received in World War I. She had another husband whose name was Mercie or Mercy.
Second surviving son of Thomas and Margaret RYAN, b 31 Jul 1844 at 10 Henry St, Dorset St, Kennington, Lambeth,38 d 1900 Hackney.39 Birthplace given as City of London in 1851 and Brixton in 1861.40 Even though he was at school aged 6, George couldn’t apparently write—on his brother’s MC in 1861 and his own in 1865 and 1890 he signed with his mark. Working as a Stone Potter aged 17 in 1861.41 Married Elizabeth WHEELER 8 Oct 1865 Stoke Newington Parish Church, he aged 21, Bachelor, Bricklayer, she 18, Spinster, both residing Stoke Newington.42 Residing 3 Jacksons Buildings, Morning Lane, Hackney 1874, George a Labourer.43 She died 1879 in Hackney, aged 33, ie b c 184644—the only death in the GRO of an Elizabeth 1873-88.
George, Widower, aged 45, Bricklayer, married 2nd 14 Jun 1890 in Hackney Register Office Bridget LEER, Widow, aged 48, both residing 72 Clifton Rd, Lower Clapton.45 Bridget was called Eliza in the 1891 census. His occupation 1896 Bricklayer.46 George died 1900 Hackney London, aged 56.47. Bridget, Widow of George Brockett, Bricklayer, died 29 Aug 1913 of cerebral haemorrhage at 55 Rothbury Rd, Bow, Poplar, aged 71, informant Alice SEVERS, daughter.48 Alice may have been a daughter of Bridget by her 1st marriage, as suggested by the 1891 census.
Census records for George and family: Read more
- George, b 1869 Stoke Newington49 or Hackney.50 Married Mary Elizabeth COLE19 Jan 1896 Hackney Parish Church, he aged 26, Bachelor, Labourer, residing 2 Essex Cottages, Leabridge—where he had been in 1881 with his father, she, 22, Spinster, residing 220 Amhurst Rd.51 General Labourer 1896,52 1898,53 1923 Yardsman.54Census records for George and family: Read more
1901 In Hackney, George, aged 31, Wharf Foreman, b Stoke Newington; Mary, 27, b Herefordshire Ross; Charles, 4, b London Clapton; Lucy, 2, b London Clapton. 1911 At 72 Upper Ground St, Blackfriars, Southwark, George, aged 41, Head, Wharf Foreman, Lime and Cement, b Middlesex, Stoke Newington; Mary Elizabeth, 37, Wife, b Herefordshire, Ross; Charles George, 14, Son, Clerk, Surveyor’s Office, b Middlesex, Clapton; Lucy, 12, at school, b Middlesex, Clapton. They had been married 15 years, 2 children born alive, 2 still living. 7 rooms in the dwelling. Entry written and signed by George.
George died 1962 Surrey NE, aged 92.55 Mary Elizabeth died 1963 Surrey NE, aged 90, ie b c 1873.56 Mary Elizabeth, aka Mary, of 31 St Georges Rd, Mitcham, Surrey, Widow d 16 Jul 1963 at Wandle Valley Hospital, effects valued at £117 15s to Charles George Brockett, Accountant57 Children:
- Charles George, b 12 Nov 1896, 224 Millfields Rd, Lower Clapton, Hackney.58 Married 14 Jul 1923 Elsie Elizabeth PULLEN Parish Church of St Philip, Lambeth, he aged 26, Bachelor, Clerk, of 31 Hurley Rd, she 26, Spinster, of 64 Reidsworth St.59 Charles’ occupation: 1946 Accountant Wholesale Clothiers,60 1947 Office Employer,61 1949 Accountant,62 1950 Bookkeeper and Accountant,63 1952 Clerk.64 Resided 65 Gordon Rd, Chadwell Heath, Essex 1949-52.65 He died 1972 Havering London, aged 76.66 1 son, 4 daus. No male descendants. No apparent further GRO record of Elsie after 195267 up to 2010.
