Friday, 11 November 2011

Free access to military databases on Ancestry this weekend

To commemorate Remembrance Sunday, Ancestry are allowing free access to the following military databases:
Here is the link to all Ancestry's military databases. If you already have a subscription, then you may find that new databases have been added since you last looked, including the registers of the award of the Silver War Badge, which was featured in the post about Peter Fitzhenry of the Royal Army Medical Corps.

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Daniel Fitzhenry - a scouting hero

On the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, the Blog would like to hail another hero, Dan Fitzhenry who has earned one of scouting's highest honours, the Silver Beaver.

Dan has been involved with the scouting movement for over 40 years. After 9/11, as a member of a special On-Call Federal “Immediate Go” Disaster Team for the United States Department of Health and Human Services, he helped provide medical assistance to 6,000 emergency workers at Ground Zero. He credits his scouting training for his level of preparedness

He has also provided similar assistance after the earthquake in Port Au Prince in Haiti, and hurricanes Ivan, Katrina, Gustav and Ike.

A full text of the article can be found here

Well done Dan.

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

The Lines family - defining an English childhood

Sometimes this research gets seriously personal and starts tapping into my own personal history. What started out as a "tidying up" exercise on the database led me into the toy buying habits of my childhood. Here's how it goes...

Lesley Champion's Fitzhenry family (family tree 04 on the database) married not once, but twice into the Lines family.

Benjamin Fitzhenry (1848-1925) married Mary Ann Lines on 31 July 1875 at St James Church, Clerkenwell, London. Benjamin was Lesley's great grandfather.
His sister Jane Fitzhenry married Mary Ann's brother, Joseph Lines, at St Andrew's church, Holborn, on 30 June 1877.

Joseph and his brother George were toymakers. Very successful ones. They had factories all over London and traded under the name G&J Lines which was founded in 1876.

Jane and Joseph had seven children. Three of the sons, Walter, George and William went straight into the family firm, and then set up their own firm Lines Bros. in 1919 when they returned from fighting in the Great War.

And this is where my research got seriously spooky. Because it seemed that virtually every toy that I had owned when I was a child was a product from these Lines boys. In 1924, they relocated to South London and rebranded as Triang Toys (as a triangle is made up of three Lines).

Triang grew over the next fifty years and at one time claimed to be the biggest toy manufacturer in the world. Triang acquired Hornby (model train makers), Pedigree (doll makers, creators of Cindy, the main competitor to Barbie), Meccano (click here for the original stuff made by the Triang company) Play-doh, Scalectrix (model racing cars) and Dinky (model cars) amongst others.

The Triang company collapsed in 1971 and the various components were sold. Most of the successful toys are still produced.

For a fuller history of Triang, follow this link to the Victoria and Albert Museum's website

Even better, Walter Lines, became the chairman of Hamleys Toy shop of Regent Street, London when in 1931 the Lines brothers took over the struggling business. Hamleys in the 1970s was THE toyshop in London if not the whole of England. It was such a treat to be taken to the shop on Regents Street by my parents.

Virtually every child in Britain the later part of the 20th century would have had a toy made by the Lines Brothers. And those Lines Brothers were half Fitzhenry.

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Another Fitzhenry model

Sometimes I look over the wide family of Fitzhenrys and think "You're good looking and talented lot".
Last year we featured the Australian Codie Young, modelling in Vogue, whose mother was a Fitzhenry.

Cole Fitzhenry is another model, currently working in Scandanavia, and his blog is here.
If you're reading this Cole, let us know more about you and how you are related to the great Fitz(-)henry clan.

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

DNA testing - reduced prices until 21st July

FamilyTreeDNA, the DNA testing company which hosts our Fitz(-)henry DNA project is having a "summer sale"
If you have been thinking about joining the DNA study, for a very limited time, there is a substantial discount.
Go to the Fitz(-)henry surname project page for more details or to sign up for the test. We recommend the Y-DNA 37 test for our surname study.

Here is the deal from FamilyTreeDNA - any tests will have to be paid for by the 21st July to qualify for the discount.

Dear Project Administrator,

Last summer, we offered special pricing to attract new members to your projects. This was the most successful offering of its type in our company's history. Our project administrators that got behind the recruitment efforts saw their projects grow, and, thus, our database also grew. With this in mind, we'd like to offer a summer special again this year.

