Albert Jacques Cheeper


This directory contains information and documents about Catherine Cheeper-Spilsbury and Anthony Jacques Cheeper's 3rd child, Albert Jacques.

Albert's parents and descendants are shown in this rough family tree.

Youth (1862-1881, aged 0-19)

His birth certificate shows that Albert was born on 14 Mar 1862 at 57 Cleveland Rd, Islington (North London). His father was shown as Anthony Jacques Cheeper, occupation commercial traveller. This was five weeks after Anthony had been declared bankrupt, and slid from 'gentleman' to 'commercial traveller'.

Albert was baptised 16 months later, on 2 Aug 1863, at Seaford, which is in East Sussex, on the south coast, between Brighton and Eastbourne.

In the 1871 Census, he wasn't in the family household in York, although he was only 9 at the time. He and his younger brother Charles were at a school in Gravesend in Kent, with their surname wrongly spelt as Cheaper.

In the 1881 census (for which there is a name-index), when he was 19, he appears as an assistant teacher at Bradmore House Boarding School for Young Gentlemen, Chiswick, Middlesex (West London, near the start of the M4). The entry says he was born in Aberysthwyth, which is in conflict with his birth certificate.

Family with Evangeline Amy Leigh/Lee (1885-c.1895, aged 23-c.33)

He claimed to have married Evangeline Amy Leigh/Lee on 15 March 1885 or 1886, when he would have been 23 or 24, and she would have been 18 or 19. Amy Leigh was born in Bolton (Jun Qtr 1863, 8c 273).

But there appears to be no record of such a marriage. If there was a marriage, possibly it took place in Scotland. (Her census entry in 1891 says she was born in England in 1867, but it appears that they moved to Scotland some time between 1887 and 1891). More likely, the relationship was de facto, she adopted the name Cheeper for convenience, and the Births Registry accepted the children as having been born in wedlock. It is interesting to speculate whether Albert was aware that his father had done this with his 2nd wife, and was doing it with his 4th wife at the same time as Albert. (Anthony appears to have known Albert's whereabouts when he entered a workhouse in York in 1916, at the age of 79; so presumably they had retained contact). Perhaps this device was common in those days; but it was not in accordance with the law, and Births Registrars were supposed to be careful about such things.

Albert and Amy had four children, Reginald Albert (1885-1885), Raymond Charles (1887->1901), Ellen Amy (1889->1915), and Catherine Alice (1893->1901). Albert's occupation was shown on the birth entries variously as Clerk in Civil Service, and Inland Revenue Officer. The details of the children are on a separate page.

In the 1891 Scottish Census, they are shown as being at East Terrace, Queensferry, Linlithgow, on the south shores of the Firth of Forth about 10 miles NW of Edinburgh. Albert is shown as being married, 29, an Inland Revenue Officer, born in England. Amy is shown as being a Cheeper, married, 24, and born in England. The children listed are Reginald, son, 3, born in England, and Nellie, daughter, 1, born at Queensferry.

According to the birth and deaths register entries, Reginald had died in his first year (and, if he'd survived, he would have been 6 at the time of the census). Raymond was alive, and would have been a month short of his 4th birthday at the time of the census. So it would appear that, in the 1891 census, Albert got the name of his son wrong.

Albert and Amy had a further child while at Queensferry, in 1893.

This photo shows Albert seated, third from the right, in the light-coloured suit, with moustache. He is identified as the Secretary of the Queensferry Bowling Club. (All of the photos here and in the Thomas Hunter document were scanned from Ruth Phillips' originals, on my cousin Pip Miller's machine in Saltash, Cornwall, in June 2005).

Sometime between 1893 and 1897, Albert and Amy parted company. Albert claimed to be a widower on his marriage in 1897, implying that Amy had passed on.

But Amy Leigh/Lee/Cheeper is in the 1901 and 1911 censuses, as Amy Raymond, in Shadwell (East London). She has with her three, then one, surviving children (in 1901, Ray is 13, Ellen/Nellie 11 and Catherine 7; in 1911, Catherine is there, aged 18). Amy claimed to be the widow of a Richard Raymond, but Anne has found no evidence of any such marriage.

