Saturday, 25 December 2010

Edward Fitzhenry - Monamolin to South Africa ... and backagain.

To continue from the last post:
Edward Fitzhenry was one of six siblings from Monamolin, Templeudigan. His eldest brother James was a Roman Catholic priest who went to do missionary work in South Africa and as far as I can see, never came back to Ireland and died in Grahamstown in 1919.
Patrick, Margaret, Michael and Walter stayed on the family farm at Monamolin.

Edward also emigrated to South Africa and was there by 1881 when his kinsman John O'Gorman wrote to him about the political situation in Ireland.

He was still there in 1893 and unmarried, when his cousin-in-law Edward Prendergast wrote to him.

We know a little more of him from the biography of his son Walter (1904-1961) - his wife was Mary J Coughlan, a South African born woman, and they came back to Monamolin at some time after 1911 as they do not appear on the 1911 census. Edward and Mary did not feature on the St Mullins gravestones.

So fortunately I came across Edward and Mary in the passenger list of the SS Garth Castle when they were making that trip back from Cape Town, South Africa in April 1912. This gave more details about the rest of the family:
Mr E Fitzhenry (farmer) aged 41
Mrs M
Fitzhenry (wife) aged 37
Master James
Fitzhenry aged 15
Master Edward
Fitzhenry aged 12
Miss Margaret
Fitzhenry aged 10
Master Walter
Fitzhenry aged 8
Master Patrick
Fitzhenry aged 5
Miss Francis
Fitzhenry aged 1

The family
travelled 3rd class and embarked at Southampton

While undoubtably this is the correct Edward and Mary, the age given for this Edward is too young - he would have been born in 1871, and he was already an established farm worker in South Africa in 1881. The rest of his siblings were born between 1846 and 1857.

The Irish GRO indexes give an Edward Fitzhenry who died in the last quarter of 1923 in Weford, born 1858. I think this is our man, with the age on the ship's manifest a mistake.

So what made this family return home to Ireland when so many Irish mationals were going the other way? Did they come back to inherit the family farm? How did the South African born Mary Coughlan and the older Fitzhenry children cope with this new land when they had been used to year round sunshine?
If there are any descendants of this family who would like to tell their story, please get in touch.

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Friday, 24 December 2010

The Prendergast - Fitzhenry letters (3)

The third of these letters is probably the most interesting as far as establishing family relationships goes. This is the letter from Kate Prendergast's husband Edward to her cousin Edward Fitzhenry in South Africa. Again this is a long letter, written in December 1893.

Edward Prendergast (E.P.)started his letter with fulsome apologies for not having replied to Edward Fitzhenry's
(E.F.H.) letter sent in July until now - however he does blame Kate for losing it in the meantime!

EFH was not married at this time, and EP is urging him to do so and stay in farming in South Africa, rather than selling up and coming home to Ireland to farm there. Livestock prices in Ireland were very low and the summer had been bad for crops.

EFH's father (Michael Fitzhenry 1811-1904) had
"come into a good windfall by E Ryan's death, some £300. The other claimants were a shade outside of next of kin or it would not be worth much but they got nothing, your father all."
There was a collection of Ryans on one of the Fitzhenry gravestones at St Mullins. The E Ryan mentioned was probably "Edward Ryan died 1891 aged 92 years". As yet I don't know what relation Michael Fitzhenry and Edward Ryan were to each other.

Kate's brother Patrick O'Gorman, was working as a surgeon in England "at the largest gasworks in the world."
EP continues:
Your people are going on first class. I tell Wat it is with mud he makes Monomolin road and that if the springs of my car get smashed as I go that way to Ballybawn I would pull him up for it.
Old Ned Ryan used to say “Pat and Martin are decent honest fellows but mind yourself of Wat. Wat is an arrant rogue”
This refers to the three Fitzhenry brothers still remaining on the home farm at Monamolin - Patrick, Martin and Walter. All three are commemorated on the newer gravestone at St Mullins along with their sister Margaret. All four of them were still unmarried in the 1911 census when they were still all living and farming together. As a prophecy, Edward Prendergast writes:
I wonder some of your brothers about get married or at least get your sister married. I suppose as Mick McQuaid says “they are not a marrying family”.
Eventually it would only be the recipient of this letter, Edward Fitzhenry, who would be married out of the six siblings.

In the next post, I'll continue with what happened to Edward Fitzhenry in South Africa.

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Thursday, 23 December 2010

The Prendergast - Fitzhenry letters (2)

Sorry for the delays between posts - but I'm aiming to have items for tonight, tomorrow and Christmas day. Then we'll back between Christmas and the New Year with "The Road Trip goes to Galway" series.

The next letter in the Prendergast collection was written by Father James Fitzhenry, a Roman Catholic priest originally from Monamolin who in March 1893 was residing in Grahamstown, Cape Colony, in the service of the Bishop of Cape Town. The letter was written to his cousin Mrs Kate Prendergast of "Graigue"; they were cousins through their O'Gorman connection. . It's a rather long letter (12 pages) and most of it is a description of the missionary work that James is doing.

James had been out in South Africa for several years working as a Catholic missionary. Although his brother Edward was also out in South Africa, they hadn't seen each other for five years. Edward worked on the farms in the interior of the country - it was 50 miles on horseback to the nearest of the new railway stations.

James bemoans the fact that South Africa is a very Protestant country - the few Catholics that there are are scattered so widely it is difficult to minister to them. The new colony isn't a desirable place for new priests. If he came home to see his family, then "a whole town would have to go without Mass for six months". His only excuse to get a pass home would be illness and he is in fine health apart from the trouble the sun is giving him with his eyes - "I have to wear those dark glasses in the open air".

