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Annie Whiting 1869-1954

Parents:         Charles Whiting and Sarah Ann Mansfield (1)

Born:              1869 in Hundon, Suffolk (1)

Baptised:       ?

Married:         Walter Fuller, 40, Congregational Minister, of Great Stambridge, in 1895 in Haverhill. (4)

Children:        Winifred Annie Fuller b.1897, Reginald Fuller b.1898 and John Fuller b.1900

Died:               1954 in the Maidstone District.(6)

 
Bio:                  Annie is a rarity for this site, a Whiting who at various points lived in Haverhill but was not originally from the town. 
 
She was born at Flint Green, Hundon in 1869(1), and her father Charles Whiting was a harness maker also born in Hundon in 1858. Hundon is a village some 5 miles north east of Haverhill, past Kedington. Her mother Sarah Ann nee Mansfield was born in Stoke-by-Clare, and married Charles in 1857.(3)
So, considering they were reasonably close by, was there a connection with the Haverhill Whitings? 
Tracing back we find Annie's father Charles William was the son of Richard Whiting, also a harness maker, but he was from Lidgate, Suffolk. With this revelation are moving even further away and there is no obvious connection with the Whitings of Haverhill.
 
 Although Annie's baptism entry doesn't appear in the Hundon entries on the Haverhill-UK website, we see her on the 1871 census living in Hundon, at Flint Green, with her father and mother Sarah Ann and five older siblings, Charles, Harry, Clara, Frederick and Elizabeth.
By the time of the next census in 1881, Annie's mother is widowed and working as a shopkeeper in the saddler's shop where the family is now living. Annie's father had died aged 48 and was buried at Hundon Church on 29th October 1878.(2) His eldest son Charles had taken over work as a saddler and harnessmaker. Annie is a scholar, and she now has two younger siblings Sarah Ann and Kate.
At some point Annie leaves home and heads for the nearest town, Haverhill. We see her here on the 1891 census living and working at 21 High Street as a drapers assistant at the shop of draper William Munford.
 
Within the next four years Annie was to meet and marry Walter Fuller, who was 40 and a Congregational Minister at Great Stambridge (north east of Southend), Essex. How this came about is unclear.
Walter himself is quite hard to trace in his earlier life. What is clear is that he was born in Stepney, London, in 1855 and appears to have been the son of Samuel and Mary Ann Fuller. His father was an accountant and book manager. On the 1881 census Walter is a grocers traveller, living with his parents and siblings at 94 Locksley Street, Limehouse.
He married Elizabeth Esther Webb in 1884 in Poplar.(9)
They had a son Henry Walter in Lee, Kent, in 1888. It was around this time, also in 1888(10) that Elizabeth died - maybe in childbirth or from complications arising from it. Where Walter is at the time of the 1891 census is a mystery, but his son is a visitor in Eltham at the house of sisters Catherine and Annie Beeson, dressmakers.
Maybe the event of his wife's death caused Walter to take up Evangelical religion, or maybe he had beliefs along these lines beforehand, but for whatever reason the result was he became a minister in the early 1890's.
 
A great resource for tracing the history of Congregationalist Ministers is the Surman Index and it's here we can find the record card for Walter Fuller.
We have his date of birth, death, and history of his ministries. This is part of an extraordinary card-index system documenting the biographical details of 32,000 ministers that was put together by a chap called Charles Surman, and has since been put online.
 
The area north east of Southend, near Rochford seems to be where Walter started his new career. The Surman index has him starting at Paglesham before becoming minister at Great Stambridge from 1893 to 1891. It was during this time he met and married Annie.
 
We see Annie and Walter on the 1901 census living in Great Stambridge, Essex. They are living at 2 The Limes. Walter is a Congregational Minister.
They have three of their own children, Winifred 3, Reginald 2, and John, who is under a year. Also living with them is Walter's son Henry, 12. 
 
The Surman index shows that Walter was minister at Canewdon for a year from 1901 to 1902 before he moved to Roydon, near the Essex/Herts border.
What is now the United Reform Church in Roydon was where he was minister until 1911, and he was obviously still there at the time of the census because we see him and Annie living at the Manse, (right next to the chapel) Roydon. Son Henry Fuller, 22, is a bank clerk and Winifred, Reginald and John are all at school.
After this, Walter and family moved again. This time a complete change of scene and a relocation to West borough congregational church, Maidstone.
 
Henry Walter Fuller joined the Royal Artillery as a gunner at the onset of war and was killed in action on 18th October 1916 in France.(8)
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission mentions that his parents were living at 35 Tonbridge Road, Maidstone, at the time. It was also useful in mentioning his mothers name which allowed me to trace his father Walter's first marriage details.
 
It appears Walter stayed as minister in Maidstone through until 1925 and according to the Surman index he died on 31 August 1931 in Barming, Kent.(5)
The probate index disagrees with the date and has him dying at Stebonheath, Tonbridge Road, Barming, on 3rd August 1931. Probate was granted to Annie on 3rd September, and effects were £1517 11s 3d (7) - a not inconsiderable amount that would have helped take care of her in her later years.
 
Annie was to died in 1954 in the Maidstone district.(6)  It seems her daughter Winifred never married, and died in the Maidstone area in 1972.(13) Her two sons Reginald and John also stayed in the Maidstone area, dying in 1984 and 1986 respectively.(11,12)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sources:          (1) Birth Register. 2nd Quarter 1869, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 407
                          (3) Marriage Register. 3rd Quarter 1857, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 555
                          (4) Marriage Register. 3rd Quarter 1895, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 1075
                          (5) Death Register. 3rd Quarter 1931, Maidstone District, Volume 2a Page 907
                          (6) Death Register. 3rd Quarter 1954, Maidstone District, Volume 5b Page 504
                          (7) Ancestry.com. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1861-1941
                          (8) http://www.cwgc.org/search-for-war-dead/casualty/514762/FULLER,%20HENRY%20WALTER
                          (9) Marriage Register. 1st Quarter 1884, Poplar District, Volume 1c Page 893
                          (10) Death Register. 4th Quarter 1888, Lewisham District, Volume 1d Page 661
                          (11) Death Register. Mar 1984, Maidstone District, Volume 16, Page 1410
                          (12) Death Register, Sep 1986, Maidstone District, Volume 16, Page 1169
                          (13) Death Register, 4th Quarter 1972, Maidstone District, Volume 5f, Page 1368