Sophia Whiting 1871-1945 or 1958

Parents: Daniel Whiting and Susannah Kiddy (2)
Born: 27th April 1871 in Burton End, Haverhill.(1,2)
Baptised: 17th September 1871 at St Mary's Parish Church, Haverhill.(2)
Married: William Basham, 22, batchelor, dyer of 24 Clements Lane, Haverhill, son of Edward Basham, labourer, on 11th October 1890 at St Mary's Parish Church, Haverhill. Witnessed by Mark Hitchen and H F Thake.(3,4)
Children: Henry Whiting b.1889 (illegitimate) died in infancy, Emma Basham b.1891, Lily Basham b.1892, Ellen Basham b.1895, Alice Basham b.1896, George Edward Basham b.1900 and Florence Basham b.1903
Died: Edmonton in 1945 or 1958.(7,8)

Bio: Sophia was the youngest of Daniel and Susannah's children on the 1871 census. Here she is living with them in Burton End, only a month old.

The 1881 census sees Sophia still at home in Burton End, where she is a scholar.

Burial records show that Sophia had an illegitimate son, Henry, born on 16th July 1889 and baptised at St Mary's Church on 15th September 1889.(11) He died aged 2 months and was buried at Haverhill Cemetery on 7th October 1889.(10) Sophia was living at 45 Burton End at the time.

Sophia married William Basham in 1890, and although her marriage entry in the parish register(4) states that her father was David Whiting, I think this is a similar error with Daniel's name to that on the 1871 census. Sophia is the the correct age to be Daniel's daughter, and none of the David Whitings alive in Haverhill at this time that I am aware of had a daughter called Sophia. Also, it seems that William Basham was witness to Sophia's brother Daniel's wedding the previous year.

The 1891 census sees the newly weds living in Burton End, where William is a dyers assistant, and Sophia a factory weaver, most likely at Gurteens. They have no children at this stage.

Sometime around 1897 the Bashams moved to Edmonton, Middlesex. We know it was around this time as all of their children on the 1901 census were listed as being born in Haverhill. Three of them, Ellen, Lily and Alice were baptised between 1896 and 1897(5) and at this time the family are recorded as living at 49 Burton End.

George Basham was born in Edmonton in 1900, however.

On the 1901 census William's occupation has changed to navvy (worker on canals or railways). They are now living at 4 Lawrence Road, Edmonton. So what prompted this move and change of occupation?

Four doors down see we Sophia's sister Elizabeth living with her husband George Shipp. He and his sons are also navvies. Presumably the work was good, and William and Sophia were drawn by the prospect of a fresh start with some familiar faces near by. Nextdoor to Sophia and William we see the witness at their wedding, Mark Hitchen and his wife Harriet living with their family. Mark was a bricklayer, and originally from Steeple Bumpstead. Harriet was William's sister.

They were living at 4 Lawrence Road when their youngest child Florence was baptised in this 1903(6), the 1905 Electoral Register(9) shows William Basham at 35 Lawrence Road.

Sophia and William moved to Tottenham, and a glance at the census returns sees several of William's siblings living in this area too.

So on the 1911 census we see them at 132 Thackeray Avenue, Tottenham. William is a builder's labourer, daughters Emma and Lily work for a cartridge manufacturer (most likely at the same factory as their cousin Rose, Elizabeth's daughter who also lived in the Edmonton district), and Nellie and Alice work at a stationery firm.

On the 1927 Electoral Register(9), Sophia is living at 132 Thackeray Avenue with son George. She is listed as the House owner, so it looks like William was dead by this time.

The 1936 Electoral Register(9), shows Sophia still living at 132 Thackeray Avenue with her children George, Florence, Ellen and Alice.

There is some confusion as to Sophia's exact year of death, because in the Edmonton district there was a Sophia Basham born 1871 who died in 1945(7) and another also born in that year who died in 1958.(8) I have not been able to trace when William died.


(1) Birth Register. 2nd Quarter 1871, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 420
(2) Suffolk Records Office, Bury St Edmunds, Parish Registers of St Mary's Church, Haverhill. Fiche 578/4/p14 of 37
(3) Marriage Register. 4th Quarter 1890, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 1129
(4) Suffolk Records Office, Bury St Edmunds, Parish Registers of St Mary's Church, Haverhill. Fiche 578/4/p28 of 37
(5) Suffolk Baptism Register, SFHS, Clare Deanery 1812-1900
(6) London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906 [database on-line].
(7) Death Register. 3rd Quarter 1945, Edmonton District, Volume 3a Page 601
(8) Death Register. 4th Quarter 1958, Edmonton District, Volume 5e Page 269
(9) London, England, Electoral Registers, 1835-1965
(10) SFHS, Suffolk Burial Index, issue 2, 1538-1900
(11) Suffolk Records Office, Bury St Edmunds, Parish Registers of St Mary's Church, Haverhill. Fiche 578/4/p15 of 37