Albert Whiting 1875-1944

Parents: John Whiting and Emily Binks (1)
Born: 1875 in Little Wratting. (1)
Baptised: 9th July 1876 at St Mary's Church, Little Wratting.(2)
Married: Emily Ellis, 32, spinster, domestic servant, of 76 Munster Road, daughter of William Ellis, labourer, on 16th September 1907 at St Dionis Church, Fulham. Witnessed by A G Mackenzie and Margaret Ellis.(3,4)
Children: None
Died: 1944. Buried at Woodlawn Memorial Park, Wellington, Guelph City. N-17-21.(7)

Bio: Albert was born in Little Wratting, a hamlet just north east of Haverhill. He features on the 1881 census living there with his parents and elder siblings John, Susan, George and younger sister Christiana.

On the 1891 census, Albert is still at home in Little Wratting and is working as a shepherd.

What happened to him next is unclear. He does not appear on later censuses. There is no trace of a death in the Risbridge district around this time that could be his. Maybe he joined the forces? Investigations along these lines turned up an Albert Whiting born in Haverhill around the same time, but this Albert was the son of George Scott Whiting. Maybe he went abroad. This was my hunch, and I have every reason to believe that this is what happened.

On the 1901 census there is an Albert Whiting, boarder, living at 20 Knivet Road, Fulham, London. He is a (bus) conductor living in the household of Richard W Boyman, 49, a driver, his wife Selina, 42, daughter Beatrice, 11, Sons William, 9, and Sidney, 5, and Reuben, 2. Another boarder, James Wilton, 27, is also a conductor. Daughter Alice Boyman, 15, is a housemaid and domestic.

Albert's age at 25 is correct, but he gives his place of birth as Elmswell, Suffolk. Elmswell is a village situated halfway between Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket, and is not particularly close to Little Wratting.

Examining the Birth Registers for the time around 1875 in Suffolk reveals there is none registered for an Albert Whiting in the Stow registration district that contained Elmswell. In fact, our Albert born in Little Wratting is the only one in 1875.

Why would Albert give his birthplace as Elmswell? Is there anything else that can allow us to match him with the Albert from Wratting?

Six years later, on 16th September 1907, Albert Whiting, bus conductor, of 20 Knivet Road, married Emily Ellis, a domestic servant.

importantly, he gives his father as John Whiting, labourer. This provides a link to the Albert Whiting of Little Wratting.

Whilst not completely conclusive, we have the strong circumstantial evidence of correct age, birth county and father's name and occupation. There is also a family link with London in that Albert's sister Christiana, who was in service in Marylebone, would have provided a familiar face in the city at this time. We can also ask ourselves which other Albert Whiting born around 1875 in England could this possibly be? and having examined the alternatives, the answer is really only our Albert.

Albert's wife Emily can be found on the 1901 census working as a domestic servant at 76 Munster Road (which is her residence at the time of marriage), Fulham, in the household of Annie J Postans. She was born in Great Stukeley, Huntingdonshire, the daughter of William Ellis and Mary Ann Laxton.

Both in their early thirties, it seems that Albert and Emily did not immediately have children. What they did do, it appears, is emigrate to Canada.

Albert and Emily Whiting left England from Liverpool on board the Tunisian bound for Quebec, Canada. They arrived on 15th May 1910.(5)

The passenger lists confirm Albert's current occupation as conductor, and also the ages of him and Emily. They also state that his intended profession upon arrival will be farming, and more importantly their destination is Britton, Ontario.

On the 1911 Canadian census we find Albert and Emily living at 4 19&20 King Street, North, in the town of Harriston, District 133 North Wellington, Ontario.(6)

Albert's month and year of birth is given as September 1875, the fact that he and Emily arrived in Canada in 1910 is confirmed too. Albert's job is moulder at a foundry, where he has worked 42 weeks in the last year. Both are listed as being able to read and write. They have no children.

Albert and Emily show up again on the 1921 Canadian census living, rather appropriately, at 230 Suffolk Street, St Andrews, in Guelph, Ontario. Albert is still working as a moulder, and once again no children are present.

Albert died in 1944 and Emily died in 1953, both in Guelph, Ontario.

They are buried in Block N, Grave 17-21, Woodlawn Cemetery, Guelph, Wellington, Ontario.(7)


(1) Birth Index. 4th Quarter 1875, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 442
(2) Suffolk Baptism Index, SFHS, Clare Deanery 1812-1900
(3) London Metropolitan Archives, Saint Dionis, Parsons Green, Register of marriages, P77/DIO/A/02, Item 002.
(4) Marriage Register, 3rd Quarter 1907, Fulham District, Volume 1a Page 611
(5) Passenger Lists, 1865–1935. Microfilm Publications T-479 to T-520, T-4689 to T-4874, T-14700 to T-14939, C-4511 to C-4542. Library and Archives Canada, n.d. RG 76-C. Department of Employment and Immigration fonds. Library and Archives Canada Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
(6) Year: 1911; Census Place: Harriston, Wellington North, Ontario; Page: 10; Family No: 111.
(7) Transcription of grave of Albert Whiting 1874-1944 and Emily Ellis 1874-1953, Stone Ref. N-17-21, Wellington County, Woodlawn Memorial Park. Wellington County Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society.