Monday, 21 August 2017

Nancy FitzHenry died Newfoundland 1807 - and her two memorials in Ireland

I was very pleased to receive this message from John Cullen of Newfoundland.
It relates to a group of three Fitzhenry gravestones in St Mullins graveyard in County Carlow which I wrote about in 2010, and the memorial on one of them for a Nancy Fitzhenry who died in "Lambay, Newfoundland"

John wrote:
Nancy Fitzhenry remembered on an old headstone in St Mullins Graveyard, Co Carlow as having died in Lambay, Newfoundland in 180?
I believe this to be Torbay, just north of the city of St Johns.

Anne Fitzhenry (Nancy being a pet name for Anne) from Adamstown Parish, Co Wexford married Timothy Fogarty from Torbay, Newfoundland in St. John's on 10th October, 1805. Timothy was born in Moath Hill, Waterford.
Sponsors:  Wm. Brien, Philip Hickey and Catherine Coghlan

Anne, (Nancy) according to the headstone in St. Mullins died in 180? which ties in perfectly with the fact that Timothy Fogarty of Torbay married again in 1813, and in his will of 1826, mentions his then wife as Mary Ellis. There is no mention of any offspring from either marriage.

There is one Fitzhenry in the Tithe Applotment Books for the Parish of Adamstown. Walter Fitzhenry in 1834.  This may be the father or brother of Anne and son or grandson of Edward Fitzhenry who died in 1796 and is on the same headstone as Nancy (Anne) and who then is possibly the grandfather of Anne.

If all this adds up, then when the news reached Adamstown of Anne's death they must have decided to remember her fondly using her pet name on the old family grave in St. Mullins

Thought you might be interested.
I am a life long student of Irish settlement in Newfoundland, originally from Adamstown, maternal grandparents buried in St. Mullins and living now in Newfoundland.

In the book "St Mullins and St Michaels Tombstone Inscriptions" (pub. St Mullins Muintir na Tir 1988) Nancy's inscription read:
Also the Body
of Nancy Fitzhenery who died
At Lambay in Newfoundland Feb'y
19th 1807 aged 85 yr.

Two things struck me about this now that we have the extra information from John. Firstly, it is very unlikely that Nancy's body is actually in that grave in St Mullins if she had died in Newfoundland. Secondly, it is also very unlikely that she was aged 85 if she left a husband who went on to get married again a few years later, so perhaps she was younger and time had taken its toll on the inscription.

And then I had another look through my collected photos, and found another transcribed version of the same gravestone memorial...  no attribution or citation on the photo (slaps self on wrist), but I took it from a printed book in November 2010 ...  and it looks very much like a Brian Cantwell* transcription typescript in the way it is set out:
Also the body of Nancy Fitzhenry who died
at Lambay in Newfoundland
Feb'ry 9th 1807 aged 33 yrs.
Requiefcat in Pace
So that seems more like the age we are looking for

And then I remembered that I had seen a similar inscription, when I had been at Rossdroit churchyard with my good friend Gretta Browne poking around amongst the brambles in the old Catholic graves side of the church (the church itself is Church of Ireland, and the Protestant graves are all on the other side in a very neat lawn).
Here lies ye body of Mary
alias Doyle dep'd
March 7th 1809 aged 73 yrs
Also the body of Nancy
who died at Tarbay
Newfoundland Febry the 9th
1807 aged 33 yrs
So it would seem that Nancy had connections with the Fitzhenry familes buried both at St Mullins (the Templudigan family) and at Rossdoit (probably the Courtnacuddy Fitzhenry family living just west of Enniscorthy town).
And they both thought it would be nice to remember her. 

Thank you John for helping me tie up that puzzle.

* Brian Cantwell was an avid collector and transcriber of "Memorials to the Dead" in the 1970s, mainly in Co. Wexford. As time takes its toll on the engraving and stonework, his transcriptions are now more important than ever. I have quoted his works in previous posts, and if you type Cantwell into the search box at the top of the page, you will get a list of all the posts.

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