James continues:
Striving to reach upon scattered families, to secure a religious training to so many families where one of the parents is not a Catholic, to lose no one.
In a colony, the loss to the Church of one person means in a generation, the loss of very many others: A young man, a labourer, not worth a penny may in a colony get on well, marry, give a good education to his sons.
You meet with these again, you can hardly believe they are the children of - Patrick Shaunassey – say, whom you knew years ago, rich & risen & educated, respected & influential, but if Patrick lost the Faith or did not attend to the School where his children got their training the whole of the Shaunassys become Protestants, married Protestants, and receive you – the priest – kindly – indeed but quite indifferent – Protestant in name no religion in reality.
Such is some of our sad experiences.
He is proud though of the opportunities for Catholic education in the Cape colony - schools for boys and girls and a Jesuit University College. He talks about a Father Kerr who was from Scottish descent, who used to be a captain of a Man-of-War but now runs the Jesuit mission to Mashonaland. Fathers O'Brien and Fanning are also from Wexford.
One feels he lives in the making of a new Country – in the day of small beginnings & Great Surprises : when every soul is a starting every foothold – the foundation of a Church – every day – full of work & promise. I have been the first in several small missions. Mass in a private house or a Magistrate’s Court, a few Catholics & now there is a Chapel Priest and land. Schools & the children saved.
I was for a year in a tent with our troops in the Basuto Kaffir Rebellion, saw some fighting, all is peace ever since & our missions there are flourishing.
I am with the Bishop now. I preach, write a good deal, we have a South African Catholic Magazine. I take part in most things of a Public character that goes on. The priest in this protestant land is much respected. Friendship everywhere : nothing of the bigotry of Ireland here.
Father James ends his letter by asking for news of Kate's brothers - one (Patrick O'Gorman) was newly qualified as a doctor and James says that there are plenty of opportunities for him in Cape Colony.

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Tuesday, 14 December 2010

The Prendergast - Fitzhenry letters (1)

The letters that John Joyce shared with me were between the family of Edward and Kate Prendergast in Graiguenamanagh (Graigue) and two of the Fitzhenry men who had gone to seek their fortune in South Africa.

The first of the letters was from "Mr John O'Gorman of Killan, Enniscorthy" to "Mr E M Fitzhenry" in South Africa in April 1881.

Edward Fitzhenry was the grandson of James Fitzhenry and Margaret Gorman and the brother of Father James Fitzhenry, who erected the memorial at St Mullins graveyard to his grandparents and the members of his father's generation.
Erected by the Rev. James Fitzhenry (Missionary South Africa) in memory of
James Fitzhenry died in 1847 aged 73 yrs.
Margaret Fitzhenry Nee Gorman died in 1840 aged 65 yrs.
Edward Fitzhenry died 1847 aged 40 yrs.
Patrick Fitzhenry died 1888 aged 84 yrs
Martin Fitzhenry died 1848 aged 46 yrs
Nancy Ryan died 1895 aged 71 yrs
John Ryan died 1879 aged 73 yrs
Judy Ryan died 1852 aged 74 yrs
Edward Ryan died 1891 aged 92 yrs

Edward does not appear on the newest memorial which commemorates the Rev. James Fitzhenry and his other siblings so it is likely he must have died elsewhere.

The text of the letter is about the land reforms in Ireland at the time, and John exhorts Edward not to believe what he reads in the English newspapers
"You would imagine the Irish farmers were robbers and were striving to do the landlord out of his property."
There are hundreds of ejectments (evictions) being served and fighting between the farmers and the police.
"The Whelans are in still and were never tried for the shooting of young Boyd"
I wonder if this the Whelan family of the other St Mullins memorial, in which Ann Fitzhenry married John Whelan.
"We were glad the Boers gave the English fighting enough out there."
John signs off with his regards to Edward and Father James.
What was the family relationship between John O'Gorman and Edward Fitzhenry? As yet I don't know, so if anyone recognises this family, please let me know.

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Monday, 13 December 2010

John Joyce - a meeting with a remarkable man

Back to Graiguenamanagh which I'm now going to refer to by it's local shorthand, Graigue.
Mary in the Abbey Centre (where I found the baptism and marriage records, and the St Mullins memorial texts) suggested that I talk to one of the local historians Owen Doyle who had written several books about the town. Mr Doyle said that he couldn't help me as he had no records of Fitzhenrys living in Graigue and suggested I talk to John Joyce, who is considered the local expert on the area.

One phone call later and I was being invited round to take tea with Mr Joyce the following afternoon. Although he had no records of Fitzhenrys living in Graigue in the past 100 years or so, he showed me some letters he had which were part of his late wife's family history which showed that there was a link to a Fitzhenry family in County Wexford.

John Joyce's wife had been a Prendergast before her marriage. Her grandmother was born Kate O'Gorman. Kate married Edward Prendergast, a well to-do merchant in Graigue.

You may remember that on the second Fitzhenry stone at St Mullins graveyard, the wife of
James Fitzhenry (1773 - 1847) was
Margaret nee Gorman
(1775 - 1840).
This is the link between the Prendergasts and the Fitzhenrys via the O'Gormans (or Gorman in their more Anglicised version) and the letters leave no doubt that this is the family group in question.

Mr Joyce is a mine of information about the locality of Graigue, the family groups who lived there and the political history of the area. He has written several books about the town. It was truly a wonderful experience to have the benefit of his knowledge and I am very grateful to him for his hospitality that afternoon.

The next post will look at the letters between the Prendergast and Fitzhenry families and the people described in them.

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Thursday, 9 December 2010

More about the Fitzhenrys of Selskar Street, Wexford

We've had an email from May Devereux who saw this posting about the birth of Johanna Frances Fitzhenry in Selskar Street, Wexford in October 1902

Re. the Birth of Johanna Frances Fitzhenry and family.
They didn't emigrate.
In the 1911 census Charles is living with his Mother Johanna and his brothers and sister in Shelmalier Commons.
I couldn't find his wife and family in the census either.