  • Y-DNA37 for $119 (Regular price would be $149)
  • Y-DNA67 for $199 (Regular price would be $239)
  • Family Finder for $199 (Regular price would be $289)
  • Family Finder + Y-DNA37 for $318 (Regular price would be $438)
  • Family Finder + mtDNAPlus for $318 (Regular Price would be $438)
  • mtDNA Full Sequence for $219 (Regular Price would be $299)
  • SuperDNA for $418 (Regular Price would be $518, includes Y-DNA67 and mtFullSequence)
  • Comprehensive Genome for $617 (Regular Price would be $797, includes Y-DNA67, mtFullSequence and Family Finder)

In addition, existing Family Tree DNA customers may order the Family Finder
add-on for $199

The promotion will start today, Friday the 15th at 6PM CST and will end Thursday, July 21, 11:59PM CST. Kits need to be paid for by the end of the promotion.

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Useful (and unhelpful) things you may find in a marriage register

I've been trawling the Irish marriage registers at the London Family History Centre today.

I found an example each of the brilliantly useful and the rubbishly unhelpful things that make up the spectrum of the information in the registers.

Firstly the unhelpful. Considering how many Mary Fitzhenrys are in the database, the least the priest could do at the marriage of Mary Ann Fitzhenry and Christopher Boyne was to record her father's name so at least there was some way of differentiating her from the others

October 27th 1868
Marriage solemnized in the Roman Catholic chapel of Leixlip, in the Registrar's District of Lucan, in the Union of Celbridge in the county of Kildare.
Christopher Boyne, aged 30, bachelor, ploughman, residence Ravensdale Leixlip, father Thomas Boyne blacksmith.
Mary Ann Fitzhenry, aged 25, spinster, servant, residence Leixlip, parents dead.
And now to the really helpful:
16 January 1867
Marriage solemnized in the Roman Catholic chapel of Cushinstown, in the Registrar's District of Old Ross, in the Union of New Ross in the County of Wexford.

Patrick Fitzhenry, aged 23, bachelor, farmer, father Laurence Fitzhenry, farmer
Ellen Byrne, full age, spinster, father James Byrne, farmer
Residence at the time of marriage: "on their way to America, formerly Ballyleigh, Rathgarogue"

So we know that Patrick and Ellen planned to emigrate in very shortly after their marriage. Unfortunately, a quick trawl through the 1870 and 1880 US censuses haven't revealed a Patrick and Ellen Fitzhenry yet, but if you recognise this couple then please drop us a line here at the blog.

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

The parish of Killegney, County Wexford (1)

Killegney was originally a huge parish (in area that is, it was sparsely populated) sitting in that band of land between Templeludigan near the County Carlow border to the west, right over nearly to Clonroche in the east. It included the area around Castleboro and Ballymakessy, associated with the family of Jeremiah Fitzhenry. A description of the parish in 1837 in Lewis' Topographical Dictionary can be found here.

When the Rev. Thomas Furlong took over as parish priest in 1816, he beautifully inscribed his new register as:
"A register of the Baptisms, Marriages and Deaths of the United Parishes of Killegney, Chapel, Killann and Tampleodigan [sic] 1816"

...and the very first entry in the register is

March 17 1816
Married James Doyle to Mary Fitzhenry
Present Walthe [sic] Fitzhenry and Philip Fitzhenry

Who were they? I don't know - yet another random piece of the whole puzzle. I suspect "Walthe" should be "Walter". Philip Fitzharris appears in the register as a husband and father in his own right, but is he the same man? He may well be as a Walter and Philip Fitzharris pairing of witnesses turn up again the following year:

Feb 16th 1817
Married Roger Kehoe and Jude Green
Present Philip Fitzharris and Walt Do.~

The registers are on the National Library of Ireland film P.4250

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Monday, 23 May 2011

St Mullins register (3) - two more marriages

These two marriages are the last of my significant finds from this register, from what I have found so far (remember I have only searched the baptisms up to 1810 in this parish).
The marriage entries were strange, as on the film, there was a batch of marriages inserted between 1803 and 1804. These marriages ranged from 1800 to 1830.

