Thursday, June 20, 2013

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.



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