The Brokets of South Africa
The first known South African Broket family were English immigrants in 1861.1 William and Amy Brockett and 4 young sons had come from Bassingbourn, a small village in Cambridgeshire of about 400 households,2 where William had been a Farm Bailiff (Manager). By 1868 William was Manager of Emerald Hill Farm—now a suburb of Port Elizabeth—and by the mid 1870s he was running a hotel c 10 km west of Port Elizabeth harbour in Kraggakama, still a wild area of natural beauty today. All 6 of their surviving children later had families of their own, making William and Amy the ancestors of most—if not all—Brockett families of more than one generation in South Africa up to at least the 1960s. While the great majority of Brokets in South Africa are members of William and Amy’s clan, there have been other Brokets unconnected with them and these are also recorded below.3
Contents of this page:
To skip straight to information on William and Amy click here.
White immigration to South Africa began in 1652 with the settlement of the Cape of Good Hope by the Dutch East India Company. A century and a half later at the beginning of the 19th C the British established a colony at the Cape to control the Far East trade routes.4 There followed a century of conflict between the British, the Boers and the indigenous peoples.5 In 1820 a large group of 4 or 5 thousand British settlers arrived in the Cape, and between 1835-46 thousands of Boers left the Cape Colony and trekked north and northeast to Orange Free State and Natal. “The majority of Europeans entering the Cape colony during the late 19th century were of British origin … The white population was enumerated as 376,987 in 1891 and is estimated at 606,014 in 1906 … The 1904 census report states that 21.68% of the white population had been born outside South Africa”.6 For some information on English emigration specifically from Cambridgeshire in the 2nd half of the 19th C—when William and Amy Brockett arrived—see the separate page.
William and Amy, their children and many of their grandchildren, stayed in the Port Elizabeth area (often shortened to ‘PE’ on this webpage) and nearby Uitenhage, while others moved north to the Orange Free State, Natal and Transvaal. Judging by surnames, while many of William and Amy’s clan married British spouses, others married Afrikaners. One grandson had a large family in Harrismith, Orange Free State, c 85 km NW of Ladysmith, Natal. It had been suggested that the origin of some Natal Brokets may have been Scotland,7 however records don’t confirm this.8
The South African War (aka Anglo-Boer War) of 1899-1902 was at the very end of William’s life, and it and its aftermath would have affected his sons and their families. For instance, the wife of their son Walter Brockett (who had died 1897) was interned by the British in the Irene Concentration Camp, near Pretoria, with their infant daughter Ethel Amy Sophia dying there in 1901. At the same time Walter’s nephew Ernest Evelyn Brockett of Port Elizabeth was a Trooper in the colonial Eastern Province Horse Regiment.9
The South African vital records consulted for this research often included the person’s racial category, but since all but 4 such Broket records classified the person as ‘White’ or ‘European’ those terms have mostly been omitted from the transcriptions. Of the other 4 records two were classified as ‘mixed race’, one as ‘Coloured’ and one as ‘Hottentot’, all were females, see below. These terms and place names have been retained as they are in the records, but many racial terms are now considered offensive, and many places have since been officially renamed, e.g. Port Elizabeth (now Ggeberha), Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal), Uitenhage (now Kariega).
See Sources below for an explanation of acronyms in the footnotes.
Discounting baptism, marriage and death records, only 2 primary records of William in South Africa have so far been found, see below. And for primary records of him and his ancestors in Cambridgeshire see the separate page. The following details from a good secondary source—Margaret Harradine’s database10—provide some information on William’s location and work in South Africa:
“1. Arrived on “Rajasthan” 29 Jun 1861, WB farm bailiff 37, Mary 36, Edward John 13, William 10, Arthur 5.
2. 1868 Voters’ roll: Emerald Hill.
3. Jan 1870 insolvent.
4. Manager of Emerald Hill Farm.
5. Sep 1874 has hired Kragga Kamma mansion and homestead and will receive visitors from 1 Oct 1874.
6. End of 1874 liquor licence.
7. 1884 directory at Buffelsfontein.
8. 1901 Lansdowne Place”.11
Comments: (These comments concern these 8 items, mainly the nature of the Rajasthan permit; you can skip straight to primary records below.) This printed extract from her database only cites sources for items 2 and 7 above,12 but item 3 and the mention of Kragga Kamma in item 5 tally with 2 primary records found. Emerald Hill—items 2 and 4—is now a suburb of Port Elizabeth, and Buffelsfontein—item 7—is a village c 11 km E of Kraggakama towards Port Elizabeth, to be distinguished from Buffelsfontein on the west coast c 90 km N of Cape Town and over 800 km W of PE. Lansdowne Place is confirmed as the family’s residence in William’s death record and in several records of his sons later. As for item 1 it closely matches another secondary source, a Permit R492/P463 which I transcribe as follows:
“Ship Rajasthan June 1861. Brockett, William 37, Farm Bailiff, Mary 36, Edward John 13, William 10, Arthur 5, male infant (PIB12).”
This permit record is also secondary—it’s a photocopy of pp 112-3 of a typed list of what appears to be residence permits for immigrants to South Africa arranged alphabetically by surname, and, as with MHHD’s item 1 above, the source is not noted. Pages 112-3 record arrivals between May 1858 and Jul 1861 with various permit numbers. Listed under the same permit number as the Brockett family were 3 other families from Ireland, England and Scotland on different ships at different times between May 1858 and May 1860. The photocopy was sent to me by Seaton Mulder in 2008, who perhaps received it from Esme Mildenhall. The two differences between this photocopied permit and MHHD’s item 1 above are that MHHD added ’29’ June 1861 and omitted mention of an unnamed male infant.
These two secondary sources must trace back to an original primary record, probably the same one; does it still exist? And what is PIB12?
William’s wife’s name Mary in this permit record conflicts with contemporary primary records which recorded her as Amy—except once as Ann in 1855 in England. However in another record from 1950 she was again called Mary. This is a primary record, albeit 66 years after her death, and is the Port Elizabeth death notice of their 4th surviving son Alfred James, see below. In his earlier baptism record of 1863, however—only currently seen as a secondary transcription—his mother was named Amy. Alfred James’ 1950 death notice also stated that he had been born on the “high seas”, so he would have been the unnamed male infant in the 1861 Permit.
The Rajasthan was a three-masted sailing ship of 601 tons, 126 by 29 by 22.7 feet in dimension, built in Bombay 1837, carrying up to 320 passengers.13 The voyage to Australia from Liverpool in a sailing ship would take about 3-4 months, so London–S Africa would have taken at least 2. “Most emigrants travelled in the cheapest class of accommodation, known as the steerage. This was similar to a dormitory with bunks down the sides and tables in the centre. It was frequently overcrowded with poor ventilation. Emigrating in a sailing ship could be unpleasant, particularly during storms”.14
As of May 2022 no relevant passenger list for the Rajasthan has been found online. sa-passenger-list.za.net only has an index of arrivals at the Cape Sept-Dec 1852 in other vessels; Ancestry.com has no Passenger Lists to South Africa at all; and FindMyPast only has Passenger Lists Leaving UK for the Cape, South Africa, 1890-1960. FamilySearch however has a database ‘Immigrant records, 1859-1866. Cape Colony (South Africa). Immigration Board’ with many names.15 Sections 8 and 9 (images 829-936) span 29 Mar 1858 to 28 Feb 1861 and 22 Jul to 27 Nov 1861, but recorded no Brokets. Likewise section 6 (images 591-671) which spans 22 Nov 1859 to 31 Aug 1862 recorded no Brokets nor mentioned the Rajasthan.16 FamilySearch’s Natal, Passenger Lists, 1860-1911, recorded no Brokets. Apparently British citizens arriving in South Africa in the late 19th C weren’t required to complete immigration.
Thus no primary record of William and Amy’s immigration has yet been found. However, leaving aside the 1861 permit, there can be no doubt that the William Brockett and family recorded in primary records up to 1855 in Cambridgeshire England—but not after—was the same William Brockett and family as the ones recorded in primary records in South Africa from 1868, and in secondary ones from 1861, as follows:
The 1851 census for Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, recorded “William, aged 29, Farm Bailiff; wife Amy, 30; Edward J, 3; Elizabeth T, 2; William, 2 months.” Elizabeth died in 1853, and another son was born and died in Bassingbourn in 1854.
The 1868 (14 Mar) record was the first entry in “Fees and Disbursements due to G G Wright in the matter of the appointment of a Provisional Trustee in the Insolvent Estate of W. Brockett” for the Supreme Court, Cape of Good Hope.17 The insolvency papers stretch through to 1870. Similar insolvency records in 1876 recorded him as “William Brockett Hotel keeper of Kraggakamma“. No personal details beyond these were provided in either document, but the insolvencies would have concerned William, the immigrant and former Farm Bailiff, rather than William, his 2nd son, who would only have been 17 in 1868. No other William Brockett is recorded in South Africa at that time.
The Jan 23 1872 marriage record of Edward John Brockett in PE, aged 25 [i.e. b c 1848], Bachelor, Shop Assistant,18 can only have been of William and Amy’s 1st son, whose birth was recorded in England in 1848, 1st qtr,19 and who was aged 3 in the 1851 census for Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire.
1868-70 William Brockett: Insolvent Liquidation and Distribution Account.20
1876 William Brockett of Kraggakamma: Insolvent Liquidation and Distribution Accounts.21
“1884 1 Dec: Amy Brockett died aged 62, and was buried in St George’s Park Cemetery, PE”.22
“1901 18 Feb: William Brockett died of Entro-Colitis and Asthemia at home at Landsdowne Place, Port Elizabeth, aged 79, widowed L2 D5, Retired General Farmer, signed by son A J Brockett of Landsdowne Place, present at death, and was buried in South End Cemetery, PE”.23 Comment: I think “L2 D5” referred to children and L stood for living and D for deceased. As you can see from the list of his children below only 2 were still living at his death. The other 6 had passed away. His wife had also died, so perhaps the informant—son son A J Brockett—wasn’t aware of one child who had died only a couple of months old almost 50 years previously. For a similar “2L 2D” on a death record of someone who had had 4 children, see below. myheritage.com confused this William who died 1901 with his son William who predeceased him in 1898.24
- Edward John 1848-82. Born in England. Married Margaret BILLSON in South Africa. She died 1921. 3 sons, 3 daughters.
- Elizabeth Tookey 1849-53. Born and died in England.
- William 1851-1898. Born in England. Married Annie RUSSELL in South Africa. She died 1933. 4 daughters, 2 sons.
- Alfred Thomas 1854. Born and died in England.
- Arthur 1855-95. Born in England. Married 1st Louisa NEWTON in South Africa. She died 1891. 2 sons, 1 daughter. Arthur married 2nd Eliza BAGSHAW nee PEARSON, she died 1919.
- Alfred James 1861-1950. Born on the “high seas”. Married Edith Wearing GLOVER in South Africa. She died 1933. 4 sons, 4 daughters.
- Walter 1863-97. Born in South Africa. Married Agnes Sophia Johanna POHL. She died 1965. 1 daughter, 1 son.
- Charles Thomas 1869-1946. Born in South Africa. Married Blanche Elizabeth PYLE. 1 son.
1st son of William and Amy, Edward John Brockett was born 1848 Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire.25 Edward John Brockett married 23 Jan 1872 Margaret BILLSON in the Bride’s Home, PE, by the Baptist Minister, he aged 25, Bachelor, Shop Assistant, she aged 23, Spinster, both residing PE; signatures of both.26 This was Edward’s:
1876-7: Certification of the first and final Liquidation and Distribution Account in the Insolvent Estate of Edward John Brockett of Kragga Kama in the district of Port Elizabeth, given in Cape Town 20 Jul 1877. Sequestration date 4 April 1876. Amount owing: £611 10s.27 The White community in Kraggakamma at the time would have been 100 families at most, so two men with insolvent estates in the same year in Kraggakamma with the same uncommon surname—Edward and William above—must have been in the same family.
Edward John Brockett died 10 Feb 1882 in Port Elizabeth, aged 37 [i.e. b c 1845], buried in St George’s Park Cemetery, occupation: Salesman, of Russell Rd.28 Margaret Billson Brockett died 12 May 1921 in Port Elizabeth, aged 73, buried in St George’s Park Cemetery.29 The probate certificate said she died at 31 Ivy Terrace, Port Elizabeth, and had worked as a Shop Assistant. It listed 4 surviving children, all majors: Herbert Charles Brockett, Lily (or Lizzie) Edith Tookey Weddell (born Brockett), Ethel Jane Burgess (born Brockett), William Edward Brockett (who signed as “present after death” on 18 May 1921). The 1922 First Liquidation and Distribution Account for Margaret Brockett would probably have been for this Margaret.30 3 sons, 3 daughters:
- Herbert Charles Brockett, 1872-1939.
