William COLLIS

William COLLIS

Male 1826 - 1900  (73 years)

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  • Name William COLLIS 
    Born 20 May 1826  Chipping Hill, Witham, Essex, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Occupation Brewer, Carpenter and Bar Keeper 
    Reference Number
    _UID 9AD4983E54D12041B7753B0AE56EB762A723 
    Died 3 Feb 1900  Brentwood, Contra Costa, California, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried 5 Feb 1900  Union Cemetary, Brentwood, Contra Costa, California, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I207  SteveParker
    Last Modified 5 Jul 2019 

    Father Christopher Annett COLLIS,   b. 7 May 1800, Braintree, Essex, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Jun 1869, South Stoneham, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 69 years) 
    Mother Maria BRIDGE,   b. Abt 1797, Witham, Essex, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 May 1833, Chipping Hill, Witham, Essex, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 36 years) 
    Married 7 Jun 1821  Witham, Essex, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    _UID 60650F347B62764088D4D1428E539BA72D81 

    • Maria Bridge
      England, Essex Parish Registers
      Name Christopher Collis
      Event Type Marriage
      Event Date 07 Jun 1821
      Event Place Witham, Essex, England
      Gender Male
      Marital Status Married
      Spouse's Name Maria Bridge
    Family ID F127  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Anne Esther RANDALL,   b. 13 Mar 1828, 77 London Rd, Southwark, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Jan 1918, Brentwood, Contra Costa, California, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 89 years) 
    Married 18 Nov 1852  Saint Pauls Church, Hammersmith, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • England, Select Marriages, 1538–1973
      Name: William Collis
      Gender: Male
      Marital Status: Single
      Age: 26
      Birth Date: 1826
      Marriage Date: 18 Nov 1852
      Marriage Place: St. Paul, Hammersmith, Middlesex, England
      Father: Christopher Aus...Ett Collis
      Spouse: Ann Esther Randall
      FHL Film Number: 1966291
      Reference ID: it 1, pg 190, rn 379
     1. Ada Annie COLLIS,   b. 12 Nov 1853, Barnes, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Nov 1925, Stockton, San Joaquin, California, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years)
     2. William Arthur COLLIS,   b. 24 Nov 1854, Barnes, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Jan 1937, Stockton, San Joaquin, California, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years)
     3. Laura Elizabeth COLLIS,   b. 6 Apr 1856, Richmond, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Apr 1858, Southwark, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 2 years)
     4. Anna Bertha COLLIS,   b. 23 Aug 1857, Camberwell, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Jan 1865, Kensington, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 7 years)
     5. Alfred George COLLIS,   b. 9 May 1859, Buffalo, Erie, New York, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Feb 1865, KensingPhiladelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 5 years)
     6. Austin Watson COLLIS,   b. 29 Jan 1864, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Apr 1942, Pittsburg, Contra Costa, California, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years)
     7. Rachael COLLIS,   b. 9 Feb 1866, Hammonton, Atlantic, New Jersey, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Aug 1912, Brentwood, Contra Costa, California, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 46 years)
     8. Walter Winner COLLIS,   b. 14 Sep 1868, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Jan 1930, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 61 years)
     9. Florence Elizabeth COLLIS,   b. 8 Jan 1871, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Jan 1945, Stockton, San Joaquin, California, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years)
     10. Lillian Esther COLLIS,   b. 11 Oct 1872, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Feb 1954, Stockton, San Joaquin, California, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)
    Last Modified 29 Mar 2021 
    Family ID F125  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 

    • Things to do:
      1. look for George Collis, brother to William in 1861 census as a painter? found him in 1891 and probably also 1901.
      2. How do I know that in 1859 William arrived in Philadelphia, PA?
      3. Newspapers of Hammonton, NJ and graves in Kensington. Did they choose Kensington because of Kensington, ENG
      4. Naturalization papers Petition Aug 1858, New York county
      5. Find any info on William 1826 to 1841. Ask Bert any newspaper accounts about Father?
      6. Info on Chipping Hill, Witham, Essex, England
      7. Who did the temple work for William's father, Christopher? and Anne's sealing to parents, 22 Jan 1971 S G
      8. Who is Henry W. Chappell, grandson, in 1851 census?
      9. Is there a will for Thomas Randall and also Elizabeth Randall?
      10. Plot town's lived in: Witham, Brixton, , Hammersmith, Barnes, Richmond, Camberwell, Southwark.
      11. Brentwood homestead papers. Did they choose Brentwood because there is a Brentwood near London?
      12. Cemetary in Southwark for Randall and Laura Elizabeth Collis
      13. Christening of first four children in England
      14. Why did he enlist in Union Army
      15. Why did they come to California?
      16. Is there information on the saloon on Berry Street, SF? land records?

