Thomas of Lambeth's Descendants - The Broket Archive

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:
First generation:

  1. Thomas 1842-1922 and Louisa MILLS
  2. George 1844-1900 and Elizabeth WHEELER
  3. John Philip c 1846- and Mary Ann FAZLER
  4. Edward 1851-1915 and Phoebe JEPSON

Second generation:

  1. George 1867-?1944 and Susan HARMER
  2. Edward/James 1869-1953 and Emma FARRANT
  3. Joseph Thomas 1875-1944 and Dinah GUNNER

1. Thomas 1842-1922 and Louisa MILLS

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. Thomas is to be distinguished from Thomas Brockett, baptised in Guilden Morden in 1843, and who died 1844, see the separate page.

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

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:

  1. Catherine Louisa b 1862 Strand, Middx;25 d 1862 Lambeth.26
  2. 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.
  3. George b 1867, Lambeth; d 1944. Coalworker. Married Margaret LEGG 1890 in Clerkenwell and 2nd Susan HARMER probably in Southwark 1907.
  4. [James] Edward b 1869 W Hackney. Married Emma FARRANT 1910 in Southwark. He died 1953, Hornchurch, Essex.
  5. Robert Charles b c 1871—not registered. Died 27 June 1875 at 10 Frances St, Westminster Rd, Lambeth, scarlatina convulsions, aged 4.29
  6. Joseph Thomas b 1875 Waterloo, Lambeth; d 1944 Lambeth. He married Dinah Martha GUNNER1905 in Newington.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 82-year-old grand daughter in 1999:+Read more

2. George 1844-1900 and Elizabeth WHEELER c 1847-79

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


  1. 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.54+Census records for George and family:    Read more
    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:

    1. 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.
    2. Lucy, b 20 Sep 1898, 214 Millfields Rd, Lower Clapton, Hackney.68 ?Married 1922 Brentford, London … CREED.69
  2. 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
  3. 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 1878.80+Census records for James Edward and Edith:    Read more

    1. 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.
    2. 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
  4. Marie/Maria, b 1876 Hackney.86 Witness, as Marie, to marriages of brother George 1896 and sister Elizabeth 1898. Probably married 1898 Hackney.87.

3. John Phillip c 1846-93

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

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:

  1. ?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.
  2. 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?
  3. John Henry, twin, b and d 1889 Lambeth.97
  4. Ernest, b 8 Jun 1891, 12 Norfolk Row, Lambeth Road, mother Elizabeth Miriam, formerly GRIMSTONE, signed with an X;98 d 1891 Lambeth.99
  5. George, twin, b posthumously 23 Jul 1893 6 am, 9 High St, Lambeth,100 informant Rebecca LLOYD; d 1893 Lambeth.101
  6. Elizabeth Miriam, twin, b posthumously and d 1893 Lambeth.102

4. Edward Daniel 1851-1915

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

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.

5. George 1867-?1944

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

George’s occupation: Coal Porter 1895;117 Dock Laborer 1904;118 Wharf Laborer 1909.119

Census records for George and family:    Read more

Oral recollections of an 85-year-old daughter in 1999: +Read more
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:

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

1. Bricklaying was his father’s and grandfather’s occupation.
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, later h/o Annie WHITE was only 19.
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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. Arthur Henry, b 1915, St Olave, London;138 d 1995. Occupation Post Office Driver. He married Florence ‘Flo’ WARD c 1940. 2 sons.
  5. George H, b 1916, St Olave, London;139 d 1916, St Olave, London.140
  6. Susan E, b 1916, St Olave, London;141 d 1916, St Olave, London.142
  7. Florence ‘Flossie‘ Louisa, b 31 Oct 1917, Waterloo Rd, London; married 1938 Stanley Robert BRATTLE, Southwark.143 In 1939 they were living at 19 Marshalls Buildings, Webber Street, Lambeth, Southwark, Stanley a Male Export Packer – Perfumery, Florence a Female Factory Hand – Provisions (Unemployed).144 Stanley died in Southwark District 1971.145 Florence Louisa Brattle died in Lambeth District 17 Nov 2002.146 1 son, 3 daughters. For some of her recollections about her parents, see above.
  8. Albert Ernest was born 1920 in Southwark.147 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.148 No further GRO entries for RICHLAND. In about 1979 they went to New Zealand. Residing: 1999, Auckland, New Zealand.