Around 2012 a Mortimer family website—renamed www.mortimergen.com by Feb 2022—giving its source simply as ‘Tony McCabe’, listed the following family without any earlier generations:
Herbert Charles Brockett, b 1 Oct 1872, d Jan 1939 (aged 66), m Ellen Florence MORTIMER 3 Jan 1898, Richmond, Cape Province. Children:
Zema Florence, b 1899
Baden Edward, b 1900
Ronald Mortimer, b 1900
Lily Alexandria, b 1902
Agnes, b 1904
Amy Tooky, b 1906
Ellen Margaret, b 1908
Olive Joyce, b 1911.
The records for Herbert Charles Brockett and his family that follow here weren’t available in 2012 and it was mistakenly assumed—see the old brockett.info website—that Herbert Charles was a 9th and last child of the immigrants William and Amy TOOKEY Brockett, as opposed to actually being the eldest son of their eldest son. The assumption was based on the date given of Herbert Thomas’ birth—1872—only 3 years after Charles Thomas b 1869, William and Amy’s 8th child—and also because one of Herbert Charles’ daughters was named Amy Tooky. But as we now know, this assumption was mistaken. Two of the children—Agnes and Amy Tooky—haven’t so far been confirmed in other records, nor the dates of birth of Zema and Lily, nor indeed the precise date of birth of Herbert Charles.
Herbert Charles Brockett was born c 1872-3, Cape Colony.31 His distinctive signature is on the DC of son in 1901:
On 19 Dec 1895 Herbert Charles Brockett, aged 23, Salesman of Port Elizabeth, was initiated into membership of the Freemason Lodge of Good Hope (affiliated to the United Grand Lodge of England), excluded n.p.d. 31 Dec 1908.32 He was alive 1921.33 His death certificates said he died 13 Jan 1939 of Bacillary Dysentery, at Elizabeth Donkin Hospital, PE, aged 66 / 67, was married, occupation Time Keeper National Roads Gamtoos, residence 20 Arthur St, Sydenham, Port Elizabeth, to be buried in South End Cemetery, Port Elizabeth.34 The death certificates gave no details of wife or children. On “3 Jan 1898 in Richmond, H C Brockett married E F MORTIMER“.35 She was listed as “Ellen Florence Brockett, born Mortimer, married to Herbert Brockett, of Port Elizabeth” in her father’s probate papers in Grahamstown 1924 (along with 8 siblings).36 Ellen died 9 May 1948 of Myocardial Failure due to influenza, old age, aged 74 [i.e. b c 1878], at home at 14 Raleigh St, Port Elizabeth, occupation Domestic Duties, to be buried in South End Cemetery, Port Elizabeth.37 Her probate certificate said she died 9 May 1948, aged 74, at home at 14 Raleigh St, Port Elizabeth, occupation Domestic Duties, was the Widow of Herbert Charles Brockett, died 13 Jan 1939, and listed 3 children, all majors: Zema Florence Pettitt (born Brockett), Lily Alexandra Tandy (born Brockett), Olive Joyce Brockett, spinster; Z F Pettitt, daughter signed.38 Children 2 sons, 6 daughters:
- Zema Florence Brockett, b c 1899; married 24 Mar 1921 Robert Charles Aubrey PETTITT after Banns at 34 Cape Rd, Port Elizabeth, by Special License by a Baptist minister, she aged 22, Spinster, he aged 24, Bachelor, Bookkeeper, both residing Port Elizabeth; signatures of both.39 She was alive 1949.40
- Baden Edward Brockett, b 18 Jan 1900, d 28 Jan 1900 Port Elizabeth, aged 10 days, of Cervical Meningitis, Syncope, child of Herbert Charles Brockett, Manager Rudge Whitworth Ld., residing Cape Rd, Port Elizabeth, buried in St Georges Park, Port Elizabeth.41 The birth notice in the South African magazine 3 Mar 1900: “BROCKETT, Mrs. H. C., Port Elizabeth, January 18, a son”,42 will have been for Baden Edward.
- Ronald Mortimer Brockett, b 24 Dec 1900, died 24 Oct 1901 PE aged 10 months of Broncho-pneumonia, Cardiac Failure, child of Herbert Charles Brockett, Manager Rudge Whitworths Cycle Company, residing 40 Cape Rd, Port Elizabeth, buried in South End Cemetery, Port Elizabeth.43
- Lily Alexandra Brockett, b 1902 (?), married Frank TANDY.44 She was alive 16 Mar 1950 when she and sister Zema consented to Robert Charles Aubrey PETTITT being appointed executor to the estate of sister Olive Joyce, signatures of both Zema and Lily.45 Death notice for “Lily TANDY (nee Brockett), passed away Sunday, September 9, 1984. Wife of Frank and mother of …”.46
- ? Agnes Brockett. Died young? Not apparently alive 1949.47
- Amy Tookey Brockett, b c 1906 Cape Province, died 19 Oct 1919, aged 13, Scholar, of Chronic Nephritis, at home at 20 Sowers Road Port Elizabeth, to be buried in South End Cemetery.48
- Ellen Margaret Brockett, b Jun 1909, PE, of Pancras St, Sydenham, Port Elizabeth, died at the Provincial Hospital, PE, 31 Jan 1911, aged 19 months, of Convulsions, Cardiac Failure, to be buried in South End Cemetery, Port Elizabeth.49 No parents were mentioned.
- Olive Joyce Brockett, b 1911, d 3 Oct 1949, aged 38, Spinster, at Fort England Hospital, Grahamstown, Albany, of Broncho Pneumonia Paralysis.50
- Lizzie Edith Tookey Brockett, b Jul 1873.51 Called “Lily (or Lizzie)” on mother’s probate record. Lizzie Edith Tookey Brockett married Alexander WEDDELL 24 Jun 1902 Queen St Baptist Church, Port Elizabeth, after Banns, she aged 28 [i.e. b c 1874], Spinster, residing PE, he 30, Bachelor, Manager of Store, residing Cala; signatures of both, and of [sister] Ethel Brockett as witness.52 She was alive 1921.53 Lizzie Edith Tookey Weddell, born Brockett, Widowed, Housewife, died 19 May 1929 of Influenza, Pleurisy, Thrombo-Phlebitis and Embolism, at home 56 Mackay St, PE, aged 55 yrs 10 mnths, to be buried in South End Cemetery, PE.54 Her Estate Papers are in the archive of the Supreme Court, Cape Town.55 Mother of 3 children.56
- William Edward Brockett, 1876-1958. Born 4 Sep 1876.57 Married 15 Apr 1903 Mary STUART of Uitenhage, by Special Licence in the Wesleyan Church, Uitenhage parish, Uitenhage District, he aged 26 [i.e. b c 1877], Bachelor, Merchant, she 24 [i.e. b c 1877], Spinster, both residing Uitenhage, by consent of own mothers; signatures of both.58 This was his:
The same year, 1903, William Edward obtained a mortgage for a property in Uitenhage, a few miles NW of Port Elizabeth: “Mortgage Bond. Mortgage for William Edward Brockett 3 Nov 1903 from William Henry Dalley and William Henry Phillipson for £600, interest payable ½ yearly on 30 Jun and 30 Dec @ 6% p a for a property measuring 34 square roods and 66 square feet in Baird at the Corner of Baird and Billsin Streets, Uitenhage”.59 He signed his mother’s DC in 1921. “William Edward Brockett, Married, Business Proprietor, died 18 Aug 1958, of Coronary Thrombosis, at home at 11 Park Ave, Uitenhage, aged 81, born 4 Sep 1876, to be buried in Jubilee Park, Uitenhage.”60 His probate record gave his occupation as Sports Outfitter, his surviving spouse as Mary Brockett (born Stuart), and that he was father of 3 children: Roma Stuart WICKS (born Brockett), Walter Rodney Brockett, Barrymore Eratos Brockett; signed by Barrymore—judging by Barrymore’s signature on his marriage certificate.61 Mary Brockett, Widow, Retired, born 1 Aug 1878, died 1 Mar 1971, residing Red Cross Home, Walmer, PE, mother of 3 children: Walter Rodney Brockett, Roma Stuart WICKS (born Brockett), Barrymore Eratos Brockett; signed either by Barrymore again or possibly by Walter Rodney.62 3 children:
- Roma Stuart Brockett, born Uitenhage 30 Mar 1904, died Uitenhage 10 Oct 1984.63 Married Edward Charles WICKS. He died Uitenhage 11 Feb 1971, Occupation Bank Pensioner, of 11 Park Avenue, Uitenhage, Married to Roma Stuart WICKS.64 1 son.65
- Walter Rodney Brockett, born Uitenhage 4 Dec 1911, died 6 Oct 1973.66 Married 1st 17 Jan 1941 Willeerie (Valerie) Johanna GOEDHALS, by Special Licence in the Potchefstroom Methodist Church, Potchefstroom, Transvaal, he aged 29, Bachelor, Soldier, residing Potchefstroom Artillery Camp, she 31 [i.e. b c 1910], Spinster, Teacher, residing 13 Barkly St, Uitenhage, both born Cape Province, by own consent; signatures of both.67 “Valerie Johanna Brockett born Goedhals, Married, Housewife, died 28 Mar 1963, aged 53, in St Josephs Hospital, PE, of Malignant Astrocytoma of the Brain, Coma for 3 months, Hypostatic Pneumonia, resident of 13 Park Ave, Uitenhage, to be buried in Jubilee Park, Uitenhage.”68 2 daughters, 1 son.69 He married 2nd Eudore ?CHOWLES.70
- Roma Brockett, b Uitenhage 11 Oct 1943, twin.71 Married Uitenhage 7 Oct 1967 Stafford Francis DUNN. Both deceased. 2 sons.72
- Mary Brockett, b Uitenhage 11 Oct 1943, twin.73 Married Uitenhage 21 Jan 1967 Roy Adrian van der BIJL. Death notice 30 Oct 2012 for “Mary van der Bilj (nee Brockett), wife of the late Roy, mother to … Funeral service to be held at St Peters Anglican Church, Plettenberg Bay”.74 1 son 1 daughter.75
- Barrymore Eratos Brockett, b 2 Jan 1920 Uitenhage.76 (His maternal grandfather was Eratosthenes STUART from Scotland.77) Barrymore Eratos Brockett married Helena Amy BORHERDS 10 Dec 1949 in St Peter’s Church, Mossel Bay, Cape Province, after Banns, by their own consent, he aged 29, Bachelor, Accountant, residing Uitenhage, she 24, Spinster, Teacher, residing Mossel Bay (half way between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth), both born in Cape Province; signatures of both.78 Barrymore Eratos Brockett, Retired, of 24 De Wet Avenue, Mosel, Uitenhage, born 2 Jan 1920, died 29 Sep 1981, Port Elizabeth, father of 1 daughter and 1 son; signed by surviving spouse H A Brockett.79 “Helena Amy Brockett passed away on Sunday, August 2, 1992 in Cape Town. Mother of Margaret and Stuart and granny of Mark, Gavin, Barry and Warren … Memorial service at St Katherine’s Anglican Church, Uitenhage”.80 1 daughter, 1 son.81
- Florence May Brockett, b 7 Nov 1879, one of twins, died 18 Jun 1880 aged 7 months 11 days.82 The other twin was probably Ernest Evelyn.
