Saturday, 31 January 2015

Fitzharris... no, wait.... Fitzhenry...

I've written before about how the surnames Fitzharris and Fitzhenry were interchangeable in 19th century Ireland, especially in County Wexford.

But on the same day, indeed within a couple of minutes while you were registering the birth of your daughter?

I came upon this entry in the General Register Office of Ireland Register of Births for 1873 *.

January Thirtyfirst 1873, Ballygalvert [County Wexford, western side near the Carlow border]
Father: Moses Fitzharris, Ballygalvert, a farmer
Mother Anty [Anastasia] Fitzharris formerly Eustace
Informant: Moses Fitzhenry, father, Ballygalvert
Registered: February Twentythird 1873, James Rickesley, Registrar

The local registrar obviously didn't see this as a problem, but the Government official in Dublin obviously had a "Say what?" moment as evidenced by the rather surprised pencil swirl linking the 3 surnames. 

Moses' other 7 children were all registered as Fitzhenry, and in the 1901 and 1911 censuses the family also appear as Fitzhenry. 

* GROI reference: Index of the Register of Births 1873 Anne Fitzharris, New Ross, vol 4 page 985.

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