My grandmother Lorna Whiting was born in Haverhill, Suffolk, in 1921 and grew up in Broad Street.

During the war she worked for the Air Ministry at Wratting Common, and it was then that she met my grandfather George Smith who was in the RAF and stationed at Stradishall Airfield with 214 Squadron.

They met at a dance at the Town Hall in Haverhill and married at the West End Congregational Church, Withersfield Road, in 1941. After the war she worked as PA for William Gurteen at Gurteen Clothing Factory in Haverhill amongst other jobs, and after retirement helped out at her local history group. Talking to her about her family's roots in the town intrigued me.

Looking at early censuses I could see that the Whitings seemed to originate from one particular part of Haverhill, but how were they all related? and where did they all end up? I soon found my answers were linked with agriculture and farming, the local militia, the growing textile industry, and let's not forget the beer houses.

Starting with the 1841 census, this site will take an in-depth look at Lorna's Whiting ancestry in Haverhill through the generations that lived first in Burton End and then in other parts of the town.

Making reference to primary sources where possible, I hope to provide a genealogy that will be useful to those with connections to Whiting ancestry and anyone else with an interest in the history of Haverhill.

Simon Hutchison

Lorna Smith (nee Whiting), left, with cousin Lily Farrall (nee Whiting) outside 21 Broad Street. Photo taken in the mid 1990's.

ASK AGRA: Family History Question Time podcast project

If you need some extra help with your family history, check out these free podcasts from The Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives. This initiative has been developed in response to the COVID pandemic and the closure of archives and cancellation of family history fairs and events.

The free AGRA PODCASTS will be available to all, the first series of six to be made available monthly from 1st September 2020. AGRA members will form panels of experts in discussions led by Moderators such as Sarah Williams of Who Do You Think You Are? and Helen Tovey of Family Tree magazine.

The six themes will be as follows, broadcast on the 1st of each month:

1. House Histories - September
2. Ancestral research – getting started including understanding BMD and Census records - October
3. Research before 1837 - November
4. Military research including British service in India - December
5. DNA testing and use in conjunction with genealogical research - January 2021
6. Using land records such as maps and tithe maps to further research - February 2021

Recent Updates

Recent Updates

30th Oct
Updates to Frederick Whiting 1845-1929, William John Whiting 1903-1977, Arthur Clemson Whiting 1904-1977 and Amos Jonas Whiting 1858-1935. Articles from South West Suffolk Echo, thanks to Judy Stratford.
20th Sep
Update to Grace Edith Whiting 1888-1962. Spotted by Judy Stratford in an article in South West Suffolk Echo that reveals she was deaf.
22nd Aug
Update to Hilda Agnes Whiting 1893-1949 and Albert James Whiting 1898-1957 - marriage dates and news items concerning these. Thanks to Judy Stratford.
5th Aug
Taken off the 'Missing Whitings' List, Lily Jane Whiting 1877-1920 has been tracked down in London later in her life, and William John Whiting 1903-1977 lived in the north of England and died in Northampton. Thanks to Judy Stratford.
1st Aug
Update to Alice Laura Whiting 1870-1909 and Grace Edith Irene Whiting 1888-1962. Grace's father identified as Ernest Gillings in an article from Haverhill Echo about maintenance payments. Thanks to Judy Stratford.
25th April
Update to David Spencer Whiting 1892-1915, who died at Gallipoli. Details from WW1 Pension Index cards about his wife and a daughter born after he died. Update to Bertie Whiting 1899-1973. Details of his two marriages.
2nd March
Just when you think you've got them all, two new photos from Haverhill cemetery thanks to Judy Stratford. George Whiting 1867-1940 and Alice (Cornell) and Frederick Whiting 1845-1929 and Sarah Jane (Backler)
1st January
Happy New Year all - Here's to a better one than the last!

25th December
Merry Xmas :)
18th October
Update to Edith Whiting 1866-1960. Her burial entry was located courtesy of Judy Stratford, and she can now be taken off the 'Missing Whitings' list.
13th October
Update to Martha Elizabeth Whiting 1874-1930. Thanks to Judy Stratford for identifying what happened to her after the 1911 census.
3rd October
Some further information on the military service of Joseph Jabez Whiting 1873-1950, and also his sons. Thanks to Andrew Whiting for another photo and more information.
26th July
An alternative marriage for Elizabeth Whiting (born c.1776) to John Loveday in 1798 at Little Wratting church has been flagged up by John Orchard, rather than the marriage to John Smith in 1802 as previously thought. There is some indication that DNA evidence might back this up.
12th June
Update to David Whiting c.1793-1876. His baptism date revisited, with some comments.
11th June
Updated death details for several Whitings courtesy of some GRO PDF death certs from Judy Stratford.
29th May
Update to Harry Whiting/Whybrow 1861-1940. Thanks to some great detective work by Judy Stratford, it has been pointed out that Harry married Jane Kiddy, not Jane Bacon as was previously thought.