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Twisted Branches on my tree--COLLARD, MUTTON, SUTTON

De Graff, Ohio, USA
I have been researching my maternal great grandmother in Kent, England for many (40+) years. I have the following information:
Fanny COLLARD (b: 17 FEB 1859 Eastry Union Workhouse, Kent; d: 1 JUN 1950 Sheerness, Kent)
Married to John Thomas MUTTON 6 JAN 1878 Dunkirk, Kent.
On the marriage record from the GRO it shows her father as Thomas COLLARD. No father is listed on her birth record (I have both certificates).
Here comes the twists... her mother was Emma COLLARD who had her out-of-wedlock, Emma's mother was Elizabeth COLLARD who had Emma out-of-wedlock.
Emma also had a son, Henry PAY (who technically should have been called Henry COLLARD) out-of-wedlock prior to Fanny who used the surname PAY as he was raised by Emma's Parents Thomas PAY (step-father? - no father listed on her birth- Thomas and Elizabeth married after Emma's birth) and Elizabeth COLLARD. Fanny, too, was raised by these grandparents (though her first several years were spent with others/family friends...including the Twymans of Stonar and the Jamiesons at the Barbican Sandwich).
Henry's birth certificate shows his father as Thomas SUTTON; Henry was born in Folly, Folkestone, Kent.
To me it seems unlikely that Fanny's father would have the surname COLLARD considering that is the surname of her mother and grandmother...though I suppose it is possible that he was some sort of cousin.
So - could it be that Fanny's father was really Thomas Sutton, too, and the registrar miswrote it?
If he is really Thomas COLLARD, I cannot figure out who Thomas COLLARD is - any ideas?
I heard a story through one of my mother's cousins that Fanny's first love was killed in a lifeboat accident - but could it actually be that it was Fanny's mother's first love - Thomas Sutton - who actually lost his life in that accident (remember that Henry was born in Folly, Folkestone - a site where there certainly could have been lifeboat accidents)? Any way to check on that?
I have already cracked (well-mostly cracked) a different family story/mystery, in the MUTTON branch of this family, that proved to be a generation older than the story I heard as a young man - so it's not unlikely this one could be that way, too.
Any thoughts, or help, with this twisted mess would be greatly appreciated!
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