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The Witpen Family of Whitechapel, London

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This is page 5 of 5 tracing the history of the Witpen family, who we believe emigrated from what is now Germany to the east end of London during the latter part of the 18th century, and the link by marriage to the Cochrane family. If you have a connection to any individual or family featured here, or if you want to leave us your feedback, contact us. We’d particularly like to hear from anyone who could shed more light on the family’s German origins. Browse the Cochrane pages by clicking the last page/next page buttons or following the numbered e.g. [2] or parental [Parents] links.

Fifth Generation

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15. William WITPEN [Parents]. Born 19/2/1868 in Mile End Old Town, William died 6/6/1942, age 74. Occupation: Clerk. An entry in the National Probate Calendar reads: “WITPEN William of 51 Addison-way Golders Green Middlesex died 6 June 1942 at Shenley Hospital Elstree Hertfordshire Administration Llandudno 21 September to Lilian Emma Downer (wife of Alfred John Downer). Effects £1014 9s 7d” (around £47,049 today).


On 24/9/1895, when William was age 26, he married Emma PRATT in Peper Harow, Surrey. Emma was born 6/9/1867 in Peper Harow & died 9/7/1942 at Shenley Hospital, Elstree, age  74. An entry in the National Probate Calendar reads: “WITPEN Emma of 51 Addison-way Golders Green Middlesex died 9 July 1942 Administration Llandudno 4 August to Lilian Emma Downer (wife of Alfred John Downer). Effects £1093 10s 7d” (around £50,715 today).


They had the following child:


(1) Lilian Emma, born 19/7/1896 in Mile End Old Town & baptized 6/9/1896 at St Nicholas, Peper Harow. Lilian Emma died quarter ending December 1989 in Hendon, age 93. In 1924, when Lilian Emma was age about 27, she married  Alfred John DOWNER (1894-1964), son of Arthur & Rose DOWNER, in St Jude’s Church, Hampstead. They had one child who may still be living.


William and Emma were one of the first 100 people (along with the Downer family and Charles & Ann Elizabeth Witpen) to move to Hampstead Garden Suburb when it was created in 1907. Their cottage, 10 Asmun's Hill, featured in an episode of the History Channel TV show "Hidden House History" first broadcast on Tuesday 21/11/2006. Arthur & Rose Downer lived at no. 11; Charles & Ann at no. 2.


16. Alfred WITPEN [Parents]. Born 31/12/1871 in Mile End Old Town & baptized 28/1/1872 at Christ Church, St George in the East. Alfred died 19/4/1945, age 73. Occupation: Post Office letter sorter. An entry in the National Probate Calendar reads: “WITPEN Alfred of 121 Kenmore-road  Kenton Harrow Middlesex died 19 April 1945 at Redhill County Hospital Edgeware [sic] Administration Llandudno 5 July to Alfred Witpen commercial clerk. Effects £428 15s” (around £17,503 today).


On 16/9/1899, when Alfred was age about 27, he married Rose SAUNDERS (1870-1948) at St Mary, Stepney.


They had the following children:


(1) Doris, born 29/6/1900 in Ratcliff, London & died quarter ending September 1991 in Harrow, age 91. (2) Alfred, born 21/12/1901 in Ratcliff & died quarter ending June 1972 in Eastbourne, age 70. In 1929, when Alfred was age 27, he married Louisa Maud SEDWELL (1902-1986) in Stepney. They had one child who may still be living. (3) Vivian Henry, born 11/9/1907 in Ratcliff & died quarter ending December 1987 in Hastings, age 80. In 1936, when Vivian Henry was age about 28, he married Ada Lilian AXE (1907-2001) in Stepney. There’s no evidence they had any children. On 29/3/1951 Ada Lilian Witpen, described as a housewife in the passenger list, departed from London on board the P & O ship "Stratheden" (captain S. W. S. Dickson) bound for Port Said, Egypt and then onto Sydney, Australia. It's not known why Ada undertook the voyage, seemingly alone, or when she returned to the UK. (4) William Charles, born 11/7/1909 in Ratcliff & died 1982 in Eastbourne, age 72. In 1936, when William Charles was age about 27, he married Ellen Hilda MacREE (1910-1962) in Stepney. They had 2 children who may still be living.


Ratcliff or Ratcliffe was a hamlet lying by the north bank of the River Thames between Shadwell and Limehouse. It is now a district in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, and is located to the south of Stepney. There’s more about the lost riverside hamlet of Ratcliff(e) here.


17. Joseph Charles WITPEN [Parents]. Born 8/10/1881 in Camberwell, Joseph Charles died there quarter ending December 1947, age 66. Occupation: Variously a Carter’s porter; Under foreman; Printer’s warehouseman.


In the quarter ending December 1914, when Joseph Charles was age 33, he married Dora Jane BOYLE (1887-1976) in Camberwell.


They had the following children:


(1) Joseph Sidney, born 25/9/1915 in Lambeth & died there October 1989, age 74. (2) Dora Louisa, born 6/11/1917 in Lambeth & died September 2006 in Gloucester, age 88. In 1941, when Dora Louise was age 23, she married Alexander Thomas LAMBERT (1917-1994) in Camberwell. They had one child who may still be living.

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William Witpen census Alfred Witpen census Joseph Charles Witpen census