Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Dr. Robert Heath Cooper who married Frances Susan Fitz-Henry Arklow 1880

Slightly off-topic, but we have been contacted by Glenys Ryall in New Zealand. She found the mention of Dr Robert Heath Cooper and his marriage to Frances Susan Fitz-Henry in 1880 in this blog posting.

She also had a Dr Robert Heath Cooper in her family - in fact she was looking at photos of him and his wife - from the 1870's. Dr Cooper married Anne Frith in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh on 26th December 1862. His father was also William Cooper (just like our Dr Cooper).

And there was also a photo of their daughter Lilly Mina Cooper aged 14 in June 1876, which puts her year of birth as 1861 or 1862 ....

So while I was pottering around trying to find a bit more about Anne Frith and Lilly Mina, I also found another Robert Heath Cooper marriage with a William Heath as his father! (Click here for the link to this marriage register on the website)

The marriage was in St Thomas (Established church of England and Ireland), Dublin on 11 October 1860 by Licence.
Groom Robert Heath Cooper, of full age, bachelor, a Druggist, of Enniscorthy, father William Cooper apothecary
Bride Jemima Wright, of full age, spinster, 18 Lower Garden Street, father Benjamin Wright, cabinet maker
Witnesses Joseph J Smythe and Edward J Brook.

So was Robert Heath Cooper married twice before he married our Frances Susan Fitz-Henry? It seems likely.
And given that Lilly Mina was said to be aged 14 in June 1876, was she the daughter of Jemima Wright rather than Anne Frith? I haven't found a birth registration for Lilly Mina yet (or a death for Jemima Wright).
Lilly Mina married in 1886 (aged 24 to, as yet, an unknown man), so it is likely that she was part of the Cooper-Fitz-Henry household while she was still unmarried.

If anyone recognises these people, would they please drop us an email which we will forward to Glenys. Glenys is descended from the family of Francis Ball which intermarried with the Friths.

I've managed to spectacularly crash the Website this evening during an upgrade, but I'll put the photos on it as soon as it's up and running again.

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Sunday, 27 March 2011

It's today - the 2011 Census England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

It's census day here in the UK.
I've just filled mine in on-line, but completed and saved my paper copy to go with my Fitz(-)henry research papers.

If the Government keep the paper records, the genealogists of the future will see that it was a hefty document, but for family history research purposes, it's probably less useful than the corresponding census in 1911. However, it will probably all be digitalised and then the paper copies pulped, so even the original handwriting and signatures will be lost.

What will genealogists be able to find out about me in a hundred years time?
They will be able to tell that I'm English, but nothing more geographically specific than that about where I was born.
Nothing about any children that I may have had, unless they are living with me at home (so back to the level of information from the 1901 census and before).
However, you can specifically link each member of the household with every other member of the household and not just the head, so you can see if children are step children, and who the resident aunt is the auntie of.

It asks a lot about the house I live in and a bit about what my health is like.
There's a voluntary question about whether I'm a Jedi Knight (only kidding - it's the one about religious affiliation that the more frivolous on-line community try to hijack)
It asks who I work for, what I do in that job, for how many hours a week and how I travel to my place of work.

And that's about it.

If you do your family history (and you probably do if you are reading this blog) then make a copy of all the information on your census and keep it for those who will come after you. Annotate it with the personal facts that make your family history interesting. And keep it safe, because otherwise it will be another 100 years before anyone will be able to get hold of that information again.

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Thursday, 24 March 2011

The death of Tasmania Fitzhenry's husband

We're back. Thanks to all those who wrote in asking me where I'd got to.
All is well.

Here's a cheerful post to get us going again.
A couple of years ago, I wrote about Tasmania Palfrey from Newport, South Wales, who married John Joseph Fitzhenry in Monmouth in 1882 (said to be the son of William Fitzhenry, master mariner). Unfortunately I hadn't found where John Joseph ended up, and in 1884 Tasmania married Christopher Hendley declaring herself a widow.

John Joseph's death didn't show up in the ordinary death indexes at the GRO, but I did find him in the Board of Trade series held at the National Archives (BT/ 157/7/57). His death was reported under the Merchant Shipping Act 1854.

John Fitzhenry, male, aged 21
Death at sea reported May 1883
Vessel "Lizzie" official no. 13996, vessel missing since 30 September 1882
Boatswain (crew) - supposed drowned
Nationality - Waterford
Last abode 34 Raglan Street, Newport.

So this nicely places John Joseph's birth in Ireland in 1861 - unfortunately before the Irish birth registrations start. But there were not many Fitzhenrys around Waterford according to the Irish GRO indexes and none by the time of the 1901 census.
The search continues.

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