Margaret Annie Whiting 1880-1971

Parents: Frederick Whiting and Sarah Backler (1)
Born: 1880 (1)
Baptised: ?
Married: Harry Arthur Taylor, 21, batchelor, horse keeper, of St Loy's Road, Tottenham, son of Robert Taylor, Farm bailiff, on 27th January 1901 at Holy Trinity Church, Tottenham. Witnessed by George James Whiting and Lillie Ethel Taylor. (2,3)
Children: Arthur Taylor b.1901, Florence Taylor b.1903, Ernest Taylor b.1908 and Charles Taylor b.1909, Bertha Taylor b.1914, Lily Taylor b.1917 and James Taylor b.1920
Died: 1971 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (9).

Bio: Margaret, or Annie as she's sometimes known, just makes it onto the 1881 census. She is living with her parents and older siblings in Burton End, Haverhill. On the 1891 census she is a scholar living with her parents again, this time at 9 Duddery Road.

It was looks like Margaret was a witness at her brother George's wedding to Gertrude Scott in 1900, and George returned the favour the year after when Margaret herself was married on 27th January 1901 to Harry Arthur Taylor. Although they shared the same surname, Harry does not appear to have been closely related to John Taylor, husband of Margaret's older sister Martha. John was originally from Castle Camps and Harry was born in Barnardiston, a village equidistant from, but on the opposite side of Haverhill.

On the 1901 census Margaret and Harry are living at 20 St Loy's Road, Tottenham. By 1910(4) they are living at 9 Bomore Road, Notting Hill, and on the 1911 census we see them with four children living at the same address. Harry is a groom. The implication from this census is that they moved to Notting Hill at some point before 1904 and lived back in Haverhill for a while around 1908 as their son Ernest was born there. Staying with the Taylors is Spencer Whiting, 19, a relative who I believe must be David Spencer, Margaret's younger brother. He is working as an attendant. Four year later he was to die in the Great War, killed at Gallipoli serving in the Suffolk Regiment.

Just after the 1911 census the entire Taylor family took the big step of relocating to Canada. Although we don't know the specifics behind this decision, there was definitely a feeling at this time that Canada was a good place to seek a new adventure and the period leading up to the First World War saw the number of immigrants to Canada reaching its peak in 1912-13.(8) New farming developments, plentiful land supply and a concentrated policy to encourage immigration all contributed to this effect.

It seems that Harry made the journey first to make preparations, and then Margaret and the children followed on the ship Victorian, from Liverpool which arrived in Quebec on 6th September 1912. (11)

Harry had filed an application for an entry for a homestead in Strathcona, Alberta, with the Dominion Lands Office for an area SE of Section 31, Township 59, Range 18, West of the 4th Meridian, on 24th June 1912 but he then filed a Declaration of Abandonment on 28th December 1912 "On account of sickness I feel to[sic] weak at the present time to go on my homestead and to comply with the regulations". He added "I wish to get authority to refile as soon as I feel stronger".(7) It seems that Harry must have returned to good health because the family did settle in Strathcona initially.

The 1916 Canada Census of Alberta shows the Taylor family living at 4912, 79 Avenue, Edmonton South, Strathcona, Alberta. Harry is known as Arthur, here, and he is working as a teamster (driver of animals, later trucks). Living with him and Annie are sons Arthur, 17, Ernest, 9, Charles, 7, Florence, 12, and youngest Bertha who is 3.(6)

On the 1921 Canadian Census, Harry A Taylor, wife Annie and youngest sons Ernest and Charles can be seen living in Sterling, Victoria, Alberta (5).

Harry's occupation is teamster, Annie is a housewife and their two sons are at school. There are also now two new arrivals in the Taylor family; Lily Taylor, born in 1917 and James Taylor, born in 1920.

Harry and Margaret saw out the rest of their days in their new homeland; Harry died on 4th March 1953 in Edmonton, Alberta (10), and Margaret died there in 1971 at the grand old age of 91. They were both buried at Westlawn Memorial Gardens, Edmonton(9).

Thanks to Darel, findagrave member, for permission to use the picture of Margaret's gravestone.


(1) Birth Register. 2nd Quarter 1880, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 533
(2) London Metropolitan Archives, Holy Trinity, Tottenham, Register of marriages, DRO/066, Item 019
(3) Marriage Register. 1st Quarter 1901, Edmonton District, Volume 3a Page 440
(4), Electoral Registers, London, England, 1835-1965.
(5), 1921 Census of Canada, Province: Alberta, District: Victoria, District No:12, Section: 32, Township: 44, Range: 14, Meridian No: W4, Municipality: Sterling.
(6), 1916 Canada Census, Census Place: Alberta, Strathcona, 18; Roll: T-21954; Page: 25; Family No: 283
(7) Alberta Homestead Records. University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. File Number: 2726611.
(10) Provincial Archives of Alberta; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Death Indexes.
(11) Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935, Library and Archives Canada; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Series: RG 76-C; Roll: T-4791,