When I started I had my great grandparents marriages in New Jersey and their parents names and a possibility on Patrick Faunt's birth in Limerick City in 1865, thanks to my cousin Francis Faunt. Additionally I had a big clue in that Francis had tested his Y ( male) DNA at the Genographic project and interestingly matched a man whose family was in Virginia before 1700. They spelled it Fant and knew little about origins of their family except that a castle called Fantstown existed in Limerick.
John and I then began our work, or should I say his work. He first told me that Patrick Faunt's birth was reported by William Faunt, a private soldier, in Limerick and referred me a a military record specialist, Bob O'Hara. I was again fortunate as Mr. O'Hara found two soldiers for me for the price of one report. Patrick and William Fant were born in Fethard Tipperary and seemed to be related.I wrote about Pat and Will last week and Patrick's son James yesterday on the Geneabloggers topic "Military Monday".
Now maybe five or six years later the story has evolved. At least sixteen Fant Font or Faunt men have tested their DNA and thirteen of them prove to be of the same lines. My first cousin Francis is equidistant between the early American line and the known Irish lines which we are part of. We have a DNA group on Ancestry.com and a fifty member group on Facebook called, guess what? Faunt, Fant,Font.
This year has had added benefits for someone like myself who is obsessed with my Irish roots. My DNA indicates I am 79.8% Irish and I know many of the family lineages now. I am so very excited to have run across two important pieces of work on Limerick history.
One of the documents that I found here was compiled by Alan O'Driscoll and continued by Brian Hodkinson. That one is called Who Was Who in Early Modern Limerick and "it is a continuation of the Who Was Who in Medieval Limerick" I am so grateful to these fine gentleman scholars and their work. If the texts do not come up on the Limerick Museum site then do what I did and use Google.
From both of these texts I find my Faunt/Fant men living here in Limerick since the 13th century. Additionally it sheds light on their linkages to Kildare, Louth and surrounding areas including Fethard Tipperary where my Patrick and William Faunt were born as Fant. Their father William Fant was a Nailer as were they in the British Army and they were born on the Cashel Road where Nailers had housing.
Thanks to the fine research I also find new cousins and other ancestors like Lynch,Moloney,Slattery and Cunningham in the Limerick Cork Tipperary area
Fantstown Castle Limerick
I am grateful I live in the digital age and to my ancestors.