The life and times of Louisa NEEDS MARTIN WHITTAKER WATTS PEARSON
Most people joke about family trees when it concerns people from the south. You know the joke, that their family tree doesn’t fork.
Well, my family tree has so many forks and nuts in it that it is giving me a headache. It has been a lot of fun tracing the tree and I have found out a lot of interesting information. Louie Needs Pearson
One of the most interesting people that I have found is Louisa Needs Whittaker Watts Pearson. Yes, she has enough last names to rival Erica Kane.
Let me tell you the story of Louisa as we know it today. There are still many missing pieces to this puzzle though.
Louisa was born August 31, 1873 in Whitworth, Spotland, Lancashire, England. Her parents were William Needs and Elizabeth Baker Needs. Her father, William, worked as an excavator at the time of her birth. At the time of her birth, they were living on Bridge Mills in the hamlet of Whitworth in the parish of Spotland.
She is the youngest of 6 children. We are able to locate the family in the 1871 census as living together in Whitworth. However, in the 1881 census, we are only able to locate part of her siblings. Her parents, herself, and one brother are missing. We are still searching for this information.
However, our story of Louisa picks back up in 1890. On November 24, 1890, Louisa married Alexander John Whittaker in Runcorn, Cheshire, England. Here is where some of the inconsistencies start. On her marriage certificate to Alexander, her father is listed as James Martin.
Seven short months later their first child is born. Mary Elizabeth Whittaker was born on June 18, 1891 in Cardiff, Glamorgan, Monmouthshire, Wales. She was known by her family as Liz.
Their second child, Alexander Whittaker, was born August 16, 1893 in Yorkshire, Leeds, England. He went by the name Alex. We know that he had served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force during World War 1.
Their third child, Harriet Whittaker, was born September 18, 1896 in Pontypridd, Glamorgan, Wales. I have recently met online one of her granddaughters. We have been sharing family information.
Now we have another gray misty area in Louisa’s life. Something happened and Alexander John Whittaker is no longer in the picture. We know that they did not divorce. We know that he did not die yet. In fact, we have proof that he died April 8, 1919 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England. We are not sure if she left him or he left her. We are leaning towards the theory that he left her and she thought he was dead.
On November 8, 1898, Louisa gave birth to Grace Watts, whose father was listed as James Watts. This birth took place in Portland, Dorset, England.
On October 20, 1900, Louisa remarried for a second time. As noted previously, she is still married to her first husband. Her second husband's name is James Watts. Again, the marriage record shows James Martin as her father. And it lists her name at time of marriage as Louisa Whittaker and a widow.
James and Louisa’s second child, James Watts, was born January 16, 1901 in Portland, Dorset, England.
During the 1901 census, Louisa has the Whittaker children all listed with the last name Watts.
We show James Watts, the father, had died on November 23, 1901 in Weymouth, Dorset, England.
From James, she moved on yet again. This time to Robert William Pearson (my great grandfather). We are still awaiting the copies of all the birth records for their children. Here is what we know.
In 1904, Robert Henry Pearson was born in England. We are still awaiting his birth record.
On May 28, 1906, my grandfather, Harold Pearson, was born in London, England. The birth father is listed as Robert William Pearson. The birth mother is listed as Louie Pearson formerly Watts.
In May 4, 1907, Violet Amelia Pearson was born in England. The birth father is listed as Robert William Pearson. The birth mother is listed as Louie Pearson formerly Watts.
In June 27, 1910, Louie Pearson was born in England. The birth father is listed as Robert William Pearson. The birth mother is listed as Louie Pearson formerly Watts.
On the 1911 census, all children were listed as Pearsons. In fact, from this point on, they were all raised with the last name Pearson. The majority of them used the Pearson name until they passed away. All except Mary Elizabeth, on her marriage records it lists her maiden name as Mary Elizabeth Whittaker and her mom is listed as Louisa Martin.
In 1911, Hilda Pearson was born and died shortly after birth in England. We have not obtained the birth record from this one.
In 1913, David Pearson was born and died shortly after birth in England. We have not obtained the birth record from this one. We do see him listed on the ship's manifest for the Tunisian, but then crossed off. We believe he died shortly before the trip.
In October 1913, Robert and Alex travelled aboard the Grampian to Canada. Later that same month, Louisa followed along on the Tunisian with the rest of the kids.
Finally Charles was born in 1914 in Canada. These birth records are not released for the public as of yet.
In November 1919, Louisa travelled to England to get the matters with Alexander Whittaker’s death situated.
Finally on January 26, 1920, Louisa and Robert Pearson married in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. On her marriage certificate, she lists her father as James Needs. Plus she has the last named of Whittaker and it lists her as a widow.
I think that Alexander might have shown back up and that is why Louisa and family moved to Canada. Plus that would explain why she waited to marry Robert until after Alexander was deceased.
It’s always interesting to look back and wonder how people lived and what they did in their daily lives. I would love to travel to England and trace her route as she went from one place to another.
She finally passed from this world on march 3, 1965 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Before her death, she was seen destroying documents that were believed to be records pertaining to Alexander John Whittaker and James Watts. Her daughter Harriet caught her doing this.
She thought that all of this information was gone when she passed away, but the family whisperings still persisted. It wasn’t until present day that we started unearthing the truth. Back then, this would be earth shattering revelations. However, in today’s society, its common to have many babies with all different “baby daddies”. So I guess you could say that Louisa was ahead of her time.