Friday, 29 May 2009

The Artifact Collection of Dale Fitz-Henry - up for sale on Ebay

Deirdre from Arizona has been corresponding with me about her Fitz-Henry forebears (Richard a blacksmith born 1805 and Mary born 1808) who emigrated from Ireland to McClean County Illinois with their 8 children, Richard's brother William (born 1815) and his widowed mother Catherine (born 1779).
Their youngest son, also called Richard (born 1846 and also a blacksmith), married Mary E Wilson and they went on to have 9 children.
Their fourth child was Reuben Fitzhenry (the only Reuben FH in the database!) born in 1877 who married Mabel Hendryx in 1899.
And it's their son Dale Fitzhenry whose artifact collection is now up for sale on Ebay.

Deirdre suggested that publicising the sale might prompt a Fitzhenry to "keep it in the family". Bidding ends on June 7th.
Here's what the vendors say about Dale and his collection:

Up for auction we have a Indian Artifact Arrowhead authentic lot from the Skull House. In the spring of 2006, many Illinois newspapers carried the story of of an old abandoned house in Bloomington Illinois where the skulls of 33 Pre-Historic Native American skulls were found in the attic. The house had sat empty for years as the heir had died many years prior. The house and property was sold at blind tax sale for a fraction of value without much interest. The long deceased owner, a dentist by the name of Dale Fitz-Henry apparently had excavated the skulls at a site near Fulton county in the early 1930's. The Fitz-Henrys did a lot of hunting and collecting whereever they travelled. The arrowheads were found by the Fitz-Henrys on trips to Tennessee, Ohio, Louisiana, Montana, and along Panther Creek near their home in Bloomington Illinois. The longest piece is about 2 1/2". Some of the arrowheads are marked as to where they were found.

Here's the link to the Ebay listing.

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Thursday, 28 May 2009

"History of the Rebellion in Ireland" by James Gordon

This history of the Irish Rebellion of 1798 was written by the Rev. James Gordon, the Rector of Killegny in Wexford in 1801.
A full text version can be found on Google books.
The family of Jeremiah Fitzhenry is mentioned as being the saviours of the family of Rev. Samuel Francis
A labouring peasant, who took the title of captain Gormaghan, went one Sunday morning into the house of the Rev. Samuel Francis, rector of Killegny, and after threatening to cut off the arm of a son of Mr. Francis, because he could not dextrously sign his forehead with a cross in the Romanist manner, drove out the whole family before him to the Romist chapel declaring that no religion, except that alone which God permitted, must any longer be professed. The Fitzhenry family, who formed part of the congregation, were at this scene evidently affected with deep concern, which they endeavoured to conceal from the unfeeling crowd. They advised in whispers the distressed family to endeavour to hide their grief from the fanatic mob ; and administered such comfort as the fear of offending the ignorant bigots permitted.
Jeremiah Fitzhenry, married to John Colclough's sister, was of the ancient family of the Fitzhenrys in the county of Wexford : John Colclough, of a family high respectable, who had often represented the county, was well educated, and in good circumstances, disgraced himself by yielding to the influence of fanaticism.
Also in this book are the Atkin family (forebears of our correspondent Wendy Rutter) and in particular Hercules Atkin, whose unusual name stood out in amongst the list of the names (and their home parish) of Protestant prisoners in Wexford that were condemned to death by the Catholic rebels:
6. Atkin, Samuel, Wexford
7. Atkin, John, Wexford
8. Atkin, George, Wexford
9. Atkin, Samuel, Castle Ellis
10. Atkin, Samuel, Castle Ellis
11 Atkin, Hercules, Castle Ellis
12. Atkin, Christopher, Castle Ellis
13. Atkin, James, Edermine
14. Atkin, William, Edermine
15. Atkin, Robert, Wexford
16. Atkin, William, Ardcolme
17. Atkin, William, Edermine
18. Atkin, William, Castle Ellis
19. Atkin, Francis, Wexford

James Gordon's book referenced "Memoirs of the Different Rebellions in Ireland by Sir Richard Musgrave (pub. 1802). On page 447, a John Fitzhenry is listed amongst those executed in Wexford for murder and rebellion after the retaking of the town by the Royal Army.

