Thomas and Mary Ann Brockett
1845-1930 and 1847-1930
Thomas and Mary Ann sprang from hardy country stock, living well into their 80s before the age of penicillin. Their fathers were Agricultural Labourers, also long-living, and Mary Ann bore Thomas 12 children over 25 years, while aged 19-44. Only one died in infancy and the others all married and most had children of their own. This webpage documents their known descendants who were born with the name Brockett and are no longer living.
Thomas and Mary lived during the Victorian era, a time of huge advances in science, industry, communication, transport and population—which more than doubled in England between 1851 and 1911. Thomas was working as an Agricultural Labourer by the age of 7, and Mary Ann as a Straw Plaiter when aged 14, and doubtless earlier; child labour was normal then. By his early 20s Thomas had embarked on a career of Groom or Coachman—looking after horses and controlling their reins as they pulled coaches along the rough roads—which evidently took him far from home, probably sometimes for extended periods. Towards the end of his working life, from around 1908, motor cars became more and more available, and the occupation of Coachman slowly but surely became obsolete. In 1911, aged 65, Thomas was still working, by this time as a Jobbing Gardener. During their early 70s several of their sons and sons-in-law fought in the first world war, one losing his life, but their final years were in the prosperous 1920s that followed.
Thomas was “born 12 Jan 1845 in Guilden Morden village, Cambridgeshire, son of John Brocket, Farm labourer, and Mary Ann, formerly COOPER, who signed with her mark X”.1 Thomas was their only surviving son, see the separate page.
“Thomas Brockett and Mary Ann MUNSEY married 15 Sep 1866 in Wrestlingworth, Bedfordshire, he aged 22, Bachelor, Groom, she, 19, Spinster”.2 Wrestlingworth–Mary Ann’s parish—was adjacent to Guilden Morden, and both were small rural parishes with populations of only 847 in 1841 and 929 in 1851, respectively.3 Surprisingly, there were three Mary Ann MUNSEYs baptised in Wrestlingworth parish church 1845-8, one from each of the three Munsey families there at the time.4 The civil birth registration of our Mary Ann here hasn’t yet been found, but other records are clear that our Mary Ann was the daughter of John and Mary Munsey or, as their name was sometimes spelt, Muncey:Read more
- Her 15 Sep 1866 marriage certificate gave her father as John Munsey, Labourer, and her age as 19—indicating a birth date between 16 Sep 1846 and 14 Sep 1847.
- The 1891 census for Langley Park, Esh, Co Durham, recorded Thomas and Mary Ann’s 2nd daughter Lilly—see below—as niece of the head of household Joseph Munsey, Coal Miner. Joseph was “aged 47, born in Restlingworth [sic], Bedfordshire”—i.e. c 1844. The 1851 census for Wrestlingworth recorded Joseph, aged 7 [i.e. born c 1844], Charles, aged 5 [i.e. born c 1846], Mary Ann, aged 3 [i.e. born c 1848] and William, aged 1 [i.e. born c 1850], as children—as well as two older sons—of John Muncey, Farming Labourer, aged 36, and wife Mary, aged 35.5 Similarly, the 1861 census for Wrestlingworth recorded Joseph, aged 18 [i.e. b c 1844], Agricultural Labourer, and Mary Ann, aged 14 [i.e. b c 1847], Straw Plaiter, as children—among others—of John Munsey, Agricultural Labourer, aged 47, and wife Mary, aged 45.6 The regular 2 year gaps between the ages of Mary Ann and her siblings recorded in the 1851 census would probably have been fairly accurate, and since that census was carried out on 30 March, an age of 3 for Mary Ann indicates a birth date between 31 Mar 1847 and 29 Mar 1848.
- The baptism of “Mary Ann, daughter of John and Mary Muncey” is recorded in Wrestlingworth on 16 Jan 1848.7 A General Record Office record of her birth hasn’t been located—the requirement to register had been in force for only 10 years, and there was considerable non-compliance—but a Jan 1848 baptism suggests a birth date towards the end of 1847.
- Mary Ann died 14 June 1930,8 and the General Record Office record gave her age as 82. This indicates a birth date between 15 Jun 1847 and 14 Jun 1848.
- All in all, Maty Ann’s age at marriage was probably almost 19, but not quite. Similarly, Thomas was almost 22—but not quite.
Where they lived: Following their marriage in 1866 Thomas and Mary Ann lived at Church End in Gulden Morden and baptised their first 6 children in the Parish Church. Then after the baptism of son Wilfred in 1877 they moved to Fox Lane, Therfield, Hertfordshire, some 6 miles to the south east, where their next 5 children were born. Son Francis was born in Therfield and baptised in Guilden Morden, so they may have moved back to Guilden Morden between 9 July and 28 August 1887. Certainly for the census of 1891 they were living in Back Street, Guilden Morden. Then by Feb 1895 Thomas and Mary Ann had removed to the town of Hitchin in Hertfordshire, to 41 Old Park Rd, where they were living when sons Alf and Francis were admitted to St Mary’s Hitchin Boys School. Then in 1896 “T Brockett” was recorded at 26 Bedford Street, Hitchin.9 Thomas and Mary Ann lived in Hitchin for the rest of their lives, and most of their children joined them or grew up there, except the 3 eldest who had already left home by 1891, and one who stayed in Hitchin until emigrating to the USA in 1910. Between 1901 and 1911 Thomas and Mary Ann moved from 26 to 36 Bedford Street, where daughter Rose was still living until she died in 1974. This fine photograph below of the whole family dates to about 1900 and was probably taken in their back garden in Hitchin:10
Thomas’ recorded occupations: 1851, 1861 Agricultural Labourer (aged 7 [!] and 16).11 1866 Groom.12 1871, 1880-5 Coachman.13 1881 Groom and Gardener (Domestic).14 1885 Groom and Gardener.15 1891 Coachman (Domestic).16 1893-4, 1902-3 Coachman.17 1901 Coachman Domestic.18 1911 Jobbing Gardener.19 Stanley, the son of his youngest son called him an ‘Ostler’, which suggests a more static occupation—at a hostel for instance—than Thomas’ clearly often was.20 Towards the end of Thomas’ working life, from around 1908, motor cars became more and more available, and the occupation of Coachman died out.
1851: “Thomas Brockett, aged 7, ag Lab”, with his parents at Little Green, Guilden Morden. Comment: An Agricultural Labourer aged only 7!24
1861: “Thos. Brockett, aged 16, Unmarried, Ag Labour”, with his parents at Little Green, Guilden Morden.25
1871: “Thos. Brackett, aged 26, Married, Coachman, b Cambridge”, was recorded in the household of Mary Ann Merry, 53, Widow, Annuitant, in ‘Braganza’, Tormonham, Torquay, Devon.26 Mary Ann’s deceased husband Robert Merry had been Vicar of Guilden Morden, where the couple and their household were recorded in the 1861 census, their eldest son being R C P Merry, b Guilden Morden, aged 15.27 Thomas was a Coachman in his household in Dorset in 1891, see below. Also in 1881, Thomas’ widowed mother was a Domestic Nurse in the then Vicar’s house in Guilden Morden. Back to 1871, while Thomas was Devon, his own family was at Church End, Guilden Morden: “Wife Mary Ann Brockette, aged 23, with 3 children: John, 4; Frank, 2; Sarah, 7 weeks”—all born Guilden Morden. Comment: For the misnomer Brackett, see the separate page.
