Saturday, 30 August 2008

Enoch FitzHenry: Biography

I mentioned in my previous post that Enoch FitzHenry wasn't a typical Irish immigrant. No trip through Ellis Island for him! In fact, Lady Liberty wasn't dedicated until 51 years after his death. Enoch arrived on the shores of New York just in time to see the birth of a nation. It only seems fitting that he named one of his sons, George Washington FitzHenry.

Enoch FitzHenry was born May 9, 1752 in the City of Armagh, County of Armagh, Ireland. While he was with several other boys on his way to school, he was taken by an English press gang and carried aboard an English merchant vessel which sailed to the West Indies. While on board he acted as ship's clerk, but was in all other respects a prisoner. Arriving at New York, he was allowed to go ashore for a walk when he ran away and commenced his life in America. He was fourteen years old when stolen from Ireland and had obtained a fine education. His family must have had wealth or he would not have received such an advantage at so early an age.

Enoch FitzHenry married Abigail Hartt in Rutland Co., Vermont on February 10, 1788 by the Rev. Eastman. They had 16 children.

The only relation Enoch FitzHenry ever saw or heard from after he was stolen from Ireland was a cousin, named William Fortune, who was a Colonel in the English Army and stationed in Canada.

Enoch FitzHenry was postmaster of Willsborough, Essex Co., New York. There is evidence that Enoch FitzHenry was a fine scholar. He taught school for forty years and in every place he lived he filled some place of trust that none but educated people of that time could fill. Besides being postmaster, he was Justice of the Peace in another town of the same county. In Dublin, Ohio, he was Township Clerk.

Enoch FitzHenry died October 10, 1835, and is buried in Dublin, Franklin Co., Ohio. There is no stone to mark his grave.

(Anna Page Cherry, Columbus, Ohio. Copy of manuscript written by her for Federal Judge Louis FitzHenry. Composed by Lola Mae Swatsley. Copied by Alice L.H. Fitchhorn Dec., 21, 1938).

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