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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