- Lucy, b 20 Sep 1898, 214 Millfields Rd, Lower Clapton, Hackney.68 ?Married 1922 Brentford, London … CREED.69
- Elizabeth, b 1872 Stoke Newington70 or Hackney, as Elizabeth Harriet.71 Unlikely to have been Elizabeth of Battersea, a General Servant, mother of William Henry, b 27 Feb 1886 in the Union Workhouse,72 being scarcely 14 at the time. The other, more likely, mother was Elizabeth daughter of David and Lucy SAWING. This Elizabeth Harriett married 15 Oct 1898 Edgar Charles HOLNESS in Grays Thurrock Parish Church, Orsett, Essex.73
- James Edward, b 5 Jul 1874 at 3 Jacksons Buildings, Morning Lane, Hackney.74 Married Edith Frances WILSON 31 May 1903 St Matthias Parish Church, Stoke Newington, he aged 28, Bachelor, Laborer, son of George Brockett, deceased, Laborer, she aged 25, Spinster, ie b c 1878, both residing 4 Shakespeare Rd.75 General Laborer 1904;76 Dock Labourer of the Poor Law Schools, Hanwell (no fixed residence).77 The GRO recorded no Brockett births 1911-38 with mother’s maiden name WILSON, so any children would have been born 1903-11. Edith was in Newington Workhouse when son George died in 1911.78 James E probably died 1941 Thanet Kent, aged 66.79 An Edith F died 1966 Bridge (some 15 m from Thanet), aged 88, ie b c 1878.80Census records for James Edward and Edith: Read more
1901 In Hackney, living on his own, James, aged 26, General Labourer. 1911 At 124 Mandeville St, Clapton Park, Hackney, James, aged 36, Head, Stoker for the Metropolitan Water Board, b Hackney; Edith, 33, Wife, b South Hornsey; Albert, 6, Son, at school, b Clapton Park. They had been married 7 years, 1 child born alive, 1 still living. 5 rooms in the dwelling. Entry written and signed by James.
- Albert James Edward, b 6 Apr 1904 at 147 Elderfield Rd, Clapton, Hackney.81 He married… LEAVER 1932 W Ham.82 Albert’s occupation Sweeper.83 He died 1951 Essex SW, aged 46.84 1 son.
- George, no birth recorded in GRO; died 14 Aug 1911 at the Western Hospital, NE Fulham, aged 4, of scarlet fever, nephritis and pertussis (whooping cough).85
- Marie/Maria, b 1876 Hackney.86 Witness, as Marie, to marriages of brother George 1896 and sister Elizabeth 1898. Probably married 1898 Hackney.87.
Third surviving son of Thomas and Margaret RYAN, John Phillip, b 3 Apr 1846—no suitable record in the GRO—bap 19 Apr 1846 St George’s. Birthplace given as City of London in 1851 and Camberwell in 1861.88. Working as an Errand Boy in 1861. There aren’t suitable records in the GRO for his marriage—as John or Philip—to either Mary Ann FAZLER or Elizabeth Miriam GRIMSTONE, nor for Mary Ann’s death.
Census records for John and family: Read more
|1881||Not recorded in London.|
|1891||At 12 Norfolk Row, Lambeth Rd, Parish of St Mary’s, N Lambeth, John, Head, aged 46, Scaffolder (Brick L), b Camberwell; Wife Elizabeth, 36, Laundress, b Westminster. No others in the household.|
|1901||No record found of Elizabeth, who would have been 46, Widow. Searched under all the variants and ages and also under GRIMSTON/E.|
|1911||At 20 Marsham St, Westminster, Elizabeth Brockett, aged 55, Widow, b St Matthews, Westminster, Sister and Housekeeper to John GRIMSTONE, Head, aged 44. Horse Keeper, and his 4 single children, John, aged 21, Kate, 10, James, 8 and William, 6, in a 2 roomed dwelling. She recorded that she had been married 16 years, 5 children born alive, none still living. John, the Head, said he had only been married 8 years, with 5 children born alive and only one not living.|
General Labourer 1891,89 Bricklayer’s Labourer 1893.90 He died 26 Jul 1893 of septicaemia, Westminster Hospital, aged 48, Bricklayers’ Labourer of 85 Union St, Kennington, informant M SAUNDERS, sister, of 5 Gandolph St, Kennington Rd.91 Elizabeth, ‘Widow of Jack Brockett Bricklayer’ of 4 Grosvenor Housing Estate, Marsham St, Westminster, died 1 Dec 1930, aged 75, of chronic bronchitis, informant niece A E BRYAN of Mulready Buildings, Millbank, SW1.92 Children, all died young:
- ?John. On 1 Feb 1867 John son of John BROCKETT, Bricklayer’s Laborer, and Mary Ann FAZLER was born in St George the Martyr Workhouse, Mint St, Borough Rd, Southwark, Mary Ann—making her mark—resided 26 Union St, Southwark.93 Aged 9 months, on 20 Nov 1867 he died of dentitio bronchitis and rubeola, father John Brockett, Bricklayer’s Labourer—making his mark—residing 4 Swan Yard, Lambeth.94 There were no Bricklayer Brocketts in Lambeth at the time other than Thomas and Margaret’s family, so this John senior was in all likelihood John Phillip.
