Tuesday, 31 August 2010

John Joseph FitzHenry of County Wicklow and Winnipeg Canada

The previous post featured the family of Charles James Fitzhenry (1853-1891) and his wife Charlotte Elizabeth Fitzhenry (1855-1897) who had twins who died at the age of abut 2 weeks old in 1885.

John Joseph Fitz Henry (his own spelling of his name) attested for the Canadian Expeditionary Force in March 1915. At the time he was living at 829 Home Street Winnipeg, but gave his date and place of birth as 5 October 1887 at Mine View House, Avoca, County Wicklow.
I believe that he is another child of Charles and Charlotte.

John Joseph was four years old when his father died and eleven when he became an orphan in 1897.

In the 1900 census of Ireland he was living with his uncle Dr Cooper and family in Wygram Place, Wexford town, Co Wexford. He was 14 years old and his birthplace was given as County Wicklow.
Dr. Cooper's full name was William Heath Cooper (a dentist born County Wexford), his wife was Frances Susan Cooper (born Co. Wicklow in 1851) and there were seven children living at home including Mary Fitzhenry Cooper and Violet Heath Cooper. I think we can safely assume that not only was this the same John Joseph Fitzhenry as the man who ended up in Winnipeg, but that his aunt Frances Susan was probably born a Fitzhenry in the same Arklow Fitzhenry family. And yes, there's that Heath connection again.

In the 1911 census, the Cooper family were still living in the same house, but Frances Susan was a widow who stated that she had been married for 30 years and had 9 children all living. One of these was the 28 year old Robert Fitzhenry Cooper who had now moved back into the family home having also qualified as a dentist.
However, John Joseph was no longer with them, as in June 1910, he had emigrated to Canada. He sailed on board the "Southwark" from Glasgow, Scotland to Quebec on his own as a 22 year old chemist, a protestant by religion.
On 13 December 1913, he married Gertrude Ella Waters (Canadian marriage registration index). They had at least one son, Charles J. Fitzhenry born in 1914 (US Social security death index) which again links him with the Charles James who died at Mine View Avoca in 1891.

In 1915 John Joseph joined the Canadian Army, and a rather fine picture of him in his military uniform may be found here.

He died in December 1957 aged 71, and his obituary in the Winnipeg Free Press (December 30th 1957) said of him
"Mr Fitzhenry served as a Captain with the Queen's Own Lancers in India and most of his life had been with the British Army. He had lived in Manitoba for the past four years. Survivors are two sisters Mary and Mrs. Lottie Wicklow, both in Ireland, and a son Jim in Van Nuys California.... Burial will be in the military plot, Brookside Cemetery."
This obituary gives us another two children of Charles and Charlotte Elizabeth - Mary Fitzhenry and Lottie (Charlotte) Fitzhenry who became Mrs Wicklow.

If anyone recognises any of these names and wants to contribute more to the story, please drop us a line at the blog or leave a comment below this posting.

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