Mother and Daughter Mary Ellen (Mrs Hammond) had a sweet shop in Selskar, Wexford later on.
Son Charles lived there also, son Robert went to England.

I hadn't heard of the baby Johanna, but would like to know what happened to her.

Charles had 8 siblings, one being Fr. Robert, Parish Priest in Marshallstown, Enniscorthy Co Wexford.
He died age 43, and is buried in the church there.
Unfortunately, according to the GRO indexes, Johanna Frances Fitzhenry died before the end of 1902.

As May said, Charles was resident with his mother on the night of the 1911 census:
1911 census Ireland

Residents of a house 18 in Shelmalier Commons (Aughwilliam, Wexford)

Fitzhenry Johanna 81 Female Head of Family
Roman Catholic Co Wexford Farmer
Read and write -
Widow - 57 years married 9 children 7 living

Fitzhenry John 54 Male Son
Roman Catholic Co Wexford Farmers Son
Read and write - Single

Fitzhenry Catherine 47 Female Daughter
Roman Catholic Co Wexford Farmer Daughter
Read and write - Single

Fitzhenry Charles 41 Male Son
Roman Catholic Co Wexford Farmer Son
Read and write - Married

... and no, we can't find Mary Ann and the children in the 1911 census either.

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Tuesday, 7 December 2010

St Mullins Graveyard, County Carlow - 2

Since I wrote the previous posting, Matthew Fitzhenry (who is a descendant of the Graiguenamanagh Fitzhenry family group) has found the St Mullins transcriptions online at the Rootweb site at:

These are the same transcriptions in the book I found at the Abbey Centre in Graiguenamanagh. They were transcribed in the late 1980s, so any burials/inscriptions added since then in the graveyard won't appear on this site.

Here are the other 3 Fitzhenry "mentions" in this graveyard.

Near the ruins of the old church were three very old Murphy headstones in a row.
Erected by Patrick Fitzhenry
In memory of his wife Ann
Fitzhenry Als Murphy
June 15th 1803 ag'd 32 years
And 3 of her children
May they rest in peace
Isn't this a fab stone? The light wasn't the best on this day but at least you can read the inscription really easily after 200 years. I don't know who Patrick and Mary were, or if they had any children who survived into adulthood.

This is more modern gravestone
In loving memory of Bridget Kelly, (Nee Furlong) Templeudigan,
who died 17th July 1916, aged 58 years.
Also her son Patrick Kelly
who died 30th Dec. 1957 aged 73 years.
Her daughter Mary Kelly
died 18th Nov. 1965, aged 77 years.
Also her daughter Catherine Gordan (Nee Kelly) Ballyloughan,
died 16th July 1972, aged 78 yrs.
Also her daughter Johanna Fitzhenry, (Nee Kelly)
died 1st June 1974, aged 77 yrs.
In the 1911 census, William (63) and Bridget (53) Kelly were living as farmers in Templeudigan with 4 of their children. They had been married 29 years, Bridget had borne 13 children and 8 were still living. The family all had been born in County Wexford and were Roman Catholic.
The children at home were:
Patrick aged 27
Mary aged 23
Bridget aged 20
Johanna aged 14

I haven't found Johanna's marriage yet, but I expect that she married into the Templeudigan Fitzhenry family.

The sixth gravestone is a much older slab not far from the original 3 Fitzhenry stones mentioned in the previous post. This is in the Whelan plot.
I have made some amendments to the transcript from the book. As usual for stones of this age, the text was full of abbreviations to ensure that all the words fitted in!
Here lieth the body of John Whelan
late of Grange who depd Oct'ber 13th 1798
aged 65 yrs. Also his wife Ann Whelan
Alias Fitzhenery dep'd Janry 12th 1799 aged
45 yrs. Their son Edward Whelan wh°
dep'd Sep'ter 23rd 1799, aged 24 yrs.
Lord have mercy on their souls Amen.
Their son Robert departed this life
March the 14th 1856, aged 80 years and his
son Edward departed this life March the 12th
1837 aged 19 years.
Elizabeth Whelan, wife of Robert Whelan
Died 14th March 1884 aged 92 years.
Their Grandson Robert Whelan
Died 15th Nov 1874 aged 27 years.
Their son James Whelan
Died 6th May 1900 aged 74 years
Their daughter Mary Whelan
Died 3rd Oct 1900 aged 74 years
R - I - P
I hadn't got this family in the database even though I have several Fitzhenry - Whelan marriages. Grange is about 3 mile south west of Kilkenny. There are no Whelans in Grange in Griffith's valuations, so I now have to hunt them down a bit closer to St Mullins. If anyone has found them, please let me know.

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Monday, 6 December 2010

Ireland Road Trip part 3 - Mary Fitzhenry and Martin Farrell

Back to the marriage and baptism records at the Abbey Centre, Graiguenamanagh.

The second Fitzhenry marriage was as follows and I believe this was the eldest daughter of Martin Fitzhenry and Judith Doyle
16 August 1865
Martin Farrell Clohasta
Mary Fitzhenry Clohasta
(Register 3, page 132)

The following three children were baptised at Graiguenamanagh but the family resided on the south bank of the river Barrow in Tinnahinch, spelt in 3 different ways in the register: These are baptism dates rather than birth dates.

1 August 1869
Martin Farrell
Martin and Mary Fitzhenry

16 August 1870
Mary Farrell
Martin and Mary Fitzsimons
(I think Fitzsimons is a mistake by the priest - in all other respects the details fit. There are no more Martin and Mary Farrell couples in Tinnahinch)

23 April 1873
Bridget Farrell
Martin and Mary Fitzhenry

From an old message left on the Ancestry website some years ago, this family emigrated to New South Wales in 1883. If there are any descendants out there who have more information on this family, please get in touch.