6. Edward aka James 1869-1953

Second son of Thomas and Louisa MILLS, Edward was born 19 Sep 1869 at 6 Sandringham Rd, West Hackney.149 Birthplace given as Stoke Newington in 1881.150 Did he enlist as James as a Private with the Highland Light Infantry before 1901?151 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.152

Edward/James Brockett 1869-1953
The photo above was probably taken in the 1930s.153

Occupation: 1910 Bricklayer,154 1911 Bricklayer Journeyman,155 1913 Council Labourer,156 1914 Enlisted in Middlesex Regiment as Butcher157—was this pretence? 1916 Contractor’s Carman,158 General Labourer;159 1927 Bricklayer’s Laborer.160

Emma was born 1883, City of London,161 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.162 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.163 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 164
1881: Edward 165
1901: ?James 166
1910: James 167
1913: James 168
1914-5: James 169
1916: James Edward 170
1927: James 171
1944: Edward 172
1952: Edward 173
1953: Edward 174
1965: James Edward 175

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

An explanation of this story might be found in what survives of his enlistment and discharge papers from World War 1:178+Read 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

In May 1927 they were living in at 34 Enid St, Bermondsey.180

Below is a photo of Emma with 3 of her sons and 3 of her daughters.181 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.

Children:Edward and Emma's children c 1943

  1. Emma, b 26 Apr 1911, 182 Westmoreland Rd, Walworth, Newington, Southwark,182 father residing 48 Tabard St, Newington; d 1912 Camberwell, aged 0.183 The 1911 census was taken on the night of Sunday 2 April, 1911.
  2. Martha Louisa, b 7 May 1913, 27 Gaywood St, St George the Martyr West, Southwark;184 d 2 Dec 1914, Camberwell.185
  3. Maud Eva, b 9 Jan 1915, Southwark.186 Residing 215 Woodward Rd, Barking 3 May 1943 as Maud Eva Brockett, Cook, ATS.187 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.188
  4. James ‘Jim’ Edward, b 22 Sep 1916 at 20 Earl St, St George the Martyr, Southwark,189 and died 1993 Worthing, Sussex, aged 77.190 He was probably in the merchant navy in the war. He married 1946 Stepney Georgina ‘Ena’ Elizabeth COLLIER.191. Contractors’ Lorry Driver, residing 24 Blackthorn St, Bromley 1950.192 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 1920.193 1 son.
  5. Alice R, b 1919, St Olave, London;194 d 1919, St Olave, London.195
  6. Albert, b 19 Oct 1920 in Bermondsey, London,196 St Olave London.197 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.198 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;199 Administration London 1 May 1970 estate valued at £1,466.200 Esther married again to Walter Edward LAWRENCE in 1982 in Barking / Dagenham,201 and died 23 Apr 1986 of Glioma R Cerebum at 94 Markyate Road.202 her DC says she was born 15 Apr 1926 in Mile End, Tower Hamlets. 3 sons, 2 daus.
  7. Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Beatrice, b 1923, St Olave, London.203 Her occupation in 1955 was Radio Engineering Press Operator, residing 153 Stamford Hill, Hackney, London N16,204 in 1958 was Trolley-bus Conductoress, residing 325 Porters Ave, Barking/Dagenham,205 and in 1963 was Bar Maid, The Round House, Lodge Ave, Barking, residing 10 Felton Rd, Barking.206 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].207 It is said that she married … GIEVES but no record has been found in the GRO. She died before 1998.
  8. Annie Rose, b 22 May 1927, 34 Enid St, St Olave Bermondsey, London.208 Married 1956 Leslie CARROLL Ilford, Essex.209
  9. Robert ‘Bob’ Joseph, b 1929 in Bermondsea.210 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.

7. Joseph Thomas 1875-1944

Fourth son of Thomas and Louisa MILLS, Joseph Thomas was born 2 Feb 1875 at 10 Frances St, Westminster Rd, Lambeth.211 “Joseph Brockett, b Walworth, London, Surrey, for the last twelvemonth of 5 Thomson Ave, Camberwell, London, Surrey, Coal Porter, attested 18 Jun 1895, aged 19 years 4 months for 6 years in the 3rd Battalion Royal West Surrey Regiment, service #9012”.212 He was actually aged aged 20 years 4 months in June 1895, but there was no other Joseph Brockett in London of a similar age at that time, so this attestation must have been his. He is said to have served in India from 20 Aug 1895 to 7 Dec 1899 when he was deployed to South Africa until 25 Mar 1903, and was at the relief of Ladysmith, for which he received the South African medal,213 see the separate page.

