The Strongbownian invaders added their Norman conventions for surnames to the previously established Irish system for hereditary surnames
. One of the most frequent forms of surnames for both cultures was the patronymic
surname, which was formed from the name of the bearer's father or grandfather. The Norman tradition that the followers of Strongbow
brought with them created such a surname through diminutive suffixes such as "-ot," "-et," "-un," "-in," or "-el." Occasionally, two suffixes were combined to form a double diminutive, as in the combinations of "-el-in," "-el-ot," "-in-ot," and "-et-in." The Normans
also formed patronymic surnames in a manner very similar to the Irish: they added a prefix to their father's name. These Anglo-Norman people, however, used the prefix Fitz-, which was derived from the French word "fils," and ultimately from the Latin " filius
," which both mean "son." Although this prefix probably originated in Flanders
, it can now only be found in Ireland
. The surname Fitshenry is derived from the personal name
Henry, which was brought by the Normans
and then Ireland. This name is composed of the elements "haim" or "heim," which mean "home," and "ric," which means "power." Harris
was a patronymic form of Henry. The name features the distinctive Irish patronymic prefix fitz, which means son of in Anglo-French. The Gaelic form of the surname Fitshenry is Mac Éinri.
Early Origins of the Fitshenry family
The surname Fitshenry was first found in County Wexford
(Irish: Loch Garman), founded by Vikings
as Waesfjord, and located in Southeastern Ireland
, in the province of Leinster
, where they were granted lands by Strongbow
on his invasion of Ireland
Early History of the Fitshenry family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fitshenry research.Another 159 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 120 and 1206 are included under the topic Early Fitshenry History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Fitshenry Spelling Variations
A single person's name was often spelt simply as it sounded by medieval scribes and church officials. An investigation into the specific origins the name Fitshenry has revealed that such a practice has resulted in many spelling variations
over the years. A few of its variants include: Fitzhenry, Fitz Harris
Early Notables of the Fitshenry family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Fitshenry Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Fitshenry family to the New World and Oceana
experienced a dramatic decrease in its population during the 19th century. This was in a great measure, a response to England's imperialistic policies. Hunger and disease took the lives of many Irish people and many more chose to leave their homeland to escape the horrific conditions. North America with its promise of work, freedom, and land was an extremely popular destination for Irish families
. For those families that survived the journey, all three of these things were often attained through much hard work and perseverance. Research into early immigration and passenger lists revealed many immigrants bearing the name Fitshenry: Nicholas Fitz Harris
who settled in Philadelphia in 1855 along with Peter; Thomas Fitzhenry arrived in Pennsylvania in 1773; Richard Fitzhenry arrived in Philadelphia in 1871..