Friday, 31 October 2008

More on Jumnetta Fitzhenry and naming your children after ships ...

In the last post, I mentioned how Bev's grandmother had been named Jumnetta after the ship "Jumna" that she was born on during the family's migration to Australia.
I found the record of three babies born on that sailing:
An unnamed girl to James and Mary Roberts on 15 October 1886
An unnamed boy to Charles and Louisa Searle on 30 October 1886
And our Jumnetta (as yet unnamed) born to Samuel and Margaret Fitzhenry on 7 November 1886

Bev sent me a cutting from the Brisbane Courier of the 18 November 1886, about the arrival of the Jumna in port which included the following:
A few days after leaving London, the first birth, that of a girl, occurred and it was announced that she was to be christened Jumnette in honour of the ship.
Bev asked: Her gran was born in Australian waters at the end of the voyage, but surely there couldn't have been two Jumnette/Jumnettas born on this trip?

It appears so - when I put in Jumnetta Roberts into the Ancestry search engine, it gave me Jumnetta Seva (or Sieva) Roberts resident in Brisbane and on the electoral rolls in the 1910s.

A few years ago when I was going through the "British Births at Sea" Registers at the National Archives (in the pre-digital days), I was struck by just how many of these children had been named after the ship that they were born on. If anyone knows whether there was an incentive to the parents, made by either captain or the shipping line, to name the baby after the ship, I would be most interested to hear about it.

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Wednesday, 29 October 2008

More Irish-Australian links

I've three reasons to be eternally grateful to Bev Kronk in Australia who has sent us several emails over the last week.
Firstly she's sent us lots of good stuff, which she has given permission to reprint here in the hope that she will discover some more links to her family.

Secondly there's some fantastic Anglo-Irish items which I've added to our database.

And thirdly (which made me jump up and down in a very un-English sort of way), she found one of my very own strays - Thomas Fitz-Henry, my great-great-great grandfather's brother, who emigrated to Australia in 1852, worked as a shepherd, and ended up being committed to the Woogaroo Lunatic Asylum in 1881. Up until now I had no idea that I needed to look for him in Australia.

Back to Bev's family. Here's what she wrote, starting with her great-great-grandparents:

James Andrew Dobbin FITZHENRY and Frances FITZHENRY. Not sure if this couple would have been related or not. They appear in the index to the Marriage Licence Bonds for Ossory and Ferns – LDS Micro Film No. 0100870, for the year of 1818. Frances died in Ballickmoyler in 1879. I have not found a death for James as yet.

I have been able to trace 7 children from this marriage, all born in Ballickmoyler, Queens County, Ireland.
Frances [c1851-1921]
Maria [1852-1920]
Daniel [1854-1924]
Samuel [c1855-?]

James [c1860-1940]
Susan [c1862-1934]
Henrietta [1864-1867]
The six surviving children immigrated to Queensland at various times in the 1880’s.

Samuel FITZHENRY married Margaret Jane NELSON in Manchester in 1881. Their daughter Jeanetta FITZHENRY was born in 1886 on board ship in Australian waters near Thursday Island close to Cape York, the most northern point of the state of Queensland. She was registered as Jumnetta FITZHENRY, named after the ship “JUMNA”.

Jeanetta/Jumnetta Fitzhenry is Bev's grandmother. Bev would be very pleased to hear from any other researchers linked with this family, especially if they knew any family link between her great-great-grandparents James Andrew Dobbin Fitzhenry and Frances Fitzhenry (apparently nee Fitzhenry). You can leave information in the comment section below, or send an email via us and we'll pass it on to Bev.

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Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Participants flood in to the Fitz(-)henry DNA study

I'm very pleased to announce that the number of participants in the Fitz(-)henry DNA study has doubled.

Ann's husband has joined the fun, and we're waiting with baited breath to see if his Irish American Protestant line has a common lineage with my Anglo Irish Catholic line.

The results are due next month. Subscribe to the blog to be among the first to see the results.

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Friday, 3 October 2008

Eliza and George Fitzhenry (Part 2)

About a month ago, I wrote about the strange parallel lives of George and Eliza Fitzhenry.
At the time, I had a theory that they had married in haste as Eliza was pregnant, they parted shortly afterwards their daughter Eliza Harriett was born, and then both made further (presumably bigamous) marriages.

I already had George's second marriage certificate which, although he claimed to be a bachelor, had enough details to confirm he was the same man as married Eliza.

Eliza's second marriage certificate had a couple of surprises.
Here are the bare facts:
September 7 1846

St Mary's parish church of Paddington

Henry Hersey of full age, bachelor, gardener, Harrow Road, father Henry Hersey Toll collector

Eliza Fitzhenry of full age, spinster, Harrow Road, father Samuel Heather Fitzhenry, fisherman.

Eliza had a daughter Eliza Harriett, and in the 1851 census she was part of this family. So Henry Hersey must have known that Eliza senior had had a previous relationship to produce Eliza junior. Did he know that she was previously married and that Fitzhenry wasn't her maiden name?
And if Henry was in league with Eliza's deception, why didn't they take the option of telling the vicar that she was a respectable widow with a daughter, instead of a spinster?

The second surprise was how she styled herself and her father. Why didn't Eliza revert to calling herself Eliza Heather instead of Eliza Fitzhenry once she had parted from George?

If I had started my research into this family group with this particular certificate, I would have been looking in vain for Eliza's family as Fitzhenrys rather than Heathers. I wonder how many more of my unlinked Fitzhenrys have a story like this lying behind them?

Here's an interesting fact - according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1911), bigamy was a felony until 1828 and was reinstated as a felony in 1861... which was convenient for George and Eliza should they have ever been found out.

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