Ann Siggs Whiting 1811-1889

Parents: Joseph Whiting and Sarah Farecloth (1)
Born: 4th March 1811 in Haverhill.(1)
Baptised: 5th April 1812 at St Mary's Parish Church, Haverhill (1)
Married: George Baynes, batchelor, labourer of Helions Bumpstead, Essex, on 9th March 1832 at St Mary's Parish Church, Haverhill. (2)
Children: Susannah Baynes b.1837, Sarah Baynes b.1839, Thorogood Baynes b.1841, Thomas Baynes b.1845, Henry Baynes b.1848 and George Baynes b.1851(4)
Died: August 1889 in Helions Bumpstead. Buried on 10th August 1889 at St Andrew's Church, Helions Bumpstead.(5,6)

Bio: There seems to be some discrepancy between estimates of Ann's birth and baptism dates in various sources. The Suffolk Baptism Index gives her birth as 4th March 1811 and baptism as 5th April 1812, whereas the microfiches of parish registers suggest 9th March 1812 as the birth date and baptism as having taken place on 29th March 1812.(2)

Ann's middle name 'Siggs' came from her maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Siggs.

Linking the marriage of George Baynes in 1832 to Ann Siggs is not entirely without issue because although the marriage record confirms the bride's Haverhill origin, it gives no mention of the parents of the bride. On the 1841 census we find Ann (now Baynes) listed as being 25 which would place her birth year as 1816, but ages tended to be rounded down on this census. However, in later censuses Ann's date of birth works out as 1812 or 1813 which is in fact much closer. The question of whether we know of another Ann Whiting that was born in Haverhill around this time can be answered with a resounding 'no', so in light of all of this circumstantial evidence I am prepared to go with the idea that Ann Siggs Whiting was the wife of George Baynes.

George Baynes is baptised as 'George Beans' at St Andrews Church, Helions Bumpstead on 6th May 1810.(7) 'Beans' seems to be a corruption of 'Baynes' used in several instances in the registers around this time.

After their marriage in 1832, Ann went to live with George in Helions Bumpstead, Essex. On the 1841 census we find them there. George, 30, is an agricultural labourer and reference is made to the fact that Ann was not of Essex origins. They have two daughters, Susannah, 4, and Sarah, 2. The abode of the family is in the village Alms houses.

The 1851 census provides us with the revelation that George is paralyzed. Maybe this was a result of a farming accident? He and Ann are still living in the Alms house, and his occupation is given as 'pauper'. I have been told by a member of Helions Bumpstead Parish Council that the Alms houses are no longer in existence; apparently they were on a small patch of land adjacent to Chesterfield Lodge,opposite Slate Hall Farm in Haverhill Road.

They now have four sons; Thurgood (it seems this is how the strange name Thorogood was written round these parts), Thomas, Henry and George, and daughter Sarah is still living with them. It seems that their son Thorogood died in 1859.(3) On the 1861 census there is no reference to them living in the Alms houses, but they remain in Helions Bumpstead and George is described as 'disabled by paralyzation, formerly agricultural labourer'. Ann is a charwoman, and they have one child still living with them, Henry, who is a labourer.

It appears from the GRO death index that George died in 1865,(4) and the National Burial Index confirms the burial of George Baynes, aged 55, at St Andrew's Church on 10th January 1865.(6)

Ann is a widow on the 1871 census. She is a slop worker living in Haverhill Road, Helions Bumpstead, in the house of her son Henry, his wife Susan, and their son Thurgood. Again, on the next census in 1881 she is living with her son and his growing family in Pale Green Road, Helions Bumpstead. This time she is working as a charwoman.

This is the last time we see Ann on a census, as she dies in August 1889.(5,6)


(1) SFHS, Suffolk Baptism Index, Clare Deanery 1754-1812
(2) Suffolk Records Office, Bury St Edmunds, Parish Registers of St Mary's Church, Haverhill. Fiche 578
(3) Death Register. 1st Quarter 1859, Risbridge district, Volume 4a Page 264
(4) Death Register. 1st Quarter 1858, Risbridge district, Volume 4a Page 288
(5) Death Register. 3rd Quarter 1889, Risbridge district, Volume 4a Page 307
(6) National Burial Index, Third Edition, FFHS, Parish Register of St Andrew's, Helions Bumpstead.
(7) Essex Records Office, Helions Bumpstead St Andrew, Baptism Registers, 1731-1812, SEAX D/P 331/1/3