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Sunday, 5 December 2010

St Mullins Graveyard, County Carlow - 1

The Abbey Centre at Graiguenamanagh also has some reference books about the locality. There is a series of books recording gravestone inscriptions from the graveyards from the surrounding areas.

The graveyard at St Mullins has six Fitzhenry gravestones. So I went to take a look for myself.
St Mullins is the site of dissolved abbey about 5 miles south of Graigue. St Mullin himself was a local saint who is a patron saint of the area. As you can see on the Wikipedia map, it is on the cusp of three counties: Kilkenny, Carlow and Wexford. It's a lovely area and well worth a visit. One of the most famous people buried in the graveyard is General Thomas Cloney, one of the leaders of the 1798 rebellion.

There were 3 Fitzhenry stones in a row, and 3 others with Fitzhenry "mentions". I'm going to discuss the 3 stones in a row as a group. If you click on the picture, it opens a larger version.

The transcripts are from the book "St Mullins and St Michaels Tombstone Inscriptions" pub St Mullins Muintir na Tir 1988

The oldest stone is on the right as you face them.This was elaborately carved in late 18th century script with religious carvings at the top of the stone.
This stone was erec'd in mem'ry
of Nicholas Fitzhenry dep'd
This Life Sep'ber 12th 1763 ag'd 78 yrs
Also his wife Bridget Byrne dep'd
March 15th 1756 aged 56 yrs
& Edward Fitz'ry dep'd Dec'ber 21
1796 Aged 72 yrs Also the Body
of Nancy Fitzhenery who died
At Lambay in Newfoundland Feb'y
19th 1807 aged 85 yr.
The carving "Lambay in Newfoundland" is quite indistinct and I have relied on the book transcription for this. However, I can only find Lambay as an island off the County Dublin coast. There is no Lambay that I can find in Newfoundland.

Stone 2 on the left is now so covered with lichen that it can't be read. To remove the lichen would damage the stone and what remains of the carving, so I can't confirm the dates, but here is the book transcription.
In memoriam.
Erected by the Rev. James Fitzhenry (Missionary South Africa) in memory of
James Fitzhenry died in 1847 aged 73 yrs.
Margaret Fitzhenry Nee Gorman died in 1840 aged 65 yrs.
Edward Fitzhenry died 1847 aged 40 yrs.
Patrick Fitzhenry died 1888 aged 84 yrs
Martin Fitzhenry died 1848 aged 46 yrs
Nancy Ryan died 1895 aged 71 yrs
John Ryan died 1879 aged 73 yrs
Judy Ryan died 1852 aged 74 yrs
Edward Ryan died 1891 aged 92 yrs
Stone 3 is in the middle and is very easily read. The last name has been added to the stone since the book was compiled in 1988.
In Sad and loving Memory of
Michael Fitzhenry
Died 4-3-1904 aged 93
Rev James Fitzhenry
Died Grahamstown South Africa
30- 4 -1919 aged 73
Margaret Fitzhenry
Died 6 - 5 -23 aged 73
Martin Fitzhenry
Died 19-4-1927 aged 75
Patrick Fitzhenry
Died 1-11-1931 aged 76
Walter Fitzhenry
Died 14-3-1939 aged 82
(late of Monamolin Rathnure)
Michael Fitzhenry N.T.
Died May 17th 1863 aged 28 years
I have featured this family before as I found the Rev. James Fitzhenry in a book about Templeudigan. This now gives us 3 generations of this family and the information that James Fitzhenry himself died out in South Aftrica. As yet I do not know how the Ryans are related, but the Gormans crop up again very soon.

The Michael Fitzhenry added to the stone is the murdered schoolteacher from the Rathgarogue school - I do not know at present how he links in with this family.

And did you notice the Martin Fitzhenry died 1848 aged 46 on the second stone. Could this be our elusive husband of Judith Doyle?

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Ireland Road Trip part 2 - Judith Doyle

The children of Martin Fitzhenry and Judith Doyle were born in Clohasta (Mary, 1838) and Stackley (all the rest 1840-1847).

When I asked Mary in the Abbey Centre where Stackley was, she was very sure of the directions she gave me to the townland, a couple of miles north of Graiguenamanagh, out past Mooneen on one of the minor roads.
When I looked for Stackley on the map, it didn't seem to exist, and neither did it appear when I googled it.

However Mooneen was previously known as Moneen (that led me a merry dance trying to find that in modern Ireland), so I started some creative phonetic searching and found the townland of Stakally. I had noticed the tendency to spell the townlands phonectically in the registers, but as Stackley was spelt consistently the same throughout, I thought this at least was the proper spelling!

In Griffith's Valuations (the register of who owned property and who was renting it in Ireland), in 1850 a Judith Doyle was renting land in Stakally (no buildings attached) from James Brophy, who was sub-letting the land from Sir Josiah C. Coghill, Baronet. Sir Josiah owned all the land in Stakally.

Stakally is the next townland north of Moneen (Mooneen in modern spelling), where a Judith Fitzhenry was ren
ting a house and garden from her joint landlords Anthony Wellman, John Flood, Mrs Rebecca Creane and Mrs Elizabeth Walsh. Again, these four people owned all the land in Moneen.

Were these two women one and the same person? It was common for married women to continue to use their maiden names. What wasn't usual however was for married women to rent property in their own right. It would have expected that if Martin was still part of this family, then the property would have been in his name. Sometime between 1847 and 1850 I expect Martin left the family either through migration, desertion or his death. This was the time of the Irish famine, so the death of a young man would not have been uncommon. This may have also been when Judith's child died.

