Fanny Ager Whiting 1874-1958

Parents: Thomas Whiting and Louisa Plumb (1)
Born: 29th November 1874 in Camps Road, Haverhill. (1,2)
Baptised: 5th June 1875 at St Mary's Parish Church, Haverhill.(1)
Married: Lewis Gillingwater, 30, bachelor, labourer of 7 Willow Terrace, Scotland Green, son of Edward Gillingwater, labourer, on 25th July 1898 at All Hallows Church, Tottenham. Witnessed by Arthur Whiting and Emily Caroline Brazier.(3,4)
Children: Lewis Thomas E Gillingwater b.1899, Norah Kate Gillingwater b.1902, Kate Honor Gillingwater b.1903, Thomas Edward Gillingwater b.1905, Arthur John C Gillingwater b.1907, Charles Ager Gillingwater b.1910, Kenneth Walter Gillingwater b.1911, Louisa C Gillingwater b.1914, Mary Gillingwater b.1917
Died: 1958 in Edmonton.(5)

Bio: Fanny was born in Camps Road, Haverhill in 1874. It is not clear where her middle name comes from, although 'Ager' is a name local to the area and it may well have been passed down from a relative on her mothers side. She had a fairly unsettled start to life as her parents left Haverhill and moved around quite frequently in the Cambridge area, spending spells in Gazeley and Barton before living in Teversham at the time of the 1881 census. Here we find her with parents Thomas and Louisa and younger brothers Arthur and Charles Herbert.

Fanny moved to London at some point over the next decade, most likely to find work - and we see her on the 1891 census working as a general domestic servant at the home of William Newcombe, 74, a retired barge-owner and widower who lived at 91 Darenth Road, Stamford Hill, Hackney.

In 1898 Fanny married Lewis Gillingwater. At the time she was living at 22 Dawlish Road, Tottenham. They can be seen living at 34 Spencer Road, Tottenham on the 1901 census where Lewis is working as a mason's labourer, and Fanny is bringing up their son, Lewis. They have a boarder, James Dooley, 29, who is a navvy.

We see the Gillingwater family again on the 1911 census, this time with 6 children in tow. They are living at 5 Maud Cottages, Barrowell Green, Winchmore Hill. Lewis is working as a general labourer for Southgate district council. It seems that Lewis saw some activity during the Great War as a Sergeant in the Royal Defence Corps which was formed in 1917 from soldiers either too old or medically unfit for front-line service.(6)

From the Electoral Registers we see that Lewis and Fanny were living at 1 Salisbury Cottages, Hoppers Road, near to the Salisbury Arms in Southgate, in 1919 and they stayed there until 1935 when they moved to The Firs, Barrowell Green, Southgate.(8)

Fanny and Lewis saw out the remainder of their days in Edmonton, and Lewis died in 1949 at the age of 84.(7) and Fanny followed him 9 years later dying in 1958(5) having given birth to 9 children and living for 83 years.


(1) Suffolk Records Office, Bury St Edmunds, Parish Registers of St Mary's Church, Haverhill. Fiche 578/4/p14 of 37
(2) Birth Register. 1st Quarter 1875, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 459
(3) London Metropolitan Archives, All Hallows, Tottenham, Register of marriages, DRO/015/A/01, Item 031
(4) Marriage Register. 3rd Quarter 1898, Edmonton District, Volume 3a Page 695
(5) Death Register. 2nd Quarter 1958, Edmonton District, Volume 5e Page 348
(6) British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920
(7) Death Register. 3rd Quarter 1949, Edmonton District, Volume 5e Page 319
(8), London Electoral Registers, 1847-1965.