Tuesday, 16 September 2008

FitzHenry Footnote

It's fitting that I'm following Jo's post about variants and deviants. I'm being a bit deviant by writing about someone who wasn't a FitzHenry. His mother-in-law, however, was a FitzHenry so I think that counts for something. :-)

Hiriam Cunningham is pictured on the right with his 1st cousin by marriage, Edwin Sawtell FitzHenry. Link to the photo here. Hiriam came into the family by marrying Enoch's granddaughter, Sarah Wilson, in April 1849. Enoch's daughter, Susanna, was Sarah's mother.

We know what happened to Edwin. What happened to Hiriam? Did he survive the Civil War? My research shows that Hiriam died in 1860. However, considering that Edwin Sawtell didn't enlist in the Calvary until August 1861 something doesn't add up. (Hiriam looks pretty good for someone that's supposed to be deceased.) I also can't find any online evidence that either man served in the Civil War. Unless the men pictured in the photograph were going to a costume party, I don't find that credible either.

I've explored the message boards and family trees on Ancestry.com and Hiriam seems to be a bit of a mystery. If anyone has information on Hiriam's fate and family, please stand up and be counted. I would like to make him more than a FitzHenry footnote.

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Deviants and variants

It turns out that the transcription errors in the 1841 and 1881 censuses that I called "variants" are in fact "deviants".

What's the difference?

A variant is a local change of surname spelling. It may start out as a spelling error when a member of the family or a clerk spells a name wrongly, but if it becomes the accepted local or family spelling, then it becomes a variant. The surname Fitzhenry started out with a hyphen after the Norman conquest, but lost it in most cases. There is a family in the US called Fitzsenry which undoubtedly started out as Fitz(-)henry, but got spelt that way during the immigration process in the 19th century and the spelling stuck.

A deviant is a mis-spelling. It's just plain wrong. Just like those census transcription errors. Speaking of which, I was emailed today by Val from Liverpool who had spent ages looking for her Fitzhenry family in the 1841 census, only to find them indexed as Fitzhenay!

And we've also been contacted by Kim, whose Fitzhenry line in the US dropped the Fitz several generations ago and are now officially just Henrys. Which does make them an extreme variant.

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Edwin Sawtell FitzHenry: After the Civil War

After “meeting” Edwin Sawtell FitzHenry in the pages of a notebook, I wondered what happened to him after the Civil War. Luckily for this branch of the FitzHenrys, Edwin’s story didn’t end on the battle field.
On October 30, 1866, he said good-bye to the single life and married Sarah Jane Burns. It was a classic May to December romance with 14 years between them. In their 17 years of marriage, they had seven children. All lived past infancy, married and had children of their own. Edwin and Sarah spent most of their married life on a farm near Gibson City, Illinois.

In 1883, for unknown reasons, Edwin and his family moved to Fairbury, Nebraska. They lived in Nebraska six months until Edwin’s death on January 12, 1884, at the age of 48.
After burying her husband in the Fairbury cemetery, Sarah moved back to her home in Illinois. At the age of 34, she was a widow with children ranging in age from 5 months to 15 years. Mrs. FitzHenry lived on her home place until her death from pneumonia on March 21, 1911. She was survived by 16 grandchildren, her mother and a sister. According to her obituary, a large crowd gathered at the church to pay a last tribute to the memory of the aged citizen and a long line of carriages and buggies followed the remains to their last resting place in the Gibson cemetery.

Blessed be their memories.

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

More "extreme variants" from the 1841 census

On the Findmypast.com website, members of my own family are variously named Fitzberry and Fitzhoney. If I hadn't known they were there, I never would have found them. These names go right under the variant radar....

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

The English 1881 census - the "extreme variants" named

So here are those twelve Fitz(-)henrys that take a bit more effort to find and my thoughts about where they fit in.

Miles FITZ HENRY OR HENRY Lodger U Male 20 Bham, Warwick, England
11 Garrison Lane, 3 Ct 3 House,
Aston, Warwick, England
Family History Library Film 1341722
Public Records Office Ref. RG11
Piece / Folio 3022 / 95 Page 4
This man is likely to be the son of Miles FH of Albion Street, Yardley, Worcester.

Henrietta Fitz HENRY Lodger U Female 26 Jersey, Channel Islands Schoolmistress
High St,
Carisbrooke, Hampshire, England
Family History Library Film 1341288
Public Records Office Ref RG11
Piece / Folio 1176 / 104 Page 8
This is the eldest daughter of William Fitz-Henry of Winchester, Hampshire and Ashtead, Surrey. Although the county is given as Hampshire, Carisbrooke is on the Isle of Wight. Carisbrooke was a very trendy place in this era as Queen Victoria had her summer retreat there.