- James Thomas, twin, b 19 Jun 1889, 18 Saville Place, Lambeth Walk, Lambeth, mother Elizabeth formerly GRIMSTONE, informant father John Philip, Builder’s Labourer, signed with an X.95. Died 1890 Lambeth, aged 1.96 Was James the name of Elizabeth’s father?
- John Henry, twin, b and d 1889 Lambeth.97
- Ernest, b 8 Jun 1891, 12 Norfolk Row, Lambeth Road, mother Elizabeth Miriam, formerly GRIMSTONE, signed with an X;98 d 1891 Lambeth.99
- George, twin, b posthumously 23 Jul 1893 6 am, 9 High St, Lambeth,100 informant Rebecca LLOYD; d 1893 Lambeth.101
- Elizabeth Miriam, twin, b posthumously and d 1893 Lambeth.102
Youngest surviving son of Thomas and Margaret RYAN, Edward Daniel, b 11 Aug 1851, 2 Wants Cottages, Kings Road, Camden Town, St Pancras103)—no record of his baptism in St George’s. His age was understated in both the 1861 and 71 censuses. He lost an arm aged 11.104 Married 1872 Richmond105 ?Ann Phoebe JEPSON. No death record of Ann/ie or Phoebe in the GRO. He died 1915 Lambeth, aged 64.106 No issue. The other contemporary Edward, b 1852, was son of Daniel and Sophia WACKETT of Bethnal Green, but he died aged 3.
Census records for Edward and Phoebe: Read more
|1881||At 92 Union St, Lambeth, Edward, aged 29, a one-armed Bricklayer’s Labourer, b St Pancras; wife Ann P, 30, Laundress, b Hertfordshire Bishopstorford. No children recorded.|
|1891||At 13 Grove Place, Lambeth (Kennington), Edward, aged 40, General Labourer, b Lambeth; Phoebe, 40, Ironer (Wash), b Richmond. Also there Jane HUGGERMAN, Widow, 72, Lodger, b Sevenoaks, Kent.|
|1901||In Lambeth on his own, Edward, aged 49, Widower, Night Watchman L C C, b Lambeth. Ann not apparently recorded.|
|1911||At Westminster Chambers Lodging House, 92 Westminster Bridge Rd, S E on his own but with a huge number of other men in the lodging, Edward, aged 63, Single, Pedlar, b Lambeth, London, one arm lost 8-4-62 [see 1881 record]. Ann not apparently recorded.|
On 17 Aug 1912 Annie Phoebe, Widow, married Dennis McCARTHY, Widower at the Register Office, Bethnal Greeen, London, she aged 61 [ie b c 1851], daughter of John JEPSON, he 69, Glass Blower, both of 10e Peabody’s Buildings, Bethnal Green.107 Edward and Annie will have split up but she wasn’t actually a Widow.
First son of Thomas and Louisa MILLS, George was born 19 Jun 1867 at 42 South Street, Lambeth.108 On 5 May 1890, aged 24, Bachelor, Bag Sorter, he married at St Pauls, Clerkenwell, Holborn, London, Margaret LEGG, Widow, aged 27, both residing Little Sutton St, her father Michael SINGLETON, Porter, witnesses Charles TRASH, Ellen SINGLETON.109 Margaret Singleton had married Richard Samuel LEGG in Holborn, London, 1882.110 A Richard Samuel LEGG died Holborn, London, 1885, aged 4.111 Richard Samuel LEGG died Holborn, London, 1887, aged 27.112 Margaret died 1906 Southwark, aged 43.113 George married 2nd 4 Feb 1907 Susan Millicent HARMER in St John’s Parish Church, Newington, Southwark 1907, he aged 39, Widower, Dock Labourer, residing 7 Brandon St, she 29, Spinster, Domestic Servant.114 George is particularly difficult to find in records, but probably died 1944 Lambeth, aged 77.115 Susan Millicent died 1972 Lambeth, aged 95 [ie b c 1877].116
Census records for George and family: Read more
|1881||Although only 13 he was not at his parents’ house.|
|1891||No record found of George, who would have been aged about 24/5, or Margaret, who would have been about 27/8, nor of first son George.120|
|1901||Again, no record found of George, who would have been aged about 34/5, or Margaret, who would have been about 37/8, nor of George, aged about 10, Daisy, aged about 8, Annie, aged about 6, or Catherine, aged about 3.121|
|1911||Probably in St Olave’s Union Workhouse, Ladywell Rd, Lewisham, George, Bricklayers Labourer, aged 43, married, b London, Lambeth. (It’s possible, but unlikely, that this George may have been the previous husband of Ada WALLIS.) Susan Millicent was in the Workhouse, 38 Parish St, Tooley St, St Olave, Bermondsey, aged 32, married 4½ years, 2 children born alive, 2 still living, b London, Lambeth, Domestic Servant; with her was Frederick Alfred, 5 months, b London, Bermondsey. No record found of son William, who would have been 6 or 7.122|
Oral recollections of an 85-year-old daughter in 1999: Read more
• He was a Coal Worker, resided Waterloo Rd.