Family with Jane Dawson (c.1895-1937, aged c.33-75)

On 28 April 1897, Albert married Jane Dawson at the Parish Church of Allendale, 10 miles from Hexham, Northumberland. She was born in 1879, and was 19 at the time of the marriage, compared with his 35. On the wedding certificate, Albert is shown as a widower and excise officer, of Allendale Town. She was of Allendale Town, father Joseph Dawson, merchant, witnesses John J. McMadden, Jane Dawson [?] and W.H. Sharlte.

They had four children, Thomas Hunter (1898-1962), Ursula Mary (1901-1983), Jean Cheeper (>1901->1930) and Dorothy Elsie (1909-1983). Their details are on a separate page.

This faded photo from Ruth's collection is presumably from somewhere between 1895 and 1905, and presumably in one of Queensferry (Scotland), Allendale (Northumberland) or possibly Dingwall (near Inverness). It shows a group of men at a bowls club, complete with trophy. Albert could possibly be seated, on the left (right as we view it) of the presumed President holding the trophy; or perhaps standing on the right.

The 1901 census entry shows Albert, Jane and Thomas Hunter, in Hexham. Some time between 1901 and 1909, the family moved to Dingwall ('Parliament Field' in Old Norse, and the County Town of Ross and Cromarty for nearly a thousand years, until 1975). It's on the head of a subsidiary sunken valley of Moray Firth, 12 miles north of Inverness.

This photo of Jane Dawson-Cheeper appears to be from about 1910, probably in Inverness, when Jane would have been 31.

This photo is presumably of the home of Albert and Jane in Dingwall, where they lived from sometime between 1900 and 1909 until sometime after WWI, probably 1925. The only clue we have of the address is in Jane's 1916 Pass, which shows something like 'Ferulea'. I could find nothing like that in a quick Web-crawl. Assuming that the two girls are Ursula and Jean, Ursula and Dorothy, or possibly Jean and Dorothy, then the photo could be from about 1914.

Ruth also has Albert and Jane's WWI Passes from 1916, whose insides include passport-style photographs of each of them, at 54 and 36. (The Germans had tried landing spies from submarines, at least in Ireland, so these Passes were presumably a pseudo-security measure). Albert's Pass identifies his 'official capacity' as Surveyor, H.M. Customs & Excise. Jane is incorrectly shown as Jean, 5'6-1/2", fair hair, grey eyes. (She may have been attractive to the local Police Constable, John Grant – or was 'slender' really an official term for Build at the time?).

Ruth also had these three unidentified photos, taken in perhaps 1860, 1890 and 1920. But we couldn't divine who they were, even though the most recent carries the name 'Agnes', and the middle one has the note on the back 'cousin Annie Daglish' [sic? Dalgli(e)sh?].

The family appears to have been at Inverness until at least 1923, by which time Albert was 61 and Jane 44. They moved to the warmer climate of Hampshire, presumably after Albert's retirement. It may have been as early as 1925, when their youngest daughter, Dorothy, was 16, and at school in Bournemouth.

This photo taken on 8 June 1936 in Deal (on the Kent coast), shows Albert at 74. Given that they're walking, it seems likely that the photographer was a professional, rather than some unphotographed member of the walking group.

The woman in the centre is identified on the back as Albert's 8th and last child Dorothy, 4 days after her 27th birthday. The young boy is identified as David. Only one David is known in the family: the son of Thomas Hunter's wife, Kitty Elizabeth Niederman-Cheeper, by her previous husband. That David was born in 1930, which seems to be consistent with the appearance of the boy in the photograph.

The woman on the right is identified on the back as 'self'. This was possibly Jane at a youthful 57, not least because the 'self' appears to be followed by the initials 'JC'. On the other hand, the writing identifies Albert as 'Dad'. This expression could have been used by a wife (especially a younger one). Alternatively, it would very likely have been used by a daughter of Albert. Dorothy is elsewhere in the picture, so that leaves Ursula, then 35 (but married in Glascow 16 years earlier), and Jean, then perhaps 33 – whose initials were also JC. Alternatively, it could be Thomas Hunter's wife, Kitty Elizabeth Niederman-Cheeper, although she was then only 26.

Albert died on 7 Nov 1937, at 75, at The Cottage Hospital, Milford-on-Sea, Lymington. The informant was his wife Jane, and they were resident at The Croft, Elm Ave, New Milton. Jane would have been 58 at that time.

Jane lived another 31 years, passing away in 1968, at the age of 89 (Sep Qtr 1968, Truro, 7a 222).

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: 15 October 2005; Last Amended: 18 October 2005 rev. 18 August 2008, 26 September 2009