Sarah Ann Whiting 1862-1927

Parents: Henry Whiting and Mary Scott (1)
Born: 31st July 1862 in Burton End, Haverhill. (1,2)
Baptised: 24th August 1862 at St Mary's Parish Church, Haverhill.(1)
Married: Robert Boreham, 20, batchelor, workman, of High Street, Haverhill, son of Zachariah Boreham, chimney sweep, on 19th November 1881 at St Mary's Parish Church, Haverhill. Witnessed by David and Emma Whiting.(3,4)
Children: Rose Boreham b.1880, Arthur Robert Boreham b.1883, Janet Boreham b.1885, Alfred George Boreham b.1888, Caroline Boreham b.1890, Gracie May Boreham b.1892, Christiana Boreham b.1894 died in infancy, William Henry Boreham b.1896 died in infancy, Albert Boreham b.1898, Kathleen Mary Boreham b.1901 and Freda Lily Boreham b.1904
Died: April 1927 in Braintree. Buried on 14th April 1927 at Braintree Cemetery, London Road, Braintree. Grave no.6924 (7,8)

Bio: Sarah Ann is present on the 1871 census living with her large family in Burton End, Haverhill. By the next census in 1881 she is the oldest of the five children still living with parents Henry and Mary in Burton End. They have a boarder, one Robert Boreham, who is working as a groom. Later that year he was to marry Sarah Ann, and from the baptism registers we can see that they were living at 20 Crowland Road at the time of their first child Arthur's birth in 1883. Robert's occupation at this time was as a drayman. They lived there for several years as their second child Jane was also born here. On the 1891 census we see them at 26 Crowland Road, and they have had several more children - Alfred, Rose, Jane and Caroline. Robert's occupation is carman (mineral water) - which seems a bit odd. We see on the next census in 1901 that he is a mineral water maker - presumably working as part of the bottling and transporting process, though I have not managed to work out which company he would have worked for yet.

Now at 28 Duddery Road, the Borehams have children Jane, Arthur, Alfred, Caroline, Grace and Albert living with them. Sarah Ann is a trousers machine tailor, Jane a hair brush weaver and Arthur a chimney sweep like his paternal grandfather had been.

The Boreham's seemed to like to move around a fair bit, and by the 1911 census they have relocated to 56 High Street, Haverhill. Robert is a worker in a mineral water works, and Sarah Ann is a trousers finisher working from home. They still have five of their children living at home with them. The census shows Sarah gave birth to 11 children, 2 of whom died in infancy.(5)

At some point before 1917, the Boreham family moved to Braintree. We know this because Sarah's daughter Caroline is mentioned as living at 29 South Street, Braintree on her son's birth certificate from this year.(5) Also, Robert and his son Albert have entries in Kelly's directory for 1926 and 1929 that refer to a Chimney Sweep business they ran from this address.(5) Kelly's directory for 1933 and 1937 show Robert Boreham running his own Sweep's business from 19 Martins Yard, Braintree.

The family had finally settled in Braintree, then. Sarah Ann's grandaughter Shirley could remember that they had a dog called Nellie, and she also remembered that Robert grew delicious celery using the ash from his business!(5)

There was a little uncertainty as to which Sarah A Boreham buried in the East Anglia region was 'our' one, but a helpful phonecall with Cheryl at Braintree Council Cemeteries Service established that she died in 1927, and was buried at Braintree Cemetery on 14th April 1927.(7,8)

Robert Boreham died on 27th August 1944 at St John's Hospital, Wood Street, Chelmsford, and on 31st August 1944 was buried alongside Sarah Ann at Braintree Cemetery.(5,6,8)

photo of Sarah's grave at Braintree Cemetery, click to enlarge.


(1) Suffolk Records Office, Bury St Edmunds, Parish Registers of St Mary's Church, Haverhill. Fiche 578/4/p13 of 37
(2) Birth Register. 3rd Quarter 1862, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 365
(3) Suffolk Records Office, Bury St Edmunds, Parish Registers of St Mary's Church, Haverhill. Fiche 578/4/p28 of 37
(4) Marriage Register. 4th Quarter 1881, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 933
(5) Information from Linda Hendry, great granddaughter of Sarah Ann Whiting, with ref. to Kelly's Directory and 1911 census.
(6) Death Register. 3rd Quarter 1944, Chelmsford District, Volume 4a Page 611
(7) Death Register. 2nd Quarter 1927, Braintree District, Volume 4a Page 747
(8) information from Cheryl at Braintree Council Cemeteries Service.