May (Maybelle Langley) Heap
May (Maybelle Langley) Heap

My grandmothers sister was Maybelle Langley Heap. Grandma Dougherty was an accomplished musician and her sister was an excellent artist. I grew up seeing Aunt May’s art work in my grandparents home. I was very drawn to her painting, that hung in grandmothers living room. After my grandmother died my mother hung Aunt May’s painting in our living room and displayed her painted china along with other pieces that grandma had found at “the u know where” (see my blog on Ada Richmal Heap), and I am now the proud owner of that artwork.

Painting by May Heap Circa 1920
Painting by May Heap
Circa 1920

May was born 10 January 1891 on Roe St., West New Brighton, New York to Ada J. (Booth)  and Charles R. Heap. Their second daughter, Grandma being their first daughter.

Birth Jan 10, 1891 Roe St. W.N.B. Heap
Birth Jan 10, 1891
Roe St. W.N.B.

The family lived on Roe St. there on Staten Island surrounded by her mothers family. In the 1920 US Census May (20) is found married but living at home with her parents and husband Thomas A. Bush (That census was in last weeks Blog). Thomas better known as Arthur was listed in the 1920 Census as an Underwriter for a Fire Insurance Company.


May and Arthur Bush
May and Arthur Bush

They were married on October 15, 1919.

Their son Tomas Arthur Bush Jr. was born Aug. 10, 1922 in Richmond Virginia.

Thomas A. Bush Jr.
Thomas A. Bush Jr.

By 1925 the family is in Syracuse New York where the New York State census shows Thomas A. Bush (31) listed as an Insurance Adjustor. May is listed as Mabelle L.  (30) and occupation Housework. Thomas Jr. is now 2.


Thomas A. Bush Jr. about 1925
Thomas A. Bush Jr.
about 1925

In the 1930 US Census the Family is now in Amhurst, New York, Thomas Sr. is  37 and listed as Arthur T. Bush shown to be renting a house, he is an Agent for a Fire Insurance Company. Maybelle L. Bush (35) is shown as having no occupation. Thomas their son is now 7 and attending school.

I know that Aunt May was not unoccupied for she had a young son and was an accomplished artist I do not know when she did her china painting but I’m sure it was more then a hobby by the beauty she was able to accomplish in her work.

Hand painted candy dish May Heap
Hand painted candy dish
May Heap

The trail through census was lost but in reality Aunt May and my grandmother were in touch. The several times that the family traveled back east (from California) there are pictures of Tom Jr.  And besides I have more of her beautifully painted china.

Hand Painted Desert Plate - May Heap
Hand Painted Desert Plate – May Heap
Hand Painted Tea cup & saucer - May Heap
Hand Painted Tea cup & saucer – May Heap


Aunt May died Aug. 25, 1964 seven months after her sister Ada Richmals death and 4 months prior to her brother Walters death.

4 thoughts on “52 ancestors #15 Maybelle Langley Heap – Artist

  1. Thomas A. Bush Jr was my grandfather. Please let me know if you get this and would like to meet your cousins. While I do not have any of my great-grandmother’s paintings, I have the HEAP vase and many pictures of the family.

    1. Leah, so nice to hear from you. Yes, I am so glad you reached out. I would love to hear what you know about your grandfather and your great grandmother.

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