- Ernest Evelyn Brockett. According to Seaton Mulder, he was born 7 May 1880,83 however this was 7 months after the birth of Florence May,84 who was his likely twin. Ernest Evelyn was a Trooper in the colonial Eastern Province Horse Regiment in the South African War (aka Anglo-Boer War) of 1899-1902, and was selected to go to England to receive a presentation banner on behalf of the Regiment.85 See also Other South African Brokets below. He “married 2 Oct 1901 Victoria Rubel SMITH in the Wilsondale Baptist Church, South End, Port Elizabeth, after Banns, he aged 23, Bachelor, Harbour Board Clerk, she 22, Spinster, both residing Port Elizabeth”, signatures of both.86 She was born 11 Jun 1880 in Armagh, Ireland.87 “Victoria Rubel Brockett nee Smith, aged 22 [i.e. b c 1880], died 3 Oct 1902 at Alfred Rd, PE, Married (L1), cause of death a) Child Birth b) Scarlet Fever, c) Pue[r]peral Fever, to be buried in South End Cemetery, Port Elizabeth”, with a note at the bottom saying she had had one child, signed by Ernest Evelyn Brockett, husband, present at death.88 the “(L1)” for Victoria probably meant 1 living child, so it is possible that this following marriage in 1923 was of her daughter; no other parents for her are currently known:
? “Beryl Mona Victoria Brockett b 1902-3. Married 24 Jul 1923 Richard Frank SMITH in the Gardens Presbyterian Church, Cape Town, by Licence, consent from the Chief Justice, he aged 34, Bachelor, Mechanical Engineer, residing Capetown, she aged 20, Spinster, residing Port Elizabeth”, signatures of both.89 Beryl Mona Victoria apparently married again, as her death certificate has: “Beryl Mona Victoria CAULFIELD born Brockett, aged 50 [i.e. b c 1902], married, born Cape Province, Domestic Duties, died 17 Oct 1952 at home at Yeoville, Grahamstown Rd, Port Elizabeth, cause of death Rupture of aorta due to chronic atherosclerosis following a motor accident, to be buried in South End Cemetery, Port Elizabeth”.90
“Ernest Evelyn Brockett married 5 Dec 1903 Gladys IMPEY in St Cuthbert’s Church, Port Elizabeth, after Banns, both of full age, he a Widower, Harbour Board Works, she a Spinster, both residing Port Elizabeth”, signatures of both.91 “Ernest died on 24 Jul 1907, aged 27, Married 2L, Clerk Commercial, of 3 Alfred Terrace, PE, of Acute Lobar Pneumonia and Cardiac Failure, at the Provincial Hospital, PE, to be buried in South End Cemetery”.92 Did the “2L” mean 2 living children, like the “L1” probably meant 1 living child for Victoria? “Gladys Brockett nee Impey died 17 Dec 1951, aged 70 [i.e. b c 1881], Widow, Home Duties, of 44 Bellevue Street Gardens Cape Town, of Hypertension and Broncho Pneumonia, at Groote Schuur Hospital, no children mentioned, to be cremated at Ulait land Crematorium”.93 A note on Ernest’s death certificate corrects the number of his children to “Two”, but no record has currently been found for a child of Ernest and Gladys, who was living in 1907.
- Ethel Jane Brockett, b 28 Jun 1882. Married 27 Jul 1910 Percy BURGESS in Holy Trinity Church, Port Elizabeth, after Banns, he aged 28, Bachelor, Draper, she aged 28, Spinster, both residing Port Elizabeth, signatures of both, and of [brother] Herbert C Brockett as a witness.94 died 21 Apr 1942 in Port Elizabeth.95 Ethel died 29 May 1970, and was buried in South End Cemetery, Port Elizabeth.96 No issue.97
2nd son of William and Amy, b 1851 Bassingbourn.98 This report in the Queenstown Free Press of Nov 24 1871 would have been about William, aged 20 at the time:
“SERIOUS ACCIDENT. – A young farmer, named William BROCKETT, met with a very unfortunate accident on Wednesday afternoon. He was coming to town from Kraggakama, with a load of forage. In jumping out of the wagon with his whip, to steady himself he laid hold of one of the sheaves, which, giving away, caused him to over balance and fall under the wheel which passed over his chest, inflicting very severe internal injuries. He was immediately conveyed home, and Dr.THOM was sent for, who proceeded out to the farm the same evening, and remained all night with the patient. We understand he gives very little hope of the young man’s recovery”.99
He must have recovered as on 30 Jun 1886 he married Annie RUSSELL at the Bride’s Home in Buffelsfontein, Port Elizabeth, both of full age residing Buffelsfontein, he a Bachelor and a Farmer, she a Spinster, signatures of both and also of [his younger brother] Walter Brockett.100 This was William’s:
William Brockett died 1 Jun 1898 in Uitenhage, Cape Colony, South Africa, recorded as a Gardener, of Caledon St, Uitenhage, aged 52 [actually 47], of heart failure, buried in the Congregational Church Cemetery.101 Uitenhage, Eastern Cape Province, was c 36 km NW of the centre of Port Elizabeth. myheritage.com confused this William who died 1898 with his father William who died in 1901.102 A widow in 1918 Annie inherited 37 Sherlock St from her sister Ellen.103 Annie Brockett, of 37 Sherlock St, Widow, died 8 Jun 1933, aged 78, at 79 Kirkwood Street Port Elizabeth, informant A A DYMOND, daughter; names of children: Amy Annie DYMOND, born Brockett, Widow; Emily Elizabeth WILLIAMS, born Brockett, Widow; Edith Maud BAKER, born Brockett, wife of Norman BAKER; Constance Dorcas HEATH, born Brockett, wife of James HEATH; William Arthur Brockett; Alfred Stanley Brockett.104 On William’s death in 1898, the 4 daughters—aged between 7 and 11—stayed with their mother, but the 2 infant sons, William aged 4 and Alfred aged 3, were placed in Nazareth House Orphanage, Port Elizabeth, where they stayed and when they reached 12 started work in Port Elizabeth.105
William and Annie had the following 4 daughters and 2 sons—there were 8 years between the births of their 1st and last child:
- Amy Annie Brockett, b 5 Aug 1887 Port Elizabeth, married William DYMOND 24 Dec 1916 Port Elizabeth, North End Congregational Church, Port Elizabeth, he aged 44, Bachelor, Clicker, of Kirkwood St, PE, she 30, Spinster, of Cawood St, PE; signatures of both and perhaps of mother.106 William Dymond died 14 Jun 1932, survivor Amy Annie Dymond born Brockett.107 Amy was a Widow by 1933, when she signed her mother’s DC. Amy Annie Dymond born Brockett died 20 Jun 1973.108 It’s possible that Amy Annie was the mother of:
? Doris May Brockett b c 1912. Married 30 Jan 1943 John Alexander GRANT in Port Elizabeth, by Special Licence #97896, by their own consent, she aged 31, b Cape, Spinster, Soldier (WAAF), he aged 30, b Transvaal, Bachelor, Soldier, both residing 35 Stebonheath Rd, Port Elizabeth, signatures of both and of L W Dymond as one of the witnesses—his signature looks the same as W Dymond’s on Amy Annie’s marriage certificate.109
- Emily Elizabeth Brockett, b 10 Oct 1888 Port Elizabeth, married Walter Clement WILLIAMS 26 Dec 1916 Queen St Baptist Church, Port Elizabeth, he aged 27, Bachelor, Storeman S.A.R., she 28, Spinster, both residing PE; signatures of both.110 Widow by 1933.111
- Edith Maude Brockett, b 10 Feb 1890 Port Elizabeth, married Norman John BAKER 2 Mar 1917 Queen St Baptist Church, Port Elizabeth, he aged 28, Bachelor, Produce Clerk, she 26, Spinster, both residing PE; signatures of both.112 Maude died 8 Oct 1975 Johannesburg, Transvaal.113 2 daughters.114
- Constance Dorcas ‘Connie‘ Brockett, b 31 Aug 1891 Port Elizabeth. Married James Edward Francis HEATH 1 Sep 1908 St Paul’s Church, Port Elizabeth, he aged 22, Bachelor, Storeman, of Zwartkops St, PE, she 17 [i.e. b c 1891], Spinster, of Lavinia St, PE; signatures of both and of witness E Brockett (sister?) and “with consent of Annie Brockett Mother”.115 Constance Heath born Brockett died 4 Apr 1955, at her home at 7 Arthur St, Port Elizabeth. of Congestive Cardiac Failure, aged 63 [i.e. b c 1892], birthplace Cape Province, occupation Domestic Duties, to be buried in North End Cemetery, PE.116 1 daughter.117
- William Arthur “Bill” Brockett 1894-1964. This was his signature in 1955 on the MC of his daughter Constance:
Bill was born 14 Jun 1894 in Uitenhage, near PE.118 His father William died in 1898 when he was 4 and he and his younger brother Alfred were placed in Nazareth House Orphanage, Port Elizabeth, where they stayed and when they reached 12 started work in Port Elizabeth.119 “Apparently he qualified as a Plumber, Drainlayer and Sheet Metal worker and soon headed north into the country in search of greener pastures. On the train he met my grandmother, who was a divorcee with one son Tim Marais. They went on to get married, much to the disappointment of his parents as Florence was a divorcee. They got married in PE where my father, George William was born”.120 Records below suggest that Florence was more likely a Widow, but indeed had a son Tim, and son George William’s marriage certificate says he was born in Cape Province c 1924.
Between 1924 and 1926 at the latest Bill was in Harrismith, Orange Free State—the first record found of him there was the birth of his and his wife Florence Maud EDWARDS MAREE‘s first daughter Elizabeth Helen on 22 Oct 1926.121 As of 20 Jan 2022 little was known of Florence,122 but baptismal records found since show that she, her siblings and her parents were from Harrismith town. On 7 Jan 1917 Florence EDWARDS was a witness to the baptism at Harrismith St John the Baptist of Alexander, son of William and Matilda MILL of Harrismith.123 Harrismith marriage records have not been found online,124 but less than 20 months later Florence had married, evidenced by the “birth of Gerthardus Caspardus MAREE on 13 Sep 1918 recorded in Harrismith town, son of Paul Bester and Florence MAREE, witnessed by George EDWARDS, Albert W TAYLOR and Elizabeth M TAYLOR.”125 (A marginal note written by the Rector said “The name Timothy taken as a 3rd name at Confirmation on Oct 29 1933.” This tallies with Louis’ information about son Tim, above.) But then one month later on 13 Oct 1918 Paul Bester MAREE of Harrismith died at home in Harrismith, described as “Engine Driver, married to Florence MAREE (born EDWARDS), father of Gerhardus Casparus MAREE, b 14 Sep 1918, probate record signed by F Maree, present at death:126
The ‘F’ in her signature here in 1918 was the same as in her later signatures as F Brockett, for instance in 1947:127
The baptisms of Bill and Florence’s next 3 children after Elizabeth Helen were recorded in Harrismith, but those of their youngest 4 children weren’t.128
On 20 Jun 1927 “William Arthur Brockett, a Plumber of Harrismith, applied for the Surrender of his Estate as Insolvent … due to inability to find work for a considerable period”,129 his signature is on the pages. Notice of intention to surrender was published in the Gazette of 10 Jun 1927 and the Harrismith Chronicle of 11 Jun 1927. However within 2 years—by 29 May 1929—he had resumed his trade as Plumber when his daughter Emerentia was baptised in Harrismith. At some point William Arthur left Harrismith for Ladysmith, Natal (c 85 km SE of Harrismith) where he died on 15 Dec 1964 in the “Provincial Hospital of a Cerebral Haemorrhage, aged 70, Married, occupation Plumber, address 102 Illing Rd, Ladysmith, to be buried in the General Cemetery, Ladysmith, informant J Corrigall & Co Ltd”.130 Florence was recorded residing ‘Mintams’, Ladysmith, in Jul 1956, see below. Confusingly, William Arthur’s death record places Ladysmith in “Kliprivier District”; Klip River, Natal, is c 186 km NW of Harrismith and 40 km S of Johannesburg. The record said he was married when he died, so Florence may have lived beyond 1964, but a death record has not yet been found. The following children are known—2 sons and 6 daughters—the order of the later ones is uncertain:
- George William Brockett. No birth or baptism record has yet been found. “He married 8 Feb 1947 Alice Constance SCHNYMANN in Harrismith, he aged 23, born in Cape Province [c 1924], Bachelor, Tin Smith, she aged 17 [i.e. b c 1930] born Natal, Spinster, Clerk Chronicle Kantoor, both residing Harrismith, race of both White; signatures of both, and of witnesses F Brockett and W Osthuizen, plus “permit of mother submitted”.131 This was his signature:
The witness F Brockett’s signature is the same as that of the witness in various records, e.g. for George William’s brother Alfred Stanley’s marriage in 1953, below. No further record has so far been found of George or Alice,132 but they had 5 children, including 1 son and 1 daughter who are still living:133
- George William Brockett, died before Jun 2022. 1 son Christopher, also died before Jun 2022.
- “Stanley Alfred Brockett of 72 Percy St, Harrismith, died aged 6 months 24 Sep 1950 in the Hospital, Harrismith, of Heart Failure (Myocardial) and Gastro-enteritis, parent or guardian F M Brockett, to be buried in the Cemetery, Harrismith”.134 F M Brockett was his grandmother. 72 Percy St was where Alfred Stanley Brockett—George William’s younger brother—was living in 1953.
