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Francis Heaps

Eric Trudgill    -    6 October 2013

Francis Heaps, husband of Fanny, described as a traveller at the 1820 baptism of a son, and the father of at least three children who married into prominent Romany families, was much connected with Snelston, Derbyshire. Francis’ daughter, Fanny Heaps, married Thomas Cheadle there in 1827, and in the following year as Fanny Cheadle witnessed the wedding in Derby All Saints of John Heaps, chairbottomer, to Cinamenti Boswell. Francis’ son, William Heaps, was christened in Snelston in 1812 and married there in 1829 to Cinamenti’s cousin, Ligna Vita Boswell. Francis’ son, James Heaps, was christened in Snelston in 1817, and married a Susanna of unknown provenance. Francis’ son, Frederick Heaps, christened in Londonthorpe, Lincs in 1820, claimed in the census he’d been born in Snelston. And Francis’ probable son, Isaiah Heaps, husband of a Hannah, also claimed in the census he’d been born in Snelston, about 1822.

I’ve traced no children for Thomas and Fanny Cheadle, and only a few, and no grandchildren, for James and Isaiah Heaps. James and Susanna had (all Heaps) a Maria, christened in Brampton, Dby in 1850 (two weeks after his brother, Frederick, christened a child there); a James, christened in Sudbury, Dby in 1855, and possibly a Susanna, christened in Minshull, Cheshire in 1858 son of James and Mary (gypsy wire worker). Isaiah and Hannah had a Cornelius, born in Yorkshire about 1845; a Unettie, born in Yorkshire about 1852; a George, born in Derbyshire about 1854; and a Mary, born in Yorkshire about 1860. So far I’ve recounted little of interest except to direct descendants, but Francis Heaps’ other sons, John, William and Frederick, all had sizeable and distinctly interesting families.

John Heaps married Cinamenti Boswell, half-sister of the famous Elijah, daughter of Lucy Boswell by Lucy’s second husband, John Vernon (John and Lucy married in Londonthorpe, belatedly in 1820, a month after Francis Heaps christened Frederick there). William Heaps married Ligna Vita Boswell, christened in Elmton, Dby in 1811 daughter of Josiah (Lucy’s brother) and Hannah (at her wedding to William in 1829 Ligna Vita called herself a Revell, like her brother, Elisha, at his wedding in 1869, presumably because their mother was a Revell). Frederick Heaps, as the gypsiologists knew, married Priscilla, daughter of Viney Boswell’s son, Samuel (half-brother if Cinamenti Boswell, the wife of John Heaps): at her belated wedding to Frederick in 1871 Priscilla called herself a Smith, presumably because her mother was Sarah Smith, and she’d christened her children as a Heaps, Boswell or Smith, seemingly as the mood took her.

John and Cinamenti Heaps had the following children: Jane, christened in Babworth, Notts in 1830; Alfred, born allegedly in Snelston about 1837; John junior, born in Ashbourne, Dby about 1839; and Elias (Golias), christened in Kirk Ireton, Dby in 1841 (gypsy tinker or potmaker). Alfred Heaps married Ellen Smith (daughter of Israel Smith and Cinamenti Boswell’s sister, Eliza) in Bolsover, Dby in 1858, witnessed by John Heaps and an as yet unidentified Delia Heaps. He and Ellen had (all Heaps) Jane, christened in Bolsover in 1858 five months after the wedding; Mary Ann, Eliza, Emma and Henry, born about 1860-66; Alfred, christened in Sutton in Ashfield, Notts in 1868; Selina, christened in Calow, Dby in 1870; Samuel, born about 1872; Elizabeth, christened in Codnor, Dby in 1873; and Francis, Harriet and Ellen, born about 1875-80. John Heaps junior married an Ann (perhaps a Sanby), and had (all Heaps) Francis and Mary Elizabeth, christened in Harworth, Notts 1863-65, plus Frederick, Emily, John, Charles and Ann, born about 1867-81. Elias married Matilda Elliott (christened in 1843 daughter of Samuel and Eliza), and had (all Heaps) John and Caroline, christened in Harworth 1864-66; Eliza, Charles and Emily, born about1868-73; Isabella, christened in Arnold, Notts in 1875; William Henry, christened in Harworth in 1878, who died aged two; another William Henry, christened in Ulley, Yks in 1881, who married Elizabeth Blanche Leonard; and Martha, Hilda Mary and Ethel, born about 1883-88.

William and Ligna Vita Heaps had the following children (all Heaps): Hannah, christened in Kirk Langley, Dby in 1829 (daughter of William and Betsy); Nicholas, christened in Baslow, Dby in 1835; George, christened in Corringham, Lincs in 1840; William junior, born about 1843; Millicent, born about 1846; and Eliza, christened in Whitwell, Dby in 1850. Hannah married Hezekiah Quinton (christened in 1824 son of Hezekiah and Elizabeth), and had Gehazi Quinton (named after Ligna Vita’s brother), christened in Doncaster Christchurch, Yorks in 1849. Nicholas married Bessy Sparham in 1864. George married possibly a Hannah, and certainly Clementina (Emma) Clayton, christened in 1846 daughter of Levi and Rebecca. William junior married Hannah Rodgers, and had a Gehazi Heaps who married Sarah Watson. And Millicent married William Bonsell, christened in 1825 son of William and Sarah, and had a Ligna Vita, born in 1866.

Frederick and Priscilla Heaps had the following children: a junior Frederick Heaps, christened in Brampton Dby in 1850 (chairbottomer of Walton); Delilah, born about 1851; Mary Ann Boswell, christened in Monyash, Dby in 1854 daughter of Priscilla; Carolina and Alfred, born about 1856-60; Matilda Smith, christened in Norbury, Dby in 1865 daughter of Frederick and Priscilla knifegrinder; and Louisa, born about 1867. The gypsiologists also gave Frederick and Priscilla an Amelia, Maria and Julia, of whom I’ve found no trace. Delilah married Abraham Sherriff (son of William Sherriff and Mary Ann Boswell) in Duffield, Dby in 1871, jointly with the wedding of her dilatory parents: they had a Myra, George and Louisa Sherriff, christened in Staffordshire 1875-86. Delilah’s sister, Matilda, married a Henry Cooper, born in Kent about 1844, but apparently without issue.

Do get in touch if you can add to these Heaps.

Copyright © 2013 Eric Trudgill