Faulder Family Genealogy Faulder Family Genealogy

23 August, 2010

Willett Antecedents

The early Willetts take a bit of disentangling due to second marriages and marriages to other Willetts. What follows is a summary; there is a more detailed explanation with references on another post.

  • William Willett (the  younger of daylight saving fame, 1856-1915) had two wives:
    • Maria Mills (b 1858, m 1879, d 1905)
      • Maria was the daughter of William Mills and Susannah Willett (b ~1834), herself the daughter of a Joseph Willett (b ~1797)
      • Joseph Willett was the eldest son of Thomas Willett and brother of Everard Willett, the father of William Willett (the elder). Maria Mills is therefore the wife of her second cousin.
    • Florence Mary Anne Strickland (b 1884, m 1910, d 1957)
  • William himself was the eldest son of William Willett (the elder – founder of the eponymous building company)
    • William Willett (the elder 1837-1913, who married Maria Box in 1856) was the son of an Everard Willett (a Vitular ~1804-1845) and his second wife Maria (b 1803, m 1833, d 1851)
  • William (the younger) had a first cousin Charles Willett (b ~1868) – who married a Florence Maud Willett (b 1863, m 1897 – who is a half first cousin of Charles – sharing a grandfather, Everard Willett – also William the younger’s grandfather)
  • Florence Maud’s parents were Everard Willett (b 1829) and Sarah Ann Willett (b 1830, m 1853)
    • Sarah Ann is the daughter of Everard Willett (the Vitular b ~1804) and his first wife Sarah (m ~1830)
    • Everard (b 1829) was the eldest son of Joseph Willett (b~1797) and a brother of Susannah (b 1834)
  • Everard Willett’s will confirms that he and Joseph Willett were brothers.

Diagrammatically this may be summarised as below

Willett Early Marriages

Colchester Willett Early Marriages (click for larger view)

It is also not known if Charles Inchbald Radford is related to Elizabeth E J Radford.

The Willett family is said to have originally been a Huguenot family.

(A number of comments of the type “Are we related” have been collated on the Are We Related: Willett page.)


  1. Update:
    I have traced the will of Everard Willett (the one at the top of the illustration above – married to (I) Sarah Mead and (II) Maria).

    In it he he appoints his ‘brother Joseph Willett of Greenstead gardener’ as one of his executors. I am confident (from census records) that this is the Joseph at the top of the illustration – married to Susannah. I have not yet established who their parents were.

    The will also confirms that at the time of writing his children were:

    my Daughter Sarah Ann by my former Wife, my Son John Willett, my Son William Willett and my Daughter Maria by my present Wife [named As Maria].

    I have updated the diagram above to reflect that Joseph and Everard are brothers.

    Comment by David — 10 May, 2015 @ 12:52 pm

  2. […] article is fairly long and detailed – a briefer post about Willett Antecedents summarises some of the […]

    Pingback by The Willetts of Colchester, Essex (and Daylight Saving) 1 of 2 « Faulder Family Genealogy — 25 May, 2015 @ 10:40 am

  3. Reviewing parish records (on-line at Essex Record Office) for St Andrew’s Greenstead (just across the river to the East of Colchester) it would appear that both Joseph and Everard share Thomas and Sarah Willett as parents.

    The same records indicate that Joseph and Everard had further siblings; Sarah, William and John and quite probably Thomas (although the latter’s baptismal record has not been found)

    Comment by David — 6 December, 2016 @ 4:41 pm

  4. […] line of Willett Ancestry (to the William Willett of Daylight Saving Fame) – a briefer post about Willett Antecedents summarises some of the […]

    Pingback by Are We Related: Willett « Faulder Family Genealogy — 3 June, 2020 @ 4:11 pm

  5. I was brought up to believe I am a descendant of William James Willett. I’m not 100% how but would love to find out exactly how.

    Comment by Joanna Marie Willett — 23 August, 2023 @ 10:32 pm

  6. Joanne,

    I don’t have a “William James” Willett in my family tree; this may be because he is not there, or it may be because I am unaware of one of my relatives’ second name.

    Can you give me a “bit of a clue” – either as to location, approximate timescale, or other family members?

    A quick look at available registration era data (1837 onwards for England and Wales) for “Willett, William James” shows:

    Region Births Deaths Marriages Total
    London 4 2 4 10
    Midlands 5 3 0 8
    North-West 4 2 1 7
    South-East 5 3 1 9
    Total 18 10 6 34
    Incidence of Birth Marriage & Death records for “Willett, William James”
    Source: data amalgamated from GRO indices and FreeBMD

    Best wishes

    Comment by David — 24 August, 2023 @ 2:20 pm

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