- Timothy Wesley Brockett, married Magda KELBRICK. He died before Jun 2022. 2 daughters, 1 son.
- “Elizabeth Helen Brockett, b 22 Oct 1926 Harrismith, bap Harrismith St John the Baptist, 18 May 1927, daughter of William Arthur, Plumber, and Florence, the witnesses were Annie Elizabeth VALENTINE, Elizabeth Magdalena EDWARDS and John Otto William VALENTINE”.135 The 1938 Harrismith probate record of Elizabeth Magdalena Van SCHALKWYK EDWARDS recorded her 5 children: Elizabeth TAYLOR, Florence BROCKETT, George Henry EDWARDS, Annie Elizabeth VALENTINE, and William Thomas EDWARDS.136 Most of these appear as witnesses to Florence BROCKETT’s siblings’ baptisms, for instance the same Elizabeth M EDWARDS, John O VALENTINE and Annie I VALENTINE were witnesses to the baptism at Harrismith St John the Baptist, of Sylvia Dorothy EDWARDS, daughter of William Thomas and Johanna Jasmine EDWARDS 22 May 1928;137 Florence BROCKETT, William Thomas EDWARDS and Joe Lister VALENTIN were witnesses to the baptism at Harrismith St John the Baptist, of the son of John Otto William and Annie Isabella VALENTIN 25 Jul 1926;138 and Elizabeth J VALENTINE, and C Jacob VALENTINE were witnesses to the baptism at Harrismith St John the Baptist, on 20 Jan 1929 of Edith Elizabeth daughter of John Otto William and Annie Isabella VALENTINE.139
“Elizabeth Helen Brockett married Emil PORTER-SMITH 9 Aug 1944, in the Full Gospel Church, Harrismith, after Banns, with consent of parents, he aged 21, Bachelor, born in Transvaal, Soldier, residing QSJC Sonderwater, she 18, Spinster, residing Mauritz St, Harrismith, born in Orange Free State; signatures of both”.140 A 1952 Transvaal divorce case listed Emil Porter-Smith versus Elizabeth Helen Porter-Smith (born Brockett).141 1 son, 1 daughter.
- “Emerentia Nerena Brockett, b 19 ?Jan 1929, Harrismith, bap Harrismith St John the Baptist, 29 May 1929, daughter of William Arthur, Plumber, and Florence”; apart from the parents the witness was William Thomas EDWARDS, probably a relative of Florence (born Edwards).142 Her pet Amy (Tookey) Brockett (abt. 1821 – 1884)name was Barbara or Babs. “Emmarencia Nerienie Brockett married David Jacobus BOYCE 18 Aug 1945, Volle Evangeliekerk Harrismith, he aged 21, Bachelor, Loodgieter (Plumber), she 16, Spinster, Huisfrau, both of Mauritz St, Harrismith, and born in Orange Free State; signatures of both, and of [father] W A Brockett”.143 It seems that in 1946 Emmarencia Naurienie Boyce (born Brockett), born 19 Nov 1928 [1929 in the register, see above] was accepted into membership of the Netherdutch Reformed Church in East London, however her entry was crossed out and the following written underneath, “Erased from the register after written resignation accepted by the church council 26 Nov 47”.144 2 daughters and 2 or 3 sons.
- “Florence Maud Brockett, b 5 Mar 1930 Harrismith, bap Harrismith St John the Baptist, 14 Jun 1930, daughter of Florence and William Arthur, Plumber, apart from the parents the witness was Minnie du PLESSIS”.145 Her pet name was Millicent. Florence Maud married Evert Phillipus Kleynhans (1922-79),146 and died 2 Nov 2010.147 1 son, 3 daughters.
- “Alfred Stanley Brockett, b 10 Mar 1933 Harrismith, bap Harrismith St John the Baptist, 16 Mar 1933, son of William Arthur, Plumber, and Florence, witnesses Albert George TAYLOR, Minnie du PLESSIS”.148 His pet name was Jock. “Alfred Stanley Brockett married Magdalena Jacoba BOTHA 16 May 1953 in Ladysmith, he aged 21, Bachelor, Loodgieter (Plumber), she 19, Spinster, Home Duties, both born Orange Free State, race of both White, both of 72 Percy St, Harrismith; signatures of both and of witness F Brockett [mother], permit of father submitted”.149 “Magdalena Jacoba Brokket (born Botha) married in community of property with Jockie Brokket” was the 5th of the 9 children listed in the probate record of her mother Maria Catharina BOTHA, who died in Newcastle, Natal, 27 Mar 1956.150 It isn’t known when Alfred Stanley and Lenie died, but they had 7 sons and 6 daughters, mostly still living in and around Durban, KwaZulu Natal, including:151
- William, died before Jun 2022. 1 son.
- Kennith, died before Jun 2022. No children.
- Coral Meldred Brockett, pet name Bubbles. No birth or baptism record has yet been found. She “married 5 Jan 1952 Roy PRINSLOO in Ladysmith, Klip River District, Natal, he aged 23, Bachelor, Platelayer, she aged 17 [i.e. b c 1935] born Orange Free State, Spinster, Domestic Duties, both residing 24 Alfred St, Ladysmith, race of both European, married by consent of her father; signatures of both”.152 In Jul 1956 Coral Mildred Prinsloo (born Brockett), of 15 Poort Rd, Ladysmith, gave birth to a premature daughter, Isabella Maria Prinsloo, who died after 6 days, informant: F Brockett, grandmother of deceased, residing ‘Mintams’, Ladysmith, signed.153 A 1964 Transvaal divorce case listed Roy Prinsloo versus Coral Mildred Prinsloo (born Brockett).154 2 surviving daughters and 1 son.
- Constance Joyce Brockett, pet name Squibbs. No birth or baptism record has yet been found. She “married 5 Mar 1955 Desmond Christopher BRYANT in Ladysmith, Klip River District, Natal, he aged 24, Bachelor, Bricklayer, she aged 19 [i.e. b c 1936] born Harrismith, Spinster, Home Duties, both residing 41 Keate St, Ladysmith, race of both White; signatures of both, and of witnesses W A Brockett [her father] and M Munger“.155 2 sons and 2 daughters.
- Shirley Louisa Brockett. No birth or baptism record has yet been found. She “married 19 Apr 1958 Hary Gordon MUNGER in Ladysmith, Klip River District, Natal, he aged 22, Bachelor, Mechanic, Central Motors, Ladysmith, she aged 19 [b 4 May 1938] born Harrismith, Spinster, Assistant Clerk, Ladysmith Dry Cleaners, both residing 3 Princess St, Ladysmith; signatures of both, and of witness D Bryant” [brother in law].156 3 daughters.
- George William Brockett. No birth or baptism record has yet been found. “He married 8 Feb 1947 Alice Constance SCHNYMANN in Harrismith, he aged 23, born in Cape Province [c 1924], Bachelor, Tin Smith, she aged 17 [i.e. b c 1930] born Natal, Spinster, Clerk Chronicle Kantoor, both residing Harrismith, race of both White; signatures of both, and of witnesses F Brockett and W Osthuizen, plus “permit of mother submitted”.131 This was his signature:
- Alfred Stanley Brockett, b 18 Dec 1895 Uitenhage. (Not to be confused with his namesake nephew, b 1933.) As mentioned above, after their father William died in 1898 Alfred and his older brother were placed in Nazareth House Orphanage, Port Elizabeth.157 “Alfred Stanley Brockett married Elizabeth Violet Doris GAINSFORD 26 Dec 1921, St Paul’s Church, Port Elizabeth, he aged 26, Bachelor, Clicker in Boot trade, of 37 Sherlock St, PE, she 20, Spinster, of 89 Mackey St, PE; signatures of both; parental consent just for Elizabeth”.158 37 Sherlock St was his mother Annie’s home, so he was apparently in contact with her then. This was his signature at the time:
And this is said to be a photo of him in later life:159
A 1962 Transvaal divorce case listed Elizabeth Violet Doris Brockett (born Gainsford) versus Alfred Stanley Brockett.160 She married 2nd: Richard Henry Francis BAKER (1905-75), also formerly divorced. Richard’s estate papers show he had 4 children from his 1st marriage, and none from the marriage of his surviving spouse [Elizabeth GAINSFORD].161 She died 1 Jul 1984 Nigel, Transvaal.162 Not much has been found on Stanley thereafter. One unsupported source gave his occupation as Tin Smith, like his nephew George.163 Stanley died 9 Nov 1986 Boksburg, Transvaal,164 which is c 66 km S of Pretoria and c 260 km N of Harrismith. Two children known:
“Florence Elizabeth Doris Brockett, born 21 May 1922, baptised 4 Jun 1922 in the Anglican Church, Parish of Mafeking, Kimberley, Cape Province, parents Alfred Stanley and Elizabeth Violet Doris Brockett of Port Elizabeth, he in the Boot Trade, sponsors Dolly and George CRAWFORD”.165 “Florence Elizabeth Doris Brockett died 9 Aug 1922 of Influenza and Convulsions, aged two and a half months, no parents mentioned, at 7 Palmerston St PE, to be buried in North End Cemetery PE, born Cape Province, European”.166
Doreen Mavis Brockett, b 12 Dec 1923 Port Elizabeth.167 She “married first 31 Jul 1943 Jack Martin MULDER, St Saviour’s Church, Walmer, Port Elizabeth City, after Banns, he aged 20, Bachelor, On Active Service, she aged 19, Spinster, Ledger Clerk, both born Cape Province, he residing SANF, Port Elizabeth, she residing ‘Argyle’, Port Elizabeth, signatures of both, by consent of fathers”.168 One known child. They divorced and “Doreen Mavis Mulder (born Brockett) married Robert Laurence TITLEY 16 Aug 1958 Boksburg, Transvaal; he a Bachelor, b 6 Oct 1927 Benoni, occupation Operator, she divorced, b 12 Dec 1923 Port Elizabeth; both residing 260 Stanbury Rd, Boksburg South”.169 She died 28 Apr 2000 Benoni, Transvaal.170
3rd surviving son of William and Amy, b 19 Sep 1855 Bassingbourn.171 “Married 7 Jun 1881 Louisa NEWTON in the Wesleyan Chapel, Port Elizabeth, after Banns, both of full age residing Port Elizabeth, he a Bachelor, Storeman, she a Spinster; signatures of both”, and a slightly smudged one of William Brockett—his brother, as signed on his own marriage record in 1886—as one of the witnesses.172 This was his signature:
Arthur was a Storeman with Savage and Sons, Rock St, Port Elizabeth and in 1882 was in Mitchell St.173 “Louisa Brockett died 3 Apr 1891, aged 35 years 7 months, at her house, South End, Port Elizabeth, and was buried in South End Cemetery, she had 3 minor children, Arthur Norman Brockett, Henry Elliott Brockett and Beatrice Louisa Brockett, signed by husband Arthur Brockett”.174 Children:
- Arthur Norman Brockett, b 1882.175 “Married 2 May 1906 Florence Elizabeth FREEMAN in the Wesleyan Methodist Church, Pier St, Port Elizabeth, after Banns, he aged 23, Bachelor, Clerk, she 20, Spinster, both residing Port Elizabeth; signatures of both, and of [sister] Beatrice Louisa Brockett as one of the witnesses”.176 “Arthur Norman Brockett died 12 Dec 1934 at home 7th Avenue, Walmer, Uitenhage, aged 52, Married, Manager Jagger & Co, PE, of Pulmonary tuberculosis and Concurrent Ulceration of throat, to be buried in South End Cemetery, Port Elizabeth”.177 His probate record gave his occupation as Accountant, nationality as British, his parents both deceased, his surviving spouse as Florence Elizabeth Brockett, who signed and was present at the death at ‘Brockwood’, Walmer, and one adult child Iris Minnie.178 “Florence Elizabeth Brockett died 30 Mar 1963, aged 77, born in England, Widow, Old Age Pensioner, of Terminal Broncho-pneumonia, in Fort England Hospital, Grahamstown, and was buried in South End Cemetery, Port Elizabeth”.179 Child:
- Henry Elliott Brockett, b 3 Jan 1886,183 bap 14 Feb 1886. “Henry Elliot Brockett died 4 Dec 1905 at home, 36 Rock St, Port Elizabeth, aged 20 (Has resided in S.A. all his life), Single, Apprentice (Carpenter), of Phthisis Pulmonalis, to be buried in South End Cemetery, Port Elizabeth; signature of brother Arthur Norman Brockett of 36 Rock St, present at death”.184
- Beatrice Louisa Brockett, b 18 Oct 1887, bap in Methodist Parish, Port Elizabeth 16 Nov 1887.185 Signed as witness to brother Arthur Norman’s marriage 1906. “Married 19 Jan 1910 Ernest BRADBURY in the Wesleyan Methodist Church, Grahamstown, Albany, Cape Province, after Banns, she 22, Spinster, he 30, Bachelor, Mason, both residing Grahamstown; signatures of both”.186 “Beatrice Louisa Bradbury born Brockett died 9 Mar 1953 at home, Stones Hill, Grahamstown, aged 65, Married, Home Duties, of a Cerebral Haemorrhage, to be buried in the Old Cemetery, Grahamstown”.187 1 daughter known.
