Frances Alice Whiting 1856-1944

Parents: David Whiting and Elizabeth Buttle (1)
Born: 4th November 1856 in Burton End, Haverhill. (1,2)
Baptised: 10th May 1857 at St Mary's Parish Church, Haverhill.(1)
Married: James Ewin, batchelor, of High street, Haverhill, son of Rayner Ewin, butcher, in 1874 in Haverhill (3)
Children: William Ewin b.1875, Frank Ewin b.1879 died in infancy, Frederick Ewin b.1879, Albert Ewin b.1882, Herbert Ewin b.1885, Esther Ewin b.1889, Ellen Ewin 1892, Maria Ewin b.1897 and ? Ewin b.1901
Died: 1st Quarter 1944 in Hammersmith, London. (7)

Bio: Frances is on the 1861 census as 'Fanny' Whiting, living in Burton End with her parents and siblings. She is missing, however, from the family set-up on the 1871 census.

In 1874, Frances married James Ewin, also of Haverhill. They had a son, William, in 1875, and then on 15th July 1879 they had twins, Frederick and Frank. At this time they were living in Burton End, and James' occupation on the baptismal register is listed as butcher. Unfortunately, Frank died four months later, and was buried at Haverhill Cemetery on 20th December 1879. Frances appears to be known as 'Alice' on most records after her marriage. At some point around the time of the birth of the twins, Frances and James must have moved to Acton, most likely to be near Frances' sister Esther and her husband Frederick Squire who were living there and doing well for themselves. Here we find them in Enfield Road, Acton, just a couple of doors down from Fred and Esther Squire on the 1881 census. James is working as a general labourer, and their two sons William and Frederick are living with them. William, 6, is listed as having been born in Haverhill and Frederick, 1, in Acton, although Frederick's baptism record says Haverhill.

The 1890 Electoral Register shows James Ewin at 12 Enfield Road, Acton.(8)

Maybe the connection with the Squire family proved useful, because by the 1891 census James is a Farm bailiff, living at the Farm House in Perivale Road, Alperton, Harrow. They have four children living with them, Frederick, Albert, Herbert and Esther. Their farm house was right next to the 'Pleasure Boat' beer house on the canal in Alperton. The area around Alperton was becoming increasingly industrialized(4), and farming was on the way out so it is not suprising that James found work elsewhere in the coming decade. the 1901 census sees James and Frances living near the Squire family again at 41 Tobin Street, Kensington. Frederick and Esther were at number 59.

This time James Ewin is a stage carriage driver, something very different from being a farm bailiff, but he appears to have been a jack of all trades. His sons Albert and Frederick are horsekeepers, and Herbert is a van guard. Daughters Esther and Ellen are still living with them, and Maria the youngest was born in Kensington in 1897 showing that the family must have left Alperton over four years previously.

James appears to have died the next year in 1902. A James Ewin of his age, in the Kensington district, is on the GRO death registers(5). He was certainly dead by 1906 as his daughter Esther's marriage entry states this.(6)

The 1905 Electoral Register shows Frances still at 41 Tobin Street, then at 49 in 1908.(8) She moves to 11 Hurstway Street the next year.

On the 1911 census we find Frances Alice as a widow, living at 11 Hurstway Street, Kensington, with daughters Ellen, a laundry maid, and Maria, a glove cleaner. Frances is working as a machinist. There is a 9 year old girl living with them, whose name is very hard to identify, but who is listed as a daughter. Her name could possibly be Sylvia. There was a Sylvia Jane Beatrice Ewin born in the Kensington district in 1901 who could be her.(9) The census tells us Frances had 9 children born alive, of which 7 were still living and 2 were dead.

Frances lived at 11 Hurstway Street with her son Fred and his wife Florence Maud, and was still there in 1939.(8)

From the GRO death register it is possible to trace her date of death - Fanny A Ewin, also listed as Frances, died in the Hammersmith district in 1944 at the age of 87.(7)


(1) Suffolk Records Office, Bury St Edmunds, Parish Registers of St Mary's Church, Haverhill. Fiche 578/4/p12 of 37
(2 Birth Register. 4th Quarter 1856, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 334
(3 Marriage Register. 4th Quarter 1874, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 805
(5) Death Register, 4th Quarter 1902, Kensington District, Volume 1a Page 66
(6) London Metropolitan Archives, Saint Clement, Notting Hill, Register of marriages, P84/CLE, Item 018
(7) Death Register, 4th Quarter 1944, Hammersmith District, Volume 1a Page 282
(8), London Electoral Register, 1835-1965.
(9) Birth Register. 3rd Quarter 1901, Kensington District, Volume 1a Page 103