The Cheeper Tree – Upper

This page draws primarily from Geoff Clarke's work. He conducted a great deal of research in the 1980s and 1990s. In addition, Anne Kratzmann conducted some primary research in the late 1990s and early 2000s, prior to Geoff finding Anne at the end of 2003 and providing copies of his information to us.

This page presents what is known about the upper line of Cheepers, to about 1780. Separate pages provide information on the middle Cheeper line (about 1780-1800), and the lower Cheeper line (about 1800-1850).

The line relevant to this web-site is child 3.

The Name Cheeper

During the period c. 1600 - c. 1850, the surname Cheeper appears to have been inter-changeable with Cheaper, Chipper and Chippar. For example, the elder Anthony Chipper had a brother Isaac Chippar, baptised 20 March 1763 (both at Mitcham, Surrey, now Greater London), to parents Edward Cheeper and Jane Royal: so the father and two sons are recorded with three variants of the name. There are also several occurrences of Cheaper, as late as 1911, although in most cases apparent mis-spellings by others.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, the name was unusual, but our line was not alone, e.g. a Helen Cheeper was baptised on 23 July 1696 at Leuchars, Fife, father John Cheeper, mother Christian Johnson. No connection has been found.

A non-authoritative reference (link broken in late 2014) states that Cheeper is a variant of Chapman (which is by coincidence the name of the suburb where I've lived since 1984). It says “Chapman is common in England and in the United States. Some twenty of the name came to New England before the year 1700. The name comes from the Anglo-Saxon ceapmann, ceap = barter + mann = man. In German it is Kaufmann, with the same definition, supposed to have been given to certain persons on account of their occupations. Chipman, Chapaper, Chipper, Cheeper , are variations. Cognates include Chapelle, Capell (French); Capela (Provencal); Capella, Capelle (Italian); Capilla (Spain); Capela (Portugal); Capel, Van Keppel, Van Keppel (Dutch); Van de Capelle (Flemish)”.

We speculated for some years that the name Cheeper may have derived from Jewish migrants, but we've found no evidence to support the idea. One reason was that many Jews were traders (cf. ceapmann). And they had involvement in the East London rag trade, as did Anthony's father, a ribbon manufacturer. Further, the spelling could be an anglicised version of an Eastern European name, such as Szeiber (possible Yiddish, which Anne found on a Jewish site), and Sieper (which may be Hungarian?).

A Jewish immigrant family was mentioned in a book entitled 'The Streets of East London' by W J Fishman, maybe c. 1900. A photograph shows an Abraham Cheeper with his wife and family. He was a dealer in clothing of all kinds. When Anne pursued this, it turned out that the man's name was Cheepen, and had been mistaken for Cheeper because a photograph truncated the surname on a sign advertising clothing. (I went to visit a man in Devon once because I thought he was a Cheeper, but he turned out to be a Cheepen. We were both disappointed).

Anne also found a German-born Anthony Cheeper, mason, in Gateshead in the 1861 census, aged 28, i.e. b. 1832-33. It might also be Cheepen, but looks like Cheeper to us and did to the transcriber.

Anne also found in the History, Topography and Directory of Warwickshire 1830 a mention of a James Cheeper, painter, plumber and glazier, High-st. It also has (our) Anthony Cheeper, Ribbon manufacturer entered one above. James could possibly be a son of Isaac Cheeper (the first Anthony's brother), or of one of his sons' children. But because this is the sole mention in the records for a James Cheeper, Geoff Clarke is suspicious of this being a transcription or printing error.

The Known Line

Edward Chipper/Cheeper (?1720s->1758)
b.c. 1720-30?
where was he born?
m. 30 Nov 1754, Mitcham
m. Jane Royal/Royle (?1723->1763?/1778?)
Jane was illiterate, and the surname spelling is variable
Jane was aged 31, so b. 1722-23
A separate page has some limited information about the Royal/Royle family.
They are mentioned in the records of a Quaker Meeting house at Kingston.
But there are no other mentions of Royals in the Quaker records.
A settlement certificate, dated 24 Jan 1757, was issued to St Lawrence Jewry, London from St Mary's in Wimbledon, showing them (as Chipper) and children 1-2. (When people moved between parishes, the new parish required a settlement certificate from the old parish. It evidenced the responsibility of the original parish to support the family in their own Workhouse, should that be required).
By 1758, they were in Mitcham.
All of the children were baptised as Chipper, but called themselves Cheeper [an officious clerk?].
The first 6 children were b. 1755-1763, when Jane was 32-40.
The last 5 children were b. 1765-1778, when Jane was 42-55 – assuming her birth-year was indeed 1723.
As far as we know, only child 3. Anthony had issue (the first of three Anthony's in succession.