1881: “Thomas Brockett, aged 36, Head of household, Groom & Gardener (Domestic) at Fox Lane, Therfield, Herts; Wife Mary A, 34; children: John, 14, Builders Lab[ourer]; Frank, 12, House Boy (Domestic); Sarah J, 10, Scholar; Lilla, 8, Scholar; Lizzie, 6 Scholar; Wilfred, 4, Scholar; Alfred, 2; Edwin, 7 months”—all b Guilden Morden, except Mary A in Wrestlingworth and Edwin in Therfield.28 Comment: They were the only Broket family living in Hertfordshire in 1881.
1891: “Thomas Brocket, aged 46, Married, Coachman (Domestic Serv.), b Guilden Morden, Cambs” was recorded with daughter Lizzie, Housemaid (Domestic) in the household of Robert C Merry, 45, b Guilden Morden, Living on own means, in Inglewood, Parkstone, Poole, Dorset,29 see the 1871 census above. Robert Charles Thomas Merry, son of Robert, Clerk, matriculated Queen’s College, Oxford, 1864, aged 18.30 Thomas’ family was at Back Street, Guilden Morden: “Wife Mary Ann Brocket, aged 43, with 4 children, Edwin, 10, Scholar; Rose, 8, Scholar; Alfred A, 6, Scholar; Francis, 3″—all born in Therfield, except Mary Ann in Wrestlingworth.
1901: “Thomas Brockett, aged 55, Coachman Domestic, at 26 Bedford Street, Hitchin St Mary; Mary Ann, 53; Frank, Single, 32, Iron Foundry Labourer; Edward [sic], Single, 20, Mechanic Labourer; Alfred, 15, Baker Bread; Francis, 13, House Boy Domestic; Stanley, 9″—all b Guilden Morden, except Mary in Wrestlingworth and Edward in Therfield.31
1911: “Thomas Brockett, aged 65, Head of household, Jobbing Gardener, b Morden, Cambs. at 36 Bedford Street, Hitchin. Herts; Wife Mary Ann, 63, b Wrestlingworth, Beds; daughter Rose, 28, Single, b Therfield, Herts; Son Stanley, 19, Single, Iron Moulder, b Morden, Cambs. Married 44 years, 12 children born alive, 10 still living. 5 rooms in the dwelling, including the kitchen”. The entry was possibly signed and written by Thomas, although the village school didn’t open till 1851 when Thomas—aged 7—was already a Labourer:32
1. John 1866-1947 and Ada HOLLOWAY
2. Frank 1868-1954 and Alice WEBB
3. Sarah 1871-1950 and Jack MORECRAFT
4. Lilla 1872-1954 and Francis DELLAR
5. Lizzy 1875-1909 and Hector McLEOD
6. Wilfred 1876-1932 and Emma WALKER
7. Alfred 1878-1882
8. Edwin 1880-1972 and Olive IZZARD
9. Rose 1882-1974 and George WHEELER
10. Alfred 1885-1966 and Ethel RICE
11. Francis 1887-1969 and Lottie FOSTER
12. Stanley Lawrence 1891-1971 and Agnes PEACHER
Thomas and other members of his family would have been aware of Brocket Hall, only about 12 miles to the south of Hitchin, where the famous Victorian Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne, lived in retirement and who was buried in Hatfield Church in 1848, with its Brocket Chapel. Like many another Broket they would have imagined some ancestral connection. But whether they knew that Thomas was the eldest known descendant of the 16-17th C landowning Brokets of Hitchin and its surrounding area is unlikely, see the separate page.
John—called ‘Jack‘—was the eldest child of Thomas and Mary Ann, born 22 Dec 1866 in Guilden Morden, and baptised in the Church there 3 Feb 1867.33 This was 3 months after his parents married—a common occurrence then as now; indeed John’s own first child Frederick was born 3 months after he married in 1894, and Frederick’s just 6 weeks after his marriage in 1914. “John Brockett married Ada Elizabeth HOLLOWAY 9 Dec 1894 in St Martins in the Fields Parish Church, [Westminster] Middlesex, after Banns, he aged 28, Bachelor, Draper, residing 4 St Martin’s St; she 24, Spinster, residing 6 Monmouth Court, daughter of George Frederick Holloway, Plateman, witnesses Frederick John Holloway, Nellie Holloway” [her brother and possibly younger sister Helena].34
Ada’s father’s occupation ‘Plateman’ probably meant he was in charge of the tableware / silver plate in a hotel. The 1881 census recorded the household in “6 Monmouth Court, St Martins in the Fields: George F Holloway, aged 41, Hotel Porter, b London St Martins; Angelina, Wife, 40; children: Frederick J, 16, Hotel Servant; Charles, 14; Ada E, 10; and 3 more; the whole family was born in London St Martins, except Frederick J, in London Bermondsey.”35 No definite record has been found of Ada or her parents and family in the 1891 census, but Angelina was a Widow by the 1901 census.
John’s recorded occupations: 1891 Draper’s Clerk.36 1895 Draper’s Assistant.37 1896, 98 and 99 Draper’s Packer.38 1901: Packer Drapers.39 1911 Drapery Packer.40 1924 Packer.41 1939 Floor Cloth Packer (Retired).42 1946 Warehouse Packer retired.43
Census records for John and Ada:
1871 and 81: John was at home with his mother in Guilden Morden, Cambridgeshire, aged 4; and with both parents in Therfield, Hertfordshire, aged 14, Builder’s Labourer.
1891: John Brockett, aged 24, Single, Draper’s Clerk, b Cambs, Guilden Morden, was recorded at Lisson Grove, Duke St, Marylebone, London, working with 85 other employees for Spencer, Turner and Boldero, Retail and Wholesale Drapers (and Wholesale Warehousemen).44 For the history of the firm, see TNA’s Catalogue description.45 See also younger brother Wilfred in 1901 below.
1901: At 7 St Stephens Road, Upton Park, East Ham, Essex, John Brockett, aged 34, Head of household, Packer Drapers, b Guilden Morden, Cambs; Wife Ada E, 30, b Westminster; Frederick Cha, 6; Stanley T, 4; Edwin W, 3; Lillian, 1. All children born Upton Park, Essex.46
1911: At 47 Eversleigh Rd, Katherine Rd, East Ham, Essex, John Brockett, aged 44, Head of household, Drapery Packer, b Guilden Morden, Cambs; Wife Ada Elizabeth, 40, b St Martins in the Fields; Frederick Charles, 16, Junior Merchant’s Clerk; Stanley Thomas, 14, Printer’s Assistant; Edwin Walter, 13, Scholar [Indexed as Brockier]; Lillian, 11, Scholar. All children Single, b Upton Park, Essex. Married 17 years, 4 children born alive, 4 still living. 5 rooms in the dwelling, including the kitchen. Also living there was brother Alfred Arthur Brockett, 26, Baker, Single, b Therfield, Herts. Entry signed and written by John:47
1939: “John Brockett, born 23 Dec 1866, Married, Floor Cloth Packer (Retired), was recorded living with Ada E Brockett, Married, born 12 Jun 1870, in Unpaid Domestic Duties, at Brockwell, Fairview Avenue, Rainham, Essex”.48
Ada Elizabeth died 2 Apr 1946 of cerebral thrombosis and arteriosclerosis, aged 75, at ‘Compton’, Upminster Rd, Rainham, Romford, residing ‘Brockwell’, Fairview Ave, Rainham, informant EW Brockett, son.49 John died 1947 Romford Essex, aged 80.50 For some memories of a granddaughter: Read more
“Grandad was a very upright military looking gentleman of whom I was a little afraid as a child, but Nan was lovely. My sister and I used to stay with them for a while in the summer months, at Rainham. They lived in what would now be classed as a shed. A single roomed wooden shack with curtains for privacy, and a chemical lav. I thought that it was wonderful. In due course Nan paid the lady in the ‘big house’ opposite to use her toilet. The neighbours, similarly housed, started building their own properties and it was interesting to watch their progress. Nan and Grandad had a bungalow built called ‘Brockwell’ a combination of Brockett and Hollowell. They had a booming clock which used to keep me awake and the shadows of waving trees frightened me. I developed sleep problems because of this. I remember Nan making jam and knocking the container of boiling jam over her wrist and screaming. I don’t know what happened after that but even now when I make jam and it starts to bubble I think of the agony she must have been in. Grandad used to take us into the bluebell woods and fields and he was very knowledgeable about wild life. I remember Grandad in hospital before he died, in a corner bed and talking to all his old war comrades in his imagination. I remember Nan having a stroke and Mum warning me that she would look different, but her poor twisted face frightened the life out of me.”