Nowadays, the old buildings of Moneen and Stakally have gone, but there are what I believe are the remains of an old church at Stakally... in a cow field. Here's the best picture I could get of it. It could of course be just an old cow shed.

Here is a picture of the grand gates leading to the farm at Stakally - they look like they were built after 1850, but these were the landmarks given to me so that I knew that I was in the Stakally townland area. If there's one thing that I found on this trip, it is that townlands aren't signposted in the conventional way... it was more a concept of where you were rather than a marked area.

Here is the excellent Griffith's Valuation website so you can have a look at the entries and see how close the two townlands were, on maps used at the time for the Valuations.
Admiral Sir Josiah C. Coghill, 3rd Baronet Coghill of Coghill, County York, resided in Belvedere, County Dublin.
He owned extensive lands in County Kilkenny.
He died 20 June 1850.
Ref: The and Griffith's valuations

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Saturday, 4 December 2010

Ireland Road Trip part 1 - Graiguenamanagh, County Kilkenny.

Every so often I take off on a road trip which allows me to do some more focused and in-depth local research, find stuff that just isn't out there on the internet, and meet some remarkable people.

The first place I visited was Graiguenamanagh in County Kilkenny, near the borders with both County Wexford and County Carlow. Kilkenny isn't a county which has native Fitzhenrys apart from one family which we have featured before. We have had previous contributions from Matthew Fitzhenry and Alan Hagenson who are both members of this family group.

What we knew already from descendants of this family:
Martin Fitzhenry (family unknown) married Judith or Julia Doyle of Clohasta, County Kilkenny (marriage date unknown).
Julia Doyle stated at her second marriage in 1857 that she had 5 children living and one dead, but up until now, only 4 of the 6 had been identified.
These were
Mary (1838, Graiguenamanagh, County Kilkenny)
Martin John (1845 Graiguenamanagh, County Kilkenny)
Bridget (1846
Graiguenamanagh, County Kilkenny)
Michael Herbert (1854, Australia)

In the 1850 Griffith's Valuations of Ireland, a Judith Fitzhenry was renting land in her own name in Moneen, a townland of Graiguenamanagh.
In 1854 she emigrated to Australia, apparently on her own, leaving her children in Ireland and gave birth to another son Michael Herbert "while she was still in the immigrant's depot".
She married a Patrick Bourk in 1857.
Her daughter Bridget came to Australia in 1863 and died in Sydney in 1865 aged 19.
Her son Martin John came to Australia in 1871 after spending some time in India in the British Army.

Graiguenamanagh is a small town on the north-west curve of the River Barrow. In days past, the town was centred on Duiske Abbey, which was dissolved in 1536, the ruins taken over by the Protestants and returned to the Catholic community in the 1800s. The main church was rebuilt and completed in the 1980s.
The present day town surrounds the rebuilt church and old buildings from the abbey can still be found dotted around the town.
On the inner bend of the river on the South-East bank is the town of Tinnahinch, which is in County Carlow, although parochially it still comes under Graiguenamanagh.

The Abbey Centre is one of the old Abbey buildings on the northern perimeter of the Abbey church grounds, which now sits next to a modern local library and health centre. The Abbey Centre sells religious books and artworks as well as books focusing on local history and personalities. And... they hold transcripts of the Baptism and Marriage records for the Parish of Graiguenamanagh, transcribed by the Graiguenamanagh Local History Society back in 1984. Bless you, Local History Society for this, and thank you to Mary who was manning the Centre that Tuesday when I went there.

The Graiguenamanagh marriage records covered the period 1818-1910 and also gave the townland (the outlying farming area) where the bride and groom came from. There were two marriages of interest.

27 February 1838
Martin Fitzharris - Clohasta
Judy Doyle - Clohasta
(Register 1, page 62)

16 August 1865
Martin Farrell - Clohasta
Mary Fitzhenry - Clohasta
(Register 3, page 132)

Although Martin had styled himself Fitzharris rather than Fitzhenry, there is no doubt that this is our Martin-Judy couple. We have seen previously that the variant Fitzharris was used interchangeably in the Irish Fitzhenry families. Clohasta is a townland just to the west of Graiguenamanagh.  

Amendment 15 August 2012: Clohasta (Spelt Cloghasty in Griffith's Valuations in the 1850s and spelt Clohastia today) is upriver of Graiguenamanagh, a few miles north-East, on the West bank of the graceful curve of the River Barrow.

Who is Mary? I believe that this is the eldest child of Martin and Judy, who was 15 years old when she was left in Ireland while her mother went to Australia.

The Baptism registers covered July 1818 to December 1910 and again gave the townland. Remember that these are baptism dates, not birth dates.

8 December 1838
Mary daughter of Martin Fitzhenry and Judith or Judy Doyle
of Clohasta

22 October 1840
Bridget daughter of Martin Fitzhenry and Judy Doyle
of Stackley
This means that when Bridget died in Sydney in 1865, she was 25 years of age rather than 19.

13 November 1842
Martin son of Martin Fitzhenry and Judy Doyle
of Stackley

4 February 1845
James son of Martin Fitzhenry and Judy Doyle
of Stackley

16 May 1847
Ann daughter of Martin Fitzhenary [sic] and Judith Doyle
of Stackley

This now accounts for all six of Judith Doyle's children,along with Michael Herbert born in 1854. We know that Mary (married in 1865), Bridget (died in 1865), Martin (emigrated to Australia in 1871) and Michael (1854-1910) were all still alive in 1857. Either Ann or James died before 1857.

Tomorrow - Judith Doyle in the Griffith's Valuations, and Mary and Martin Farrell's family

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Thursday, 2 December 2010

DNA testing - End of year offer from FamilyTreeDNA

Long term subscribers to the Blog will know that here at the Fitz(-)henry Surname project, we are using modern DNA analysis techniques to find links between the Fitzhenry / Fitz-Henry families, as well as using the traditional documentary and oral history resources.

