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Emma Jane Hitchcock (b. 1864) née Whelan

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Hitchcock family photograph from the early 1930s

Alfred Hitchcock's mother, Emma Jane Whelan, was the daughter of Irish-born police constable, John Whelan, and his wife Emma. She was also known as Emily.[1]

Although some sources claim that she was born in Ireland, her birth was registered in England in the West Ham district where her father lived.

She married greengrocer William Hitchcock in September 1887. At the time of their marriage, they were both living at 5 Chapel Street, Forest Gate.

In July 1889, she received just over £26 from a country court judgement made on July 1st.[2]

The couple had three children before William's death in 1914.

In 1926, she received £100 from the will of her brother-in-law, Alfred Hitchcock.[3]

By 1929, Emma Jane was living at 19 Edith Villas, Kensington, which was a short walk from Cromwell Road, where Alfred and Alma Hitchcock were living at the time. In the 1930 Electoral Register, her widowed daughter Ellen Kathleen Lee was also living at the same address. By 1933, Emma Jane's address was 19 Gunterstone Road, W14.[4]

Although Alfred was unable to persuade his mother to join him in California to escape the bombing of London during the Second World War, Emma Jane did agree to move out to a small cottage next door to Winter's Grace in Shamley Green, Surrey. She was then joined by her son William John and his wife after their fishmongery near Tower Bridge was damaged during the Blitz.[5]

The 1939 Register lists Emma Jane residing at Shamley Cottage along with cook Christina Faulkner.[6]

Emma Jane died in September 1942 with her son William at her bedside. The attending doctor record the cause of death as "acute pyelonephritis, an abdominal fistula, and an intestinal perforation".[7]

She left an estate valued at £102 7s. 5d.[8]

Emma Jane Hitchcock was buried at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Cemetery, Leytonstone, along with her husband.

See Also...

Image Gallery

Images from the Hitchcock Gallery (click to view larger versions or search for all relevant images)...



  • born 10 July 1864[9]
  • also known as Emily



William Hitchcock (b. 1862)


William John Hitchcock (b. 1888)

Ellen Kathleen Hitchcock (b. 1892)

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock (b. 1899)


Family Tree


Census Data


  • address: 2 Ladywell Street, West Ham
  • John Whelan (aged 34) — head, occupation: police constable
  • Emma Whelan (aged 31) — wife
  • Frederick Whelan (aged 10) — son
  • Emma Whelan (aged 7) — daughter
  • William Whelan (aged 0) — son
  • Jane Mears (aged 61) — mother-in-law, occupation: needle woman


Emma Jane is working as a domestic servant in London.

  • address: 77 Cranfield Road, Greenwich
  • Ebenezer Kemps (aged 39) — head, occupation: commercial clerk at wine merchants
  • Aimee B. Kemps (aged 32) — wife
  • Edith A. Kemps (aged 11) — daughter
  • Henry Hughes (aged 73) — father-in-law, occupation: wine merchant warehouseman
  • Emma Whelan (aged 18) — servant (general domestic)


Emma Jane is now married to William.

  • address: 29 Louise Road, Stratford
  • Wm Hitchcock (aged 28) — head, occupation: greengrocer
  • Emma Hitchcock (aged 24) — wife
  • William Hitchcock (aged 2) — son


Two of Emma Jane's younger sisters are working as assistants at the store.

  • address: 517 Leytonstone Road
  • William Hitchcock (aged 35) — head, occupation: fruiterer shopkeeper
  • Emma Hitchcock (aged 32) — wife
  • William Hitchcock (aged 12) — son
  • Nellie Hitchcock (aged 8) — daughter
  • Alfred Hitchcock (aged 1) — son
  • Emma Macguire (aged 22) — occupation: greengrocer's shop assistant
  • Florrie Whelan (aged 23) — occupation: greengrocer's shop assistant
  • Adie Whelan (aged 15) — occupation: greengrocer's shop assistant


