Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sunday's Obituary ~ The very mobile Virginia Fants ( Faunt & Phant )

Here is where it gets messy, Virginia Fants.. some of the best documented trees are all over the place on this guy.. His own Great Great grandson calls him Phant? Ephraim who is son of ( according to who's tree you are reading) George, Abner, Unknown and Unknown) I found him because I found THIS on Find A Grave also:
 Birth: Feb. 12, 1917
 Texas, USA
 Death: Jan. 8, 1945
 Cambridgeshire, England
 Willie S. Fant
 Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army Air Forces
 368th Bomber Squadron, 306th Bomber Group, Heavy
 Entered the Service from: Arkansas
 Died: 8-Jan-45
 Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters
 When I looked his father, Robinson S. Fant had 24 (Twenty Four) !! Children with 2 wives... so there are a whole lot of folks who are not sure which Fants are them..

 Ephraim is father of a David J. Fant ( Not David Jones) who in turn is father of Robinson Samuel..
 South Carolina to Arkansas to Texas.. Anyone closely matching Bert Fant take note...

Reason I found Willie S. Fant is I have found a family spelling their name FAUNT in Georgia..
Reddin Faunt Richard Faunt Edward E. Faunt..all born c. 1800 and I also find Redin Fant living in North Carolina in 1840.. seems to be the same man..

A Richard Faunt the same age is also found in Missouri later on but in Dec. 6,1831 he marries Sarah Magan in Hall Georgia..

Edward E. Faunt marries a Mary Hill around the same time in Putnam Georgia January 1825

OK.. This is Richard..found also..
Birth: Jul. 10, 1810
South Carolina, USA
Death: May 27, 1880
Hopkins County
Texas, USA

He moved from Morgan, Alabama to Texas between 1860 & 1870.His marriage to Sarah Magen was in Gainsville, Georgia on 6th of Dec. in 1831. Sarah Magen Fant (1811 - 1890) Alfred Elijah Fant (1839 -

Friday, December 20, 2013

Cattle in Medieval Offaly and Kildare ~ The property of Alesia L'enfant

John McDermot has found in this book Irish Exchequer Payments, 1270-1376, by Connolly this: "The father of the justice Walter (not the justiciar, but working for him- the justiciar was the governor of the country, a position held from the mid-13th century by knights connected with the king’s military household; paid about £500 p.a., from which he paid others- there might be a strong connection between the justiciar of the time & Walter Lenfaunt) was John, who also had a son Adam."

 So we know of the 2 Walter L'enfaunts living in Ireland at that time that one is Walter son of John and one is Walter son of Walter..for sure, both living in Kildare..
 And he says this : "If we could find some documentation regarding grants to the family in Ireland. I think it begins with the custodianship of Kildare Castle by Walter. Adam helped in this, while Walter did other duties in the king’s pay."

 and this: " Walter Lenfaunt was paid £20 p.a. as the Keeper of Kildare Castle from 1299 on. The money was paid to his brother Adam Lenfaunt that year. In 1302, Walter handed the castle over to Albert de Kenley on the king’s instructions. Though he is mentioned in relation to the castle 1300-4.

 Richard Lenfaunt was paid £10 that year.

 Walter was also paid for horses & arms used in the king’s service. This in 1282 (also in 1275-6). The King made him a gift of £33 in 1285. He also was granted lands formerly held by Henry (son of Simon) de Rocheford. This in 1301-2.

 In 1308-9, Walter was pressed into service in Richard de Burgh’s expedition to Scotland in the king’s service.

 There is a whole series of annual payments to Walter as a justice of the Justiciar’s court; from 1286-91 he was paid £180. On overage, he was paid £20 p.a. He was an itinerant justice also. He was in Co. Tipperary in 1305, in Co. Meath in 1302 [the index jumps about a bit].

 Stephen, Bishop of Waterford, justiciar, for whom Walter Lenfaunt had a tally of £19.

 William, Bishop of Emly & Walter Lenfaunt had a gift from the king of £28.

 Stephen, the justiciar, from whom William La Faunt had a tally. This in 1282. " 

 So what it may be is that John Lenfant in 1218 in Buckinghamshire is his grandfather, McDermot speculates..

 The family is in Kildare and nearby Offaly.. John says this also "1297 Offaly..40 cows of the sister of Walter Lenfaunt robbed. Robbers fled & were followed [this is a serious theft, in comparison to the last – Walter & his immediate family were the wealthiest, plainly"

 In Kildare as we discussed before is Walter son of John, Walter son of Walter, John Sr., Thomas, Adam, Alesia Lenfaunt le Gras and William.. Also Gilbert Lenfaunt the goose and chicken thief  who we hope is not a relative.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories- Christmas Gifts, Dec. 19 - the Faunt cousins

My dearly loved cousins Patty and Franny Faunt Jr., my sister Carol and I..  At their house on Ives Avenue in Carneys Point , NJ. A wonderful street full of many other Irish American families who had bought their first houses on the GI Bill. Our Grandfather Edward Faunt, first generation American, did not own a home until all four of his children purchased theirs.

The Christmas gifts that we are displaying are either what our cousins had given to us, which would be very polite, or more likely our favorite gift. I think it was a mix because Cousin Franny had his hat on when we got there..with that same blissful look on his face.

We Irish had big Christmases, always happy. My father, however, told a story of Uncle Franny calling him up at 2 AM because he did not have the right size screws. Probably they finished the bicycle in question together, both of them quite tipsy, before morning.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Fethard Tipperary and the L'enfant family

Alesia Lenfaunt (sister of Walter) now wife of Hamo leGras..Alessia's tenement at Boltrebageston was assessed 46s and 1 1/2d of which half is in arrears and now Hamo is anew distrained for that.~ Kildare 1299.

