Find Ancestors

Top tip - using the Genes Reunited community

Welcome to the Genes Reunited community boards!

  • The Genes Reunited community is made up of millions of people with similar interests. Discover your family history and make life long friends along the way.
  • You will find a close knit but welcoming group of keen genealogists all prepared to offer advice and help to new members.
  • And it's not all serious business. The boards are often a place to relax and be entertained by all kinds of subjects.
  • The Genes community will go out of their way to help you, so don’t be shy about asking for help.

Quick Search

Single word search

Icons

  • New posts
  • No new posts
  • Thread closed
  • Stickied, new posts
  • Stickied, no new posts

John Whittington & Eliza Hillitt

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

David

David Report 27 Nov 2019 13:02

John was, I think, my great grand father. He married Eliza on 24th November 1872. The certificate, of which I have a copy, quotes his name as Widdington and hers as Hellit.

I also have a copy of my grandfathers birth certificate. He was Reuben Arthur Whittington, but the certificate gives his name as Hough, the son of Henry Hough and Eliza Hough, formally Elliott!

By the 1881 census Eliza is living with Henry Hough together with children Esther Hough (7), Rueben Hough (2) and Tommy Hough (9 months).

By the 1891 census Eliza is living with Charles Edward Rawlings together with children Eliza Whittington (17), Reuben Hough (12), Fanny Hough (10), John Hough (7) and Mary A Rawlings (2).

Fanny Hough married a Joseph Atkins on 25th August 1901 with Reuben Hough and a Fanny Richards as witnesses.

Just 11 months later on 21st September 1902 Reuben Arthur married Fanny Richards using the surname Whittington. William and Eleanor Hillitt were the witnesses.

By the 1911 census Eliza is still living with Charles Edward Rawlings, claiming to have been married to him for 21 years! In fact they did finally marry on 18th June 1911. I have a copy of the certificate on which Eliza uses the name Whittington and is said to be a widow. John Hillitt and Mary Ann Wainright (nee Rawlings) are witnesses.

My quandary is - am I a Whittington or a Hough ? Is there anyone out there researching either the Whittington, Hillitt or Hough families who can throw any light on this.

David Edwin Whittington.

Maddie

Maddie Report 27 Nov 2019 13:56

for ref

Name: John Widdington
Gender: Male
Age: 21
Birth Date: abt 1851
Marriage Date: 24 Nov 1872
Marriage Place: Birmingham, Bishop Ryder, Warwickshire, England
Parish as it Appears: Birmingham, Bishop Ryder
Search Photos: Search for 'Birmingham, Bishop Ryder' in the UK City, Town and Village Photos collection
Father: William Widdington
Spouse: Eliza Hellitt

Name: Eliza Whittington
[Eliza Hillitt]
Gender: Female
Age: 59
Birth Date: abt 1852
Marriage Date: 18 Jun 1911
Marriage Place: Birmingham, St Nicolas, Warwickshire, England
Parish as it Appears: Birmingham, St Nicolas
Search Photos: Search for 'Birmingham, St Nicolas' in the UK City, Town and Village Photos collection
Father: William Hillitt
Spouse: Charles Edward Rawlings

Maddie

Maddie Report 27 Nov 2019 14:17

Reuben Arthur
Last name Hough
Gender Male
Birth year -
Birth place -
Baptism year 1880
Baptism date 02 Aug 1880
Residence Birmingham, Warwick, England
Place Birmingham
County Warwickshire
Country England
Father's first name(s) Henry
Father's last name Hough
Mother's first name(s) Eliza
Mother's last name Hough

so reuben changed his name to whittington befor 1902 when he married

ArgyllGran

ArgyllGran Report 27 Nov 2019 15:14

Without knowing exactly when Eliza and Henry got together, it's impossible to know whether Rueben was Henry's son, or John's son but not born until after Henry came on the scene.

Perhaps DNA evidence is required!

Maddie

Maddie Report 27 Nov 2019 15:36


HOUGH, FANNY
HILLITT
GRO Reference: 1880 S Quarter in BIRMINGHAM Volume 06D Page 137



HOUGH, JOHN ALBERT
HILLITT
GRO Reference: 1883 S Quarter in BIRMINGHAM Volume 06D Page 133


HOUGH, REUBEN ARTHUR
ELLIOTT
GRO Reference: 1878 D Quarter in BIRMINGHAM Volume 06D Page 159

ESTHER

Elizabeth Esther Willington
[Elizabeth Esther Whittington]
Baptism Date: 24 May 1874
Baptism Place: Birmingham, St Stephen, Warwickshire, England
Parish as it Appears: Birmingham, St Stephen
Search Photos: Search for 'Birmingham, St Stephen' in the UK City, Town and Village Photos collection
Father: John Willington
Mother: Eliza Willington

ErikaH

ErikaH Report 27 Nov 2019 16:58

HOUGH, REUBEN ARTHUR ELLIOTT
GRO Reference: 1878 D Quarter in BIRMINGHAM Volume 06D Page 159

EDITED

Who registered the birth?

Click ADD REPLY button - not this link!

Click ADD REPLY button - not this link! Report 27 Nov 2019 19:41

David has the certificate:

"I also have a copy of my grandfathers birth certificate. He was Reuben Arthur Whittington, but the certificate gives his name as Hough, the son of Henry Hough and Eliza Hough, formally Elliott!"

Rose

SylviaInCanada

SylviaInCanada Report 27 Nov 2019 21:23

My suggestion is that Henry Hough and Eliza did not marry, but lived common-law, with Eliza taking his name.

In that case, Whittington/Widdington would be her legal name, and remain so until she married Charles Edward Rawlings.

