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.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The DNA Story ~ Dave Font and Me ~ Don't Stop Believing!

Just before Christmas I discussed this on our Fant Font Faunt Facebook group regarding DNA and how I  found David Font is connected to my family. 
“We are approaching 9 years of knowing that the Fant and Faunt family were related..James Fant tested in maybe 2004 and Francis Faunt in 2005..they matched..Around 2007 or 2008 I stumbled upon David Font 's markers at the Sorenson site and realized he matched also..I tracked him down..sort of like a stalker.. 

 Dave graciously says I "found" him..He and I have worked pretty tirelessly over those years to figure out his line..He has some new evidence that may keep his line in England for a long time..the result of continuing to seek records.. He and I have several trees on Ancestry.com. Don't Stop Believing!!
Dave further has saved the first e-mails “for posterity” possibly..
 “To: davidifont  Sent: Monday, September 15, 2008 11:12 AM 
Subject: Looking for more information about Thomas Font
 “Hi David
I am also contacting you via Ancestry.com..I have found that you match YDNA with 4 men ..all 4 of Irish descent.One is my cousin Francis Faunt..our Grandfather Edward was the son of an Irish immigrant Patrick. Patrick, his brother William and parents William Fant/Faunt and Wife Ellen came to NJ in 1869 from Fethard Tipperary.The other 3 men descend from a George and William Fant who are in American 1671 and 1716.We all match in DNA. Others do not.
I have many many Irish records including some Thomases.I have started a Faunt/Fant group at Ancestry.com. There is a Y DNA group at Family Tree DNA: http://www.familytreedna.com/public/fant  Please contact me  Kathleen Carrow Ingram “  

Dave answered cautiously, he said he had actually forgotten he had done the free Sorenson test : “How do you know that my ancestral Y-DNA matches your Faunt ancestors?”

 My response was: “Well 10 markers of your tests on available to look at now at both smgf.org and ancestry.com..if not you than it is one of your relatives who tested.If another relative ( Father, cousin, brother) will you pass this information on?I then went to your pedigree at ancestry.com and e-mailed you from there..
Please e-mail me at my private e-mail as it is easier..
If that is your test, or a male relative, then we match 10 of the 10 markers with you.. By "we" I mean my male cousin Francis Faunt and 3 men who did not know each other prior to this but descend from a family that is in America since 1671-1716 at earliest. My William Fant/Faunt came from Tipperary to America ( NJ) in 1869..his son Patrick was born in Ireland..his son Edward was my Grandfather..I have many many Irish records and think you might fit into the County Wexford group..” 

So it does, indeed, look like I stalked Dave Font but he and I have done well with it all.He tested his Dad at FTDNA where I am Co-Admin for the surname group. Dave and I will cooperate on this part and he will tell what he has on his lineage. I will share what I feel sure of on the Virginia Fants also before I go into medieval records to any degree. It would be great for other lines to share  about what they know of their family.  

 As of this date we have more than 25 men who have tested who carry  the surname or whose known ancestor did. A few know they were not in our lineage being from other countries entirely. There are those who had hoped or expected to match a Faunt or Fant and did not, or the reverse. This is called in DNA terms a NPE or non paternity event. It does NOT preclude relationship to our family but that the male line was broken in some way. This could be an uncle raising a nephew as his son or a grandfather raising a grandson. Autosomal DNA or “cousin testing” now can show relationship on the other chromosomes but not as far back in time. These tests are now affordable for many due to competition between companies.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

My Faunt family in Ireland

One or two major threads run through my researcher's summaries:  first is the Army career of these men, second is the loss of their lands and a third describes how they moved outwards and upwards into Tipperary and down into Cork after 1550 or so. As I began to weave together a narrative of a family in this area more and more facts come up to lend it stability. Good fortune also smiled on me at this time as Irish records began to be online and purchasable. McDermott had professional contacts that enhanced this project. One of the first was his discovery that my William Faunt the immigrant was in the British Army. 

After  his first description and report  of family linkages and areas inhabited he informed me of my own great grandfather’s birth record in this fashion: ” I had the record of Patrick's birth in 1865 extracted. Here are the details: 25 Feb 1865. Patrick of William Faunt, private soldier, New Barrack,  St. Michael's parish, Limerick  & Ellen Lynch. Ellen Lynch, mother, of Halls Range, notified the birth. Interesting that William was a soldier. There would be an army record. “

He then referred me to a colleague who did Army records and there was great success. Bob O’Hara got back to me in short order with this information: “I have completed my search for the records of William Faunt.  I began by searching the Regimental Returns of Births.  The only birth registered to this name was a child called William, who was born in Belfast in 1867.  His father served with the 3rd of Foot and the reference is volume 776, page 37.  