This seems pretty important and ties the L'enfants to very prominent Norman families..
Alesia Lenfant ( Sister to Walter)'s husband Hamo le Gras(Gros) was a very prominent family.." Among the Barons summoned to Parliament 30th Edward I were Anselm le Gras, Edmond le Gras and Hamo le Gras..
William le Gras(Gros) the son of Edmund by his wife Elena Birmingham granted to Edmund the Lord Butler of Ireland all his lands in Fythard ( Fethard) in the County of Tipperary ( 1302)

Sir Hamo le Gras who was killed in battle with the Scots in 1315 at Ascul was called "le Gros" "le Grosse" and "le Grace".Raymond le Gros was second son of William FitzGerald Lord of Carew ( Carew Castle) in Pembrokeshire.. Gerald Cambrenis called him the "notable and chiefest pillar in Ireland"

If Hamo leGros  and his family were in Wales at the time of Conquest, were the L'enfants far behind? A Thomas and a William are in Shropshire between 1230 and 1270.Where  and when did this family begin to scatter?We might begin with these groupings below

Kildare 1299- 1302 
In Kildare lived Alesia le Gras sister to Walter and wife to Hamo,Walter son of John,John Lenfaunt Sr.who lived or worked in the castle in Alewyne,  John son of Thomas and Adam L'enfant a Knight.Gilbert Lenffant and wife Cristina were there also but were outlawed for theft.
 Limerick 1295
 lived Ricard Lenfant Simon Lenfant
Waterford 1297
Walter son of Walter Lenfant, John son of Thomas

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sentimental Sunday ~ The nearest place that was not Ireland ~ Font Family of South Dublin ~

Some Faunt and Font families had it tough.. John Font of Dublin son of John Font married Catherine Rooney in South Dublin in 1866.
They migrate to Newcastle upon Tyne Northumberland and have 8 children.. Catherine dies in 1883 and the family falls apart..  Patrick is the only one to have children in UK and some died young..
Martin Font later found as Martin Faunt apparently was a "Home Child" and was sent to Canada..he later married and had children.. The children of the family were James Michael, John, Mary Ann, Francis, Martin, Patrick and Catherine.

Their parents left Ireland probably with not too many choices. It was a hard time for so very many.
Hoping these distant cousins made a good life for themselves in Canada.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sentimental Sunday ~Faunt~ a One-Name Guild Study

Ten years or so ago I knew only what my Grandfather Ed Faunt told me about the family, which was that the name was Le Faunte and that they were French in origin. Grandpop was close to being correct as I have occasionally seen Le Fante but more often L'Enfant and they were at least political Normans.

What is a political Norman, you might wonder? Well we are not Nordic or Norsemen but rather Neolithically were from Southern France possibly is the Midi-Pyrenees. The DNA experts call "us" Sardinian I2a1 as Sardinia  has a "founder" population of men who carry the same mutations as our men. This indicates a post ice-age presence in that area. There are Neolithic caves further up on the Continent which have  a few matches of farmers who match our lines.

The One- Name Study though is more than that as I should begin to explore all of those who carry the surname. My goodness, what a big job! So all of us Faunt Fant Fonts from Ireland and everywhere we can locate them come under this particular study area. I have a lot to learn.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Henry V and the L'enfants in Normandy

Apparently the L'Enfant family were in the retinue of Henry V between 1417 and 1419 including his siege of Rouen.

On January 7  Power was given to Richard the Earl of Warwick, Thomas Earl of Salisbury, Henry Fitzhugh, Chamberlain, Walter Hunderford, steward  and others to treat for the surrender of Rouen. 

On January 7 " Same for George Dacques,John la Maiguen,John Lenfant, Loveyset Poupart and William Perssen coming to the  Abbey of St. Katherine near Rouen.

January 11 before Rouen "Safe conducts were given to John Lenfant and Lovyset Pourpart coming to Candebec from the Abbey of St. Katherine near Rouen". On January 17  there was an extension of the same safe conduct as well.

On January  23 there was a "Safe conduct given to William Lenfant coming to Rouen with provisions"

On September 27 at Gisors "John Lenfant, Peter Baygnart,John Brianenie,John Oysnel,Robert le Desmaude" and same to Robert de la Haie ,Oliver de Pierrepoint,William Osbert and William Lenfant.

John apparently was in on important negotiations and for sure spoke Norman French as most members of the nobility did at that time.

It also seems pretty clear to me that this is the family of John son of John and John son of Walter who were immersed in the property dispute in Ardscoll September 8, 1374. The inclusion of William Lenfant in these safe conducts and to-ing and  fro-ing in Rouen and Gisors indicates to me that there were numerous members of this family at that time. Perhaps one Walter Lenfant died without issue but clearly not all of them as evidenced by the property decision after 1374.

Also found in records for this time in Kildare are Walter Lenfent, Guy Faunt and Peter Lenfaunt who are ordered to appear with about 20 other men to restore animals taken from an O'Morthe near the town of Leys or Leix. March 12, 1372.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

No Less Distinguished In The Field~

                                                Cill Mhaighneann c. 700AD

Per the book The Judges in Ireland , a knight, Sir Walter L'Enfant, no less distinguished on the field than in council was appointed  the first Justice to hold the pleas in 1290 AD. Four years later he was superseded by another knight Sir Walter de la Haye who also served four years and retired. L'Enfant was reappointed in 1298 and served until 1309 assisted with the help of deputies. 

The same book indicates that he was probably a son of Walter L'Enfant , who held property in Ireland, and entered the King's service in 1270.He served as keeper of the castle of Kildare in 1302 and was  granted protection in Ireland for going beyond the seas in 1210. He left a widow, Elizabeth who married William de Welleslegh, Constable of Kildare Castle. She may not have been his first wife.

Dr. Beth Hartland, in her study of these household knights, believes his son also served the  King at this time. It seems more likely to me that the reference to " Walter the Younger, deputized to deliver seisin of  lands to Edward I" could have been  this Walter as his sons may have been younger.

So this,found in the Close Roll 48 Edward III in 1274 : "John s. of John L'enfaunt petitions that he was seised of certain tenements in Ardscoll in fee, of which John s. of Walter L'enfaunt disseised him, of which disseisin the said John s. of John after the death of the said John s. of Walter brought a writ of novel disseisin against Walter, son and heir of John s. of Walter, as tenant of the said tenements, and recovered same. John s. of Walter was outlawed and the sheriff distrained John s. of John for his debts. He prays remedy, ORDER to do what is required of right and according to the law and custom of Ireland.", may indicate his descendants and  kinfolk in Kildare.