If a married woman has a child, the baby is always deemed to be the child of her husband even if he has been dead many years and the father is someone else UNLESS either she lies at the time of registering by telling the Registrar that her married name is the same as her common law husband OR he agrees to his name being used. In this case, I think that Eliza lied about her status, stating that she was married to Henry Hough.

That being the case, I think that Whittington should have been the legal name of all the children born to Henry Hough and Eliza.

BUT that also means that John Whittington is NOT your great grandfather, that would be the father of Henry Hough.

From the births posted by Maddie above, it looks as though Eliza left John some time between the birth of Elizabeth Esther and Reuben Arthur, ie between 19874 and 1878.

Reuben presumably discovered the truth about the Hough relationship some time before 1902, and changed his surname to what it legally should have been. Such a change can be simply done by just declaring that from such-and-such a date "Reuben Arthur Hough will be known as Reuben Arthur Whittington", so long as it is not done for illegal purposes.


I might also suggest that Eliza's marriage to CE Rawlings did not occur until 1911 because one of them had a spouse who did not die until just before that date .............. that could be either John Whittington/Widdington or CE's wife.


It might be interesting to discover why and when the change from Widdington to Whittington, as it definitely is Widdington on the 1972 marriage certificate, and is written as such by the participants (ie, not the priest writing the name for them, which could result in mis-hearing the name), and also to find out what happened to John and wen he died. That might lead to clearing up some of the mystery re when things happened.

SylviaInCanada

SylviaInCanada Report 2 Dec 2019 17:30

I have received the following email from David, and have directed him how to return to this thread and post his replies on here.

--------------------
Thanks for your post of 27th November re the above.

I'm sure you are right that Eliza and Henry Hough never married.

Regarding the split of Eliza and John, it would have occurred as you say between 1874 and 1878. The eldest child, Esther, was in the 1891 census as "Whittington", but why did it take Reuben 11 years until his marriage in 1902 to follow suit?

Your final comment regarding the names Widdington and Whittington on the 1872 marriage certificate of John and Eliza is not entirely true. I have a copy of the certificate and all the information thereon is in the same handwriting. In fact, neither John nor Eliza could write, so I think it was a case of the Curate, Edward J Gough, mishearing "Whittington" as "Widdington".

Just to stir the muddy waters a little further, Eliza had a total of 6 children, Esther, Reuben, Tommy, Fanny, John Albert and Mary Ann. Esther was almost certainly John Whittington's, Reuben either John's or Henry Hough's Tommy, Fanny and John Albert were Henry's and Mary Ann was Charles Edward Rawlings daughter. BUT - on the 1911 census it states that Eliza (then living with Charles Rawlings) had had only 3 children, 2 of whom had died by then! Could it be that the 3 were Esther, Reuben and Mary Ann, and Tommy, Fanny and John Albert were children of Henry Hough with some other woman? This would mean that the 2 deceased children would have to have been Esther (doubtful) and Mary Ann (impossible, she was a witness at the marriage of Eliza & Charles Rawlings later in 1911.

----------------

My response includes the following ........

The certificate that you have is not the original one from the Parish Register. It is a copy that was made to be sent to the General Registry Office. If the participants had not signed themselves and someone else had written for them, then there would be an "X (her mark)" before, after or under the "signature".

That is how we tell whether people could sign their own names or not. Yhere is not that indication on the certificate

Mary

Mary Report 2 Dec 2019 19:12

Henry Hough married 25/12/1871 to Elizabeth Maria Stevens and had a son Henry Arthur Hough in 1872 6d 332. he was with Henry and Eliza in 1891.

Elizabeth Maria Stevens 1853-1874.

So this couldn't be the reason Henry and Eliza didn't marry,so it was more probable that John was still alive.

Maryb.

David

David Report 3 Dec 2019 12:38

Thanks, Maddie. Most of the info you give I already had, but the baptismal info for both is new to me. For that, many thanks.

The birth of Reuben Arthur Hough mentioned by ErikaH was registered by his mother Eliza Hough, formally Elliott. Since according to the copy birth certificate I hold Eliza was not literate, I'm sure the "Elliott" was what the Registrar thought he heard when Eliza gave her maiden name as "Hillitt"

Concerning the certificate of the 24th November 1872 marriage of Eliza Hilllitt and John Whittington/Widdington mentioned by Sylvia, my copy does indeed indicate that both parties signed "X, his/her mark".

Re the latest post from Mary. I think that the Henry Hough she mentions is not the same one as "my" Henry. Certainly the Eliza is not "mine" since at the time of the 1891 census "my" Eliza was living with Charles Edward Rawlings and using his name even though she did not marry him until 18th June 1911. Mary's post indicates that Elizabeth Maria Stevens lived from 1852 to 1874, so she could not have been with Henry Hough in 1891.

David E. Whittington

Mary

Mary Report 4 Dec 2019 11:17

Sorry my mistake

Maryb.

lancashireAnn

lancashireAnn Report 5 Dec 2019 17:13

on the 1911 census it states that Eliza (then living with Charles Rawlings) had had only 3 children, 2 of whom had died by then! Could it be that the 3 were Esther, Reuben and Mary Ann, and Tommy, Fanny and John Albert were children of Henry Hough with some other woman? This would mean that the 2 deceased children would have to have been Esther (doubtful) and Mary Ann (impossible, she was a witness at the marriage of Eliza & Charles Rawlings later in 1911.

It is more likely that they were just declaring the 3 children they had together

RAWLINGS, CHARLES EDWARD HILLITT
GRO Reference: 1887 S Quarter in BIRMINGHAM Volume 06D Page 117

RAWLINGS Charles Edward 1 Aston 6d 172 (death)

RAWLINGS, JAMES ELLITT
GRO Reference: 1891 D Quarter in ASTON Volume 06D Page 299

Deaths Jun 1902 (>99%)
Rawlings James 0 Atherstone 6d 271 (???death)