      Timeline for William Collis
      1826 May, William bn Chipping Hill, Witham, Essex, England
      1833 May, William's mother Maria died, Chipping Hill, Witham
      1838 Oct, William's father, Christopher Collis, marries Eliza Parker, St Giles, Cripplegate, London
      1841 Census: living with father Christopher Collis, step mother, Eliza and several brothers and sisters,
      Civil Parish:Lambeth (St. Mary Lambeth Parish), Brixton, Surrey, England, Camberwell Lane So
      1846 July, William's father marries Alice Honeysett
      1851 Census: William is an Inn keeper living with brother, George, and sister Dorcus in Lambeth, (also a Betsey Ann
      Collis, a neice, and Wesley W Chappell who is listed as a grandson, probably to William's father, Christopher.)
      Brixton, Surrey,England. (Brixton is a short distance from where Anne Randall lived)
      1852 Nov, married Anne Randall, St. Pauls Parish, Hammersmith, Middlesex, England
      1853 Nov, daughter, Ada Annie born in Barnes, England
      1854 Nov, son, William Arthur born in Barnes, England
      1856 Apr, daughter, Laura Elizabeth born in Richmond, England
      1857 Jan, Anne's father, Thomas, died.
      1857 Aug, daughter, Anna Bertha born in Camberwell, England
      1858 April 6 - Laura Elizabeth died at London Rd. Southwark, England (apparently at grandparent's
      house just after Anne's father, Thomas, died.)
      1858 April 25 - Sailed from port in London, England, to America
      1858 June 3 - Arrived New York (It looks like the trip took less than 1 1/2 months.)
      1858 Aug, Petition for Naturalization, New York County
      1859 May 9, son, Alfred George born in Buffalo, New York
      1860 Census in Buffalo, New York, Wm, Ann and 4 children, he is listed as a brewer
      1861 May 12, enlisted in Company F 21st regiment of New York Volunteers of Union Army in Elmira,
      New York
      1861 July-Oct served as a nurse in hospital
      1862 June - Feb 1863 was ill in hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with war related disability
      1863 Feb 9, discharged due to disability
      1864 son, Austin Watson born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
      1865 Jan, daughter, Anna Bertha, age 7, & Feb, son, Alfred George, age 5, buried in Kennsington, Pennsylvania
      1866 daughter, Rachel born in Hammonton, New Jersey
      1867 Sep 3 - 1 1/2 story house on 3 1/4 acres for sale in Hammonton, New Jersey for $100. (Philadelphia Exchange)
      1868 listed in San Francisco directory at Mission & Precita
      1868 Sept listed in San Francisco directory at Berry Street
      1868 Sept son, Walter Winner born Berry Street, San Francisco
      1870 Census, San Francisco, Wm, Ann and 5 children, He is listed as a Carpenter
      1871 daughter, Florence born San Francisco
      1872 daughter, Lillian born San Francisco
      1871-74 listed in San Francisco directory at Berry Street as a saloon keeper
      1876 homesteaded in Brentwood, Contra Costa, California
      1880 Census, Tnp 5 Contra Costa County, Wm Ann and 7 children, He is a farmer
      1884 homestead recorded'
      1896 California great register Contra Costa County, farmer, age 70, 5 feet 6 1/2 inches fair complexion, hazel eyes,
      brown hair, born Entgland. naturalized 4 Sept 1870, Dist. San Francisco, registered 5 Aug 1896
      1900 William died at age 73 in Brentwood of a brain hemorrage and is buried in the Point of Timber cemetery, now
      called the Union Cemetary
      1900 Census, Ann, widow, and 2 daughters living in Contra Costa County, CA
      1910 Census, Ann and one daughter living in Contra Costa County, CA
      1918 Anne Esther died in Brentwood of old age at almost age 90.

      William Collis and Anne Esther Randall

      William Collis and Anne Esther Randall were married by license on the 18th day of November in 1852 in Saint Paul's church in the Parish of Hammersmith, Middlesex County, England. This is where William's father lived at the time. It is said that Anne's parents did not approve of the marriage. The story passed down is that her father was not pleased and may have disowned her when she married William Collis, who was a brewer. The 1851 Census shows William is an Inn keeper, or publican, of the Royal Veteran at # 8 Zoar Place, living with his brother, George, and sister, Dorcus, in Lambeth, a civil parish and within the ecclesiastic parish of Brixton, in the county of Surrey, England. The Inn in Lambeth was probably no more than a mile from Thomas Randall's butcher shop. Did William Collis meet Anne Randall at the Inn or at her father's butcher shop when he bought pork for the Inn? Perhaps William and Anne met at some local social activity. It is unknown where and when they met.

      Anne was born 13 March 1828 at Southwark, (which means south of London Bridge), England. She was the oldest of 8 children of Thomas Randall and Elizabeth Benfield, his wife. In the 1851 census, she is listed as a butcher's assistant. Anne Esther Randall was said to have been a lady in waiting to queen Victoria. The story is told by the family that the queen gave Anne a pair of silk stockings that are still in the family. As far as can be proven, it is just a fun family story. ( The royal archives in England have no record of this and they say that they keep very good records of Ladies in Waiting. Nor do they have any record of her mother, Elizabeth or Ann Benfield as a lady in waiting). There is a photo on glass of Elizabeth Benfield Randall. There is also a photo and an oil painting of Anne Esther as a child. The oil painting is said to have been hanging on the wall of her home during the San Francisco earthquake on April 18, 1906. Florence saved the painting by cutting it out of the frame and rolling it up. Thus Florence kept it in her home eventually giving it to her brother, William's oldest son, Langley.