Children (3 sons, 1 daughter):
- Frederick Charles, was born 31 Mar 1895 in Upton Park, East Ham.51 He married Grace CLOW 12 Aug 1914 in Mile End,52 and their first child was born 6 weeks later, like his parents and grandparents.
Fred had a hereditary eye condition, like his daughters and sister Lily. It isn’t known if any others in the wider family had the same condition. In 1939 “Fred’k C Brockett, born 31 Mar 1895, Married, Railway Checker, was recorded living with Grace E Brockett, born 7 Nov 1896, Married, in Unpaid Domestic Duties, and Doris I Brockett, Single (later Cosgrove), born 9 Jun 1918, Shirt Presser & Foulder, at Compton, Upminster Road, Rainham, Essex”.53 “Father Fred started out in the fur trade, then joined up in the army for WW1. After the war he got a job on the railways, first as a goods porter, then a checker and they moved to Deptford. Later in life they moved to Ipswich, where he worked as a Gardener and Grace as a cook. Later they had a Greengrocers shop in Needham Market [9 miles NW of Ipswich], and they had a smallholding with pigs and vegetables for sale in the shop”.54 Grace Ellen Brockett died 20 Aug 1972 Ipswich District, Suffolk, aged 76,55 at 62 Hutland Rd, Ipswich, Administration Ipswich 16 Oct £616.56 Frederick Brockett died 31 Mar 1977 Ipswich District, Suffolk, aged 82,57 at 62 Hutland Rd, Ipswich, Will proved Ipswich 24 May £10,911.58 He had a near-namesake distant cousin, Charles Frederick Brockett, b 1882, who emigrated to New Zealand. Children (2 daughters):
- Olive Ena Brockett, b 28 Sep 1914, Mile End, London East End.59 Olive married Sid PHILLIPS 1939 Romford, Essex.60
In 1939 “Sidney R Phillips, born 19 Aug 1912, Married, Electrician-Insta[ller?] And Maintenance (H Worker), was recorded living with Olive E Phillips, Married, in Unpaid Domestic Duties, at 159 Shakespeare Crescent, Manor Park, Newham, Essex”.61 Olive had a hereditary eye condition, like father Fred, aunt Lily, and sister Doris. Sidney Robert Phillips—born 19 Aug 1912) died 1989 in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.62 Olive Ena Phillips of 37 Barton Hamlet, Great Barton, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, died 5 Mar 1993, of throat cancer, probate Ipswich 27 Apr, estate valued at £84,227.63 2 daughters.
- Doris I Brockett, b 9 Jun 1918, W Ham, London.64 In 1939 Doris Brockett was living with her parents in Rainham, Essex, a “Shirt Presser & Foulder”, in Jul 1941 she married Sid COSGROVE.65
“Sid lived on the other side of the road. It was a badly bombed area of London in WW2. Sid was a Carpenter, but joined up for the war. I worked in shirt factories, then when the war came I worked in the railway booking office and the shunting house in Rainham”.66 In 1939 “Sidney H Cosgrove, b 17 Feb 1919, Single, Carpenter & Wood Machinist, was recorded at ‘Elaine’ Upminster Road, Rainham, with a Mr and Mrs Harvey”.67 Doris was a kind and caring person: “I nursed my grandparents John and Ada during their last years and days, my own parents Fred and Grace, uncle Edwin and Aunt Ethel, and I lived with sister Olive for her last years”.68 Doris’ husband Sid was referred to as “little Sid” and Olive’s as “big Sid”.69 Sidney Henry Cosgrove, b 17 Feb 1919, died 1989 Ipswich District.70 Doris died after 2000.
- Olive Ena Brockett, b 28 Sep 1914, Mile End, London East End.59 Olive married Sid PHILLIPS 1939 Romford, Essex.60
- Stanley Thomas, born 11 Aug 1896 in Upton Park, East Ham.71 Married Dorothy ‘Dolly‘ Ethel DRAPER 1921 West Ham.72 Following is a photo of Stanley at his sister Lilian’s wedding in 1924, with a white flower in his ear:
In 1939 “Stanley T Brockett, Married, Tailors Presser, was recorded living with Dorothy E Brockett, born 2 Jun 1896, Married, in Unpaid Domestic Duties, and Norman V Brockett, Single, born 26 Aug 1922, Tailors Cutter, at 73 Wenvoe Avenue, Bexley, Kent”, with 2 others, details not disclosed, presumably their other two sons.73 The family moved to Herne Bay in Kent “on the other side of the water [the Thames]” and did not keep in contact with Stanley’s brothers and sisters.74 Stanley died 24 Dec 1981 aged 8575 at 65 The Broadway, Herne Bay, Kent, Will proved Brighton 16 Mar, not exceeding £25,000.76 Ethel was probably Ethel Kathleen Brockett, who died 7 Mar 1975 Ashford, Kent, aged 88, ie b c 1887, residing 130 Dover Rd, Folkestone, Will proved Brighton 2 May £7,018.77 Children:
- Norman Vincent, b 26 Aug 1922, West Ham District.78 Occupation Draper. Died unmarried 16 Jul 1998 at Miramar Nursing Home, Beltinge, Herne Bay, Kent, Will proved Brighton 7 Aug, estate not exceeding £180,000.79 No children.
- Peggy, b and d 1926, Hackney District.80
- Edgar Thomas, b 1927, Hackney District81 Married 19 Jul 1952 Winifred Mary “Freda” SMALL, born 25 Jun 1927. Edgar’s occupation in 1954: Tent Cutter, of Brookend Rd, Sidcup, Kent.82 Freda Brockett died in 2008 in London.83 Edgar Thomas Brockett died in 2018 in Sussex.84 1 son.
- Stanley Hector, b 2 Nov 1931 Walthamstow. Married Phyllis BERNING 1955 in Sidcup, Kent.85 Her name was also spelt BEARNING and BURNING in GRO records. They resided Forncett, Ravens Bank, Whaplode St Cathrin, Spalding from 1999 at least to 2000.86 Stanley is said to have had healing powers and he said his son did too. No record has so far been found of Stanley’s death, but it presumably preceded Phyllis Mabel Brockett’s on 12 Feb 2016 in Boston, Lincolnshire—address given as Little Paddock, Millfield Lane, West Frampton, Boston—since lawyers Larcomes LLP of Portsmouth, Hampshire, served notice in The Gazette on 12 April 2016 for any person having a claim against or an interest in her estate to contact them.87 2 sons.
