Saturday, 31 January 2015

Fitzharris... no, wait.... Fitzhenry...

I've written before about how the surnames Fitzharris and Fitzhenry were interchangeable in 19th century Ireland, especially in County Wexford.

But on the same day, indeed within a couple of minutes while you were registering the birth of your daughter?

I came upon this entry in the General Register Office of Ireland Register of Births for 1873 *.

January Thirtyfirst 1873, Ballygalvert [County Wexford, western side near the Carlow border]
Father: Moses Fitzharris, Ballygalvert, a farmer
Mother Anty [Anastasia] Fitzharris formerly Eustace
Informant: Moses Fitzhenry, father, Ballygalvert
Registered: February Twentythird 1873, James Rickesley, Registrar

The local registrar obviously didn't see this as a problem, but the Government official in Dublin obviously had a "Say what?" moment as evidenced by the rather surprised pencil swirl linking the 3 surnames. 

Moses' other 7 children were all registered as Fitzhenry, and in the 1901 and 1911 censuses the family also appear as Fitzhenry. 

* GROI reference: Index of the Register of Births 1873 Anne Fitzharris, New Ross, vol 4 page 985.

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, 28 January 2015

The Chirurgeon's Apprentice: Dr Lindsey Fitzharris

Another very much alive member of our clan, Lindsey Fitzharris is from the Chicago Fitzharris family. But she works in London in what must be the best job in the world - as a medical historian at the Wellcome Museum.

Lindsey's aim is to educate (and entertain) about the fascinating world of surgery in pre-anaesthetic times. To this end she authors The Chirurgeon's Apprentice website, and I have to admit I'm a bit of a fan of her oeuvre (... do you know how long I've waited to put that word into a blog post?)

As well as a very entertaining Facebook and Twitter feed (@DrLindseyFitz), with new images posted daily from old time medical practice, Lindsey also produces a series of YouTube videos which you can find here. And if you are so moved, you can support her by becoming a Patron.

On this day in 1829, William Burke, the unluckier half of the Burke and Hare bodysnatcher and murderer duo was hung in Edinburgh for his crimes. His body was not only dissected but his skin was used to cover books, a practice which is the subject of Lindsey's latest video.

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, 21 January 2015

Katie Fitzhenry: Irish Rugby international

Congratulations to Katie Fitzhenry who has been included in Ireland's women's squad for the Six Nations Championship.  Katie plays her club rugby for Blackrock College RFC and represents Leinster.
I was lucky enough to met Katie's mum, Jackie, last October when I was in Ireland and met up with the extended Fitzhenry family of Cleariestown, Co. Wexford. She had high hopes of her girl then, and we all very much hope that Katie gets her chance in the Six Nations tournament which starts on February 6th with an away match against Italy.

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, 12 January 2015

1911 Fitzharris households added to the Irish census map

The Fitzharris households from 1911 are now on the Irish census map.

I've realised that a lot of them are missing from the 1901 census, especially from County Kildare. This needs more investigation.
Also, not as many people were changing versions of their surnames as I expected. 
My next project is to match the 1901 people with those in 1911 and see who is missing and why.

This is the key to the icons on the map.

People calling themselves Fitzhenry - the Google inverted teardrop icon
People calling themselves Fitzharris - a circle

1901 census entries
Red - this was a Fitz household
Orange - a Fitz living in the household of a non-Fitz relative
Yellow - a Fitz living in a non-related household (eg a school or as a lodger).

1911 census entries
Purple - this was a Fitz household
Mid Blue - a Fitz living in the household of a non-Fitz relative
Pale blue - a Fitz living in a non-related household 

Here's that map again, and here is the link to the full screen version.

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, 4 January 2015

Update to the Irish census map - Fitzhenrys in 1911 now added.

Eagle eyed subscribers will have noticed that another layer of the Irish census map has been completed. I have now extracted and placed the Fitzhenrys in the 1911 census.

Update 12 January: the Fitzharrises in 1911 have now also been entered                   

[If you missed the first post about the map, here is how I constructed it and the sources I used.]

Here is what the map looks now:

Click on this link to get a full screen view.

The 1911 Fitzhenry layer follows the same convention as the 1901 layer. The place markers are again the inverted teardrop Google marker.
Colour codes are as follows:
Purple: a Fitzhenry household
Mid blue: a Fitzhenry as a relative in a non-Fitzhenry household
Light blue: a Fitzhenry in an unrelated household (such as an apprentice or at school)

What does it show?
In the 10 years since the 1901 census, the County Wexford Fitzhenrys have tended to stay put, or not moved very far. The County Galway Fitzhenrys have also stayed at their farms (the one exception being a child (John Fitzhenry) sent to St Joseph's Deaf and Dumb School in Cabragh (now spelled Cabra) in Dublin).

