John Siggs Pool 1831-1879

Parents: illegitimate son of Elizabeth Poole(1)
Born: 2nd January 1831 (1)
Baptised: 13th March 1831(1)
Married: Emily Freestone in 1854 in Haverhill.(2)
Children: stepson John Cook Pool Freestone b.1852(3,4), Mary Ann Pool b.1857, William Pool b.1858, Harriet Pool b.1860, Emily Pool b.1861 and Joseph Pool b.1866.
Died: March 1879 in Haverhill. Buried on 22nd March 1879 at Haverhill Cemetery.(6,7)

Bio: John was the illegitimate son of Elizabeth, and from the middle name given to him we have a clue to the possible identity of his father. John would have been young when his mother married John Whiting in 1838 and he soon became assimilated into the Whiting household in Burton End. On the 1841 census, John is present working as a winder and now has a half-brother, William, 2.

On the 1851 census John is known as 'Pool Whiting', and is now a weaver working alongside his stepfather in their house in Burton End. He has two half-brothers, William and Moses. John married Emily Freestone, of Haverhill Hamlet, Essex, in 1854, and went to live in the Hamlet. We find him there at the time of the 1861 census working as a silk weaver, and father to four children, John who was the illegitmate son of Emily, Mary Ann, William and Harriet.

Curiously, the 1871 census finds Emily and children residing in the Union Workhouse House, Kedington, but John is nowhere to be found. Emily is a silk weaver, and she is present with William, Harriet and new children Emily and Joseph.

The next time we find Joseph mentioned is in association with the Moses Whiting murder case on Friday 22nd September 1876. He is referred to as John Siggs Pool. He was one of the first on the scene after his half-brother Moses had killed his own son and restrained him as he tried to cut his own throat. John mentions at the inquest that he lived a quarter of a mile from Moses and that he had been at work as a weaver nextdoor in the house of his other half-brother William.(5)

On 5th February 1877 John was charged with being drunk and disorderly in the highway at Haverhill on 25th January. At the local Petty Sessions he was fined 10s and 6s 6d costs and allowed 14 days for payment.(11)

John died not long after this, in March 1879. He was fairly young, and it is unclear without seeing the death register entry what caused this. He was buried at Haverhill Cemetery on 22nd March 1879.

Emily is on the 1881 census living with her son William and his wife and family in Burton End. She is listed as a widow, and works as a silkweaver. Also in the household are Emily's other children Harriet, Emily and Joseph. Joseph's birthplace is given as Melbourne, Derbyshire, unlike on the previous census where it had just been put as Haverhill. This is confirmed again on the 1901 census. This is unusual, and makes us think that maybe the family relocated at some point between the 1861 and 1871 census? There is a Joseph Pool born in 1866 in the Shardlow district, which contains Melbourne.(10) The town was connected with the weaving industry in the 19th Century, so it is plausible that because work was hard to come by in Haverhill in the middle of the 19th Century due to competition from northern industry (prior to improvements implemented by Gurteens), John and his family moved with this in mind.

Emily died in May 1883 and was buried at Haverhill Cemetery on 12th May 1883.(8,9)


(1) Genealogical Society of Utah. Place: Haverhill, Suffolk, England; Collection: ; BTs; Date Range: 1831 - 1832; Film Number: 989588
(2) Marriage Register. 1st Quarter 1854, Risbridge district, Volume 4a Page 429
(3) SFHS, Suffolk Baptism Index, Clare Deanery 1813-1900.
(4) Birth Register. 3rd Quarter 1852, Risbridge district, Volume 4a Page 321
(5) The Ipswich Journal, Tuesday 26th September 1876, issue 7461.
(6) Death Register. 1st Quarter 1879, Risbridge district, Volume 4a Page 341
(7) Haverhill Cemetery, Ref. 858.
(8) Death Register. 2nd Quarter 1883, Risbridge district, Volume 4a Page 321
(9) Haverhill Cemetery, Ref. 1180.
(10) Birth Register. 1st Quarter 1866, Shardlow district, Volume 7b Page 341/348
(11) Bury and Norwich Post, Tuesday 6th February 1877, pg6, issue 4937. C19th British Library Newspapers.