George William Whiting 1871-1926

Parents: George Scott Whiting and Mary Ann Wiseman
Born: 4th October 1871 in Coton, Cambridgeshire.(6)
Baptised: 26th November 1871 at St Peter's Church, Coton.(9)
Married: Louisa Helstrip, 28, spinster, of Fern Cot House, Nunnery Lane, daughter of William Helstrip, cabinet maker, on 10th April 1893 at St Clements Church, York.(2,8)
Children: George Cyril Helstrip Whiting b.1895(7)
Died: 6th December 1926 at 2b Suffolk Street, Forest Gate, Essex.(4,5) Buried on 9th December 1926 at West Ham cemetery, Grave no. N5 N.E.(10)

Bio: On the 1881 census George is a scholar living with his family in Swines Lane, Comberton, Cambridgeshire.(1) His birthplace is given as Haverhill here, although it appears he is more likely to have been born in Cambridgeshire.

George had seemingly vanished into the ether after the 1881 census, but thanks to information kindly supplied by Jenny Henson, a direct descendant of George Scott Whiting, it was possible to finally clear up the mystery surrounding some of the key events in his life.

Family records show that George was born George William on 4th October 1871. George was baptised at St Peter's Church, Coton in 1871.(9) His father is listed as being a labourer and horsekeeper of Whitwell. This is the name of a farm in Coton.

After the 1881 census, George seems to have made the most of opportunities that came his way because on the next census in 1891 he is a footman at the home of retired Admiral George Henry Douglas, 69, at Newsells House, Barkway, in Hertfordshire. How he came to this position at the age of 19 is not clear. There are nine other servants in the house, including a stableman who is a similar age to George.

Two years later, George was to marry Louisa Helstrip, 28, at St Clements in York. The Yorkshire Herald reported the marriage: 'WHITING - HELSTRIP - On the 10th inst, at St.Clement's Church, York, by the Rev. Canon Argles, George William Whiting, of Cambridge, to Louisa, eldest daughter of William Helstrip, Fern Cot House, Nunnery Lane.'(8) How did he come to hook up with a Yorkshire lass?

A possible answer is suggested to us when we look at where Louisa was on the 1891 census. She was a cook, aged 26, at Moreton House (now Grenville College), Bideford, Devon, which was owned by Sir George Stucley, 72, an MP and high Sheriff of Devon.

Both she and George were in service with very well-to-do households. It seems plausible that their paths crossed during the next two years in their line of work.They may even have ended up working in the same household. What is clear is that both George and Louisa were becoming used to relocating to different areas as and when was needed.

After their marriage in York, George and Louisa moved to Grantham, in Lincolnshire, where they were to have a son George Cyril Helstrip Whiting in 1895.(7)

The 1901 census finds George working as a refreshment room attendant at the GNR refreshment room at Grantham Station. He is living at 9 Station Road with Louisa and 4 boarders, who are pages at the refreshment room. George's birthplace is given as Coton, Cambridgeshire, here. Coton was where his uncle Ephraim can be found on the 1871 census, and it's quite possible his father was living here too when he was born.

It is interesting that George and Louisa's son George Cyril is not living with them at this point. On this census he is staying with his grandparents William and Mary Helstrip at 60 Nunnery Lane, York.

George and Louisa can be found again in Grantham on the 1911 census. Now George is running his own establishment, being an innkeeper at 71 Westgate (now a fishbar) which at the time was the Shepherd and Dog pub.(3) They have a visitor, Alice Broderick, 23, but again their son George Cyril is absent. He is at school and staying with his Uncle and Aunt Robert and Matilda Patterson at 54 Wellington Road, Dunston, Durham. The 1911 census shows that George and Louisa had had two other children who had died, with George Cyril being their only child.

At some point after this last census it looks like George and Louisa made their way back down south as we find George living at 2b Suffolk Street, Forest Gate (4) at the time of his death on 6th December 1926.(5) Probate was granted to his widow, Louisa, with effects of £151 on 20th January 1927. He was buried at West Ham cemetery on 9th December 1926.(10)


(1) 1881 Census, Class: RG11; Piece: 1663; Folio: 12; Page: 18; GSU roll: 1341397.
(2) Marriage Register, 2nd Quarter 1893, York district, Volume 9d, Page 43.
(4) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966
(5) Death Register, 4th Quarter 1926, West Ham district, Volume 4a Page 47
(6) Jenny Henson, Whiting family records.
(7) Birth Register. 4th Quarter 1895, Grantham district, Volume 4a Page 477
(8) The Yorkshire Herald, Saturday, 15th April 1893, issue 13062, page 4. C19th British Library Newspapers.
(9) CFHS parish registers, CD/PR/065
(10), burial register summary. Grave No. N5 N.E., register number 138367