Arthur married 2nd “23 Mar 1894 Eliza BAGSHAW in the house of Mr Brockett in Port Elizabeth by the Wesleyan Minister, after Banns, both of full age residing Port Elizabeth, he Widower, Storeman, she Widow; signatures of both and of [brother] A J Brockett as one of the witnesses”.188 “Arthur Brockett, Storeman, Married, aged 42, b Cambridgeshire, son of William Brockett and Amy Brockett (born Tookey), died 16 Apr 1895 at his residence 26 Rock St, Port Elizabeth, with the same 3 minor children as recorded for 1st wife Louisa above, signed by Eliza Brockett, surviving spouse.”189 Arthur Brocket’s death certificate added that he died of Phthisis, was a General Storeman in Rock St, and was buried in South End Cemetery, Port Elizabeth.190 “12 Mar 1906 Mortgage for Eliza Brockett born Pearson, Widow, from Reginald Vyvyan Dix Harper for £100, interest payable on 30 Jun and 31 Dec @ 7% p a for a property measuring 34 square roods and 104 square feet in the Town of Port Elizabeth on the south side of Baakens River”.191 “Eliza Brockett died 15 Jul 1919, aged 62, born Manchester, England, (parents’ names PEARSON, both deceased), Housewife, Widow of Arthur Brockett died Apr 1894 at home “Bungalow”, York St, Grahamstown, no children, signed by A N Brockett, stepson, present at place of death”.192 The death certificate added that her name was Eliza Brockett formerly Bagshaw born Rearson [sic], that she died of cancer of Uterus, was to be buried in New Cemetery and had had 2 children.193 1920 Eliza Brockett, born PEARSON: Liquidation and Distribution Account, mentioning Arthur Brockett.194
4th surviving son of William and Amy, Alfred James must have been the unnamed male infant on the 1861 permit above. His baptism record stated: “Name: Alfred Brockett; birth date 25 May 1861; baptism date: 5 Apr 1863 in the Methodist Church, South Africa; Parents: William and Amy Brockett”.195 Alfred’s 1950 Port Elizabeth death notice stated: “Alfred James Brockett; Birthplace and nationality: High seas, registered Stepney, British; Parents: William and Mary Brockett, both deceased; age 89 years 10 days; Retired Bookkeeper of 45 Mackay St, PE; Widower… died 4 Jun 1950″.196 Perhaps a ship’s officer registered his birth later on return to England, but it isn’t in the standard official birth registers. Perhaps it was the ship that was registered Stepney. In any case, deducting 89 years 10 days from 4 Jun 1950 confirms Alfred’s birth date of 25—perhaps 26—May 1861. In primary contemporary records his mother was recorded as Amy, but in this 1950 death notice and the family’s 1861 permit she was called Mary.
Together his death and baptism records confirm that he and his mother, at least, were on the high seas late May 1861.
Rev Stuart Brockett (1930-2020), grandson of Alfred James and who probably would have met him, said he was born on board ship in the Bay of Biscay 25 May 1861.197
“Alfred James Brockett married 13 Mar 1888 Edith Wareing GLOVER after Banns in Queen St Baptist Church, Port Elizabeth, he aged 26 [i.e. b c 1862], Bachelor, Butcher, she aged 24, Spinster, by mutual consent, both residing Port Elizabeth; not their signatures nor those of the 6 witnesses—3 Glovers and 3 Brocketts: William (father or brother) Walter (brother) and Mary Elizabeth” (an error? see below).198
Alfred “opened a butcher’s shop Jun 1891 in Port Elizabeth on the corner of Lansdowne Place and Campbell St, opposite A.Baldie’s Store”,199 and from at least 1896-1907 he was in business with his brother Charles Thomas as butchers under the name ‘Brockett Bros’. The following documents have been found:
1896: “Mortgage for Alfred James and Charles Thomas Brockett trading as ‘Brockett Brothers’ 12 May 1896 from Conrad Christian Silberbauer and Johannes Sellengrebel le Sueur for £650, interest payable on 30 Jun and 31 Dec @ 6% p a for a property measuring 8 square roods and 98 square feet in Campbell Street, Port Elizabeth”.200
1907-9: Insolvent liquidation files.201 Here are their signatures on the papers:
From 1908 Alfred and Edith were living at 76 Irvine St, and 1916-17 at 80 Irvine St.202
“Edith Wearing Brockett died 29 Mar 1933, aged 76, born Lancashire England, at home at 45 Mackay St, Port Elizabeth, occupation Bookkeeper, married to Alfred James Brockett [who signed present at the death], leaving 7 children, all majors: Sidney Walter Brockett, Alfred Haddon Brockett, Edith Winifred Wise, Nellie May Coppin, Ada Mary Fowlds, Ruby Olive Mildenhall, George Clifford Brockett”.203 “Alfred James died 4 Jun 1950, aged 89 years and 10 days, at home at 45 Mackay St, Port Elizabeth, occupation Retired Bookkeeper, widower of Edith Wareing Brockett, leaving 4 children, all majors: Sidney Walter Brockett, Nellie May Coppin (born Brockett), Ruby Olive Mildenhall (born Brockett), George Clifford Brockett; signature of Sidney Walter Brockett present at the death”.204 Alfred and Edith were buried in South End Cemetery, Port Elizabeth.205 Their Will is online.206 4 sons, 4 daughters:
- Alfred Haddon Brockett, b 18 Dec 1888,207 twin, but first son.208 “Married 10 Nov 1915 Alice RYDER in Troyeville Baptist Church, Johannesburg, after Banns, he aged 25, Bachelor, born PE, she aged 25, Spinster, born Bishop Monkton, England, both residing 10a Jacoba St, Troyeville; signatures of both and of S W Brockett (presumably his brother) as one witness”.209 “Alfred Haddon Brockett died 3 Aug 1945 of Coronary Thrombosis, at home at 46, Married Qrts, Consolidated Main Reef Mines and Estate Ltd, Maraisburg, Roodepoort, age 55, married, Storekeeper Mine Surface, to be buried in Braamfontein Crematorium, Johannesburg, informant A ? Brockett, signed, of 41 Bantjes Cottages, Florida, Roodepoort; probate signed by A Brockett, wife of deceased at Florida, gave his occupation as Chief Storekeeper”.210 Alfred’s Estate is recorded from 1976 in the Pretoria Supreme Court.211 2 children:212
- Kenneth Haddon Brockett, b c 1917. “Married 7 Jun 1941 Alicia Jane MULLEN after Banns in Benoni, Benoni District, Transvaal, he aged 24, Bachelor, Soldier, residing P.O. Modden East, she aged 21, Spinster, Book-Keeper, of 135 Howard Ave, by their own consent, both born Transvaal; signatures of both and of A H Brockett (presumably his father) as one witness”.213 No further record of Kenneth or Alicia found.214 1 daughter, 2 sons.215
- “Doreen Joyce Brockett, b 1 Nov 1919, bap Johannesburg All Saints and St Mary, 30 Sep 1936, daughter of Alfred Haddon and Alice Brockett, of 56, Married Qrs, Modden B, Gold Mine, Store-Keeper”.216 “Married 8 Aug 1942 Ronald George Mc ELROY in Benoni, Benoni District, Transvaal, by the Methodist minister, he aged 23, Bachelor, Electrician, of 73 Moddee East, Gold Mine, Benoni, she 22, Spinster, Clerk, of 46, Consolidated Main Reef, Gold Mine, Maraisburg, Roodepoort, both born Transvaal, by Special Licence #93197; signatures of both and of A H Brockett (presumably her father) as one witness”.217 2 sons, 2 daughters.218
- Sidney Walter Brockett, b 18 Dec 1888, twin. “Married 1st 19 Apr 1916 Jessie Rachel GREEN in Troyeville Baptist Church, Johannesburg, he aged 27, Bachelor, born PE, of 16 Jacoba St, Troyeville, she aged 27, Spinster, born Johannesburg, of 69a Crown St, Fairview, Johannesburg, by their own consent; signatures of both”.219 “Jessie Rachael Brockett (born Green) died 28 Aug 1925 of Exhaustion, Collapse, delirium, Heart Failure, Homestead Nursing Home, Johannesburg, Transvaal, age 37 [i.e. b c 1888], married, Housewife, resided 30 Bellevue St, Troyeville, Johannesburg, to be buried in the New Cemetery, Johannesburg”.220 The Probate Notice said she was “born Johannesburg, nationality Colonial British, wife of Sidney Walter Brockett, Clerk, no children; Sidney Walter’s signature”.221 “Sidney Walter Brockett married 2nd 10 Dec 1927 Jessie Blyth CUTHBERT in Troyeville Baptist Church, Johannesburg, he aged 38, Widower, Clerk, of 94 Op de Bergen St, Fairview, Johannesburg, she aged 23, Spinster, Saleswoman born Scotland, of 13 Eleanor St, Troyeville, Johannesburg, he by his Master’s consent, she by her own; signatures of both”.222 The joint gravestone of Sidney Walter and Jessie Blyth Brockett in Westpark Cemetery, Randburg, Johannesburg says he was born 18 Dec 1888 and died 17 Mar 1976 [i.e. aged 87], and she was born 15 Mar 1904 and died 20 Nov 1978 [i.e. aged 74].223 Sidney Walter’s Estate is recorded from 1976 in the Pretoria Supreme Court.224 3 children:
- Dennis James Brockett, b 16 Jan 1929.225 Married. Died.226 1 daughter, 2 sons.227
- Stuart Cuthbert Brockett, b 9 Oct 1930.228 Baptist Minister. Married Nadia Elena BEKETOV.229 Stuart Cuthbert Brockett died 18 Mar 2020, Liverpool, Lancashire, aged 90 (b 9 Oct 1930).230 2 daughters, 4 sons.231
- Walter Blyth Brockett, b 27 Jul 1935 Johannesburg.232 First Class Cricketer, right-arm fast bowler for Transvaal; career averages available at espncricinfo.com.233 Married Diane ….234 Walter Blyth (Wally) Brockett was living at Windsor Glen, Johannesburg at the time of his death,235 which was on 13 Aug 2009 at Olivedale Clinic, Gauteng (aged 74 years 17 days).236 1 son:
- “Edith Winifred Brockett, b c 1893, “married 7 Aug 1916 Percy WISE after Banns in Queen St Baptist Church, Port Elizabeth, she aged 23 [i.e. b c 1893], Spinster, residing Port Elizabeth, he aged 31, Bachelor, Manager Boot Stores, residing Uitenhage; signatures of both, and of N M Brockett (presumably her sister) and A J Brockett (her father) as the two witnesses”.239 “Edith Winifred Wise, born Brockett, Married, Domestic Duties, of 45 Mackay St, PE, died 19 Jun 1949, aged 56 [i.e. b c 1893] of Carcinoma of Breast, at the Provincial Hospital, PE, to be buried in South End Cemetery, PE”.240 The National Archives of South Africa has Edith’s Estate Papers from 1949.241 Percy survived her. 2 sons,242 1 or 2 daughters.243
- Nellie May Brockett, b 10 Mar 1895 PE;244 “married 14 Feb 1922 Albert Edward COPPIN after Banns in Queen St Baptist Church, Port Elizabeth, she aged 26, Spinster, residing Port Elizabeth, he aged 31, Bachelor, Clerk, residing Capetown; signatures of both, and of Ada Brockett (her sister) as one witness”.245 “Nellie May Coppin, born Brockett, Widow, of Princess Christian Home, Rhodes Ave, Mowbray, Cape, died 7 May 1980, at Pinelands, to be buried in Sidbury.246 Albert Edward died Sep 1072.247 2 sons, 2 daughters.248
- Ada Mary Brockett, b c 1897, “married 18 Jul 1923 Sydney Barrett FOWLDS after Banns in Queen St Baptist Church, Port Elizabeth, she aged 26 [i.e. b c 1897], Spinster, residing Port Elizabeth, he aged 45, Widower, Farmer, residing Albany; signatures of both, and of R O Brockett (presumably her sister) and A J Brockett (her father) as two of the witnesses”.249 “Ada Mary Fowlds, born Brockett, Married, of The Retreat, Sandflats, died 20 Jul 1942, aged 45 years 6 months [i.e. b c 1897], of Cardiac failure at the Provincial Hospital, PE, to be buried in Sidbury”.250 Sydney died 17 May 1961 Retreat, Albany, Cape Province.251 1 daughter, 3 sons.252
- “Bernard Milner Brockett, b 1899, died of Bronchitis, Pneumonia, 9 May 1901 at Landsdowne Place, Port Elizabeth, aged 23 months, to be buried in South End Cemetery, Port Elizabeth, Child of Alfred James Brockett Butcher of Landsdowne Place, PE, (signature)”.253