I then searched the discharge papers of the 3rd of Foot, East Kent Regiment, for the period 1855-1872, held in WO 97/1391.  I am pleased to say that William’s papers were in place.   

There were also papers for a Patrick Faunt, which I have also filmed, as it would seem most likely that he was a relative.  Patrick and William were both born in Fethard, Tipperary.  Patrick enlisted as Private No 830 into the 2nd battalion of the 3rd Foot on 12th November 1855.  He discharged in 1865 and his intended place of residence was Fethard. 

William Faunt enlisted into the same battalion in Cahir as Private No 400 on 8th October 1857 and was aged 18 at the time. He served with the regiment for 9 years and 361 days, of which 6 months was spent in Malta. William’s conduct was classed as Good and he was in possession of 4 Good Conduct Badges. His name had been entered twice in the Regimental Defaulters’ Book. 

William discharged on 12th November 1867 as he was suffering from necrosis and partial anclylosis of the right shoulder joint. The disease arose as a result of a strumous diathesis and was not caused by the service. He had a piece of dead bone in the upper part of his humerous which was causing stiffness and left him unable to perform any movement above shoulder level. It was considered that his disability would materially influence his ability to make a living. His condition had not been aggravated by vice or interference.
William was aged 28 upon discharge. He had been a nailer by trade prior to his army service. Upon discharge he was 5 feet 7 ½ inches tall with a fair complexion, hazel eyes and light brown hair. His intended place of residence was Belfast.
I then went on to search for William’s pension record, which I found in WO 116/94. I also searched the final muster roll in which he appeared, WO 12/2183, to see if it contained a Married Roll, which it did. However, there were no soldiers by the name of Faunt on the roll. This does not mean that William was not married at the time, but that his wife was not accompanying the regiment.” 

Armed with this much information I was directed to Tipperary Family History Centre affiliated with the Catholic Archdiocese of Cashel & Emly which is partly Southern Tipperary and partly Limerick. This area I would soon find was the base of my Faunt family in Ireland.


Friday, May 24, 2013

Murder in Kyllmallock

There is a reason that the Fants leave Fantstown Limerick, which we find in the Desmond Surveys and quoting from that document : “James ffant of ffantstowne was attainted of murder and executed at Kyllmallock, at the times the murder was perpetrated and he was attainted he was similarly seised of the vills and lands following viz Fantstowne 2 carucates near Kyllmallock; the villate of Ballecollen now in the possession of Rory (Roric') McShehy 1 carucate; amounting in all to 3½ quarters as was found by inquisition taken before Thomas Wyseman, James Golde, Attorney {MS folio 73} for the province of Munster, Robert Rosier and Arthur Robins, esquires, commissioners, at Kyllmallock on 26 Oct. 1584 a.r. xxvj Eliz. inter alia as follows:— the jurors say on their oath that James ffant formerly of ffantstowne gent, assaulted Patrick ffant and murdered him at Glassaie gate in Kyllmallock, for which murder he was attainted and executed at Kyllmallock; at the times the murder was perpetrated and of his attainder he was seised of the vill and land of Fantstowne 2 carucates, but they know not from whom he held them; that at the time of his attainder he was seised of Ballecollen one carucate now in possession of Rory (Roric) McShehy but they know not its value.”
  The Desmond Rebellion fought in the very streets of Kilmallock left the area ravished and barren. The bulk of the family seem to move a few miles north in Tipperary and likewise south into Cork, all these areas, or the roads leading there are arrayed around the Glen of Aherlow or the Golden Vale. 
Important discoveries are two documents which happily became available about 2009 and 2012 title “ Who Was Who in Medieval Limerick” and “Who Was Who in Early Modern Limerick” mostly researched by Alan o’Driscoll. These documents shows the family in and around Kilmallock but also holding lands in Kildare. This coincides with birth that are available from Kildare, Louth and Meath for Fants who later are found in the South of Ireland.

