Tuesday, 24 February 2009

BMD online from New Zealand

The GOONS message board has alerted us to the existence the New Zealand BMD website.
A search for "Fitzhenry" and "Fitz-Henry" shows that there aren't many of us there.
And if there are any Kiwi Fitzhenrys out there who recognise any of these names and want to tell us their story or would just like to say hello, drop us an email!

I apologise for the layout which isn't particularly special, and when I find out how to put tables into Blogger without the right hand side being cut off, I'll re-do it.

We've got a grand total of:

Fourteen births:

(Year and registration number, Surname, Given names, Mother's name, Father's name)

1894/6155Fitz-Henry Dorothea Tighe Isabella George William
1889/14090Fitz-Henry Barbara Eleanor Isabella William George
1880/6420Fitz-Henry Ada Louisa William
1883/18449Fitz Henry Edgar Louisa William
1872/4148Fitz Henry Mary Ellen

1983/84456Fitzhenry James Joseph Kilmartin Bridget-
1906/13014FitzHenry Gordon Oriel AliceErnest Edward
1887/14575Fitzhenry William Cooper IsabellaWilliam George
1879/2432Fitzhenry Louisa LouisaWilliam
1877/9693Fitzhenry Albert LouisaWilliam
1867/3317Fitzhenry Ernest Edward

1870/1806Fitzhenry William Thomas

1871/3710Fitzhenry Frederick

1869/236Fitzhenry Fanny Maud LouisaWilliam

The birth of William Cooper Fitzhenry (properly spelt Fitz-Henry) in 1887 to William George and Isabella finally fills in that last child that I was pondering over in the 1911 census. It was this William Cooper Fitz-Henry who was the Chief Engineer and Surveyor of Roads in Rhodesia and featured in the "Out of Africa" series of posts last year.

I'd like to find out who Louisa and William were, with their gallant attempt to populate New Zealand with Fitzhenrys, and wonder if the four children with no attributed parents were also offspring of this couple.

23 deaths

Year and reg no., Surname, Given names, date of birth or age at death.
1935/13192Fitzhenry Edward Ernest 68Y
1973/28787Fitzhenry Nita Beryl 25 March 1915
1965/27994Fitzhenry Ada 84Y
1984/29819Fitzhenry Norma Ray 2 May 1921
1988/42090Fitzhenry Gordon Oriel 20 July 1906
1990/46541Fitzhenry Eileen Mary 11 August 1910
1993/33106Fitzhenry Linda Pearl 2 December 1912
1994/42720Fitzhenry Kenneth Ernest 16 February 1912
1904/7106Fitzhenry Frances 80Y
1894/3217Fitzhenry Edward 54Y
1880/3923Fitzhenry Harvey Michael Cyril 21Y
2004/24251Fitzhenry Colin William 3 October 1928
2005/26551Fitzhenry Margaret Janet 31 January 1917
1930/690Fitzhenry Norman Leonard 20Y
1934/19798Fitzhenry Theresa Jane 52Y
1947/22106Fitz-Henry Frederick 75Y
1949/27128Fitz-Henry Mary 6H
1961/25743Fitz-Henry Agnes 76Y
1965/40479Fitz-Henry Violet Lilian 53Y
1969/37665Fitz-Henry Keith Oscar 56Y
1929/11334Fitz Henry William 90Y
1890/5421Fitz Henry Mary Ellen 18Y
1881/4651Fitz-Henry Jeremiah Edward 10Y

and 8 marriages

Registration NumberBride's GivenName(s)Bride's Family NameGroom's GivenName(s)Groom's Family Name
1878/2242Mary Ann Fitzhenry John Patterson
1868/1124Edward Fitzhenry

1868/1227Catherine Fitzhenry

1868/1228Jane Fitzhenry

1901/4726Fanny Maud Fitz-Henry Frederick William Borrell
1908/3965Agnes Henderson Frederick Fitzhenry
1902/1139Alice Phillips Ernest Edward Fitzhenry
1904/4217Theresa Jane Wilson Gerald Martin Fitzhenry

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Saturday, 14 February 2009

A Valentine post

Ann said that we should do a romantic St. Valentine's day post.

I had a look round on t'internet - googling "Fitzhenry love" isn't as pervy as you would think.

I found this synopsis of a romantic novel written in 1794: "Lord Fitzhenry, a novel in 3 volumes" by Miss Elizabeth Gunning. The synopsis has been written by Morgan Smith of the University of Nebraska.

Here's a flavour of a Georgian romance....
Lord Fitzhenry is the story of a young English aristocrat. The son of the Earl and Countess of Uxington, Fitzhenry is still working on his extended education when the novel begins. He had decided to study on the continent, but first his family is going to take a holiday in Wales. This pleases Fitzhenry a great deal because his best friend Frederic Wardour is from an estate very near his parents' Welsh lodging.
Surprisingly, though, Wardour declines to accompany them. Apparently, the young Wardour has been promised to a local young woman. Wardour is extremely distressed about this because he thinks of her more as a sister. Fitzhenry's curiosity is piqued by the situation and asks to receive a letter of introduction for Wardour's parents with the ulterior motive of seeing the intended, Miss Melmoth.

