Fitzhenry History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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 or Normandy, it can now only be found in Ireland. The surname Fitzhenry is derived from the personal name Henry, which was brought by the Normans into England 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 Fitzhenry is Mac Éinri.

Early Origins of the Fitzhenry family

The surname Fitzhenry 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 in 1172.

Early History of the Fitzhenry family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fitzhenry research. Another 80 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 120 and 1206 are included under the topic Early Fitzhenry History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fitzhenry Spelling Variations

During the Middle Ages, a single person often had their name recorded by church officials and scribes many different ways. Names were typically spelt as they sounded, which resulted in many different spelling variations. The many versions of the name Fitzhenry to have been recorded over the years include: Fitzhenry, FitzHarris and others.

Early Notables of the Fitzhenry family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Fitzhenry Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Fitzhenry migration to the United States +

In the 1840s, Ireland experienced a mass exodus to North America due to the Great Potato Famine. These families wanted to escape from hunger and disease that was ravaging their homeland. With the promise of work, freedom and land overseas, the Irish looked upon British North America and the United States as a means of hope and prosperity. Those that survived the journey were able to achieve this through much hard work and perseverance. Early immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Fitzhenry:

Fitzhenry Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Fitzhenry, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1773
  • Thomas FitzHenry, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1773
Fitzhenry Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Michel Fitzhenry, who arrived in Mississippi in 1860 [1]
  • Richard FitzHenry, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1871
  • Richard Fitzhenry, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1871

Contemporary Notables of the name Fitzhenry (post 1700) +

  • Louis Fitzhenry (1870-1935), American judge and politician, representative from Illinois
  • Damien Fitzhenry, Irish sportsman. He is the goalkeeper on the Wexford senior hurling team
  • Daniel Fitzhenry (b. 1979), in Macksville, New South Wales is an Australian rugby league player

  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8) on Facebook