1824 March 2
M'd at St Mullins Thos. Truman certif'd residence County Wexf'd to Bridget Fitzharris
WW Mich'l Fitzharris, Mich'l Murphy and Mary Delany

[Married at St Mullins, Thomas Truman, certified residence County Wexford to Bridget Fitzharris, Witnesses Michael Fitzharris, Michael Murphy and Mary Delany]

Who was Bridget Fitzharris? Was she truly a Fitzharris, or one of the Fitzhenrys who alternated their surnames? I know that this family did alternate their surnames, as I have a Pat Fitzharris of Ballyleigh (undoubtedly our Patrick Fitzhenry who married Ann Murphy and then Peggy Byrne) as witness to a marriage in 1830.
And what was Bridget's relationship to the Michael Fitzharris who was the witness?
Thomas Truman had brought his certificate of baptism from another parish in County Wexford so that he might be allowed to marry Bridget in St Mullins in County Carlow.

1827 Feb 26th
Martin Fitzhenry to Mary Fleming w. John Whitty and John Finn

Another mystery man. The marriage date of 1827 places Martin's birth before 1810. Unfortunately, he hadn't used another Fitzhenry family member as a witness which might have helped to pin him down! Neither had this priest recorded which townland he came from.
Is he the Martin Fitzhenry (1802-1848) who appeared on the middle of the three Fitzhenry gravestones at St Mullin's graveyard?
Maybe the rest of this register will provide some more clues.

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

St Mullins register (2) - Miles Fitzhenry and Elizabeth Comerford

At the 1809 baptism of Laurence Fitzhenry, one of the sponsors was Betty Fitzhenry.
Betty also appeared in the parish register in her own right.

She was born Elizabeth Comerford, but the register variously spells her name Commerford and Comford, and she married Miles Fitzhenry in St Mullins parish.

1803 October 9th
M: at St Mullin's Miles Fitzhenry to Elizabeth Commerford
ww Mrs Anna Bryne, Jack Murphy and Betty Flanery

1804 May 30th
at Ballynab'a Bapt John PL Miles Fitzhenery and Betty Commerford
SS John Byrne and Betty Ryan

1807 April 4th
St Molin's Gregory F. Miles Fitzhenery and Betty Comford
SS Jno. Comford and Peggy Do.
1808 29 May
Laurence of Mily and Betty Fitzhenery
SS Paddy Walsh and Biddy Chare

The fact that Elizabeth Comerford (or Betty Fitzhenry as she was in 1809) was godmother to the child of Patrick Fitzhenry (see last posting) leads me to believe that she was Patrick Fitzhenry's close kin by marriage and hence Miles Fitzhenry was closely related to Patrick and was probably his brother.

The townland of Balllinabenna is probably the modern place of Ballynabearna, a few miles north of Templeudigan.

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Friday, 20 May 2011

St Mullins (St Mullings) parish register

The old baptism register of the parish of St Mullins (or St Mullings, as some of the entries read) reveals some details about the occupants of one of the graves at St Mullins churchyard. I described the oldest gravestone in a posting here where you can also see a photo of the gravestone.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

The register started in April 1796, only 7 years before Ann died. Both the following entries have been spelled as they were in the register. There was pair of letters after the name of each child (the same letters for both male and female children) which at first I couldn't decipher. After asking around, I now think that they are PL, which is a contraction of Parvulus Legitimum - "the legitimate child of".
This priest wasn't backward in making his views clear on a child's birth status - in April 1797, Solomon, the child of Thomas Poor and Bridget Kinsella is referred to as "an incestuous bastard".
SS stands for sponsors

February 15th 1797
At Ballyleigh. Bapt. Laurence PL Patrick Fitzhenery [sic] and Anne Murphy SS Martin Kehoe and Cathy Murphy

December 12th 1801
At Ballyleigh Bapt. Thos. PL Paddy Fitzhery [sic] and Anna Murphy SS Paddy Murphy and Paddy Neale

There are no more baptism entries for this couple and Ann died in 1803. Laurence and Thomas may have been two of the three children also commemorated on the gravestone.

By 1809, Patrick Fitzhenry appears to have married again. Again all the spellings are as given in the register

January 24th 1809
Lur. [? Laurence] of Patt Fitzhenry and Peggy Byrne
SS Jas. Kighoe and Betty Fitzhenry.

I only reached up to 1810 in this register, so there may be more treasures to be found in later years...