We use the FamilyTreeDNA laboratories to host our project, and every so often they have a "special offer" price. Here is the text of the message which I was sent yesterday as the Surname Study Co-ordinator.

Seasons Greetings!

It's time once again for Family Tree DNA's annual end-of-year promotion.

Starting tonight, and until December 31st, we will reduce the price of our YDNA37, YDNA67, mtDNAPlus, and Family Finder tests.
Price for NEW KITS: Regular Price Promotional Price
YDNA37 $149 $119
YDNA67 $239 $199
mtDNAPlus $159 $129
Family Finder $289 $249
Price for UPGRADE:
Family Finder $289 $229

Orders must be in and paid for by Dec. 31, 2010, to receive this offer.

IMPORTANT: since this promotion will run through the month of December, we encourage you to spread the word starting now, as the natural tendency is for people to order at the last minute, and we will not extend it beyond 12/31/2010.
I've highlighted the prices for the 37 and 67 marker Y-chromosome DNA tests, as these are the ones that are of most use for surname study purposes.
We are looking for more Fitzhenry men to take the test (only men have the Y-chromosome) and to help break down some of our brick walls. Remember the fantastic result we had last year when we linked the numerous descendants of Enoch Fitzhenry in the USA with one of the big Australian families which showed that Enoch originally came from County Wexford?

If you want any more information, please have a look at the Fitz(-)henry study page at the FamilyTreeDNA website. Or drop us an email here at the Blog using the link below.

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What I've been up to recently...

Dear All
You may wonder why there has been a derth of posts in November. Work has been hectic (as usual) and then I took a short break in Ireland.
The first stop was in Graiguenamanagh, County Kilkenny. I was following up the only Fitzhenry family in County Kilkenny who emigrated to Australia back in 1854, and found some very interesting new leads and met some really lovely people.
The second stop was in Cornamona / Clonbur / Cong in County Galway, meeting the real life Fitzhenrys who are still living in the area. And I met some more really lovely people!
This Irish Road Trip will be immortalised in the next Road Trip series which I hope to start posting over this coming weekend.

Declan Fitzhenry has found us and the post we wrote about his match-winning bowling in the Ribblesdale Twenty-20 cup final this summer. He is now spending the winter in New Zealand, playing cricket for the Hawkes Bay club. We hope that he will continue to send us updates on how he's getting on. (See, I mentioned cricket and conspicuously didn't mention the first Ashes Test...)

And FamilyTreeDNA are doing their end of year offer for DNA testing for family history and surname studies. More about this in the next post.

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Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Private Peter Fitzhenry (continued) and Rifleman Patrick Fitzhenry

I've been very fortunate to be able to speak tonight with the son of Peter Fitzhenry, who we featured in the last post.

Apart from confirming that we indeed had the right man, I also learned that Peter was granted his Silver War Badge after losing his arm at the Battle of Arras on the Western Front in France.

Peter was one of four brothers. His eldest brother James came to St Helen's, Lancashire, England in 1890, with Patrick and his wife and the young Peter joining them some years later. All three of these men were coal miners. The second son, John, emigrated to Canada.

When the First World War broke out, Patrick Fitzhenry enlisted for the Royal Irish Fusiliers. He was killed at Gallipoli on 6 August 1915 and is remembered on the Helles Memorial. He left a wife Catherine and 5 children.

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Sunday, 7 November 2010

Lest we forget - Private Peter Fitzhenry of the RAMC

On this Remembrance Sunday, I'm going to revisit the story of one Private Peter Fitzhenry of the Royal Army Medical Corps, a soldier that I wrote about here. I now have some more information to continue his story.

To recap... Peter Fitzhenry wasn't killed in the Great War, but he did receive wounds so severe that he was granted a Silver War Badge and discharged from further service in the Army. As his records had been destroyed by fire during the London Blitz in World War 2, at the time I could not positively identify him out of the several Peters who may have been serving in the British Army at the time.

The Silver War Badge registers at the National Archives at Kew are not yet digitised or on file, but the original register is open to view.
The register showed that SWB number 454414 was granted to Private Peter Fitzhenry of the RAMC. He enlisted on 3 November 1915 and was discharged in 9 December 1919 due to "Wounds" (the alternative reason being "sickness"). He was 35 years and 7 months at discharge, which makes his birthday around May 1884. He served overseas, but the register does not say where.
What is odd is that all the men from the RAMC who were being awarded the SWB on this page of the register in November or December 1919, over one year after the War had ended.

So where does this place Peter Fitzhenry in the wider Fitzhenry family?

The only man in my database that fits his profile is a Peter Fitzhenry who was born in County Wexford and who emigrated with the rest of his brothers to work in the coal mines in the industrial North-West of England. If my guess is correct, then Peter lost at least one and maybe two brothers in the War.

I only started writing this posting this afternoon, made the link and now I will have to consult with one of my correspondents to see if she does indeed recognise him as an ancestor. If so, I'll be able to tell you more about him soon.

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Friday, 5 November 2010

In memoriam - Anne Elizabeth Fitzhenry (nee Carty)

We at the Blog wish to send our condolences to the family of Anne Elizabeth Fitzhenry (nee Carty), who died on 27th October 2010 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Anne's obituary from the Glasgow Evening Times is posted online here.

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Thursday, 14 October 2010

Fitz-Henry entries in the Kilbride parish registers (County Wicklow)

Bev Kronk has sent us these register entries from the LDS microfiche of the registers of the burial grounds of Old Kilbride and New Kilbride. We have featured these cemeteries before in the series about the Cantwell memorial transcriptions.
The fiche comes with the bonus of also including the baptism register.
Bev's text is in normal font, and my notes are in italics. I've put hyphens in their names as this was how they spelled it.