- Edwin Walter, b 19 Jan 1898, Upton Park, East Ham;88 married 1926 Ethel LANGFORD, W Ham District.89
In 1939 “Edwin W Brockett, born 19 Jan 1898, Married, Deputy Buyer (Wholesale Textiles), was recorded living with Ethel A Brockett, born 2 Jul 1899, Married, in Unpaid Domestic Duties, and Isabel A Langford, Married, born 16 Oct 1865, Incapacitated, at 85 Blackbush Avenue, Redbridge, Ilford, Essex”.90 In 1946 he resided 85 Blackbush Ave, Chadwell Heath.91 “Edwin was a travelling salesman till he bought the drapers’ shop in London. He retired to Ipswich”.92 Edwin Brockett died 11 Sep 1978 Ipswich Suffolk aged 80,93 at 28 Matson Rd, Ipswich, Will proved Ipswich £1,758.94 Ethel Annie Brockett died 2 Jul 1977 Ipswich Suffolk, aged 78.95 No children.
- Lilian ‘Lily’, b 18 Jun 1899, 7 St Stephen’s Road, Upton Park, East Ham.96 She “married Sidney CROWLEY 26 Jul 1924 in the Parish Church of St Albans, East Ham, Essex, she aged 25, Spinster, Machinist, residing 47 Eversleigh Rd; he 24, Bachelor, residing 43 Eversleigh Rd, one witness [her father] John Brockett”.97 Here are 3 photos of Lilian, the one with the fur stole from 1950s, followed by a photo of Lily and Sidney’s wedding in 1924:98
The couple are seated centre, with Fred Brockett possibly the 3rd from the right in the back row with wife Grace next to him, and Eddie Brockett—still unmarried—in front of him standing behind and between the couple. Along that middle row to the right is Stanley Brockett holding the child, with his wife Dolly next to him at the end of the row, and seated in front of them is his and the bride’s mother, Ada, with her husband John Brockett at the other end of the row. Seated on the ground are Olive on the left, and Doris, the two daughters of Fred and Grace.
Lilian was a fine pianist, despite her hereditary eye condition. In 1939 “Sidney C Crowley, born 29 Aug 1899, Married, Wheat Mixer Man Flower Mill, was recorded living with Lillian Crowley, born 18 Jun 1899, Married, in Domestic Duties, at 9 Chestnut Avenue, Forest Gate, Newham, Essex”.99 Sidney Charles Crowley died in 1976, Newham District, Essex.100 Lilian Crowley died in 1980, Redbridge District, Essex.101 2 daughters.
Frank, b 1868 Guilden Morden,102 baptised 6 Dec 1868, Guilden Morden Church. He “married 5 Aug 1903 Alice WEBB in the Wesleyan Chapel, Brand St, Hitchin, he aged 34, Bachelor, Groom, of 26 Bedford Street, Hitchin, she 25, Spinster, of 1 Whinbush Grove, Hitchin, [brother] W[ilfred] Brockett a witness”.103 Occupation later: Warehouse Worker. Worked in Moss’s Grocers, Hitchin and was a member of Brand Street Methodist Church, residing Ickleford Rd, Hitchin, c 1952. Census records for Frank and Alice:
1871 and 81: Frank was at home with his mother in Guilden Morden, Cambridgeshire, aged 2, and with both parents in Fox Lane, Therfield, Hertfordshire, aged 12, House Boy (Domestic).
1891: At Mill Farm, Tadlow, Cambridgeshire, Frank Brockett, aged 22, Single, b Cambs, Guilden Morden, Nephew, in the household of Mary Newell, 44, Widow, Poultry Manager, and her 5 young sons. For Mary see the separate page.104
1901: With parents in Bedford Street, Hitchin, aged 32, Single.
1911: At 11 Ickleford Rd, Hitchin, Herts, Frank, 41, Head of household, Groom to a Grocer, b G Morden, Cambs; Alice, Wife, 31, b South Hackney, London; Vera, Daughter, 4. Married 7 years, 1 child born alive, 1 still living. 5 rooms in the dwelling, including the kitchen. Entry signed and written by Frank:105
1939: “At 11 Ickleford Rd, Hitchin, Herts, Frank, b 6 Nov 1868, Married, Butchers help And all round man; Alice, Married, b 20 Jul 1878, Unpaid domestic duties”.106
Frank died 1954 Hitchin, aged 85.107 He is to be distinguished from his 2nd cousin Frank Brockett who died in neighbouring Letchworth 1956, see the separate page. Alice died 1970 Hitchin, aged 92, ie b c 1878.108 Child:
- Vera Doris, b 20 Apr 1906, Hitchin;109 married 1930 Arthur FISHER, Biggleswade District.110 In 1939 “Arthur Fisher, b 7 Apr 1902, Married, Centre Lathe Metal Turner Heavy Worker, and Vera Fisher, b 20 Apr 1906, Married, Unpaid domestic duties, with two records officially closed for a century after their birth, lived at 3 Sturgeon’s Way, Walsworth, Hitchin”.111 Vera Doris Fisher died in Hitchin 1998.112
Sarah ‘Sally‘ Jane, b 12 Feb 1871 Royston District,113 baptised 9 Apr 1871 Guilden Morden Church. Sarah married Jack MORECRAFT in 1898 Hitchin District.114 During the war John James Morecraft was a Corporal in the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment, Company WO 329.115 Census records for Sarah and Jack:
1871 and 81: Sarah Brockett was at home with her mother in Guilden Morden, Cambridgeshire, aged 7 weeks, and with both parents in Fox Lane, Therfield, Hertfordshire, aged 10.
1891: “Sarah J Brockett, aged 20, Single, Housemaid Domestic Servant, b Cambridge, Guilden Morden” was working in the household of Robert H Adamson, aged 42, Widower, and his two young sons, in Stoke Newington, London. Also in the household was his sister-in-law Sophia M Reavell, Single, Living on own means, 47, and Mary E Dellar, 18, Single, Housemaid Domestic Servant, both born Cambridge, Guilden Morden.116
1901: John J and Sarah J Morecraft were recorded in “111 Nightingale Rd, Hitchin, he a Surgeon’s Dispenser, aged 24, b Islington, London; she aged 30, b Cambs. Guilden Morden, with daughter Gladys L, 1, b Hitchin”.117
1911: John James and Sarah Jane Morecraft were recorded in “7 Verulam Rd, Hitchin, he a Dispenser in the ‘Surgeon’ industry, aged 34; she aged 40, with 4 children born alive—3 daughters and a son, aged 11, 9, 7 and 2—all at home and all born Hitchin, none died, and nephew Kenith John McLeod, aged 3, born Barnet”. Kenith was Sally’s younger sister Lizzie’s son. The Morecraft spelling of the surname is confirmed by Jack’s signature on the census return.
1939: “At 7 Verulam Rd, Hitchin, John J Morecraft, b 23 Sep 1876, Married, Doctors Dispenser; Sarah J Morecraft, b 12 Feb 1871, Married, Unpaid domestic duties; son John E Morecraft, b 10 Jul 1908, Blacksmith Striker Railway, Single”.118
Lilla ‘Lilly’ Ann, b 31 Oct 1872,121 baptised 14 Sep 1873 Guilden Morden Church. It’s possible that Lilly and Lizzy’s photos have been confused. Lilly married Francis DELLAR 2 Sep 1893, Guilden Morden Church, siblings Sarah Jane, Frank and Lizzie were witnesses. Census records for Lilla and Francis:
1881: “Lilla, aged 8, Scholar” [“Lillian” apparently corrected to “Lilla”] was recorded in her parents’ home in Therfield. She had a namesake 2nd cousin Lilla living in Guilden Morden, one year younger and also the daughter of a Thomas Brockett, see the separate page.