• He had an accident when he was 45 and didn’t work again. This would probably have been c 1910-12.
• He and his 1st wife had a couple of children.
• Susan, his 2nd wife, had 15 children, including 2 sets of twins. Two of her sons—John and Billy—and two of her daughters, all surnamed HARMER, were born before she married George. She was a Midwife.
• Albert was her last child and Flossie her 2nd last.
• She died c 1985, aged 94. This would mean she was b c 1890, and only c 17 when she married George. The 1907 MC said she was 29, ie b c 1878. She must have died before 1985.
Notes: Some of these recollections are unreliable. We know so far of 6 of Susan’s children with George and, according to this recollection, of 4 before George. If 15 is an accurate number, 5 others are unaccounted for, none of whom were born between 1911 qtr 3 and 1915 qtr 1123 so if any of the other five were George’s they would have been born between 1907-1910, or else before their marriage in 1907. Being a Midwife, might she have adopted unwanted babies? Was one of the sets of twins from George’s 1st wife?
• The GRO only records one child for George’s first marriage, but two others have been identified.
So George’s son George, by his first wife, was alive in the 1920s, and although it might seem unusual to have two children with the same name, George and his second wife named one of their twins George H. If the twins were obviously going to die, a second George in the family wouldn’t have mattered. Alternatively, they could have been thinking of calling the second George by his second name. Or else, the family was so large and scattered that two Georges did not matter.
Children of George and Margaret LEGG:
- George, b c 1891.124 As a child in the 1920s Flossie knew of this ‘much older’ brother who was single and lived with his Aunt Alice (SYMONDSON). Not apparently in the 1901 or 1911 census. He died 24 Apr 1940 in Lambeth Hospital, from pulmonary tuberculosis, residing 26 St Gabriel St, Southwark, a Dock Labourer, aged 49 [ie b c 1891], informant J T Brockett, Uncle, of 50 Montford Place, Kennington.125
- Daisy, b c 1893. Probably aged 18 in 1911, b Camberwell, at 654 Rotherhithe St, St Olave (Bermondsey), as one of many female Laundresses at a Cathollic Institution, many of whom were Irish.126 Probably married 26 Nov 1917 Thomas WALLACE at All Saints Church, Stepney, she aged 24 [ie b c 1893], Spinster, Laundry Worker, residing 7 Spring Gardens, daughter of George, Labourer, he aged 38, Bachelor, Carman, residing 4 Spring Gardens, witnesses Arthur and Winnie BROCKETT [most likely uncle Arthur, married to Winifred 8 months earlier].127 Apparently not in the 1901 census, which recorded 3 Daisys, only the first the daughter of a George: One aged 10, ie b c 1891, daughter of George and Caroline Hilda HART, but that George was a Musician and their daughter Daisy probably died Wandsworth 1903 aged 12, ie b c 1891, and there were not an Arthur and Winnie related; another aged 7, ie b c 1894, daughter of Alfred son of William and Emily SYMONDS; and a third aged 6, ie b c 1895, daughter of William and Edith MAISE, but she died unm in 1918.
