Recorded in the spellings of Fitzharry, Fitzharris, and Fitzhenry, all are essentially Irish surnames but of Norman-English origins. The surname was originally well recorded in County Wexford, where the family were known both as Fitzharris and Fitzhenry, although there is or was, another unconnected Fitzhenry group, in the province of Connacht. The name means "the son of Henry", from the famous personal name introduced into England by the Norman-French in 1066. The original meaning of the name was generally more specific, and usually implied a natural son, rather than one from the marriage. As many of the "Fitz" prefix can claim royal and noble blood, the question of naturality does not seem to have proved any sort of handicap, in fact the reverse, it has been for many a positive asset! In time the Fitzhenry branch in Connacht became naturalised Irish, gradually changing their name to MacEinri. In the 16th century this was then forcibly changed to MacHenry or MacEnery, the barony of Castletown MacEnery in Limerick, being named after them. Examples of the name recording include Juhan Fitts Harries, as spelt, who married Edmond Brangan at St Michan's church, Dublin, on September 17th 1654, and Enoch Fitzhenry, christened at Armagh City, on May 19th 1752. The first recording is truly ancient, being that of Henry Fitz Henry, of Bray, County Wicklow, in the year 1157.
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