Monday, 28 April 2008

The missing Winchester and Aylesbury Fitz-Henrys

I've been piecing together two Fitz-Henry families over the past few months, one based in Winchester, Hampshire and the other in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.
The common link is William Fitz-Henry, a soldier born in Dublin in 1830 whose father was a lawyer called Hester Fitz-Henry.
William came to the Winchester Peninsular barracks sometime around 1859, when his regiment the 60th Rifles was stationed there. His wife Barbara was a Scottish woman whose maiden name was Morrison, and had previously been married to a man called Le Sautair (or so it looks on the birth certificate - it would fit as this is a French sounding name and William and Barbara's first child was born on the island of Jersey so they might have met there).
They had seven children but only four survived
Henrietta b. 1855 on Jersey
George b. November 1859 and d.1st quarter 1860
Alexander b. 1st quarter 1861 and d. 2nd quarter 1862
William George b. May 1862 - became a surgeon
Charles Robert b. 1st quarter 1864 and d. 4th quarter 1865
Norman b. June 1865 and still alive in 1881
Annie Eliza not registered but christened in October 1867. At least that's what I thought until this evening when I was scouring the fantastic facility that is FreeBMD, and having put Annie, Winchester and 4th quarter into the search engine it turns out that she had been registered as Annie Eliza HENRY.

Barbara died in 1877 and by the end of the year, William had married again to the splendidly named Martha Eagles from an old monied family in Aylesbury Buckinghamshire. I'll do more about the Eagles family and their legacy to the Fitz-Henry family with regard to their names in another post.
William and Martha had another 4 children, and then seemed to disappear off the face of the earth after the 1881 census.
The children were
Hester Cordelia b. 1878
Rowley Steavens b.1879
Harry Duncombe b.1882
Woodfield Duncombe Thomas b.1883

However, having persuaded myself that William had been posted abroad and died overseas, tonight I've found both him and Martha safely ending their days in the south of England via the FreeBMD search engine. William died in 1885 in Epsom and Martha in 1889 in Wycombe. Somehow I had missed them both when I was hand transcribing the indexes at the Family Records Centre in London. Their certificates have been ordered!

One Name study admin

Today was a tidying-up day for the One Name Study. There was the profile to write for the Guild of One Name Studies (it's very gratifying to see that 16 people have looked at it already - if you're interested, click here), some emails to answer and some more certificates to order. Also I've arranged to go to the Hampshire Record Office in Winchester to look up some records relating to a military branch of the family who were stationed in the Peninsular Barracks with the 60th Rifle Regiment.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Tasmania Fitzhenry - a lifetime of mispelling

Ages ago when I can upon the name Tasmania Fitzhenry in the GRO marriage index (1884 Q2, Newport M. 11a 240), I was struck by how glamorous the name sounded amongst all the Marys and Sarahs. However, the marriage was in Wales and I couldn't find her anywhere else in any other records (including censuses), so she went on the back burner as she didn't seem to be "one of mine".

I've only been able to solve the mystery of Tasmania when I swapped information with Joan Stafford from the Isle of Lewis. Joan had bought a marriage certificate in error, thinking it was one of her Fitzhenrys. It was the marriage in June 1882 between John Joseph Fitzhenry (aged 21, a seaman) and Tasmania Palfrey (aged 16) in Newport Monmouthshire, Wales. Her elder brother Edwin was one of the witnesses.

So Tasmania spent 2 glorious years as a Fitzhenry before she was widowed (I assume John Joseph died at sea as he isn't in the GRO death index) and the 1884 marriage was as an 18 year old widow to Christopher Hendley.

But if you are thinking of looking for Tasmania Palfrey or Tasmania Hendley in other records, you won't find her.
Her GRO birth record in 1868 is as Tesmania Palfrey.
In the 1871 census, the actual record looks like Tasmanea and is transcribed as Tennessea.
In the 1881 census it looks like her mum just put down "Minnie" to confuse us all.
In the 1891 census she's Tasmenia Hendley (still living in Newport)
In the 1901 census she's now named her third daughter after herself, but they are both still mispelt as Jasmenia and transcribed as Lasmenia (now living in Cardiff).
The only way of finding her is to look for the names of her Mum (Elizabeth) and brother (Edwin) and then her second husband (Christopher).
I've not yet found Tasmania's death record or the marriage of her daughter. If any Palfrey or Hendley researchers have any more info or indeed any photos of this much maligned woman, then I'd be very pleased to hear from you.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

The Fitz-Henry/Fitzhenry family makes it onto the register of One-Name Studies

Some weeks ago I applied to the Guild of One-Name Studies (GOONS) to register the Fitz-Henry/Fitzhenry names as a one-name study. That application has now been accepted and Fitz-Henry/Fitzhenry is now an official one name study.
For brevity, for the rest of this post I'll refer to the two surnames together as Fitz(-)henry.

What does that mean for any
Fitz(-)henry researchers out there?
Well, firstly let me reassure you that it doesn't mean that only I can research the name now! On the contrary, with the backing and resources that the Guild provides, this now becomes a worldwide collaboration with official backing - I'm just acting as a facilitator. If anyone has
Fitz(-)henry links and wishes to share them, please drop me a line on the comments section below. Click here to find out more about the GOONS.
And yes, the fabled
Fitz(-)henry website (with the gestation of an elephant) is almost ready to roll...