Sunday, 31 August 2008

FamilyTreeDNA keep their reduced prices for another month!

If any Fitz(-)henrys are out there thinking about getting their DNA tested and joining in the Fitz(-)henry surname project, there's good news.
FamilyTreeDNA are extending their discounted prices for all tests until September 30th 2008

For example, the 37 marker test costs $119, down from $189.

For more information about our Fitz(-)henry surname project, visit our project page on the FamilyTreeDNA website.

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The Will of Andrew FitzHenry (Rock, Worcester)

I downloaded the Will of Andrew FitzHenry from the National Archives website. It's a scan of the original copy that the clerk made when the will was proved by the executors and as such the handwriting is very different to modern written English. It took me quite some time to transcribe it but here's the gist because it turned up some really interesting new stuff. (For the story so far here's the original post)

The Will was written in February 1830 and
proved on 2nd June 1830.

Andrew had moved away from Rock in Worcester and is described as "being formerly of Clare in the County of Mayo, afterwards of Bordeaux in France and late of the City of Dublin."

He had seven surviving children
Andrew Richard - his eldest son named as his heir
Charles - who inherited his medical books
Anne Elizabeth who was now Mrs Carey. She has a daughter Georgina Carey. No mention made of the husband.
Catherine who was now Mrs Cassidy
Maria Rosetta

He asks his executors to make sure that the money going to his daughters is for their use only and for the benefit of their children, and to keep the money away from their husbands and the husbands' creditors!

He has a sister, Matilda. She is found in Pallot's Marriage Index as marrying Matthew Walsh at St Anne's Soho in 1802. Matilda was left fifty pounds annd her daughter Mrs Matilda Gardiner was left twenty five pounds.

There is also the Finn Family. Charles Finn is Andrew's nephew and he has three daughters Catherine, Maria and Eliza who share ninety pounds. There is a seperate bequest of ten pounds a year for his neice Elizabeth Finn. I assume this is via another of Andrew's sisters, as there were no Finn families on his wife's side that I've found.

Andrew's brother Thomas is already deceased and Andrew has to make sure that some of his bequests are continued.

The Roman Catholic parish of Colooney in the County of Sligo has annual payments for the relief of the poor. (On modern maps it's spelt Collooney)

Andrew askes that if he dies in Ireland, that he is buried in the same grave as his "dearly beloved wife Anne at Ballinsmally in the County of Mayo." As he died in Dublin, it is quite likely that he got his wish. (The modern spelling is Ballinsmaula, and it is very close to the town of Claremorris which used to be named Clare. This is where Andrew was said to be originally from.)

He appointed Major Thomas Bradgate Bamford
(a soldier in the British Army, highly decorated and mentioned in dispatches) and John Hampden Gladestanes (his long term friend, financial advisor and wine merchant of Regent Street in London) as executors.

So if anyone is in the Ballinsmally area and has a chance to look round the parish churchyard, could they drop me a line if they find Anne and Andrew residing there?

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Enoch FitzHenry: The Man Meets Legend

In my imagination, Enoch’s journey to America might have started something like this:

They were coming. It was as certain as his heart leaping against his ribs. They were coming. The mere thought sent goose bumps prickling down his forearms. There was nothing more he could do. They were coming. He had been warned. Enoch stood under the street sign, peering around, listening for footfalls. The silent darkness refused to reveal its secrets. Hearing nothing, he continued along the cloistered alleyway. A violent shiver rocked his tiny shoulders. He had seen those awful men before. Enoch paused. No sign of them. The men said they were going to do things to him, unspeakable things.

Maybe they had forgotten. Suddenly the silence cracked with the sound of breaking branches. A chorus of whoops and shouts pierced the air.

"Get 'em, lads!"

With his heart pounding like a frantic bird in a cage, Enoch bolted. A tangle of arms and legs enveloped him as he tumbled onto the street, the jagged stones ripping his flesh. Enoch kicked wildly as he sagged beneath their weight. Choking and gagging he fell prone on the pavement, the smell of blood and dirt filling his nostrils. Every pore in his body screamed in protest as they took what wasn’t theirs.

His capture, sea voyage and escape in New York could be scenes from a Hollywood movie. It’s the story of legend, but what of the man? Enoch as an historic figure has captured many imaginations. Unfortunately, researchers over the decades have failed to discover anything about his family in Ireland.

Who were Enoch’s parents/siblings and where did he come from?