1891: “Lilly A Brocket, aged 18, Single, no occupation, Niece” of the head of household “Joseph Munsey, aged 47, born Restlingworth, Bedfordshire, [i.e. b c 1844] Coal Miner, in Langley Park, Esh, Co Durham“.122
1901: Francis and Lilla Dellar were recorded at “Kiln Cottages, Grove Mill, Walsworth, [near Hitchin], Francis, aged 30, Foreman at a Lime Kiln; Lilla, aged 29; son Sidney, aged 6; and daughter May, 4; all born Guilden Morden”.123
1911: Francis and Lilla Ann Dellar were recorded at “92 Ickleford Rd, Hitchin, he a Blacksmiths Striker in the Iron Founder industry, aged 40; she aged 38, married 17 years, with 4 children born alive—3 still living, one died died—and nephew Donald McLeod, aged 1, born Barnet”.124 Donald was Lilly’s younger sister Lizzie’s younger son.
1939: “At 54 Lancaster Road, Hitchin [5 houses from younger brother Stanley] Francis Dellar, b 18 Feb 1871, Married, General Labourer; Lillie A Dellar, Married, b 31 Oct 1872, Unpaid domestic duties; and son Eric J, b 1915, Single, Wholesale Meat Salesman”.125
Lizzy, b 1875 Royston District,129 but not apparently in the Guilden Morden Church—or Chapel—baptism records. It’s possible that Lizzy and Lilly’s photos above have been confused. Lizzie was a witness to sister Lilly’s marriage 1893. “Lizzie Brockett married Hector McLEOD in St Mary’s Parish Church, Hitchin, 19 May 1902, she aged 27, Spinster, of 26 Bedford Street, Hitchin, he 25, Bachelor, Gardener, of the Parish of St John’s, Chipping Barnett, Herts, son of Murdoch McLeod, Shepherd, witnesses [her brother] J[ack] and [sister] Rose Brockett”.130 Hector, son of Murdo Mcleod and Lucy Mckay was born in Lochbroom, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland, 10 Jan 1874.131 Census records for Lizzie and Hector:
1881: “Lizzie, aged 6, Scholar” was recorded in her parents’ home in Therfield.
1891: “Lizzie Brocket, 18, Single, b Guilden Morden, Cambs, Housemaid (Domestic)” was recorded with her father in Parkstone, Poole, Dorset.132
1901: “Elizabeth Brockett, aged 26, b Guilden Morden, Herts, parlour-maid domestic”, was recorded with younger sister Rose, in the household of “James Harold Howard, Agricultural engineer in iron foundry, aged 43, in the Grange, Kempston, Bedfordshire”.133 Hector Macleod was recorded as a “Gardener Domestic, Single, aged 27, a Boarder in the household of William and Annie Deamer in Ridge, Hertfordshire”, just north of Barnet.134
1911: Hector McLeod was recorded as a “Gardener Domestic, Widower, aged 37, 3 children born alive, 2 still living, a Boarder in the household of William and Annie Deamer in Barnet, Hertfordshire” again.135 The census recorded the two sons of Lizzie and Hector in Hitchin, Kenith aged 3 with Lizzie’s older sister Sarah and Donald aged 1 with older sister Lilla. Both were recorded in Hitchin in 1939: “Kenneth J McLeod, b 27 Jun 1907, Married, Spray Enameller (Metal Goods), with wife Gladys R, and 3 others at 9 Ryder Avenue, Ickleford, Hitchin”; and “Donald C McLeod, b 29 Apr 1909, Married, Under Manager Wholesale Retail Grocery & Provision, and wife Lily M, at 27 York Road, Hitchin”.136 Donald Charles McLeod died in Hitchin District in 1975.137 Kenneth John McLeod died in Hitchin District in 1985.138
1881: At parents’ home, “aged 4, Scholar”.
1891: “At 176 High Rd, Blackheath, Lee, London, Wilfred Brockett, aged 14, Single, Pawnbroker Assistant, b Cambs, Guilden Morden”.143
1901: “Wilfrid Brockett, aged 24, Single, Draper’s Assistant, b Thurfield, at 9 Paddington Green, Paddington, London”, with 61 other Draper’s Assistants and Packers, etc, recorded at nos. 8-10.144 This may have been the living quarters for employees of Spencer, Turner and Boldero’s Drapery at Lisson Grove, near Paddington, where eldest brother John had been a Draper’s Clerk in 1891, see above. ‘Thurfield’, i.e. Therfield, may have been inaccurate on Wilfred’s part.
1911: “At 23 Norwood View, Half Acre Rd, Hanwell. Middx, Wilfred, 34, Head of household, Carpet Salesman, b Morden, Cambs; Emma, Wife, 32, b Mangrove, Herts. Living with them were Emma’s father and step mother. Married 5 years, no children born alive. 5 rooms in the dwelling, including the kitchen. Entry signed and written by Wilfred”:145
1939: “At 31 Shakespeare Road, Ealing, Middlesex, Emma Brockett, b 14 Dec 1878, Widowed, Companion Help; with Charlotte Darch, Widowed, b 17 Dec 1858, Private Means”.146
Wilfred died 10 Nov 1932, aged 56,147 at 56 Half Acre Rd, Hanwell, Mddx; Will proved London 20 Dec to Emma Brockett, Widow, effects valued at £193 4s 5d. Emma died 2 Jul 1961 at 38 Walsworth Rd, Hitchin, Widow, Will proved Peterborough 26 Sep to Wilfred Norman BANKS, Company Director and Cecil Thomas WHEELER, Leather Wheelman [son of sister Rose], effects valued at £2862 8s.148 No children known.
Alfred, born 1878 Royston District.149 Recorded at his parents’ home in Therfield in the 1881 census, aged 2. Alfred Brockett of Fox Lane was buried in Therfield 16 March 1882, aged 3.150 Both Guilden Morden and Therfield were in Royston registration district, but his baptism was recorded in neither the Therfield Parish Register,151 nor the Guilden Morden one.152 Not to be confused with his namesake 2nd cousin Alfred son of Thomas and Sarah Brockett, who was also born in 1879 but in Guilden Morden, and likewise was not recorded in the Guilden Morden parish register, see the separate page.
Edwin, b 4 Sep 1880 Therfield, baptised 7 Nov 1880 Therfield.153 By 1895 teh family had moved to Hitchin, where Edwin became a gymnast with the Hitchin Blue Cross Temperance Brigade. The Brigade was started Jan 19 1874 by some members of the Bible class of Arthur Latchmore, a Hitchin Quaker. It was led by Latchmore till his death in 1908 and continued till 1929.154 By the end of the first year there were 25 members and in 1888 there were 100, and about 150 each year thereafter. Some 2000 young men in all passed through over 50 years. It was undenominational and unpolitical, and they endeavoured to set an example of “temperance and purity to the young men of the town and the manly virtues and duties of citizenship”, engaging in activities like “cricket, football, cycling, running, swimming, gymnastics, indoor games, and entertainments, and efforts of a spiritual nature.” They were the winners of the Hertfordshire County Football League in 1899.155 It was a kind of secret society, the members were not expected to divulge anything that was done inside the ranks. They had a sign of recognition: to put the right hand or left hand to the breast, and a password “Take care”. “Another object of the society was the cultivation of a spirit of comradeship and the development of friendly relations that would make them feel members of one family – one brotherhood.” In 1902 Edwin won a gold medal for his gymnastics. The images below date from around 1900.156
Edwin is standing to the right of the parallel bars in one image and seated in the centre in the other:
Edwin worked as a Carpenter at Barkers in Hitchin, Herts. He married Olive Fanny IZZARD 12 Jun 1905 in Hitchin.157 Five years later Edwin Brockett, aged 29, sailed Steerage on the ‘Tunisian’ from Liverpool to Quebec, arriving 8 Jul 1910, destination Detroit, Michigan.158 Olive, aged 25, Edwin, 5, and Irene, 10 months, followed in 3rd class (Steerage) on the ‘Empress Britain’ from Liverpool to Quebec, arriving 13/14 Oct 1910, destination Detroit, Michigan.159 For other Broket immigrants to N America in the 20th C see the separate page.