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

More jaunts around Ireland

I'm back from another jaunt around Ireland.
Lots of places and graveyards visited, and parish registers trawled. And of course wonderful people who I met. In no particular order, thank you Dan and Doris Jevens of Coolcutts Wexford for tea, cake and your wonderful stories. Caroline Kehoe who is related to the Fitzhenrys of Templeudigan and St Mullins, thank you for meeting me at the Wexford archives. Thank you Clarinda Fitz-Henry Sheehan for taking me to lunch at Clontarf Castle and sharing your family photos with me. A big thanks to the Galway Fitzhenry - Coynes - Mellottes for putting us up, feeding us, plying us with beer and talking to the small hours while watching the bats (Paul Coyne, DJ extraordinaire - the mix CD was great - thanks!)

Of course it rained, but when doesn't it in Ireland?

The next few entries won't be in any particular order, just as I fancy writing them.

And I've updated the Google map to show how you can be misled by place names in Wexford - I found two each of the villages/townlands of Glynn, Monamolin and Poulpeasty. I have indicated on the map which are the right ones, and which are the ones with no Fitzhenry connection that I can find.

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

My family get into a spot of bother with the law (1846)

From The Times of London, Tuesday December 29 1846, in the "Police and Courts" section:
THAMES - Yesterday Thomas Fitzhenry and Caroline Fitzhenry, his wife, were brought before Mr. YARDLEY on a charge of causing the death of their infant child MARY, aged five months.
Mr. Pelham defended the prisoners.
The male prisoner is a gunmaker, and resides with his wife at No. 9 Grigg's-court, Goodman's-yard, Minories.
On Sunday morning, at half -past 3 o'clock, in consequence of information, a police-sergeant named Sugg, H 17, proceeded to the house, and found the child dead on its mother's lap. She was crying loudly, and said that the child had died at her breast while in bed. The father, who was intoxicated, was also crying.
The police sergeant, discovered the upper part of the left thigh very much burnt, and upon questioning the father, he said the child was brought to him cold, and that while holding it before the fire for the purpose of reviving it, he had accidentally scorched it, and that he afterwards placed it in a warm bath. The deceased was described as a fine, healthy looking child.
There were conflicting statements made by the parents as to the manner in which the infant came by its death, and Sugg took them into custody. Several witnesses were examined, from whose evidence it appeared the parents were very fond of the child, and always treated it with the greatest kindness and affection.
A long investigation followed, and many suspicious circumstances which had first presented themselves were cleared up. The prisoners had previously lost two other children in their infancy, but their affection for their offspring generally was clearly established.
Mr Pelham addressed the bench and
Mr.YARDLEY said there was no evidence sufficient to justify him in detaining the prisoners, and they must be discharged; but it was absolutely necessary that a post mortem examination should take place to ascertain the precise cause of death.

The reporter actually got the name of the defendant wrong - this was James Fitz-Henry and he was the brother of my great-great-great-grandfather Michael Fitz-Henry. James also had another brother named Thomas who was entirely innocent of this whole affair.
James married Caroline Douglas in 1841. They had at least seven children, but only one survived to adulthood. Of the two children who died before Mary, I have only found one of these Thomas (1844-1846) whose cause of death was ascribed as "teething".
The remaining named children were:
  • James (1848-1850) "pneumonia"
  • Agnes (1852-1857) "inflammation of the lungs"
  • Caroline (1855-1859) "pneumonia"
  • James ( born 1857)
James senior died of tuberculosis in December 1858 and Caroline married Simeon Griffiths (another gunmaker) in November 1859.
In the 1871 census the surviving James is referred to as Alfred J Fitzhenry, living with Simeon and Caroline Griffiths in Royal Mint Street.

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Grand update of the Fitz(-)henry database

The database at FitzhenryDNA has had a major update with about a thousand new individuals added.

If you are not already a subscriber, you can have a mooch around the names and dates by using the generic guest account, using the words USER and PASSWORD to gain access (the instructions are also on the Fitzhenry DNA homepage).
If you want to see more, register for a subscriber's account - then you get to see all the notes and records too. To register, click on "Register for a user account" at the bottom of the red column on the left of the page.

There are no individuals born after 1920. If you have a query about the more recent members of your tree, then email me directly.

My next mission is to get all those lovely photos which people have been sending me on the site without crashing it again...

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Adding in the Fitz(-)harrises

For about a year or so I've been mulling about adding in the occurrences of Fitzharris (not many Fitz-Harris with the hyphen out there) into the Fitz(-)henry one name study.