      Anne's father, Thomas Randall, was a pork butcher at 78 London Road in Southwark, England. He had his own coach and footman and at least one servant. In the 19th century at least 80% of the population was working class. In order to be considered middle class you had to have at least one servant. Anne was christened in Saint George the Martyr Church and a part of the Church of England, which was just down the street from their home and butcher shop. The family very likely attended church with Charles Dickens. There was a debtor's prison, Marshalsea jail, next door to the church. At the time Anne was growing up, Charles Dicken's father was in that debtor's prison. Charles Dicken's would visit his father there. Although he worked outside as a boot black, it is most likely that Charles Dicken's also attended that same church as a child. Even the prisoners were let out to attend church.

      Conditions in early 19th century towns were often dreadful as seen through the eyes and stories of Charles Dickens. towns were dirty, unsanitory and overcrowded. Streets were very often unpaved and they were not cleaned. Rubbish was not collected and it was allowed to accumulate in piles in the streets. Since most of it was organic, when it turned black and sticky it was used as fertiliser. Furthermore in the early 19th century poor people often had cesspits, which were not emptied very often. Later in the century many people used earth closets. (A pail with a box containing granulated clay over it. When you pulled a lever clay covered the contents of the pail). In the early 19th century only wealthy people had flushing lavatories and poor families often had to share toilets. On Sunday mornings queues (long lines) formed at the public toilets. In the late 19th century flushing lavatories became common.

      Given these horrid conditions it is not surprising that disease was common. Life expectancy in towns was low (significantly lower than in the countryside) and infant mortality was very high. British towns and cities suffered outbreaks of cholera in 1831-32 and again in 1848-49. Fortunately the last outbreak at last spurred people into action.
      In the late 19th century most towns dug sewers and created piped water supplies, which made life much healthier.

      Within 4 1/2 years of their marriage, William and Anne had 4 children: Ada Anne, William Arthur, Laura Elizabeth, and Anna Bertha; all born in England in varying towns just west of London. Ada Anne born November 12,1853 and William Arthur, born November 24, 1854, both in Barnes, Surry County; an area just south of London with several breweries. Laura Elizabeth born April 6, 1856, in Richmond, and Anna Bertha born 23 August, 1857,in Camberville.

      Why did they decide to come to America? Was it adventure that prompted them to emigrate to the United States? Was it lack of funds? Was it the falling out with her father? Whatever the reason, they were preparing to leave England, when their 3rd child, Laura Elizabeth, died suddenly, at 2 years of age, just 8 days before sailing. Ironically, she died at Anne's parent's home on London Road in Southwark. Anne's father, Thomas Randall, had died the previous year. It is believed the baby died from the inoculations received in preparation for the trip. The dye was cast. Their tickets had been purchased, so on the 25 of April in 1858, they left from London, England, and sailed for America on the ship, Cornelius Grinnell, with Capt A. G. Fletcher. They arrived in New York on the 3 of June of that same year. The voyage had taken less than one and a half months. What kind of a hardship was it to sail across the Atlantic Ocean in that small ship with three small children and to leave a little one behind in a new grave? Anne surely was grieving in her heart, but kept busy in body by the needs of her other three children.

      The first known place of residence in the U.S. is Buffalo, New York, where their 5th child Alfred George was born May 9, 1859. William and his family were living in Buffalo during the 1860 census and he was listed as a brewer, his occupation in England. It is from Buffalo on the 4th of May, 1861, at age 34, that William enlisted in the 21st Regiment of New York volunteers in the Union Army and served as a private under General Wadsworth in Virginia. His description is given as light complected, hazel eyes, brown hair and 5 feet 6 inched tall. He mustered in May 12, 1861 at Elmira N.Y., and was in the detached service from 1 Aug 1861, serving in the hospital as a nurse, (possibly using his chemistry background as a brewer). In March and April 1862, he was in the Washington Street Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia. Then again in June 1862 through February 1863 he was a patient in the Christian Street General Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia was known for its several hospitals for Civil War casualties, but it was not a place of heavy military conflict.

      On February 6, 1863, William was discharged from Captain Clinton's Company, for physical disability, (by reason of general disability connected with spinal irritation due to wearing the cartridge belt.) William appears on the Company muster out roll dated 18 May 1863, Buffalo, N.Y. In later years he was unable to work due to rheumatism in the small of his back and hips and collected disability. He lived in Antioch, CA at the time of application for disability.

      The family was living in Philadelphia after his discharge and another child, Austin Watson, was born there on January 29, 1864. Philadelphia must not have seemed a happy place to live considering William's hospitalization and the tragedy of the deaths of 2 more of their children. Alfred age 5, and his sister, Anna, age 7, died within 2 weeks of each other in late January and early February of 1865. They were buried in Kensington, Pennsylvania, a northern area of Philadelphia. Perhaps they chose Kensington because it reminded them of the Kensington back home in England. Their 7th child, Rachael, nicknamed Rettie, was born a year later in 1866. She was never quite normal. On the mother's widow's pension application it states that "Rettie was an imbecile from birth." Rettie never married and lived to be 46 years old. She lived with her mother her entire life.

      An article appeared in the Philadelphia Exchange on September 3, 1864, offering land owned by William Collis for sale for $100. The place was listed as a small farm, 3 1/4 acres situated on Hammonton Avenue in the village of Hammonton, Atlantic County, N. J. about 1 mile from the station of the Camden and Atlantic Railroad. It was a 6 room, 1 1/2-story frame house; cellar, kitchen and storeroom, conveniently fitted with sink, closet &c; barn, cart shed and lots of berries, fruit and shade trees.