We are told that Enoch was born in Armagh, Ireland. No one has ever found a birth, school, or church record that proves he or his family ever existed. Were they from Ireland at all? Was FitzHenry really his surname? The only relative Enoch was in contact with in America was a cousin, William Fortune, from Canada. Does William Fortune ring any bells to our Canadian friends?

I find it strange that someone of education wouldn’t have contacted his family once he arrived in America. At the very least to write, “Mom, I’m okay.” He was a postmaster at one point for goodness sakes! It makes me think that either Enoch didn’t have a family back home to write to or he wanted to disappear. (There goes the imagination again.)

DNA Study

My hope is that the FitzHenry DNA study that Jo has organized will provide some answers to these questions. Maybe it will discover a link to a common ancestor that we can build on. Until then the U.S. FitzHenrys are a breed apart. I knew that already. :-)

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Saturday, 30 August 2008

Enoch FitzHenry: Biography

I mentioned in my previous post that Enoch FitzHenry wasn't a typical Irish immigrant. No trip through Ellis Island for him! In fact, Lady Liberty wasn't dedicated until 51 years after his death. Enoch arrived on the shores of New York just in time to see the birth of a nation. It only seems fitting that he named one of his sons, George Washington FitzHenry.

Enoch FitzHenry was born May 9, 1752 in the City of Armagh, County of Armagh, Ireland. While he was with several other boys on his way to school, he was taken by an English press gang and carried aboard an English merchant vessel which sailed to the West Indies. While on board he acted as ship's clerk, but was in all other respects a prisoner. Arriving at New York, he was allowed to go ashore for a walk when he ran away and commenced his life in America. He was fourteen years old when stolen from Ireland and had obtained a fine education. His family must have had wealth or he would not have received such an advantage at so early an age.

Enoch FitzHenry married Abigail Hartt in Rutland Co., Vermont on February 10, 1788 by the Rev. Eastman. They had 16 children.

The only relation Enoch FitzHenry ever saw or heard from after he was stolen from Ireland was a cousin, named William Fortune, who was a Colonel in the English Army and stationed in Canada.

Enoch FitzHenry was postmaster of Willsborough, Essex Co., New York. There is evidence that Enoch FitzHenry was a fine scholar. He taught school for forty years and in every place he lived he filled some place of trust that none but educated people of that time could fill. Besides being postmaster, he was Justice of the Peace in another town of the same county. In Dublin, Ohio, he was Township Clerk.

Enoch FitzHenry died October 10, 1835, and is buried in Dublin, Franklin Co., Ohio. There is no stone to mark his grave.

(Anna Page Cherry, Columbus, Ohio. Copy of manuscript written by her for Federal Judge Louis FitzHenry. Composed by Lola Mae Swatsley. Copied by Alice L.H. Fitchhorn Dec., 21, 1938).

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Thursday, 28 August 2008

Norman FitzHenry - An Australian Addition and a London connection.

Hello from the far flung shores of the Pacific!!

Yes, even though they were only a very small family grouping, FitzHenry family members were certainly a well travelled bunch...they even got as far as Fiji and Australia!!
Having been introduced to the mysterious - and disappearing!- Winchester Fitzhenrys through Jo's very entertaining posts, I was intrigued to see if there was any trace of the missing Norman FitzHenry in Australia. Short answer - apparently not. However, in this search, I did stumble across another Norman.

Norman S FitzHenry was born in Sydney in 1904, and was listed in the NSW Electoral rolls in 1930 and 1936. A relatively unusual name. Could this be a possible link to the missing Winchester Norman??
A quick check showed that Aussie Norman was the son of FrederickFitzHenry and Ada M Coleston, who had married in Sydney in 1891. Norman was one of a small tribe of Australian born FitzHenrys :

1891 Harry S
1893 Roy C
1894 Elsie
1897 Alma H
1898 Doris E
1900 Alfred W
1901 Vera F
1904 Norman S
1905 George M

My curiosity aroused, I wondered where Frederick, Norman's dad was born. I was a bit surprised to learn that Frederick was in fact another Australian born FitzHenry!! A Sydneysider, born 1867.
His parents were Patrick FitzHenry and Sarah Phillips, married in Sydney in 1858. Typical of the period, Patrick and Sarah went on to have a large family of 8 children:

1859 Harry
1862 William
1864 Annie
1865 John
1867 Frederick
1869 Harriet
1871 Helen
1874 Alfred Ernest

Well, thought I. Mystery solved. Clearly another Irish connection! (How more Irish can you get than Patrick??!) WRONG!! Patrick died in Sydney in 1888, and his parents were listed as Michael and Anastasia FitzHenry. Wait a minute...haven't I heard those names before?? Yes indeed! Michael FitzHenry, a carpenter, and his wife Anastasia were listed in the 1841 Census in London along with 16 year old Patrick, with brothers and sisters.
So it appears young Patrick was lured away from London to the far-flung Antipodean shores, (possibly for gold, if not, the weather!!) where he established himself, married and created a large family, whose descendants may even be reading this !!
I love it when connections are made, and isolated individuals link up with a previously known family!! Hopefully, the elusive Winchester Norman and his half brothers Rowland and "Willy" will similarly emerge from obscurity in the not to distant future!

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Wednesday, 27 August 2008

More contacts and blog stats

A big hello to Tom Fitzhenry from Dublin, Ireland who came upon us via the Fitz(-)henry DNA website and sent me an email.
And since the subscription service started in July, we have 5 people sign up.
Not bad for what even we would have to admit is a pretty specialised and minority interest blog!

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Monday, 25 August 2008

The group grows...

Thanks to Ann for her debut post, and a welcome to Lesley Champion from Australia, previously known as our Australian correspondent who has provided us with those fantastic lists of births marriages and deaths. Her forebears were also from London England and before that from Bristol.

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FitzHenry: The American Experience

While Jo is relaxing and watching cricket, I thought I’d join the fun and give some FitzHenry perspective from the other side of the Atlantic.

The FitzHenry’s in America are not a large group. Only 645 households reported having the surname in the 2000 U.S. Census. However, what the FitzHenry’s lack in numbers, they don’t lack in longevity. The family can be traced to the Thirteen Colonies before the days of the American Revolution. Our ancestor, Enoch, fought in the Revolutionary War and wasn’t your typical Irish immigrant. His journey to America was harrowing at best. In my next post, I’ll explore Enoch FitzHenry.

Who was he anyway?

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Becoming a group project - the Fitz(-)henry project expands

I've had some lovely people sending me information and ideas over the last year.
So now's the time to do the dirty on them, making some of them part of the project team and getting them writing their own posts. And I can sit back and watch more cricket.
So there will be new names appearing here soon, writing about Fitz(-)henry related stuff from all over the world.
The first new team member is Ann Fitzhenry from the USA.

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Friday, 22 August 2008

"Willy" Fitz-Henry - the lost child at the orphanage 1891

One of the nerdy pleasures of doing a one-name study is linking a "stray" to one of your established families.
In the English 1891 census, according to there is a Willy Fitzhenry aged 3, born in Bearstead, resident at the All Saints Orphanage in Lewisham, South London.
On the actual scan of the handwritten page, the age is 5 and the birthplace is Banstead.
"Banstead, isn't that near Ashtead in Surrey?" I hear you ask.
Yes. It is.
And spookily, at the orphanage is a Rowland Fitz-Henry, born Banstead, aged 11.
There can't be too many Rowland Fitz-Henrys in the world - the only one I've got on my entire database was the son of William FH and Martha (nee Eagles) who lived at Ashtead in Surrey.
Now Rowland wasn't born at Banstead, or even at Ashtead (he was born in Chiswick, London), and the only William in the GRO indexes born in that time frame was born in Paddington, London.

There was only one thing to do - send off for the birth certificate.
And here's what it said:
William Fitz-Henry
Born 30 October 1885, 74 Cambridge Terrace, Hyde Park, London.
Son of William Fitz-Henry (deceased), a landowner and retired army captain and Martha Fitz-Henry nee Eagles.
Registered 8 December 1885
William senior died on 25 November 1885 after suffering a hemiplegic stroke. I'm not sure why Martha went to London to have her baby - perhaps she had hired the services of an obstetrician there.
Martha herself died in 1889 of "alcoholic poisoning and coma", having moved back to her family in Aylesbury. She was only 43.
Of her surviving children, Hester Cordelia went to live with Dr Woodfield Eagles (Martha's brother), Woodfield disappeared from view until the 1901 census when he turns up as a shipping clerk, and Rowland and William ("Willy") went to live at the orphanage.
So... more questions.
Why did the boys go to the orphanage rather than being taken in by the large and wealthy Eagles family?
Why did the boys go to an orphanage so far from either their family home or from the Eagles family in Buckinghamshire?
Where was Woodfield in the 1891 census? He wasn't at the orphanage.
And what happened to Willy?

