Guild of One-Name Studies
One-name studies, Genealogy
Variants: Fitzharris, Fitzhenry, Fitzsenry
Category: 3 - A study where research using core genealogical datasets and transcriptions is well under way on a global basis.
DNA website: www.familytreedna.com/public/Fitz-Henry
Contact: Dr Jo Fitz-Henry
My study started in earnest in 2002 with my own name of Fitz-Henry. In 2011, I added Fitzharris to my registered names.
Since then I've met lots of lovely family history researchers from all over the world who have given me lots of help and information. This one-name study is a way of saying 'thank you' to all those people and hope that I can pass on the information that I have gathered to another generation of Fitz(-)Henry/Harris researchers.
Most of us hit a wall with our ancestors at some time. If you have a Fitz(-)Henry or Fitzharris in your tree and want to know more, please contact me (details below). If you want to let me know about your Fitz(-)Henry or Fitzharris ancestors, then please drop me a line - it may be someone that I've hit the wall with! All queries are answered - I can't guarantee to have the information you are looking for, but I may be able to pass you on to someone who does.
Norman/Platagenet nobles took the Fitzhenry name to Ireland in the 12th century with the invasion of Ireland. The Fitzhenry name has historically been associated with County Wexford where the Fitzhenrys had several castles and desmenes.
In Ireland, the name became more "Anglicised" to Fitzharry or Fitzharris. Both Fitzhenry and Fitzharris were used by the same families.
In England, the name became even more Anglicised to Harrison (literally the Son of Harry) and the Norman version virtually died out in England and Wales.
With the creation of the British Empire, the Fitzhenry and Fitzharris names spread to all parts of the globe with a British influence. The bearers of these names were mainly Irish soldiers in the British army, or Irish prospectors and settlers. There were/are branches in India, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa, as well as a small number in South America. Most bearers of the Fitzhenry and Fitzharris names in England today can trace their routes back to an Irish ancestor.
There is a large Fitzhenry and Fitzharris presence in the United States of America. Numerically, the largest family tree in the USA is descended from Enoch Fitzhenry, a legendary figure who was allegedly captured by pirates and taken from Ireland to the USA in the 1770s.
There are also a large number of smaller Fitzhenry and Fitzharris family lines in the USA derived from those Irish leaving their homeland for a better life especially around the time of and after the great famine for the 1850s.
I have a database containing over 8700 persons, over 4000 of which are Fitzhenry and Fitzharris born into the name.
Y-DNA study homepage at FamilyTreeDNA: http://www.familytreedna.com/public/Fitz-Henry#surnames My own website for the DNA study is: http://www.fitzhenrydna.com
You may find our other Guild websites of interest: