52 Ancestors ~ # 26 Henry Heap – Licensed Victualler

I am officially half way through my 52 ancestors challenge. I need to thank Amy Johnson Crow
(http://www.nostorytoosmall.com/posts/52-ancestors-challenge) for starting this challenge. It has been a great help.

This weeks ancestor is my 3x great maternal grandfather Henry Heap. For some reason I really like this name and have developed a real attachment for him. He was born about 1801 Cheshire, England and christened 5 April 1801 St George , Staleybridge, Lancashire, England.

We do not have much on Henry until the 1841 UK census. We can follow him pretty much through the England Census from 1841  until the last census 1881 prior to his death.  He was born and raised in and around Staleybridge in both Lancashire and Cheshire counties.

click on to enlarge
click on to enlarge


In the 1841 census we find Henry Heap (40)  already married Eliza (30) (listed as Mary ) and with three children  living on Rassbottom Street in Ashton under-Lyne where he is a Publican.

1841 UK census Parish - Ashton Under-lyne Staleybridge
1841 UK census
Parish – Ashton under-Lyne


Robert his oldest son is 10 (not born in Lancashire county), John (9), and Edward (6 months) who was born in the county of the census. Oh I forgot to mention that in the British census the adult ages are often rounded off. If the age as in Henry is listed as 40 he could be anywhere from 36-44. In this case we have his birth year as 1801 so he actually is 40. Also listed in the household is Edward Heap (30) who is probably Henrys brother  who was born in 1808 and would have been about 33 that year.

Henry Heap's Pub. 52 Rassbottom Street Staleybridge,Lancashire, England
Henry Heap’s Pub.
52 Rassbottom Street
Staleybridge,Lancashire, England

So Henry is shown on Rassbottom Street in Staleybridge. In the above census it looks like there are several boarders on the night of the census. This Photo was taken on our England trip in 2000 and our best guess where 52 Rossbottom would have been in 1841. While there we also found several abodes named Heap this or that. Below is the “Heaps Farm” which Madeleine wanted to have belonged to our family, but probably not.

Heaps Farm
Heaps Farm

In the 1851 census the family is still at 52 Rassbottom Street and Now Henry (50) is listed as a Licensed Victualler. You ask what is that?  Here is what I found (http://www.genguide.co.uk/source/Publican-Brewery-and-Licensed-Victuallers-Records-Occupations/127/)  A licensed Victualler is one who is licensed to sell food and spirits in a Public House. So now he is licensed.

1851 UK Census Staleybridge, Lancashire
1851 UK Census
Staleybridge, Lancashire

Now in the household in 1851 is  Eliza (46) formerly shown as Mary. Here we can see the county where the individuals were born. For Henry it is easily read as Cheshire, Staley. Eliza is a little harder to read. John W. (20) their son was born in Cheshire, Hollingworth and Mary (52) Henry’s sister was born in Cheshire, Staley and Mally (83) Henry’s widowed mother was born in Lancashire, Ashton under-Lyne.

In the 1861 UK census we find the family has moved back to Staley, Cheshire and are living on or near Mottram Old Road in the Shaw Bank House.


1861 UK Census Staley, Cheshire
1861 UK Census
Staley, Cheshire

Henry Heap (60) listed as a common brewer his wife Eliza (56) and the only other person in the household for this census is an 18 year old unmarried servant named Ann Taylor born in Derbyshire.

1871 UK Census Matley, Cheshire
1871 UK Census
Matley, Cheshire


Here is the 1871 UK Census with Henry Heap (70) now a Retired Brewer and Eliza (66) and they are living in Matley on Higher Tongue.


1881 UK Census Matley, Cheshire
1881 UK Census
Matley, Cheshire

Henry is now 80 and Eliza is 77. Their son John Woolley Heap is a visitor in their home on the night the census was taken.


England and Wales National Probate Calendar Index
England and Wales National Probate Calendar Index

On 7 September 1882 the will of Henry Heap was filed for probate. We are assured that this is our Henry Heap for his two sons are shown Robert Heap and John Woolley Heap. His last address is shown as Tonge House in Mottram in Longdendale Cheshire county, just down the road from Matley. He died 25 April 1882. Since his wife is not mentioned I am assuming she may have died prior to him.