The surnames Fitzhenry and Fitzharris were used interchangeably in Wexford, sometimes by the same people during their lifetime, although it seems that once a Fitz left Ireland, they stuck with either Fitzhenry or Fitzharris in their adopted country.

Adding the Fitzharrises to the database will hopefully allow me to fill in some of the missing links between families and rediscover people who seem to have just disappeared from the face of the earth. I'll slowly be adding in the Fitzharris references to the Blog and the website over the next few months.

Mrs Betty Walker has done a lot on research into the Fitzharris name and history in Wexford, and her website can be found at

Unfortunately Mrs Walker hasn't put a contact email on her website, so if she (or one of her friends!) is reading this, I'd be delighted to hear from her.

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Fitz-Henry the wolf

In the on-line gaming community, there is a game known as Minecraft. You can read more about it here, but in short it is a game where you dig mines and avoid being killed in a variety of interesting ways by a variety of enemies.

I was intrigued to see the following post on the Minecraft forum posted by a player styled as BZ Anathema:
I want to hear your epic fail stories. Here's mine: I had just made a diamond pick and had 10 obsidian, so I decided to go make a Nether portal. Unfortunately, instead of lighting the portal, I lit the wood floor of my house, and the entire thing (3 stories!) burnt to the ground. I had to rebuild in a day, and in the process both of my wolves died.
R.I.P. Jasper Connigans Fitz-Henry IX and Frederick Winkleheim Collins.
If BZ Anathema is out there, we would really love to know why his wolf was named Jasper Connigans Fitz-Henry IX.

There is also a more serious side to this (well, slightly more serious). In early nineteenth century literature, the name Fitz-Henry was often given to middling nobility - not kings and dukes, but Marquesses and Lords. It had an air of slightly dissolute nobility and the characters reflected this. (see here for my reviews of two such novels)

At least two stage performers took the name. The singer Emily Soldene performed under her own name and also as Miss Fitzhenry.
Augusta Matilda Perrott, the actress and daughter of a baronet also adopted the name Miss Fitzhenry for her stage performances before her untimely death in 1818.
The painter Hugh Lane restyled himself as Fitz-Henry Lane.
If you've seen any more instances of the use of Fitz-Henry or Fitzhenry in more modern literature or as an alias, please let us know.

And yes, we think Jasper Connigans Fitz-Henry IX is a great name for a wolf.

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Marty Fitzhenry - a man, his trains and his cat

We like Marty Fitzhenry even though he is probably completely oblivious to us here at the Blog.

Marty is a retired policeman living in Dedham Mass., with a passion for model trains and creating scaled working layouts. Just how much of a passion can be seen from this article here.

He also has a fab cat named Ralph, featured in this video amongst one of Marty's famous layouts. This whole article is in fact a vehicle for showcasing Ralph.
And it's taught me what a catenery is. That's this Blog all over - entertaining and educational.

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Another obituary - Henry Michael Fitz-Henry in New Zealand

Myles Fitz-Henry (1824-1877) the ironmonger in Clapham, South London, had three sons with his wife Frances Colbourn. Both Myles and Frances were born in Westmeath, Ireland. (The back story to Myles and Frances is here)
Two of the children died in infancy, but the eldest, Henry Michael Fitz-Henry born 1859, was last seen by me as the informant on his father's death certificate in 1877.

My mate Phil Hand (who's one name study is the name Hickling) found this for me from the London Standard, 3 May 1880:
FitzHENRY - Feb 17, at Wanganui, New Zealand, from the effects of a gun-shot wound, accidentally received, Henry Michael, only surviving and dearly loved child of the late Myles FitzHenry, of 410 Clapham Rise, in the 20th year of his age. RIP. Friends will kindly accept this intimation. Foreign papers please copy.

I had hoped that I would one day find a descendant of Henry Michael who could tell me why a picture of Myles Fitz-Henry was in the photo collection of the Fitz-Henry family in Chile to this day. However, this is now not to be!

And if you are a Hickling who wants to know more about your ancestors, send Phil an email via our blog address and we will pass it on to him.

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Database registration - an update

Thanks to everyone who has already re-subscribed.

I realise that I didn't make myself very clear about where to find the subscription page, and for that I apologise.
If you follow this link:

and then click on "Register for a User account" at the bottom of the left hand column, you will be taken to a form to fill in. I get a notification and then authorise your account.

