Daniel Whiting c.1725-1782

Parents:     Daniel Whiting and Sarah Bridge?
Born:          c.1725 
Baptised:   ?                    
Married:      Ann Spackman, widow, on 25th October 1748 at St John's Church, Duxford, Cambs.(4)      
Children:    John Whiting(?) bpt. 3rd Dec 1749, Elizabeth Whiting bpt. 11th Apr 1751, Daniel Whiting bpt. 10th Oct 1752, James Whiting bpt. 11th Feb1754, Robert Whiting bpt. 22nd Nov 1755, Ezra Whiting bpt. 7th Jan 1758, Ann Whiting bpt. 10th July 1759 died in infancy, Sarah Whiting bpt. 10th July 1759 died in infancy, Jeremiah Whiting bpt. 27th Apr 1763 died in infancy and Adam Whiting bpt. 20th Mar 1765 died in infancy.
Died:           1782? Buried on 19th December 1782 at St Mary's Parish Church, Haverhill?(4)


Bio:             Daniel's baptism entry has not been found. His year of birth can only be roughly placed in the 1720's from his year of marriage in 1748. This presumes he was in his twenties at the time. There is no proof of who his parents were, but a strong possibility is that he was the son of another Daniel Whiting, who married Sarah Bridge in Haverhill in 1718. The name of the groom and the timing of this marriage are a good fit.

I had been aware of the marriage of a Daniel Whiting and Ann Spackman in 1748 at Duxford St John's for years, but I had discounted it because there was no obvious Haverhill connection. Having said this, the names matched as being the the same as the parents of a string of Whiting children born in the 1750's who were all traceable on the non-conformist registers of Haverhill.

The date fitted in too; but Duxford, although near-ish, is not in the close proximity of Haverhill.

Then just recently I noticed this marriage entry once more whilst browsing on the 'Familysearch' website. Something was telling me it had to be worth another look.

I posted a note on the 'Cambridgeshire Lookup requests' page of Rootschat.com asking if anyone had access to the parish registers for Duxford, and if so, were there any more clues there about the origins of Daniel and Ann.

Within 24 hours a Rootschat angel called Selina had answered my prayers! An 'aristocrat' with over 1000 posts to her name, she posted a prompt reply informing me that Daniel was listed in the entry as being from 'haveril' and that Ann was a widow. The Haverhill link was just what I had hoped for. It had to be them.

A bit of digging around, which was then confirmed in another kind post from Selina, suggested that Ann Spackman was the widow of Henry Spackman. They had married at Duxford St John on 5th April 1745(4) and he had been buried there on 3rd December that same year. Ann's maiden name was Wilson, and a further search of the registers pointed to her being the daughter of John and Elizabeth Wilson who had been christened at St John's on 30th September 1726.(4)

How Daniel would have come to meet Ann is unclear. It appears that after having married at Ann's village as was customary, Daniel returned with her to his home town of Haverhill. 

The registers of the old congregational church (RG4/1844) in Haverhill show baptisms amongst the non-conformist dissenting community, and here we find the children of Daniel who were baptised there over the next 15 years.

The first child John Whiting, was baptised on 3rd September 1749.(1) The father is given as Daniel, but curiously the mother is referred to as Mary.

I cannot explain this, other than to suggest a clerical error. I've not come across another Daniel in Haverhill at this time, and the date would place this after the marriage of Daniel and Ann. The next child was Elizabeth, baptised on 11th April 1751(1), and here the mothers name is Ann. It may not be coincidence that the first son and daughter are named after Ann's parents, and this suggests that perhaps 'Mary' is an error.

Daniel and Ann's next four children were boys Daniel, James, Robert and Ezra. They all survived beyond infancy, Daniel and James later becoming the origin behind a large proportion of the Whitings on this site. Robert would move to Woolwich, and the twice-married Ezra would leave home to join Nelson's navy.

Daniel's next four children all died in infancy. Ann and Sarah may have been twins. They were both baptised on 10th July 1759(1) and two infants, Ann and Sarah, were both buried at St Mary's Church on 21st July 1759(3). There is a Jeremiah Whiting buried on 13th June 1763(3) and an Adam Whiting on 28th July 1765(3). I am certain these burials account for the children of Daniel and Ann as there is no further mention of them anywhere after this point.

Not much more is known about Daniel Whiting beyond the fact that he sired all these children, and that we can now attribute a marriage to him. Even his date of death is open to some conjecture.

I feel he is most likely to be the Daniel Whiting who was buried on 19th December 1782(3) at St Mary's Church, although his age is not given. This is the only mention of the burial of a Daniel who would seem to fit the bill.

We can be clearer, perhaps, about his wife Ann's date of death. An Ann Whiting listed as a spinner and a widow is buried on 20th May 1795.(3) Her age is given as 72 which ties in nicely with 'our' Ann. Barnabas Webb's diary also mentions her, saying 'Old mother Whiting died in the Work House May 17 1795' (2)

If this is her then it would also fit in with the estimate of Daniel's death some years earlier.

I feel at last there is a framework in place for Daniel and Ann's lives, even if it is a little sketchy in places. Hopefully at some point more details will come to light.

Picture of St John's Church, Duxford, where Daniel and Ann were married.


(1) Haverhill Non-conformist Registers, RG4/1844
(2) Barnabas Webb’s pocket-book, Suffolk Records Office, Bury  St Edmunds. HA553/1
(3) Suffolk Burial Index issue 2, 1538-1900, SFHS
(4) Parish registers of St John's Church, Duxford, Cambridgeshire. CFHS. Thanks to Selina, Rootschat, for lookups.