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Fitz(-)henry DNA tests at reduced prices!

Our Fitz(-)henry DNA study has another recruit!
My United States correspondent, Ann Fitz-Henry, has enrolled her husband. Just how brilliant is that?

And any male Fitz(-)Henrys can join in (if you're a female Fitz(-)henry - badger your male Fitz(-)henry relatives!)

And until the end of August, FamilyTreeDNA have reduced their prices - in fact the 37 marker test (a nicely detailed one) is now as cheap as the 12 marker test was last month. That's US $119.
But you can only get these mate's rates if you order your test through a surname study. Enroll here at the Fitz(-)henry surname study.

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inbox? Or send me an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Out of Africa - Part 2 - William and Lassie Fitz-Henry

The book "African Dust" has arrived courtesy of the lovely people at Dandy Lion Editions Bookshop.
The only picture in it is the jacket photo of Lassie herself which I've copied here. The book, while being a fascinating insight into the life of the wife of a colonial official in Africa, has very little more about the Fitz-Henry family. Interestingly there was a very small newspaper cutting pasted in the flysheet, giving the death and funeral notice for Lassie.
From the biopic on the dust jacket, Lassie was born in Rangoon, the daughter of a Scottish father and English mother. Lassie married William Cooper in London in early 1918.
From the GRO indexes, this gives her full maiden name as Mary Christine MacDonald. They had a daughter Christine (mentioned in the newspaper cutting). William is referred to as Billy throughout the book, and Christine is called Mick.

William and Lassie were posted to the British Colony of Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. The book highlights the pain of separation when these colonial families had to leave their children behind in England as it was not thought suitable to take them abroad. The home leave was rare and Lassie mentions how on several occasions William passed up his opportunity of leave in favour of others, and there was no home leave at all granted throughout WW2.
At the beginning of the war, Lassie relates how Christine joined the WRNS in England, and then married "an unknown Canadian". "It was to be nine years before I saw my child again, as by the time I got back to England she had gone to Canada with her husband and two children."

Billy died in 1949, six months after they retired from the colonial service and returned to England. I say "they" retired as Lassie was very active in health and welfare works in Rhodesia, and was awarded an MBE in 1947 for welfare services.
From the newspaper death notice, Lassie died in Plumpton Green in Sussex on 12 October 1971. Her daughter is named as Christine Prendergast. There are no other children named and no indication that Lassie married again after William's death.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Out of Africa

To return to the first marriage of William Fitz-Henry, the Irish soldier, to Barabara Morrison (see the previous posts about the Winchester and Aylesbury branches). They had seven children and it is their son George William (or William George) who is the subject of this post. He became a doctor, qualifying through one of the London Medical schools and married Isabella Cooper in 1887. He is spotted as the Public Vaccinator in Lyttleton , New Zealand later that year. He saw active service during WW1 and rose to the rank of Major. Settling back in England, he continued his medical career and died on 21 November 1940 in London. His last place of residence is given as Streatham Hill in South London so I expect he died of old age rather than the London bombings which rarely went to that part of South London.
He had at least 2 children (and maybe more - to be confirmed!). William Cooper Fitz-Henry (isn't it fantastic that he does the traditional thing and gives the child his mother's maiden name as a middle name?) became the Inspector of Roads in the old British Colony of Rhodesia. William married a woman with the forename of Lassie who wrote the book "African Dust" about their time spent in Africa. I found a copy through Dandylion internet books last night and if it tells me more, then you'll hear it here.
Jack Cooper Fitz-Henry, the other son that I have a positive sighting of, worked as suprintendent of the fire service in Hong Kong and was awarded an OBE in 1946 for his services "during internment". This is all I know about him at present.
The possible third child of George William and Isabella is Ethel Jane Fitz-Henry who was the executor of George's will during the War years (source: The London Gazette). But she may be the spouse of Jack or another son that I haven't found yet.
As usual, any more information gratefully received!

Friday, 8 August 2008

The DNA test is complete, more Australian Fitzhenrys and the gentle madness of cricket....

My Dad's DNA test is now complete - all 67 markers are now sitting on the FamilyTreeDNA site for your viewing pleasure. The tests have come in ahead of schedule which is marvelous.