In the meantime, you can still look at the database using a guest account (instructions also on the home page) but you will just see names and dates and not any of the associated notes.

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Monday, 4 April 2011

The database is back up again!

After my general ineptness caused the most spectacular crash of the Fitz(-)henry database last week, we seem to be up and running again.

Because I lost the subscriber details in the crash, I've emailed as many people as I know definitely had subscriber accounts as they will now need to re-register.
If I didn't send you an email, my apologies - and I hope you will re-register.
For those who hadn't been a subscriber before, why not see what the database has to offer?

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Dr. Robert Heath Cooper who married Frances Susan Fitz-Henry Arklow 1880

Slightly off-topic, but we have been contacted by Glenys Ryall in New Zealand. She found the mention of Dr Robert Heath Cooper and his marriage to Frances Susan Fitz-Henry in 1880 in this blog posting.

She also had a Dr Robert Heath Cooper in her family - in fact she was looking at photos of him and his wife - from the 1870's. Dr Cooper married Anne Frith in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh on 26th December 1862. His father was also William Cooper (just like our Dr Cooper).

And there was also a photo of their daughter Lilly Mina Cooper aged 14 in June 1876, which puts her year of birth as 1861 or 1862 ....

So while I was pottering around trying to find a bit more about Anne Frith and Lilly Mina, I also found another Robert Heath Cooper marriage with a William Heath as his father! (Click here for the link to this marriage register on the website)

The marriage was in St Thomas (Established church of England and Ireland), Dublin on 11 October 1860 by Licence.
Groom Robert Heath Cooper, of full age, bachelor, a Druggist, of Enniscorthy, father William Cooper apothecary
Bride Jemima Wright, of full age, spinster, 18 Lower Garden Street, father Benjamin Wright, cabinet maker
Witnesses Joseph J Smythe and Edward J Brook.

So was Robert Heath Cooper married twice before he married our Frances Susan Fitz-Henry? It seems likely.
And given that Lilly Mina was said to be aged 14 in June 1876, was she the daughter of Jemima Wright rather than Anne Frith? I haven't found a birth registration for Lilly Mina yet (or a death for Jemima Wright).
Lilly Mina married in 1886 (aged 24 to, as yet, an unknown man), so it is likely that she was part of the Cooper-Fitz-Henry household while she was still unmarried.

If anyone recognises these people, would they please drop us an email which we will forward to Glenys. Glenys is descended from the family of Francis Ball which intermarried with the Friths.

I've managed to spectacularly crash the Website this evening during an upgrade, but I'll put the photos on it as soon as it's up and running again.

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

It's today - the 2011 Census England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

It's census day here in the UK.
I've just filled mine in on-line, but completed and saved my paper copy to go with my Fitz(-)henry research papers.

If the Government keep the paper records, the genealogists of the future will see that it was a hefty document, but for family history research purposes, it's probably less useful than the corresponding census in 1911. However, it will probably all be digitalised and then the paper copies pulped, so even the original handwriting and signatures will be lost.

What will genealogists be able to find out about me in a hundred years time?
They will be able to tell that I'm English, but nothing more geographically specific than that about where I was born.
Nothing about any children that I may have had, unless they are living with me at home (so back to the level of information from the 1901 census and before).
However, you can specifically link each member of the household with every other member of the household and not just the head, so you can see if children are step children, and who the resident aunt is the auntie of.

It asks a lot about the house I live in and a bit about what my health is like.
There's a voluntary question about whether I'm a Jedi Knight (only kidding - it's the one about religious affiliation that the more frivolous on-line community try to hijack)
It asks who I work for, what I do in that job, for how many hours a week and how I travel to my place of work.

And that's about it.

If you do your family history (and you probably do if you are reading this blog) then make a copy of all the information on your census and keep it for those who will come after you. Annotate it with the personal facts that make your family history interesting. And keep it safe, because otherwise it will be another 100 years before anyone will be able to get hold of that information again.

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

The death of Tasmania Fitzhenry's husband

We're back. Thanks to all those who wrote in asking me where I'd got to.
All is well.

Here's a cheerful post to get us going again.
A couple of years ago, I wrote about Tasmania Palfrey from Newport, South Wales, who married John Joseph Fitzhenry in Monmouth in 1882 (said to be the son of William Fitzhenry, master mariner). Unfortunately I hadn't found where John Joseph ended up, and in 1884 Tasmania married Christopher Hendley declaring herself a widow.