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.214 In 1910 he was a Railway Goods Porter, residing 102 Farmers Rd, Kennington.215 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.216

Notes from his enlistment and discharge papers from World War 1:217+Read more

Census records for Joseph and family:    Read more

  1. Joseph James was born 29 May 1906.219 He married 1st Elsie Rosina “Babs” BROWN 21 Sep 1931 in Newton Abbot, Devon.220 She died 18 Apr 1968 Torbay, Devon, aged 63, ie b c 1905.221 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. Joseph 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 £70,000.222
  2. 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.
  3. Alfred Edward was born 5 Apr 1910 at 102 Farmers Rd, Kennington, Brixton,223 and died 13 Jun 1989 at 3 Mendip Rd, Barnehurst, Kent of cancer and diabetes, retired Tailor and Cutter.224 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, SE4.225 Ivy was born 15 Aug 1912 and died 5 Dec 1992. 1 son, 1 daughter. In 1944 he resided 75 Parkside Ave, Barnhurst, Kent.226 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.”227

    Their 50th wedding aniversary:

    Alfred and Ivy Brockett 50th

    and the newspaper report:

    Alfred and Ivy Brockett 50th newspaper report

  4. 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: June 22, 2022


For full bibliographical details please see the sections Publications or Glossary.


[1] In addition to the GRO and censuses, much information on this clan has come from the extensive researches of Wendy Masterson and from Roy Brockett, and to a lesser extent from the oral recollections of Flossie, Elizabeth and Robert.

[2] Birth certificate .

[3] Censuses.

[4] Abbott 1993 p 142.

[5] On the birth certificate of his son 1878, for example.

[6] Marriage certificate.

[7] Birth certificate of son.

[8] Birth certificate of son.

[9] Birth certificate of children.

[10] Birth certificate of son.

[11] Marriage certificate of son.

[12] Marriage certificate.

[13] Birth certificate of daughter.

[14] Birth certificate of son.

[15] Birth certificate of son.

[16] Birth certificate of son; death certificate of son.

[17] Birth certificate of son.

[18] Census.

[19] Birth certificate of son.

[20] Death certificate of Louisa.

[21] Census.

[22] Death certificate.

[23] Death certificate .

[24] Death certificate .

[25] GRO qtr 1.

[26] GRO qtr 1.

[27] Birth certificate .

[28] GRO qtr 4.

[29] Death certificate .

[30] Birth certificate .

[31] Birth certificate .

[32] Censuses

[33] Marriage certificate .

[34] GRO qtr 4.

[35] GRO qtr 4.

[36] Marriage certificate .

[37] Death certificate of father.

[38] Birth certificate .

[39] GRO qtr 1, aged 56.

[40] Censuses.

[41] Census.

[42] Marriage certificate .

[43] Birth certificate of son.

[44] GRO qtr 3.

[45] Marriage certificate .

[46] Marriage certificate of son.

[47] GRO qtr 1.

[48] Death certificate .

[49] 1881 census.

[50] GRO qtr 4.

[51] Marriage certificate .

[52] Birth certificate of son.

[53] Birth certificate of daughter.

[54] Marriage certificate of son.

[55] GRO qtr 3.

[56] GRO qtr 3.

[57] LPR.

[58] Birth certificate .

[59] Marriage certificate .

[60] Marriage certificate of daughter.

[61] Marriage certificate of son.

[62] Marriage certificate of daughter.

[63] Marriage certificate of daughter.

[64] Marriage certificate of daughter.

[65] Marriage certificate of daughters.

[66] GRO qtr 3.

[67] Marriage certificate of daughter.

[68] Birth certificate .

[69] GRO qtr 3.

[70] Census.

[71] GRO qtr 2.

[72] Birth certificate .

[73] GRO qtr 4.

[74] Birth certificate .

[75] Marriage certificate .

[76] Birth certificate of son.

[77] Death certificate of son 1911.

[78] Death certificate of son.

[79] GRO qtr 2.

[80] GRO qtr 1.

[81] Birth certificate .

[82] GRO qtr 3.

[83] Marriage certificate of son.

[84] GRO qtr 2.

[85] Death certificate .

[86] GRO qtr 3.

[87] GRO qtr 4.

[88] Censuses

[89] Birth certificate of son.

[90] Birth certificate of son.

[91] Death certificate .

[92] Death certificate .

[93] Birth certificate .

[94] Death certificate.

[95] Birth certificate .

[96] GRO qtr 3.

[97] GRO qtr 3.

[98] Birth certificate .

[99] GRO qtr 3.

[100] Birth certificate .

[101] GRO qtr 3.

[102] GRO qtr 3.

[103] Birth certificate .

[104] 1911 census.

[105] GRO qtr 2.

[106] GRO qtr 4.

[107] Marriage certificate .

[108] Birth certificate

[109] Marriage certificate

[110] GRO Q1, vol 1B p 876 line 310

[111] GRO Q2, vol 1B p 461

[112] GRO Q2, vol 1B p 428

[113] GRO qtr 3.

