Mystery solved: the identity of Elizabeth Collibee

I’ve solved the mystery of Elizabeth Collibee’s identity. In yesterday’s post, I reported that I’d found the person whom Captain Richard Boulton the elder describes, in a memorandum to his will of 1737, as ‘my Niece Collibye’. She was Elizabeth, wife of Edward Bushell Collibee, apothecary, alderman, and sometime Mayor of Bath. However, at the time I hadn’t been able to discover Elizabeth’s precise connection with the Boulton family.

The Four Bath Worthies (Anonymous, c. 1735) via

The Four Bath Worthies (Anonymous, c. 1735) via

Then, looking back through old posts, I remembered the barely legible marginal note alongside the will of James Jemblin, citizen and salter of London, who died in 1723 and whose son John is described in Richard Boulton’s will as a nephew. Written in 1765, the note recorded the fact that parts of Jemblin’s will had been left unadministered by his executors, all of them now deceased. As a consequence, administration of James Jemblin’s remaining property was passed to his daughter Elizabeth. When I first wrote about this will, I mis-read Elizabeth’s husband’s name as Edward Colliver, but examining the note again I could see that it was actually Collibee.

St Dunstan's in the East (via

St Dunstan’s in the East (via

So it was Elizabeth Jemblin, sister of John Jemblin and daughter of James Jemblin, who married Edward Bushell Collibee of Bath. Born in 1710 and christened at the church of St Dunstan in the East in the City of London, Elizabeth was (like her brother John) the product of her father James’ first marriage, to Grace, who died shortly after Elizabeth was born, or perhaps in childbirth. If my current theory about the Boulton family is correct, then Elizabeth was actually Captain Richard Boulton’s great niece rather than his niece. I believe that her mother Grace was the sister of Hester Crabb, another niece of Boulton’s, and that they were both the daughters of Thomas Saunders of Moor, near Fladbury in Worcestershire. My working hypothesis is that Thomas Saunders married one of the sisters of Richard Boulton.

This entry was posted in Boulton, Collibee, Crabb, Forrest, Jemblin, Saunders. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Mystery solved: the identity of Elizabeth Collibee

  1. Jana Last says:

    I want to let you know that your blog is listed in today’s Fab Finds post at

    Have a great weekend!

  2. David Colloby says:

    Delighted to find your website. Edward Bushell Collibee was a descendant of Thomas Collibee, bap.1603, Bristol. He married Mary Elkington 02.02.1625, Bristol, (bap.08.02.1606, Bristol). Their son William Collibee, bap.17.11.1629, Bristol. He married as William Colloby to Eiddeth (Edith) Quely, 20.02.1666, Bristol. Their son William Collybee, bap. 01.11.1672, Bath, (d.1728) married as William Colloby to Ann Bushel, 21.04.1700, Bath. Their son Edward Bushell Colloby, bap. 24.03.1708, Bath (d.1795), married Elizabeth Jemblin.
    The family name in Bristol and Bath was variously recorded as Collibee, Collibie, Colliby, Colloby, Collybe, Collybe, Collybee, Collaby, Collobee, presumably because any of the 5 vowels, aeiou all sound similar when between Coll and bee (by). Edward,bap.1708, although bap. as Colloby was usually recorded as Collibee after about 1730 but in two legal docs in 1758 as Edward Bushele Collibeer. William Collibee bap.1629 as Collibee, married as Colloby and his numerous children were christened as Collybe, Collybe, Collibee, Collebee, Collybee, Collibe, different for each christening, which I find puzzling as I expect an Apothecary to be educated and literate as I would the Clergy.
    Two Collibee brothers married two Elkington sisters in Bristol, the other being Anthonie Collibee bap.1609 who married Alice Elkington, 04.11.1632, Bristol. The Elkington family also became prominent in Bristol and Bath and came from Warks, Leics, Oxon, Northants and particularly the villages of Cropredy and Mollington where they had extensive interests. They have a recorded lineage from the early 1400s. I think most of the Collibee in Bath descend from Thomas Collibee and Mary Elkington.from Bristol.
    Many thanks for your site, David Colloby.