  • address: 175 Salmon Lane, Limehouse
  • William Hitchcock (aged 48) — head, occupation: fishmonger dealer
  • Emma Hitchcock (aged 46) — wife, occupation: assistant in business
  • Ellen Hitchcock (aged 18) — daughter, occupation: assistant in business (unmarried)
  • Alfred Hitchcock (aged 11) — son
  • Louisa Kelsey (aged 61) — servant (cook)
  • Ellen Snow (aged 21) — servant (domestic housemaid)

Other Documents

Marriage (1887)

County Court Judgement (1889)

Probate (1944)

Research Notes

  • The Commercial Gazette (31/Jul/1889) carried "Extracts from the Registry of County Courts' Judgements" which recorded that fruiterer "Hitchcock Mrs. Emma, 103 Leytonstone Road" received £26 3s 5d on 1st July 1889. Although this appears to be Emma Jane Hitchcock, it's uncertain what judgement had been awarded in her favour.
  • Donald Spoto incorrectly claims that the Hitchcocks didn't live on Salmon Lane and that the daily commute to Limehouse contributed to William Hitchcock's death. The 1911 Census shows the Hitchcock family living at 175 Salmon Lane and no other address for the family is given in the telephone directories or Electoral Registers for the period.

Notes & References

  1. Name given on the birth certificate of her daughter Ellen Kathleen Hitchcock.
  2. Source: Commercial Gazette (31/Jul/1889) - Extracts from the Registry of County Courts' Judgements. The amount is equivalent to around £3,000 today. At present, it's unknown what the judgement related to.
  3. Alfred Hitchcock (b. 1860) - Last Will and Testament
  4. A sizeable apartment complex (known as West Kensington Court) was built on Edith Villas sometime after 1919 which replaced the previous terraced housing on the street, so it's possible that she moved to neighbouring Gunsterstone Road when the terrace was demolished.
  5. Hitch: The Life and Times of Alfred Hitchcock (1978) by John Russell Taylor, chapter 9
  6. Christina Faulkner's date of birth is given as 11 January 1881.
  7. Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light (2003) by Patrick McGilligan, chapter 9
  8. The equivalent of around £4,500 in 2014.
  9. Birth registered Q3 1864 West Ham. Date of birth given in the 1939 Register.
  10. Born around 1861 in West Ham district. Died 1895 aged 34 [reg. Q4 1895 West Ham].
  11. Born 1870 in West Ham district. Married in 1901 to Caroline Liddiard or Bridget McHale [reg. Q4 1901 West Ham].
  12. Born 1879 in West Ham district. Married in 1902 to William Edward Sayers (b. 1869) [reg. Q4 1901 West Ham]. Likely died 1953 aged 74 [reg. Q4 1953 Epping].
  13. Born 1885 in West Ham district. Married in 1910 to Charles Walter Smith (b. 1876) [reg. Q1 1910 Billericay]. Likely died 1977 [reg. Q1 1977 Brentwood].
  14. Birth registered Q4 1862 West Ham.
  15. Marriage registered Q4 1887 West Ham.
  16. William worked as an engine fitter and was born in Fareham, Hampshire, and Mary was born in Forest Gate, West Ham. They married in 1883. In 1891, they were living on Cedars Road, Stratford, with 4 children. By 1901, they were living at 55 Louise Road, Stratford, with their 6 children. Mary died in 1908 aged 50. In 1911, William was an unemployed widower living at 32 Maneby Grove, Stratford. He died in 1924.
  17. Death registered Q4 1914 Southwark.
  18. Birth of William John Hitchcock registered Q4 1888 West Ham.
  19. Marriage registered Q3 1911 Fulham.
  20. Death registered Q1 1943 Surrey South Western.
  21. Birth of Ellen Kathleen Hitchcock registered Q4 1892 West Ham.
  22. Marriage registered Q4 1915 St. George in the East.
  23. Marriage registered Q2 1931 Fulham.
  24. Death of Ellen Kathleen Ingram registered Q1 1979 Bromley.
  25. Death registered Q3 1942 Surrey South Western.