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Precis of an email received from Mrs. Joyce Smith (nee Willett) in March 2002
see also other Willet Family (part 2)

My grandfather was born in Henham and I spent a lot of my childhood in Henham. I stayed with my great uncle and family friends, a Mr. and Mrs. Snow for part of the war years. After the was I stayed with my father’s cousins, Mr & Mrs Salmon but they gradually all died and I have only visited Henham on a few occasions since. Since I have retired I have been thinking about researching my family tree so my husband and I visited the village a few weeks ago and I saw the 1881 census at The Cock’. We were also told Henham has its own web site.

I saw in the village shop that you have published a book of the history of Henham but as the shop was closed at the time I was unable to buy a copy. I will be returning in April and I hope to buy a copy and I also hope to find out which branch of the Willett family my father is descended from. I enclose some pictures which belong to my mother.


joyce smith ben snow
Joyce's mother
Standing by the road sign is my mother, Mrs Margaret Willet, my aunt Mrs. Millie Willet, my cousin Joan Willet aged about 7 and Frankie Snow aged about 4. Ziba Willet(front) and Bill Willett (back)

Frankie Snow was related to a Mr and Mrs Snow who lived in the first cottage near the church. (that is here I stayed during the war). My grandfather’s name was Ziba Willett and I was told that he had to leave the village because he had been poaching. Apparently, he walked to London to make his fortune, in spite of being illiterate !

Looking quickly through the 1881 Census, there was no-one in the village at that time by that name, only a “Faba” (aged 5 years) - could he be one and the same person? If so, I believe my great grandfather was a Richard Willett, an agricultural worker - born 1852, but I intend investigating further. Standing behind my grandfather in this picture is his grandson, my uncle, Bill Willett, aged about 16. (he is the father of Joan Willett).