  3. David Colloby says:

    You may be interested in the Elkington family of Bristol/Bath, the matriarchal ancestor of most the Collibee families of Bath. These descend from Richard Elkington, a yeoman farmer b.1508, Cropredy, Oxon, d.1558, Cropredy. He married Alice Green, bc.1513, Cropredy, d. 1588, Cropredy. Their son John Elkington bap. 1535, Cropredy. His son George Elkington, b.1566, Cropredy, bur. 23.01.1640, Bath, occ-Tanner. He married Alice unknown of Somerset in ca1604 following the death of his first wife in 1603. She d.1639, Bath. Their dau. Mary Elkington, b.1605, Bath, bap. 08.02.1606, St. Michael’s, Bath. (mistakenly entered Bristol previously). She was one of 12 children of George Elkington.
    Those who descend from the Collibee families of Bath share a common ancestor with two Presidents of the USA. (ref: Richard Elkington b.1508, Cropredy was the father of 2 sons, John b.1547 being the ancestor of the Collibees of Bath and his brother William Elkington bap.22.07.1547, Cropredy was the 9th g.grandfather of George Bush Snr. and the 10th g.grandfather of George W. Bush the 43rd US President. (Bush incidentally is a family name I’ve seen listed in the Bath Abbey records – is there an older link with Bushell?)
    Willian Elkington, bap.22.07.1547, Cropredy, d. 1609, Mollington, married Alice Wodhull, (2nd wife), 16.05.1588, Mollington, Their son Joseph Elkington, bap.12.06.1608, Mollington, bur. 04.02.1688, Mollington, mar. Ann Unknown.
    Their son, George Elkington, bap.07.12.1650, Mollington, d. 19.10.1713, Burlington Co., New Jersey, mar. Mary Humphries, ca.06.06.1688, Burlington Co., New Jersey. George appears to be the founding father of the Elkington families of the USA. Their dau. Elizabeth Elkington b. 1696, New Jersey, d.after 14.08.1739, mar. Thomas Ballinger, New Jersey.
    For the many other lines see The Elkington family also have public sites.
    Surprising what you find when you delve into family ancestry. Am very impressed with the detail you have on your site, David Colloby.

    • Martin says:

      David, many thanks for this and your previous detailed comment about the Collibees. The possible link between the Bushells and the presidential Bush family is intriguing, to say the least! I don’t know if you’ve noticed that I returned to the subject of the Collibees more recently – writing three posts about them in June of this year. Start here and work forward:

      Any help you can offer, particularly in tracing the Bushell family and their possible connection to Worcestershire, would be really helpful. I’m working on other branches of my family history at the moment, but I’m sure I’ll be returning to the Boultons, Bushells and Collibees – in which case, your new information will be very helpful.


  4. David Colloby says:

    Hi Martin, I don’t think there is a name link between Bush and Bushell. Bush is a pre-Norman Anglo-Saxon name whereas this Bushell name is a Norman name of the de la Bushell family of Broad Marston, about 8 miles SW of Stratford upon Avon. The Bushells of Glos. occupied the family manor house at Broad Marston from 1245 – 1622. I have their family line for this period but have yet to make the connection with the Bushells of Bath, but I suspect they descend from this line. The Bush family was prominent in Bath as were the Bushell, Collibee, Matravers and Horton (Collibee marriage). These were Mayors of Bath for 1year service periods, Bush x13, Bushell x4, Collibee x6, Horton x6, Matravers x1.
    Apart from Bush, all apothecaries, ancestors of todays GPs/Pharmacists, who married within each others families. More later, David Colloby.

    • Martin says:

      Hi David – Many thanks for taking the time to send me this information on the Bushells and the Collibees. I haven’t looked at this branch of my family tree for a while, but plan to return to them at some point – and I’m sure your new information will prove very helpful. Best wishes, Martin

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