Martha Elizabeth Whiting 1874-1930

Parents: Frederick Whiting and Sarah Backler (1,2)
Born: 24th May 1874 in Burton End, Haverhill (1,2)
Baptised: 2nd August 1874 at St Mary's Parish Church, Haverhill (1)
Married (1): William John Taylor, 22, batchelor, factory operative, of Melbourne Road, Stoney South, son of John Taylor, factory operative (deceased), on 5th April 1896 at All Hallows Church, Tottenham. Witnessed by Frederick Whiting and Annie Dean.(3,4)
Married (2): William Charles Day, 59, widower, ganger platelayer, of 7 Railway Cottages, Rippleside, Barking, son of George Day, labourer (deceased), on 21st October 1929 at St Margaret's Church, Barking, Essex. Witnessed by William ?uff, Phoebe Baker & Charles ? (7, 8)
Children: William Taylor b.1898, Florence Taylor b.1900, Gladys Maud Taylor b.24 Jul 1901, Ethel May Taylor b.24 Mar 1904, Gertrude Beatrice Taylor b.16 Apr 1907, James Taylor b.1909, Charles Spencer Taylor b.20 Dec 1912 and Cyril Albert Taylor b.7 Oct 1915 d.1918
Died: June 1930 in Poplar district (11)

Bio: Martha was born in Burton End in 1874 and appears on the 1881 census as Elizabeth living with her parents and two younger siblings. Her elder brother Stephen had since left home. On the 1891 census, Martha is again known as Elizabeth, and is staying with her grandmother Martha Backler (who she was presumably named after) at 9 Eden Road, where she is working as a machinist.

At some point prior to 1896, Martha must have moved to Edmonton, Middlesex, because it is here where she is residing when she marries her husband-to-be William John Taylor, who was a factory operative.

The 1901 census shows William and Elizabeth Taylor living at 79 Howard Road, Barking. William is working as a labourer at a rubber mills, and they have two children, William and Florence. We see from this census that William senior was born in Castle Camps, Cambridgeshire, so being that this was a village near to Haverhill it is entirely possible that they had already met before moving to London. Looking at the records for Castle Camps Congregational Chapel we see that William John was baptised there on 27th July 1873(5), having been born on 6th June that year. His father is John and his mother was Hannah.

On the 1911 census we see that Elizabeth and William now have a large family. They are residing at 53 Morley Road, Barking. William is a thread cutter at an India rubber factory. They have a boarder, Bert Nicholls, 23, living with them. He is a wood chopper and sawyer. The eldest two children, William and Florence, are at school. Ethel, Gertrude and James Taylor are at home. The census says that Elizabeth had given birth to 6 children, all of whom survived. This leaves one unaccounted for. The missing child and several others have been located by Judy Stratford, who was researching Whiting connections in her own family tree. She also uncovered a second marriage for Martha, and also a likely death date for her.

The child missing from the 1911 census was Gladys Maud Taylor, who was born on 24th July 1901 at 23 Shaftesbury Avenue in Barking(6), and baptised on 12th May 1907 at St Margaret, Barking, along with her two younger sisters Gertrude Beatrice and Ethel May who had been born at 53 Morley Road(9).

So, where is daughter Gladys on the 1911 census? It turns out she is staying with her grandparents Frederick and Sarah in Haverhill, and is known by her middle name Maud.

Martha's husband William John Taylor died in 1926 in the Romford district, aged 52 (10).

On 21st October 1929, Martha, now a widow aged 55, married 59 year-old William Charles Day, a widower and platelayer 'ganger' (foreman of a gang of labourers who layed railway tracks) at St Margaret, Barking, Essex. He lived at 7 Railway Cottages, Rippleside, Barking. The marriage entry confirms that Martha's father was Frederick Whiting, deceased, a tailor.

Martha Elizabeth Day died aged 55 in Poplar District in 1930, only the year after her second marriage.(11)

A newspaper article in the The People, 22nd June 1930, reveals the unusual and unfortunate circumstances of her death:

"While tying up a rose tree in her garden, Martha Day, fifty-five, of Railway-cottages, Ripple-rd., Barking, pricked her thumb with a thorn. Her arm became infected and she died in hospital"(13)

William Charles Day is shown on the 1939 Register as a widower once more, still living at 7 Railway Cottages, Barking (12).

It seems likely that he was the William C Day who died aged 74 in the Ilford district in 1945 (14).


(1) Suffolk Records Office, Bury St Edmunds, Parish Registers of St Mary's Church, Haverhill. Fiche 578/4/p14 of 37
(2) Birth Register. 3rd Quarter 1874, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 453
(3) London Metropolitan Archives, All Hallows, Tottenham, Register of marriages, DRO/015/A/01, Item 030
(4) Marriage Register. 2nd Quarter 1896, Edmonton District, Volume 3a Page 596
(5) CFHS, Transcriptions of the parish registers of Castle Camps, Castle Camps Congregational Baptisms, 1817-1933, p14/33
(6) Birth Register. 3rd Quarter 1901, Romford District, Volume 4a Page 605
(7) Marriage Register. 4th Quarter 1929, Romford District, Volume 4a Page 1039
(8) Essex Record Office, Marriage register St Margaret, Barking. D/P 81/1/70, p.21
(9) Essex Record Office, Baptism register St Margaret, Barking. D/P 81/1/38, p.319
(10) Death Register. 1st Quarter 1926, Romford District, Volume 4a Page 563
(11) Death Register. 2nd Quarter 1930, Popar District, Volume 1c Page 362
(12) 1939 Register, 7 Railway Cottages, Barking, TNA; Reference: RG 101/1057A
(13) The People, 22 Jun 1930, p.3. British Library Newspapers,
(14) Death Register. 2nd Quarter 1945, Ilford District, Volume 4a Page 343