This, of course, turns out poorly for Fitzhenry. Within moments of meeting Miss Melmoth, he is overcome by her beauty and charm......
For our regular readers, there is no such title as the Earl of Uxington.

Nor is there an Earl of Arlingford, the title held by the father of Lord Ernest Fitzhenry as featured in the novel "A Marriage in High Life" by Lady Charlotte Bury, published in Paris in 1836 for the European market.
You can read the whole novel on Google books and here's the opening lines.
Towards the end of a London spring, that is to say, about the middle of August, was married by special license, at her father's house in Harley Street, Emmeline Benson to Ernest, Lord Fitzhenry, only son of the Earl of Arlingford.

The ceremony was like most others of its kind; the drawingroom was crowded with relations and friends on both sides, dressed in congratulatory smiles, and new bridal finery.
Back in the real world, I had a great-great aunt Elizabeth Maria Fitz-Henry who was known as Valentine. Her daughter was Valentine Dongray. This post is also for them, the only real life Valentines that I have in the world-wide Fitz(-)henry database.

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Monday, 9 February 2009

The American Civil War, cotton and the Manchester Famine

This is one of the "Other Random Stuff" posts.

Ann has related the stories of her Fitzhenry forebears being in the midst of the fighting in the American Civil War, but just as in current day global markets the effects of the war were not confined to the US.

Last week I came upon a Victorian book of instructional short stories. The first was about the Cotton Famine. Thinking that this was about the Southern States during the Civil War, I was amazed to read that it was about Manchester England.

In 1862, the lack of raw cotton from America caused the prosperous industrial city of Manchester to be brought to its financial knees. The cotton spinning mills shut and there was mass unemployment. Without social support many families were destitute and starving.

A very good and moving account of the Manchester Cotton Famine can be found here on Wikipedia. Despite their dire circumstances, the Manchester cotton workers sent a message of support to President Lincoln in his bid to abolish the slavery that had kept the cotton fields productive and the Manchester mills working.

The were no Fitzhenrys in Manchester at the time of the 1861 census, but there were a few Fitzhenry families of recent Irish descent in Liverpool, maybe prompted to leave their homeland by the potato famine a couple of decades before. Liverpool and Manchester were financially, geographically and industrially intertwined so it is likely that the Manchester cotton famine had widespread effects throughout the North-East of England.

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Sunday, 8 February 2009

1911 English census - Thomas Cooper Fitzhenry and the Rash of Redvers

One of the people that I had tentatively penciled in as potentially being a child of the George William Fitz-Henry and Isabella Cooper marriage (but obviously wasn't) was Thomas Cooper Fitzhenry, who in 1911 was living at 11 Cromwell Road, Colchester, Essex.

Here's the details:
Thomas Cooper Fitzhenry head, married aged 49, a hairdresser in the army, born in Birmingham.
Jane Hannah Fitzhenry
wife, married aged 46, born in Tollerton, Yorkshire.
They had been married for 17 years and had 4 children all living.

All the children were living with them:
Thomas Henry Cooper Fitzhenry aged 16 an errand boy at Wright Bros., born in Dublin Ireland
Wilhelmina Jean Fitzhenry aged 14, a scholar, born Farnborough Hampshire
Jack Fitzhenry aged 12, a scholar, born Tollerton Yorkshire
Redvers Baden Fitzhenry aged 10, a scholar born Farnborough Hampshire.

The variety of birthplaces of the children reflect the Army lifestyle, but what I found really interesting is that naming of the youngest son was an example of a collective act of national hero worship in England in 1900.

At this time two Army officers were famed for their exploits in the Boer War.
Sir Redvers Henry Buller
was the commander in charge of the British forces at the Relief of Ladysmith, and Robert Baden Powell was famed for his part in the relief of the Seige of Mafeking and later went on to found the Scouting movement.

A look at the comparative numbers of these forenames in the birth indexes for England and Wales at this time shows the impact that these two men had on the national consciousness.

From the start of records in 1837 and up to the end of 1898, there were just 9 children (I assume they were all boys) named Redvers and 11 with the name Baden (one of these may have been a girl as the other given name was Mabel).

As the fame of the two men started to grow, in 1899 there were 57 baby Redvers and 10 baby Badens, of which 5 were Baden Powells.

In 1900, things really took off with 1183 babies named Redvers and 1169 named Baden (including 396 named Baden Powell). There were also 84 Redvers Baden including our very own Redvers Baden Fitzhenry patriotically named by his soldier dad in the GRO birth indexes Q3 1900.

Redvers Fitzhenry married a Lilian JV Ling in Islington in the fourth quarter of 1925. They had a daughter June born in 1928 in London, and according to the Library and Archives of Canada, emigrated to Canada in 1929. If anyone knows what happened to them after this, please drop us a line.

My thanks to the wonderful FreeBMD search engine without which I would never have found out about the Rash of Redvers.

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