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.