Friday, May 24, 2013

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.


1 comment:

  1. Very nice blog! I look forward to learning more about the Faunts and the Fants :) Welcometo GeneaBloggers!