“Edwin sailed to Quebec from Liverpool on the SS Tunisian and soon found work to pay for his wife and two young children to join him. Their home town was Lincoln Park, where they were members of the First Methodist Church”.160 “They moved to Detroit, Michigan, in 1910. From 1925 onwards they lived in Lincoln Park, and were living in Lincoln Park Towers in 1970. Before retirement, Edwin was a maintenance man for the local school system. They were members of the First Methodist Church, and in 1970 had 6 children living, 25 grandchildren and 44 great grandchildren. Edwin sang in the Church Choir for more than 40 years”.161
Census records for Edwin and Olive:
For the 1881, 91 and 1901 censuses Edwin was at home with his parents in the UK see above. Edwin and Olive and their first two children weren’t recorded in the 1910 US census, which was taken in April.
1920 3 Jan: “At 7 Fulton Ave, Detroit Ward 20, Wayne, Michigan, Edwin Brockett, aged 39, Carpenter, owner of mortgaged home, papers submitted for naturalization; with wife Olive F, 34, born England, and 4 children: son Edwin W, 13; and daughters Irene O, 10; Elsie M, 8; and Dorothy V, 2 and 10 months; all White and all born England except the last two in Michigan”.162
1930 7 Apr: “At house #1203, Park St, Lincoln Park, Wayne, Michigan, Edwin Brockett, aged 49, born England, Carpenter, owner of home valued at 11000, naturalized; with wife Olive F, 44, born England, naturalized; and 5 children: Edwin W, 23, born England, Electrician in Auto factory, naturalized; Elsie A [sic], 18, Operator in Beauty Shop; Dorothy V, 13; Thomas C, 9; and Robert W, 1 and 2 months; all White and the 4 younger children all born in Michigan”.163 Daughter Irene had married in 1929, see below.
1940 23 Apr: “At house #1611 Lafayette Street, Lincoln Park, Wayne, Michigan, Edwin Brockett, aged 59, born England, naturalized, Janitor in public school, owner of home worth 4000, income 1299; with wife Olive, 54, born England, naturalized; and sons Thomas, 19, born Michigan, Printer Apprentice at a Daily Newspaper, income 720; and Robert, 11, born Michigan; all White and in the same house in 1935″.164 Next door was a Dickson family from Scotland.
In 1917 Edwin, aged 38, signed up for World War I. He resided “7 Fulton Ave, Detroit, next of kin wife Olive Fanny Brockett”. He was described as a “Carpenter, Physical Build: Slender, Height: Medium, Hair Color: Grey, Eye Color: Brown”:165
A photo taken late 1917 shows—from left to right back row: Edwin jnr, Edwin snr, Olive; front row: Elsie, Irene, Dorothy.
In 1942 Edwin, aged 62, signed up for World War II, residing Lincoln Park, Michigan, next of kin wife Olive Fanny Brockett. He was described as “White, 5ft 9 1/2in, weight 159, gray eyes, brown hair, light complexion”:166
- Edwin Wilford, b 23 Oct 1906 Hitchin, Herts.169 He married Elizabeth DICKSON 24 Jul 1933 in Cook County, IL.170 Census record for Edwin and Elizabeth:
1940 9 Apr: “At house #18016 Ruth Danton Allen Road, Melvindale, Wayne, Michigan, Edwin Brockett, aged 33, born England, naturalized, Electrician in Steel Mill, owner of home worth 2500, income 3000; with wife Elizabeth, 31, born Scotland, alien; and son Edwin Jr, 5, born Michigan; all White and in the same house in 1935″.171
1940 16 Oct: Edwin Wilford Brockett, aged 33, signed up for World War II, residing 18016 Henry Street, Melvindale, Michigan, next of kin wife Elizabeth Brockett. He was described as “White, 5ft 9½in, weight 159, gray eyes, brown hair, light complexion, employed by Detroit Steel”:172 He signed the card:173
Elizabeth died 19 Apr 1969 Livonia, Michigan. 1 son:
Edwin Charles, born 18 Oct 1934 in Detroit and spent most of his life in the automotive industry in the Detroit area. In retirement in his late 60s he took up acting as a clown in shows:
Edwin C Brockett died 14 Aug 2016. Married, 1 daughter, 1 son. For extracts from Edwin C Brockett’s funeral eulogy by his son:Read more“My dad was born 1934, along with Ralph Nader, Sophia Loren, Hank Aaron, and Pat Boone. The President was Franklin D Roosevelt.1934 was the turning point of the Great Depression (its low point). That year saw Radar technology, the Trampoline, and the Cheeseburger invented.
New house = $5,970
Average wage = $1,600
Pound of Hamburger =12¢
Loaf of Bread = 8¢
Gallon of Gas = 10¢
I never knew why Grandma and Grandpa only had one child, but I’m glad they had that one. My dad was born in Detroit and spent most of his life in the Detroit area.
Growing up in Michigan and then raising his own family there, dad took advantage of the beauty Michigan has to offer. We spent many, many days and weeks appreciating and exploring God’s creation, whether it was our family spending time at the cabin, or camping in West Virginia or Montana, or when just he and I would go canoeing over a weekend together. Those were great memories for me. He and I would canoe overnight or on a weekend canoe trip, where I learned how to deal with rattle snakes in upper Michigan, felt rain running down my back for what seemed like an eternity because I didn’t have the right rain gear, and enjoyed eating burned food I had tried to cook over an open fire (all great memories).
14  years ago, when my dad joined the clowns, he actually was thinking of joining the canoe club. Dad had good memories of those times, so he thought that sounded like the club for him, but after he heard that there were alligators on the river that they would be canoeing on, that ended his interest in the canoe club and he decided to check out the clowns.
My dad’s career took him into tooling for the automotive industry in and around Detroit. He worked for large companies like TRW, and for small ones like J.E. Wood Company, a small independent tool manufacturer. After designing and building tooling for many years, my dad went into sales as a Sales Engineer, offering his technical expertise as a compliment to his skill as a sales person. My dad had a million stories, and all of those stories involved people… They say my dad died of natural causes (heart failure). He also had cancer for 14 years and Alzheimer’s disease for the last seven.”
Edwin W married Clarabelle HARPER Jun 1972 in Harrison Congregational Church, Co Clare, Michigan. Clarabelle died Jul 1991. Edwin died 14 Jan 1997, last residence 48625, Harrison, Clare, Michigan.174 For extracts from a two-page biography for his 90th birthday in 1996 written by his son Read more
“Started school at Higgins Elementary on Krupp St—later Olivet St—Detroit, near Fort St and Miller Rd. Married a Scottish lass Elizabeth DICKSON in 1933 and set up home in Melvindale, Livonia. In 1941 worked in the Steel Mills. Learnt electrical engineering and in 1945 joined Bendix Corp as an Electrician. Built a log cabin on Sutherland Lake, Harrison, MI. 1949 moved out near Farmington Rd, Livonia and built a house. Electrician with GM Fisher Body, Livonia, for 13 years, retiring 1969. A year or so later he moved north to Harrison and met Widow Clarabelle HARPER and a year or so after that they married in the Congregational Church. A keen Gardener, he was specially known for his geraniums.”