      Sometime between February 1866 and September 1868, Anne and William moved with their family to San Francisco. They went by Steamer down the Atlantic coast to the Isthmus of Panama. Then traveled across the Isthmus about 7 miles by train and then by donkey to the west coast. Their son, William Arthur remembers being in awe of the monkeys there. They then boarded a freighter up the Pacific Coast to San Francisco. (See appendix 1. Crossing the Isthmus of Panama.) Their furniture was shipped "around the horn" of South America. They settled in San Francisco. In 1868, William Collis is listed as a saloon keeper in the San Francisco Directory as living on the corner of Mission and Precita Avenue. On September 14, 1868, Walter Winner was born at 130 Berry Street, San Francisco. Florence was born January 8, 1871 and Lillian, their last child was born October 11, 1872. Both were also born at Berry Street, San Francisco. William Collis is listed in the San Francisco Directories of 1871 through 1874 as a saloonkeeper at 130 Berry Street. In the 1871 directory he was also listed as a carpenter.

      In 1873, William and his family settled in Brentwood, Contra Costa County, California. They were familiar with the name Brentwood as there was a Brentwood just north of London in England close to where they had lived. A Patent for 160 acres of Homestead Land was granted to William Collis in Washington, D. C. on 25 Sep 1876 and was not recorded in the Martinez County Recorder's office until 10 Nov 1884. (This land is located on the official map of Contra Costa Co. published in 1908. They lived there until William's death on February 3, 1900. He died of hemorrhage into the brain at the age of 73, and was buried February 5th, at the Point of Timber Cemetary, in Brentwood, Contra Costa County, California. William was said to have a bit of an ornery streak later in life.

      After the death of her husband, Anne maintained a home in Brentwood with her two unmarried daughters, Lillian and Rachel. In 1903 she lived at 566 Walter Street in San Francisco. She had a dowager hump caused by osteoporosis. The last 4 years before her death, she lived with her daughter, Florence Gates, because she needed contant attending. Anne died at age 90, January 2, 1918, of old age. She is buried in the Point of Timber Cemetary in Brentwood, Costa County, California. Her will left the ranch in Brentwood, valued at $1000, to be divided among her 6 surviving children.

      William and Anne Collis had 10 children born to them; 4 in England, 3 on the east coast of the United States, and 3 in San Francisco. Three of the 10 children died young. One was disabled for life. Two daughters married later in life and had no children. Only 4 of the 10 children had children. William and Anne had fifteen grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren.

      William Collis was born, 20 May 1826, at Chipping Hill in Witham, Essex County, England. Chipping Hill means market place. It is in East Essex, 1 mile north of Witham Parish on the River Brain. It was the site of a Roman Camp. William was the 3rd of 6 children of Christopher Annett and Maria (Bridge) Collis. His brothers and sisters were: Jane, Samuel (who died young), George, Maria, Dorcus and Samuel. William and his father were both brewer's. William is listed as a Publican in the 1851 census (Pub comes from Publican). William's mother died when he was 7 years old. 5 years later his father married Eliza Parker and Christopher and Eliza had two children, Joseph and Eliza. Christopher's wife, Eliza, also died as in 1846 he is listed as a widower and marries a widow named Alice Honeysett Leste. As far as is known, they had no children.

      In the Lambeth, Surrey, England 1841 Census William Collis, age 15, was living with father, Christopher and Eliza Collis and brothers and sisters: George, Maria, Samuel, Joseph, Dorcus and Eliza. Lambeth is just a bit southwest of Southwark, Surrey, England. Christopher was a brewer. They lived on Camberwell Rd. which may be the same as the current Lambeth Rd. By 1851 William, George, and Dorcus along with a grandson and niece of Christopher, were living apart from the family, but still in Lambeth on what looks like #8 Zoar Place, Royal Veteran; probably an Inn or Saloon owned by Christopher as William, George and Dorcus are listed as sons and daughter. William was a brewer or Publican (which is British for Inn or Saloon). Dorcus is listed as a Publican assistant. George is listed as a painter. There are also 2 servants and a lodger listed there.

      William and his father, Christopher, were both brewers. In the 1851 census Christopher is now married to Alice and is living at 177 London Rd, Hounslow, Middlesex County, England. Hounslow is about 10 miles west of London and Southwark. Christopher is a Brewer and has 3 of his children with him; Eliza, Joseph, and Samuel. He is listed as a brewer employing 1 laborer and 2 sons. Where is daughter, Maria? Is Henry Chappell, listed as the grandson, the son of Maria? It appears this may be the case.

      According to Langley Collis, William came across the isthmus by rail. He homesteaded Deer Valley, by Mount Diablo, by a Government War Grant. Watt and Will both worked Balfour- Guthrie share crop.

      The following information was written by Florence Elizabeth Collis Gates, daughter of Ann Esther Randall and William Collis. "William Collis was born 20 May 1826 at Chipping Hill*, Witham, Essex, England. He was educated in London, England and was an accomplished musician, specializing on the violin. He owned a Stradavarian violin, which he played at concerts. He also played a cornet professionally." "His father was a brewer and wealthy. so he had to study chemistry. Before his marriage, he made music his profession. "He was married to Anne Esther Randall on 18 November 1852, in St. Paul's Parish Chapel, London, England. She was born 13 March 1828. Two years after his marriage, he owned and operated a brewery in Richmond, England. He disposed of this when leaving for America." They left England 25 April 1858 for America." "In 1861 he enlisted in the 21st Reg. N.Y. volunteers at Buffalo, NY. He served under General Wadsworth, at Richmond, Virginia. He was injured and sent to Christian St. Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When he recovered, he was placed in charge of the lab in the hospital. He was discharged Feb 9, 1863. He moved with his wife and family to San Francisco, California, in 1867."

