Minnie Annie Whiting 1856-1928

Parents: Edmund Whiting and Lucy Clover
Born: 4th Quarter 1856 in Haverhill(1)
Baptised: ?
Married: Alexander Webb, 65, widower, factory hand, of Haverhill, in 1886 in Haverhill.(2)
Children: None.
Died: July 1928 in Kedington Union Workhouse. Buried on 17th July 1928 at Haverhill Cemetery.(3,4)

Bio: Minnie was born in Haverhill, but I've not managed to find any trace of a baptismal record for her. On the 1861 census, she is living with her family who had moved to Bethnal Green. They are at 2 Mount Square, and Annie is a scholar aged 4.

By the 1871 census, Minnie Clover Whiting (as she is known here) has returned to Haverhill and she is working as a domestic servant in her grandmother Ann Clover's house in Chauntry Croft. Also at the house is her uncle, George Clover, 34, a presser at a clothing factory.

Ten years on, we find her still living with her grandmother, this time in Quakers Lane, Haverhill, and her sister Caroline, 16, is also present on this census. No occupation is given for either, but presumably they were looking after the house for their grandmother who was 85.

It appears that Minnie married Alexander Webb in 1886. He was considerably older than her. The GRO register gives a Minnie Ann Whiting marrying in the Risbridge District in the 3rd Quarter of 1886. There are four people listed on this Volume and Page: Charles Williams, Emily Tatt, Alexander Webb, and Minnie. It appears from censuses that it was Charles Williams that Married Emily Tatt and that they lived thereafter in Withersfield, and it was Minnie who married Alexander Webb.

Alexander was actually the son of Barnabas Webb, of diary fame, who is mentioned many times in this site. He was born on 1st March 1820 and baptised on 17th December 1820 at a non-conformist ceremony at the Meeting House, Haverhill(6). Both Barnabas and Alexander appear on the 1841 census in Burton End. When Barnabas died in 1846, his will of 1847 cites Alexander and his daughter Harriet at the beneficiaries(7).

Alexander did not succeed his father as an employer/manufacturer, working instead as a weaver and at the time of his marriage to Minnie, he was a factory hand. He had previously married Charlotte Mayes in 1848(8) She had died in 1885(9) and he can be seen living in the same street as Minnie on the 1881 census. Alexander was a widower of one year when he married Minnie.

On the 1891 census Minnie and Alexander, who perhaps in reference to his inheritance is listed as 'living on his own means', are lodgers at the Weavers Arms Pub, 6 Hamlet Road, Haverhill. Living with them, amongst others, are a band of seven Bavarian travelling musicians. This would have enlivened a few late-night lock-ins, I'm sure!

The 1901 census finds them still at the Weavers Arms, and Alexander, who is 80, is listed as blind. It seems that Alexander died next year(5) and was buried at Haverhill Cemetery. His occupation is given as factory hand, although he hadn't worked as one for 20 years.

So what became of Minnie? Unfortunately she ended up in the Risbridge Union Workhouse, which is where we see her on the 1911 census. Her age is given as 56, she is listed as a widow and 'formerly a housewife'. She remained there for the rest of her life as far as I can tell, and died there in 1928.(4)

Thanks to Sheila Marsh for spotting the Barnabas Webb connection


(1) Birth register. 4th Quarter 1856, Risbridge District, Vol 4a Page 334
(2) Birth register. 3rd Quarter 1886, Risbridge District, Vol 4a Page 773
(3) Haverhill Cemetery, Ref. 4602. http://www.haverhill-uk.com/pages/burial-records-137.htm
(4) Death register. 3rd Quarter 1895, Risbridge District, Vol 4a Page 727
(5) Death register. 1st Quarter 1902, Risbridge District, Vol 4a 519
(6) Non-Conformist Baptism register, 17th December 1820, Meeting House, Haverhill. RG4/1794 entry 362.
(7) The National Archives; Kew, England; Prerogative Court of Canterbury and Related Probate Jurisdictions: Will Registers; Class: PROB 11; Piece: 2049.
(8) Birth register. 4th Quarter 1848, Risbridge District, Vol 12 Page 820
(9) Death register. 3rd Quarter 1885, Risbridge District, Vol 4a Page 307