John Joseph's death didn't show up in the ordinary death indexes at the GRO, but I did find him in the Board of Trade series held at the National Archives (BT/ 157/7/57). His death was reported under the Merchant Shipping Act 1854.

John Fitzhenry, male, aged 21
Death at sea reported May 1883
Vessel "Lizzie" official no. 13996, vessel missing since 30 September 1882
Boatswain (crew) - supposed drowned
Nationality - Waterford
Last abode 34 Raglan Street, Newport.

So this nicely places John Joseph's birth in Ireland in 1861 - unfortunately before the Irish birth registrations start. But there were not many Fitzhenrys around Waterford according to the Irish GRO indexes and none by the time of the 1901 census.
The search continues.

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Monday, 10 January 2011

The graveyard at Clonbur - Part 2

Next to the pair of gravestones which I described in the last post, was this stone. It was carved from granite and was covered in lichen.
In loving memory of MARY FITZHENRY
who died April 9th 1939
and her children BRIDGET
died March 14th 1910
MARGARET died May 28th 1915
ANNIE died June 1st 1915
Her husband JOHN
died May 8th 1948
Aged 82 years

Erected by her children
Mary, Patrick and Thomas

Surprisingly, this wasn't a family that I could directly attach to the Clonbur/Cornamona Fitzhenrys from the neighbouring gravestones, but it does relate to a family which we have seen before on the Blog.

To recap, Nancy Nolan wrote to us regarding her Fitzhenry forebears who also lived in Cornamona, County Galway. Patrick Fitzhenry married Mary Kyne (or Coyne) sometime before 1856 and had at least four sons (at the time we last wrote about them, I had only found three). Nancy is descended from Catherine, the daughter of the oldest son Myles (baptised 1856), who died as a young man.

The next son John (baptised 1865) married Mary Morrin or Marrin, and this is the couple whose family is on the gravestone. Mary was born around 1873 and the couple married in 1894. They had at least eight children:

  • Patrick (born 1895) emigrated to New Jersey in 1923 to stay with his uncle Patrick, and then moved to Cuyahoga, Ohio. He married Sarah Coyne in 1924. They had at least one son, Joseph Fitzhenry (1924-1947) who appears to have been killed in an industrial explosion. Patrick was one of John and Mary's children who paid for the gravestone.
  • Bridget 1896 - 14 March 1910
  • Mary 1899 to after 1941, the year she gained her US naturalisation. She also lived in Ohio and was also one of the children who paid for the gravestone.
  • Michael born 1901 and lived at least until after 1911 as he is listed in the family group for the 1911 census.
  • Kathleen born 1904 and again listed in the 1911 census.
  • Thomas born 1906 and listed in the 1911 census. Potentially may also have emigrated to the USA as he is the third of the children who paid for this memorial, and the other two were living in Ohio at the time.
  • Margaret 1908 - 28th May 1915.
  • Annie November 1910 - 1st June 1915.
The deaths of the last two children are within a week of each other and suggests an infective cause.

Patrick Fitzhenry and Mary Kyne had at least two other sons.
Patrick (baptised 1869) and emigrated to the US in about 1903 (according to the 1920 US census). This is the uncle Patrick that Patrick, the son of John Fitzhenry and Mary Marrin came to stay with initially in New Jersey.

William baptised September 1873 in Clonbur. I know nothing more about him.

Mary Kyne / Coyne lived until 1914 and appeared in both the 1901 and 1911 censuses of Ireland, as a widow living with her son John and his family.
Her husband Patrick appeared in neither census, and I have found a likely death registration for him in the first quarter of 1893 in the Registration District of Oughterard which covered this area of County Galway. It gives his age as 74 and his birth year as 1819.

Do any of these names ring any bells with anyone? Can anyone out there provide the link to one of the other Fitzhenry families in this area of Galway?

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Welcome to our newest Fitzhenry baby...

Seen in the on-line version of the "Salisbury Journal" (Wiltshire, England), the birth of Samuel Martin, son of Gemma Fitz-Henry on New Year's day at the Salisbury District Hospital. Samuel was the first baby of the new year at the maternity unit.
To read more about this story, follow this link.

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

The Graveyard at Clonbur - part 1

The old graveyard at Clonbur contains the ruins of the Rosshill Abbey church, and the area surrounding this is a protected woodland and nature reserve. It is a truly beautiful site.