John FITZHEURY Patient U Male 22 Grimsby, Lincoln, England Seaman
Dreadnought Seamens Hospital Greenwich S E
Kent, England
Family History Library Film 1341169
Public Records Office Ref RG11
Piece / Folio 0727 / 116 Page 2
This may be the future husband of Tasmania Palfrey. Grimsby was a busy fishing port but is not a town that has "native" Fitzhenrys. On the marriage certificate of Tasmania and John FH, his father is also noted as a seaman, so this may be the reason he was born there.

William FITZHENNY Lodger U Male 34 Pimlico, Middlesex, England Music Librarian
29 Gt James Street London, Middlesex, England
Family History Library Film 1341074
Public Records Office Ref RG11 Piece / Folio 0339 / 77 Page Number 64

This man is a member of Lesley Champion's family.

John W FITZHENNY Head M male 25 Middlesex St Pancras Solicitors general clerk
Honoria J. FITZHENNY Wife M female 24 Middlesex Hoxton
Emily M. FITZHENNY Daug U female 8 mon Middlesex St Pancras
9 Warner Street, Islington Middlesex
Family History Library film 1341052
PRO ref RG11 Piece / folio 241 / 100 Page 4

Edward FITZHEURY Head M Male 41 Liverpool, Lancashire, England Coppersmith
John R. FITZHEURY Son Male 13 Liverpool, Lancashire, England Scholar
James FITZHEURY Son Male 9 Liverpool, Lancashire, England Scholar
Daniel FITZHEURY Son Male 6 Liverpool, Lancashire, England Scholar
Matthew FITZHEURY Son Male 4 Liverpool, Lancashire, England
18 Back Blake St, Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Family History Library Film 1341867
Public Records Office Ref RG11 Piece / Folio 3621 / 33 Page 28

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

The English 1881 census and the "extreme variants".

A bit of a nerdy stats update.
In the English 1881 census there are officially 96 Fitzhenrys using the usual variant spellings (Fitzhenry, Fitz-Henry, Fitz Henry) which are easily picked up using the search engines in Ancestry, Findmypast and Familysearch.

Dig a bit deeper and you find another 12.
I've found two just in as Henry with Fitz as a given name.
Four Fitzhennys
And most bizarrely, six Fitzheurys in two different households.

The twelve "extreme variant" names are all entered correctly as Fitzhenry by the census enumerators (I've looked at the originals). They have just been wrongly transcribed by the genealogy companies.

So if you've lost a Fitz(-)henry, try the "extreme variants" listed above and also Fitzkenny, Fitzkenry, Fitzhenery and Fiteshenry, all of which I've found other indexes.

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Friday, 5 September 2008

A small Fitzhenry family in Chester...

I've been in Chester in Cheshire for the past few days and found the area where a Fitzhenry family lived from 1836-1851.
They lived in an area called Kaleyards, a place that used to be the kitchen garden for the ancient Chester Cathedral in the centre of the city. For a look at how this area still looks all these years later, this is a great web site.

In the 1841 census, Catharine Fitzhenry aged 5 lives with
Thomas Harrison
(55, a ropemaker born in Cheshire) and
Harriet Harrison
(30, a female servant also born in Cheshire).

In the 1851 census, the family is still living in Kaleyards
Thomas Harrison head, 67 years, widower, ropemaker
Harriet Fitzhenry serv, 40 years, married, housekeeper
Catharine Fitzhenry, neice, 14 years, unmarried, scholar

According to the IGI, Catharine Fitzhenry was christened on 29 July 1836 at St. Mary's Chester. She was the daughter of Henry and Harriette Fitzhenry.

I can't find any record of any of these people after the 1851 census.

I'm working on the supposition that Harriet was Thomas Harrison's younger sister (although there is 27 years between them). This makes Catharine his neice. And explains why Harriet is named Harrison in the 1841 census.
But why did Harriet call herself Harrison in 1841 if she was married to Henry Fitzhenry? Was this the enumerator's error? And why is she called a servant instead of a sister in 1851?

And what happened to Henry?

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Baptism of Thomas Fitzhenry in Clare, County Mayo in 1840

I'm indebted to the EastMayo.org genealogy website for the following entry. This is a fantastic collection of Family history record transcriptions from this locality in Ireland.

Baptism April 7 1840 --Clare--
Thomas of Thomas Edmond FitzHenry and Mary Connally
sponsors -Thomas Walter Bourke, Bridget Lynsky

This family may be related to Andrew Fitzhenry the doctor "of Clare, County Mayo". Andrew had a son called Thomas born in 1811.