- Annie, b 22 Jan 1895 at the Workhouse, Renfrew Rd, Lambeth, mother residing 10 Warwick St, Blackfriars Rd.128 The GRO recorded only this child of George’s first marriage. On 25 Feb 1928 in Lambeth Register Office an Annie married William Albert SIBLEY, she aged 32, Spinster, Nurse, residing South Western Hospital, London Rd, Stockwell, he 33, Bachelor, Postman, residing 21 Whiteley Rd, Upper Norwood.129 Her father’s name was given on the MC as John, deceased Greengrocer. But no John, Greengrocer, is known, and the only suitable GRO birth of an Ann/e or Annie 1880-1910 was this Annie, daughter of George and Margaret LEGG. George was still alive in 1928, but had a new family and perhaps Annie was estranged and so pretended not to have a father living.
- Catherine, b c 1898.130 Aged 14 in 1911, at St Joseph’s and St Anne’s Orphanage and Lower House receiving House, Lodge, Westfield and Tower House, near Orpington, Bromley, Kent, b Bermondsey.131 Married 3 Mar 1924 William John WEST in the English Martyrs [Roman Catholic] Church, Southwark, she aged 26, Spinster, residing 30 Bonham Rd, Brixton, daughter of George, Bricklayer Journeyman; he 32, Bachelor, Storekeeper … [illegible], residing 92 Barnsbury Rd, Islington.132
Although George’s occupation in 1895 was Coal Porter, it is assumed that the Bricklayer Journeyman in this MC of daughter Catherine was him for 5 reasons:
2. Catherine was a name of his mother—Catherine Louisa MILLS.
3. George was Catholic.
4. George lived in Southwark.
5. Other known Georges were too young or too old to have had a daughter c 1898 or were otherwise recorded:
• George, h/o Bridget LEER [this George’s uncle] was indeed a Bricklayer, but he had married Bridget in 1890 when he was 45 and she was 48. Moreover George died 1900, and while William John WEST’s father was recorded on the MC as deceased, Catherine’s wasn’t. Bridget had no child with her in 1901.
• George, h/o Mary COLE [this George’s cousin], was recorded in 1901 with children Charles and Lucy.
• George David, b 1860, was not a Bricklayer Journeyman.
Children of George and Susan Millicent HARMER:
- William, b 21 Oct 1904 Newington Workhouse, Mother: Susan Millicent Brockett, formerly HARMER, of 7 Brandon St, Newington.133 No obvious further GRO record. Was he still alive in 1911?134 But there is no suitable GRO record of his death.
- Alice Louisa, b 25 Mar 1909 38 Parish St, St Olave, Bermondsey, residence of mother: 38 Parish St, Horselydown, and also 137 Bermondsey St.135 Died 1910 St Olave.136
- Frederick Alfred, b 1910 in St Olave, London,137 and died 1996. He married Elizabeth MURPHY. He worked as a Lorry Driver and in later years in Print as a Copy Boy who made the ink, which he did till he was 70. 4 sons.
- Arthur Henry, b 1915, St Olave, London;138 d 1995. Occupation Post Office Driver. He married Florence ‘Flo’ WARD c 1940. 2 sons.
- George H, b 1916, St Olave, London;139 d 1916, St Olave, London.140
- Susan E, b 1916, St Olave, London;141 d 1916, St Olave, London.142
- Florence ‘Flossie‘ Louisa, b 31 Oct 1917, Waterloo Rd, London; married 1938 Stanley Robert BRATTLE, Southwark.143 1 son, 3 daughters
- Albert Ernest was born 1920 in Southwark.144 Albert was in the army for 15 years, and served in the war. After the war he was a tram driver in London and married Edia/Eda …, an Italian, but she went back to Italy with their young son, a ‘war child’. He married 2nd Beatrice RICHLAND 30 Mar 1957 in The Register Office, Hampstead, he aged 38, previous marriage dissovled, Storekeeper (curtains), she 42, Widow, Saleswoman (Fashions), both residing 102 Priory Rd, London NW6, one of the witnesses S R Brattle.145 No further GRO entries for RICHLAND. In about 1979 they went to New Zealand. Residing: 1999, Auckland, New Zealand.
