My name is Ann Collins. I live in Moe, Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. This town is in the Latrobe Valley about 150 kilometers east of Melbourne.


I have been researching the Colenso family since 1995, starting with letters that my father had received from Phillip Ernest Colenso in Durban, Natal, South Africa and from Winsley Wighton, who had been researching the Australian branch. Dad had made contact with them after visiting Doris Colenso in Penzance in 1979. She recognized him as a “Colenso” as soon as she saw him – so the family physical characteristics must be pretty strong.


Once I started trying to organize this information and the new information as it became more accessible I expanded to a One Name Study of the Colenso Family and variants. This is registered with the Guild of One Name Studies (GOONS).


The photos below from left to right are of my father Gavin Collins, Thomas Henry Colenso (my great grandfather), Edwin Colenso (my second great grandfather), Samuel May Colenso (my third great grandfather) and William Colenso of New Zealand (Samuel May’s eldest son and my second great-uncle)


gavin.jpgthomas%20colensoEdwin Colenso (1827) copy.jpgsamuel%20may%20colensoWilliam Colenso3.jpg



My father is a descendent of Edwin Colenso, who landed in Geelong, Australia in October 1848. Edwin was a son of Samuel May Colenso and Mary Veale Thomas. The majority of the Australian Colenso family is descended from him.


What I intend to include in this website are summaries of what I have learned about the origins and early records of the Colenso Family in Cornwall, and their dispersion to other parts of England and to the New World – USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. I don’t intend to publish a traditional family tree as many people have done this already and these can be found through a search engine or via


I have been in contact with very many people also connected to this family. The introduction of the internet and email has accelerated this. I have tried to list these contributors, but apologize in advance if I have forgotten someone. Hopefully, with their permission this will turn into a contact list.


My ambition with this web page is to provide access, to any interested party, the results of this research. There are few things to keep in mind when reading this information:


*  Much of this information was gained as a gift or exchange from other people, so it is not available for commercial use.

*  What I have written may alter when new information becomes available, but I will try to make clear what is a supposition or hypothesis.

*  These pages are a “work in progress” and may never represent all the information that I’ve collected.


If you want to contact me to discuss anything I have included, misinterpreted or omitted, please use the following address