The Journal of Kildare's interpretation of  a Walter L'enfant as Prior of the Hospital of St.John of Jerusalem at Kilmainham in 1288 must also be a misinterpretation of  the records. I think, rather it means that Walter, then a Justice Itinerant, inspected the Priory at that time.

It seems likely to me that the elder Walter would have been born about 1220 or earlier and could possibly have been one of the first in his family to hold land in Ireland. There was a Nicholas le Enfaunt who served  in Gascony as a knight of Henry III in 1253 with Ralph le Bigot ( Bigod), John de Burgo and many others. It would make perfect sense for this to be brother to Walter the Elder.
The entered into the retinue of this family surely with King John or before.
We can pretty surely place this family in Ireland by 1250,and in the service of the Plantagenet Kings possibly before that. As late as 1600s Nicholas and Patrick Ffant have lands both in Limerick and Kildare. The extensive studies of the Close Rolls of the Kings indicate that the family did not hold land in England at that time. This quote is quite specific," getting close to the English court, a more pressing problem in the case of knights like Walter who lacked English land.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Follow Friday ~ Walter L'enfant was 'no less distinguished on the field than in council'

 I am LOVING and following Dr. Beth Hartland of King's College London who has this to say in her study of the knights of Henry III and William I : " Edward I was fortunate to be able to count men of the calibre of Walter L'Enfant and William de Cauneton among his loyal servants in Ireland. The ties of service that bound these Anglo-Irish knights to their kind were nurtured by their retention as household knights..which lasted through their careers. However these links were not retained by royal effort.. Indeed for Edward I..Ireland was a low priority. Rather it was the efforts of the Anglo-Irish community which maintained those links"

She goes on to say things like : " Why men like Walter L'Enfant 'no less distinguished on the field than in council' opted to remain in royal service. "( little money)...and a way of" getting close to the English court, a more pressing problem in the case of knights like Walter who lacked English land "

Guess we know where they lived and did not live..

also " That Ralph Piperd, Lord of Dysert Meath, Deputized Walter the Younger to deliver seisin of this lands to Edward evidence of the standing of the L'enfants within the Lordship"

so proud of this family..

Dr. Beth Hartland is Editor of the Calendar of Henry III Fine Rolls
 (   @Henry3FineRolls

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Census Sunday ~ Discovering Louisa Faunt

 I found Louisa Faunt in the 1900 census,some years ago and puzzled at who she might be, thinking I suppose that I knew everything about the family. I did  have the living children documented, or so I thought. So who was this Louisa living in Beverly with a daughter Helen , aged 2 months,named, surely after her mother Ellen?
My Great Grandfather Patrick in his last relationship before his death also has a daughter Helen. Was this Louisa possibly a cousin? I put Louisa in with the " mystery Faunts" like Michael who has a son Walter John die of cholera infantum in 1901 and "our " Michael died unmarried in 1911.

My second clue was the 1885 New Jersey census which showed William, Ellen, William and Nellie as family #81 page 13 in Beverly. Jane( Jennie), Mikle ( Michael), Louisa and Edwin (infant Edward who does not live out the year) are found on page 14 presumably also family #81. My Patrick called "Patsy" here and Mary his wife are called family #113 on page 18 of  the census, which is not viewable.

Shortly after this I found her birth which confirmed that Louisa Fauntt was born 27 Jul 1880 to William Fauntt and mother surnamed Lynch who was born in Ireland.

The 1900 census ( aren't they wonderful!) shows John W. Farley who Louisa marries living in the next house or apartment. That he was Helen's father is sort of confirmed by a newspaper account which shows Clara Farley getting into an argument with our Louisa around this same time.

Beverly NJ was quite the place! Love my Great Aunt Louisa, who I never met and her family, which I now have. A letter I cherish from my Grandmother Retta Swanson Faunt, written before her early death, mentions "Louisie" so  I like to think Patrick and she were close.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wisdom Wednesday ~ Inscriptions on the Kilmallock Chalices and Family

 In St. Saviour's Church Limerick is the second of the Henry Burgatt chalices and on that chalice are three inscriptions in Latin. When they are translated and considered in context they seem to illustrate more of the family of  Geneta Fant and John Burgate.

The first inscription  reads "Dom. Callaghanus O'Callaghan et Juana Butler vxor ejus fieri fecerant pro conventu Killocensi: ord. " which may read loosely  " Donated by Callaghan O'Callaghan and his wife Juana Butler of  Killocensi.

Second Inscription is " Henrico Burgatt. Orate pro Mauritio Gibbon, filio Comitis Albi. Requiescat in pace. 1639 "  and probably reads and means " Henry Burgate. Pray for Maurice Gibbon, son of the Earl of white (FitzGibbon the  White Knight)  Rest in peace. 1639.


Third Inscription is Thos. Burgat  and under it is Joana Butler.
It is  possible that Henry Burgate is praying for his brother-in-law Maurice Gibbon who was son of Gibbon FitzGibbon called the White Knight. Maurice FitzGibbon married Ellen/Helen Burgate. 

It is also possible that it refers to Joan ( Juana) Butler's son from her first marriage to Maurice Fitzgibbon. Maurice "Oge" Fitzgibbon the 12th White Knight who died May 30,  1611 at the age of fourteen.

Henry Burgate was the uncle of the 13th White Knight and was Prior of Kilmallock Abbey  in 1639.

I have also just found that Anne Browne of Awney was wife of  Thomas Burgatt senior. He dies in 1688 and his widow marries Foulcke Monslowe  and petitions for the lands he lived on in Ballyregan.





Monday, July 1, 2013

Mappy Monday ~ Fants near Baile an Fhóntaigh in Desmond Wars

"Desmound is a parcel of the Countie of Kerry and is deuided into three Baronies and an half. The South part doth bound with certayne mountaynes of Bear and Bantry beginninge from Killmallockoshista and continuinge to O Leary and O donouans landes in the countie of Corke."

This is a momentous period time for our family, from the dissolution of the religious houses between 1537-1547, to the Desmond Rebellions ib 1569-1583. They are attainted for treason, lost their lands, fortunes and their lives.

