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.