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Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Grounds of Remembrance

Memorial Day was a special day for the City of Dublin, Ohio, and for the descendants of Enoch FitzHenry. May 25, 2009, marked the dedication of the Grounds of Remembrance in Dublin Veterans Park. The site is a lasting tribute to veterans and their sacrifice for freedom.

Enoch FitzHenry was honored for his service in the Revolutionary War with a dedication stone along the recognition walk.

The inscription is as follows:

Enoch FitzHenry
Circa 1776
For Our Way of Life

Please click here to download the dedication program.

If you would like to share pictures of the event, we would love to hear from you!

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Thursday, 21 May 2009

Will of Henry Fitzhenry of the Honorable East India Company

From the Consistory Court of London November 1846. As per the style of the period, no punctuation and random capital letters. The spelling is as was written.

On the thirteenth day of November One thousand eight hundred and forty-six
Administration of all and singular the goods chattells and credits of Henry FitzHenry formerly a private in the Artillary of the Hon. East India Company but late Master of Arms on board the Rainha de Portugal in the Portuguese Navy at Sea a batchelor deceased was granted to William FitzHenry the natural and lawful brother of the said deceased having been first sworn duly to administer.
I've no idea who this man was. If anyone knows have to get archive information about the Portuguese Navy, please let me know.

The full reference for this Will is: November 1846, folio Monthly entry 9,
Vol. ref. DL/C/406
London Metropolitan Archives mocrofilm ref: X019/039

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Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Time to update your email permissions!

I'm changing the email address for the Blog subscription emails.
So instead of the updates coming to your inbox from "", they will now be coming from
without the quotation marks.
If you have subscription, this will be the last posting forwarded via the old email address. If you have a very tight spam filter, please authorise the new address now!

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Sunday, 17 May 2009

Welcome to our new readers!

The nerdy stats counter tells me that we now have 24 regular readers - welcome to those who have joined recently.
And if you are one of our new readers and you haven't made contact with either me, Ann or Lesley yet, why not drop us a collective email (link below) and let us know about your Fitz(-)henry family members?
If you want you can even write us a posting and we'll put it on the blog.
You never know where it may lead....

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Friday, 15 May 2009

The tragic marriage of Kate Fitzhenry and James Silpath

Found in The Trenton Times (New Jersey, USA) 18 August 1887
The attempted suicide on Tuesday night of James Silpath, a brother of A. H. Silpath of Burlington, has created a sensation in that city where he is well known. The reason for the rash act is said to be a secret marriage which Silpath contracted with Kate Fitzhenry in March last. His family bitterly opposed...
(this line illegible)...
His wife urged Silpath to leave her, but he refused saying that he would kill not only himself but her before he did so. On Tuesday Silpath began drinking and, after abusing his wife, went to the river and jumped overboard. Being rescued and arrested he severed his windpipe with a razor while in his cell. He is not expected to recover.
And from 27 August 1887
Coroner Naylor has decided that an inquest in the case of James S. Silpath who died in such tragic circumstances is necessary and will be held on Monday night.

I haven't found anything else in the Trenton Times yet, but I have found a bit more about them on (the LDS site).

James S Silpath was born in 1852 to George and Catherine Silpath in Burlington New Jersey.
He married Kate C Fitzhenry on 9 April 1887 in Burlington New Jersey. I have no more details about Kate.
James was buried on 21 August 1887.

So if you are a Silpath and claim Mayor A H Silpath of Burlington amongst your forebears, will you also let us know what was the true story behind James and Kate?

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Monday, 4 May 2009

The Fitz(-)henry family in Colonial India

Why not pop across to Gary Wemyss' excellent family history website to chart his family's past in India.
His grandmother was the very striking Doreen Clariss Batho Cole Fitzhenry who was born in Aug 1907 in Sahebgunge, India and who married Alfred James Wemyss in 1925 in Karachi.