      The following information is from a letter dated 1 March 1975 to Marilyn Parker from Alma Collis, daughter of William Arthur Collis, Who was the son of William and Anne Collis. Arthur was born in Barnes, England in 1854. He always said that he was born within the sound of "Big Ben". He was about 13 years old when he moved with his parents to San Francisco. Langley Collis is Alma's brother. "Langley and Marge Collis came to see me last Saturday. We had quite a visit and did some reminding each other about this and that. Langley says Dad and his family came from New Jersey via boat, across Panama, through jungles via donkey. Dad couldn't get over the monkeys. Then they got on another ship and came to San Francisco. Their furniture came around the horn."

      The following is taken from a letter dated December 1977 to Marilyn Parker from Marjorie Collis Ward, daughter of William Arthur Collis who was the son of William and Anne Collis. "I do hope you did (go to visit Langley Collis, her brother). You would have seen the portrait of Anne (Collis as a child). Langley had it hanging over the mantel in their living room. It is a charming painting. I loved it as a child and as an adult too. It hung in Aunt Florrie's house in Brentwood when I saw it first to remember. Although the old folks were great for `everything to the oldest son', who was my father William Arthur, I think he always felt Aunt Florrie deserved the portrait. She went into their burning home in San Francisco, the result of the earthquake of 1906, cut it out of its frame, rolled it up and ran back out through flames with it. Aunt Florrie gave it to Langley as `the oldest son of the oldest son'. He and Margaret treasured it. I believe their oldest, Reyburn, has it now."
      *Chipping Hill means market place. It is in East Essex, 1 mile north of Witham Parish on the River Brain. It was the site of a Roman Camp.

      England births and Christenings 1538-1975
      The index is an electronic database of information transcribed from original records.
      William Collis
      baptism/christening: 16 Jun 1826
      Witham, Essex, England
      father: Christopher Annett Collis
      mother: Maria
      indexing project batch# 104624-5
      source film # 1702677
      ref # item 8 p 107

      1841 England Census
      Name: William Collis
      Age: 15
      Estimated Birth Year: abt 1826
      Gender: Male
      Civil parish: Lambeth
      Hundred: Brixton (Eastern Division)
      County/Island: Surrey
      Country: England
      Street Address: Camberwell Lane, South
      Registration district: Lambeth
      Sub-registration district: Brixton
      Household Members: Name Age
      Christoper Collis 40
      Eliza Collis 35
      William Collis 15
      George Collis . 10
      Maria Collis 10
      Samuel Collis 5
      Joseph Collis 5
      Dorcas Collis 5
      Eliza Collis 5
      Henry Parker 20 carpentar (probably Eliza, the wife's, brother

      The following is our William. The abstraction is incorrect. These should be two separate households with William at the start of the second. He couldn't possibly be the son of Richard and Sarah. Look at the ages of Richard and Sarah.
      1851 England Census
      Name: William Collis
      Age: 24
      Estimated Birth Year: abt 1827
      Relation: Son
      Father's Name: Richard F (No he's not)
      Mother's Name: Sarah (No she's not)
      Gender: Male
      Where born: Witham, Essex, England
      Civil parish: Lambeth (Lambeth is just southwest of Southwark, England)
      Ecclesiastical parish: Brixton
      County/Island: Surrey
      Country: England
      Street Address: 8 Zoar Place, Royal Veteran
      Occupation: brewer now publican (British saloon keeper or inn keeper)
      Condition as to marriage: unmarried
      Registration district: Lambeth
      Sub-registration district: Brixton
      ED, institution, or vessel: 6
      Household schedule number: 18
      Household Members: Name Age
      William Collis 24 son, brewer now publican
      George S Collis 23 son, painter
      Delene Collis 19 should be Dorcus, daughter, publican assistant
      Belen A Collis 22 Should be Betsy Ann, neice
      Henry W Chappell 3 grandson
      Thomas Waite 22 servant
      Mary Ann Garling 34 servant
      Edward Turner 40 lodger

      Surrey, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813-1912
      Name: William Collis
      Gender: Male
      Occupation: Brewer
      Abode: St John's Grove
      Parish as it Appears: Richmond
      Spouse: Anna Esther Collis
      Child: Laura Elizabeth Collis
      born 6 Apr 1856
      baptized 16 Jul 1856 Richmond, St Mary Magdalene
      Reference Number: P7/1/14

      New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 <http://www.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=7488&enc=1>
      Name: William Collis
      Arrival Date: 3 Jun 1858
      Estimated Birth Year: abt 1826
      Age: 32
      Port of Departure: London, England
      Destination: United States of America
      Place of Origin: England
      Ship Name: Cornelius Grinnell (Note:This was the 2nd Cornelius Grinnell, the first one having wrecked at Squan Beach, NJ in 1853 without loss of life.)
      Search Ship Database: Search the Cornelius Grinnell in the 'Passenger Ships and Images' database <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?f2=Cornelius Grinnell&db=passengerships>
      Port of Arrival: New York
      Line: 14
      Microfilm Serial: M237
      Microfilm Roll: M237_184
      List Number: 439
      Port Arrival State: New York
      Port Arrival Country: United States

