Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Faunt,Fant and Font in Ireland~ A Family

DNA is the short cut to the reconstruction of this family.I personally have "found" a genetic cousin and tracked him down, much to his surprise I believe.He told his family that he was "found", they little knowing they were lost very likely.

My Grandfather Edward Faunt ( born Edmund a Faunt family name) was the first generation of our immigrant family, or so we thought.Pop-pop told us that we were "Norman French" and that his mother was born in Donegal.He told us little else and what we now know has been pieced together in a retrospective perusal of records.

Grandpop's own mother, Mary Dugan Faunt apparently died when he was very young and left 6 young children to his immigrant father Patrick's tender mercies. No pictures or paper records except for one of him and his brothers. He told me that they often came home from school to find their belongings at the curb and that one of them would stand guard while the others were summoned. He sang a song "Me Mither came from Donegal..she eats potatoes skins and all" which presumably was something that he, as a member of "Sons of Donegal" sang in their meetings.

So this small oral tale of Normans and "Black Irish" and Donegal was passed down to us.
Grandpop married very young and was left a widower very young with 4 young children.
My mother the youngest and only girl was 3. No information about our Grandmother or her tragic death or her family were passed down until we ourselves were adults.

"We" is my Cousin Francis Faunt Jr. and I. Each of us had a few scraps of information which we pooled in very recent years.Some of it was inaccurate and led us on a few wild goose chases.
Except for our first cousins we knew of no other Faunt families.

Francis did a DNA test for the Genographic Project and I (in early retirement and a little bored) was doing paper records. We found cousins of our grandmother's family and discovered her resting place, which I marked with a stone.We had a small Memorial and there was a writeup in a newspaper from Beverly NJ where it seems both sides of our families came to as immigrants.

Franny's DNA matched a man who was part of a family named Fant. This family had been in the US ( Virginia) since between 1674-1708 and was firmly established.Our William Faunt had come from Ireland to this very tiny town on the Delaware River in 1869. When contacted, this family had similar origin tales and both knew of the French spelling of L'enfante.

What did this mean? I contacted a first rate Irish researcher while we furiously tried to get more men to test their DNA. I found my Faunt family living in a Norman walled town called Fethard Tipperary with at least one other family nearby. Church records spelled it Fant. Our William Fant and his brother Patrick were in the British Army and received military pensions.

William Faunt retires at 10 years from the Army with a shoulder injury.Patrick Faunt has malaria after years in India. William comes to America in 1869 with wife Ellen Lynch and two sons Pat and Will.Patrick Faunt has two children in Fethard where he marries and the last 3 baptized in Mitchelstown Cork.

My Irish researcher indicates that he believes that a Patrick Fant who lives very near to Mitchelstown Cork in Kilbehenny Limerick is the father/grandfather to the men in Fethard.They are Nailers by occupation all of them and with that hereditary occupation they live in a certain area, Cashel Road near Fethard. This is a few miles from Mitchelstown Cork.

In the meantime we had some men test.One man with a clear paper trail to a Faunt family in Westmeath did not match. Another man who also descends from that family indicated that the men of that family who did not immigrate move in the mid 1800s to Cork. We now find them in Mitchelstown Cork. They are also a Military family.

Just before the holidays last year I started a group at Ancestry.com for both the Faunt family and my Carrow family as DNA was now being added to pedigrees. What did I find but two men who had done DNA.They matched the majority with the unusual pattern of markers that is called Sardinian I2a. One of them was a Fant of the Colonial Virginia line and one was a Font who lived "Down under".

I rooted around in Cyberspace until I contacted him and announced that he was "Found" and surely shocked him out of his shoes.He had taken a "free test" that produced a few markers finally after a lot of years and he had quite forgotten that. He thought I had mistaken him for another, after all his family was spelled Font and were not from Ireland.

We persevered, he and I, and discovered he had doubts about his family's whereabouts prior to 1802.Ireland was likely he thought. He decided to test the rest of his markers and I tried to get a special deal at Family Tree DNA the company of my choice which many researchers use. After Christmas he sent in his Dad's test kit and it got in on New Years Eve.

His test came back last week and he matches 25 out of 25 markers with Francis Faunt. indicating a closer relationship even than those of Francis and the Virginia Fants. I was absolutely over the moon and so I suspect was he.

So here were are~! 9 men have tested ( one is from Finland so likely is not "us") and all but 2 match each other. A family of Faunt/Fant/Font men who came from the same area nearby to Mitchelstown Cork and Kilmallock Limerick.

The Glen of Aherlow is a valley on the Limerick/Tipperary/Cork border bordered by a mountain range. My researcher tells me that current information in Galway is that the Fontt family there is "of the Kilmallock family". William de Braose founded the town of Fethard and Sir Walter L'enfant, Justiciar of Ireland,is possibly in his entourage and associated with that small walled town.

We have some mysteries to unravel and my new Font cousin needs to be linked to a place in Ireland. Check out our DNA website and consider testing but ask me first! I am trying to get some special pricing. and in the interest of the family a Faunt from Cork gets special treatment from James,Joe and me.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Heart Shaped Cake Pans

The first time I remember these is my Sister's first birthday.Do I really remember that or did I see a snapshot?The heart shaped cake pans came in graduated sizes.Sister had the smallest one for her birthday and had it all to herself. I think I remember.White icing.

Today on Valentine's Day I remember other Valentine's treats, some made with the cake pans and some without. Pink icing and sparkly red sprinkles on the cakes. Mom liked to bake it seems, at least she did it fairly often.Most definitely more than me.My daughter and youngest child said I never baked her a birthday cake.However I might add that since I thought store bought cakes were wonderful, she always had a cake~! I did not realize that I had not baked a cake for her birthday until this summer at my Beach House. Sigh.

My Mother worked outside the home for a good part of my childhood having gone to work when I was 11.She was a school nurse and usually was home when we were for vacations.Dinners were rushed and Mom invented if not perfected the 20 minute spaghetti dinner. It was fine but her 25 minute beef stew was not so good.She did make cakes though and tons of cookies at Christmas.

I also worked outside the home and had 4 kids.There were times when I was a single parent.Crockpot frozen meatballs were my specialty along with Tuna Casserole and Meat Loaf ( 4 kids, remember?)They were well nourished although we did not eat gourmet style. I also finished college( Grad school also) while they were still in school. I overused a warming tray or rather a sucession of them over those few years.

Valentine's Day always always will remind me of my Dad Bill Carrow. He never forgot Sister and I on Valentine's Day with a heart shaped box of candy. He adored my mother and had done so since third grade when he presented her with a ring.She promptly threw it in the river.Dad moved back to Delaware City and when Mom was a senior in high school he took her to her prom.

Picture is Bill and Betty Carrow and daughter Kathleen at a wedding in the Carneys Point Methodist church next to Dunn's Park. Sister Carol obviously was not yet a twinkle in Dad's eye. Grandpop Edward Faunt Sr. is next to white post.

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.