Second son of Thomas and Louisa MILLS, Edward was born 19 Sep 1869 at 6 Sandringham Rd, West Hackney.146 Birthplace given as Stoke Newington in 1881.147 Did he enlist as James as a Private with the Highland Light Infantry before 1901?148 As James, he married Emma FARRANT 3 Jul 1910 in St George the Martyr, Southwark, he aged 37 [actually 40¾], Bachelor, Bricklayer, she 26, Spinster, both residing 2 Ontario St.149
The photo above was probably taken in the 1930s.150
Occupation: 1910 Bricklayer,151 1911 Bricklayer Journeyman,152 1913 Council Labourer,153 1914 Enlisted in Middlesex Regiment as Butcher154—was this pretence? 1916 Contractor’s Carman,155 General Labourer;156 1927 Bricklayer’s Laborer.157
Emma was born 1883, City of London,158 and died 13 Nov 1952 of old cerebral haemorrhage, hemiplegia and senility at 117 Suttons Lane, U.D., Hornchurch, Essex, aged 68, wife of Edward, General Labourer, informant daughter Maud Eva.159 Edward died soon after on 1 Jun 1953 in Hornchurch, Essex, from myocardial degeneration and senility, residing 117 Suttons Lane, U.D., aged 83, General Labourer Retired, informant daughter M E Brockett.160 He lived to a good age despite a hard life and heavy drinking.
Was he Edward or James?
Although the full explanation may never be known, the answer most probably is that he was both. Available records show that Edward was either also called James interchangeably, perhaps even from childhood, or else he changed his name to James at least by the time he got married in 1910 and through 1927. Between then and 1944 we have as yet no records, but for the last decade of his life he was recorded as Edward. Twelve years after his death a daughter named him James Edward, but in 1998 his youngest son said he was called ‘Ted’. These are the records so far found:
1869: Edward 161
1881: Edward 162
1901: ?James 163
1910: James 164
1913: James 165
1914-5: James 166
1916: James Edward 167
1927: James 168
1944: Edward 169
1952: Edward 170
1953: Edward 171
1965: James Edward 172
A story from daughter Betty, b 1923, and at least one other, has it that her father James was killed in the First World War and Emma then moved in with James’ brother Edward, but never actually married him. It might seem unlikely that daughters would make up a story which made them illegitimate, but there are problems with it, and maybe the daughters themselves didn’t make up the story:Read more
2. There is no record of a James being killed in WW1 in the Commonwealth War Graves Index. If he had been, a record might also be expected in James’ own war papers.
3. The GRO records no James Brockett deaths 1908-36.
4. James gave his age as 37 in 1910,173 ie b c 1873. In fact he was b 1869. The GRO records only 5 James births 1861-88:
ii. James 1866 qtr2 Hartlepool Durham d 1868
iii. James Edward, b Hackney 1874. This was the James living with George, brother of Thomas and Louisa, for the 1881 census for Middx, aged 6, i.e. Edward/James’ cousin not his brother. This James married Edith Wilson in 1903.
iv. James Samuel 1876 qtr4 Bedford m 1906? son of Alfred son of Samuel and Mary Ann LOVEDAY.
v. James William 1879 qtr2 Brentford London174 son of David and Selina
An explanation of this story might be found in what survives of his enlistment and discharge papers from World War 1:175Read more
Desertion carried the death penalty. Perhaps to avoid such an appalling possibility it was necessary for Edward/James—and Emma—to pretend that he had been killed and that he was his brother. The potential consequences of being found out some time in the future meant that the pretence had to be maintained, even with their own children. Letting one’s children think they were illegitimate was preferable to being found guilty of a capital offence. There were quite a few illegitimate births in the family and wider family, so perhaps it was not such a big deal.
He also seems to have avoided being recorded in most censuses:
Census records for James / Edward and family: Read more
|1891||Not apparently recorded. A search through all Edwards, Teds and Jameses with surname beginning with B in London aged 18-26 didn’t succeed.|
|1901||Not apparently recorded as Edward176 or James, unless as James in Aldershot (Hants) or Farnham (Surrey), as a Private with the Highland Light Infantry, aged 25 [ie b c 1876], Middlesex Bethnal. He was actually about 32, but no other unattributed Jameses are known born 1860-76.|
|1911||Neither James nor Emma apparently recorded—nor under Brickett
Brackett, Brocker and variants. Census taken 24 days before the birth of their first child Emma.
In May 1927 they were living in at 34 Enid St, Bermondsey.177
Below is a photo of Emma with 3 of her sons and 3 of her daughters.178 Standing in the back row from left to right are Stella, Albert, Jim, Ena and Bob; then sitting in front are Annie, Maud, Emma and Betty. Bob doesn’t look more than 15 which would date the photo to 1944 at the latest. Albert and Jim are both in uniform which would suggest a date during war, except that Albert at least carried on in the army after the war. Stella looks young, but she and Albert were married on her 18th birthday on 15 Apr 1944, so the photo could have been soon after that. However, it could have been taken when they were courting, as Jim and Ena weren’t married until 1946. Bob could be as young as 14, dating it to 1943. Maud’s son was born 3 May 1943 and the baby in her lap looks to be 3-6 months old, so if it was her son, as is likely, the photo would date to autumn 1943. The short-sleeved dresses would put it before the end of the year. Absent from the photo is father Edward.
