Joseph Whiting 1844-1927?

Parents: Charles Henry Whiting and Mary Ann Pool (1)
Born: 25th May 1844 in Burton End, Haverhill. (1,2)
Baptised: 1st September 1844 at St Mary's Parish Church, Haverhill, Suffolk. (1)
Married (1): Ellen Nunn, 16, spinster of Sturmer, daughter of John Nunn, Labourer, on 21st June 1866 at St Mary's Parish Church, Sturmer. Witnessed by Albert Cowle, Mary Ann Osborne and Edward Walliker.(3)
Children: Joseph Whiting b.1867 died in infancy and Catherine (Kate) Mary Ann Whiting b.1868(4,5)
Married (2) ? Martha Harwood, 19, spinster, daughter of John Harwood, on 25th December 1871 at Mudgee.(12)
Children: Charles Henry Whiting b.1872, George William Whiting b.1874, James Sydney Joseph Whiting b.1875, Herbert Walter Whiting b.1876, Ernest Albert Whiting b.1878, Arthur Leslie Whiting b.1880, Mary Ann Whiting b.1884 and Julia Kate Whiting b.1887
Died: 16th March 1927 in Tumut, New South Wales.?(13)

Bio: Joseph appears on the 1851 census living with his parents in Burton End, Haverhill. Joseph's family are missing on the 1861 census, but it becomes clear from other records (see Charles Henry Whiting) that his father became an Innkeeper and Joseph was to try his hand at the same occupation.

In 1866 Joseph marries Ellen Nunn, of Sturmer, and he is listed as an Innkeeper in Haverhill. From the baptismal record(4) of his daughter Catherine, born on 13th June 1868 and baptised on 8th July 1868, we can see that at this time he was Publican at the Greyhound Inn (now Lloyds TSB) in Haverhill.

During this era, the tenancy of the Greyhound was changing hands on a fairly regular basis. Kelly's Directory of 1865 shows the publican as James Knapp(6), and then we see an advertisement in the Bury and Norwich Post of 5th June 1866(7) advertising the pub 'to be let - with possession at midsummer'. Robert Rowlinson took over the pub, but after a run in with the local constabulary involving 'drunkeness in his house after 12 O'Clock on Saturday night'(8) later that year he obviously decided to call it quits as the Bury and Norwich Post announced that the Greyhound Inn was to be sold by Mr Rowlinson on 11th January 1867.(9)

Although I have been unable to confirm this, it is reasonable to assume that Joseph took over at this time.

By 1868 everything appears to be going nicely for Joseph. He is newly married, his wife has recently given birth to a daughter in June of that year and he is running a Pub in Haverhill high street. Yet something happened or a set of circumstances developed that must have made him quit the scene because he vanishes without trace around this time. The Suffolk and Essex Free Press of 13th August 1868 has Mr Alston of the Greyhound Inn providing a good lunch at a cricket match held in Haverhilll, and in the same paper on 17th September 1868, an advert appears: "To Let, The Greyhound Inn, Haverhill, Suffolk. Possession at Michaelmass next. - apply to Mr Boreham, Brewery, Haverhill".

I could find no record of him on later censuses, birth, marriage or death entries. Where did he go?

My first port-of-call was criminal records. Was he a 'wrong-un'? There was no record of a spell in prison, or a mention in the newspapers about an appearance at the Quarterly Assizes or Petty Sessions. Next stop was the Asylum - it is suprising how many ancestors spent some time there. No joy here, or at the Risbridge Union, which was another possibility. A sudden urge to fight for King and Country? Looking at Military records produced no results either.

I thought for a bit, and then remembered I'd seen a mention on the Ancestry Public Member Trees that he'd been associated with a re-appearance in Australia by some people.

Is there any real evidence for this? There seems to be confusion as to whether that Joseph Whiting had been born in Manchester or Haverhill, and he also had the middle name 'Henry', which is not something I've seen associated with Charles and Mary's son.

The Joseph Whiting mentioned on Ancestry had married when he got to Australia, which if he was the same Joseph would amount to bigamy on the one hand, but on the other hand was congruent with someone who would be escaping to start a new life. But there are two pieces of circumstantial evidence that are compelling. His first son after this new marriage was called Charles Henry, and his first daughter was called Mary Ann.

Research showed that a Joseph Whiting had arrived in New South Wales, Australia, aboard the Samarang on 15th February 1869(10) as an unassisted passenger. The ship had sailed from Gravesend, London on 30th October 1868(11). As he was an unassisted passenger, there is only Joseph Whiting's name and no details to tie him to Haverhill. The dates make it possible, but there is no real evidence that this is the same Joseph.

This newly arrived Joseph cannot definitely be proven to be the one from the Ancestry Public Member Trees either, only New South Wales provides a common link and again the dates are sympathetic.
wever, as more DNA test are being taken all the time, we have encouraging indications that suggest Joseph Henry Whiting who settled in Australia could very well be Joseph Whiting from Haverhill. Dr Steve Whiting, great great grandson of Joseph Henry Whiting, has found DNA matches for 5 distantly related 4th and 5th cousins that are linked via the siblings of Charles Henry Whiting b.1819, Joseph of Haverhill's father. This indicates a common ancestry and would suggest Joseph Henry Whiting of Australia is indeed our man.

So next step was to procure the Marriage Certificate of Joseph Henry Whiting to Martha Harwood at Mudgee, NSW on 25th December 1871 and see if there was any more evidence that would link him to Haverhill Joseph. Alas, his place of origin is not given and neither is his father's name.(12) His occupation is gold-miner - Mudgee was certainly close to the goldfields.

What about on the birth certificate of his first born, Charles Henry? again, no real clues. 'England' is his place of origin here, and the same occupation.

Joseph Henry Whiting and Martha Harwood had eight children and remained in New South Wales. Joseph died in Tumut in 1927.(13)

For more on Joseph's first wife Ellen, see the page on their daughter Kate Mary Ann Whiting.

Certificate courtesy of the GRO. © Crown Copyright. Thanks to Dr Steve Whiting for DNA information.


(1) Suffolk Records Office, Bury St Edmunds, Parish Registers of St Mary's Church, Haverhill. Fiche 578/4/p10 of 37
(2) Birth Register. 3rd Quarter 1844, Risbridge District, Volume 12 Page 355.
(3) Marriage Register. 2nd Quarter 1866, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 569
(4) Suffolk Baptism Index, SFHS, Clare Deanery 1813-1900
(5) Birth Register. 3rd Quarter 1868, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 405
(7) Bury and Norwich Post, Tuesday, June 5th 1866, pg.1, issue 4380. British Library C19th Newspapers.
(8) Bury and Norwich Post, Tuesday, Oct 2nd 1866, pg.8, issue 4397. British Library C19th Newspapers.
(9) Bury and Norwich Post. Tuesday, Jan 8th 1867, pg.1, issue 4411. British Library C19th Newspapers.
(10) New South Wales, Australia, Unassisted Immigrant Passenger Lists, 1826-1922.
(11) The Standard, Friday, October 31, 1868; pg. 6; Issue 13804. 19th Century British Library Newspapers: Part II.
(12) Marriage Certificate, Ref: 002868, New South Wales, 25th December 1871.
(13) Joseph H Whiting, death date 1927, Tumut, NSW, 81 years, reg. 3281