- Ruby Olive Brockett, b 3 Jun 1902;254 “married 9 Apr 1932 Henry Erroll MILDENHALL after Banns in Port Elizabeth (by a Baptist minister), she aged 29, Spinster, Telephonist, born Port Elizabeth, he aged 30, Bachelor, Civil Service, born Fort Beaufort, both residing Port Elizabeth; signatures of both, and of A J Brockett (presumably her father) as one witness”.255 Ruby Olive was alive for father’s probate in 1950. She died 2 Sep 1986. Henry Erroll died 26 Dec 1963.256 1 daughter.257
- George Clifford Brockett, b 15 Aug 1907;258 “married 24 Jan 1934 Florence Beatrice LEHMANN after Banns in Port Elizabeth (by a Baptist minister), he aged 26, Bachelor, Fireman S.A.R., she aged 24, Spinster, both born South Africa, residing Port Elizabeth; signatures of both”.259 George died 4 Nov 1994.260 No further information known.261
5th surviving son of William and Amy, b 24 Sep 1863 in Port Elizabeth, bap New Church;262 the first of the family to be born in South Africa. The only suitable birth recorded in the UK,263 was Walter Andrew born 1858 Northampton and he emigrated to New Zealand with his parents in 1877. Nor have any relevant second-name Walters been found in the UK GRO. So Walter was younger than Alfred James. Walter Brockett, Butcher, died 8 Feb 1897.264 Walter’s Estate, recorded in 1897 in the Pretoria Supreme Court might provide more details.265 An abbreviated certificate issued by the Weeskamer [orphanage], Bloemfontein, Letaba, Transvaal, 26 Mar 1898, without signatures, is indexed by FS as a marriage record between Walter Brackett [sic] and Agnes Sophia Johanna POHL.266 However this was after their two children were born, and only a few weeks before Agnes Sophia Johanna Brockett born Pohl, married Gert Lourins VAN NIEKERK 14 Apr 1898 at Pretoria, Transvaal, she aged 28, Widow, he a Bachelor, 44, with a note “certificate of prior marriage dated 26 Mar 1898”.267 According to the POHL Genealogy—which refers to Walter as ‘John Walter’—Agnes was born 3 Sep 1869 in Carels Rust, Albany, C.P., South Africa, and then after Walter died in Kroonstad, O.F.S. c 1897, she married Gert Louwrens VAN NIEKERK and had 9 more children, and died 28 Dec 1965 in Potchefstroom, Tvl.268 Walter and Agnes had the following children:269
- Ethel Amy Sophia Brockett, b Apr 1895.270 She died of measles & pneumonia aged 7 on 16 Jun 1901 in Irene Concentration Camp, near Pretoria, run by the British to intern Boer women and children during the Anglo Boer War.271
- Angus Alfred Brockett, aged 16 months on father Walter’s death 18 Feb 1897, i.e. b Oct 1895.272 He died aged 21 years 6 months 11 days on 2 May 1917—which would give a birth date of late Oct 1896—in Eland’s Doorens 225, Pretoria, informant Gerhardus Luwrens van Niekirk.273 This was during the global flu epidemic, in which as many as 5 children of Agnes and Gert died.
GWB knew nothing of Walter except mistakenly as the eldest of the 3 brothers he knew of—Walter, Alfred James and Charles Thomas—and, again mistakenly, that he had a son named Stanley Brockett, who was probably the younger son of William and Annie RUSSELL, see above.
6th surviving son and last child of William and Amy, b 6 Feb 1869 in Port Elizabeth, bap New Church.274 “Married 19 Jun 1905 Blanche Elizabeth PYLE after Banns, in Lansdowne Place, Port Elizabeth—by a Baptist minister—both of full age, residing Port Elizabeth, he a Bachelor, Butcher, she a Spinster; signatures of both, and of [cousins] Beatrice Brockett and Arthur Norman Brockett as witnesses”.275 Charles and Blanche had an ostrich and chicken farm in the San Platz area, near Port Elizabeth, but with the slump in ostrich feathers after World War I they left the farm and Charles returned to being a Butcher, and From at least 1896-1907 Charles Thomas was in business with his brother Alfred James as butchers under the name ‘Brockett Bros’. Charles Thomas’ signature is on some of the associated documents above. in latter years a Shoemaker.276
“Charles Thomas Brockett died 16 Apr 1946 of Epithelioma of hip at the Provincial Hospital, PE, aged 77, married, retired Butcher, to be buried in South End Cemetery, Port Elizabeth”.277 His probate record gave his “residence as 56 Irvine St, PE, his parents as William and Amy Brockett, both deceased, his surviving spouse as Blanche Elizabeth Brockett born Pyle, and child as William Thomas Brockett, who signed and was present at the death”.278 Findagrave has an image of his gravestone at South End Cemetery PE, which reads “In loving memory of Charles Brockett passed away 16th. April 1946 aged 77”.279 No record has so far been found of Blanche’s death.280 1 child:
William Thomas Brockett, called ‘Bill’. b 27 Apr 1906,281 “married 8 Jun 1935 Edna Elizabeth MOORE after Banns, in Uitenhage District (by a Congregational minister), he aged 29, Bachelor, Accountant, residing Johannesburg, she 27, Spinster, residing Zwartskope, both born in South Africa; signatures of both”.282 William Thomas Brockett d c 1983.283 1 son, 1 daughter.284
The vast majority of records of Brokets in South Africa, at least up to the 1960s, are of members of William and Amy’s clan, above. This section lists records found of other Brokets in South Africa, not currently known to link to that clan.
British—mainly English—soldiers were sent over on military duty in war time, nearly all for the South African War (aka Anglo-Boer War) of 1899-1902. Unless otherwise noted, the 9 transcriptions in inverted commas below were accessed on FMP, 20 Jun 2022, from their ‘Anglo-Boer War Records 1899-1902’ database, similar to that of Casus Belli (Military Books and Medals), West Sussex, England, and Ancestry.com. For all but one only initials of their first names are given, so some haven’t been identified and others aren’t certain.
“C Brockett, Drummer, #7527, Scots Guards”. Doubtless Charles Brockett, youngest son of Francis Henry Brockett, see the separate page. He was born 1873, a Musician in the Scots Guards, residing Tower of London in 1899 aged 25, and a Drummer in the 1st Battalion Scots Guards 1903. His wife Clara Alice Brockett was on her own in Barracks in London for the 1901 census.
“C Brockett, Private, #3838, 1st (Royal) Dragoons”. Charles Brockett, [also a] Musician, attested 8 Dec 1894 aged 15 for 12 years in the Dragoons of the Line, service #3838.285 With little doubt, the eldest son of Charles and Emily O’DANIELS, see the separate page. He was born 1880, died 1903, and not at home for the 1901 census.
“Ernest Evelyn Brockett, Trooper, #10, Eastern Province Horse”. Born 1880, died 1907. Grandson of William and Amy Brockett, see above. Also recorded as E Brocket, Clerk, Army Service Corps. Ernest Evelyn was a Clerk by profession.
“F Brockett, Private, #5238, 2nd Battalion The Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment)”. Frederick Brockett, born 1880, died 1963, eldest son of Frederick Brockett and Mary Ann CUTTS, see the separate page. “Attested 10 Aug 1898, aged 18 years 4 months for 12 years in the Royal West Kent Regiment, service #5238”.286 Not found in the 1901 census. See his 1st cousin below.
“G Brockett, Private, #7092, Unit: 2nd The Duke Of Cambridge’s Own (Middlesex Regiment)”. George Brockett, born 1867, probably died 1939. Son of Thomas Brockett and Louisa MILLS, see the separate page. He was a Coal Porter and married with 4 children when he attested 31 Jul 1899 for the 3rd Middlesex Regiment for 4 years,287 and was not at home for the 1901 census.
George ROBINSON, aka George Brockett or Alfred George Brockett, attested for 12 years in the Rifle Brigade on 11 Jan 1897. He was a Private in the British army in Malta, and was deployed to the defence of Ladysmith, Northern Natal, from 30 Sep 1899 to 15 Jul 1900 where he “was deafened by the big guns”. Born 1878, died 1960, son of Alfred Brockett and Mary ROBINSON, see the separate page. Coincidentally, he was a 1st cousin twice removed of William Brockett of Bassingbourn, who settled in South Africa 1861. And curiously, his grandson John Richard Brockett married in South Africa, see below.
“J Brockett, Private, #4371, Devonshire Regiment”. With little doubt this was Joseph Thomas Brockett, born 1875, died 1944, 4th son of Thomas Brockett and Louisa MILLS, see the separate page. “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”.288 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.289 Not found in the 1901 census.
“J Brockett, Private, #4389, Devonshire Regiment”. Currently unidentified. Perhaps a 2nd entry for Joseph Thomas, above?
“J S Brockett, Lance-Corporal, #3602, Army Ordnance Corps”. Currently unidentified.
“W Brockett, Private, #6055, Highland Light Infantry”. William Frederick Brockett, eldest son of William Daniel Brockett and Mary Ann PINKHAM of Bethnal Green, London, see the separate page. Born 1875, probably died 1939. He attested in the Highland Light Infantry 29 Oct 1895 for 12-20 years.290 But he was apparently living in London for the census 1 April 1901, so he must have joined the War in South Africa after that. See his 1st cousin above.
W Brockett, died 21 Nov 1899 at Ladysmith, and was buried there.291 Biography: “4386 Private W Brockett, 1st Battalion the Devonshire Regiment. He was deployed from India to Natal, South Africa with his battalion before the Second Anglo Boer War started. They were sent to Ladysmith and were brigaded with the 1st Manchesters and 2nd Gordons under Colonel Ian Hamilton. They fought at the battle of Elandslaagte on 21 Oct 1899 and at the battle of Rietfontein (or Modderspruit) on 24 Oct 1899, before becoming part of the Ladysmith garrison during the siege. Private Brockett was killed in action in Ladysmith. He is also commemorated on the Devonshire Regiment memorial at Waggon Hill and on the Devonshire Boer War memorial in the North Transept of Exeter Cathedral, Devon, England.” His parents are currently unidentified.
Herbert James Brockett was recorded in 1911 a Gunner in Z Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, Potchefstroom Cantonments, Transvaal, aged 20, Single.292 He was born in Croydon, England 1890, youngest child of Charles and and Mary Ann Brockett, see the separate page. He died 1 Jul 1916 at the Battle of the Somme, France, where he is buried.293
“At the turn of the 20th century … Korsten and New Brighton—Port Elizabeth’s first formalised Black township—were intended as dormitory areas on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth from which labour could be drawn … There was very little growth there until 1901”.294
“1889 8 Jul: Anne Brocket married Mathias Gallant in the Main? Church Port Elizabeth by the Anglican Minister, after Banns, both were of full age, resident at Port Elizabeth, he a Bachelor and Laborer, she a Spinster, both signed with a mark witnessed by Maria Goezaar and Sarah Holland, no consent recorded”.295 [Comment: See the June 1934 record below.]
“1903 6 Oct: Sarah Brockett, born BOOMS, died in Korsten Location Port Elizabeth, of Gastro Enteritis, aged 70, of mixed race, married 2L 2D, Housewife, to be buried in Creek Cemetery, Port Elizabeth, informant: Mathew Gallant of Korsten Location, adult relative present at death, signed with his mark”.296 A footnote recorded that Sarah had had 4 children.