The Dublin Fitzhenrys moved around more within and out of Dublin.

If I could find where a person or family was in the 1901 census, I have added this to the beginning of the description.

There were also some examples of Fitzharrises of the 1901 census calling themselves Fitzhenry in this census. Where this has happened, it has been mentioned in the annotation.

A mystery woman
For those with a puzzle solving bent, here's a person that you can help me with. I have found an Elisa Robert Fitzhenry, a 30 year old hospital matron living in Bray, County Wicklow (link to the census reference). She is Church of Ireland, single, and says she was born in Sligo, having filled in the census return herself.
I can't find her in the 1901 census, there are no other Fitzhenrys or Fitzharrises from County Sligo, and there is no birth registration for her in the GROI. 
Any information about her gratefully received!

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.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Mapping out the Fitzhenrys and the Fitzharrises in the 1901 and 1911 census

Happy New Year to one and all. 
Recently I've been working with the new version of Google's "My Maps" to create a picture of who was where in the 1901 and 1911 censuses of Ireland.

Update on 4 January: I have now added the Fitzhenrys in 1911 to the map - Click here to read all about it.

Update on 12 January: The Fitzharrises from 1911 have also been added.


Here is the link to that map.

So far I've only entered the 1901 data for Fitzhenry and Fitzharris and the variant spellings (the next phase will be 1911).

How to use the map
The data is put in as two layers so you can toggle between those who were calling themselves Fitzhenry at the time of the census, and those who were calling themselves Fitzharris. You can also have both layers showing at the same time for a global view.

The Fitzhenrys are identified by the standard Google place mark icon (the inverted tear-drop) and the Fitzharrises by circles.

This is the colour coding:
Red - a Fitz was head of the household.
Orange - a Fitz was staying in a non Fitz household but they were relatives.
Yellow - a Fitz was staying in an unrelated non Fitz Household (for example as an apprentice or at school).

Clicking on an icon will bring up details of who was in the household at that location on the night of the census. The details are presented in the standard layout for 1901 census return on the National Archives of Ireland website (see below in sources).

What does the map show?
As expected, the Fitzhenry and Fitzharris names have a very East coast distribution. 

Those who were calling themselves Fitzhenry were much more likely to be living in County Wexford and be born in Wexford. There is also the small Fitzhenry family in County Galway (born in Co. Galway and living there) and the general melting pot of Dublin and its environs where people would have migrated to from the countryside as industry looked a better option than farming.

Those who were calling themselves Fitzharris, while still East coast in distribution, were more scattered. There were significant populations in County Carlow, County Wicklow and County Meath who had been born there, as well as those who had migrated to Dublin. They were more likely to live north of Dublin (1 Fitzhenry, living in an unrelated household compared to 11 Fitzharris households), extending up to what is now modern day Northern Ireland.

Overall, there were also more Fitzharrises (220 Fitzharris individuals in 92 households) than Fitzhenrys (182 Fitzhenry individuals in 56 households).

What next?
I will add the census data for 1911, again in separate layers for Fitzhenry and Fitzharris. It will be interesting to see how many Fitzhenrys had swapped to calling themself Fitzharris and visa versa.

It will also help to track which Fitz families emigrated in this 10 year period.

If there is a cluster of Fitz families in adjoining townlands it will be easier to see who is related to who. Notes on relationships with other families will be added as I find them.

These are all free, and can be used to verify the data I have used for the maps. Please send any corrections and comments to the usual blog address.

I used the excellent National Archives of Ireland website to extract the data for the Fitzhenry and Fitzharris households.
I used the search term F*t*h*n*r*y for Fitzhenry and variants, and the search term F*t*h*r*s* for Fitzharris and variants. This only gave a few false positives, which were easy to weed out.
The addresses given on the map are those from the census returns, so you can use this to verify the transcription.

The map was created using Google "My Maps". You will need a (free) Google account to create a map.
Many townland and street names are the same as they were 100 years ago, but for variant townland spellings, and also to try to pinpoint where farms would have been within a townland, I used the Griffith's Valuation search facility on the Ask About Ireland website. I'm aware that by the 1901 census, these maps would have been 50 years out of date, but some farms would have still been in the same family.

The Dublin Street Directory from Thom's Irish Almanac 1862 (the Library Ireland website) enabled me to pin down passages, alleyways and streets that have changed their names (or are just no longer there) in modern Dublin. I could then use the historical map function on the truly excellent Ordinance Survey of Ireland website to translate these old addresses to what they are called now.

When all else failed, Google search and Wikipedia helped out with the more obscure townland variant spellings.
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.