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.
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