Genealogy breakthrough… maybe.

So, Peter Fitzharris

Do not believe everything you see there. Specifically, do not believe the birth date.

Microfilm of church register of 1838
Parish register including marriage of Peter Fitzharris to Judith Connor

You see, Peter Fitzharris was certainly married to Judith Connor December 31, 1838  in Wicklow, County Wicklow, Ireland. And he had a number of children with her, who were baptised in the County. But we are not certain about the birth date.

If, and it is a big if, he was born in 1824 then he was born to Edward and Anne (Weldon) Fitzharris. But then he would be roughly a decade younger than his wife, who he would have married at age 14. Not impossible but, shall we say, unlikely.

Parish register including baptism of Peter, son of Michael Fitzharris and Catherine Maginnis

On another hand, after searching through records only of County Wicklow, Ireland, I discovered another Peter Fitzharris, born 1810. You see, I am working from notes from one of the kids’ grandfathers, and it states Peter Fitzharris was born in 1810, but that year is crossed out and the date 1825 is written in. So I had been looking specifically around 1825 for Peter’s baptism, and the closest one I found to that date was 1824, but located in Dublin City, Dublin, Ireland.

When I went back to the places I knew Peter Fitzharris had actually been in Ireland, they were all in County Wicklow. He was living in Commons, Rathnew, County Wicklow, when he appeared in Griffith’s Valuation, probably in 1854, the year his son James was born and, possibly, the year he emigrated to the USA. In 1841 his signature appears under Nicolas Fitzharris’s signature in Lord Viscount Morpeth’s Testimonial Roll, on a sheet marked as Church St. Chapel. His marriage, also in Wicklow, in 1838 would have been at age 28 in pre-famine Ireland.

If, but it is not quite so unlikely an if, Peter was born the son of Michael and Catherine in 1810, then all his records before departing Ireland would be within a rather small geographic region – Rathnew and Wicklow parishes of County Wicklow.  This seems reasonably logical, and now we need a copy of Peter’s death certificate to see if we can get a correlation of some of this data.