“1929 27 Jul: Matthew Gallant, died in Korsten, Port Elizabeth, age 59, mixed race, born Humansdorp, Cape Province, married, Occupation General Labourer, resident of Korsten, to be buried in Korsten Cemetery, causes of death Bronchitis Broncho Pneumonia, informant Joseph Schuster of Korsten (his mark), causing burial”.297
1934 14 May: Matthew Gallant, probate of estate #1. “Birthplace Humansdorp District, nationality South African born, Coloured, parents both deceased, age 59, occupation Gardener, died at his residence in Kelly St, Korsten on 26 July 1929, husband of Annie Gallant, in community of property, married at Port Elizabeth, 9 children listed (8+1—following the marginal instruction “State separately the children born of different marriages”), all majors:
1. Marthinus Gallant
2. Jan Gallant
3. Angus Gallant
4. Matthew Gallant
5. Katie Jacobs (born Gallant)
6. Rachael de Zousa (born Gallant)
7. Adelaide Peters (born Gallant)
8. Sarah born Gallant
1. Maria Schuster
The deceased left both movable and immovable property, worth under £300, but no Will. Signed by the mark of A Peters, daughter present at death”.298
“1934 25 Jun: Annie Gallant born Brockett died in Korsten, Port Elizabeth, where she was resident, age 65, born in Cape Province, of mixed race, married, Occupation Domestic Duties, resident of Korsten, to be buried in Korsten Cemetery, causes of death Senile myocarditis (some years), Acute Enteritis (2 weeks), informant WG Field of 5 Prince Alfreds Rd, PE, causing burial.”299
1934 9 Aug: Matthew Gallant, probate of estate #2. “Birthplace Kruisfontein, District Humansdorp, nationality South African, parents Martin and Catherine Gallant, both dead, his age 77 [i.e. b c 1857], Labourer, died at his residence in Kelly St, Korsten on 27 July 1929, surviving spouse Annie Gallant born Brockett, in community of property, married at Port Elizabeth, 8 children listed, all majors:
Catherine JACOBS, born GALLANT
Rachael DASAUZA, born GALLANT
Adelaide PETERS, born GALLANT
The deceased left only immovable property, worth under £300, and no Will. Signed by Sarah GALLANT, daughter present at death”.300
1934 9 Aug: Annie Gallant born Brockett, probate of estate. “Birthplace Port Elizabeth, nationality South African, parents John and Sarah Brockett, both dead, died 25 Jun 1934, age 71, resident of Commercial Road, Korsten, widow of Matthew Gallant who had died 27 Jul 1929, married at Port Elizabeth, leaving a Will, 9 children listed, all majors:
Maria SCHUSTER, born GALLANT (child born out of wedlock)
Catherine JACOBS, born GALLANT
Rachael DASAUZA, born GALLANT
Adelaide PETERS, born GALLANT
The deceased left half of joint estate of self and predeceased spouse worth under £300, and a Will. Signed by Sarah GALLANT, daughter present at death”.301
Records of Anne and Matthew’s children:
1. “Maria Galance Schuster died 12 Feb 1958 Port Elizabeth, aged 75 [i.e. b c 1883], birthplace Cape Province, Race Cape Coloured”.302 No birth certificate so far found.
2. “Catherine Gallant Jacobs died 25 Sep 1951 Port Elizabeth, aged 61 [i.e. b c 1890], birthplace Cape Province, Race mixed”.303 No birth certificate so far found.
3. “Henry Martin Gallant born 10 Nov 1895, Walmer, Port Elizabeth City, Father: Martin Gallant, Farm Labourer, age 36 [i.e. b c 1859], born Humansdorp, Cape Colony, Mixed race, marriage 1883 (date and month not exactly known), 4 daughters by present wife, no previous wife; Mother: Annie Galland [sic] formerly Brocket, Housewife, age 30 [i.e. b c 1865], born Port Elizabeth, Cape Colony, Mixed race, 4 daughters, informant Martin Gallant (his mark) father.304 Comment: Presumably Martin, the father, was another name for Mathias or Matthew, and his marriage to Anne was in 1889 rather than 1883, see above.
4. Sarah. No record found 1890-1960.305
Discussion of the Korsten records
Records exist of two female Brokets of mixed race in Korsten: Sarah in 1903 and Anne, aka Annie, in 1929 and 1934. Anne had married Mathias GALLANT in Port Elizabeth in 1889 and not long afterwards the couple moved to Korsten. The informant on Annie’s probate record, Sarah GALLANT—apparently her youngest daughter—reported that Annie died age 71, i.e. b c 1863, and was of “mixed race, daughter of John and Sarah Brockett, both dead“. That the informant of the death in 1903 of Sarah Brockett, born BOOMS, residing Korsten, of mixed race, aged 70, i.e. b c 1833, was “Mathew Gallant of Korsten, adult relative” leaves no reasonable doubt that she was Annie’s mother and therefore had been the wife or partner of John Brockett. I think the “2L 2D” later addition to “married” in Sarah’s death record for the ‘Whether Single, Married, Divorced or Widowed’ item referred to children, L standing for living and D for deceased. Footnote b recorded that Sarah had had 4 children. We know that her daughter Anne was living in 1903; was Suzanna 1880-1918 the other child alive then, see below. For a similar “2L 5D” on a 1901 death record of someone who had 4 children, see William above, and for a 1907 “2L”, see Ernest.
No other record of a relevant Sarah BOOMS, or variant, has been found.306 A Sarah BOHMS married a Johan Frederic Van BRAKEL 24 Feb 1862 in the Native Independent Chapel at Bedford, Cape Province, he of full age with a grand signature, she a minor making a mark, both of Cowie Bush, Bedford,307 c200 km N of PE, but no further record of either has been found.308 To posit a change of name from Van Brakel to Brockett is a very long shot. To guess at other reasons for John’s surname Brockett would also be speculation. Sarah was of mixed race and Anne after her, but whether John Brockett was also is unknown. No other record has been found of a relevant John in South Africa at the time.309 The last known mixed race Broket of Korsten was Anne.
Matthew GALLANT, aka Mathias and Martin, left no Will when he died in 1929, and his widow Annie had community of property. Two probate records exist for Matthew, both around 5 years after his death, the first signed by daughter A[delaide] Peters on 14 May 1934 and the other signed by daughter Sarah Gallant on 9 Aug 1934, which was the same day that she also signed a probate record for her mother Annie who had died on 25 Jun 1934.
There are several differences between Matthew’s two probate records, but only two need mention, and neither fundamentally affects the main overall facts. One is Matthew’s given age. In probate record #1 it was 59, i.e. b c 1870, as on his death record, but in probate record #2 it was 77, i.e. b c 1852 if reckoned to his death, or c 1857 if [mistakenly] reckoned to the probate. Either way there is a discrepancy in his age given by the two daughters of 13 or 18 years. This is a large discrepancy and one given age was probably an error. There was also a discrepancy in the age given for Anne—65 in her death record, i.e. b c 1869, and 71 in her probate record, i.e. b c 1863. The other difference between Matthew’s two probate records concerns the first child, Maria Schuster. Only a death record for Maria has been found, and it indicates that she was born c 1883. From a comparison of the lists of the 8 or 9 surviving children in Matthew’s 2 probate records and Annie’s it appears that Maria Schuster was Anne’s child and not Matthew’s, born about 6 years “out of wedlock”. Of the two ages given to Annie in the records, the c 1869 one would mean she was about 14 when Maria was born, and of the two ages given to Matthew in the records, the c 1870 one would mean he was about 13 at that time. An earlier birth date for Anne at least seems preferable, like the c 1865 one in her son Henry Martin’s 1895 birth record.
No connection has been found between Sarah and Anne Brocket recorded in the Port Elizabeth area 1889-1934 and Saarah Brokat, Hottentot, who died in Greenpoint, Beaconsfield in 1908. Nor has any connection been found between them and William and Amy’s clan. Perhaps records will become available in the future that will shed more light on these Brokets.
Following are single records found of Brokets in South Africa not yet known to link to any Broket family. The list is chronological by the date of the record itself, rather than by one calculated from the record, like a birth date calculated from an age quoted in a death record.
1855: Arthur Charles Brocket, died 24 Sep 1855, South Africa, no age or other details supplied.310 This record is only a transcription, so may be faulty. No record of a possible Arthur Charles Brocket has been found in the UK. If the record is correct, he can’t have been an otherwise unknown child of William and Amy Brockett, who didn’t arrive in South Africa until 1861. Although there is perhaps a coincidence with the record of their 3rd son Arthur who was born 19 Sep 1855 in England, see above, but no record of him with the second name Charles has been found.
1888: Mary Elizabeth Brockett, a witness to the marriage of Alfred James Brockett in Port Elizabeth 13 Mar 1888, along with William and Walter Brockett, see above. No sister or wife of that name at that time is known. She couldn’t have been Alfred’s mother Amy, who although listed as Mary in the permit of 1861, had died by 1884. The names of the witnesses to the marriage, and indeed of the couple, are not signatures, so perhaps “Mary Elizabeth” was an error when the record was written up.
1889: Anne Brocket, Spinster, married 8 Jul Mathias Gallant, Bachelor, in the Main? Church Port Elizabeth. Died 1934 in Korsten, see above.
1899: “Suzanna Brockett, married 28 May 1899 Albertus WINDVOGEL in the Schoolroom, Port Elizabeth, by an ordained Missionary of the Moravian Church, he aged 25, Bachelor, Laborer, she aged 19 [i.e. b c 1880], Spinster, both residing Port Elizabeth; signatures of both, by consent of parents”.311 Suzanna’s signature:
“Susanna Windvogel born Brockett died 5 Nov 1918, Clarkson, Zitzikama Ward, Humansdorp, Port Elizabeth, age 38 [i.e. b c 1880], race Coloured, born at Cape Province, married, Occupation Housewifery, resident of Clarkson, Zitzikama Ward, Humansdorp, to be buried there, causes of death Pneumonia (Spanish Influenza ten days), informant Albertus Windvogel, husband, present at death”.312 A footnote recorded that Susanna had had 8 children. Clarkson is c 48 km W of Humansdorp, which is c 90 km W of Port Elizabeth City. It was a Moravian Mission village, named after Thomas Clarkson, campaigner against the slave trade.313 One of her children was Joseph Israel Windvogel, who “died 23 Jun 1976 in Villiersdorp, Caledon, Cape Province, born 1906 Clarkson, son of Albertus and Susanna Windvogel”.314 He had “married Magdalena Sophia JANNEKE in Villiersdorp 7 Jun 1932”.315
Was Susanna’s mother Sarah Brockett, born BOOMS c 1833, above. If so, Sarah would have been c 47 when Susanna was born, which seems unlikely, however Sarah had 4 children and 2 were alive in 1903, one of whom was Anne, b c 1863 or 1869, when Sarah would have been 30-36. Was Susanna the other? If not, Susanna’s parents are unknown.
1908: “Saarah Brokat, female, of Greenpoint, Beaconsfield, Kimberley, aged 72 [i.e. b c 1836], Hottentot, Widowed, Invalid, died 5 Jan 1908, having had one child, Informant Jacob Sgia [his mark] of Greenpoint, burying body”.316 Kimberley is c 157 km west of Bloemfontein in the northern Cape. Here is the European Deputy Registrar’s spelling of her name:
The term ‘Hottentot’—now considered offensive—was originally used by Dutch settlers for the Khoisan or Nama indigenous, hunter-gatherer, non-Bantu-speaking population of Southern Africa, and adopted into English. The Beaconsfield Deputy Registrar’s classifications of ‘race’ in the first 100 death records for January 1908 were diverse and apparently specific. Most he classed as ‘European’ or ‘Kaffir’, with ‘mixed race’ (11) and 12 different African groups, the most common being ‘Basuto’ (17 instances), and ‘Bechuana’ (7), and one or two each of the other 10 groups, along with 2 ‘Cape Coloured’, 1 ‘Bushman’, 1 ‘Indian’, 1 ‘American’ and 1 ‘Jew’. Otherwise ‘Hottentot’ was the largest category (7 instances including Saarah).317 He didn’t stick to the 6 classes of race given in paragraph 164 of the B&D Regulations, so it would seem that his classifications were fairly precise, at least for the White and African groups, and apparently for ‘Hottentot’ which was distinct from ‘mixed race’. However, the distinction was probably his own personal or local opinion. Discussing the non-European racial groups in the 1891 and 1904 censuses, Simkins and van Heyningen pointed out:318
“The Hottentot group was intended to refer to descendants of the Khoi and the San, spread over most of the Cape before the arrival of white or black people. Self and community identification and the presence of distinct physical characteristics (“yellow skin, flat noses, and prominent cheek bones, with crisp tufty hair, and a tendency to abnormal physical developments”) were supposed to serve as a basis for assignment of this group identity, but by the last quarter of the 19th century intermarriage had proceeded so far as to cause serious problems. In 1891, the number of Hottentots enumerated was well below the 1875 and 1904 counts when a less strict identification criterion was used. The 1904 census report concluded that “pure bred representatives of the Race are probably to be found nowhere in the Colony at the present day, and the distinction between a Hottentot and others of mixed blood is thus merely one of degree and liable to be decided by local terminology or prejudice or by the personal opinion of a numerator“.