[114] Marriage certificate .

[115] GRO qtr 4.

[116] GRO qtr 3.

[117] Birth certificate of daughter; marriage certificate of son 1957.

[118] Birth certificate of son.

[119] Birth certificate of daughter.

[120] Searched under all the variants (Br**) and ages and also under LEGG/E.

[121] Searched under all the variants (Br**) and ages.

[122] Searched under all the variants (Br**).

[123] GRO.

[124] Not apparently recorded in the GRO.

[125] Death certificate .

[126] Census.

[127] Marriage certificate .

[128] Birth certificate .

[129] Marriage certificate .

[130] No GRO record found.

[131] Census.

[132] Marriage certificate .

[133] Birth certificate .

[134] See census details of mother above.

[135] Birth certificate .

[136] GRO qtr 1.

[137] GRO qtr 4.

[138] GRO qtr 2.

[139] GRO qtr 3.

[140] GRO qtr 3.

[141] GRO qtr 3.

[142] GRO qtr 3.

[143] GRO 1917 qtr 4, vol 1d p 54; GRO 1938 qtr 4, vol 1d p 80; GRO 2002 qtr 4, #B64 entry 069.

[144] 1939 England and Wales Register, image accessed on FMP 5 Mar 2021.

[145] Wikitree Brattle-69, managed by Janet Gunn, accessed 5 Mar 2021.

[146] GRO 2002 qtr 4, #B64 entry 069; LPR Grant and will proved 3 Feb 2003, #1127578, transcription accessed on FMP 5 Mar 2021. With thanks to Janet Gunn (Wikitree Brattle-69).

[147] GRO qtr 1.

[148] Marriage certificate .

[149] Birth certificate .

[150] Census.

[151] Census.

[152] Marriage certificate .

[153] From a photocopy kindly sent by Roy Brockett Dec 2014.

[154] Marriage certificate .

[155] Birth certificate of daughter.

[156] Birth certificate of daughter.

[157] TNA WO 363/B1718.

[158] Birth certificate of son.

[159] Death certificate .

[160] Birth certificate of daughter.

[161] Birth certificate .

[162] Death certificate .

[163] Death certificate .

[164] Birth certificate .

[165] Census.

[166] Census.

[167] Marriage certificate .

[168] Birth certificate of daughter.

[169] WWI papers.

[170] Birth certificate of son.

[171] Birth certificate of daughter.

[172] Marriage certificate of son.

[173] Death certificate of wife.

[174] Death certificate.

[175] Marriage certificate of daughter.

[176] Marriage certificate .

[177] Birth certificate .

[178] TNA WO 363/B1718.

[179] All variants searched.

[180] Birth certificate of daughter.

[181] From a photocopy kindly sent by Roy Brockett Dec 2014.

[182] Birth certificate .

[183] GRO qtr 1.

[184] Birth certificate .

[185] GRO qtr 4,aged 1; TNA WO 363/B1718.

[186] GRO qtr 1; TNA WO 363/B1718.

[187] Birth certificate of son.

[188] GRO qtr 4.

[189] Birth certificate .

[190] GRO qtr 1.

[191] GRO qtr 2.

[192] Birth certificate of son.

[193] GRO qtr 1.

[194] GRO qtr 4, mother mistakenly transcribed as Tarrant.

[195] GRO, aged 0.

[196] Death certificate

[197] GRO qtr 4.

[198] Marriage certificate .

[199] Death certificate .

[200] LPR.

[201] GRO qtr 3.

[202] Death certificate

[203] GRO qtr 1.

[204] Birth certificate of son.

[205] Birth certificate of daughter.

[206] Birth certificate of son.

[207] Marriage certificate .

[208] Birth certificate, mother's name mistakenly transcribed as FARREN.

[209] GRO qtr 3.

[210] GRO qtr 3, St Olave.

[211] Birth certificate. Special thanks to Wendy Masterson for generously sharing photos and information on this family.

[212] Image downloaded from FMP 21 Jun 2022, citing British Army Service Records 1760-1915 Box 13, record 152.

[213] Information from Wendy Masterson's booklet on the family, p 19.

[214] Marriage certificate .

[215] Birth certificate of son Alfred.

[216] Death certificate .

[217] TNA WO 363/B1718.

[218] Searched under all the variants (Br** and *B*r*k*t).

[219] GRO qtr 3, Southwark

[220] GRO qtr 4.

[221] GRO qtr 2.

[222] LPR

[223] Birth certificate

[224] Death certificate

[225] Marriage certificate

[226] Death certificate of father.

[227] Yarmouth Mercury 15 Aug 1931.

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