A James Ffant of Fantstown ,we know was attainted for the murder of Patrick Ffant, at a town gate in Kilmallock in 1583 or 1586( accounts vary). Was he the James who owned the Castle or did he just live nearby? It is said that Genet Ffant who married John Burgatt was his daughter, and since we know that Thomas Burgatt was castle tenant in 1586, we assume this to be true. Possibly also Thomas Burgatt was given the wardship of Genet  and thus was able to marry his son to her. We know they married and lived in a manor at Galbally Abbey in 1604, and that their children were born about that time. We do not know how old they were when they were married, although it is quite possible they were still quite young.

Another James Ffant who works for George Thorneton the Marshal or President of Munster was pardoned for some treasonous activity at this time and since the Marshal was pardoned in 1583 it was likely that was the date. James was said to be a tenant  in Ballanny Tipperary, further away.

In 1595 a grant was given to Captain Robert Collum, of the various lands of James Ffant and Robert Ffant in various places in Limerick, as well as two messuages  in Kilmallock town. Messuages meant a house and outbuildings with the land adjacent to them, and attainted usually meant  treason at this time. John Faunt from Fantstowne was a Kerne (soldier) in 1567 and as a horseman received a pardon in 1584. Also receiving pardons were Richard, Limerick yeoman and James and John Fant of Clangibbon Cork. It is quite possible some of these were brothers to Genet and for sure were related to her.

Others appearing in records at this time were Nicholas Oge Ffant and his wife Margaret Coyne, Patrick and Stephen. We know these folks all survive the Civil Wars which went on for eleven years.
They surely lived nearby at this time  but begin to move away to Tipperary and Cork and other places not in Ireland.

This is a description of the area  then called Fantstown,
Baile an Fhóntaigh or  the town of An Fóntach (le Faunt) from Limerick Diocesan Heritage Project
" The village of Bulgaden is about 3 miles from Kilmallock off the R515. The parish is called Bulgaden/Martinstown but in old editions of the Catholic Directory the parish was known as Bulgaden and Ballinvana. Today the parish is made up of parts of the old parishes of Ballinvana (which was also called Athaneasy) and Kilmallock. Ballinvana has also been called Kilbreedy Major and Fantstown over the years in various sources."


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Workday Wednesday ~ Nailers ,Blacksmiths and Soldiers in Tipperary and New Jersey

In the walled medieval Norman town were I find my family in 1800, blacksmiths or nailers, or both, practiced their trade and lived at this very place.In Ireland, the blacksmith traditionally played an important role in the community; he not only shod horses, ponies and donkeys as a farrier, but also repaired agricultural implements, shod wheels and often made gates and railings. It used to be that every town and village in Ireland had at the very least, one forge and a blacksmith.

In this area of Tipperary, I am told by experts, the military required smiths and makers of nails and implements for the cavalry and weapons. William Fant my 3rd great grandfather may have been  military or he may  have just worked for them in Fethard, a market town.

His sons Patrick and William were in the Army with son William practicing this trade.William the older's oldest son James lived on Kerry Street as an adult also and likely worked at this trade. William's daughter Bridget married a nailer after she was widowed and her son Patrick Madden Faunt was a career military man. Son Patrick's father in law Patrick Dwane reported this as his occupation when Pat married Margaret after leaving the Army in 1865.

My William surely worked at his trade when first arriving in America. He worked for Wall Rope in Beverly NJ, most likely to maintain the machines. His nephew William Joseph Faunt was also a soldier when he immigrated to New York City and there is some evidence he may have had a similar occupation.

Patrick 's other son who lived to adulthood, James who stayed in Cork was a soldier. Michael Faunt youngest living son of my William Faunt was a blacksmith  at his death from tuberculosis in 1911 near Reading PA. A grandson of the immigrant also a William Faunt, worked nearby to Michael.

The military had it's grip on this family, descended from the first Norman knights since they arrived in Ireland  with the first invasion in 1169. They were soldiers for 700 years until the last of them left for America in the early 1900s. The Irish Civil Wars were the catalyst. Brave men, all of them

"Should a walker turn left at the dance hall rather than right at the bridge leading to town he would find himself  in Kerry Street  and on the road to Clonmel. In the days when nails were made by hand in a forge rather than by machinery  in a factory, Kerry Street was the place where the Fethard nailers lived and worked. Tradition has it that their workshops were situated on the left hand side of the street "

Monday, June 24, 2013

Military Monday ~ Battle of Liscarroll Sept. 3, 1642

                                                      Geneta Ffant Burgatt's Family

I was excited to find that Genet and John had children, besides Henry  and William who were priests. William apparently went on to be  Archbishop of Cashel in 1669. Children were in part: John, James, Ellen, Henry and William. Possibly there were others and I will try to figure that out.

Ellen married a nobleman , Maurice Fitzgibbon, son of the White Knight and had a son Gibbon. William Burgate was  ordained Archbishop of Cashel in 1669, both he and his brother were very much up and down depending on whether there was a Catholic king or  a Protectorate. James and John Burgatt had children, for sure three sons between them who did not live past 1642.

Sadly we learn of the British Civil Wars and the Burgat/Burgate's roles in them . Captain John Burgate was in the Irish Confederate Army and was present  in July of 1642 when Kilfinny Castle fell although some sources say it was James Burgate and that he was one of the besiegers. Possibly both men were present as they were reported to have lead one of the regiments.
Sons of both men lost their lives at Liscarroll Cork September 3rd, 1642 and the following epitaph is engraved on the wall at Kilmallock Abbey, St. Saviour's Church where they were inurned.
Sept 3rd what year those figures tell,
Saw three youths inurned, untimely dead,
Brothers and kinsmen pledged,in just war fell,
King, Country God, approve wherefore they fell.
Youth’s virgin purity, true martyr blood,
Mark out their corpses from the mangled heap
As lilies struggling amidst the ensanguined flood,
Three deserved well- Three names thou marble keep
George                 Brothers

Edward                                             } Burgate
Alexander            Nephew

Another interpretation  of King Country God is this: "They fall in a new war.
The king and religion approve the right and the cause of the country". They were felt to be martyrs, The Burgates lost 3 and the Fitzgeralds of Desmond lost eighteen. All the dead were said to be heaped in a pile by the victors who lost only twelve of their own.