      New York Port, Ship Images, 1851-1891
      Name: William Collis
      Arrival Date: 3 Jun 1858
      Age: 32
      Port of Departure: London, England
      Port of Arrival: New York, United States
      Ship Name: Cornelius Grinnell
      Ship built: 1850
      Shipping line: Swallowtail Line
      Ship tonnage: 1,118 tons
      Ship description: 3 masts

      Soundex index to petitions for naturalization from New York County.
      More information below
      New York Petitions for Naturalization Record about William Collis
      Name: William Collis
      Naturalization Date: 23 Aug 1858
      Former Nationality: English
      Title and Location of Court: Common Pleas Court, New York County
      Volume: 206
      Record Number: 164
      Note! Philadelphia Naturalization Rocords (fische # 6100592

      1859, Oct 8 -Collis, William - GR Brit - CP Court - Date of Declaration of intent/and or oath of allegiance.

      New York, Town Clerks' Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War, ca 1861-1865
      Name: William Collis
      Birth Date: 1827
      Birth Place: England
      Residence Place: Buffalo, New York
      Enlistment Date: 8 May 1861
      Enlistment Location: Buffalo, Erie, New York
      Regiment: 21st Regimetn
      Company: F
      Rank: Private
      Race: White

      Civil War, Company Muster Roll:
      William Collis- Pvt. Co. F 21st Reg't of NY volunteers
      Enlisted by Captain Clinton, 4 day of May 1861, at Buffalo, N Y, to serve for 3 years.
      Mustered in 12 May 1861, Elmira, NY
      Detached service in hospital as a nurse, July -Oct 1861
      Returned to his company, 24 Oct 1861
      March/June 1862-sick in Washington Street Hospital, Alexandria, VA
      June 1862 Feb 1863-sick in Christian Street US General Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
      Discharged 9 Feb 1863 as incapable of performing the duties of a soldier
      (By reason of general debility connected with spinal irritation).

      ! BIR-MAR:Collis family bible in possession of Marilyn Parker

      William arrived in Philadelphia Pennsylvania in 1859, (source: 9292 pg. 166, United States Works Projects Administration, Index to records of Aliens' Declaration of Intentions and or oath of allegiance, 1789-1880 in U. S. Circuit Court, U.S. Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia, 11 Vols. Compiled by WPA Project #10837. Sponsored by Pennsylvania Historical Commission, 1940, Lancour 188, (Vol. 1: Letter C, PP1-297) Wm. Collis was naturalized 6 Sept 1870, San Francisco, CA, 4th Dist.

      *1860 United States Federal Census
      Name: Wm Collis
      Age in 1860: 33
      Birth Year: abt 1827
      Birthplace: England
      Home in 1860: Buffalo Ward 2, Erie, New York
      Gender: Male
      Post Office: Buffalo
      Value of real estate: $200
      Household Members: Name Age
      Wm Collis 33 Eng Brewer
      Ann E Collis 32 Eng
      Ada Collis 6 Eng
      William Collis 5 Eng
      Bertha Collis 3 Eng
      Alfred Collis 1 NY

      U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995
      Name: William Collis
      Residence Year: 1868
      Street address: Mission and Preeita Avenue
      Residence Place: San Francisco, California, USA
      Occupation: Carpenter, Dwl
      Publication Title: San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1868

      *1870 United States Federal Census
      Name: Wm Collis
      Estimated Birth Year: abt 1827
      Age in 1870: 43 house carpenter
      Birthplace: England
      Home in 1870: San Francisco Ward 9, San Francisco, California
      Family and neighbors:
      Annie E. 41 England
      Ada A. 15 Eng
      Wm A 16 Eng
      Austin W. 6 PA
      Rachel 4 NY
      Walter W. 2 CA
      Race: White
      Gender: Male
      Value of real estate:
      Post Office: San Francisco

      U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995
      Name: William Collis
      Residence Year: 1871
      Residence Place: San Francisco, California, USA
      Occupation: Liquor Saloon And Carpenter
      Publication Title: San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1871

      U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995
      Name: William Collis
      Residence Year: 1872
      Street address: llaggin and Berrv
      Residence Place: San Francisco, California, USA
      Occupation: Liquor Saloon
      Publication Title: San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1872

      U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995
      Name: William Collis
      Residence Year: 1873
      Street address: 130 Berry
      Residence Place: San Francisco, California, USA
      Occupation: Liquor Saloon
      Publication Title: San Francisco Directory, 1873

      U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995
      Name: William Collis
      Residence Year: 1874
      Residence Place: San Francisco, California, USA
      Occupation: Sticker (with B & J S Doe - doors, sashes, & blinds )
      Publication Title: San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1874

      *1880 United States Federal Census
      Name: William Collis
      Home in 1880: Township 5, Contra Costa, California
      Age: 54
      Estimated Birth Year: abt 1826
      Birthplace: England
      Relation to head-of-household: Self
      Spouse's name: Esther A.
      Father's birthplace: ENG
      Mother's birthplace: ENG
      Occupation: Farmer
      Marital Status: Married
      Race: White
      Gender: Male
      Household Members: Name Age
      William Collis 54
      Esther A. Collis 51
      William A. Collis 24 (Ada A. was also listed on this line)
      Austin W. Collis 15
      Rachael Collis 12
      Walter W. Collis 11
      Florence E. Collis 10
      Lillian E. Collis 8