- Emma, b 26 Apr 1911, 182 Westmoreland Rd, Walworth, Newington, Southwark,179 father residing 48 Tabard St, Newington; d 1912 Camberwell, aged 0.180 The 1911 census was taken on the night of Sunday 2 April, 1911.
- Martha Louisa, b 7 May 1913, 27 Gaywood St, St George the Martyr West, Southwark;181 d 2 Dec 1914, Camberwell.182
- Maud Eva, b 9 Jan 1915, Southwark.183 Residing 215 Woodward Rd, Barking 3 May 1943 as Maud Eva Brockett, Cook, ATS.184 She was the informant of the deaths of mother in 1952 and father in 1953 as Maud Eva Brockett, residing 215 Woodward Rd, Barking. Married 1964 … MOUNTIER Ilford.185
- James ‘Jim’ Edward, b 22 Sep 1916 at 20 Earl St, St George the Martyr, Southwark,186 and died 1993 Worthing, Sussex, aged 77.187 He was probably in the merchant navy in the war. He married 1946 Stepney Georgina ‘Ena’ Elizabeth COLLIER.188. Contractors’ Lorry Driver, residing 24 Blackthorn St, Bromley 1950.189 Towards the end of his life he was reclusive, with long hair and long finger nails. Georgina Elizabeth died 1995 Tower Hamlets, London, aged 75, b 29 Nov 1920.190 1 son.
- Alice R, b 1919, St Olave, London;191 d 1919, St Olave, London.192
- Albert, b 19 Oct 1920 in Bermondsey, London,193 St Olave London.194 He married Esther ‘Stella’ HOYLES 15 Apr 1944 in the Parish Church Barking, Essex, he a Bachelor, aged 23, Soldier, residing 215 Woodward Rd, Becontree, son of Edward, Labourer, she a Spinster, aged 18 [exactly], residing 213 Lodge Ave, Becontree.195 She was Jewish and her father Joseph apparently came from Holland. Albert died 19 Feb 1970 in Oldchurch Hospital, Romford, of cancer, occupation Lorry Driver, residing 94 Markyate Road, Dagenham;196 Administration London 1 May 1970 estate valued at £1,466.197 Esther married again to Walter Edward LAWRENCE in 1982 in Barking / Dagenham,198 and died 23 Apr 1986 of Glioma R Cerebum at 94 Markyate Road.199 her DC says she was born 15 Apr 1926 in Mile End, Tower Hamlets. 3 sons, 2 daus.
- Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Beatrice, b 1923, St Olave, London.200 Her occupation in 1955 was Radio Engineering Press Operator, residing 153 Stamford Hill, Hackney, London N16,201 in 1958 was Trolley-bus Conductoress, residing 325 Porters Ave, Barking/Dagenham,202 and in 1963 was Bar Maid, The Round House, Lodge Ave, Barking, residing 10 Felton Rd, Barking.203 She married 23 Oct 1965 Dunstable Register Office, Beds, Arthur Edward KILBOURNE, she aged 42, Spinster, Barmaid, residing The Chequers, Houghton Regis, father James Edward (dec’d), General Labourer, he 54, Widower, Press Operator Motor Works, residing 39 Woodlands Ave, Houghton Regis, witness R J Brockett [brother].204 It is said that she married … GIEVES but no record has been found in the GRO. She died before 1998.
- Annie Rose, b 22 May 1927, 34 Enid St, St Olave Bermondsey, London.205 Married 1956 Leslie CARROLL Ilford, Essex.206
- Robert ‘Bob’ Joseph, b 1929 in Bermondsea.207 He married Doris E BROWN Sep 1953. Bob lived in Dagenham till he was 21, moved to Bethnal Green where he was for 38 years, occupation Engineer, and then he retired to Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire. Residing there Jul 1998, the last surviving child of ‘Ted’ and Emma. 2 daus.