- Irene Olive, b 17 Apr 1909 Hitchin.175 Married 29 Oct 1929 Leroy Edwin STEPHENS in Wood, Ohio.176 The couple were recorded with 3 young sons and a daughter in the 1940 census at 15049 Jackson Street, Taylor, Wayne, Michigan, his occupation Compositor.177 Irene Olive Stephens died 1 Apr 1994 at Dearborn Heights, Wayne, Michigan, resident of Taylor, Wayne.178
- Elsie May, b 26 Oct 1911 Detroit, Michigan. On 9 Jun 1930, 8 months after her older sister, Elsie Brockett married William Joseph MAZEI in Wood, Ohio, giving her age as 21—in fact 18 (like him).179 The couple were recorded with 4 young sons in the 1940 census at 822 Montie Road, Lincoln Park, Wayne, Michigan [his parents’ home], William’s occupation Gas Station Manager.180 Elsie M Mazei died 17 Jul 1990 in Trenton, Wayne, Michigan, resident of Riverview, Wayne.181
- Dorothy V, b 19 Feb 1917. Married 21 Jan 1939 Frederick L WALDECKER in Melvindale, Wayne, Michigan.182 The couple were recorded with a 9 month old daughter in the 1940 census at 1420 Fort Park Avenue Lincoln Park, Wayne, Michigan, his occupation Truck Driver.183 Frederick died 28 Aug 1991 in Trenton, Wayne, Michigan.184 Dorothy died 18 Dec 2014 (aged 97) at New Boston, Wayne County, Michigan.185 8 children.
- Thomas Charles, b 16 Jul 1920 Detroit.186 Thomas, aged 21, Printer, married 16 Aug 1941 June Mary SABOURIN, aged 17, daughter of John R and Elizabeth Sabourin, at Lincoln Park, Wayne, by a Catholic priest.187 On 16 Feb 1942, aged 21, Thomas Charles Brockett signed up for World War II. His draft card recorded that he resided 30624 Bayview, Gibraltar, Wayne, Michigan, next of kin Mrs Edwin Brockett of 1611 Lafayette Blvd, Detroit, and was “White, 5ft 10in, weight 150, brown eyes, brown hair, light complexion, employed by the Trenton Times”:188 Tom signed the draft card:189
Tom served in Germany and helped liberate one of the largest German concentration camps. June Mary Brockett (born Detroit 29 May 1924) died 21 Feb 1998, last residence 48192, Wyandotte, Wayne, Michigan.190 buried at Michigan Memorial Park, Flat Rock, Wayne, Michigan.191 Thomas died 16 Dec 2005, last residence 48192, Wyandotte, Wayne, Michigan.192 2 daughters.
- Robert ‘Bob‘ Willliam, b 9 Feb 1929 Detroit. Musician. After World War two was over in 1945 the United States continued the draft and required 18 year old men to register. On 11 Feb 1947, aged 18, Robert William Brockett registered although he was never drafted to serve. His draft card recorded that he resided Lincoln Park, Michigan, next of kin mother Olive Brockett, and was “White, 5ft 6in, weight 114, brown eyes, brown hair, light complexion, employed by [actually a member of the union of] the American Federation of Musicians“.193 Bob signed the draft card:194
Bob graduated in music from Wayne State University and after marrying in 1953, played the trumpet in several symphony orchestras in North Carolina, Kansas City, New Orleans On returning to the Detroit area he taught music and was orchestra director at a high school in Royal Oak (85 kids in the orchestra). Bob died 7 Jun 2007, aged 78, last residence 48017 Clawson, Michigan.195 Married, 2 sons, 1 daughter.
Rose, born 8 Oct 1882 Fox Lane, Therfield,196 baptised as Rosa the same day 8 Oct 1882, Therfield.197 Rose married George WHEELER in 1916 in Hitchin District.198 George must have died in the first World War, as Rose, Widow of George Charles Wheeler was recorded receiving a WW1 Widow’s pension.199 It’s possible that George was Company Quarter Master Sergeant in the Royal Engineers Inland Waterways Transport Regiment, with Mentions in Despatches, Meritorious Service Medals and Territorial Force Efficiency Medals.200 Census records for Rose:
1891: “Rose Brocket, aged 8, Scholar, born Therfield”, was at her parents’ home in Guilden Morden.
1901: “Rose Brockett, aged 18, b Therfield, Herts, House-maid domestic” was recorded with older sister Elizabeth [Lizzy], in the household of “James Harold Howard, Agricultural engineer in iron foundry, aged 43, in the Grange, Kempston, Bedfordshire”.201
1911: “Rose Brockett, aged 28, Single, [no occupation given] born Therfield”, was at her parents’ home in 36 Bedford Street, Hitchin, see above.
1939: “Rose Wheeler, Widow, Unpaid Domestic [Duties], was recorded living with her son Cecil Wheeler, born 22 Feb 1917, Single, Leather Finisher (Wheel Man), at 36 Bedford Street, Hitchin”, her parents’ old house.202
Rose was residing 36 Bedford Street in 1952,203 and when she died 18 Mar 1974, aged 91.204 Her Will was proved at Ipswich 7 May 1974, estate valued at £2474.205 Cecil Thomas WHEELER, Leather Wheelman, was executor to Rose’s brother Wilfred’s wife Emma in 1961. Cecil was residing 36 Bedford Street in the 1970s.206
Arthur Alfred, b 28 Jan 1885 Fox Lane, Therfield;207 baptised 22 Mar 1885 Therfield.208 One transcription of his baptism record gave his birth in Guilden Morden as on 28 Jan 1879, which was more like that of his namesake brother, who was born in 1879 and died in 1882. At the age of 10, “Alf Brockett, son of Thomas, of 41 Old Park Rd, Hitchin, having reached standard 1 at his last school in Guilden Morden, was admitted to standard 2 at St Mary’s Hitchin Boys School 18 Feb 1895, and withdrew 17 Jul 1896”.209 It appears that Alfred didn’t attend school while the family lived in Therfield 1892-5. Alfred A Brockett married Ethel RICE 1916 Hitchin District.210 Census records for Alf and Ethel:
1891 / 1901: Alfred was at his parents’ home in Guilden Morden, aged 6, Scholar, and in Hitchin, aged 15, Bread Baker.
1911: In W Ham, Essex1—as “Alfred Arthur Brockett, 26, Single, Baker”—living with eldest brother John and family.211
1939: “At Beehive Stores, Aston, Hertford, Alfred A Brocket, b 28 Jan 1884 [actually 1885], Married, General Dealer (Own Account); Ethel, Married, b 3 Feb 1882, Unpaid domestic duties”.212
Alfred was a Baker and Confectioner in Nott’s Bakery, Nightingale Rd, Hitchin, then a Greengrocer in Hoddesden, Herts, where he resided in c 1952.213 “Alfred Arthur died 17 Dec 1966 of bronchopneumonia and senility at the County Hospital, Hertford Herts, aged 81, a retired Shopkeeper—general stores—of 25 Whitley Rd, Hoddesdon, informant E Brockett, Widow of deceased”.214 Ethel died 1972 Ware, Herts, aged 89, ie b c 1883.215 No children.
