James Heath, builder of Leek

Genealogy for the Heath family's of Saffordshire and surrounding areas.

James Heath, builder of Leek

Postby Peter Dzik » Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:03 pm

I was very impressed by James Heath’s building of All Saints Church in Compton, Leek from 1885. Its interior is extremely impressive, designed by Richard Norman Shaw. James also did the templates for the delicate tracery on the north and south chancel windows. So I began to look at his ancestry and found that some details were remarkably difficult to find. Also there was much contradictory info, with some ridiculous, such as James’s wife having two male parents, neither being the correct name. Their later life was at Hillcrest, Clarence Street in Leek, where he died in 1923, aged 74. James is listed at this address for receiving a copy of Lyell Reade's ]book, which obviously covers much of Horton parish history. James was born on the 30 November A.D. 1848 in Gratton in Horton parish, to James and Eliza Heath. Even looking for his marriage is muddied in that there are seventeen marriages of James Heaths in the wider area in the 17 years to 1877.

He married Anne Heath on 6 September 1870 at St. Michael’s, Horton. Their children were Charles (born 1st Feb 1871), Harriet, and George William. The paternal grandfathers of James and Anne were brothers. As James’s older brother George, the poet, was apprenticed as a builder to a Samuel Heath, so perhaps James was also. This Samuel may have been a second cousin, son of Joseph. Ann (born early 1850), was the daughter of Joshua Heath (b. 1801) of Horton, and Joyce Heath (daughter of John Heath of Endon, and Hannah Pickford). This John was a nephew of brothers Joshua and James (b.1782) Heath.

James the builder and his six siblings were the children of James Heath (A.D.1821 – 1906), and Eliza Sims. The marriage of James and Eliza was not readily found by a normal search. However, some years earlier Denise Johnson had found the register entry for their marriage on 26 Oct. 1841 at St. Mary’s, Astbury in Cheshire, on the basis of a dedicated older researcher’s tip that several Horton couples had married there. Eliza (baptised Bucknall in 1821), was the daughter of Simeon Sims of Brown Edge and Hannah Mayer, who had married at St. Peter’s, Stoke on 29 Dec. 1816. Simeon was living in Dam Lane, Horton parish in the 1841 census. However, due to a transcription error from Ancestry.com, there are silly web postings. The error showed James and Eliza on the 1871 census having the Berrisford couple from the next farm living with them. Without thinking they have Hannah Berrisford down as James’s second wife, living with his first wife, although Eliza lived until A.D. 1898.

This James was born at Cheddleton on 11th June 1821, probably Wood farm, just past Tomkin, above Park Lane, Endon. He was one of eight children of James Heath and Hannah Downs, who had married at Leek on 7TH March 1808. It seems this James moved around a lot, as his children are baptised in different parishes. The eldest child Samuel was baptised at Meerbrook in 1809, moving to Woodford near Bramhall, in Cheshire, where he married in 1836. Some researchers have James, born 1821, down wrongly as son of Joshua (1780 – 1845) and Jemima Heath; the latter in fact do not seem to have had a son James.

Unfortunately the Pauline Hart book on George Heath the poet has a number of date errors on the family tree.

Particularly beautiful painted decoration of St Francis with different types of birds, on the south wall, to the east of the south aisle

Bye Pete
The Lady Chapel, All Saints church at Compton, Leek
The Lady Chapel.jpg
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Peter Dzik
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:12 pm

Re: James Heath, builder of Leek

Postby Denise E Johnson » Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:34 am

James Heath was born on the 30th November 1848 in Horton Parish Staffordshire.
James seemingly also helped Mr A. L. Reade the author of the book The Reades of Blackwood Hill, In The Parish of Horton, Staffordshire, with some of his research into the Heath family, even though James himself was not related to the Reade family but his wife Ann nee Heath and his children were. James of Hillcroft Spencer Avenue Leek was listed in the book. James also seemingly sent Mr Reade a copy of his late brother George’s poems.
The first photograph is James Heath the builder
The second photograph is of church builder, James Heath and his family outside his house in Spencer Avenue, Leek. I will divide the family into two rows as follows:Back Row: Harold Heath, Elsie Heath, Norman Heath Smith, George William Heath and Harriet Elsie Heath (daughter of James Heath) with husband, John Joseph Campbell Smith. Front Row: James Heath with grandson Stanley James Smith, Helen and Charles Heath with son Reginald, Ronald Heath Smith (my father) and finally Ann Heath. This photo was taken shortly before Charles Heath and family emigrated to Canada.
George William Heath of 8 Gall Road March Cambridgeshire sapper R.E died on the 27th January 1917 at Leek.
Photgraphs were kindly emailed to me by D H Smith.

Staffordshire Advertiser Saturday 26 May 1923
Death of Mr Jas. Heath of Leek.
Leek lost a prominent citizen last week of Spencer Avenue, head of the well known building firm of James Heath and Sons.
He was widely esteemed and contributed very largely to the enhancement of the town by the attractive, as well as substantial character of the work which his firm carried out of this All Saints’ Church, will be an enduring monument to future generations of thorough and good taste which marked all that he undertook and he made it a labour of love to put his best in every respect into the designs supplied to him by Mr Norman Shaw, and when the additions now in progress are completed, the Church will be one of the most beautiful in the country.
Mr Heath was a son of Mr and Mrs Heath of Hallgate Farm, Gratton and brother of George Heath the “Moorland Poet”. After opening a business at Endon, Mr Heath came to Leek in 1901 and established the business in Shoobridge Street, which he carried on until about 17 years ago when he resigned it to his son in law Mr J Campbell Smith, who is now in control of its operations.
He was a strong Churchman greatly enjoying the Ministry of the former Vicar of All Saints, the Rev W B Wright.
He was an ardent Freemason being Wor. Master of St Edward’s Lodge in 1905 and P. Prov G.W. of Stafford as well as Chaplin of his lodge in 1873-4.
Warden of All Saints 1906-9 and was the council manager of the school as well as serving as a guardian for several years.
Also he was a director of Leek United Building Society.
James fell asleep on May 18th 1923 aged 74 years.
The coffin was carried by six workmen of the firm. On the coffin was a brass plate with the inscription James Heath. Fell asleep on May 18th 1923 aged 74 years
The funeral took place on Tuesday morning at All Saints Church and was conducted by the Vicar Rev W. G. Keyworth and Curate Rev A. E. Passey.
Choir Master Mr Fred Edwards
Organist Mr Ed Bayley
The hymns were
Now the labourers task is done
On the resurrection morning
And Chopins Marche Funebre
The family mourners were
Mr and Mrs J. C. Smith (son in law and daughter)
Mr E Smith and Mr S. J. Smith (grandsons)
Mrs G. W. Heath (daughter in law)
Mr and Mrs W Wood (nephew and niece)
Mr C. H. Heath and Mr John Heath (brothers in law)
Mr H. A. Heath and Mr F. E Aggas (nephews)
Miss Olive Tatton and Miss Gray.
Also other mourners attended representing St Edward’s Lodge of Freemasons, Leek United and the Midlands Bank, and the Building Trade Employers.
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James Heath family.jpg
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Denise E Johnson
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Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 4:24 pm

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