It was a very troubled time and sometimes up was down and  then it was reversed again. Fortunes and lands were gone after the 1580s. Ellen( Helen) Burgate FitzGibbon was confirmed in her Dower lands in 1661 and then transplanted in 1666 to Connaught. In 1666, also, Fantstowne was confirmed to H. Posonby and Lord Colloony in the Acts of Settlement after having been held by J. and Ellen Burgatt in 1657.

It is very sad and troubling to think about and our family was very resilient,  and survived, although not always in Ireland.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Church Record Sunday ~ Kilmallock Abbey and the Henry Burgat Chalice

Pray for the Souls of Lord John Burgat and his wife Geneta Fant" it says on the Henry Burgat chalice.
Henry Burgat had this Chalice made in 1639 so we can assume his parents are then deceased.
Henry Burgat is found further in records as being either confined as a prisoner on the Island of Botin or jail in Cork or Galway for refusing to leave Ireland in 1653.

On  a records site for St.Saviour, Kilmallock Abbey are remarkable things about Henry Burgatt's life and religious sanctity. It seems clear from this,as he predicted the Catholic King  James II  would have two sons four years before the first was born, that Henry dies sometime after 1684.He died in the house of Sir Simon Purdon, High Sheriff of Limerick who he converted to Catholicism. Henry was buried in the Franciscan abbey at Askeaton.

Henry's brother William Burgatt was appointed  Archbishop of Cashel  8 March 1669 and died in 1674.I find nothing else on either brother but a John Burgatt is a landowner in Limerick in 1643 to 1655. He married Ellen FitzGibbon who survived him in 1655. It is doubtful the chalice was dedicated to the couple if they were living so this might be a son. I would say for sure that Geneta(Genet) is deceased in 1639.

Fathers Christopher and Felix Baggatt brothers, and cousins of Henry and William Baggott also were in that Abbey at one point.

Not too many of that name are found in Irish records. I am exploring the possibility of them as Baggot after 1600  as that name was plentiful in Limerick.

I am very intrigued with Genet Ffant and her marriage which seems clear to me was an attempt to restore family fortunes. In ancient times the type of marriage was called "peaceweaving". Was Genet a Peaceweaver and how did it work for her?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Our Kinfolk II ~ The Family Fractures

                                                          Kilmallock  Limerick

 James Fant who worked for George Thornton and lived in Ballyany in 1586 when he was pardoned was possibly Protestant. He could be married into this family, or anyway, name a son George.So the George Font who comes into Accomac VA in 1671 could very well be connected to this family.
George Thornton lived in Bruff a town that is within sight of Kilmallock but to the Southeast.

This is NOT the same James Ffant who is attainted of murder of Patrick Ffant at the Glassie Gate in Kilmallock in 1683, but all of these men are involved in the Desmond Rebellions ,which started as border issues between the Earls of Desmond and Ormonde. These Earls were related and Elizabeth I backed Thomas Butler Earl of Ormonde and the Vatican backed Desmond. So religion becomes important.

There is not at this time any really safe place for Catholics and priests in Kilmallock are sent away and even executed for refusing to leave.  My line seems to live quietly without lands in Bansha Tipperary and continue to serve in the military and as farmers, others move further down into Mitchelstown and nearby Fermoy Cork and do the same. Do some from Kildare move into England at this time? Perhaps.

A George Font comes into Accomac Virginia before August 1671 in the company of 36 others. He is not found in records after that but is surely the father of Sarah and William. He is deceased probably before William Vaint marries Katherine/Catherine Reddish in 1723.  A second George This family is Protestant and many if not most others are not. It would be quite feasible for them to emigrate into an Anglican Colony.

Genet or Gwen Fant who is most probably the daughter of the executed James Fant is Catholic. She did not inherit the  Fantstowne lands as her father was under a Bill of Attainder. She marries John Burgatt( Burgate)  whose father Thomas was beneficiary of some of the attainted lands. This family was still Catholic as it is know that in 1639 three chalices were made for the convent in Kilmallock and inscriptions on all three mention the Burgatt family. There is a plaque to the Burgatt family in the choir of the priory. The Henry Burgat Chalice, 1639, dates from time Henry Burgat is prior of Kilmallock  Abbey and entreats all to “Pray for the Souls of  Lord John Burgat and his wife Geneta Ffant”.  Henry was one of the sons of Genet Fant  Burgat.The Chalice now in Drum, Tipperary in  the church that a later priest Patrick Fant of Bansha Tipperary  built and served in until his death in 1847.

 In 1641 George Webb, the Protestant Bishop of Limerick about 1640 tried to take possession of certain church lands in Kilmallock parish and said the lands and castle were worth 1200 pounds.He stated that Nicholas Fant got these lands from him by means of a trick, on a 21 year lease, when he (the Bishop) first came to the diocese. He stated that Fant promised to help regain possession of his rights in Kilmallock, but was now his most bitter enemy. Nicholas Oge Fant was Protestant.
The fractured family lives on in their various places straddling both sides of a divide. Some are in Bansha and Galbally and practice the "old" religion, some are in the New World practicing a new religion. Nicholas "the Younger" Fant seems to be a different religion than his father also Nicholas.
The families of James Ffant and Patrick Ffant , or at least those two men had drastic differences which led to the deaths of both. It was a dreadful time.



Our Kinfolk ~ As I now see it..

Although this is always a work in progress, it now seems clear to me at least, that the I2a1 Y DNA genetic Fant/Faunt/Font family is confined to Southern Ireland and a specific area of that. Bansha Tipperary and Galbally Limerick are 11 miles from each other within  the Glen of Aherlow.
Importantly the Desmond Wars which seem to have ultimately fractured the family were fought round the Glen. Indeed, Gerald Fitzgerald the 15th Earl of Desmond finally met his death there, after fighting his stepson, Thomas Butler the Earl of Desmond for years.

