Catherine Agnes Whiting 1875-1948

Parents: Horace Odessa Whiting and Harriet Backler (1,2)
Born: 12th December 1875 in Haverhill (1,2,3)
Baptised: 4th September 1876 at St Mary's Parish Church, Haverhill (1,2)
Married: Joseph James Thorogood, 20, batchelor, porter with L.N.W.R, son of Joseph John Thorogood, railway mechanic, on 31st July 1901 at St James Pentonville Church, Clerkenwell. Witnessed by Gustav Borstel and Eliza Thorogood.(4,5)
Children: None.
Died: 1948 at St Leonards Hospital, Shoreditch. Buried on 14th July 1948 at Islington Cemetery.(7,9)

Bio: Catherine, or Kate as she was known, was born just prior to the marriage of her parents. Although the assumption is that she was Odessa's child, there is no way of knowing for sure. It appears her birth was registered as Agnes Kate Maria Backler in the first quarter of 1876.(3) She is later to appear under this name on her marriage entry. She was, however, baptised as Catherine Agnes Whiting later in 1876.(1,2)

On the 1881 census she is living in Eden Row with her parents and two sisters Ethel and Lily. Her father had died the previous year in an accident at Gurteens.

When her mother remarried to Charles Brown, Kate and her sisters stayed with their mother and became part of the new family.

At the time of the 1891 census Kate is living with the Browns at 4 Waveney Terrace, where she is known as 'Agnes Kate Whiting Backler'. Her occupation is not given; possibly she was working at Gurteens alongside her mother.

The 1901 census shows Kate living with her grandmother Susan. Susan, originally an Argent, had been widowed twice. Her first husband George Backler had died in the 1860's and her 2nd husband Charles Farrant has also now died. They are at 7 Croft Row, Haverhill. Kate is known here as a Backler, and also living with them is Susan's son George, 37, also a widower. Kate is a machinist at Gurteens. At some point over the next year she moved down to London.

Kate married Joseph James Thorogood on 31st July 1901 at St James Church, Clerkenwell. He was born in Cambridge, and was a porter for the London & North West Railway at the time. The records of the LNWR show him to have started work at Euston Station on 1st July 1901. They also record he was 5ft 7in tall, and was earning 17/6. It goes on to say he was transfered to Islington Station on 19th October the same year.(6)

At their time of marriage both Kate and Joseph were living at 24 Affleck Street, just off Pentonville Road.

This is where they remain for the 1911 census. Joseph is now an omnibus conductor in Camden Town. They have no children, but a lodger is living with them. James Bishop, boarder, 30, is a goods porter for the Midland Railway.

From Electoral registers(8), we see Joseph registered as moving from 24 Affleck Street to a ground floor flat at 305 Hornsey Road, Islington, in 1913.

The London Electoral registers show Agnes Kate Thorogood living alone at 35 Florence Street, Islington, from 1918 up until 1939.

From 1922 onwards Joseph seems to be living at 74 Mayton Street, at first with his father then on his own. He stays here up until 1939.

The implication is that the couple were seperated for a great deal of their married life.

Kate died at St Leonards Hospital, Shoreditch in 1948, and was buried at Islington cemetery on 14th July 1948.(7) It is unclear what happened to Joseph after 1939.


(1) Suffolk Baptism Index, SFHS, Clare Deanery 1813-1900.
(2) Suffolk Records Office, Bury St Edmunds, Parish Registers of St Mary's Church, Haverhill. Fiche 578/4/p14 of 37
(3) Birth Register. 1st Quarter 1876, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 489
(4) London Metropolitan Archives, Saint James, Pentonville, Register of marriages, P76/JS2, Item 020.
(5) Marriage Register. 3rd Quarter 1901. Holborn District, Volume 1b Page 1430
(6) UK, Railway Employment Records, 1833-1963 Class: RAIL410; Piece: 1799.
(7) Death Register. 3rd Quarter 1948, Shoreditch District, Volume 5d Page 376
(8) London, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1965
(9) Burial Register, Islington Cemetery, 14th July 1948, No.172003.