Yeovil people

Joseph whitby (1)

Glove Manufacturer, Accountant and Yeovil's Registrar


Joseph Whitby was born in Yeovil in 1817 and baptised on 20 February 1817 at the Baptist Chapel in South Street. He was the son of glove manufacturer and wool dealer Elias Whitby Snr (1783-1869) and Hannah née Hooper (1773-1847). He was the brother of Elias Whitby Jnr, John Whitby, James Hooper Whitby and Ebenezer Whitby.

In the 1841 census Joseph was listed as being 20 years old (allow for rounding of 5 years in this census) and living at home with his parents at "Townsend or London Road". Elias gave his occupation as Wool Stapler while Joseph gave his as Glove M(anufacturer).

In 1849 Joseph married Melina Hammond (1823-1893) at Yeovil. Melina was the daughter of leather dresser and Chelsea pensioner Joseph Hammond (1790-1869) of Ebenezer Row and Harriett née Giles (1795-1866). Joseph and Melina were to have two daughters; Rosa (b1850) and Ellen (1850-1863).

At the time of the 1851 census 34-year old Joseph and 28-year old Melina were living in Kingston with one-year old Rosa and five-month old Ellen. Joseph listed his occupation as an accountant. By the time of the 1861 census the family were living in Mudford Road; Melina and Rosa were listed but Joseph was visiting his brother John, a bookseller living in Bridgwater, on the night of the census so was recorded there with daughter Ellen. Again he listed his occupation as an accountant.

By 1871 Joseph had moved his family to 3 Peter Street where the census listed him with Melina, Rosa and a domestic servant. Joseph gave his occupation as 'Assistant Overseer & Reg BDM', that is the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths. He had been appointed on the resignation of Dr William Tomkins, his predecessor, in 1855. At the time his father was the Superintendent Registrar.

In 1875 Rosa married Francis Powell at Yeovil and in the 1881 census Joseph and Melina were listed at Peter Street with their 3-year old granddaughter Helen Powell and a domestic servant. Joseph gave his occupation as 'Registrar Births & Deaths'. In the 1891 census Joseph and Melina, by now aged 74 and 68 respectively, were still living in Peter Street and once more Joseph gave his occupation as 'Registrar Births & Deaths'.

Joseph died in Yeovil in the autumn of 1892, aged 75. Melina died in February 1893.


For the Whitby family tree - click here.




The only surviving houses on the north side of Peter Street. This pair of houses probably dates to the mid-1830's when the road was first laid out. Joseph Whitby and his family lived at No 3 Peter Street - the house on the right - certainly from 1871 and until the time of his death in 1892. Photographed 2013.


From the Cave Collection (colourised), Courtesy of South Somerset Heritage Collection

Grove House, owned by Joseph Whitby in the 1880s (although he didn't live there), photographed in the 1960s from Preston Road. The new road is today's Legion Road and at the time Grove House was about to be demolished.