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Article by Julia Craib, USA, 2014
Abrams & Whiting Families

On a visit to the Historical Society in East Bloomfield, New York, to research my husband’s family history, we met Genealogy Volunteer Vivian Simmons Kurdt. Vivian told me that her grandmother, Emily Elizabeth Whiting, emigrated to the United Stated in 1911 from “Rushden, a little town in Northamptonshire, England” and settled in Rochester, New York.

On comparing family trees we found that one of Emily’s brothers, Herbert Victor Whiting, Vivian’s great-uncle Herb as he was known, married Edith Abrams, my grandmother’s step sister. Edith’s mother, Mary Jane Hewes Abrams, was married to my great-grandfather, William Livingstone. They lived at 26 Spring Gardens, Higham Ferrers.

Herbert & Edith
Walter Whiting
Herbert Whiting born 20 Feb 1986, enlisted Sept 1914, married Edith Abrams 1919. He died in 1980 aged 84.
Walter John Whiting
married Annie Batchelor
and lived in Warwickshire.
He died in 1954.
Herbert and Edith were married on 23 April,1919 at the Parish Church, Higham Ferrers, and lived in Chelveston after their marriage. Herbert and Edith had four children: three daughters, Violet May Lillian, Josephine Pansy and Mary, and twin boys, Donald and Raymond, who died in infancy.

Walter John Whiting was brother to Herbert and Emily. He was known in his family as John. Walter was married to Annie Batchelor and lived in Warwickshire where he died in 1954.

Vivian’s grandmother always stayed in touch with the family in England and received beautiful photos and letters from them. Some of the letters were written during the early part of WWII and gave a vivid account of life in rural Northamptonshire and how the family coped in war time. Emily Elizabeth is buried in Rochester, New York. She died in 1945.

These two photographs were kindly given to me by Vivian.

Arthur Abrams, a shoe laster, and his wife Mary Jane, a tailoress, were both born at Northampton, where their first son Victor was born in 1885. They moved to Birmingham and another son Austin was born in 1891. Five years later they were in Leicester when daughter Edith joined the family, and in 1898 andother son Horace was born. By 1900 the family had moved to Rushden where May was born, at 64 Cromwell Road.

Victor and Austin both followed their father to work in the shoe trade.

Austin Abrams
Austin Abrams
Austin married Ethel Woods in April 1914 at the Mission Church in Rushden. They had a son Gordon, baptised at the Mission Church in 1920. Austin was a motor cyclist, and met with a fatal accident in August 1930. He was buried at Rushden Cemetery on 25th August 1930 aged 39, grave F190, where there is memorial inscription:-
In sweetest memory of Austin the loving and beloved husband of Ethel ABRAMS who was suddenly called to higher service on August 21st 1930 aged 39 years. A cheerful word, a loving smile for everyone he met, a beautiful memory left behind, we never can forget. And beloved wife Ethel died Aug 10th 1953 aged 61 years.

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