Colensos Mysteries in Kent

Origin: Richard and Hannah Colenso.
Second wife Mary died in Plymouth in 1849.
There are no other clues.

The Colenso family in Kent used the variant Callenso. Richard Callenso b1820 made the move from Plymouth to Ramsgate Kent where he married Harriet Martin in 1840 and ran a fishing smack business.
They had 9 children among whom was a Richard Callenso who married Ellen Jane Curry.
Richard and Ellen had one son Henry Richard (b1876) cited right who has generated his own mystery.



On 7th October 1900
Henry Richard Callenso a bachelor age 25 married Edith Jennings a spinster age 24
at St Paul's Parish Church Ramsgate,
witnessed by Henry's mother Ellen Jane Callenso and cousin Frederick George Benton.
Both fathers Richard Callenso and William Edward Jennings were deceased.
Both bride and groom were resident at Kings Arms, King Street, Ramsgate,
where Henry was a licensed victualler.



On 24 August 1913
widow Kitty Edith Callenso age 36 married bachelor Frederick Sidney Watson age 21
at Thanet Register Office, Kent,
witnessed by a George Ridoutt and a Rose Emma Bastard.
Kitty's father William Henry Jennings was deceased,
while Frederick's father George William Thomas Watson was a pleasure yachtsman.
Both bride and groom were resident at the same address in Margate,
with Frederick being a private in the Grenadier Guards in H M Army.


The first thing that became abundantly clear, was that Henry Richard Callenso remarrying under a different name could not be right.

Frederick Sidney Watson was age 21 on the marriage certificate whereas Henry Richard would have been 37 at that point.

I am not sure that any cosmetic surgery was being trialled at so early a date - not even at a pioneering stage!

But there were still two considerations. One was the will which sparked this whole thing off, and the other a death record.


Frederick Sidney Watson or Henry Richard Callenso
of 14 Bloemfontein-road Shepherds Bush Middlesex
died 1 March 1935
at the Hammersmith Hospital Shepherds Bush
Administration London 6 April to Edith Kittie Watson widow
Effects £173 7s 3d


Henry Richard Callenso

age 3 Mar 1910 Thanet 2a 665

In the earlier days of my research I had thought this death record to be a son who had died young.

However, what if Henry Richard Callenso age 3 is really age 34? (Ann Collins did suggest this some time ago)
In the light of the marriage certificate information this would seem to be the case, particularly as there is no corresponding birth record in 1906/7.

So, could it be that it was Frederick Sidney Watson who assumed the name of his wife's departed husband...but why would he have done that?

Family details
In reality, Frederick was only 18 when he married Kitty Callenso - he was born early 1895 and registered in Thanet.
He served with his regiment in France, but his medals were forfeited when he was convicted for desertion in 1915.

In reality, Kittie was not given the name Edith being born in Dover 1876 just Kittie. I think she was assigned the name of her departed younger sister Edith Lily (1879 - 1880), as in 1891 she was recorded on the census as Edith K Jennings.
It was sad times for the Jennings family as father William Edward Jennings had died just before the census was taken - and mother Caroline Smith Jennings nee Hayman was to die the following year in 1892 which left Kittie, at 16, the eldest of 8 surviving children as follows:-
William Robert (14 ), Ethel May (11 ), Peter John ( 10), Herbert ( 7), Lizzie ( 6), Elsie ( 5), and Percy Leonard barely 2 years of age. I do not know what happened to the family, apart from a possible same Ethel May who marries in 1907.


In marriage Kittie had but 10 years before Henry Richard died leaving her with one daughter Kittie Eleanor born 1902.

I have also wondered at public opinion of the day regarding a woman marrying a man over fifteen years her junior.
Interestingly enough, Ellen Jane Callenso nee Curry who was Kittie's mother-in-law, had remarried to a man 11 years her junior. Perhaps it was something in the Kent air!!

Frederick died on 1st March 1935 aged 40 and Kittie followed on 22nd August aged 59.

Edith Kittie Watson

of 14 Bloemfontein-road Shepherds Bush Middlesex

widow died 22 August 1935

Probate London 12 Nov 1935 to Kitty Eleanor Callenso spinster.

Effects £736 9s 5d


Mystery 5Mystery 6Mystery 7
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or if you have any mysteries regarding the Colenso family

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