Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Hiding Places

Sometimes I have had people tease me and ask if my Carrow family was "Shy" since in early times they are not found in records. I call the whole group the "Witness Protection Family" again mostly in jest.

They are there but seem to have been good hiders and not joiners of organizations, at least not in America. Trying to figure the "whys" of their hiding and the "wheres" of their hiding has taken me far afield. I have learned a lot and what I learn makes me understand them better and of course understand myself better. You KNEW I would go there, didn't you?

Peter Rementer came from an undisclosed location to Philadelphia by the mid 1700s.He marries into what appears to be a German Palatinate family and actually may have spoken German. It could have been Alsace-Lorraine ( in German, Elsass-Lothringen) which was completely annexed in 1766 but was being bit by bit eroded prior to that. Did Peter affirm his German affiliation and affinity through marriage in America or did he just happen into a neighborhood where he was accepted? We don't know nor do we know if he came alone.

A baptismal record of my Great Grandmother Mary Agnes Rementer was sent to me more than 20 years ago but the family stated that her father Charles Rementier was French Canadian.When I began to do my own research 7 years ago, small wonder the Rementers I stumbled across shooed me away as not being of the Philadelphia family. I perservered and found them in census and other records and piece by piece and bit by bit I had a tree which was not Canadian in origin.Bless the Catholic Archdiocese and their records as Peter the Pere was a pewholder at Old St. Joseph's in Phaildelphia.

The Daughters of American Revolution tell me that my records are excellent and that with one more small proof Peter Rementer, Patriarch and Patriot will be established for all generations.
Well! The one small proof was a census and the required family member was Francis Rementer and the year was 1850.He is not there nor is the son he lived with that year, Henry. They ARE however in the 1810 census spelled Francis Romento and the 1820 census where the abstracter decided his name was Ivan Remender.

The organization today got my packet with 9 proofs , none of which are the census but which will surely suffice. What I wonder is this..was the language a barrier or was the family reticent in some way that had it's origins in the flight from Europe?

My succession of John Carrows were much the same. My belief is that this family fled from Ireland during the English Civil Wars under threat of treason. John Carrow the Constable of Accomac ( or his father) is in Virginia by 1643 and at least one researcher has stated they were cousins of "the O'Neill" of Ireland.They match in their DNA the McDonald clan more closely and Bryan Carragh chieftan of Clan Donald of Port Glenone Ireland was cousin to both the O'Neill and McDonald on his maternal line and may have been Grandfather to the earliest immigrant.

A researcher who has done work for me describes that they "Live under the radar" of the times.They seem not to own land although we see them as planters on their wives Dower estates, are affluent and possibly in trade. They move up from Accomac VA to Dorchester and Queen Anne MD where they straddle both state and County lines between Queen Anne /Kent counties in Maryland and Kent County Delaware. A second Carrow family moves down from Virginia across the Chesapeake when lands in the Carolinas open up for settlement in 1663.DNA proves them to be the same family and very closely related.

John Carrow has just this month been also established as an American Revolutionary War Patriot for his service which encompassed both Maryland and Delaware.It was a tough record to prove although it is very clear that John served in the Queen Anne County Militia. His residence in Duck Creek Delaware is on Nathaniel Wild's plantation but in Queen Anne MD may have been on James Ringgold's land as his Uncle Henry Carrow was married to the widow Mary Harris Godman Ringgold. It seems to have been a good hiding place which served for more than 100 years.

DNA conclusively tracked my Faunt family to the Fants of Virginia and Fonts of Liverpool England and New Zealand whose 15th,16th,17th century ancestors were laying low in the Glen of Aherlow on the borderland of Counties Cork/Tipperary and Limerick. Cousins of all of us surely were in were in Galway City as one of Cromwell's 14 merchant families designated as " Tribes of Galway", an afternoon's hard ride from Limerick and the ancestral Castle until the Civil Wars.

I am not sure that my William Faunt knew he and his recent ancestors were in hiding as they worked as "Nailers" and "Smiths" and served in the British Army as family members had done for many centuries. When they left the Fantstown Kilmallock, Limerick area late in the 16th century they surely only knew that they had to make a living and were being forced out of common lands. One of their cousins another William Fant, a lawyer was jailed for helping members of the White Boys a precurser to the IRA.They moved up into "Horse Mad Tipperary" doing what they had always done riding and taking care of horses

They too came to their adopted countres with some cash either in their possessions or available to them when necessary.None of this small group seem to have been destitute nor deprived.They lived fairly well and left oral traditions that gave some clues to their origins.

It is up to us to piece together the "wheres" and "whys" of their patterns and pathways to make a narrative that we can follow.

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