Samuel Whiting 1818-1896

Parents: William Whiting and Ann Pool (1,5)
Born: Oct 1818 in Haverhill (5)
Baptised: 23rd May 1819 at St Mary's Parish Church, Haverhill.(1) 17th December 1820 at the Independent Church, Haverhill.(5)
Married: Sophia Farrant, spinster of Burton End, daughter of Samuel Farrant, Weaver, on 7th September 1844 at St Mary's Parish Church, Haverhill. Witnessed by Josiah Farrant and Mary Parnel (2,6)
Children: John Whiting b.1845, Emily Whiting b.1847 died in infancy(9) and Sophia Whiting b.1848(3) died in infancy.
Died: 1896 in Little Wratting.(4) Buried on 23rd July 1896 at St Mary's Church, Little Wratting.

Bio: Samuel's birth date is not present on the baptismal register of St Mary's, but he was living in Burton End, Haverhill, at the time of baptism.

Unusually, Samuel appears to have been baptised again, this time in the Independent Church on 17th December 1820.(5) Here his birth date is given as October 1818, which would seem to confirm that this is the same Samuel and not a second child of that name.

On the 1841 census he is living with his parents and sister Rebecca in Burton End where he is working as a weaver. Three years later he marries Sophia Farrant, also of Burton End. They have a son, John, in 1845 and a daughter Emily who died aged 18 weeks of mesenteric disease on 20th September 1847. Her death certificate says Amy Mead was present at the death (9).

uel and Sophia had another daughter, Sophia in 1848. Sophia was baptised on 26th August 1848 and it appears her mother had been buried just 2 days earlier. Samuel's wife is almost certainly the Sophia Whiting from Burton End who is listed as being buried on the 24th August 1848, aged 23. It is reasonable to suppose she died from complications surrounding childbirth.

By the 1851 census, Samuel is listed as a widower and is living with his parents in Burton End, working as a drabbet weaver. (drabbet was a fabric of coarse linen used to make the smocks that were worn by agricultural workers at this time)

On this census is the first mention of his son John, who I could not find on the baptismal registers. No other children appear, so it seems likely that his daughter Sophia died in infancy. There is a Sophia Whiting from Burton End buried on 28th October 1848 aged 2. The age is slightly out, but would make sense if it was months not years. It seems Samuel's daughter is the best candidate to be this girl. That Samuel and Sophia had other children that died in infancy cannot be ruled out, but I've not been able to confirm this.

On the 1861 census we see Samuel living in Burton End with his father, now a widower also, and his son John. He is now listed as a shoemaker and cotton weaver. Samuel appears to have been a jack-of-all-trades, for his occupation is listed on the next census in 1871 as 'thatcher & jobbing'. By this time he is living alone, his father having died and his son married and moved out.

As a job, thatching had it's ups and downs as Samuel was to discover. On 6th September 1880 Samuel had a fall whilst at work as The Bury and Norwich Post reported: 'Accident.- On monday week a man named Samuel Whiting, who was thatching some stacks in Mr W.W.Boreham's stackyard, fell from the ladder and broke his collar bone.'(7)

By the 1881 census, Samuel is working as a thatcher and living as a boarder in Burton End with Frances Howard, a cotton factory hand, and her two young sons. Although half his age, she is also widowed.

Samuel is a boarder again on the 1891 census, but this time with George and Martha Poole at 64 Burton End. He is a shoemaker.

Samuel Whiting appears to have died in Little Wratting in 1896.(4) He was buried at St Mary's Church on 23rd July 1896. (8) His age is given as 79 which is correct.


(1) Suffolk Records Office, Bury St Edmunds, Parish Registers of St Mary's Church, Haverhill. Fiche 578/4
(2) Suffolk Records Office, Bury St Edmunds, Parish Registers of St Mary's Church, Haverhill. Fiche 578/4/p23 of 37
(3) Suffolk Records Office, Bury St Edmunds, Parish Registers of St Mary's Church, Haverhill. Fiche 578/4/p11 of 37
(4) Death Register. 3rd Quarter 1896, Risbridge district, Volume 4a Page 415
(5) Haverhill Non-Conformist Registers LDS Film: 825404
(6) Marriage Register. 3rd Quarter 1844, Risbridge district, Volume 12 Page 575
(7) The Bury and Norwich Post, and Suffolk Herald, Tuesday, 14th September 1880, p.6, issue 5125, C19th British Library Newspapers: part II.
(8) SFHS, Suffolk Burial Index, issue 2, 1538-1900
9) Death Register. 3rd Quarter 1847, Risbridge district. Volume 12 Page 283