John McDermot has said this recently :"We know the Fant family was at Galbally, Kilmallock, Mitchelstown & Bansha over the years, with the more remote Templemore connection and also William Fant in Fethard. I do not think the family had lands all over the county. There is no evidence of it. They show up in various places outside their home areas from time to time. This can be explained in William Fant's case by his occupation as a nailer. He worked for the army in Fethard, the biggest user of horses in the area." and " You have the main Fant line at Galbally. The other families we found in the general area are offshoots"

"I think these Normans had lands all over the place, which changed hands frequently. I think the
Faunts settled in Galbally, finally. They are mentioned in the Ormond deeds frequently at this time.
The Dukes of Ormond were centered in Kilkenny but, as I said, counties were not yet formed then. You find the leading knights all over in this period. They were still getting established. "
Clearly to me the Virginia Fants, my Fethard Fants who came from near to Bansha and Galbally, the Fermoy Cork Fants who went to Connecticut, and others are all from this area. A notable exception is lands that were held in Kildare as well as Kilmallock Limerick from  1297 to at least 1757 by one or more branches of the family. 

David L’enfant testified before the Inquisition on 11 November 1181 as a citizen of Limerick .We are aware that in April 28 of 1297  in the 27th year of William I's reign Walter son of Walter L’enfant owed in Kildare to the Seneschal of the liberty of Kildare  60 acres of wheat and 60 acres of oats and 6 oxen and 4 afers ( heifers). John son of Thomas and Walter son of Walter were part of this crop being given to the King, and only one Walter had crops in Kildare at that point.

We see from“Who’s Who in Early Modern Limerick” that Patrick Ffante in 1541 also held lands in Kildare and also that Bartholomew son of Patrick Fant is born in Kildare in 1757 and he or his son is later found in Mitchelstown records. I guess we can safely conclude that the family is in Galbally and Kilmallock as well as other places from 1200 until 1900 when most of them are gone.

 A piece left out of the puzzle is the Fonts in Liverpool but perhaps we can assume they moved up and out from Kildare? The timing on the DNA would work with being from the same line as Bartholomew son of Patrick in 1757. The rest of the North Ireland lands seem another family entirely.



Thursday, June 6, 2013

In Medieval Times - Part II - Walter L'enfant

How many Walter L’enfants were in Ireland? The records are scattered here and there but there seem to be at least three or four. The Walters had children and fathers and sons with other names, of course, but let us begin here.  Some lines die out of  as you will read in the various old records. I had a Great Uncle Walter John Faunt and a New Jersey family who seems to be related to us has  three living generations of William Walter Faunts  at this time.
In  May 13, 1300 at Louth Walter Lenfant was a Justice Itinerant.Also 1302 Adam Lenfant and Walter son of John L’enfant of Kildare were mainprised at Kildare. 

The most prominent Sir Walter L’enfant was Justiciar of Ireland for the first time in 1290 and again in 1298 .

Sir Walter L'enfant was a Knight of Blackcastle County Meath  in 1374/5. Additionally it seems, this Walter or another is also linked to Tipperary. “1 Aug., 1374 at Clonmel,  and Jan., 1375 at Thurles. Fines before Walter L'Enfant, Knight, seneschal of the liberty of Tipperary. (Ormond Deed, Vol. 2, pp. 130-2).

In the Easter term of 1366 a dispute between the Prior of St. John's, Waterfordand the Prior of Athassel came before Walter L'Enfant, seneschal of Tipperary.If this entry is correct he may have been acting as deputy for Peter le Botiller (Butler) who was then seneschal. 

6 July, 1343-4. Pardon to Walter L'Enfant with a fine of £60 by the justices of
Louth. (Cal. Pat. & Close Rolls, Ire., p. 45b).

3 May, 1346. Grant to Walter L'Enfant of the custody of the castle of Catherlagh
at £20 per annum.

22 Jan., 1356. Sir Walter L'Enfant appointed justice of a gaol delivery at Cashel,Co. Tipp. (Cal. of Patents. & Close Rolls, Ire.)

26 Feb., 1358. Walter Fitzjohn L'Enfant, junior, of the Co. Kildare.  

6 Nov., 1374. Pleas of assize held at Clonmel before Walter L'Enfant, seneschal of the liberty of Tipperary. (Ormond Deed, Vol. 3, p. 388).1374/5. A Roll of escheats, fines and amercements of the liberty court of Tipperary taken before Walter de L'Enfant, seneschal of said liberty. (O.D., Vol. 6, 154). Deed produced by Walter, Earl of Ormond, before the Royal Commission to prove the maintenance of his title to the Palatine of Tipperary.

2 Nov., 1374. He was summoned to a Parliament to be held at Naas by the Archbishop of Dublin & was fined and amerced for not attending according to his writ.(Carew, Book of Howth, etc., p. 372, & Lynch: Feudal Dignitaries).1377. As seneschal of Tipperary he was again summoned to Parliament and wasfined 12 June, 1378 for non attendance. (Cal. Pat. & Close Rolls, Ire., p. 103b). 5 May, 1382. Recognisance of Walter L'Enfant in 1,000 marks undertaking to make war against O'Conogher (Offaly) of the Irish. . (Ibid., p. 118b).29 June, 1383. Witness to the quit claim of Patrick Flatterbury to the Earl of Ormond of lands near Naas. (Ormond Deed, Vol. 2, p. 191). 

26 July, 1386. Grant to Walter Reynell, custody of the lands of Walter L'Enfant, deceased, in Louth & Kildare, and to John Haddesme, of the lands of Keppok & Blackcastle,Co. Meath. (Cal. Pat. & Close Rolls, Ire., p. 127).

Walter L'Enfant who married Joan, 3rd dau. of Matilda, Lady of Carlingford, who was the daughter & heiress of David, Baron of Naas and married lastly, John le Botiller,  was undoubtedly of this family. He is said to have died without issue. (Gormanston Register, p. 147, & Knights' Fees in Wesford, etc. 

Sir Walter L'Enfant, Knt., Justice Itinerant, 1286-1310, married Elizabeth (whose 2nd husband was William de Wellesleigh, constable of Kildare), and had issue, John & Thomas, who were pardoned for trespass at Cork, 30 March, 1354, of whom John had Issue of Walter, of this memoir.