From The Researcher ~ Irish Fant and Faunt family in late Medieval and early modern era

 The following area series of quotes in John McDermott’s own words:“We have Patrick Fant at Knockrour in Kilbeheny in the Valuation. That is an adjacent parish to Galbally, south of it. But living as far away  (not far) as Bansha in the mid-18th century.
The Robert Fant in Kilmeedy in the Valuation is a good distance from this area. Just south of Ballingarry.  West of Kilmallock, where we know the family were in the late Middle Ages. ”There was a pardon granted to John Faunte, kern, of Ballyderonty in 1567. This is in the Co. Limerick. The name does not survive in that form. I wonder if it might be Ballydoorty, Mahoonagh parish, Newcastle district. There was a pardon granted to John Faunt, horseman, of Fantstowne in 1584.”

“Any Fant in this region is possibly related to every other, no doubt. Bansha is as close as we get to Fethard and Galbally is not far from Bansha, no. There is a direct road from one to the other. Galbally is in Co. Limerick, Bansha in Co. Tipperary, Emly diocese. Bansha is in Cashel diocese. One might possibly suggest the families are related There is little distance between Galbally & Bansha, so that may be where  the family was from. . I think we can assume that Edmund in 1824  and Patrick in 1766 are related. And that Fr. Patrick was born in the Galbally area. Clonbeg (R.C. Galbally) is adjacent parish to Templeneiry (Bansha), so they came from that area. Kilbeheny/ Mitchelstown  is just south of Galbally. We have Fant records from there. I cannot see what brought them to Templemore, apart from the army connections. That we have proven.”
” There was a grant of the lands of James & Robert Fant, both attainted (of treason, I assume) in the town of Kilmallock, Co. Limerick in 1595. They may have gone to Robert Collum Esq. as there are a good many names of people attainted who had their lands confiscated at this time in the county.” 

“A pardon was granted to Richard Faunt, yeoman, of Thomastown (Co. Limerick) There is a Thomastown in the parishes of Kilbreedy Minor & Kilfinnane  there Fannistowne, Kilfinnane is recorded in the 1659 "Census". There were 15 people living there then. John Condon & Robert Oliver were landowners in that area then. Gibbon & Fitzgibbon were other names of tenants. Patrick & Robert Fant were in Griffith's Valuation in 1851-2 in Kilbeheny &  Kilmeedy parishes in the area.”” James & John Fant of Clangibbon are also mentioned in pardons at this time. Condons &  Clangibbon is a barony “ 

“Patrick Fante of Ballingarry, Kilmallock, gent, was an assistant juror of the inquisition for the survey. He was not recorded as a major landholder in Ballingarry. John Burgatt lived at Fantstown then, a Catholic. So the Fants had left Fantstown by then. Which was 1554- or 1556”


Starting The Tale ~ For Memorial Day

My cousins and I were told that our family was Norman French before they came to Ireland. Our family came to New Jersey in 1869 to a small town of the Delaware River. Grandpop Edward ( born Edmund) Faunt was of the first generation of Faunts born in America, or so it seemed until the advent of  DNA genealogy.
This happy event coincided with my retirement when, to keep myself mentally active I had begun to piece together what little we knew of our family line. Two of my male cousins had done some work on my maternal line years before and from that I had a few pieces of paper tucked in a jewelry box. I knew that Patrick Faunt, Grandpop's father, was born in Limerick.

Imagine the shock when my Cousin Francis Faunt decided to test his DNA in the Genographic Project and found he matched another man quite closely whose name was Fant. This family had its roots in Colonial America and many had concluded they were from Foston Leicestershire England where Faunts had lived as landed gentry, military leaders and courtiers between 1385 -1600. Others of that line looked at other writings which showed that forebears of this same family were in Ireland prior to this time. Additionally as we were later to find out, other lines existed from places in Ireland far from Limerick as well as nearby England.
My grandfather had told us the family was French, possibly Norman French and the name had been L'enfant or De Faunt .He used to sing me a song "Me Mither came from Dun-ee-gall she eats potatoes skins and all" and told us he had belonged to "Sons of Donegal" as a boy in Philadelphia. How did this translate into his father being born in Limerick? I decided to try to weave all these threads together to see what a more complete picture looked like. 
Beginning with some of the more accessible genealogy resources and utilizing what Franny and Don had I began my search. I first explored all that was currently published on the Virginia Fant family as nothing really existed for our family, or so I presumed. Using our Patrick's Limerick birthplace as a jumping off point didn't get me too far with published records and I decided to consult an Irish researcher.
I went to the National Archives of Ireland and reading a bit about the different researchers I took the plunge on one John McDermott who seemed to research in the right area for my folks.