Her father was variously named the Hon. Sir Wilfred Batho-Cole FITZHENRY (as his name appeared on James and Doreen's Wedding certificate) or Wilfred Blissington Fitzhenry (as his appeared on the birth certificates of his children).

So this is tonight's Man of Mystery.

From Gary's information, Wilfred Fitzhenry was probably Irish and born about 1874.
He was married twice - first to Mary Jane (unknown surname) who was Doreen's mother, and second to Beatrice Maud Kenny, a divorcee, in 1909.

He gave his occupation in 1902 and 1904 as working in for the Indian railways. In 1909 he was a horse broker and trainer.

If anyone has any more information about this Fitzhenry family group, please let us know, or drop Gary a line directly through his website.

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Friday, 1 May 2009

Myles Fitz-Henry, ironmonger of South London and the Chilean connection

When Rodrigo Palacios Fitz-Henry from Valparaiso sent me some of his family photos, he included a photo of Myles Fitz-Henry. He didn't know who this man was or how he linked into his family. I put it on the FitzhenryDNA website, but no-one claimed kinship to the mysterious Myles.

Then a few weeks ago I found the recently indexed burial records of Victoria Cemetery Hackney London on the internet. 
I found 
Fitz-Henry Myles Died at 46 Baker Street Brighton Sussex Buried 17 august 1864 Aged 17 month 
 Fitzhenry John Joseph Newington Burial 18 January 1863 Aged 3 days No service 

This burial obviously wasn't the Myles that I was looking for, but these turned out to be the twin sons born to Myles Fitz-Henry of Clapham, Surrey which is actually South London. I found him in the census wrongly transcribed under the surname Henry. 
Here is the family group from the English 1861 census
Address:6, St Georges Road, Newington, London, Surrey
FITZ-HENRY, Myles Head Married M 37 1824 Ironmonger Westmeath Ireland
FITZ-HENRY, Frances Wife Married F 25 1836 Ironmonger's Wife Westmeath Ireland
FITZ-HENRY, Henry M Son Unmarried M 1 1860 Ironmonger's Son Newington Surrey 

The same family group can be found at 4 Brunswick Terrace, St Mary Newington, London, Surrey in the 1871 census. 

So we have a Fitz-Henry family that came from Ireland and settled in London and also had another son besides the twins who died in infancy.
The son's full name is
Henry Michael Fitz-Henry. 

I found the marriage of Myles and Frances at St Georges Catholic Church, Southwark in the County of Surrey:
Myles Fitzhenry 35 years bachelor ironmonger 43 Deverell Street Newington son of Michael Fitzhenry (deceased) Farmer
Frances Colbourne 28 years spinster 34 Barnsbury Street Islington Daughter of Nathaniel Colbourn (deceased) Traveller to a Distiller.
Kate Fitzhenry Henry S Simpson
Frederick Charles Fitch Registrar.
So far, all very interesting, but what's the positive link? I asked Rodrigo to send me a scan of the back of the photo. This was the real eureka moment. The photo was taken at the studio of Mr Henry Death of 119 Camberwell Road, London, within a mile of both the census addresses.
Myles died on the Twenty fourth October 1877 at 410 Clapham Road He was 55 years old and died of:
"Epilepsia 2 years. Gradual exhaustion of the vital powers."
Informant - Henry Fitz-Henry son present at the death, 410 Clapham Road 

 ... and this is where I lose sight of Henry Michael Fitz-Henry. I have the widowed Frances still at 410 Clapham Road in the 1881 census but with only a visitor and a house-servant.

So more questions.... What happened to Henry Michael and Frances, and how do these people link into Rodrigo's family? And who is the Kate Fitz-Henry who was a witness at Myles and Frances' wedding?

Update 12 February 2022: thanks to Leonie for sending us further information about Henry Michael and Frances, which ties up the loose ends - see the comments section below.

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