In Medieval Times ~ L'enfant

In Medieval times the family had come to Ireland. At the beginning of May 1169, three single-masted longships beached at Bannow Bay, County Wexford. They had sailed from Milfordhaven in Wales, and on board were Normans, Welshmen and Flemings. 

David L’enfant testified before the Inquisition on 11 November 1181 as a citizen of Limerick. He is possibly the first I have found.We find the family in the mid to late 1200s in Ireland in a variety of places and tasks.  

Richard L’enfant before Michaelmas in 1284 “prest by order of the justiciary”,or paid, possibly by Walter L’enfant who was a Justice Itinerant. Richard again is in records at Kylmallock in Sept 1295 when  what he is to pay to the Abbott of Kyllmalog ( Kilmallock),Abbott de Magio a Crannoc , 8 acres of crops is partially seized for something he owes the King.. the 23rd year of Edward I. Richard is a farmer of sorts and grew oats, beans, wheat, barley and corn. I say of sorts because he is allowed by the Abbott to whatever he can farm but he apparently only farmed the 8 acres he owed the Abbott.
John Lenfant son of Thomas were also present at Michaelmas 1284 but their goods were not in the County of Limerick. 

Simon Lenfant was in court records in Limerick August 1295. 

 In 1295-6 John Boyn was seneschal of Walter L’enfant when he was outlawed in error in Omurthy ( Athy?) He pledged 5 marks and Peter le Petit and John Lenfant was his surety. 

In April 28 of 1297  in the 27th year of William I reign. Walter son of Walter L’enfant owed in Kildare to the Seneschal of the liberty of Kildare  60 acres of wheat and 60 acres of oats and 6 oxen and 4 afers ( heifers). One of these Walters probably the older had his property in Limerick as well as Thomas son of Walter .
 1297 Gilbert Lenffaunt and wife Cristina broke the house of Hugh de Vilers and stole a sheep and a lamb and they are thieves of geese and hens. Outlawed also in 1297 and later pardoned  was Walter Lenfant, Miller of “ le Boley” ( Galballey Limerick). 

April 14 1297 in Kildare John L’enfaunt Sr. in  1295 at the robbery of Town of Kildare says he was in company of John son of Thomas Lenfant and “puts himself on the country”. Not Guilty was the verdict 

Mich. De Weston took 5 cows of the son in law in the town of Moon Colmekille at the direction of his Lord Walter Lenfant of Moonkolmek. Puts himself on the Country. He wsa fined 1.2 a mark as it was a time of “Disturbance” and pledge given by John L’enfant and John de la Hyde


Monday, June 3, 2013

Military Monday ~ Virginia Fants part 2

Following a close vote in Congress, President James Madison declares war on Great Britain, June 18, 1812. April 1813  after a battle of several hours, the British capture four armed American schooners off Carters Creek in the Rappahannock River. This is close to home for the Fant family.

Which events lead some men to volunteer to serve for days, weeks or months in this conflict? Does the unit they served in give any clues to their relationship or their location?

According to the Alfred Fant book, Fant Genealogy, we find a variety of  units in service.

The 45th Regiment Virginia Militia , which Alfred calls Peyton's but which is  also found as Edrington's Company  of Stafford were activated in 1814.The British were  landing at many places along the Potomoc River in the Northern Neck area.

Serving at that time were: Elias Fant, George B. Fant, Joel Fant, Lovell Fant and Richard L. Fant.
John L. Fant served as Commissary Sgt. in 1813 and Quarter Master Sgt. in 1814.

Also serving who may be connected were James Reddish and Joseph Reddish who was Company Captain, John Edrington and Thomas Jones. Samuel Heath Peyton himself was  a Lt.. Colonel.

Captain Curtis Waller was in charge of the 16th Regiment later in 1814 and Fant Genealogy
indicates that Joel and George B. Fant serve there although I cannot find documentation online.

Also no verification but Lovell and William W. Fant may have served in Renno's
36th Regiment and Richard L. Fant in Crutchfields. 

John C. Fant served in the Mississippi Militia ( Neilsons) and Thomas Fant   as a Drum Major in the 5th Kentucky.

The Virginia Fants ~ Some thoughts

This family genealogically is very important to my research. My cousin Francis Faunt  jump started us in this quest when he matched a Virginia Fant quite closely in his Y ( male ) DNA almost 8 years ago. Francis is equally close to this person and David Font whose ancestor is found in Liverpool in 1800. The Virginia Fant testees seem to be not as close to each other and I am trying to figure out the reason.
My firm belief, having had my US researcher Vernon Skinner, author and genealogist of Maryland, pull the scarce records available, is that at least two Fant males are in Virginia prior to 1700. Many if not most have trees that are improbable at the very least and have no proofs.
Important starting point is that there have to be 2 William Fants  and two George Fants in this family. Anyone who does not have this in their tree has a problem. William Vaint marries Catherine/Katherine Raddish/Reddish on the 27th of August 1723. They have  Sarah Vaint July 23, 1725.  William Fant and ANOTHER Catherine, presumably Stewart have son George June 5, 1745. The same couple have Nathaniel January- 15, 1749.
George Fant is the second of that name in the family. The first one arrives in 1671 and must be the father of William who marries Katherine Reddish. George is most likely deceased before 1723 when his son marries.It is extremely unlikely that William Vaint and Katherine marry is 1723 and have a child immediately and then have the remainder of their children 20-25 years later. There are two Williams.

George Fant son of William and Catherine Stewart is born in 1745 and Mar 9, 1814 still in Virginia. He never leaves the state. This is per the Daughters of the American Revolution who have disproved all previous claims. George Fant did not serve in the military but is eligible and proven as a patriot for having donated supplies per this document: Abercrombie & Slatten, VA Rev. Pub. Claims . Faunts of Virginia 

  Leah Fant, James Fant and Joel Fant are not discussed in the Alfred Fant book.Leah Fant lives to more than 75 years of age, found in the 1850 census. Joel receives property from the estate of James Fant before 1820 from Leah. He mortgages more in 1834.

James may be brother or son of Joseph Fant who is not documented as they all live in Falmouth. Many of the sons of William Fant and Catherine Stewart have merely been  assumed to be his sons from older research with no proofs. Joel Fant serves in the War of 1812. Both Leah and James have children. I have yet to find anyone who shows them in their trees..