Fourth son of Thomas and Louisa MILLS, Joseph Thomas was born 2 Feb 1875 at 10 Frances St, Westminster Rd, Lambeth.208 He married Dinah Martha GUNNER 2 Apr 1905 in St Paul’s, Parish of St Mary Newington, London, he aged 28 [actually 30], Bachelor, Carman, she aged 24, Spinster, both residing 32 Empress St.209 In 1910 he was a Railway Goods Porter, residing 102 Farmers Rd, Kennington.210 Joseph served in the Devonshire Regiment in World War I. He died 21 Jan 1944 in Lambeth Hospital of gangrene of amputation stump [leg], arterio sclerosis, diabetes mellitus and obesity, aged 68, Ministry of Works Porter, residing 30 Library Mansions, Southwark, informant son A[lfred] Brockett.211
Census records for Joseph and family: Read more
|1901||No record found of Joseph, who would have been aged about 26.213|
|1911||At 186 Farmers Rd, Kennington, Joseph, aged 36, Head, Coal Porter, b London, Westminster; Dinah, 30, Wife, b London, Newington; Joseph, 4, Son, b London, Southwark; Elsie, 3, Daughter, b London, Southwark; Alfred, 1, Son, b London, Lambeth. They had been married 6 years, 3 children born alive, 3 still living. 2 room apartment. Entry signed at least by James, and maybe written also.|
- Joseph James was born 29 May 1906.214 He married 1st Elsie Rosina “Babs” BROWN 21 Sep 1931 in Newton Abbot, Devon.215 She died 18 Apr 1968 Torbay, Devon, aged 63, ie b c 1905.216 2 sons. He married 2nd Angelique M T GIRET Jun 1972. Chauffeur to Mr Brand of Brands Civil Engineers who built the Rotherhithe Tunnel. He met Elsie while he was in Portishead with Brands. He married her from Belgrave Lodge and they went to live in Bromley, Kent, where Joseph had bought a Coal business at Grove Park Station with the help of brother Alfred. Joe was in the RAF in the War.2 pics 1. Joseph James Brockett and Dinah 2. Joe and Babs Brockett RAFJoseph was an active Freemason. He died 29 Apr 1988, of 27 Lytton House, St Lukes Rd, Torquay, will proved Bristol 9 Jun, value not exceeding £70,000.217
- Elsie Dinah was born 12 Jan 1908 in Southwark, and married Leonard Alfred WELLS in Fylde, Lancs. 2nd Qtr 1953. and emigrated to Canada in 1955. Elsie died 30 Apr 2000 in Canada. 1 daughter.pic of her with brothers – Alfred Edward Brockett b 1910
- Alfred Edward was born 5 Apr 1910 at 102 Farmers Rd, Kennington, Brixton,218 and died 13 Jun 1989 at 3 Mendip Rd, Barnehurst, Kent of cancer and diabetes, retired Tailor and Cutter.219 He married Ivy Muriel GARDNER 15 Aug 1936 St Johns, Southend, Lewisham, he aged 26, Bachelor, Tailor, of 20 Bedivere Rd, Downham [father’s name mistakenly given as Joseph James], she aged 23, Spinster, of 218 Brockley Rd, SE4.220 Ivy was born 15 Aug 1912 and died 5 Dec 1992. 1 son, 1 daughter. In 1944 he resided 75 Parkside Ave, Barnhurst, Kent.221 He made the Queen’s Trooping of the Colour skirt. In 1931 he dramatically saved two people from drowning in the Norfolk Broads:
“Shocking Tragedy on Filby Broad….. The shouting had been mistaken in the distance for the merriment of holidaymakers. Then realisation came and the occupants of a boat hurried in the direction of the sound. As they rounded the bend into the bay they saw the distesssing spectacle of a sinking boat and people struggling in the water all round it… This boat which came hurrying up was herself caught on one of these deadly stakes and impaled. It was held fast. One of the occupants, Alfred Edward Brockett, a young tailor from Bromley who was staying at Fleggburgh, thereupon acted with great presence of mind. Plunged fully dressed into the Broad and risking danger from the hidden stakes, he single-handed rescued Miss Bremner and John Bremner. The effort exhausted him but other help was now arriving and all the others, with the exception of the three who had disappeared were picked up.”222
Their 50th wedding aniversary:
and the newspaper report:
- Gladys Lilian was born 10 Jan 1921, and married Shirley “Ted” PALMER in 1949 Q2 in Fylde St Annes, Lancs. Gladys and Ted emigrated to Canada in 1951. Times were hard but they found jobs, Gladys was a nurse. Gladys died in Ontario 30 Nov 2005. One daughter.
Page Last Updated: April 6, 2020