Friday, 5 September 2008

A small Fitzhenry family in Chester...

I've been in Chester in Cheshire for the past few days and found the area where a Fitzhenry family lived from 1836-1851.
They lived in an area called Kaleyards, a place that used to be the kitchen garden for the ancient Chester Cathedral in the centre of the city. For a look at how this area still looks all these years later, this is a great web site.

In the 1841 census, Catharine Fitzhenry aged 5 lives with
Thomas Harrison
(55, a ropemaker born in Cheshire) and
Harriet Harrison
(30, a female servant also born in Cheshire).

In the 1851 census, the family is still living in Kaleyards
Thomas Harrison head, 67 years, widower, ropemaker
Harriet Fitzhenry serv, 40 years, married, housekeeper
Catharine Fitzhenry, neice, 14 years, unmarried, scholar

According to the IGI, Catharine Fitzhenry was christened on 29 July 1836 at St. Mary's Chester. She was the daughter of Henry and Harriette Fitzhenry.

I can't find any record of any of these people after the 1851 census.

I'm working on the supposition that Harriet was Thomas Harrison's younger sister (although there is 27 years between them). This makes Catharine his neice. And explains why Harriet is named Harrison in the 1841 census.
But why did Harriet call herself Harrison in 1841 if she was married to Henry Fitzhenry? Was this the enumerator's error? And why is she called a servant instead of a sister in 1851?

And what happened to Henry?

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