Joel Fant  has two connections to Elias Fant via Thomas Jones and their serving in the War of 1812 together.This is from Virginia Deeds : “ THIS INDENTURE made this 15th day of February in the year Eighteen hundred & twenty six Between Joel Fant of the County of Stafford and State of Virginia of the one part and Thomas Jones of the same of the other part; Witnesseth that Zachariah Bradshaw stands equally bound with Joel Fant on an execution now in the hands of the Sheriff of Stafford County consideration of the sum of One dollar hath sold to the said Thomas Jones, his heirs and assigns forever, the land in the County of Stafford on which the said Joel Fant resides.

Elias Fant upon his death in 1834 has property transfer to this same Thomas Jones on May 12, 1834.This property had been held in common with widow Margaret, who elects to take 1/9 share and waives administration.
May Term 1843. James W. Fant, administrator, of the estate of Elias Fant, dec’d, filed a petition announcing that distribution of the estate cannot be made, and requesting an order to sell four negroes, viz: Daphne and her three children, Thomas, Maria, and Margaret in order to make the distribution. Defendants Benjamin S Fant, Elias T. Fant, Simon Fant, and Mary E.B. Moore, are not residents of the State of Mississippi.Witnesses and executors were Elias Fant, David and Elias Hansbrough Stafford County VA   
What do all these things mean? Let us work on it.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

William Fant of Fethard Tipperary - Nailer

Fethard Tipperary is not the origin place for my family but actually the place where I first found them. William Faunt as he is called in British Army records is a Nailer or a blacksmith as was both his brother Patrick and his father William. They lived on the Cashel Road and Kerry Street.

I found this on the Fethard Tipperary website: " Should a walker turn left at the dance hall rather than right at the bridge leading to town he would find himself  in Kerry Street  and on the road to Clonmel.
In the days when nails were made by hand in a forge rather than by machinery  in a factory, Kerry Street was the place where the Fethard nailers lived and worked. Tradition has it that their workshops were situated on the left hand side of the street as one goes toward Clonmel. Specimens of their long, sharp produce can still be picked up around the town."

Fethard was a walled  market town from Norman times which had laws and customs about  where people live and work. Nailers were sort of  hereditary occupations in a way, much like weavers ,  millers, milliners and midwives, passed down in families anyway. All the birth records on the family that had addresses were "Kerry Street " or " Valley" and none in the town. Patrick Faunt my great great uncle's wife was a daughter of a Nailer as was Bridget Fant his sister's second husband.

James Fant the oldest sibling later raises his family on Kerry Street suggesting to his  occupation also.

Initially told there were two William Faunt’s born in 1840 and asked which one was mine? When I told them there was a probably sibling named Patrick I was given the baptismal record of my ancestor. What a thrill that was!

Fast forwarding, we, ( John McDermot and I ) have now deduced that William Fant who was father to my William is in fact the grandfather of the William Fant born in 1840. He seems to have had  two marriages. Here is our family in Fethard Tipperary between 1819 and 1854. 

William Fant marries Margaret Hickey June 24,1819 in Fethard in the presence of Susan Graham and Miss M. Fitzgerald. Their known children were James Fant born Oct. 31, 1819 on Kerry Street, Margaret Fant born 1826, William Fant 1828,Valley Fethard and Bridget Fant  baptized on  31 March 1831.  

Margaret Hickey must be deceased by 1835 as William marries Honora ( Nora or Norry) Cunningham 17 Sept. 1835 in Killanaule in the presence of John Nolan and Edmund Cunningham. Their known children are Patrick born 16 March 1838 in Fethard ,my William Joseph Fant 5 June 1840, Edmund 16 Dec. 1845, Johanna Dec. 31, 1848 and Judith 19 June 1852.  

William Fant is born c. 1790 most likely in Cork or Limerick and dies after 1865 and probably came to Fethard to work his trade of Nailer or Blacksmith. His father’s name was likely James. Margaret Hickey’s father was probably James. Norry Cunningham was born 3 July 1809 in Powerstown Tipperary to Edmond Cunningham and Bridget Slattery, she had siblings Janet, Edmond, John.  

Generation two starts with James Fant, who married Mary Nolan daughter of Michael and had William, Michael,  Mary and Patrick. Margaret Fant married Jeremiah Maher, Bridget Fant married William Maher and later Pierce Keevan.  Patrick Fant marries Margaret Dwane, William Fant son of Norry Cunningham and William Fant marries Ellen Lynch, Johanna ( Jane) Fant became a nun in the Presentation Order in Fethard and died in Cashel in 1910. Nothing is known about Edmond, Judith or the older son named William,they may have died before adulthood.  

Ellen Lynch’s parents were Michael Lynch and Ellen Hannon from Limerick. Both of Bridget Fant’s husbands were from Fethard.Margaret Dwane’s father Patrick was also a Nailer in Fethard as was Pierce Keevan. 

Generation three begins with James Fant and Mary Nolan’s son. William has 2 children  James and Patrick who both immigrated to the US.  James Fant was in Manhatten married to Margaret and died about 1920. Patrick Font ( as they spell it) married a Margaret Reed near Philadelphia PA. Michael Fant married Margaret Hickey in Adfinnan Tipperary and had a daughter Mary in 1875. (There is a Michael Fant who is in Philadelphia with a wife Mary has a son Walter in 1901 who dies as an infant, but no proof of who he is. He may fit into this family.) Bridget Fant and William Maher had  two children Patrick Faunt Madden and Margaret Madden,  Margaret Fant and Jeremiah Maher have 3 children Thomas, Mary and William in London England. 

Patrick Fant and Margaret Dwane  married in Fethard in 1865 after Patrick left the Army. They had  William Joseph,Patrick,Mary,James Vincent and Jane and moved to Cork City. William Fant also went into the British Army, married Ellen Lynch and emigrated to Beverly NJ. They had Patrick Edward in Limerick City in 1865, William Joseph in Belfast, Nellie ( Ellen) ,Jennie ( Jane), Michael and Louisa in New Jersey as well as 4 babies who died young.