Saturday, 26 June 2010

England v Germany Sunday 27th June

Well done to the USA for showing England up in the group stages of the world cup, and forcing us (England) to play Germany in the next round tomorrow.
For long suffering England fans, we know this will end badly... probably after a penalty shoot out.

So this will probably be the last time to take advantage of FindMy Past's "when England play, you don't pay" offer.
As you can download the census images at any time from 9am 27 June to 9am Monday 28 June, this seems to have bypassed the server overload problems.

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Thursday, 17 June 2010

More FREE Time on FindMyPast

The very helpful people from the Families in British India Society (FiBIS) have sent this through on their newsfeed:
If, like me, you tried to take advantage of FindMyPast's 'When England play, you don't pay!' offer last week, you were probably disappointed, as the website just couldn't cope with the demand.

FindMyPast have therefore decided to make a slightly different offer for this Friday's match.

Here's FindMyPasts offer for the second match on Friday, June 18.
View all the records (except
Living Relatives searches and Memorial scrolls which are not included) on Findmypast for FREE and at a time of your choice, every time England plays in a World Cup match, just register by midnight (UK time) the day before.

How it works:

1. Register on the website before midnight (UK time) on Thursday, June 17. If you have already registered, you do not need to do this again.

2. Return to any time between 9am UK time on Friday, June 18 and 9am Saturday, June 19 and sign in: you can now even watch the match as well!

3. Once you have signed in, you will have 90 minutes to search and view the records for free at your leisure (and a time of your choosing)

Not in the UK? Convert UK time to your local time. Here's that link again.

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Saturday, 12 June 2010

Free access to the 1911 England and Wales census

I seem to be be doing a lot of promoting of genealogy offers recently, but this one is a real cracker!
For the 3 hours surrounding any England match in the world cup (that's the soccer world cup to our American readers as if you weren't aware on this day that England play the USA!), there will be free access to the 1911 census of England and Wales.

I'm very grateful to Peter Calver from the "Lost Cousins" website for sending out the information and here's the text of his email with important timings and access details:
Findmypast are allowing FREE access to the 1911 Census and ALL the other resources for which you'd normally need a subscription, but only while England are playing in the World Cup.

Their first game is on Saturday 12th June, and the free access will be for 3 hours from 7pm British Summer Time.
England's second game is on Friday 18th June, and the free access will again be for 3 hours from 7pm.
Unless England qualify for the next stages of the competition their last game will be on Wednesday 23rd June, and the free access will be for 3 hours from 2.30pm.

Please note that New York is 5 hours behind London, and California is 8 hours behind. Thus the free access on 12th June will begin at 2pm if you are on the East Coast, and 11am if you are on the West Coast. Unfortunately if you are in Australia or New Zealand the matches take place in the early morning.

Click here to visit the special offer page at the findmypast site. You will need to register, and as their site is likely to be very busy during the offer, I would suggest you register in advance. You can search free at any time, so you don't have to wait for the offer period to start - the more you can do in advance, the better use you'll make of the 3 hours of free access.
If you haven't seen Peter's "Lost Cousins" website, it's worth a visit if you had ancestors in England, Wales or Ireland a hundred years ago who had entries in the censuses. I've entered all the Fitz(-)henrys on behalf of the Fitz(-)henry one name study, and have had several contacts not only asking about Fitzhenrys in their family but also people who lived with our Fitzhenry ancestors as either lodgers, landladies or employers.

Click here
for Peter's masterclass for using the 1911 census.
Happy hunting and let me know what you find! The first match kicks off in 4 hours time...

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Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Free trial at FindMyPast Australia

A top offer from FindMyPast Australia.
24 hours of searching absolutely free - no entering credit card details that you later forget to cancel - put in your name and email address and you have 24 hours of searching absolutely free!
And if you find any Fitz(-)henrys that suddenly provide that missing link, let me know.
I'm trying to get all my new finds into the database before the time runs out!

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Saturday, 5 June 2010

FamilyTreeDNA reduced prices

We run our Fitz(-)henry DNA study through the FamilyTreeDNA genetic testing company.
They are having a "summer sale" on their test prices and for a limited time these are as follows:

Y-DNA37 for $119 (Regular price would be $149)
Y-DNA67 for $199 (Regular price would be $239)
Y-DNA37+mtDNA for $159 (Combined test would cost $238)

The promotion will start June 5 and will end June 25.
Kits need to be paid for by June 30, 2010.
Once the kits are paid for, you can do the test and return it at your leisure.

I've highlighted the 37 marker test as this is the standard test for surname studies.
Click here to get to our page on the FamilyTreeDNA website for more information and for ordering details.

