Mary Ann Whiting 1856-1901

Parents: John Whiting and Elizabeth Barber
Born: 3rd Quarter 1856 in Haverhill. (1)
Baptised: ?
Married: Henry Porter, 24, labourer of Sea View, Landport, son of Edmund Porter, labourer, on 4th May 1876 at Portsea Island Registry Office, Hampshire.(2)
Children: Henry Porter b.1877, Thomas Porter b.1878, James Porter b.1880, Charles Porter b.1883, Albert Porter b.1887, Ernest Porter b.1891, Alfred Porter b.1893 and Arthur Porter b.1895
Died: 2nd Quarter 1901 in Portsmouth.(3)

Bio: Mary Ann appears on the 1861 census living with her parents and siblings in Burton End, Haverhill, and again in 1871 after her father had remarried. She is working as a cotton weaver. How she comes to be in Portsmouth, I do not know, but she marries labourer Henry Porter there on 4th May 1876 at Portsea Island Registry Office. The marriage certificate confirms her father as John Whiting, and gives her place of residence as Sea View, Landport.

It seems probable that Henry was working on the docks. Landport was home to a lot of workers connected with the harbour around this time.

Mary Ann's husband Henry was originally from Buriton, Hampshire, the son of Edmund and Mary Porter. His parents had moved to Portsmouth to find work as the city was to grow rapidly in the middle of the 19th Century.

Henry and Mary Ann are to be found on the 1881 census living at 1 Silverlock Street, Portsea Island, Portsmouth. Henry is working as a labourer.

They have three sons, Henry, Thomas, and James, all born in Portsmouth. Henry Porter was born in Buriton, Hampshire in around 1852.

For the 1891 census, the family have moved to 48 Sea View, Portsmouth, and Henry is working as a Stoker at a Gas works. They have the same three boys, plus three more - Charles, Albert and Ernest.

The 1901 census finds them at 54 Kettering Terrace, Portsmouth. Henry is now a coal porter, and several of the boys have moved out. James and Charles remain, working as bricklayers labourers and Albert, Ernest, Alfred and Arthur are all living with them too.

Conducting a search of the 1911 census has not revealed the whereabouts of Mary Ann or indeed Henry. However, the sons are split up, and the youngest, Arthur, is actually living back in Haverhill with his aunt Amelia. Perhaps Mary Ann had died before this census. A look at the GRO index finds there is only one death of a Mary Ann Porter recorded in Portsmouth, and that was in 1901.(3) The age is spot-on at 45, too. So when did Henry die? We find a Henry Porter of exactly the right age dying in Portsmouth in 1905.(4) So - if we presume that Mary Ann and Henry remained in Portsmouth after the 1901 census, which I think is highly likely, I am happy with these as their death dates.

Marriage certificate courtesy of the GRO. © Crown Copyright. click to enlarge.


(1) Birth Register. 3rd Quarter 1856, Risbridge District, Vol 4a Page 330
(2) Marriage Register. 2nd Quarter 1876, Portsea District, Vol 2b Page 799
(3) Death Register. 2nd Quarter 1901, Portsmouth District, Vol 2b Page 273
(4) Death Register. 2nd Quarter 1905, Portsmouth District, Vol 2b Page 265