Tuesday, 6 January 2009

More about the South African Fitzhenrys of the East Cape

Following on from the piece about Daisy Aletta Fitzhenry, the nurse who served in WW1, here's what I've managed to piece together about her Fitzhenry line. Once again, my grateful thanks to the sterling transcribing efforts of Ellen Stanton and Nolene Lossau who put together the Methodist birth and marriage lists from the East Cape area.

Our known starting point is a Henry Fitzhenry. I don't know when or where he was born, but on 31st December 1856 he married Frances Levett Gardiner in the Somerset East Methodist church. They both came from Zwaart Ruggens (now spelt Zwarte Ruggens)

They had a large family over some 23 years. Here are the children that I've found in the christening records.
John Arthur b. 3 Dec 1857
Henry Levett b. 23 May 1859
Francis Ann b. 12 May 1862
Andrew Parsons b. 18 Dec 1853
Alice b. 8 July 1865
Nathaniel Walter b. 14 June 1867
The twins Emma Faulkner and Ann Parsons b. 25 Feb 1870
Edward Noel b. 1 Dec 1871
Louisa Elizabeth b. 6 April 1874
Laura Jane b. 26 April 1876
Mary Jemima b. 23 Jan 1878
Edgar Ebenezer b. 31 July 1880

Daisy's father was John Arthur Fitzhenry who married first Kate Cawood somewhen around 1886 (I haven't seen the record for this one), and after Kate's death in 1893, Hester Sargeant Patrick on 24 April 1896. His brother Edward (here transcribed as "Edward Neil") was one of the witnesses to this second marriage and John Arthur was described as a farmer from Vanplaats Jansenville.
Details of the children from both these marriages can be found in my previous post.

The information I have after this generation comes from several sources on the internet and has not been verified.

John and Kate's daughter Florence Ann married Cecil Rhodes Dobrowsky in 1922.

Jansenville Cricket club had a number of Fitzhenrys playing for them during and after WW2 - the names of Sid, Will, Brian, Howard and Raymond Fitzhenry are all mentioned . It makes me wonder whether Russel Fitzhenry (featured both on the cricinfo website and in previous posts on this blog) is a member of this family as he was born in Graaff Reinet and his cricket was played for the Eastern Provinces. The Cawood surname is also prominent in the history of the club.

There is a beautiful memorial window in the Kingswood College chapelin memory of Brian Raymond Fitzhenry, farmer and conservationist in the Steytlerville district. A picture of the window and a description of its unveiling can be found here.

Apologies to any of our South African readers who may have spotted some elementary mistakes in my geography. Does anyone out there link into this family? Send us an email!

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