There are at least five Fitzhenry graves in this cemetery and all belong to the extended family of the Fitzhenry family of Clonbur/Cornamona.

The oldest three FItzhenry gravestones are favourably situated on the south side of the church ruins by the old church door.

The oldest granite stone reads
Pray for the soul of
who died 5th March 1846
aged 70 years
also his wife
who died 14th september 1870
aged 80 years
This stone is now an upright, but at one time it was a flat grave covering stone.
Behind the stone is a collection of grave "feet" on which the stone used to stand.
These are Mrs Josie Coyne's great-grandparents - Thomas Fitzhenry 1776-1846 and Margaret Joyce 1790-1870

The stone facing this at the opposite end of the same plot reads
In loving memory of
Died 26th April 1956
His wife MARY
Died 26th Oct 1985
Mary was born Mary Conroy. Drimsnave is close to Conamona. These are Mrs. Coyne's parents.

Mrs. Coyne says that her mother
had a horror of the flat stone lying over her when she was buried, and asked that the flat grave stone wasn't put over the grave again once she had been buried there.
Hence the stone was erected as an upright at the other end of the plot.

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

The Road Trip goes to Galway - Part 1

A very happy new year to all the Blog followers.
For the next few posts, I'll be telling you about what happened when I went to Clonbur in County Galway, and the wonderful Fitzhenry family I met there.

It all started when I told one of our "behind the scenes" contributors, Therese Connolly of Saratoga Springs, NY, that I was due to be visiting Ireland. She said "Give my mum a call, and visit her".

Therese's mum is Mrs. Josie Coyne, nee Fitzhenry, whose family have lived in the Clonbur area of County Galway for at least 150 years. She couldn't have been more welcoming and when I arrived at Clonbur, she sent her long suffering
husband (so he told me!) Tommy to come and pick me up on that first night.
I was treated to a right royal Irish tea with more cake than you could shake a stick at (and Tommy on continuous tea-making duties!), meeting lots of the immediate family who still lived in the area, and also some who had come home for Christmas.
It was brilliant, and I didn't get home until midnight!
So in no special order and with special memories of that night, I'd like to thank:
Josie (nee Fitzhenry) Coyne and Tommy Coyne
Breda Mullins (nee Fitzhenry) and her daughter Marie Walker, visiting from London
Mary and Dermot Mellotte (and their dog!)
Maureen Fitzhenry and her daughters Bridget, Kathleen, Josie and Marion.
I had taken some printouts of various Galway-related Fitzhenry trees, and was shown where they overlapped and joined up (and where I was missing bits!). I learned lots of stories about the family and their stories of living in this part of Galway.

The next day, after a trip to the Old Clonbur graveyard (more about this in next post) I was treated to morning coffee at Ashford Castle by Breda (very posh - here's the link) while her husband John Joe and daughter Marie made a fine lunch. I took a trip westwards along the road from Cong to Clonbur to Cornamona and then onto Maam. My first view of the snow capped hills to the west - a real wow moment, and a foretaste of the weather that waas to come. Then it was back to Mrs Coyne's place for the evening meal.

By Saturday, the snow had well and truly set in. What should have been a quick trip to the town of Claremorris, about 20 miles away in County Mayo, took several hours on ice-treacherous roads. Probably nothing compared with the sort of conditions that our American and Canadian readers are used to, but interesting all the same in a Fiat 500 with no snow chains!

On Saturday evening I was invited to accompany Josie and Tommy to a concert in the village of Cornamona, put on by the local schoolchildren to mark the retirement of their headmaster. It was a brilliant evening - the whole village had turned out for the occasion - the small school hall was certainly packed out. The children from nursery class up to secondary school put on a concert of traditional Irish music, dancing and signing. The whole concert was performed in Gaelic, as were the speeches afterwards. Josie told me that there is an incentive to get the children to learn and speak Gaelic to keep the language alive in this part of Ireland. She could understand it and translated for me as the concert went on.

On Sunday, I had to leave to be return to Rosslare for the Monday early morning ferry back home.
However, I'd managed to cram a whole lot into one week both in Graiguenamanagh and Clonbur.
So to everyone I met on that week, and spared the time to have a chat or direct me where to find more information, who opened up their homes to me and were kind enough to look over my research notes, who showed me something of normal life in their part of Ireland...
and I hope to see more of you next year!

Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.