Name – Where born – Date of Burial – Register Number - Age

Ann Maria Arklow 5 Apr 1844 157 4 ½ years
This girl would have been born in 1839. She isn't mentioned in the Cantwell transcriptions, but her year of birth may make her the daughter of Robert Edward and Elizabeth Fitz-Henry and hence the elder sister of Susanna Fitz-Henry who married George Wilson, and Wilhelmina Fitz-Henry who is mentioned below.

Elizabeth Dublin 15 Aug 1848 290 61 years
The mother of Robert Fitz-Henry 1819-1857 mentioned below.

Elizabeth Arklow 26 Jun 1862 559 51 years
Wife of Robert Edward Fitz-Henry and mother of Susanna and Wilhelmina (and maybe Ann Maria) Fitz-Henry.

Henry Joseph Arklow 24 Oct 1841 107 2 weeks - Infant
Again, not mentioned in the previous Cantwell transcriptions, but the right age to be another child of Robert Edward and Elizabeth Fitz-Henry.

Johanna Arklow 3 Apr 1844 156 38 years
Born in 1806. She may be another child of William and Sibella (see this post) but the adult children seem well accounted for in the gravestone memorials. She may be a sister of Robert (1819-1857) or a wife of someone that we haven't met yet.

Mary Jane Arklow 16 Dec 1849 313 2 ½ years – Infant
The first child of the marriage of William Fitz-Henry and Mary Jenkinson.

First Name not stated Arklow 19 Jan 1890 186 Not stated
The only candidate for this entry is Mary Fitz-Henry nee Jenkinson, the second wife of William Fitz-Henry.

Robert Dublin 2 Oct 1857 460 38 years
Robert's death date and age in the Cantwell transcriptions didn't match up with the dates for his mother. His age in Cantwell was transcribed as 58, rather than the 38 given here. This makes far more sense, as now his mother Elizabeth's dates are 1787-1848 and Roberts are 1819-1857.

Robert Arklow 2 Feb 1848 264 32 years
Born 1816. I've no idea how he fits in!

Robert Edward Arklow 8 Apr 1854 398 4 years
The third child of William Fitz-Henry and Mary Jenkinson.

Wihemina Arklow 20 Sep 1860 524 17 years
[the Christian name is how it was recorded – no letter l]
The sister of Susanna Fitz-Henry - here's her memorial.

William Arklow 24 Oct 1859 498 71 years
The patriarch of the family. He was married firstly to Sibella, and then Mary Jenkinson.

William Arklow 9 Jan 1843 133 23 years
The third child of William and Sibella Fitz-Henry

All are children of Charles J and Charlotte Elizabeth FITZHENRY. Charles and Elizabeth and two of their infant children were buried at St Bridgid's churchyard and we have featured this family in a previous post.

Name – Date of Baptism – Reference Number

John Joseph – 5 Sep 1886 – 87 A
Josephine Emily – 15 Feb 1888 – 101 A
Kathleen Jane – 8 Oct 1887 – 93 A

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Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Enoch Fitzhenry's stone in the Veteran's Park, Dublin, Ohio

In May 2009, we featured the unveiling ceremony of the memorial stones to Enoch Fitzhenry and many other American revolutionaries, in this blog posting.

These are in the Veteran's Park in Dublin, Ohio.

Sharon Ambrose (herself a descendant of Enoch) was kind enough to send us this photo of the actual memorial stone to Enoch Fitzhenry. Thanks Sharon!

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Saturday, 2 October 2010

Professor Terrance Fitz-Henry 1939-2010

The Blog wishes to mark the passing of Terrance R. Fitz-Henry, retired professor of English and theatre at Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY., who has died at the age of 71.
Terry was hiking at Franconia Notch, New Hampshire when he died, where he was scattering the ashes of a close friend.

We would like to send our condolences to his family and friends.

Here is his on-line obituary

From the family members mentioned in the obituary, it appears he was the grandson of John Joseph Fitz-Henry of the Fitz-Henry family orignally of Arklow, County Wicklow.

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Thursday, 23 September 2010

At last - the grave of Captain William Fitz-Henry of Ashtead, Surrey

Please excuse what had become a bit of a personal obsession, but I've finally found the burial place of Captain William Fitz-Henry of Winchester and Ashtead, Surrey.

Actually, that isn't strictly true. Ann Williams, who runs the Ashtridge one-name study, found it. Her Ashtridge ancestors bought land in Ashtead adjacent to Oakfield Lodge from William Fitz-Henry.

She was over on vacation from Calgary doing some family research and popped into the Hampshire record office in Winchester. On the fiche for West Hill Cemetery, Winchester she found:
William FitzHenry of Astead (sic), Surrey
December 1 1885 aged 55
Entry no. 10,017
So William was buried in the same cemetery as his first wife Barbara Morrison and their infant children. William did not specify his final resting place in his will. I have yet to find the burial place of Martha Eagles his second wife, but now I'll look to see if she was buried there too.

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Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Marriage of George Hamilton and Ellen Fitzhenry, Waterford 1868

Bev Kronk also sent this marriage certificate:
1868 marriage solemnised at the Roman Catholic chapel of St Patrick in the Registrar's district of Waterford in the Union of Waterford in the County of Waterford

January 11th 1868
George Hamilton aged 22 bachelor
Father John Hamilton - Professor of music

Ellen Fitzhenry aged 21 spinster
Father Thomas Fitzhenry Tradesman

Both parties resident at 22 Stephen Street
Both parties signed
Ellen signed herself Ellen Hamilton

Witnesses Robert Wedges, Mr. Seville
If you think that you've seen this couple before - you have - as witnesses at the marriage of William Henry Taylor and Mary Fitzhenry in 1867 also in Waterford.
However at least one of the sisters had a change of familial religious inclinations. Mary was married in the Church of Ireland cathedral, and as you can see, Ellen was married in St Patrick's Catholic chapel.

