Friday, 1 May 2009

Myles Fitz-Henry, ironmonger of South London and the Chilean connection

When Rodrigo Palacios Fitz-Henry from Valparaiso sent me some of his family photos, he included a photo of Myles Fitz-Henry. He didn't know who this man was or how he linked into his family. I put it on the FitzhenryDNA website, but no-one claimed kinship to the mysterious Myles.

Then a few weeks ago I found the recently indexed burial records of Victoria Cemetery Hackney London on the internet. I found

Fitz-Henry Myles
Died at 46 Baker Street Brighton Sussex
Buried 17 august 1864 Aged 17 month
And..

Fitzhenry John Joseph

Newington
Burial 18 January 1863 Aged 3 days No service

This burial obviously wasn't the Myles that I was looking for, but these turned out to be the twin sons born to Myles Fitz-Henry of Clapham, Surrey which is actually South London. I found him in the census wrongly transcribed under the surname Henry.

Here is the family group from the English 1861 census
Address:6, St Georges Road, Newington, London, Surrey
FITZ-HENRY, Myles Head Married M 37 1824 Ironmonger Westmeath Ireland

FITZ-HENRY, Frances Wife Married F 25 1836 Ironmonger's Wife Westmeath Ireland

FITZ-HENRY, Henry M Son Unmarried M 1 1860 Ironmonger's Son Newington Surrey

The same family group can be found at 4 Brunswick Terrace, St Mary Newington, London, Surrey in the 1871 census.

So we have a Fitz-Henry family that came from Ireland and settled in London and also had another son besides the twins who died in infancy. The son's full name is Henry Michael Fitz-Henry.
I found the marriage of Myles and Frances at St Georges Catholic Church, Southwark in the County of Surrey.

Myles Fitzhenry 35 years bachelor ironmonger
43 Deverell Street Newington
son of Michael Fitzhenry (deceased) Farmer

Frances Colbourne 28 years spinster
34 Barnsbury Street Islington
Daughter of Nathaniel Colbourn (deceased) Traveller to a Distiller.

Witnesses
Kate Fitzhenry
Henry S Simpson
Frederick Charles Fitch Registrar.

So far, all very interesting, but what's the positive link? I asked Rodrigo to send me a scan of the back of the photo. This was the real eureka moment. The photo was taken at the studio of Mr Henry Death of 119 Camberwell Road, London, within a mile of both the census addresses.

Myles died on the Twenty fourth October 1877 at 410 Clapham Road
He was 55 years old and died of
"Epilepsia 2 years. Gradual exhaustion of the vital powers."
Informant - Henry Fitz-Henry son present at the death, 410 Clapham Road

... and this is where I lose sight of Henry Michael Fitz-Henry. I have the widowed Frances still at 410 Clapham Road in the 1881 census but with only a visitor and a house-servant.

So more questions.... What happened to Henry Michael and Frances, and how do these people link into Rodrigo's family? And who is the Kate Fitz-Henry who was a witness at Myles and Frances' wedding?

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