Lesley has sent me some more Fitz(-)henry sightings in Australia, so it'll be a weekend alone with the database. Good thing that it's typical English summer weather forecast for tomorrow (for the overseas readers this = torrential rain) so I have a reason to sit on front of a computer all day.

And for those of you with a cricketing bent and a few hours to spare, take a look as the low level gentle madness that is the King Cricket blog

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Ask and you shall receive! Names from Australia

So back on 10th July, I put out an All Points Bulletin asking for help with finding a William Fitz-Henry in Victoria, Australia. My lovely Australian correspondent Lesley Champion has emailed me a list of 17 Fitz(-)henry sightings in Victoria this evening. Brilliant.

Some I already knew about, but there are others that I would like to share and someone may recognise a name. All credit to Lesley for the following list and if you are recognise one of Lesley's relatives (marked with an *) then I can put you in touch with her:

Here are the lists of Fitzhenrys located in the Victorian Indexes.

PIONEER 1836-1888

1853 Stephen (m Mary DAVIS)
Children Edward bn 1853 bap Methodist Church Castlemaine Vic

1859 Henry/John (m Honora DILLON)
Children -John bn North Melbourne 1859 died 1860 aged 3 months Melbourne

Laurence (m Ellen WYLD/WYLDS)
Children - Catherine bn Toorak 1866 died 1868 aged 15 months Toorak
- Catherine 1869 bn Prahran died 1869 1 day old
- Nicholas Lawrence bn 1871 Windsor, died 1871 aged 1 day Windsor

William bn Galway Ireland m Mary CRONIN 1867 cn 532 (Mary died 1906 )
Children - Catherine bn 1868 South Yarra died 1883 aged 15 years Prahran
- Ellen bn 1869 South Yarra
- John Thomas bn 1870 Melbourne
- Alice Maud bn 1873 South Yarra
- William Edward bn 1875 Melbourne

1865 William to Louisa COWARD (cn 2517)
1875 Margareta Theresa to Ludwig August Ferdinand VITZDAMM (cn 1122)
1882 Eliza to Henry Joseph WARBURTON (cn 688)

1864 Hercules Aged 43 years bn Wex[ford Ireland] parent John and Eliza AITKINS cn 7031
1875 Thomas Aged 43 years bn Wick[low Ireland] parents (unknown) cn 13633
1881 Ellen Aged 43 years parents Stephen WILES and Elizabeth BROWN POD Prahran cn 11604
1885 Laurence Aged 56 years parents unknown POD Prahran cn 2959

FEDERATION 1889 -1901
Only one Fitzhenry entry
1891 William Aged 56 years parents unknown POD St Kilda cn 8291

EDWARDIAN 1902 - 1913
1905 Alice Maud (pob Windsor) to James HAYES cn 7449
1908 William (pob Sy ) to Jean WILLIS cn 6828R
*1910 Charles William (pob London) to Ahnes PHILLIPS cn 4688
Children 1913 Jean Agnes Roy pob Brunswick North cn 10116
1910 Mary Ellen (pob Mudgee, NSW) to Rowland Cogand DANDS cn 6370R
1913 Louisa Fitz-Henry to Hervert Elliot CHARLES cn 8216

*1911 Eric Arthur pob Richmond parents Herbert Arthur and Helen Beatrice TICKNER

GREAT WAR 1914 - 1920
1915 Gerte to Thomas Edgar BAXTER cn 6240

*1914 Doris May pob Brunswick parents Charles William & Agnes PHILLIPS cn 28779
*1914 Winifred Mavis pob Richmond parents Herbert Arthur & Helen Beatrice Tickner cn 34891
*1916 Phyllis Violet pob Richmond parents Herbert Arthur & Helen Beatrice Tickner cn 32880
*1919 Stanley Herbert pob Richmond parents Herbert Arthur & Helen Beatrice Tickner cn 22527
KIA January 1945 RAF (Canadian trained) over Germany.

1914 Maria Aged 54 years parents Laurence & Ellen Wyles [sic] d Elsternwick cn 5370
1917 Robert Aged 76 years parents Edward & Mary (unknown) pod Pt Melbourne cn 2702
1920 William Aged 35 years parents (unknown) pod Kew cn 15001

MARRIAGE INDEX 1920 - 1942
***1923 Lillian Isobel Julia (pob London) m William CHAMPION cn 3656
1929 Edward William m Hilda Elizabeth HART cn 11023
*1940 Eric Arthur to Jesse Murial Phyllis WILLIAMS cn 12282

*** = my grandparents
* = related to me.