Photo by Jake Peterson on Unsplash

Civil registration records indicate that in England and Wales between 1837 and 2005 there were 1389 births where the child’s surname was Heenan. This is likely to be an under-representation since some parents may have failed to understand that a church baptism was no longer sufficient and they were now required to also register the birth with the registrar of their nearest registration district.

The majority of these births were registered in England where on average there were 76 births per decade. The numbers of births in the mid 1800s were low, with zero births registered in the 1830s and just 4 and 8 respectively in 1840s and the 1850s. It was not until the 1860s that the numbers began to increase, ending on a high of 92 in the 1890s. In the twentieth century the largest rise in births came in the 1950s when the number of births reached an all time peak of 140.

In percentage terms the growth in the nineteenth century far outstripped that of the twentieth. From the 1830s to the end of the century the population of Heenans in England grew by 88% though it should be born in mind this growth is from a very low base level. In the decades of the twentieth century this slowed to a growth rate of 13%.

For Wales, the data shows a somewhat different story.  The number of births remained fairly consistent over time at an average of just 6 a decade. In absolute numbers the base is significantly lower than the picture shown in England with no registered births until the 1860s and remaining in single digits until the 1920s. The number of births reached a peak of 15 in the 1950s.

In percentage terms the nineteenth century saw a growth of 80% largely attributed to three families in Monmouthshire and Pembrokeshire. The twentieth century witnessed a decline of 20% overall.