Family Tree of Matthew James Heys

Family Stories

On the Heys side the family the research is done by Ian Heys and on the Roe side the research is done by Pam Heys. We research independently and compile the results on our computerised family tree programme. We publish the output of this programme on these web pages, together with our own recollections, photographs and contact information.

It is our intention to record the life events and stories of all our known direct ancestors and their siblings, together with some of the interesting descendants of our ancestors. Eventually we hope to "source" all these events properly and we have many copies of census pages, certificates and other documents in our records.

We often wish that we had started earlier or taken the opportunity to talk in more depth to our parents or grand-parents, but these things are not often on the mind of young people. It seems self-indulgent to publish one's own memories and the stories may have little relevance to those who are not directly related but we record them in the hope that they may eventually become part of someone else's research or interest.

Where the paragraphs are written in the first person they have been written by the person to whom the research or recollections are relevant.


At the begining of the 18th Century The Heys Family were a family of cottage based woollen weavers based in the Musbury area of Haslingden Lancashire. In the early 19th century the cottage based industry came to a violent end when industrialists replaced the handlooms with power looms in their factories and many of the handloom weavers rioted in Lancashire and even at Helmshore which is part of the Musbury area. Of necessity the family moved into the calico printing business, becoming factory workers involved in the business in the Rossendale valley until the 1980's. In a strange twist I bought a bungalow within 25 metres of the St Thomas, Musbury church in Helmshore in 1976 quite unaware of my connections with the village.

My cousin, Mary Kay, nee Heys, had been researching the Heys Family of Crawshawbooth and had accumulated a lot of information which she had gathered over the years. When she died in 2002, her husband Bill kindly loaned her documents to me and this formed the basis of my research. Amongst Mary's papers were documents on the Rowe Family of Norfolk, the Peel Family of Crawshawbooth and some correspondence with a second cousin, Phil Heys. I have transcribed the information in Mary's documents on these pages and have made contact with Phil Heys.

Phil Heys and his family were wonderful hosts on our visit to their farm in the Durham countryside. Phil proved to be another great source of information and had written a book about the The Heys Family's origins and in particular the information on the Stockport/Derbyshire branch of the Heys's. The information on Robert Henry Heys (A Self Taught Lancashire Radical) and many other aspects of the Heys family records are from his research.

Another cousin, Margaret Taylor had been researching our common Goldsworthy family and she kindly gave me copies of her research. This led me to trace the Goldsworthys back to a family of tin miners in Gwennap, Cornwall. They migrated to the Rossendale Valley when tin mining declined in Cornwall. There was great demand for all sorts of skills in Lancashire and this mining family initially came north to work in the sandstone quarries of Rossendale, cutting stone for the building of factories and workers housing. When the Goldsworthys moved to Lancashire two generations of large families came and they are now scattered throughout Rossendale and the surrounding areas.

Although I could trace the Heys's ancestors to the Rowes of Norfolk and my Goldsworthy ancestors to the Rowes of Cornwall neither of these families are connected to each other or to Pam's Roe ancestors who came from the Bedfordshire area.

The first time genealogy came to my attention was years ago when my friend, Pamela Hinton, told me she was researching her family. I thought at the time that it was a good thing to do, but didn't really know how to go about it or that I had the time. That is to my regret, because if I knew then what I know now I would have asked my family a lot of questions about what they remembered from years ago.

In 1995 my cousin Mick's wife, Enid, sent to me a family tree she had been working on, on my mothers side. As far as I remember it went back to about my great grandparents. Still I didn't do much about researching for myself.

In November 2002 Ian and I went down to Dorset for a friends 25th wedding anniversary. My Auntie Betty (one of my fathers sisters) also lived in Dorset and it seemed a very good time to drop by for a visit. We had a lovely time talking about family and Auntie Betty told me that a friend of her daughter Judith had done some research on the Roe and Clark side of the family. I was very interested and she showed me what had been researched and said that she would send me a copy. Also Auntie Betty showed me some lovely old photographs one of which people who have visited this website will know as the Four Generations. In the New Year of 2003 I received the information from Auntie Betty and my life hasn't been the same since. I have added a lot more information to both sides of the family and hope to find even more information in the future.

Another source of information has been the Roe family bible, which is held by my cousin James Roe who lives in Canada. Apparently it is in a rather fragile state and Jim's wife, Doris, very kindly copied the information from it and passed that on to cousin Merle, who in turn sent the information to me to be put on the website.

Both my cousin Mick and Auntie Betty have been kind enough to lend me some old and not so old photographs, which Ian and I have scanned and copied and I am very grateful to them for that.

To anyone reading this and thinking of doing their own tree at some future date, now is the time to gather as much information from parents and grandparents while you can, even if you tuck the information away somewhere for future use.

These people helped our initial efforts to start this research. As we have made contact with other researchers and relatives we have received help, sometimes in considereable quantities, from many other people. Please be assured that we know who you are and we offer the information in these pages to others in the same spirit that you have offered the information to us.

1.0 Our Family

2.0 Ian's Memories

3.0 Pam's Memories

This page last updated 29 Jan 2017