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 "

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