Why are we so keen on the DNA study?
With only 5 Fitz(-)henry men tested, we have found that Enoch Fitzhenry was actually a Fitzhenry and not just a name of convenience he took when he arrived in the United States. We can link his descendants to the descendants of a family from Oulartwick, Wexford who emigrated to Australia.
We also know that so far, we have identified 3 different Fitz(-)henry DNA patterns which indicates that there is no male common ancestor to all Fitzhenry branches within the time frame of fixed familial surnames (about 700 years).
We are awaiting the results of our fifth participant.
We also have a man with the surname Henry who has joined the project: Dropping the Fitz was not uncommon and - who knows - the next person who gets tested might give us a link to his family.
For more information about the project results so far, follow this link

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Thursday, 3 June 2010

Release of the 1901 census of Ireland on line

I knew it was coming but it snuck up on me.
The 1901 census of Ireland has been digitised by the National Archives of Ireland and all 32 counties are now available to view for free at this website:

The information documented is:
  • name,
  • relationship to head of household,
  • religious profession,
  • education
  • age
  • sex
  • rank, profession or occupation
  • marital status
  • Irish language speaker
  • Deaf, dumb, blind, imbecile or idiot, lunatic.
All the documents are available to view as original scans and are self completed by the head of household.

Once again, a fantastic effort by the Irish Government. If you haven't already had a look at the 1911 census of Ireland, this is on the same website

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Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Chelsea Pensioner records - Harvey Fitzhenry

The first of two more British military records now digitised on Findmypast from the National Archives WO97 series.

Corporal Harvey Fitzhenry No. 4881 Royal Artillery seems to have been an exemplary rank and file soldier.
The commendations from his senior officers read thus:
His conduct has been very good. He is in possession of two Good Conduct badges.
In possession of 3rd Class School Certificate
His name does not appear in the Regimental Defaulters sheet
He joined the army at the rank of driver on 29 November 1870, was promoted to Bombardier in March 1876 and was promoted again to Corporal in November that year.
He was discharged from the Army on 8 January 1880 having completed a total service of 9 years and 41 days, of which 5 years and 102 days were on service in the East Indies.

The reason for discharge was a large inguinal (groin) hernia first noted in India in 1878 "when under treatment for Ague" and "his duties as a mounted soldier may have given him this condition. The rupture is controlled by a truss". It's good to note that this "had not been aggravated by intemperance or vice"

The final page of the document describes him thus:
No. 4881 Corpl Harvey Fitzhenry
referred to in the preceding pages, by
Trade a pocket book maker
born in the parish of St Andrews
Near the town of Holborn,
In the county of Middlesex
And attested to the Royal Artilliary regt
At Woolwich in the county of Kent
On the 29 November 1870
Aged 20 6/12 years

His final description this day
aged 29 7/12
Height 5 foot 4 and a half inches
Complexion fresh
Eyes grey
Hair brown
Trade: pocket bookmaker
Marks or scars upon the face or on any other part of the body: considerable prominence of the right hip.

Intended place of residence:
11 Startham Road
Stoke Newington
Oh, it should be so easy to find this man back in civilian life.
But no.
This is all I have of him.
He makes one census appearance in 1871 when he was in barracks.
No birth marriage or death records.
No baptism entry at St Andrews Holborn.
No Fitzhenrys living in Statham Road.
A nom de guerre perhaps?

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Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Newman Lee Fitzhenry and Stinson Beach, California

Apologies to all our new subscribers who signed up while I was away on my jollies and then had three weeks of Blogging silence. However my "behind the scenes" correspondents will know that I was collecting new stories and over the next few nights there will be two new British Army records and then a three-part essay from Mrs Josephine Fitzhenry Hodge, her life's work on the family of Enoch Fitzhenry in the United States.

Tonight's post is pertinent as we were holidaying in California. We were driving on Highway 1 just north of San Francisco when the sign for Stinson Beach caused a small flicker of recognition. We made an unscheduled stop at the beach, fired up the laptop and there in the database was the story of Stinson beach and Newman Lee Fitzhenry.

Stinson beach is a quiet town, but in his day Newman Fitzhenry had much bigger plans for the place. The beach was named for the owner of the beach and Newman married Eva Stinson. Here's his biography from his obituary:
Mr. Fitzhenry was born in Illinois in 1881, and had operated the Beach properties for 24 years with his wife, Mrs. Eva Stinson Fitzhenry, daughter of the former owner of the Stinson Beach holdings. He was a graduate of the University of Chicago, and a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He was also a member of the San Rafael Elks Club, and was considered one of the authorities on bridge in the Bay region. He was also a member of the San Francisco Press Club.

Fitzhenry’s chief ambition was for wide development of Stinson Beach, as one of the world playgrounds, but he lacked sufficient capital to carry out his dream. He was always interested in promotional work in the county, but never overlooked an opportunity to let the world know that there was a beautiful beach close by, and that any large development project should not overlook Stinson Beach. He frequently appeared before the Board of Supervisors fighting for better roads to the Beach, and at one time offered the Beach properties to the county, under a long term lease.
He died by his own hand in 1938 on his beloved beach.

There is a small creek named after him which is one of the three creeks which flow through the town and into the sea via the Easkoot creek. This makes a total of three Fitzhenry Creeks which I've found now - this one at Stinson Beach, another in Washington State flowing down the previously featured Mount Fitzhenry, and a third Fitzhenry Creek in British Columbia.
You can have a look at Stinson Beach yourself on Googlemaps, as there is the streetview function enabled on this map and also some attached photos.

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