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.



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