6th surviving son of Thomas and Mary Ann, Francis ‘France‘ Brockett was born 9 Jul 1887 in Therfield, baptised 28 Aug 1887, Guilden Morden. At the age of 7, “Francis Brockett, son of Thomas, of 41 Old Park Rd, Hitchin, having reached standard 0 at his last school in Guilden Morden, was admitted to standard 1 at St Mary’s Hitchin Boys School 27 Feb 1895. He was presented to standard 2 in 1897 and 98, standard 3 in 1899, standard 4 in 1900 and withdrew 14 Sep 1900”.216 He married Lottie FOSTER 31 Oct 1907 in Hitchin.217 He was a Grocer’s Assistant at marriage and Lottie a Dressmaker.218 Census records for Francis and Lottie:
1891 / 1901: Francis was at his parents’ home in Guilden Morden, aged 3, and in Hitchin, aged 13, “House Boy Domestic”.
1911: “In Walsworth, Hitchin, Herts, Francis, 23, Head of household, Grocers Assistant, b Therfield, Herts; Lottie, Wife, 23, b Hitchin, Herts; Bernard Francis, Son, 1, b Hitchin, Herts; Married 3 years, 1 child born alive, 1 still living. 5 rooms in the dwelling, including the kitchen”. Entry signed and written by Francis:219
1939: “At 149 Bedford Road, Hitchin, Francis Brockett, Married, b 9 Jul 1887, Telecommunications Instal[ler], Post Office Engineering […]; Lottie, b 11 Jul 1887, Married, Unpaid domestic duties; Daphne J (later Bigg), Single, b 7 Sep 1916, Dispatch Clerk (Photo Pap[…]”.220
Francis enlisted for World War 1 in the Bedford and Herts Regiment of the Army on 20 Feb 1914 until discharged 9 May 1919, by which time he was an Acting Sergeant, aged 33, having served overseas.221 According to a 1952 Hitchin newspaper, Francis was a Sergeant Major in World War 1, and returned to live in his parents’ old house in Bedford Rd, Hitchin. Lottie died 24 Jan 1969 Hitchin, aged 81,222 at 149 Bedford Rd, Hitchin, Administration London 9 May, estate value at £693.223 Francis died a month later 25 Feb 1969, also aged 81,224 also at 149 Bedford Rd, Hitchin, Administration London 5 May, estate value at £1,651.225 Children (4 sons, 2 daughters):
- Bernard Francis, born 7 Oct 1909 in Hitchin.226 Married 1 Sep 1934 Ida NOTTAGE Hitchin.227 In 1939 “Bernard F Brockett, Mechanic Motor Garage, Married, was recorded living with Lola Brockett, b 9 Mar 1909, Married, Unpaid domestic duties, at 7 Redhill Road, Hitchin”.228 Lola must have been another name for Ida. Ida was born 4 Mar 1909, and died 26 Sep 1995 aged 86.229 Bernard “died 9 Jan 1998, aged 89, residing Minsden House, Wratten Rd, West Hitchin, Administration London 5 Mar, estate not exceeding £180,000”.230 Children 1 son, 1 daughter:
- Phyllis Rita, b 24 May 1913 Hitchin. 234 Rita P Brockett married Geoffrey HULL 1938 in Hitchin.235 In 1939 “Geoffrey G Hull, b 14 Mar 1910 [Hicthin], Married, Textiles Light Clothing Assistant Factory Manager, was recorded living with Rita P Hull, b 24 May 1913, Married, Librarian, at 7 Hampden Road, Hitchin”.236 Geoffrey George Hull died 1984 Stevenage District, Hertfordshire.237 Rita Phyllis Hull resided Brixham, Devon, and died 2006, Torbay District, Devon.238 2 sons, 1 daughter.
- Francis, b 1914, Hitchin;239 d 1914, Hitchin.240
- Daphne Joyce, b 7 Sep 1916, Hitchin.241 Bridesmaid at cousin Agnes’ wedding.242 Married 1951 George R BIGG in Hitchin.243 Resided Tiptree, Essex 1998.244 She died 2005, Chelmsford District.245 Was George the George Reginald Bigg, b 27 Aug 1916, who died 1994, Colchester District?246 1 daughter.
- Jack, b 1923, Hitchin.247 He married Barbara H WALDOCK 1944 in Blackpool.248 Occupation: Company Director, Sterlings Chemicals. Resided 37 Wymondley Rd, Hitchin, SG4 9PR, for 33 years.249 He “died 14 Oct 2006, residing 37 Wymondley Rd, Hitchin, Will proved Ipswich 5 Jan, estate valued at £399,797”.250 “Barbara Hilda Brockett died 20 Apr 2017, residing Newcastle upon Tyne, Will proved 23 Aug 2017”.251 2 daughters, 2 sons.
- Geoffrey Percival, b 3 Oct 1924, Hitchin.252 Worked in the Oil Industry and lived at Ampthill, near Woburn.253 He married June M KIRBY 1957 Hemel Hempstead.254 In 1969-70 Geoffrey P and June M Brockett were on the electoral roll for the parish of Steppingley, mid-Bedfordshire, address the French Horn.255 The French Horn is a pub at 7 Church End, Steppingley, c 2m SW of Ampthill. Geoofre P Brockett died Jan 1998, Hitchin.256 2 sons, 1 daughter.
7th and youngest surviving son of Thomas and Mary Ann, Stanley Lawrence Brockett was born 23 Aug 1891 Royston District,257 baptised 25 Oct 1891, Guilden Morden Church. With his parents in Hitchin in 1911, aged 19, see above. He married Agnes Maud PEACHER 1913 Aylsham District, Norfolk.258 Resided Hitchin. Called ‘Big Stan’, and was an Iron Moulder at Isaacs of St Ippolitts, and in Letchworth.259 Agnes died 1926 Hitchin, aged 37.260 Census records for Stan:
1901 / 1911: Stanley was at his parents’ home in Hitchin, aged 9 and 19, Iron Moulder.
1939: “Stanley L Brockett, Widower, in Progress Mechanical Engineering, was recorded living with his daughter Agnes Brockett, Single (later Stranz), Corset Cutter, and son Lawrence S Brockett, Single, in Aircraft Body Building, at 59 Lancaster Road, Hitchin” [5 houses from sister Lilla].261
Stanley “died 5 Sep 1971, Hitchin, aged 80, residing 61 Wellingham Ave, Hitchin, Will proved Ipswich 19 Nov, estate valued at £780”.262 Children:
- Agnes Brockett, b 21 Jan 1914 Hitchin;263 married 4 Nov 1944 William Roland STRANTZ, of the US Army, in Hitchin.264 Moved to the USA. Agnes Strantz died 8 Dec 2007, aged 93, resident of Venture Out, Florida Keys, buried in Pensacola.265 Lt. Col. (Ret.) William R Strantz died 5 May 2009, aged 89, resident of Venture Out, Florida Keys.266 1 son.
- Lawrence Stanley Brockett, born 19 Jun 1916 Hitchin;267 Stan married 1941 Marjorie JONES in Hitchin.268 Senior Quality Assurance Aircraft Inspector, British Aerospace.269 Stan “died 22 Mar 2002, residing 61 Wellingham Ave, Hitchin, Will proved Winchester 8 May, estate not exceeding £87,000”.270 Marjorie Brockett died 2004 Hitchin, aged 84.271 1 daughter.
Page Last Updated: May 1, 2021