Elizabeth Whiting 1863-1912

Charles William Norman (in uniform) and Phoebe with their children.

Photo of Kate's husband, Charles William Norman c.1900. He enlisted in the Suffolk Militia Artillery on 29th September 1898. (wo96/1437/299).

Photo of Phoebe (Kate) Shipp c.1900

Parents: Daniel Whiting and Susannah Kiddy (2)
Born: 12th March 1863 in Burton End, Haverhill.(1,2)
Baptised: 5th April 1863 at St Mary's Parish Church, Haverhill.(2)
Married: George Shipp, 18, batchelor, labourer, of Burton End, Haverhill, son of William Ship, labourer, on 30th August 1879 at St Mary's Parish Church, Haverhill. Witnessed by Walter Claydon and Clara Evans.(3,4)
Children: George Shipp/Whiting b.1879, Henry Shipp b.1881, William Shipp b.1883 died in infancy, Phoebe (Kate) Shipp b.1884, John William Shipp b.1887, Sarah (Rose) Shipp b.1889 and Albert Shipp b.1892
Died: 1912 in the Edmonton district.(6)

Bio: Elizabeth was 8 years old at the time of the 1871 census, and a scholar living with her parents and brothers and sisters in Burton End, Haverhill. In 1879 she married George Shipp, also of Burton End, and they lived with her parents for several years. We see them here on the 1881 census where Elizabeth is a factory hand tailoress and George is a farm labourer. Daniel, Elizabeth's younger brother, married George senior's sister Laura some ten years later.

They also have a son, George, who is two years old. Baptism records show that he was born on 23rd February 1879(5) and is recorded as base-born. It is unclear who his father was, but he was baptised as a Whiting on 13th July 1879.

Three of the children, John, Sarah, and Albert were baptised on 16th April 1898. The baptismal record shows they were living at 23 Clements Lane, Haverhill, at this time.(5)

By the 1891 census they have have their own house, at 90 Burton End and a four more children, Henry, Phoebe, John and Sarah. George is a brick maker, and Elizabeth is no longer working as a tailoress. At some point after 1892, The Shipp family moved to North London.

On the 1901 census they reside at 8 Lawrence Road, Edmonton. As far as I can make out from the census, George is a navvy, as are his sons George and John. Strangely, Elizabeth and George appear to have two daughters who haven't appeared on previous censuses. Kate was born in 1885 and Rose was born in 1890, both in Haverhill. It seems that of the girls Kate, Phoebe, Sarah and Rose two were in fact known by several names, and after looking at GRO indexes it appears that Phoebe was also known as Kate, and Sarah was later known as Rose!

The 1901 census shows that the Shipp family have a visitor, Ernest Tilbrook, 3, who was born in Haverhill too. He was actuallly their grandson, the son of George Shipp and Sarah Tilbrook, who had died most likely as a result of complications in childbirth. Four doors up from them were Elizabeth's younger sister Sophia and her husband William Basham, who had also taken on work as a navvy.

On the 1911 census the Shipps are at 43 Folkestone Road, Edmonton. George and his son George are both builders labourers, whilst son John works for the Great Eastern Railway and daughter Rose works at a cartridge factory. Youngest child Ernest is at school. The census tells us that Elizabeth had 8 children, 7 of which were still alive at this time. GRO indexes show that William Shipp, born in 1883 died in infancy later that year, and Ernest the grandson that George and Elizabeth seem to have adopted almost as a half-brother to their other children may well be included as one of the remaining seven.

In 1913 George Shipp is still listed at this address(9), and by this time his son George is living at 226 Brettenham Road (see George Shipp/Whiting).

At the onset of war the next year, several of the Elizabeth's sons joined up. John Shipp joined up with the 63rd Training Reserve Battalion as Private 24852 on 5th November 1914 but was discharged with arterio schlerosis as unfit to serve on 27th September 1916. He was living at 22 Stanley Terrace, Brettenham Road at this point.(11)

Sadly, Both Albert and Henry were killed early on in the war fighting with the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards. Albert, Guardsman no.14345, was killed on 29th October 1914. At this point his father's address is given as 22 Brettenham Road.(10) Roy Brazier mentions them in his book 'Letters from the Front': 'Pte. H Shipp, although born in the town [Haverhill] had been in Edmonton in London for the past few years. He was in the Grenadier Guards and was killed in the latest engagement at Neuve Chapelle. He had seen military service in the African War, and was in the Reserves for nine years. Pte Albert Shipp of the same regiment had been missing since the battle of Wyverstone, and it was feared he had also been killed. He was on reserve when the war started and was called up.'(12) Harry Shipp, Guardsman no.8402 in the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards was reported as being killed on 13th March 1915.(13)

Initially it was unclear when Elizabeth died because there are two Elizabeth Shipps of Edmonton born in 1864 and 1865 on the GRO death registers. One died in 1912(6), and the other in 1951(7). However, Elizabeth's great great granddaughter Karen Lampe was able to confirm that 'our' Elizabeth died in 1912 and that it was her son's wife, also called Elizabeth, who died in 1951. This ties in with the fact that George is shown living without Elizabeth on the 1935 Electoral Register at 22 Brettenham Road, which had been the family residence since the war. George appears on the 1939 Register at 22 Brettenham Road where he is described as a retired builder's labourer and widower and his birth date is given as 29th December 1861(14).

It seems likely that George died in 1940 in the Edmonton district.(8)

Thanks to Colin Norman for permission to use the photos


(1) Birth Register. 2nd Quarter 1863, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 408
(2) Suffolk Records Office, Bury St Edmunds, Parish Registers of St Mary's Church, Haverhill. Fiche 578/4/p13 of 37
(3) Marriage Register. 3rd Quarter 1879, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 620
(4) Suffolk Records Office, Bury St Edmunds, Parish Registers of St Mary's Church, Haverhill. Fiche 578/4/p28 of 37
(5) Suffolk Baptism Index, SFHS, Clare Deanery 1813-1900.
(6) Death Register. 1st Quarter 1912, Edmonton District, Volume 3a Page 625
(7) Death Register. 1st Quarter 1951, Edmonton District, Volume 5e Page 641
(8) Death Register. 1st Quarter 1940, Edmonton District, Volume 3a Page 1689
(9) London Electoral Registers, 1832-1965. Ancestry.com
(10) http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/916641/SHIPP,%20ALBERT
(11) British Army WW1 Service Records, 1914-1920, National Archives WO363, Ancestry.com
(12) 'Letters from the Front', 2010, Roy Brazier, Romary Books, p.38
(13) http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1561962/SHIPP,%20HARRY
(14) 1939 Register. 22 Brettenham Road, Edmonton, Middlesex. The National Archives; Kew, London, England; 1939 Register; Reference: RG 101/731I