  1. Sarah Cheeper (1755-1837)
    chr. 10? Sep 1755, St Mary's, Wimbledon
    m. John MERRILL, 17 Feb 1779 , Gracechurch St (City of London)
    No children?
    d. 1837, so aged 81/82
  2. Elizabeth Cheeper (1756->1780)
    chr. 1756
    m. 1780, Shoreditch
    No children?
  3. Anthony Cheeper (1758-1841)
    chr. 3 May 1758, Mitcham Surrey
    m. Margaret Jacques, 10 Nov 1786, Southwold Suffolk
    Here are details of this line (which is the one of direct relevance to this web-site)
  4. Edward Cheeper (1759-1771)
    chr. 26 Nov 1759
    buried 2 Jan 1771 (so aged only 11), at Mitcham
  5. Jane Royle Cheeper (1761-1789)
    chr. 23 Oct 1761, Mitcham
    No children?
    d. 27 Nov 1789, bur. 13 Nov 1789 (so aged 28), Bunhill Fields, d. of ?decline
  6. Isaac Royle Cheeper (1763-1841)
    chr. 20 Mar 1763, Mitcham
    m. Margaret Ogden (1769-1815), in 1786
    (Margaret was b. 2 Jan 1769, St Mary at Hill)
    (Isaac's father was a witness at the wedding. He would then have been aged 55-65)
    Resident in Gt Yarmouth in 1795, but in London 1796-1841
    4 children, but none appear to have had any issue, so the line had died out before 1850
    Margaret d. 1815, at Houndsditch, with an estate of Stg 450
    Isaac d. 16 Feb 1841, bur. 25 Feb 1841, in Bunhill Fields, London
    [Bunhill Fields Cemetery is 500m north of Moorgate.]
    [I worked 200m south of the Cemetery in 1977-78, for the London Stock Exchange.]
    1. Jane Cheeper (1790-1820)
      b. 18 Jan 1790, Gt Yarmouth
      No children?
      d. Jan 1820 (so aged 29-30)
      Left a life interest to her father & then all to be divided between Anna and Edward
      Referred to properties in which she had an interest, in Fetter La. and Shelton St Long Acre, with leases granted to Margaret Ogden (her 5-year deceased mother's mother??)
      A witness was her Uncle Anthony, in Wood St (near the future Cheeper business)
    2. Isaac Chester Cheeper (1791-<1847)
      b. 24 Oct 1791, Gt Yarmouth
      No children?
      d. < 1847? (Edward had no next-of-kin)
    3. Anna Cheeper (1796-<1847)
      chr. 26 Jun 1796, St Andrew Undershaft (eastern edge of the City)
      m. Robert BATLEY, Bermondsey, 23 Mar 1822
      No children?
      d. < 1847? (Edward had no next-of-kin)
    4. Edward Cheeper (1798-1847)
      chr. 15 Apr 1798, Sion Chapel, Union St (Cray Huntingdons?)
      m1. Frances Willing (1794-1930)
      m. St Mary Whitechapel, 24 Sep 1820
      In London Trade Directories, a boot and shoe maker, 1827-29 at 1 Church Row, Houndsditch
      No children?
      Frances d. 1830, bur. 11 Feb 1930, aged 36
      Again in London Trade Directories, 1830-33, at 157, Houndsditch
      m2. Ann Frost? 13 Mar 1834?, St George, Southwark
      No children?
      Edward d. 1847, Chelsea, hence aged 49, bur. 2 Nov 1847 Bunhill Fields
      The Letters of Administration were made out to Robert Batley, "lawful nephew and only next-of-kin". Batley was his sister's husband, i.e. nephew-in-law – so no close male blood relations?
  7. Martha Cheeper (1765-?)
    chr. 7 Nov 1765, Mitcham
    No children?
  8. Rebecca Cheeper (1766-1832)
    chr. 7 May 1766, Mitcham
    No children?
    bur. 1 May 1832, Mitcham (so aged 65)
  9. Elizabeth Cheeper (1768/69-?)
    chr. 24 Jan 1768?69?, Mitcham
    No children?
  10. Lydia Cheeper (1776/77-1777)
    chr. 1?7? Jan 1777?
    bur. 11 Jul 1777 (so aged 6 months?), Mitcham
  11. Lydia Cheeper (1778-?)
    chr. 22 Jul 1778, Mitcham
    No children?

We're missing a lot of information; and we'd love to know more!

This a page within Roger Clarke's Family Web-Site

Contact: Roger Clarke and/or Anne Kratzmann

Created: 21 October 2005; Last Amended: 9 November 2009, 30 Mar 2016 (Anne's extras from the Registers)