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Monday, 20 September 2010

Birth of Johanna Frances Fitzhenry 1902 Wexford city.

More certificates have been sent to us by Bev Kronk. Here's the first:
1902, 29 October, Selskar Street, Wexford
Johanna Frances Female
[father] Charles Fitzhenry, Main Street, Wexford, Shopkeeper
[mother] Mary Ellen Fitzhenry, formerly O’Connor
[informant] Charles Fitzhenry, Father, Main Street, Wexford
Registered 26 November, 1902
What else do we know about this family?
Charles and Mary Ellen Fitzhenry appeared in the1901 Irish census.
All of the family were born in County Wexford, and all were said to be "Roman Cathorlic"
Residents of a house 24 in Selskar Street (Wexford Urban, Wexford)
Fitzhenry Charles 30 Male Head of Family Grocer and Spirit Merchant
Fitzhenry Mary Ellen 24 Female Wife
Fitzhenry Robert Edward 3 Male Son
Fitzhenry Charles Herbert 2 Male Son
Fitzhenry Mary Ellen 1 Female Daughter
However, all the family is missing from the 1911 census. As yet I haven't found them on emigration records, but this is what I expect had happened.

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Sunday, 5 September 2010

Annie Eliza Fitz-Henry - Winchester to Japan to Surrey (1867 -1958)

Annie Eliza Fitz-Henry was the one remaining daughter of Captain William Fitz-Henry of Winchester, Hampshire and Ashtead, Surrey who I hadn't been able to track down during her adult life... until now.

She was born on 4 October 1867 at the Winchester Peninsular barracks, the last of six children to William and his first wife Barbara Morrison and was christened at the parish church of Week (a small village near Winchester) on 22 October 1867.

William was posted overseas to the East Indies the following month (from his army service records at The National Archives) and was abroad during the 1871 census. What isn't clear is whether he was allowed as an officer to have his wife accompany him. However, I can't find Barbara in the 1871 census of England and Wales, nor can I find Annie Eliza or her older brother Norman Edward (1865 - 1901), so perhaps they were all living together in officers' quarters.
William's older surviving children - his stepdaughter Henrietta and son William George - were at boarding school in Winchester.

In the 1881 census, Annie was a 15 year old pupil at the Ellesmere College boarding School at Eastbourne Sussex, while William and his new wife Martha Eagles were setting up home in Ashtead with their two young children.

When William died in 1885, he left her £1000 and any items of furniture that she may have in her possession. She seems to have been the second favourite child - the oldest boy William George got all the family heirlooms, Norman Edward only received £300 and Henrietta wasn't mentioned at all.

Annie was a witness at the marriage of her brother William George to Isabella Cooper at the church of St George Hanover Square on November 1886.

And that was the last I had seen of her, until this weekend while I was going through the passenger lists on Ancestry. Obviously the wanderlust that had taken Dr William George to New Zealand and Norman Edward to Oregon had also infected her.

In 1928, she was a 60 year old woman travelling on her own on the packet steamer from Lisbon, Portugal and arriving in Southampton. Her destination address was given as The Cedars, East Dulwich Road, Dulwich, the address of her brother Dr. William George Fitz-Henry.

Even more remarkably in May 1935, she arrived in London having travelled from Yokohama in Japan
Her occupation was given as a secretary and her last country of permanent residence was Japan. Again she was heading back to her brother's house in Dulwich.
But just what was she doing in Japan?

Annie Eliza's death was registered in the 4th quarter of 1958 in Surrey aged 90. If anyone has any information about what she was doing between 1886 and 1958 please let us know!

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Saturday, 4 September 2010

The Fitzhenry - Jenkinson - Manning connection in Arklow

Apart from the Heath surname, there are two other surnames that crop up in the Fitzhenry records from the Arklow district. These are Jenkinson and Manning.
I've put these events in date order.

In 1835 Robert Fitzhenry and Elizabeth Manning were granted a marriage license*.
I don't know where they subsequently married, but if this is the Robert Edward Fitzhenry whose gravestone we discussed in this post,
then Elizabeth Manning is the mother of
Susanna Fitzhenry
(born 1840) who married George Wilson.
*Reference: "Index to the Act or Grant Books and Original Wills of the Diocese of Dublin 1800-1858, 30th report"

Bev Kronk sent me this one:
Marriage in the parish of Rathdrum 15 May 1845
William Fitzhenry, widower, shopkeeper in Arklow (father not alive) to
Mary Jenkinson spinster, shopkeeper, Rathdrum (father not alive)
The witnesses were John Jenkinson and William Manning

A wonderful collection of Manning records has been compiled by D J Griffiths at this site. The Mannings appear to have been in the Arklow area from at least 1600 and probably before. This following entry comes from this site:
Marriage in the parish of Rathdrum on 15th December 1852,
Samuel Manning of Ballyteigue to Sarah Jenkinson of Rathdrum,
William Fitzhenry - witness for the groom and John Jenkinson - witness for the bride.
Sarah could be Mary Jenkinson's sister.

This marriage is from the Irish Genealogy site (highly recommended!).
A Manning - Fitzhenry match here is probably coincidental, as the parish is Aghold much further inland, and is here on the map
30 June 1856 at Aghold Parish church
JOHN MANNING of MUNNY, bachelor aged 24, a servant
Son of JOHN MANNING a labourer
MARY FITZHENRY of AGHOLD, spinster aged 21, a servant
Daughter of GEORGE FITZHENRY, a labourer

Are there any Mannngs or Jenkinsons out there with a Fitzhenry connection? Drop us a line!

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