      U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934
      Name: William Collis
      Gender: Male
      Place Filed: California, USA
      Relation to Head: Soldier
      Spouse: Anne E Collis

      Search for Type: Births Surname: Collis County: Surrey England
      Birth date Surname First name(s) District Vol Page
      Dec 1853 COLLIS Ada Annie Richmond S
      Jun 1856 Collis Laura Elizabeth
      Dec 1857 Collis Anna Bertha
      Dec 1854 Collins ? William Arthur Richmond S

      Search for Deaths Surname: Collis County: Surrey England
      Mar 1839 Collis Female St George Southwark
      Mar 1839 COLLIS Female St Geo Southwk
      Dec 1839 Collis Female St Geo Sthwk
      Dec 1839 Collis Female St George Southwark
      Mar 1842 Collis Sarah St George Southwark
      lizabeth St George Southwark
      Jun 1849 Collis Herbert Richard Charles St George Southwark
      Jun 1853 Collis George St Geo Sk

      Appendix 1.
      The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft, Vol. XXXV, 1888
      California Inter Pocula by Hubert Howe Bancroft

      The Voyage to California P157-8 (Crossing the Isthmus of Panama)

      (The Panama Railroad of seven miles was completed Jan 1858
      Seven miles of that great undertaking-great considering the time and the place -the Panama railway was accomplished when, on the first of March, 1852, we dropped anchor off Chagres; and to afford the company due encouragement, those seven miles must be traveled over, and contribution levied for the same, at the rate of nearly one dollar a mile, on every passenger crossing the Isthmus thereafter. So orders were given to weigh anchor, and proceed thence two or three leagues easterly to Colon, or Navy bay, then called Aspinwall, the name and glory of the first admiral being thrust aside for those of a New York money magnate. However, the old name of Colon was a few years after restored. There we disembarked, and rode over the seven miles of completed work, paying for the same quite liberally, when we were permitted to engage boats and ascend the Chagres river which we could as easily and as cheaply have done before as afterward.
      Crossing the Isthmus in early times, for an untravelled, provincial people, was a feat altogether individual and unique; a feat very different from a three or four hours' ride in comfortable rail-cars, through ever changing scenery which affords the observer constant delight, as the journey is now made.
      Chagres at this time was a town of about seven hundred native inhabitants, dwelling in some fifty windowless, bamboo huts, with thatched, palm-leaf roofs, and having open entrances, and the bare ground for a floor. The town was surrounded by heaps of filthy offal, and greasy, stagnant pools bordered with blue mud. It is situated on a small but exceedingly picturesque and almost land-locked bay, well nigh buried by the foliage that skirts its banks and rolls off in billowy emerald toward the hill beyond. Between the shore and mountains stretch away for miles in every direction broad, open savannahs, cut into farms covered with chaparral, and stocked with cattle. Where the river and ocean meet rises a bold bluff crowned by the castle of San Lorenzo, whose ruined fortress and battlements, gnawed to a skeleton by the teeth of time, gaze mournfully out upon the sea which lashes its waves against its steep foundations, as if determined to uproot in all these inhospitable parts the last vestige of the olden time. Fallen to the bottom of the cliff were parapet and guns; screaming sea-birds occupied the crumbling, moss-covered watch-tower; while within the dismounted cannon, bearing, with royal arms of Spain, the date of 1745, were slowly changing into rust. Remnants of the old paved road which ascends the hill were there, and the drawbridge over the moat--once wide and deep, but now rank with vegetation--leading to the main gateway; likewise the drawbridge to the citadel on the verge of the cliff, whence a charming view of sea and land may be had. At Chagres, passengers were accustomed to stay no longer than sufficed to engage boats and start on their journey. This region is specially noted for the insalubrity of its climate.

      Aspinwall, or Navy bay, where the first blow upon the railway was struck, occupies a small swampy mud-reef called Manzanilla island, fringed with mangrove trees, and originally covered with interlacing vines and thorny shrubs, and inhabited only by reptiles, beasts and poisonous insects.
      The rainfall at Aspinwall is very heavy. During the rainy season, which is from May to January, the windows of heaven are opened, and in October and November there is a quick succession of deluges. Glued furniture falls in pieces; leather moulds, and iron oxidizes in twenty-four hours.
      Quite a contrast between the old and the new! In making the transit by rail, the day before reaching Aspinwall every one descended into the hold of the steamer, either in person or by proxy, selected his baggage, had it weighed and checked, and paid ten cents a pound for all over fifty pounds if a holder of a steerage ticket, and all over one hundred pounds if a holder of a cabin ticket. Baggage was then transferred to the steamer on the other side without further trouble to the owner. No sooner was the plank out than the slosely penned passengers, with a rush squeezed and stampeded--the American style of disembarking--hastened ashore, scattered themselves among the hotels, shops, and fruit venders, and were soon lost in present gratification of appetite, and in laying in a store of comforts and disease for the future. The pleasure of placing foot on shore after a long voyage, even though it be the soft spongy shore of Aspinwall, is exquisite. To a cramped sea-rolled landsman any spot of earth looks lovely, especially when viewed from the sea. To tread on solid ground, and feel mother earth beneath your feet again, seems like a return from supernatural regions. Thus to land and thus to cross the Isthmus is a pleasant change from the tiresome life on board the steamers. Railway passengers wish the ride was longer, wish they could so ride all the way to San Francisco. Seated by an open window, the face fanned by the motion of the train, and armed with a pitcher or pail of iced water, the ride is indeed charming. But at the time of which I write crossing the Isthmus was a very different affair, as I shall show.