Why not
subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

When Family Meets History

Are there any American Civil War buffs out there?

Edwin Sawtell FitzHenry, son of Johnson FitzHenry and grandson of Enoch FitzHenry, was born in 1835. He enlisted in the Union Army as a farrier. During his three years of service, he was said to have been in 17 battles including Gettysburg. Over 50,000 people died at Gettysburg. Edwin survived because he was closer to the rear shoeing horses. He was wounded in the hand.

Edwin Sawtell FitzHenry and 1st Cousin by marriage, Hiram Cunningham

His discharge is as follows:

"To all to whom it may concern. Know ye, that Edwin S. FitzHenry a Garier of Captain August V. Kantos Company (B) Sixth Regiment of Cavalry Volunteers, who was enrolled on the fifth day of August 1861 to serve (3) years is hereby discharged from the Army of the U.S. in consequence of the expiration of enlistment. Said Edwin S. FitzHenry was born in Dublin in the State of Ohio, is (25) years of age, 5 feet 6 1/2 inches high, rudy complexion, gray eyes, light hair, and by occupation, when enrolled, a blacksmith. Given at Light House Point, this fifth day of August 1864. J.W. Spangler, 1st Lieut. 6th U.S. Calvary, Commanding the Regiment. Character good."

Filed for record February 26, 1879, in book A, Soldier's Discharge Record, page 264 in Pontiac, Illinois.

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Will the real Dr George Fitzhenry please stand up?

Here's an interesting situation. It may be entirely coincidental that I've found two Dr George Fitzhenrys born in London at the same time in the early 1800s ... or there may be an elaborate double life going on.

June 1839. George Fitzhenry (bachelor of full age, surgeon, father "Arthur Fitzhenry of the Civilian ECS" which I believe is the East India Company Service) marries Eliza Heather (spinster, of full age) in St Giles in the Fields London.

September 1839. Eliza registers the birth (in London) of their daughter Eliza Harriett. She gives her own name as "Eliza Fitzhenry, late Parslow, formerly Heather". For the uninitiated, this implies that she has been married to a chap called Mr. Parslow before she married George FH ... although she said she was a spinster.

December 1839. George and Eliza have Eliza Harriett christened at St Mary's Church in Worthing, Sussex. It is noted that they also live in St George Hanover Square in London. George is an "assistant surgeon".

1841 census. Eliza (aged 30) and Eliza Harriett (aged 1) are living in Worthing, Sussex. Unfortunately, marital status wasn't recorded in this census. Eliza the elder's birthplace is Sussex and she is of independent means.
The only adult George FH in this census is living in the house of a Dr William Havins Pope, a surgeon in Wellingborough Northamptonshire. George is aged 25 (born about 1816), a surgeon by trade and wasn't born in Northamptonshire

1846. Eliza the elder marries again to a man called Charles Hersey in Kensington (Third quarter 1846). There have been no deaths registered for a George Fitzhenry in the England and Wales indexes in the meantime.

1851 census. Charles and Eliza Hersey are living in Hampstead, London. Eliza is aged 36 born Worthing Sussex. Eliza Harriett is named as Eliza H. F. Hersey aged 11.
I can't find George FH (but I've only got the Ancestry index to the 1851 census and they missed him in the 1841 census as well.)

1853. A George Fitzhenry, surgeon, bachelor aged 36 (father George Arthur Fitzhenry of the East India Company Service) marries Jane Thomas (spinster aged 23) in the Register Office at Abergavenny in Wales. They have no children. George continues his medical practice in this area of Wales until his death in 1893. In every census his birthplace is given as London, Middlesex.

1864 Eliza Harriett Fitzhenry marries in the third quarter 1864 in Marylebone, London. (GRO indexes)

1893. George FH dies. His obituary in the British Medical Journal says that he was 80 (born in 1813) and gained his Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1844. Jane remarries the following year.

I know I'm one for a good tale, but I can't see any way around this being one and the same George Fitzhenry. Did George and Eliza in the pre-divorce era decide that they just couldn't stand the sight of each other any more, and decided to start again in opposite ends of the country?

And where does Mr Parslow (the alleged first husband of Eliza senior) fit into this tale?

Unfortunately, all the interesting activity is happening just as registration started in 1837 so there is no way to check back further to George FH's birth records to see if there was one or two of them.
There's only one thing for it - to send off for Eliza Heather's second (or even third!) marriage certificate and see what she had to say about her marital status that time ....

Amendment made 5th September: Lesley has pointed out that Eliza married Henry Hersey in 1846. Where did I get the name Charles from?

Why not
subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.