‘Saarah’ was a typical name given by European settlers for females they considered to be Hottentot, like the famous Saarah Baartman.319 As with her, a surname would probably also have been a European assignation, given to her at marriage to someone called Brokat, or originally as a slave or servant of someone called Brokat, but currently no record has been found of a male Broket in the Kimberley area at the turn of the 20th C. A connection with Anne Brockett of Korsten born 1863-9—see above—who was of ‘mixed race’ and daughter of a John and Sarah Brockett, is possible time-wise—Saarah Brokat was born c 1836—but location-wise is less likely. Korsten is c 714 km south of Greenpoint Beaconsfield.
1923: “Beryl Mona Victoria Brockett married 24 Jul 1923 Richard Frank SMITH in the Gardens Presbyterian Church, Cape Town, by Licence, consent from the Chief Justice, he aged 34, Bachelor, Mechanical Engineer, residing Capetown, she aged 20 [i.e. b 1902-3], Spinster, residing Port Elizabeth”, signatures of both.320 Beryl Mona Victoria died 17 Oct 1952 Port Elizabeth. Was she the daughter of Ernest and Victoria, above?
1933: “Reginald Brockett, residing 7th Avenue, Walmer, Port Elizabeth City, aged 26 [i.e. b c 1907], race European, Single, General Dealer, died 30 Mar 1933 of Pulmonary Tuberculosis (2 years) at the Sanatorium, Main St, Jansenville, to be buried in Cemetery, Port Elizabeth, nurse present at death”.321 Reginald Arthur Brockett was buried in South End Cemetery, Port Elizabeth.322 Was he a 2nd generation member of William and Amy’s clan?
1936: “John Wm A Brocket [sic], aged 62 [i.e. b c 1874], of 35 Brabant St, Woodstock, Episcopalian, died 25 Jan, buried in Maitland Rd Cemetery, City of Cape Town”.323 This is a mistranscription of the surname BROCKER—with an ‘r’ at the end—see the repeat of the name at the line end, and a final ‘r’ in ‘Hester’ 6 lines above and in ‘McGregor’ 10 lines below, and final ‘t’ in ‘Brandt’ and ‘Stewart’ 5 and 21 lines above.
1965: “John Richard Brockett 1940-2003; married 28 Aug 1965 after Banns Elaine DOWNES in St Johns Cathedral, Umtata, Cape Province, he b 11 Sep 1940, a Bachelor, Businessman, she b 6 Apr 1943, a Spinster, Teacher, both born Solihull, England, signatures of both, and of M Brockett (his mother?) as one of the witnesses”.324 Perhaps by coincidence he was grandson of Alfred above.
1986: Kaira Rose Brockette, b 29 May 1986, Cape Town, mother’s name TANSER.325
2007: Billy Brockett died 29 Apr 2007. “Brother and uncle of Ed, Charlotte, Janine and Natalie; Also the STRYDOM family”.327
PS: There is a Brockett Street in Meyerton. Why? Meyerton is a small town near Vereeniging, south of Johannesburg. Meyerton apparently came into existence with the discovery of the ‘Black Reef’ – a vein of gold that ran through a number of farms out here on the banks of the Klip River.
More records and information will appear in the future, but hopefully they won’t alter the overall picture presented on this webpage. However the traces of the steps taken to arrive at this point can get erased and make it more difficult to evaluate the end result if they aren’t also recorded. This section therefore records the broad outline of the 4 stages of the research so far. Skip to the Summary at the end of each stage if you want a bird’s-eye view. Dates of access to sources of individual items of information in the text above are provided in footnotes wherever possible to help you check the evidence and see how it was obtained.
Stage 1: 1997-9
At Christmas 1997 I received a soft-covered book called The Burke’s World Book of Brocketts, printed in the USA that year. At the end were pages with lists of Brocketts with addresses, extracted from electoral rolls, city directories, etc. Most were in the USA, quite a number in the UK, about 90 in Australia, and on the final page were 34 Brocketts from South Africa: 2 from Cape, 20 from Natal, 1 from Orange Free State and 11 from Transvaal. It didn’t claim to be a census of all South African Brokets in the mid 1990s, but it showed me for the first time that there was a substantial number of families with the name there.
I wrote off to 6 asking for their telephone number, and one of the two who replied was a W Brockett of Vosloo St, Windsor Glen, Transvaal, who turned out to be Walter Brockett, former South African First Class cricketer, see above. He provided some initial information and put me in touch with his son Garth and nephew Rev Stuart Brockett. In April 1998 Garth Brockett of Roodepoort, Transvaal, sent me a print-out of a family tree he had been working on since 1993 (Revision 5; referenced above as ‘GWB‘). This mainly contained names and dates of birth, where known, and spouses, of 4 generations of the family of Alfred James Brockett, Garth’s great grandfather. Garth also knew of two brothers of Alfred James: a younger one Charles Thomas Brockett, his son, grandchildren and great grandchildren and some of their dates and spouses; and an older brother of Alfred: Walter. Garth only knew Walter’s name and that he had a son Stanley. It was later confirmed that Alfred did have a brother Walter, but he was younger, and didn’t have a son Stanley. Rather, it was Alfred’s older brother William who had a son Stanley. Garth’s own father was a Walter (the cricketer), who perhaps had been told that there was another Walter in the family, and that Alfred had had an older brother, and he assumed that Walter was he. He was also presumably told of a cousin Stanley, and not aware that Alfred had other brothers, assumed that Walter and Stanley were father and son. All this shows that after only a couple of generations, descendants of different brothers had lost contact with each other. Garth moved to England with his young family but sadly died in 2003. Rev Stuart Brockett also moved to England and from 1999 kindly provided information on his own family. Stuart added the information that Alfred James was born on board ship 25 May 1861 and that his parents came from London. He was indeed born at sea, and his parents may have sailed from London, but they came from Cambridgeshire.
Summary 1997-9: This was the start of the research. The families of 2 brothers were confirmed, and that son Alfred and at least his mother sailed from England in 1861. But who his parents were was still unknown. Alfred’s birth at sea wasn’t registered in the General Register Office in England and no suitable parents in London were known. At this Stage no online resources were used or known about, and up until 2005 few South African genealogical records were on the internet, so the research progressed no further, until…
Stage 2: 2005-6
I discovered that The National Archives of South Africa (NASA) had an online search engine: NAAIRS—an index of material in regional archives. The actual texts of documents could only be seen by visiting the relevant archive, or finding someone else to do so. 45 records of the name Brocket/t were found, comprising court documents like insolvencies, mortgages, estate papers, divorces. They were housed in 11 different archives. In Nov 2005 I paid local researcher Vera PLINT to photograph 9 documents and make notes from 3 others, that I had selected from the 45 from the following archives: MOIB—Master of the Supreme Court, Cape Town, Insolvency Branch (1787-1910); MOOC—Papers of the Master of the Supreme Court, Cape Town; DOC—Registrar, Deeds Office, Cape Town (1882-1930); and HG—Registrar of the Supreme Court of South Africa, Orange Free State Provincial Division (1849-1957). These are all noted above re the individuals concerned. The 5 earliest documents were:
1870. William Brockett: Insolvent Liquidation and Distribution Account. MOIB 2/1293 277.
1876. William Brockett: Insolvent Liquidation and Distribution Account. MOIB 2/1412 153.
1876-7. Edward John Brockett: Insolvent Liquidation and Distribution. MOIB 2/1432 164.
1891. Louisa Brockett, nee NEWTON: Death Notice. MOOC 6/9/291 591.
1895. Arthur Brockett: Death Notice. MOOC 6/9/339 842.
These 5 images showed that the individuals were all from the same nuclear Brockett family. They evidenced that William Brockett had been a Hotel keeper at Kraggakama, PE district, and Edward John Brockett had also been there at the same time. The White community in Kraggakamma at the time would have comprised 100 families at most, so two men with insolvent estates in the same year in Kraggakamma with the same uncommon surname must have been in the same family. The death notice of Louisa said she was the wife of Arthur Brockett and the death notice of Arthur Brockett said he was born in Cambridgeshire c 1853, son of William Brockett and Amy Brockett (born Tookey).
Summary 2005-6: Records of Dutch settlers go back to the 17th and 18th C, but the earliest Broket records in South African national archives only appeared in the 1870s, and all were in English. This confirmed that Broket, and variants, wasn’t a Dutch settler name. The 5 images obtained from the archives enabled me to link the individuals to records of the family of William and Amy Brockett recorded in Cambridgeshire up to 1855 and not thereafter. The origins of the immigrant family had been found and in 2006 I created a Broket Archive webpage ‘The Brocketts of South Africa’ including this and the other archival information found in 2005. A couple of years later this led to…
Stage 3: 2008-9
Sep 2008: Seaton MULDER, a grandson of Alfred Stanley Brockett 1895-1986, saw the webpage and sent a chart of the descendants of William Edward Brockett and Mary STUART, drawn up by Walter Rodney Brockett, noted here as ‘WRB’, see above. Seaton was in touch with a cousin, Esme Mildenhall, and it was she who may have gave him the information about William and Amy’s 1861 permit, see above.
Seaton also kindly sent print-outs of the Brockett entries in 2 secondary databases:
SECMI: Index of Monumental Inscriptions Old South End Cemetery Port Elizabeth, Sep 1988, East Cape Branch Genealogical Society of South Africa, p 13. The index as a whole isn’t apparently online,328 although records of some Broket individuals in it can now be found on Findagrave.
MHHD: Margaret HARRADINE’s Heritage Database of baptisms, marriages and deaths of the English in Port Elizabeth, compiled while she was the Afrikaner Librarian at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. Each individual has a unique number preceded by #. By 2022 at the latest, some of the MHHD data here had become available online as primary images in FamilySearch.
Summary 2008-9: William and Amy’s arrival in South Africa on the Rajasthan in Jun 1861 with 4 sons was learnt, along with details from SECMI and MHHD of other sons and descendants. Following that, the research made little further progress until…
Stage 4: 2022
Jan 2022: WikiTree entry Brockett-794 was noticed online and the source followed up in FamilySearch (FS), where a large number of primary Brockett records were then found among their online collections, such as:
- Civil Marriage and Death Records for Cape Province, Transvaal and Natal Province
- Western Cape and Orange Free State Deceased Estate Files
- Probate Records: High Court, Cape Province; Supreme Court, Transvaal and Orange Free State
- Parish Register records of baptisms, marriages and deaths from the William Cullen Library, Wits University, e.g. baptisms from Harrismith and Johannesburg. The Harrismith Parish records were mostly Anglican, and the PE ones mostly Methodist or Baptist. Back in England, William and Amy had been Protestant Dissenters of the Independent Denomination.
Since FS is a freely available database with a good search facility, it hasn’t been felt necessary to cite in the footnote which particular one of the above collections individual records are from. The death and probate records were particularly informative, often listing birth dates, children alive and deceased, parents’ names, burial cemetery, etc. Other online resources were also useful, like Findagrave and eggsa.org.329 In the main, Ancestry.com’s South African data in 2022 was only transcriptions of FS data without images. South African censuses are not useful for genealogical purposes; up till recently they only recorded statistics without naming individuals.
March-June 2022: Lynda Kinghorn, Florence Kleynhans and Louis Brockett kindly sent details of the Harrismith Brocketts.
Summary 2022: Thanks to the FamilySearch online collection of images the different branches of William and Amy’s clan were substantially documented, along with some other South African Brokets currently unconnected with that clan. Other online resources were also utilised, and information on the Harrismith branch of the clan was kindly sent by family members.
Page Last Updated: May 6, 2023