      Surpassingly beautiful is the foliage along the banks of this Circean stream. Rolling up from either side are mountains of impervious forest, gigantic, Rank, and wild. Every shade of green, somber and bright, mingles with rose-red, purple, white, and yellow, orange, blue, and pink in endless varying kaleidoscope. Solemn palms, thick-leaved mangoes, bold majestic teaks, and bounteous bananas are linked by crimson-blossomed parasites, which, twining, interlacing, creeping, and pendant, mat and unite all brotherhoods in close embrace, and over-reaching the glistening banks meet their image in the glassy waters. Bending acacias dig their sinewy roots into the soft earth to prevent falling, and weave their branches into thick screens; bread-fruit hangs in huge clusters overhead, and plantain pine-apple and orange, mango and lime, papaw alligator-pear and sugar-cane, yield profusely their spontaneous favors. It is no trifling matter to be a tree in the tropics. If erect and strong it is made a plant-patriarch, whether it will or not, and must support a dense mass of orchids, purple convolvuli, and creeping plants of almost every genus and species, which if spread upon the ground would form a thick carpet covering a space five times the area of the tree's shadow at noon-day; and when at last the forest behemoth is smothered to death, and dragged down by these relentless parasites, its sapless trunk is speedily buried in broad leaves and tender vines and bunches of spongy moss, and its tomb decorated with flaming flowers and delicate microscopic blossoms.
      Underneath dark vistas of shadowy colonnade are tall grasses and tangled shrubbery through which wild beasts with difficulty force their way. What in our colder climnes are rare exotics, here riot in the open air, bursting with exuberance. Innumerable flowers of every hue gild the landscape; the tiny blossoms of the north spread out in flaming proportions, or assume shapes in which they almost lose their identity, while innumerable species unknown to the northern naturalist abound in rank profusion. Chief among those, and one of the most remarkable that blooms in any clime is the Flor del Espiritu santo, the flower of the holy ghost. Lifting its graceful form from marshy pools and decayed logs to a height sometimes of six or seven feet, it throws out broad lanceolate leaves by pairs from jointed leaf-stalks, while on a leafless flower-stalk springing from the bulb are sometimes ten or fifteen tulip shaped blossoms of alabaster whiteness, and powerful magnolia perfume, enfolding within their tiny cups the prone image of a dove, formed in such consummate grace and symmetry as no art could approach. And with this emblem of innocence and celestrial purity rising from a sensual paradise; with its gentle head bent meekly forward, its exquisitely shaped pinions hanging listlessly by its sides, its tiny bill, tipped with delicate carmine, almost resting on its snow white breast, in form and feature the very incarnation of ethereal innocence--shall we blame the early priests for pointing the pooor natives to this flower, and telling them God is here:


      Palm trees of various descriptions line the banks, and gorgeous water lilies dip their fragrant heads as the boat passes over them. Every shower of rain is like the sprinkling of perfume on the vegetation. Birds of richly painted plumage and shrill song illuminate the forest; the dark, scarlet-breasted toucan, which tosses its food from its long serrated beak into the air and catches it in its throat, and in drinking, as the padres say, makes the signh of the cross, whence they call it Dios te de, (May God give thee); screaming parrots, parroquets and flamingoes with their harsh discordant voices, and black and yellow turpiales, wild turkeys, peacocks, and herons, and multitudes of others, gorgeously feathered and sweet of song, glitter amidst the shadowy green. Chattering monkeys leap from tree to tree and swing upon the pendent vines; mammoth blue butterflies, brilliant as the rainbow, dance in the sun and rise to match the azure of heaven on wings a hand broad; and bumming birds, beautiful as the butterflies, buzz and poise and dart from flower to flower. Myriads of insects with burnished coats of mail sparkle in the air and people the plants, while all through the day the shrill whistle of the chicharra--a kind of green grasshopper--is heard, which beginning in a low gurgle, rises into a clear blast like the whistle of a steam engine, and which may be distinguished a mile distant.

      Pg 177
      Down from the mountains and out of the tropical wilderness we approach the borders of the broad Pacific. Fromm a series of plains dotted with patches of black thorn and cactus, and groves of citron, orange, and mango, we strike into the paved road, cross the old stone bridge, and are soon among the plantations and suburban residences of Panama. Goats and herds of cattle now mingle with bands of pack mules, mounted stragglers, and pedestrians; water-carriers ply their trade with increased activity as the day draws to a close; houses, two and three stories in height, of wood and adobe, supplant the remoter reed huts, and following the current of gold-seekers we leave behind the shops outside the walls, cross the moat, and passing under the arched and towered gateway of Puerta de Tierra, with its old stone cross and bell, we enter Panama
      The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft, Vol. XXXV, 1888