William Whitte was my Great Great Grandfather. He was born on February 10, 1864 in Chorley, Lancashire, England to William and Alice (Yates) Whittle. He was one of 6 children his brothers and sisters being Richard, Robert, Jane, John, Mary and George.
He married Mary Louise Ryan of Fall River, Massachusetts in 1887 and together they had 6 children Agnes, William, Frederick, Walter, Lillian and Bertram (who died young).
William was credited at being the “Father of Soccer” in Fall River, Massachusetts. There is an article I will share tomorrow that goes into detail about soccer in Fall River, but William Whitte was one of the star players for the East Ends. In 1887 after returning from England on a trip he brought back with him six English football. The first high grade ones ever used here.
There appear to have been several trips back and forth to England. William and Mary’s oldest two children Agnes and William where born in England while the others were born in Massachusetts.
In the 1910 and 1920 census he is listed as a loom fixer and in 1930 a night watchman and by 1940 he was retired.
William died on December 18, 1943 at the age of 79 in Fall River. He is buried at Oak Grove Cemetery in Fall River, Mass.